Woking and Surrey local news

  • Letter from Daisy Cooper MP
    Article: Jan 16, 2021

    The Lib Dems have called for teachers to be vaccinated against covid after the Government admitted schools were the epicentre of high community transmission.

    Daisy Cooper MP, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Education, has written a letter to Ministers Gavin Williamson and Matt Hancock to ask them to vaccinate teachers as part of category seven.

  • Will Forster
    Article: Jan 16, 2021

    Lib Dem Councillor Will Forster and the York Road Project has written to the Government calling for those working with homeless people to be treated as a priority group in the coronavirus vaccination programme.

    Since the start of the covid pandemic the Project have had to move from their small premises into the HG Wells Conference Centre and its adjoining hotel to meet the Government guidelines on social distancing.

  • Paul Kennedy
    Article: Jan 16, 2021

    Paul Kennedy, the Lib Dem candidate for Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner, is urging residents to respond to the latest proposal by incumbent David Munro for a 5.54% increase in the police element of Council Tax, and is calling for better value for money for taxpayers.

    The proposal corresponds to an annual increase of £10 for Band A households, £15 for Band D, and £30 for Band H properties, on top of any increases by Surrey's local authorities like Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council. The increase is the maximum permitted without requiring a local referendum of Surrey residents.

  • Tory Incompetence - it's official
    Article: Jan 8, 2021

    Serious managerial incompetence by senior Tory Councillors is identified in the independent inspector's "Report on Woking Football Club and Associated Development - 15 December 2020". The report clearly identifies many very important issues for all Woking voters.

    Woking Borough Council granted a £250 million loan to a property developer and has been found to have inadequate paperwork to support the deal, not having taken appropriate legal advice and kept secret information that should have been in the public domain. In this podcast we ask how did this happen and who was responsible for such an extraordinary scale of incompetence. Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Lib Dem Group on Woking Borough Council and a Goldsworth Park Councillor, suggests answers to these crucial questions.

  • Podcast screenshot
    Article: Dec 22, 2020

    Jobs for Tory pals and weak management of Woking Borough Council officers by the Conservative leadership. 

    Independent LGA (Local Government Association) reports in 2015 and 2019 highlighted poor management practice and managerial incompetence by the Woking Tories. These reports have been hidden and ignored.  In our latest podcast Adam Kirby and Dale Roberts probe the details in Woking Spotlight.  

  • Article: Dec 15, 2020

    The Lib Dems have condemned the Chancellor for failing to introduce a comprehensive plan to save jobs after it was revealed that almost 3,000 people in Woking are currently on Universal Credit.

    Lib Dem Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine criticised Rishi Sunak's "constant chop-and-change approach" urging him to put in place a proper plan to protect jobs as the Government still struggles to get a grip over rising cases of coronavirus.

  • Article: Dec 10, 2020

    The Conservatives running Surrey County Council have launched a consultation on plans to cut school funding for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

    They plan to abolish the "additional SEN funding" which goes to 67 primary and 2 secondary schools in Surrey. Beaufort, Goldsworth, St Hugh of Lincoln, West Byfleet Infant and West Byfleet Junior Schools in Woking would all be hit by the changes.

  • Article: Dec 8, 2020

    Earlier today, the Conservative majority on Surrey County Council used their own amendment to vote down a Lib Dem motion that would have tackled child food poverty.

    If approved, the original proposal by Lib Dem County Councillors would have committed the Council to taking the small, albeit valuable steps of ensuring the availability of breakfast clubs at schools across Surrey - as well as to lobbying Central Government for changes to the welfare system.

  • Article: Nov 30, 2020

    Following a request from Councillor Will Forster at last week's Police and Crime Panel the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner agreed to work with the Ministry of Justice to try to reopen the former Magistrates' Court in Woking.

    Cuts to the justice system coupled with the pandemic lockdown have resulted in a huge backlog of court cases across the country. In the criminal courts the situation is so bad that there are now 558,000 outstanding cases; 509,347 cases waiting to be heard in Magistrates' Courts and 48,713 in Crown Courts.

    Surrey's Police and Crime Commissioner is already working with the Ministry of Justice, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service and others in the justice system on tackling the backlog in the courts. Capacity at Guildford Crown Court has recently been expanded by installing a portacabin and rebuilding one of its courtrooms to enable 5 court cases to take place there.

    Lib Dem Councillor Will Forster, said:

    "To help clear the court backlog and get justice for victims of crime I am pleased the authorities will look at reopening the Woking Magistrates' Court. The court closed ten years ago and is now used as a Coroner's Court, but it could clearly be used for criminal cases as well."

    "Years of cuts have stretched the justice system to breaking point. The Government needs to build a more effective judicial system as we come out of the pandemic and this should include reopening Woking's Magistrates' Court. We cannot allow justice delayed to become justice denied."

  • Article: Nov 30, 2020

    We have all become more aware of the need for free school meals in the last few months, but child food poverty did not start with the covid pandemic.

    That is why the Lib Dems are calling on Surrey County Council to take steps to address this growing problem across the county.

    Surrey is a comparatively wealthy county, but this generalisation hides a number of uncomfortable truths about the level of poverty experienced by those living in some of its poorer areas. Some families are already struggling to put food on the table for children in a county where housing costs are four times less affordable than the national average and are amongst the highest in the country.