May 4th, 2013 by willforster
On Friday I was re-elected as South Woking’s representative on Surrey County Council – thank you all so much.
Thank you to those that voted for me – whether you did vote for me or not, over the next 4 years I am here to help where possible and will continue to represent our area. I need to pay particular thanks to those people who signed my nomination paper, delivered leaflets for me, sat outside the polling station ‘telling’ and helped with the many other tasks required in an election campaign. I might have been the candidate – but couldn’t have done it on my own.
As you can imagine I am physically and mentally exhausted, so I need a slow weekend to recover. I will post of a full commentary of my re-election and the County Council elections after a very good rest – in the meantime, please see the details here.
May 2nd, 2013 by willforster
If you haven’t already voted via post – please don’t forget to go to your local polling station and vote in today’s Surrey County Council elections.
I’ve worked hard for the last 4 years as your County Councillor, and really need your support today.
The polls open from 7 am and don’t close until 10 pm. If you can’t find your polling card (mine must be under a pile of old Focuses) – don’t worry, don’t need your poll card to vote. If you are a postal voter and haven’t sent it back, you can hand it in at any polling station. If you need a lift, we are happy to help please ring 01483 772735.
Everyone should know where there polling station is – if not, you can find out here. The only change for previous years is that Mayford residents will be voting at the Mayford Athletic Sports Club, rather than in Saunders Lane
The count starts at 9 am on Friday, and will be tweeting updates when I can.
April 26th, 2013 by willforster
Despite the Planning Committee only giving the ‘Moor Lane’ development the go ahead on Tuesday 16th – work has already started on widening the access roads to the housing development site.
Balfour Avenue, Quartermaine Avenue, Westfield Common and Westfield Way are being widened to take the extra traffic created by the new estate. A right-hand turn lane will also be added to Balfour Avenue at the junction with Westfield Road.
I have had assurances that access will be maintained for residents throughout the works, albeit with delays when passing through the stop-and-go traffic controls. There will be restricted access to individual properties when the widening is directly adjacent to their driveways.
The roadworks started on Monday 22nd April and should be completed by Monday 22nd July, but some weekend working may happen towards the end of that period.
I have already picked up incidents of the contractors arriving on-site and starting work, too early – they have been told not to start work before 8 am and I will be monitoring this closely. If local residents do have any problems with the access works, please get in contact.
April 22nd, 2013 by willforster
Network Rail are going to carry out bridge maintenance on Victoria Arch during the night between 29th April and 10th May.
I understand the works will be pretty minor, but will require two way lights on the A320 – however only during the night, all of which has been approved by Environmental Health at Woking Borough Council.
April 16th, 2013 by willforster
On Tuesday evening Woking Borough Council approved plans to build 371 homes on the ‘Moor Lane’ site.
The ‘Moor Lane’ housing development will comprise 27 one bed flats, 34 two bed flats, 16 three bed flats, 88 two bed houses, 138 three bed houses and 68 four bed houses. Many of the properties will be three storey in height and the development will be made up of 60% affordable housing.
This new estate will have access points at Quartermaine Avenue and Westfield Way (plus one route on Newlands Avenue for emergency access only) and then onto the wider road network at Balfour Avenue and Westfield Road.
I wanted to report back on this news straight away. During the Planning Committee meeting, I spoke against the development – as did Bill Corney as Chairman of the Westfield Common Residents Association. However, as it’s very late I will write a more detailed and opinion posting in the near future.
April 15th, 2013 by willforster
I am pleased to report that the three South Woking primary schools will be getting over £27,000 as part of a £2.7 million grant from the Coalition Government to Surrey County Council for school sports.
Based on last year’s school census, Barnsbury school should receive £9,540, Kingfield £8,560 and Westfield £8,910 (as both Kingfield and Westfield schools are currently expanding I expect the numbers to be higher) – this funding is the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher’s time to provide more sport for their pupils.
Sport can help children to build confidence, understand teamwork and, above all, keep healthy. So it’s great news the Lib Dems in Government are determined to take advantage of the enthusiasm we saw during the Olympic Games last year.
Even though Surrey was a major venue for the Olympics, the Conservative administration at County Hall have failed to use it to boost sports in local schools. The best legacy of the Games would be more children taking part in school and learning how to live a healthy lifestyle.
April 12th, 2013 by willforster
Woking Borough Council started work on revamping Commercial Way this week.
I’m a member of the cross party task group that has overseen the plans that will see Commercial Way repaved and redesigned to create an attractive, tree-lined and clutter-free street – similar in style to the Town, now Jubilee Square improvements.
These works should make Commercial Way a much nicer place to be, therefore encouraging businesses and shoppers to Woking and that part of town in particular. The redesigned Commercial Way should resolve the potential for conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists that was a concern a few years ago - as in future there will be corridors through Commercial Way wide enough for fire engines and lorries, yet alone cyclists.
It’s taken a lot of time and effort to ensure the designs meet everyone’s needs and wishes – we even managed to even get the Council to consult on the proposals. However, these works have been complicated by the possible Bandstand Square Development. So only the section of Commercial Way between Alexander House and Provincial House, aka the eastern end will be done this year. The remaining half will be completed when the picture is clearer on the Bandstand proposals.
April 1st, 2013 by willforster
At the last Full Council meeting, the County Council finally agreed to support the Surrey Save Credit Union – following my motion on the subject back in 2010.
I am pleased to say the Council will shortly be investing £50,000 in the local credit union. This is exactly what I wanted when I submitted my motion, but the administration refused to listen then – better late than never I suppose.
March 31st, 2013 by willforster
A while ago Woking Borough Council agreed to support my motion to investigate how to protect homes along the Hoe Stream in Kingfield, Mayford and Old Woking from flooding.
The Council has rightly spent a lot of time and money on protecting homes in Barnsbury and Westfield from flooding with the Hoe Valley Scheme – however there are still many homes along the Hoe Stream corridor that are still at risk of flooding.
A ‘Hoe Valley Scheme Mark II’ would be significantly less expensive and disruptive than the first – as there is not a contaminated tip to deal with and it is likely many of the homes in question can be protected by constructing cost effective bunds, so it shouldn’t be a huge and complicated infrastructure project.
With the Borough Council looking to receive money from selling the land at Brookwood Farm and Westfield Avenue (to be sold to fund the costs of the original Hoe Valley Scheme) later this year, I am hopeful that draft plans can begin to be draw up with the Environment Agency as soon as possible.
March 23rd, 2013 by willforster
At the last Full Council meeting of the municipal year, the Surrey Lib Dems were successful in committing Surrey County Council to do everything in its power to protect Green Belt land and to ensure that any Green Belt development in Surrey is in line with the needs and wishes of local residents.
Putting aside my criticisms for a moment, Surrey County Council actually has history to be really proud of as the creator of the Green Belt – the Council’s Countryside Estate was founded by the Surrey County Council Act in 1931 was the basis of the London County Council’s Green Belt Act in 1938.
It is no accident that residents of Surrey enjoy some of the greenest open spaces in the country, the foresight of the County Council (my criticisms of County Hall is they have completely lost that foresight now) back in 1931 has ensured the protection of our open space for past, present and future generations.
This topic is very relevant at present, which is why we wanted Surrey County Council to lay down a marker to state it will continue to support it’s legacy. Developers are being awarded access to senior Tories through the Conservative Property Forum, a donor group which sets up meetings to discuss planning property issues. From 2008 to 2011, property developers donated £3.3 million to the Tory Party. Nobody can be deluded into thinking they have the best interests of Surrey’s residents at heart.
Our motion should mean the County Council fights to stop Surrey’s Green Belt from being sold off to the highest bidder.