Will Forster

Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South Learn more

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Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

Earlier today, I was pleased to join residents of Kingsmoor Park in Westfield and children from Westfield Primary School to unveil three large wooden totem sculptures carved by the community under the guidance of local artist Ruth Wheeler. As part of the finishing touches to Thames Valley Housing’s Kingsmoor Park development, the housing association in partnership […]

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In a keynote housing speech today, the Leader of the Lib Dems, Vince Cable, called for tough action to be taken against empty homes. Vince Cable and the Lib Dems want to increase Council Tax on empty homes from 200% to 500% and introduce a Stamp Duty surcharge for overseas residents. As a party, we […]

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Elected as Mayor of Woking

by willforster on 21 May, 2018

I was delighted and honoured to have been elected as Woking’s 45th Mayor during the Annual Meeting of Woking Borough Council on Thursday 17th May. As Mayor, I am the non-political head of Woking Council and the Borough as a whole.  Over the next year I will be attending as many ceremonial, civic and community […]

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Call to repeal the Vagrancy Act

by willforster on 6 April, 2018

The local Lib Dems and I have come out in support of a petition to end the Vagrancy Act 1824 after it was revealed that Surrey Police have arrested 29 people over the last three years for begging and sleeping rough. This 19th Century law gives Police the power to arrest any people found begging […]

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The local Lib Dems and I have welcomed Woking Borough Council’s proposals for an ‘Earn Your Deposit’ scheme and highlighted the local Tories’ U-turn on the Government’s Right to Buy policy. Woking Council’s housing company, Thameswey Housing, will soon offer its over 400 tenants the opportunity to earn money towards a deposit on their first […]

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Over 700 homes in Woking are left empty

by willforster on 3 January, 2018

Despite significant homelessness, pressure on the Green Belt and sky high house prices – 708 homes in Woking are sitting empty according to research by the Lib Dems. The figures, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, show that there are over 11,000 homes across the country have stood empty for at least a decade.  Worryingly, […]

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Next week, the Conservative Cabinet of Surrey County Council is expected to agree to enter into a Joint Venture with an external company to redevelop the Council’s own land and buildings for housing for sale and rent. Although I welcome action being taken at long last to utilise County Council owned buildings and land which […]

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In response to a Lib Dem Freedom of Information Act request, Surrey County Council has confirmed that it has left 20 buildings empty for a cumulative total of 112 years, with one building in Warlingham left empty for a shocking 18 years.  The County Council spent £307,464 in just one year in 2016/17 maintaining its 20 […]

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Opposition County Councillors have revealed that Surrey County Council is in the process of planning housing development across dozens of sites in a secret deal that could be worth over £1 billion with a private sector partner. The County Council is in the process of tendering a contract for a ‘Joint Property Joint Venture Partner’, […]

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During yesterday’s Full Council meeting, my Lib Dem colleagues and I have condemned a decision by Conservative-run Surrey County Council to award a £400,000 grant to an art gallery which has £38 million of funds and an income of £1.2 million a year. The Watts Gallery in Compton, south of Guildford, was awarded the money following […]

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