Will Forster

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate in Woking, Deputy Mayor of Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Yesterday, the Conservative administration announced their budget proposals containing £54 million of cuts to services and a 6% Council Tax rise. These budget recommendations are due to be approved by the Council’s Tory Cabinet on Tuesday 30th January, and then by all County Councillors as Full Council on Tuesday 6th February. This draft budget contains […]

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The Government has published proposals calling on local authorities, including Surrey County Council, to be more open and transparent about their purchases of commercial properties for investment purposes. The consultation, which closed on December 22nd, states that local authorities need to “demonstrate more transparency and openness and to make it easier for informed observers to […]

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Government calls time on Surrey’s Tory Tip Tax

by willforster on 16 January, 2018

The Government have stated that they wish to see an end to charges by local authorities, including Surrey County Council, for residents disposing of DIY waste. A consultation released this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) states that “The Government’s view is that residents should be able to dispose of […]

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1,137 patients have faced waits of half-an-hour or more in ambulances outside the Accident and Emergency Departments that serve Woking so far this winter – of these, 247 faced waits of over an hour. In the week to 31st December, 450 patients at St Peter’s Hospital and 440 at Royal Surrey County Hospital faced waits of […]

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My fellow Lib Dem County Councillors and I have criticised Surrey County Council’s plan to set aside income derived from property acquisitions into further property speculation rather than investing in services.  According to the latest budget figures, the County Council is facing an overspend of £19 million in the current financial year but is planning […]

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Rail fare rise a kick in the teeth for commuters

by willforster on 5 January, 2018

Woking’s commuters have not had a great start to the New Year thanks to the biggest increase in train fares in the last five years. UK rail fares rose by 3.4% in January, the largest increase for five years, due to rising inflation since the Brexit vote.  The cost of annual season tickets from Woking […]

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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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My Lib Dem colleagues and I have called for a scrutiny investigation following the disclosure that Surrey County Council have paid an undisclosed sum to Virgin Care, following legal proceedings over the awarding of a health contract. Virgin Care sued the County Council, alongside six Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Surrey, citing “serious flaws” in […]

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Surrey Police are facing a real-terms cut of £1.9 million next year, the Lib Dems have revealed. Yesterday, the Government announced that core funding for police budgets will remain exactly the same as last year.  Taking into account inflation, that means Surrey Police will fall a real-terms cut of almost £2 million. The additional £270 […]

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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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