Article: May 18, 2021
The Lib Dem Group on Surrey County Council has elected Will Forster as its new Group Leader.
Will Forster, County Councillor for Woking South, was chosen as the new Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Surrey County Council at a meeting between members this morning. He succeeds Councillor Chris Botten, who narrowly lost his seat in the recent election.
Surrey Lib Dems stand up for nearly 5000 EU citizens left in limbo as 'Settled Status' backlog soarsArticle: Mar 17, 2021
The Lib Dems called on Surrey County Council to support EU citizens living locally and lobby the Government to grant EU citizens the automatic right to stay in the UK.
During this week's Full Council meeting, Councillor Chris Botten and the Lib Dems tabled a motion after new Home Office figures reveal that 4800 people in Surrey are still waiting for a decision on their 'Settled Status' application.
Article: Feb 5, 2021
The Lib Dems on Surrey County Council are proposing an amendment to the Council's budget to invest in tackling road safety problems across the county.
Recognising that there is huge frustration in communities about the difficulties in getting road safety schemes funded in a timely manner, the Lib Dems are proposing a Road Safety Fund to ensure that local communities can get the speed signs, crossings or other safety measures which many residents call for. Where there is local support, 20 mph zones, could also be introduced using this potential Road Safety Fund.
Article: Jan 26, 2021
Following a question from Lib Dem County Councillor Angela Goodwin at today's Cabinet meeting, the Council confirmed it was opening several Covid19 testing centres across the county for essential workers who have no symptoms (asymptomatic).
A pilot scheme will be introduced initially at three sites at the beginning of February. Bourne Hall in Epsom, Goldwater Lodge in Woking and Thameside Centre in Staines will become the county's first community lateral flow testing sites offering asymptomatic testing for essential workers not covered by other testing programmes, for example nursery workers. It is expected that the centres will be open between 7.45am - 8.00pm.
Article: Dec 8, 2020
Today the Tory administration at Surrey County Council used its own amendment to vote down a Lib Dem motion that would have prioritised child food poverty in Surrey. If approved, the original proposed by Cllr Fiona White and seconded by Cllr Will Forster, would have committed the Council to taking the small, albeit valuable steps of ensuring the availability of breakfast clubs at Surrey schools as well as to lobbying central government for changes to the welfare system.
Article: Oct 13, 2020
Following a motion by the Lib Dems, Surrey County Council unanimously agreed to introduce 'school streets' in Surrey with the aim of encouraging active travel, improving air quality and promoting road safety.
A school street is where the road outside a school is closed to motor vehicles during school drop-off and pick-up times except for those residents living in that street.
Article: Jul 7, 2020
Figures published by Surrey County Council and available on the Surrey-I website have revealed a huge rise in the cost of senior officer pay in just 12 months.
The information published by the authority in accordance with the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 has revealed that the number of its officers earning over £50,000 has increased from 407 in 2018/19 to 558 in 2019/20. The number of those being paid between £50,000 - 54,999 has increased from 127 to 212. A greater increase is seen in the £60,000 - £64,999 pay bracket where the number of officers has jumped from 49 to 154. In total the pay bill for all senior employees has risen by around £10m.
Article: May 5, 2020
Following a request from the Lib Dems, Surrey County Council will start a phased reopening of its Community Recycling Centres on 11th May.
With fly tipping increasingly becoming an issue across Surrey, last month Lib Dem Councillors asked the Council to reopen local tips. This was supported by latest Government advice which said that Household Waste Recycling Centres can be open provided appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
Article: Apr 24, 2020
Surrey County Council has cancelled plans to move its headquarters from Kingston-Upon-Thames to Woking due the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result of the current Covid-19 situation, the current tenants of Midas House cannot move out and the Council cannot get access to all of the building to make it suitable for its use.
In addition, the procurement and commissioning of a contractor to carry out the necessary works to turn Midas House into a County Hall style property is just not possible under the current lockdown constraints.
Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, and Chairman of the Task Group responsible for scrutinising the move, Will Forster, said:
"Although I am disappointed the County Council will not be moving to Woking as planned, this was inevitable with the current pandemic. The Council is rightly focused on fighting Coronavirus and protecting vulnerable local people."
"If this move went ahead, there was a real risk the County Council would have purchased Midas House when the property market was at a high before the coronavirus pandemic but sold County Hall in Kingston-Upon-Thames when property was cheaper afterwards. That would be unacceptable and not be value for money for taxpayers."
"I am pleased the Council has agreed with me that Woking remains the best place for the County Council to have its Civic Heart once the pandemic is over."
Article: Apr 9, 2020
The Lib Dem Group on Surrey County Council has called for the Council to reopen its Community Recycling Centres with social distancing measures to avoid fly tipping.
This follows the latest advice from the Government that stated that Household Waste Recycling Centres can be open, but should have social distancing measures in place.
Lib Dem Councillors are concerned the closure of local tips has started to result in a spate of very unwelcome fly tipping.
Local authorities are focusing on household rubbish and food waste and regard the collection of garden waste and recycling as less of a priority. This coupled with Community Recycling Centres being closed and people being at home, so having time for gardening and housework, has resulted in an increase in fly tipping.
Lib Dem Group Leader at County Hall, Councillor Chris Botten, said:
"I am calling on Surrey County Council to reopen our Community Recycling Centres in a limited and safe manner to enable gardeners to dispose of their plant material and also for householders, who may be using the time at home to catch up with domestic jobs, to safely dispose of waste."
"The County Council has been listening to concerns so far and I hope for a partial reopening of our community tips in the near future."