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Reigate Liberal Democrats

Your Local Lib Dems

We cover the towns of Banstead, Redhill and Reigate, as well as the villages of Burgh Heath, Chipstead, Earlswood, Kingswood, Lower Kingswood, Merstham, Salfords, Southpark and Meadvale, Tadworth, Walton on the hill Woodhatch and Woodmansterne.

What do we Stand for locally?

We stand for -

  • Delivering a Carbon Neutral area with environmental sustainability;
  • Investing in social housing.
  • Protecting our Borough. From cuts to services, police and healthcare
  • Making sure that new development is integrated with public transport and services
  • Creating new recreational spaces and maintaining the existing ones.
  • Supporting pro-active community housing groups and new builds

Recent updates

  • Louise Morales at Sythwood Sure Start children's centre
    Article: Oct 16, 2018
    By Louise Morales. RH.

    Fears that 40 Children's Centres could close in Surrey

    The Lib Dems have expressed concern for the future of Surrey's Children's Centre provision in the light of the sudden departure of one of their leading champions and advocates from the senior team at Surrey County Council.

    The departure comes after plans to reduce provision were announced by the Conservative administration earlier this year, but with no detail as to which of Surrey's 58 Children's Centres would close.

  • Will Forster at Woking station
    Article: Oct 16, 2018
    By Will Forster, RH

    On Wednesday 10th October, the former Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron presented a Bill to the House of Commons which would make it significantly easier for the Government to strip failing rail companies of their franchises.

    Tim Farron has repeatedly made the case for failing rail operators to be stripped of their franchise after a summer of chaos on the railways. In his own Cambrian constituency, every single train on the Lakes Line was cancelled during the month of June.

  • Wells Centre
    Article: Oct 15, 2018
    By Ian Strutt (quoted by Barry Murton) in "Save the Wells Centre" facebook page

    It is quite ironic that Epsom's Residents' Association (RA) council is pushing to over-develop the site of the Wells social centre with a four-storey building of 23 flats. Epsom had the fantastic windfall of having the huge sites of five redundant hospitals made available to develop for residential purposes.

  • Will Forster by Victoria Arch Woking
    Article: Oct 14, 2018
    By Will Forster, RH

    New transport network for South Woking?

    Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council launched a public consultation on plans to improve the highway network just south of Woking town centre, whilst Network Rail replace Victoria Arch.

    The plans would see the road under Victoria Arch widened and the replacement of the existing one-way gyratory system around Guildford Road, Victoria Road and A320 Station Approach with a two-way road for vehicles, as well as the introduction of safer, more convenient walking and cycle routes between the town centre and the railway station, and south Woking. Full details of the plans can be viewed here: https://www.woking.gov.uk/guildfordrdconsultation.

  • Redhill street stall
    Article: Oct 9, 2018
    By Monica Dyer

    Anti Brexit Street Stall is coming to Horley Town Centre

    Following our sucessful street stalls in Redhill and Reigate the Anti-Brexit, Pro EU street stall is coming to Horley. We will set up opposite Andrews Estate agents in the town centre on the 10th of November from 10am - 2pm. Come and join the team. In Reigate we collected 140 signatures for the People's Vote petition and spoke to many people. If you care about the future of the country this can make a real difference. Or just come and visit us and sign the petition. We will be bringing our 'Brexitometer' to Horley for a bit of sticker fun.

  • Surrey parking
    Article: Oct 8, 2018

    Parking charges of £1.30 per hour, with a maximum charge of £5.00 per day, were introduced in the car parks on Surrey County Council's Countryside Estate, including those at Norbury Park, on 6 August 2018 despite significant opposition from local residents. Previously there was no charge.

    Liberal Democrat County Councillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) said: "Following the introduction of the parking charges, the car parks, unsurprisingly, have been virtually empty.

  • railway cutting
    Article: Oct 1, 2018
    By Julie Morris

    Railway cutting land at Mill Road, Epsom, now mostly behind green hoardings, is the subject of another planning application. 18/00271/FUL proposes 31 units in a serious of blocks, with associated parking. The area to the north of the site is retained as a wildlife sanctuary (where there are badger setts and other wildlife). Comments must be submitted to the council by 13th October.

  • Byfleet Exit from Brexit Stall (Woking Lib Dems)
    Article: Sep 13, 2018

    Woking Lib Dems went out this past wekend to gauge the level of support for the Government's handling of brexit... Guess What they didn't like it! almost nobody in Woking thinks the Tories, backed up by the Brexit loving Labour party are doing a good job and mo st would like us to EXIT FROM BREXIT. What do you think?

  • Byfleet parish Day (Woking Lib Dems)
    Article: Sep 13, 2018

    After last season's successful campaign, we hope you have enjoyed the hot summer months during which Liberal Democrats activists have been out and about participating in a number of social and fund raising events.

    Our bottle tombolas at St John's Fete Woking and at Byfleet Parish Day (pictured) are always popular and were a sell out. Please note we always need people to man the stalls so newcomers please contact us if you can spare the time, your help is invaluable ! Our very own Will Forster has had a busy time since he became Woking Mayor on 17 May. His charity is the York Road Project for the homeless. He will be attending many events in your area, please give him all the support you can.

  • Anne-Marie Barker (Woking Lib Dems)
    Article: Sep 4, 2018
    By Ann-Marie Barker. RH.

    Statement from the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Development in Woking

    Speaking following uproar over the summer, as plans were discovered for a further 34 storey tower block in Woking town centre, Councillor Ann-Marie Barker, Liberal Democrat Leader in Woking Council commented:

    "Residents have watched the high towers of the Victoria Square Development grow and are seeing what an impact these towers have on Woking town centre and surrounding communities. To then learn of a further proposal for a 34 storey tower block, seemingly 'sneaked' out under cover of summer, by a wholly owned council company, that proposes zero affordable properties, appears a step too far".

    There is much to be said for providing homes in the town centre. People living and working in towns bring vibrancy, life and business to shops and restaurants. The number of single person households is increasing nationwide and town centre flats meet that need.

    But what about facilities and infrastructure? Just 57 parking spaces are proposed for the flats in the huge, 34 storey tower block. A high proportion of residents will commute - adding to already overcrowded trains. The residents will need doctors, dentists, hospital appointments, and some will be looking for school places, now or in the future. Our already stretched fire service will need the skills to tackle tower block blazes. Evidence from Grenfell suggests that even in a London of many tower blocks the Commander at the site of the fire had little experience in such situations.

    Whilst these tower blocks may offer what many single occupants or couples want now, what happens down the line when many will start families and will often seek a home and garden?

    Affordable housing will be provided as a result of this development, but where? The developer will give money for off-site affordable homes, but where will these go?

    In part these tower block plans are a reaction to the Council's green belt review. Responses to that indicated that none of the original sites consulted on, including parts of Mayford, Sutton Green, Byfleet and Pyrford were acceptable for future development. The Council then put forward 'McLaren/Woodham New Town' to a new wave of furore. It seems to have taken the message of no green belt development and translated it as 'build high in Woking town centre'. A clear message is now being sent from residents 'why does protecting the green belt equal huge ugly tower blocks in the town centre'.

    So what is the answer?

    "Develop Brown field sites" may seem an all too easy response to bat away the development issue, but two recent sites immediately come to mind. The car showroom site in Old Woking is to be developed as homes for older residents, hopefully freeing up properties for family homes. The Robin Hood pub seems sadly to have reached the end of its life as a local hostelry but is an ideal brown field site for family homes. Brown field sites must be the first sties considered for any new housing developments.

    'Town centre but more and shorter blocks' Woking is used to tall buildings. Export House (formerly the BAT building) has dominated our skyline for many decades. More but shorter blocks would be more acceptable.

    Can we consider green belt? Liberal Democrats are a broad grouping of independently minded people. I have one councillor who has clearly stated opposition to any green belt development. Another, whilst seeking to protect the green belt, has put forward the proposition that allowing very small amounts of green belt to be developed could enable a clearer, more defensible green belt boundary. This could protect our green spaces for the future and the land taken would be used to provide affordable family homes.

    What lies above all of this is the need for a mature debate across the borough. The green belt review was a tick in a government box. Unsurprisingly residents reacted negatively to plans to use green belt in their local area for future development. We need to move beyond box ticking and look at the wider picture. A conversation with the borough is needed.

    I invite residents to write to me to start that conversation. What development is acceptable to you? How high should we go in the town centre? Should we use a small part of greenbelt if that would protect the wider greenbelt? I look forward to hearing from you at

    cllrann-marie.barker@woking.gov.uk