Your Local Lib Dems

We cover the towns of Banstead, Redhill, Horley 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.

To get in touch you can email us at info@reigatelibdems.org.uk

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

What do we stand for Nationally?

  • Staying in the EU. We believe Britain will be stronger,
    better off and safer if we stay in
    the European Union
  • Saving our NHS and care services. Asking people to pay a bit more tax (1p)
    for every pound they earn. The money
    will go to the NHS and care services. Making sure people don't wait longer
    for mental health care than for
    other healthcare.
  • Put children first.
    Every child should have the best start
    in life. Spending £7 billion extra on education.
  • Britain needs an economy that gives
    people jobs and the chance to do well.
    We will build an economy that is strong,
    fair and works well now and in the future.

Recent updates

  • Catherine Bearder and Anthony Hook - IN Europe, IN Work
    Article: Apr 17, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    The Liberal Democrats have today announced their list of MEP candidates in the South East constituency for the European elections on the 23rd May.

    The diverse list of candidates includes a current MEP, Councillors and other hard working community activists.

    The Liberal Democrats will fight the elections as an unapologetically pro-European Party campaigning hard to stop Brexit and restore Britain's tarnished reputation in Europe.

  • Angela Goodwin
    Article: Apr 17, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government for slashing Surrey County Council budget for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by £4,403.72 per pupil in real terms since 2015, resulting in a loss of specialist provision.

    The National Education Union, which published these statistics on 15 April, has warned that local authorities have now reached crisis point.

    Although children with the highest special educational needs and disabilities have a legal right to extra support, the National Education Union has warned that funding under the Conservative Government has failed to keep up with increasing costs and rising pupil numbers.

    The Liberal Democrats are campaigning for more money for these pupils who possess an Education, Health and Care Plan, saving schools and councils hundreds of millions of pounds.

    Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Layla Moran MP, said:

    "Everyone deserves the best start in life, and education can be the make or break difference. It is therefore heartbreaking, particularly as a teacher, that Conservative Ministers are failing the children most in need.

    "It doesn't need to be this way. Young people deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats demand better. That's why we would invest millions more to support children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, freeing up money in the schools budget to provide tailored in-school support for children with less complex additional needs such as dyslexia."

    Cllr Angela Goodwin, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Guildford North, said:

    "SEND funding is an investment in a child's future. It can help someone with a learning difficulty or disability secure a higher paid job, security and independence in later life.

  • Article: Apr 12, 2019

    The Spelthorne Council elections are taking place on May 2nd and all the Liberal Democrat candidates are focused on the local issues that have an impact on everyones day-to-day lives.

    See below for examples of how Liberal Democrats want to make a difference if elected as your local counillors.

    Protect open spaces and local services in Staines South

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Apr 11, 2019

    Just a few days after criticial local elections across all of Surrey, residents who use Bagshot, Cranleigh, Dorking and Warlingham CRCs will only be able to take recycling to these sites, from Tuesday 7 May 2019. The change comes following a Cabinet decision in January 2019 to keep the sites open temporarily in order to find an alternate route of funding.

  • Graham Chrystie Street scene2
    Article: Apr 3, 2019
    By Ann-Marie Barker.

    Woking Conservative Councillor defects to the Lib Dems

    Graham Chrystie, a Conservative Councillor for Pyrford for 8 years, has left the Conservative Party and joined the Lib Dems on the eve of May's local elections.

    This brings the Liberal Democrats, the largest opposition group, to 9 councillors and puts Woking Council into no overall control, with equal numbers of opposition and Conservative councillors.

    Councillor Graham Chrystie said, "The Conservative Party in Woking is failing on openness, proper consultation and financial disclosure. The Leader of the Council, who has his main residence in Scotland, has curtailed debate within the Conservative Group and has proceeded with projects which too often lack transparency. Residents have not been consulted on key decisions such as plans for a Pub/Restaurant on the sacrosanct West Byfleet Recreation Ground, a site held by the Borough as a Trustee for local residents."

    Councillor Chrystie is surprised that the Conservative administration seem to be proud of the fact that Woking Borough has borrowed more money than almost any other Local Authority in England. He has seen West Byfleet poorly treated and regrets the sorry state of the partly derelict village centre that is a far cry from the vibrant centre of a few years ago.

    During his time as a councillor, Cllr Chrystie has tirelessly supported the two Neighbourhood Forums which have been registered in his area. He believes that Forums give an important voice to our local communities. He is delighted that there is now a Forum moving ahead in Hoe Valley, with major input from the Lib Dems, and is disappointed that the Conservative administration has apparently delayed progress on this.

    Graham Chrysite added, "I cannot in conscience remain a member of the Conservative Group. I now feel I can work more effectively for my ward residents and deliver what local people want, within the Lib Dem Group, where I can operate within an established, harmonious and effective team."

    Welcoming Graham Chrystie to the Lib Dems, Group Leader, Councillor Ann-Marie Barker said, "Graham has been an excellent Councillor for Pyrford and made a huge contribution to the Council, with roles on the scrutiny committee and on planning and finance scrutiny. Beyond the Council he has been a representative on Community Transport, where he has worked closely with my deputy Cllr Deborah Hughes. Graham will be a fantastic addition to the Liberal Democrat group, bringing his finance and planning knowledge and his experience with neighbourhood forums".

    Ann-Marie Barker added, "Both nationally and locally, the Conservatives are a fiasco and the Lib Dems are the clear alternative. Unlike the Tories, we are willing to take a step back and think of the consequences, whether it is leaving the EU or Woking Council's unprecedented borrowing. Local people have the opportunity to change Woking's future on 2nd May by voting for change with the Lib Dems."

  • Article: Mar 30, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Government must do much more to tackle childhood obesity

    The Lib Dems have today called on Conservative Ministers to invest in local services to tackle childhood obesity following fresh official figures reveal 16% of children aged 10 to 11 across Woking are obese.

    According to the figures published by Public Health England, 20% children aged 10 - 11 across England are obese. The publication also reveals that half a million children in their final year of primary school are overweight or obese.

    Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, Judith Jolly, said:

    "It is deeply worrying that 20% of 10 and 11 year olds are obese. That means over 330,00 10 to 11 year old children are more likely to have health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers."

    "The Tories, distracted by their own Brexit mess, have taken their eye off the ball. They are quite frankly failing to respond to childhood obesity. It does not need to be this way. That is why the Lib Dems demand better."

    Lib Dem County Councillor, Will Forster, added:

    "Unless action is taken we are sitting on an obesity time bomb that will only increase pressure on services. Obesity in Woking among 4 - 5 year olds at reception is quite low, just 6.4%. However, as children get a bit older, obesity becomes a real problem - almost 16% of children in year 6 are obese and just under 30% of 10 and 11 year olds are excessively overweight."

    "Children in Woking deserve better. We desperately need to be doing much more to ensure that we are giving children the best start in life. Unless action is taken we are sitting on an obesity time bomb that will only increase pressure on our NHS."

    "We need to give local government the tools to deal with childhood obesity. Lib Dems would reinstate funding into public health budgets, including more money for active travel, and closing loopholes in the sugary drinks tax.

  • Health checks by population
    Article: Mar 30, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Surrey worst in the country for health checks

    The Lib Dems have warned of a 'postcode lottery' as official figures reveal that only 30% of people in Surrey have been offered a health check over the last 5 years, significantly below the national average of 85.21% - the lowest in the country.

    Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly blamed "swingeing Conservative cuts" and her party has called for "a transforming investment in public health with a penny on income tax."

    Health check-ups for adults in England are available to everyone aged 40-74. According to the NHS, these checks are designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

    However, figures published by Public Health England have revealed 22 local authority areas in England, including Surrey, have failed to offer more than 60% of people a health check.

    Judith Jolly, Lib Dem Health Spokesperson, said:

    "Health checks, designed to spot early signs of illnesses, can be the difference between life and death. It is an utter disgrace so few people have been offered one. Be in no doubt, swingeing Tory cuts are to blame."

    "The NHS Long Term Plan strongly focused on prevention as a way to secure the future of the NHS, but it will not succeed if the Conservative Government persists in cutting funding to public health. It is about time ministers in Whitehall started helping NHS organisations and local authorities to work together."

    Will Forster, Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, added:

    "The disparity in health checks across the country is grossly unfair. People in Surrey deserve better than this postcode lottery where only one in three people are offered a health check."

    "The Lib Dems and I are committed to transformational investment in public health with a penny on income tax. Our plan would put much needed money towards community health and GP services to ensure people are offered appointments and the care they need."

  • Will Forster by Woking Fire Station
    Article: Mar 30, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Woking night-time fire cover to be halved

    Surrey County Council is planning to take seven fire engines off duty at night including one in Woking in a bid to save £3 million a year.

    The Council has published a 'Making Surrey Safer Plan 2020-2023', which outlines how the County Council wants to change the local fire and rescue service. Under the plan, every fire station which currently has two or more fire engines would see its night-time resources cut back, while three fire stations would close completely at night. Woking Fire Station, along with stations in Camberley and Guildford would all see the number of available fire engines reduced at night, as would the new fire station in Spelthorne.

    Lib Dem County Councillor, Will Forster, said:

    "The Conservatives running Surrey County Council have been charging residents more Council Tax for less services for years now, but I think this plan to cut the fire service goes a step too far. These are dramatic cuts to fire cover at night, here in Woking our fire cover would be cut in half."

    "The Council wants to reduce night-time fire cover as there are less fires at night. However, there is a far greater chance of fire deaths at night, as victims are often asleep. Last year, 73% of all deaths from residential fires occurred between the hours of 6 pm and 9 am. I am amazed the County Council is proposing these cuts after the already hard pressed fire service was recently reviewed and labelled inadequate. Response times in Surrey are already the longest on record."

    "As well as halving our night-time fire cover, these cuts could have a particular impact in Woking. The Surrey Fire Bridge Union have said that firefighters would not be able to tackle fires in high rise buildings quickly and safely if proposed changes to the service go ahead. If you feel as strongly about this as I do, please respond to the consultation and urge the Council not to cut night-time fire cover here: https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/surrey-fire-and-rescue-service-making-surrey-safer/

  • James Sanderson Waitrose crossing
    Article: Mar 30, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Success for James Sanderson as Council agrees to improve Waitrose crossing

    Following a campaign by James Sanderson and local Lib Dems, Surrey County Council has agreed to improve the pedestrian crossing on Bampton Way.

    At the Woking Joint Committee meeting on Wednesday 13th March, the County Council committed to spending money on widening the traffic island on Bampton Way by Goldsworth Park's Shopping Centre.

    Local campaigner James Sanderson said:

    "I am delighted Surrey County Council has listened to our concerns about road safety on Bampton Way. The current pedestrian crossing and traffic island are not good enough. A new and larger island will be significantly safer for all pedestrians crossing the road, especially vulnerable people with pushchairs, mobility scooters and wheelchairs."

    "As a father of 4 children, I know that road safety is so important to families. A better crossing here will make people's daily lives better. The County Council has agreed to widen this crossing in the 2019/20 financial year. I will be pushing for the work to be done as soon as possible."

  • Rob Leach Woking Tower blocks
    Article: Mar 30, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Rob Leach wants the public to be involved in Council decisions

    Lib Dem candidate Rob Leach wants to give residents the chance to be more involved in decisions made by Woking Borough Council.

    With high-rise flats springing up in Woking town centre and more being planned, Rob Leach and the Lib Dems want residents to have a greater say in the future development of the town centre and the Council's planning decisions.​

    Currently, 3 tower blocks are under construction as part of the Victoria Square development. There are also plans for several other skyscrapers in Woking, including a 39 storey building in the High Street, a 34 storey block on Church Street East next to Barclay's Bank and a 33 storey block on the BHS shop site.​

    Rob Leach said:

    "Yes, there is a huge need for housing, but should it all be flats? Is the infrastructure adequate? School places, doctors' and dentists' surgeries and seats on trains for commuters all have to be provided. Under the Conservative-run Council there is no elected person with specific responsibility for Woking town centre. If elected I will push for a senior Councillor to be given responsibility for town centre matters.​"

    "If Woking Council had a portfolio holder for the town centre, Councillors and residents would be able to hold them accountable for what is happening in our town". As a Councillor, Rob Leach would be able to lobby them with any concerns and ideas that residents may have. The Lib Dems want businesses, voluntary groups, schools and residents to have a say in how the town centre is developed.​

    "In St John's, I would adopt the same principle. I would hold regular surgeries in the village to listen to your ideas , your views and your problems and to help where I can. Lib Dems are the natural party of local government. We listen to residents. We intervene."