Getting Government to help with council's debt crisis among top priorities for new Woking MP

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Government support for Woking Council ,fix the NHS, cut the cost of living and protect the environment, those are the key priorities of newly elected Woking MP Will Forster.

Mr Forster, a Liberal Democrat, became the constituency’s first non-Conservative MP since the seat was formed in 1950 as he follows in the footsteps of Tories, Harold Watkinson, Sir Cranley Onslow, Humfrey Malins, and, since 2010, Jonathan Lord.

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Mr Forster took the seat overcoming a 10,000 vote majority and romping home with 24,019 votes to the Conservative’s 12,773.

Woking MP Will Forster outside the Houses of Parliament (image Will Forster)Woking MP Will Forster outside the Houses of Parliament (image Will Forster)
Woking MP Will Forster outside the Houses of Parliament (image Will Forster)

Mr Forster, who was born and raised in Woking and is an experienced local councillor and former mayor, spoke to the Local Democracy Reporting Service about what he hopes to achieve.

He said: “As Woking’s MP my priorities are clear: get help for Woking Council from the Government, fix our NHS, cut the cost of living and protect our environment.

“That means getting fairer funding for councils, making it easier to see a doctor when you need one, it means a real windfall tax on oil and gas, and ending sewage dumping in our rivers.”

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The seat comprises all the borough of Woking together with the Guildford villages of Pirbright and Normandy.

Those who keep a close eye on local politics would have noticed voters shifting from Conservative to Liberal Democrats since 2022 when the council changed hands after years of Tory rule.

Despite the surge in popularity for the centre left party, national polls were calling the seat either too close to call and predicting Labour as the Conservative’s biggest rival – while some residents believed the rise of Reform UK would further muddy the waters.

In the end, Woking voters continued their recent trend and heavily favoured the Liberal Democrats.

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Mr Forster was first elected on to Woking Borough Council in May 2011 where he served in Liberal Democrat opposition until the group took control from the Conservatives in May 2022. He represents residents in Hoe Valley.

He has also been a county councillor since 2009 where he represents Woking South.