Fringe Box



Woking’s New MP States His Priorities

Published on: 11 Jul, 2024
Updated on: 17 Jul, 2024

Woking MP Will Forster outside the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Will Forster

By Chris Caulfield

local democracy reporter

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.

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

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.”

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.

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.

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Responses to Woking’s New MP States His Priorities

  1. Roshan Bailey Reply

    July 15, 2024 at 11:21 pm

    Just a reminder that Normandy and Pirbright are no longer part of Woking constituency as suggested in this article, but, following the most recent boundary review, are now part of Surrey Heath constituency.

    Woking’s former MP Jonathan Lord (Con) was really supportive and always ready to listen to the issues of concern to our villages rather than just focussing on Woking.

    Our new MP, Al Pinkerton (Lib Dem), already knows our area, unlike some of the competition he faced, and we hope that he will follow Jonathan’s example in paying attention to the needs of the villages as well as the major town in the new constituency ie Camberley. Time will tell, but I’m an incurable optimist!

    Apologies for the error now corrected. Ed

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