SOME young blood has been selected to lead the Liberal Democrat Group in the Civic Offices.
Having been Deputy for only a year, 27-year-old Councillor Will Forster stepped into the former Group Leader’s shoes last week.
He was elected along with Cllr Liam Lyons, who will serve as the new Deputy Group Leader on Woking Borough Council.
The voting took place after former Party Leader Ann-Marie Barker was unseated from her position in Horsell West by Conservative Colin Kemp.
Individuals need to be elected councillors to lead a political party group on the council.
Cllr Forster has been in the Kingfield & Westfield ward hot seat since 2011.
He has also served as a County Councillor for South Woking since 2009.
He said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been elected by the Woking Lib Dem Group for the next year. I plan to continue the good work of our former Group Leader, Cllr Barker. Ann-Marie is still very involved and active in the party and we have already discussed plans to involve her even further.
“Woking Lib Dems will hold the Conservative administration to account on the level of council tax, plans to raise parking charges and on the possible redevelopments in Woking town centre and Sheerwater.”
Cllr Forster works for Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder who was re-elected last month for the South East. She’s the only member of her party in the country to have been elected on to the European stage.
Cllr Forster said: “I will continue to do research and case works with her.
“I am so pleased to have been part of the winning team who held their seats. We must be good at selecting election winners.”
Cllr Lyons is one of the two Lib Dem councillors for Mount Hermon West, having been re-elected last month. He has been Chairman of the council’s influential Overview and Scrutiny Committee for the last two years.
The 35-year-old is a secondary school teacher and has been a member of the Lib Dem Party for almost 10 years.
Cllr Lyons has sat on Woking Borough Council since 2010. He said: “With the current state of the council’s finances, it will be a tough year ahead.
“We will provide the effective opposition that Woking needs, scrutinising the Conservatives’ decisions, and challenging them where appropriate.”