Cllr Will Forster

THE first shots have been fired in a possible short but intense general election campaign in Woking with the selection of Will Forster, the former Mayor, as the Liberal Democrat prospective candidate to be MP.

He is the first prospective parliamentary candidate to be announced for Woking with the possibility of an early election being called.

Former mayor of Woking Cllr Will Forster has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate for MP

Mr Forster told the News & Mail that he was hopeful that the Green Party would stand aside to maximise the anti-Brexit vote and said that discussions about election tactics and pacts were taking place between parties at national level.

Mr Forster said that the Lib Dems were the “clear alternative to the Conservatives” saying the party won the European elections in Woking earlier this year.

Mr Forster was Mayor of Woking until mid-May this year and is a longstanding borough and county councillor, representing Hoe Valley and Woking South respectively. 

He said: “It is a huge honour to have been chosen as the Lib Dems’ candidate to be Woking’s MP.  I want to be Woking’s strong and local voice in parliament that people can trust. 

“The plans for Brexit, especially a no-deal Brexit, will be disastrous for Woking and for the country and I intend to do my utmost to stop them. I know so many people, including lifelong Conservatives, who are unhappy with Woking’s current MP for backing a Hard Brexit agenda, despite the majority of Woking voting to Remain.”

Jonathan Lord secured the Woking seat two years ago with 29,903 votes, a 16,724 majority over Labour’s Fiona Colley with Mr Forster third for the Lib Dems. The Greens polled 1,092 votes.

Mr Lord told the News & Mail that he intends to stand as the Conservative candidate at the next election, whenever that will be.

See the full story in the 5 September edition of the News & Mail

WOKING Mind, this year celebrating its 40th anniversary, has elected former Mayor of Woking Will Forster as its new president

His new role was formerly confirmed at Woking Mind’s annual general meeting on 12 June when Will attended along with the new Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, who both joined some of the trustees and service members to cut a birthday cake for the local branch of the mental health charity.

Chair of trustees Pauline Rogers, new president Will Forster, Woking Mayor Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, along with service members Val and Angela, and treasurer John Ennett

Will takes over from David Rye, who was thanked for his passion and commitment to Woking Mind over his many years of service to the charity, in which he was also a former chairman of trustees.

Talking about his new role, Will Forster said: “Mental health services suffer from underfunding and lag behind in comparison to treatment for physical health problems, yet one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year. Mental health is sadly the Cinderella service of our NHS, which is why the work that Woking Mind does is vital to support residents and top-up NHS services.”

Woking Mind delivers an extensive range of groups, courses and drop-in provision to help prevent mental health problems from escalating where possible and supporting recovery for their members. The charity also provides mental health training across Surrey to raise awareness and help break down stigma and prejudice around ill mental health through education.

For the full story get the 20 June edition of the News & Mail

REPRESENTATIVES from all sections of the community gathered at the HG Wells Centre on Saturday night to raise money for a good cause.

YORK ROAD PROJECT: Mel Roth, Cath Stamper, Cherisse and Steve Dealtry

A glamourous swirl of evening dresses and dinner suits caught the eye as people attended the Mayor’s Civic Ball in support of the York Road Project, raising more than £7,254 for the Woking charity which looks after the homeless in the borough.

“It was great to welcome representatives from business, charities, community groups and political life,” said Woking Mayor Cllr Will Forster. “Many thanks to everyone who came along and donated to support the York Road Project, thank you all!”

HOSTS: The Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, Cllr Will Forster and Hannah Thompson

The black-tie event began with a drinks reception in the Griffin Lounge, before the guests enjoyed dinner, entertainment from the Crashing Waiters – which involved everyone present banging out rhythms on various kitchen utensils – and dancing. The evening also included an auction and raffle.

“It’s been a great honour for York Road Project to be the Mayor’s chosen charity during his tenure and the Civic Ball demonstrated the amazing level of support we’ve received from the Woking community,” said Cath Stamper, the charity’s chief executive.

“The Civic Ball was an excellent evening, we were delighted to be there and it helped to further raise the profile of our charity locally,” added Cherisse Dealtry, deputy chief executive.

For the full picture feature pick up the 7 March edition of the News & Mail