Zöe's Blog

Read what Zöe Franklin has to say on topical local and national issues:

  • Letter to Surrey PCC 11.21
    Article: Nov 12, 2021

    Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Guildford and Cranleigh Zöe Franklin has written to Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend urging her to use her position to lobby the Conservative Government to ensure that a proposed information campaign aimed at the perpetrators of violence against women and girls goes ahead as soon as possible.

  • Tories won't stop dumping sewage
    Article: Nov 9, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    Last month the cross-party peer, the Duke of Wellington, put forward an amendment to the Government's Environment Bill recommending that a legal duty should be introduced on water companies and Government itself to demonstrate progressive reductions in discharges of untreated sewage and would require them to "take all reasonable steps" to avoid using combined sewer overflows. These overflows see our rivers, lakes and seas polluted with sewage and other human waste, something that is completely unacceptable. This amendment was voted down by Conservatives in the House of Commons on 20th October 2021.

  • Time to end sewage overflow
    Article: Nov 7, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    It was clear at the Lib Dem organised protest in Guildford on 30th October, that people are angry at the prospect of raw sewage flowing into the River Wey and other local rivers. And rightly so.

    As I shared in my speech at that protest, in 2020 sewage flowed into local rivers and watercourses for approximately 1789 hours - and that's just at the sites that have monitoring equipment. This is an increase of 698 hours from 2019 and it's all from local water company Thames Water's facilities. As a result, the River Wey, as it flows through Guildford and Waverley Boroughs. is one of the 23% worst impacted rivers in the country.

  • Amendment 35 Env Bill Letter
    Article: Oct 26, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    The River Wey and other watercourses across Guildford constituency is now under more threat as Government fails to take action on water companies

    Local Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate Zöe Franklin calls for Angela Richardson MP to change her position ahead of the next vote in Parliament

    The local Conservative MP for Guildford has been criticised by local campaigners after voting in favour of water companies dumping sewage in local rivers.

  • ZF City Status Letter
    Article: Oct 26, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    I have lived and studied in Guildford for more than 20 years and before that, I grew up in Farnham. Visits to Guildford as a child were always a treat, so as you can see, Guildford is in my blood and I am pleased and proud to support Guildford Borough Council's bid for city status for Guildford. It would, of course, be a 'third-time lucky' bid and I am hopeful that my home town will this time be granted the city status it deserves. The City of Guildford has a positive ring to it and as the county town of Surrey, with a Cathedral and a University, it makes complete sense for Guildford to be granted city status by Her Majesty to celebrate her 70 years on the throne next year.

  • Article: Oct 25, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    Last week MPs voted on the Environment Bill and as part of that, they had the chance to vote for an amendment that would have stopped private water companies from dumping raw sewage into the UK's rivers and coastlines. A 'no brainer' I hear you say; of course, MPs would vote for that.

    As with so many votes and Conservative MPs, the obvious choice was not the one they made and 265 of them voted AGAINST the amendment which means it is not included in the new Environment Bill. Put another way, they voted to allow sewage to continue to be dumped into our rivers and coastlines - Guildford and Cranleigh's Conservative MP Angela Richardson was one of them.

  • No Fuel
    Article: Oct 8, 2021

    The continuing fuel supply crisis has alerted the public to the problem of HGV driver shortages. What's particularly concerning is that this crisis did not come out of the blue and nor is the road haulage sector the only one struggling to fill vacancies.

    Speaking to BBC Surrey Radio on Monday this week I highlighted the fact that the worker shortage was entirely predictable, Boris Johnson's Conservative Government has been fully aware of it for many months and yet they failed to act on this, thus leaving the public to suffer their lives being thrown into turmoil yet again. (You can listen to my interview here.) However, I wanted to share in more detail about this issue as many people will not be aware of the full extent of the worker shortage problem.

  • Paul Follows, Zoe Franklin & Alasdair Pinkerton at Pride in Surrey stall
    Article: Sep 27, 2021

    Liberal Democrats from across Surrey came together on Saturday last week to join in Pride in Surrey celebrations in Godalming. Led by local Parliamentary Spokespeople Zöe Franklin, Alasdair Pinkerton and Paul Follows, councillors and activists took part in the parade and hosted a stall at the event.

  • Nurse in PPE
    Article: Sep 24, 2021

    Last week Lib Dem MPs and I spoke out against the Conservative Government who, including Guildford and Cranleigh's own MP, voted through a 1.25% National Insurance tax hike for individuals and employers. Today I want to share an update to this sorry saga with you.

    New research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that nurses, care home staff and other health and social care workers will pay over £900 million more in tax as a result.

    This means that the NHS and care staff who have been on the frontline of the pandemic will pay a whopping 12% of the £7.4 billion expected to be raised from employees through the tax rise. The number may be even higher too as the estimate doesn't include those working in health and social care who are self-employed. The research also shows the real terms cost of the tax hike faced by those working in the NHS and social care. A nurse or midwife on an average salary will see their tax bill rise by £310 next year, care home workers will pay around £140 more and ambulance staff will see a £420 increase. The average NHS worker across all staff groups will pay £315 more a year.

  • Zöe Franklin 2021
    Article: Aug 26, 2021

    Guildford Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that they have reselected local campaigner, Zöe Franklin, to be the Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Guildford. Zöe becomes the first Blue Wall election candidate in the country to be selected by the party.

    Zöe has lived in Guildford for over 20 years, first moving to the town to study at University of Surrey, and has been a local governor, charity trustee and borough councillor. She stood for the Liberal Democrats in the last election where she increased the party's vote share by 15% and slashed the Conservative majority to just 6%. Zöe's top campaign priorities ahead of the next general election are:

    • Fighting the Conservative's damaging planning reforms that threaten Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages with even more inappropriate developer-led schemes lacking in the homes we need locally and proper infrastructure.
    • Working with local people and our councillors for a greener, more sustainable future for our communities including better public transport and more electric vehicle charging points so people can realistically choose to go green.
    • Campaigning to support local businesses who have been left behind by the Government and need extra support to survive.

    In recent months, the Liberal Democrats have made major gains in the Blue Wall area of Surrey. During May's Local Elections, the party gained five seats from the Conservatives on Surrey County Council and ended neck and neck on popular vote share in Guildford.

    The results in Surrey follow the Liberal Democrats winning the Blue Wall constituency of Chesham and Amersham in June with a 25% swing from the Conservatives.