Zöe's Blog

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

  • Boy at computer with quote (Thomas Parker via Unsplash)
    Article: Feb 1, 2021
    By Zöe Franklin

    This week the PM announced that he hoped "all schools will go back" on 8th March. The question is, is this achievable?

    Throughout the pandemic, the Government has made decisions only to u-turn just days later and made announcements that have given the public hope which is then dashed after the Government have attempted to lay the blame at the public's feet. This time I'm choosing to keep my expectations low. Honestly, I need to, not for 'political' reason but because, as the parent of a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old who have spent the majority of the last 10 months learning from home, I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted.

  • Fortnite
    Article: Nov 12, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    Globally the value of the gaming industry is approximately $150 billion. It is an industry that has seen huge growth over the last decade and this year, with Covid having resulted in so many more of us working from home and increasing our gaming and spending, the increase in value will likely be more significant. Here in the UK, the industry's value is estimated to be £5.4 billion.

  • Surrey's 11 Districts/Boroughs
    Article: Oct 27, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    I read the recent Get Surrey article about Surrey County Council's idea to set up community networks across Surrey to aid 'closer resident engagement' with interest. Personally, I am committed to empowering local decision making and enabling local people to get more involved with the decisions made that impact on their communities and lives. However, I am unconvinced that this new idea is really about enabling the engagement it says it is. Let me explain why...

  • No Child Hungry - Boy in Yellow Jumper
    Article: Oct 24, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    **Updated 25th October 2020**

    One of the reasons I love living in Guildford and am so proud to be the Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson is the huge amounts of passion and generosity that local people have.

    Following the Government's decision not to extend free school meals through the school holidays social media has lit up with people asking two questions:

  • Burpham Sainsburys Loading Bay Application
    Article: Oct 14, 2020

    It has come to my attention this week that Sainbury's have submitted an application to build a new loading bay at their Burpham store, partially on the existing woodland area, in order to expand their home delivery service. On reading the application I am concerned by a number of aspects of the application.

  • Zöe Franklin welcomes Ed Davey to Guildford
    Article: Oct 6, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    As a result of covid-19, businesses across the country have faced a tough year, and it's so important for us as consumers to support them as they battle against the downturn in business and for politicians to seek to really understand the struggles they've been through since March as well as the challenges they face going forward. I was therefore delighted when I received an email from Lib Dem leader Ed Davey MP's office telling me that he'd like to visit Guildford as part of his listening tour of the UK, and could I suggest a local business he might be able to visit. Of course, my answer was "yes"! The challenge was then "which business?" as our community has so many brilliant local businesses to choose from!

  • Alexander Dennis graphic
    Article: Aug 20, 2020
    By Zöe Franklin

    News today that Alexander Dennis is to consult on plans to cut 650 jobs, including 200 at their factory in Guildford, will come as a shock to the people of Guildford. The Dennis brand is hugely significant to our town both in terms of employment and also historically.

    Founded in 1895, for much of the 20th century Dennis Brothers was Guildford's main employer. Today, its factory on Slyfield Industrial Estate employs hundreds of skilled manufacturing workers and is at the forefront of the green transport revolution.

  • UC Increase Mar-Jul 2020
    Article: Aug 11, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    Last Friday the BBC broke the news that since March there has been an 81% increase in people claiming benefits. Sad, but unsurprising given that March marked the start of the coronavirus lockdown. However, a few paragraphs in, the stats from the BBC were even more devastating - in Guildford the increase has been a jaw-dropping 148%.

  • Zöe visits local aesthetician Sophia Wyatt to discuss post-lockdown reopening
    Article: Jul 27, 2020
    By Zoe Franklin

    A few weeks ago a local business owner, Sophia Wyatt of Sophia Wyatt Aesthetics, reached out to me by email to highlight the issues being faced by the beauty industry, which at the time was being prevented from reopening whilst hairdressers and barbers had already been given the green light to open their doors.

  • Child at computer (Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)
    Article: May 30, 2020

    Over the past few weeks, there has been much discussion on whether certain year groups should return to school on 1st June. During that time I have organised a survey to better understand local people's views on the issue, and alongside our councillors have been following up the questions raised on the issue by you.