Zöe's Blog

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

  • ZF foodhub visit May 2022
    Article: May 27, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    In recent weeks, across Guildford and Cranleigh, as the Guildford Lib Dem team and I have knocked on doors to talk to residents, the number one topic that people want to discuss is the skyrocketing cost of living. People are deeply concerned about what the combination of rising fuel, food and energy prices, tax rises, benefit cuts and 10% inflation will mean for them and their families over the coming months, but especially from the autumn and beyond. They share with us about how their food bills have risen, many talk about how their energy bills have more than doubled, and almost everyone says that they are having to cut back on leisure and holiday plans - some even say they will need to cut back on essentials.

  • Protect wildlife name and shame
    Article: May 20, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    Ever since the extent of sewage pollution in our rivers and coastal waters, I have regularly had conversations with residents who are angry and upset over the Conservative Government's failure to stop sewage dumping in our rivers and coastal waters.

    The Conservative Government has tried to say publicly that it shares that anger and is acting decisively to bring an end to the issue. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • 372534 Sewages Dumps
    Article: May 13, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    The practice of discharging raw sewage into our rivers, lakes and coastal waters was not one that the public was really aware of until late last year. However, once they were their anger and disgust at the practice was clear.

    Shortly after it hit the news, the Guildford Lib Dem team and I organised a public protest to enable local people to show the strength of their anger and concern about the issue. It was attended by nearly 100 people despite having just a few days' notice. These residents came together with us to make it clear to Guildford's Conservative MP and Thames Water that enough is enough and that they would not stand for raw sewage flowing into the River Wey and its tributaries that flow through our communities; waterways on which people live, kayak, paddle, walk alongside, allow their dogs to swim in and use for many other leisure activities.

  • Ballot box
    Article: Apr 26, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    Recently local residents have contacted me about the deeply concerning decisions by the Conservative Government when it comes to our rights. Many of these are not well known but all have either been slipped through under the radar or pushed through Parliament with the full support of Guildford and Cranleigh's Conservative MP. In contrast, Liberal Democrat MPs have voted to stop these changes.

  • Environment Solar Panels
    Article: Apr 22, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    We are far from meeting the climate change targets set by both our government and international agreements such as COP26. We must urgently decarbonise our power grid, and reduce the influence of fluctuating overseas fossil fuel prices.

    A key way to tackle this is through community-scale renewables. They provide green, clean, energy that stimulates local economies and reduces our dependence on skyrocketing overseas fuels. The problem is that unfair regulations and disproportionate costs are stifling opportunity.

  • Year of Green Insulation Quote
    Article: Apr 15, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    In the battle to solve the climate emergency and safeguard the future of our planet, a hidden but essential partner is insulation. Why, because UK homes are some of the worst insulated in Europe.

    The UK's poor insulation results in the average home with an indoor temperature of 20°c and an outside temperature of 0°c losing 3°c after five hours. This of course means that not only is more energy required to keep the home at a constant temperature but also that the resident is losing money in the process.

  • The Future of Energy has to be Green
    Article: Apr 9, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    We have known for a long time that humanity's choices in the way we live our lives is destroying our planet and our children's futures. But we have failed to act. In particular, we have failed to act on the need to shift and end our reliance on fossil fuels and that failure lies firmly at the feet of politicians across the globe. I recognise that the shift away from fossils is not an easy one, especially for those in developing countries, so my comments in this article are primarily targeted at western political leaders and particularly successive UK governments who are in a far better position to act and yet have failed to do so.

  • ZF adding name to Ban Conversion Therapy banner
    Article: Apr 1, 2022

    Responding to the leaked news that Government planned to ditch banning conversion therapy and its almost immediate partial U-turn Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages Zöe Franklin said:

    "Once again the Conservative Government has shown its lack of interest and understanding on the issues impacting LGBT+ people through its unwillingness to end the dangerous and abusive practice of conversion therapy, only instigating a partial U-turn when they realised the extent of the public and MP support for the ban.

  • buildings, flats, cladding, glass, tower
    Article: Apr 1, 2022
    By Zoe Franklin

    When you think of fire safety issues with blocks of flats it's likely that your thoughts will, understandably, turn to high-rise buildings in cities such as London and Manchester. However, as I highlighted last month we have residents in Guildford experiencing these issues too.

    The scandal of industry-wide issues with fire safety has been ongoing since the Grenfell disaster in 2017 and legislation to tackle the problem has been moving slowly through the House of Commons and House of Lords. In February, Baroness Featherstone kindly used time within her speech on the bill to raise the terrible situation residents of the Bellerby Apartments have found themselves in where they face potentially crippling bills to fix the problems. Problems that frankly should be resolved by developers and not passed onto residents.

  • Bus passengers
    Article: Feb 25, 2022

    Before I begin I want to apologise - I've sadly missed two of my articles this month due to the fact my father-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this month and then passed away last week after a short battle with it and covid. This has somewhat thrown my family and me off-kilter. I am determined to keep my promise though that I would share my transport choices this month and you will find this below the main article.