Zöe's Blog

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

  • 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.

  • Zoe By Bridge
    Page: Aug 10, 2021

    Last week the Guildford Dragon published a piece on post-16 education which includes some comments from me on the issue - you can read it via this link https://www.guildford-dragon.com/2021/08/03/most-businesses-say-a-university-degree-is-unimportant/. These are just a snippet of the full comment that I shared with the author (I appreciate space is at a premium in news articles) so I thought it worth sharing them in full.

  • Happy Pride
    Article: Jun 9, 2021
    By Zöe Franklin

    June is not just the time of year when we start getting more sunshine, longer days and all the fun that Summer brings with it.

    June is LGBTQ+ Pride month.

    The Guildford Liberal Democrat team would like to wish everyone a Happy Pride. We believe, as a party, that no one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love and we will fight along side the LGBTQ+ community until we have true equality both locally in Guildford, across the UK and beyond.

  • Young person with bruised eye (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)
    Article: Apr 24, 2021
    By Zoe Franklin

    Yesterday the news broke that the verdict of Ofsted's most recent monitoring visit to Surrey County Council's Children's Services would not be published until after the election on Thursday 6th May. The explanation for this from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills is that "it is normal practice to delay publication until after an election so as not to influence the result".

  • 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: