Introducing a new book published by South West Surrey Compass


 Working together to challenge a “safe” Tory seat

  edited by Louise Irvine, Steve Williams, Susan Ryland, Penny Rivers

Conventional wisdom says that Tory “safe” seats cannot be challenged. However, in South West Surrey, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP became the lightning rod for all those suffering from Tory ‘austerity’.

In the few weeks before the 2017 snap general election local progressive parties rallied around an exceptional candidate: London general medical practitioner, Dr Louise Irvine. She had crossed Jeremy Hunt’s path before, in the 2015 general election, and in the courts (where she had won - twice). Now she returned to his home territory to challenge his seat in government.

An informal on-the-ground progressive alliance of novice and experienced activists worked tirelessly in support of Dr Irvine’s campaign. This is the story of what happened, what was learned from this process, why Tory safe seats need to be challenged and how these lessons can help others.

Buy your copy of “A New Way of Doing Politics” at the discounted price of £10 on-line through South West Surrey Compass   e-mail:

or by completing and returning the pro-forma here.





Open Letter to Surrey County Council from South West Surrey Progressive Cross-Party Group 


sent to Surrey Advertiser and Herald Series 


Austerity is far from over. It is a political choice, not an economic necessity, and it is having severe consequences to those who need and depend upon our public services most in Surrey, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.


On 13th November Surrey County Council approved the cuts which are only now being put out to public consultation. Already, some Sure Start staff have been told when their centre will close and staff are seeking, or have found, new jobs. Many are cynical that any feedback from the consultation will have any impact on the decisions that are made. However, we would encourage all concerned residents to participate.


We are calling on Surrey County Council to:


  • guarantee complete transparency in the decision-making process on cuts;

  • make publicly available the full results of the questionnaire including comments;

  • demonstrate a measurable adjustment to the decisions it makes where there is a strong view on an issue.


The range of services where deep cuts are proposed include:



 We have an opportunity to make our views known to Surrey County Council, but this must be done before the end date of Friday 4th January 2019. There are twelve drop-in sessions across Surrey in which help will be available in completing these questionnaires, The Godalming session is on Wednesday 12th December, 10am - 12pm at Wilfrid Noyce Community Centre (Wyatt Room) in Crown Court car park.


We would also urge all those concerned about the impact of austerity to support the ‘Save Our Services in Surrey (SOSIS)’ rally against the cuts starting at the Woking Borough Council Offices in Woking at 11am on Saturday 15th December (please refer to the website: or via the link to the Facebook event with further details here:


Please make your views known and demand that they are respected and acted upon.


The details of the consultation exercise can be found here:




We have had several events recently; a couple of discussions on the consequences of Brexit, and a wide ranging debate on the environment.  

First, in case you missed it... the link to Gina Miller's presentation on Brexit, Democracy and Rights.   

Secondly, the presentation given by the Environment Research and Action Group from our last Saturday morning meeting  (12/5/18) and further supporting resources can be found HERE

Thirdly, for ACTION to save the environment, here's a page full of information.


A public meeting was held on Thursday 12th April, 7.30pm 

at the Wilfrid Noyce Centre, Godalming GU7 1DY

The speakers were:

John Howarth MEP (Labour) for SE England

Prof. Catherine Barnard  Professor of European Law at Cambridge University

Patrick Kennedy ECREU (Expat Citizens Rights in EU) spokesman

Dr. Auke Willems Fellow in EU Law, London School of Economics

  After each speaker gave a short presentation, the audience put questions to our expert panel and aired some of their own views.  It was well attended and generated lively debate which left us all with much to ponder.



 SWS Compass meeting 6th january 2018

Our first meeting of 2018 was held on Saturday 6th January 

The meeting was on the subject of Brexit and was led by the Brexit Research & Action Group

There were three presentations:

followed by discussion on the implications of Brexit and what we could do to ensure a positive outcome.