Saturday 5th November 2016 - Surrey Compass Meeting


South West Surrey Compass met on Saturday morning, November 5th, for a discussion centred on the work of the Housing Research and Action Group.  The Coordinator of this group, Stewart Edge, gave a comprehensive presentation on the work so far.  This is available in powerpoint format here.





'What Next for Progressive Politics?' - Record numbers attend October 2016 Meeting

Caroline Lucas at October MeetingVinceCableOct16

An historic milestone for politics in Surrey on the evening of Wednesday 5th October, as over 200 people gathered to debate "Where now for progressive politics?".
There were excellent contributions from Caroline Lucas (Green Party), Howard Kaye (Labour Party), Vince Cable (Liberal Democrats) and Sue Goss (Compass Associate and author of "Open Tribe"). A brief, but really good debate from the floor and a lot of positive comments from members of the audience as they left, determined to continue the fight for the progressive left in the Tory heartlands.

Crowd at the October 2016 meeting Panel at Oct16 meeting
Susan Ryland Oct16 HK Oct 16



Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass, addresses the 'Democratic Deficit' at June 2016 Meeting

Neal Lawson at June 2016 Meeting

South West Surrey Compass met on Saturday morning, 4th June, and discussed what many of those present were describing as the "democratic deficit", after a contribution from Neal Lawson, national Chair of Compass, where he described our present democratic structures as unsuited to the political landscape of the 21st century. Neal noted that, in 1951, the two main parties between them secured 97% of the vote; that was no longer the case and there is therefore no persuasive argument for the old 'first past the post' voting system, designed for when British politics was seen as a straight contest between Labour and Conservatives. He called for a progressive alliance for 2020, and a new kind of politics. Prior to the meeting, Neal was interviewed on Radio Woking. You can hear the interview in the last hour of the 'View From Here' from Sunday May 29th which can be accessed at


Saturday 4 June 2016 - Join us at our next meeting

Compass Logo  The next South West Surrey Compass event will take place on Saturday 4th June, at the Unitarian Hall on Meadrow in Godalming, when we shall be delighted to welcome Neal Lawson, national chair of Compass, who will talk to us about the democratic deficit, and designing democracy for the 21st century. Coffee and croissants will be served from 9.30am. Please do come along to hear from Neal - and also the work of Research and Action Groups.

Download a flyer and help publicise in your community


Saturday 12 March 2016: Surrey Compass Meeting 

March 2016 Meeting Photograph

 South West Surrey Compass held its fourth meeting on Saturday 12th March. The main focus was on housing with one of our Research and Action Groups,  the Housing R&A Group, presenting information on impact of the Housing Bill and on planning issues.  The next full meeting is on 4th June - make a note in  your diary!


Saturday 5th March: Compass Annual Gathering 2016

Compass National Gathering 2016

 Members of Surrey Compass attended the national Compass Annual Gathering in London and participated in engaging conversations and  activities.  Guest speakers included Zoe Williams from the Guardian and John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor.

February 2016 - Anti-Trident March

Anti-trident March - Feb 2016

South West Surrey Compass supporters on the anti-Trident March in London.

Despite filling Trafalgar Square on a cold February Saturday, with brilliant, heartfelt speeches from Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood, Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn, this event appeared not to merit a mention on the 10 o' clock news!

This shows how much we need to be championing the progressive cause on the ground and on-line!


February 2016 - Cuts in Surrey

SCC Cuts - Feb 2016 This graph, along with further details at the weblink below provide a useful summary of the cuts that Surrey will face over the next few years. It places in context the paltry figure of £24m that David Hodge, Leader of Surrey County Council, has squeezed out of the government over the next two years, following the additional cut of £50million to Surrey's budget announced by the Chancellor last year.

See for a summary of how the cuts have impacted since the Tories took control in 2010.


'Competition And Chaos' - Surrey Compass Meeting, 5th December 2015

iDecember 2015 Surrey Compass Meeting

Competition and Chaos” was how David Adleman, Principal of Godalming College described the landscape in further education in the light of recent government policies. He described the impact of unfettered choice and the opening of free schools and academies with new sixth forms as “destabilising”, particularly when there are outstanding providers of post-16 education such as Godalming College able to meet the needs of students.

Speaking at the most recent meeting of our Surrey Compass Group on 5th December 2015, he condemned previous cuts in further education funding, which amount to a 30% cut in real terms since the Tory-led coalition government came into office in 2010. However, he welcomed the government’s recent decision not to implement the planned additional cuts to the further education budget. David criticised the government’s curriculum reform. “By focusing on so-called ‘facilitating subjects', the government was undervaluing subjects such as music, art, drama and dance”, he said. By moving towards A levels based on terminal examinations rather than modular courses, and moving back to students typically taking three rather than four subjects, the government was “turning the clock back”.

There was a discussion around the impact of the present government’s cuts and policies of curriculum and examination reform, as well as what could be done locally. The issue will be picked up by the Research and Action Group on Education. David’s contribution follows the previous meeting in Godalming this summer addressed by Jonathan Stewart, an education consultant, who alerted us to the dire impact of the further education cuts locally.

The meeting was also attended and addressed by Jacqui Howard, national organiser for Compass, who talked about the change in Compass from a group within the Labour Party to a much more broadly based progressive group which is now the home of many different shades of opinion on the progressive left of politics but which offers “a new kind of politics” – “a different way of doing politics”, with everyone’s opinion being valued. “How we do things is just as important as what we do”, she said