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Welcome to the website of the Liberal Democrat Group on Surrey County Council

Hazel Watson Stephen Cooksey Fiona White John Orrick Ian Beardsmore Pauline Searle Will Forster David Goodwin
  • County Hall
    Article: Jul 11, 2018

    County Councillors in Surrey have agreed that children's mental health and special needs provision should be the subject of detailed study in partnership with universities and others so that current and future demand for these services can be met. Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Lib Dems at SCC moved an amended motion at yesterday's Council meeting, which was passed unanimously, calling for future needs to be understood in the context of current unacceptable waiting lists for CAMHS treatment and a severe shortage of SEND places in the County.

  • Angela Goodwin & Chris Botten
    Article: Jul 5, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors are calling for urgent improvements to Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, known as CAMHS, in the county. Surrey County Council currently commissions these services from Surrey & Borders NHS Trust but there has been strong criticism of the long waiting times for routine assessments and appointments. Liberal Democrat county councillors have tabled a motion on CAMHS to be discussed at Council next week.

  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Jun 26, 2018

    Commenting on the vote in the House of Commons last night on a third runway, Cllr Fiona White, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today:"This is incredibly disappointing news and represents another broken promise to Surrey residents by this Conservative government.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson
    Article: Jun 19, 2018

    On 18th June 2018, the Home Office issued a letter to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, regarding Ahmed Hassan's interaction with the police and Home Office, prior to the Parsons Green bombing incident in September 2017. Commenting on the letter, Cllr Hazel Watson (Liberal Democrat, Dorking Hills) said today:

  • Tory allowances
    Article: Jun 7, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have launched a petition calling for the recent increase in allowances for Conservative councillors to be reversed. The increase was voted through by Conservative Councillors with four new positions of "Deputy Cabinet Member" created, each at a cost to the taxpayer of £10,000, despite the County Council planning millions of pounds of cuts to services over the next year. The Conservatives also voted to reinstate allowances for vice-chairs of committees, contradicting a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel which concluded that allowances for vice-chairs were not necessary.

  • County Hall
    Article: May 23, 2018

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors in Surrey have heavily criticised the Conservative-administration at County Hall after Conservative Councillors awarded themselves thousands of pounds of extra allowances in a vote at Council yesterday. The vote means that 4 new Deputy Cabinet positions will be created, at a cost of £40K a year, as well as extra allowances for committee vice-chairs. Liberal Democrat County Councillors opposed these increases and voted against them at County Hall.

    Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, said:

  • Chris Botten
    Article: May 22, 2018

    Reacting to the news that Government Commissioners will be overseeing Children's Services in Surrey for 3 months, Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council,said today:

    "I welcome the decision for Commissioners to work in Surrey over the next 3 months. The County Council needs a laser-like focus in improving these vital services for the children of Surrey and the work of the Commissioners will aid this process. The Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member have rightly spoken about the need for urgent change and I share their passion. But this most recent judgement from Ofsted means that my patience for change is at an end. The children of Surrey deserve the highest standard of services and Liberal Democrats councillors will play their part in holding the County Council, and its leadership, to account".

  • County Hall
    Article: May 16, 2018

    Responding to the publication of today's Ofsted inspection of Surrey County Council, Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

    "The publication today of the Ofsted report into Surrey's Children's services makes difficult reading, and tells of a slow, almost dilatory approach to improvement since the last Ofsted inspection. I agree that the right leadership and governance arrangements are now in place to make rapid progress, but am concerned about the lost years for the children in our care. Surrey County Council has been far too slow to recognise the urgent need for modernisation and improvement. The new appointment of an Executive Director for Children, Families & Learning gives me confidence going forward, but nothing can repair the years when children received poor support and were at risk. Each and every recommendation in the report must be implemented and I will do my best to ensure, through my membership of the Children's Select Committee, that they are".

  • Chris Botten
    Article: May 16, 2018

    The Liberal Democrat group on Surrey County Council have appointed Cllr Chris Botten as Group Leader following the retirement of Cllr Hazel Watson from the group leadership.


    Cllr Botten, who has represented Caterham Hill division since 2017, said:


    "Hazel has worked incredibly hard over many years and I will be looking to build on her strong legacy. It is fitting that her 25 years as a county councillor will be celebrated at next week's Council AGM.

  • Budget Cuts
    Article: May 1, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that Surrey County Council is planning to reduce spending on services by nearly £200m by the end of 2019/20. The figures were released in a report to the Council's Cabinet earlier this week, alongside the Conservative-administration's decision to hire consultants, at an undisclosed sum, to assist with the County Council's "programme management and change capacity" project.