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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
  • censored
    Article: Mar 23, 2017

    Conservative-run Surrey County Council has been forced to release a damaging financial report which warned in December 2016 that a 15% council tax referendum was "highly likely to fail". The report, produced by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA), cost nearly £25,000 and was commissioned in December but was only released to councillors on March 21st 2017, six weeks after the Council's budget meeting.

  • Is your Local School Losing Out?
    Article: Mar 22, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have successfully called for Surrey County Council to oppose the Government's funding proposals which could leave schools in Surrey with a £37m hole in their budgets by 2019/20.

    It follows the release of a letter from a Surrey Headteacher warning his local Conservative MP that schools in Surrey may be forced to implement a 4-day week.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Cllr Hazel Watson said today:

    "Today's vote has denied the residents of Surrey the fresh start that was so desperately needed. It does not solve the excessive secrecy within the Council, which has been the hallmarks of Cllr Hodge's leadership, nor does it repair the Council's damaged reputation with the people it was elected to serve. Instead it means the continuation of a secretive culture at County Hall which serves its own interests, and those of the Conservative Party, rather than those of Surrey residents.

  • Dorking bus
    Article: Mar 21, 2017

    Liberal Democrat councillors and residents have welcomed the news that the well-used 465 bus service from Kingston to Dorking, via Leatherhead, has been guaranteed for the next five years.

    Cllr Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat County Councillor for Dorking South and the Holmwoods, said today:

    "This is good news for people in Dorking who were heavily reliant on this service - it should never have been under the axe in the first place. I'd like to thank all of those residents who made their voices loud and clear by signing a huge petition in favour of the service and for contacting the Surrey Cabinet Member with their views".

  • Will at Woking
    Article: Mar 14, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have launched a petition to fight against school funding cuts in Surrey. Recent figures from the National Union of Teachers show that schools in Surrey will lose £37 MILLION in real terms by 2020.

    New government estimates obtained by the National Audit Office show that schools in England will have to make cuts of £3 billion by 2020 in order to cope with increased costs. The Government wants over half of these cuts to come from schools' teaching budgets.
  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Mar 9, 2017

    Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have called for the Leader of the Council, Councillor David Hodge, to resign or face a Motion of No Confidence following the release of emails last night which revealed he had written to the Prime Minister asking for more cash "so that Surrey will continue to be a heartland for the Conservatives". In another email he bemoaned the fact that the Conservative Government "ties my hands and fails to support...(the)...largest Conservative Group in UK".

  • Banknotes in Wallet
    Article: Mar 8, 2017

    Cllr Hazel Watson said today:

    "I welcome the £1bn of new money towards plugging the gap in social care funding but I am concerned that this does not go far enough to tackle the funding shortfall. The Liberal Democrats had called for an extra £2bn of funding for adult social care in 2017/18 in order to tackle the national crisis in adult social care. The government has only allocated half of what is needed and so I fear that the problems that we have here in Surrey will continue.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson
    Article: Mar 7, 2017
  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Mar 7, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors are calling for the release of an "invisible" report, for which the Conservative administration at County Hall paid nearly £25,000.

    The report was quoted in the papers for the council's budget meeting on 7th February and relates to a "financial resilience review" which was carried out in November 2016 by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) at the request of the Leader of the Council, and cost £24,500.

  • John Orrick
    Article: Mar 2, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed their anger as the Conservative County Council was forced to reveal cuts of £346K to library resources over the next two years.

    The Conservative-administration plans to reduce the county's library resources budget, used to buy items such as books and DVDs, by £346K which amounts to a cut of 22% by 2019. The reduction in the resources budget for libraries follows significant cuts in the amount of library stock owned by the county council, which has dropped from 1,597,830 items in December 2013 to 1,386,752 items in March 2016 - a reduction of 211,078 items (13%).