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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
  • Surrey parking
    Article: Oct 8, 2018

    Parking charges of £1.30 per hour, with a maximum charge of £5.00 per day, were introduced in the car parks on Surrey County Council's Countryside Estate, including those at Norbury Park, on 6 August 2018 despite significant opposition from local residents. Previously there was no charge.

    Liberal Democrat County Councillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) said: "Following the introduction of the parking charges, the car parks, unsurprisingly, have been virtually empty.

  • Cllr Chris Botten
    Article: Aug 31, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed concerns for the future of the County's Children's Centre provision in the light of the sudden departure of one of their leading champions and advocates from the senior team at County Hall. The departure comes after plans to reduce provision were announced by the Conservative-administration earlier this year but with no detail as to which of the County's 58 Children's Centres would close.

  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Aug 23, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have criticised the ruling Conservative administration for recruiting a new "Business Manager" post, on a salary of more than £43,000, when at the same time planning hundreds of staff redundancies and millions of pounds of cuts to front line services.

    The advert, which has appeared on the Guardian website, seeks to recruit a "skilled networker" to County Hall whose work "will often be politically sensitive". The salary offered is £43,638 for a working week of 36 hours, with the promise of a "generous local government salary related pension".

  • Chris Botten
    Article: Aug 6, 2018

    Liberal Democrat county councillors are calling for Surrey County Council to make urgent financial preparations following a recent judgement in Bristol in which a group of parents successfully challenged Bristol City Council's decision to make deep cuts in special educational needs (SEND) provision. Parents in Surrey have launched a similar judicial review challenging the County Council on cuts to its SEND budget of £21m, which will be heard in October this year.

  • Will
    Article: Jul 27, 2018

    Surrey County Council has commissioned a second report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) to review its financial resilience. This follows a report commissioned in December 2016, costing nearly £25,000, which warned that the financial position of the County Council was "extremely worrying" and that "it is risk of becoming financially unsustainable".

  • 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.