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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
  • Angela Goodwin & Chris Botten
    Article: Dec 5, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors celebrated today after Surrey County Council unanimously backed their call to increase the level of places for pupils with Special Educational Needs within Surrey. A motion, tabled by Liberal Democrat county councillors, was accepted unanimously by all council members at a meeting today at County Hall. The County Council spends a total of £237 million on SEND services for children and young people, educates 822 SEND students outside of the county, and spends nearly £27 million on travel costs for SEND students.

  • Surrey signs
    Article: Dec 4, 2017

    Liberal Democrat Councillors on Surrey County Council are calling for an end to the council relying on members of the public to report missing or damaged road signs and instead are calling for a sign inspection policy to be developed and implemented.


    Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council said today:

  • Chris Botten
    Article: Nov 30, 2017

    Commenting on the letter published by OFSTED today, Councillor Chris Botten, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children & Families, said:

    "These are very serious criticisms of Surrey County Council, 3 years after the County Council's Children's Services were inspected by OFSTED and subsequently rated as "inadequate". There is a long list of failings that have been identified: the poor quality of social work, weaknesses in managerial oversight, children not receiving the right help at the right time and, in some cases, children being at risk of harm.

  • Angela Goodwin & Chris Botten
    Article: Nov 30, 2017

    Liberal Democrats have called upon Surrey County Council to improve and expand its provision of services to children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND). The County Council spends a total of £237 million on SEND services for children and young people, educates 822 SEND students outside of the county, and spends nearly £27 million on travel costs for SEND students. Liberal Democrat county councillors have tabled a motion, to be discussed at Council next week, calling for the Conservative-administration to invest in more SEND provision within Surrey, in order to reduce the number of placements outside of the county, as well as reducing travel costs and times for children and parents alike.

  • Hazel & Ges Ray
    Article: Nov 29, 2017

    A petition of over 2,000 signatures was today presented to a meeting of Surrey County Council's Cabinet, calling for Surrey's Performing Arts Library to be saved. The petition, which was launched by Liberal Democrat county councillors in September, was handed in by Ges Ray, Vice-Chair of the Leith Hill Music Festival. Recommendations as to the future of the service will be proposed by the Communities Select Committee at their meeting in February 2018, with a final decision taken by the Council's Cabinet in March.

  • Tories Waste Money on Luxury Cars
    Article: Nov 24, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that Surrey County Council's spending on consultants has more than doubled from the previous year.
    Following an information request to the County Council by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, it was revealed that spending on consultants rose from £305,000 in 2015/16 to £663,420 in 2016/17 - a staggering rise of 118%. The maximum day rate paid was a shocking £1800 per day - meaning that at least one consultant working for the Tory administration was earning the equivalent of £468,000 a year.
  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Nov 22, 2017


    Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today:

    "This Budget was a missed opportunity for the Government to address the crisis in social care funding in places like Surrey and to alleviate the pressure on local councils delivering essential services to vulnerable residents but who cannot keep up with demand and cost pressures. The worsening growth figures outlined by the Office of Budget Responsibility paint a bleak picture for local councils who desperately needed a cash injection from the government in order to carry out their statutory duties.

  • Cllr Stephen Cooksey
    Article: Nov 17, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors today welcomed the decision by Conservative-run Surrey County Council to amend its unpopular street lighting policy. The policy, which was introduced in 2016 and early 2017, saw thousands of street lights turned off across the county without any consultation with the residents affected. The change of policy means that lights will stay on until 1am rather than midnight from Thursday 23rd November 2017.

  • Dene Street
    Article: Nov 8, 2017

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors have expressed their dismay after it was revealed, in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request, that Conservative-run Surrey County Council has left 20 buildings empty for a cumulative total of 112 years, with one building in Warlingham left empty for a shocking 18 years. The County Council spent £307,464 in just one year in 2016/17 maintaining its 20 vacant buildings.

  • SPA library
    Article: Nov 7, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have handed in a petition with over 2,000 signatures calling for Surrey's Performing Arts Library to be retained. It follows a consultation held by Surrey County Council which outlined 3 options for the Library - closure, fragmentation of the service across other libraries or the service by being provided by another organisation. The Library, which is currently based near Dorking at Denbies Wine Estate, houses a unique collection of music, theatre, orchestral and dance materials available for public loan.