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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
  • Fair Council Tax
    Article: Mar 28, 2017

    Liberal Democrat councillors have strongly criticised the Conservative-run County Council's plans to axe millions from essential services for Surrey residents, which were finally revealed today.

    Road safety and highways budgets will be hit as millions of pounds are taken away from essential Surrey services, and there will be a £735K reduction in the public transport budget as bus services are cut or removed altogether. The Council also plans to save over £1m by reducing the number of the well-used Community Recycling Facilities (CRCs) in the county, making it harder for people to recycle and increasing the risk of fly-tipping.

  • County Hall
    Article: Mar 28, 2017

    Commenting on the news that Cllr David Hodge has unilaterally given notice for Surrey County Council to leave the Local Government Association (LGA) in a year's time, Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today: 

    "I am appalled by this decision. The Local Government Association is the key organisation within local government which enables the county council to lobby central government and make its case for resources and funding. The LGA has helped Surrey to save money, enabling the county council to recover millions of pounds back after the Icelandic banking crash. The county council needs a voice at the top table and this short sighted move takes that voice away. Only three councils in the country are not members of the LGA, so we are moving from the membership of a large and influential group to an isolated position on the fringes.

  • 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