Article: Apr 8, 2022
Surrey County Council's plans for a greener future took a major step backwards when it failed to get any financial support from the government for its Bus Service Improvement Plan.
Boris Johnson announced funding for his Bus Back Better scheme in March 2021 with £3 billion available to help transform bus services across England.
Article: Mar 29, 2022
At last week's full council meeting Surrey County Council unanimously agreed a Lib Dem motion criticising the Government's 'Living with Covid' plan that will put an end to universal free Covid testing.
The Council agreed to call on the Government to continue with free PCR and lateral flow tests for those residents in critical groups, such as front-line workers and those who are eligible for free prescriptions.
Article: Mar 9, 2022
Ofsted have published their latest inspection report into Surrey County Council's children's services and rated the Council's service as one that 'requires improvement to be good'
The report notes that "Services are no longer inadequate, but despite accelerated improvements since 2018, overall progress has been slow since services were first judged inadequate in 2015."
Article: Feb 23, 2022
Yesterday, Surrey County Council's Cabinet agreed to close eight residential care homes.
Lib Dem Councillors have criticised the move which leaves the future of around 150 vulnerable residents in the balance with the risk they may end up being placed in accommodation further away from their family and paying more for the services they receive.
Article: Feb 3, 2022
Surrey County Council's hopes of getting more powers from central government as part of a County Deal lie in ruins following the publication of the government's Levelling Up white paper.
The government has unveiled their plans which include the promotion of regional mayors and give several areas County Deals however Surrey was not one of them.
Article: Jan 19, 2022
Conservatives running Surrey County Council dismissed calls by the Lib Dems to roll out 20 mph zones in residential roads and outside schools across Surrey at yesterday's Full Council meeting.
Surrey Lib Dems put forward a motion calling for a bigger and bolder programme of schemes to implement 20 mph zones using signs only, in a bid to facilitate better conditions for walking and cycling; improve road safety; tackle climate change and to allow residents to enjoy the resulting wider health benefits.
Article: Jan 19, 2022
The Lib Dems have exposed an almost £50 million loss of value in just two commercial properties owned by Surrey County Council.
In 2017, Surrey County Council's property company Halsey Garton, purchased Malvern Retail Park for £75m and the Debenhams store in Winchester for £15.8m. However, in response to a question from Lib Dem Group Leader Will Forster, the County Council confirmed that the Malvern Retail Park is now only valued at £35m and the Debenhams site in Winchester is only worth £6.25m.
Article: Jan 5, 2022
Surrey Lib Dems are challenging Surrey County Council to roll out a bigger and bolder programme of schemes to implement 20 mph zones using signs only, in a bid to facilitate better conditions for walking and cycling and improve road safety. The Lib Dems group is bringing a motion to the Council meeting on 18 January 2022. It will press the Council to follow many other highways authorities such as Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire to radically change their approach to the introduction of 20 mph speed limits in areas where it is currently 30mph. This would affect all roads in Surrey with a 30 mph limit unless there is a good reason to leave the speed limit at 30 mph, and would include roads outside schools, residential areas and busy pedestrian streets.
Article: Dec 15, 2021
Against a backdrop of Surrey's increasing coronavirus infections and the spread of the Omicron variant, Surrey County Council has been pressured into postponing its pre-Christmas Full Council meeting until the New Year.
In person meetings are currently the only option for local authorities making formal decisions. The Government has so far resisted calls from all sides to grant councils the powers to be able to meet virtually, as they had been able to do during the pandemic up until 7th May 2021.
Article: Nov 11, 2021
Surrey Lib Dems have backed a letter sent to the COP26 climate change summit signed by hundreds of local councillors across the country calling on more power for local government to tackle climate change.
Lance Spencer, spokesperson on climate change for the Surrey Lib Dems group said:
"What the country has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic will pale in comparison to the economic and social impacts of climate breakdown if we do not take action immediately. The latest UK Climate Risk Assessment concluded that the UK is "woefully underprepared" for the impacts of climate change that will hit the country.
"The UK's net zero targets can only be achieved if Government and local authorities work seamlessly together. More than half of the emissions cuts needed rely on people and businesses taking up low-carbon solutions - solutions around buildings, energy and transport - decisions that are made at a local and individual level.