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  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Jan 18, 2019

    News today* has revealed that the cost of temporary officers at Surrey County Council is £2.5m. The news comes at a time when the Council are proposing a number of cuts to essential services, affecting Children's Centres, bus subsidies, Community Recycling Centres and Libraries.

    Prior to the appointment of new Chief Executive, Joanna Killian, in March 2018, the Council had just one contract for an interim member of staff. The contract bill for temporary and interim staff now stands at £2.5m.

  • Will Forster Headshot
    Article: Jan 16, 2019

    Lib Dem County Councillor Will Forster has today called on Surrey County Council to support European Union (EU) nationals living locally from the damaging effects of Brexit.

    Before Christmas, the Government announced that EU citizens would have to apply and pay for 'settled status' post-Brexit, causing fears that some European workers will leave the UK post Brexit. Surrey County Council, like other local authorities, relies on EU nationals to fill key jobs especially in the social care sector.

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Jan 5, 2019

    A recent Guardian article titled 'Disabled woman evicted before Christmas…for highlighting the damp' has exposed issues in the way that Landlords are able to evict tenants, and the suffering that this can cause those who are most vulnerable.

    Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, Councillor Chris Botten has said:

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Dec 20, 2018

    Responding to the publication of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services report into Surrey Fire and Rescue, Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Surrey County Council said:

    "Yet again we read of a Surrey Service which has been judged Requires Improvement or Inadequate. Perhaps the report's most troubling criticism is that the service doesn't have a robust operational model and needs to ensure it has enough resources, (people and equipment) available to respond to risk in line with its risk management plan.

  • David Goodwin
    Article: Dec 11, 2018

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors in Surrey have today voted against proposals put forward by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP). The report published by the IRP recommended that a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) of £10,000 be allocated to Deputy Cabinet Members, a set of roles only introduced to Surrey County Council in May this year.

  • 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 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.