We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)
  • Full Council
    Article: Feb 5, 2019

    Speech delivered by the Leader of Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group, Chris Botten, delivered at the Full Council Meeting on 5th February 2019.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, I am setting out this morning the reasons why I and my group will be voting against the budget papers as presented to us; we understand the extreme difficulties the council faces in producing a balanced budget, but we believe some core principles have been elided and some significant failures to address important issues are manifest.

  • Will Forster Headshot
    Article: Feb 4, 2019

    Amid increasing uncertainty surrounding Britain's place in the European Union (EU), Surrey County Council has agreed a request made by Surrey Lib Dems to help its EU staff and children in care apply for 'settled status' post-Brexit.

    Earlier this year, the Government announced that EU nationals would have to apply and pay for settled status post-Brexit, though they have recently waived the application fees. This 'pay to stay' process has been widely criticised as being too complicated and making Europeans feel unwelcome in the UK.

  • County Hall
    Article: Jan 31, 2019

    At Surrey County Council's Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Cabinet members approved plans to shut 31 of Surrey's 58 children centres. Liberal Democrat County Councillors spoke out at the meeting against the closures, believing the proposals were not in the best interests of the residents of Surrey and the current users of the centres.

  • Dorking Tip protest
    Article: Jan 30, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats were out in full force at yesterday's Surrey County Council's Cabinet meeting petitioning against the proposed closures of a number of Surrey's recycling centres. 6 petitions were presented to the Cabinet regarding the recycling centres, with one petition reaching over 8,000 signatures.

  • Will Forster Headshot
    Article: Jan 29, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats have criticised Surrey County Council for leaving the Lakers Youth Centre closed for a whole year, and still not having any plans to reopen it.

    In January 2018, Lakers Youth Centre in Goldsworth Park was badly damaged by a fire and has been closed since. During this week's Surrey County Council Cabinet meeting, Lib Dem County Councillor, Will Forster, asked the Council if, or when, it will repair and reopen Lakers. The Council stated that there are no immediate plans to rebuild Lakers Youth Centre and that they are reviewing all youth services.

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Jan 22, 2019

    Cabinet papers* released yesterday by Surrey County Council reveal the outcomes of recent consultations carried out in relation to a number of essential services provided by the Council. The public consultations were based on a set of proposals for five service areas:
    • Children's centres
    • Community recycling centres
    • Concessionary bus travel
    • Libraries and culture
    • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
    The consultation delivered over 28,000 responses from across the county, yet seem to have been somewhat overlooked in the recommendations to the Cabinet.

  • Hazel outside Dorking Tip
    Article: Jan 22, 2019

    The Dorking Tip is now under real threat of closure by the County Council, with a decision to be made by its Cabinet on 29 January 2019. The recommendation to the Cabinet, following the consultation, is for the Tip to close.


    The Liberal Democrats launched a petition to save the Dorking Tip as soon as the County Council announced that it was considering closing the Tip in the Autumn of 2018 and, with more than 1,200 signatures, it was delivered to the County Council in early January 2019.

  • 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: