• Article: Jan 24, 2019
    By Zöe Franklin
    On Tuesday it became clear that Conservative-run Surrey Council Council are planning to increase Council Tax while continuing to pursue deeply unpopular plans to cut essential public services including closing 31 Children's Centres and 4 community recycling centres; scrapping certain concessionary bus passes; making savage cuts to library and cultural services; and cutting spending on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). In spite of these cuts and tax increases, it is made clear in the report continuing the proposals that the financial future of the council is bleak.

    In contrast neighbouring Kingston Borough Council announced on Monday this week that they had made the hard decision to put up their Council Tax but were very clear that doing so was the only way to ensure that they could safeguard essential services that impact upon the most vulnerable in their community and ensure a financially secure and sustainable future.

    It's worth me saying before I continue that I am not suggesting that increasing Council Tax is the right solution for every authority but when faced with continuing government funding cuts that threaten core services, especially those that serve the most vulnerable in our communities, and council budgets where there is nowhere left to make the savings needed it is sometimes necessary to make tough decisions.
  • Zoe Franklin standing on Guildford High Street
    Article: Jan 24, 2019
    By Guildford Liberal Democrats
    Guildford Liberal Democrats are pleased that to announce that Zöe Franklin has been reselected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, Cranleigh and the Villages. Zöe, a former borough councillor and Guildford resident for nearly 20 years, stood for the Liberal Democrats in the 2017 snap General Election winning 24% of the vote.
    Ciarán Doran, Chair of Guildford Liberal Democrats, said "I am delighted that Zöe will be continuing as our parliamentary candidate. As well as being well-liked and respected by local members and residents she is incredibly hardworking and deeply committed to Guildford, Cranleigh and the Villages. She has real vision for the future of Guildford and determined that our community deserves better than the current Conservative leadership we have at every level locally."
    Speaking after the selection Zöe Franklin summarised her vision for the future of Guildford, Cranleigh and the Villages saying, "I am committed to seeing real change in five key areas locally and nationally.
    • I want the people of the UK to have the final say on Brexit through a People's Vote
    • I'm am determined that we build a future where everyone can fulfil their potential regardless of background
    • I want a future where our NHS and social care services get the funding they need to meet the needs of local people
    • I want a future where we build the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure while also addressing the social housing crisis
    • Finally I want a future that is environmentally friendly with greener energy and transport methods, a significant reduction in plastic waste and urgent action to reduce air pollution locally.
    "We have been let down again and again by our Conservative MP and Conservative-run councils and we deserve better. I believe that the Liberal Democrats and I, working together with the people of Guildford, Cranleigh and the Villages, can build a better, brighter and fairer future for everyone in our communities."
  • 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.

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