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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Holmwoods by-election - 18th June - Lib Dems win

Holmwoods celebrations

Lib Dem supporters celebrate with Claire Malcomson & Clayton Wellman

Recent updates

  • Leatherhead Hospital petition
    Article: Aug 27, 2015

    Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has published a draft report proposing to retain and expand outpatient services at Leatherhead. That's great news and follows the petition which was organised by local Liberal Democrats and signed by well over 2000 residents. However the report also proposes to discontinue in-patient services at Leatherhead by closing the much-loved Leach Ward and permanently transferring the beds to Dorking.

  • 20 mph
    Article: Aug 23, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling on the Council to provide the necessary funding to implement 20 mph speed limits outside Surrey schools where requested by the school and the local community.

    Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said "Surrey parents want their children to be safe going to and from school and 20 mph speed limits outside schools help to achieve this by reducing traffic speeds and improving road safety. A reduced speed limit warns drivers that they need to slow down near a school and in general drivers do slow down."

  • Fiona White
    Article: Jul 13, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling for action to be taken by the council to recruit and retain more Social Workers in the County. The need for action follows an inadequate rating by Ofsted inspectors of Surrey's Children's Services in a report published last month.

    There is also a growing need for Social Workers to protect vulnerable adults with an increasingly ageing population in the County.

  • Budget 2015
    Article: Jul 9, 2015

    Anyone interested in the details of summer budget can find some useful briefings and information here:

    Local Government Association
    Liberal Democrats

    As a Liberal Democrat, this is obviously a difficult day. Our party spent five years preventing the Conservatives from implementing policies that we felt were unfair, as well as introducing distinctive Lib Dem policies that made our recovery fairer and more sustainable.
    Sadly, today's budget shows the real difference that Liberal Democrats made in government, and are no longer able to make after May's elections.

  • Westhumble railway bridge
    Petition: Jun 20, 2015

    "We call on the County Council to revise its current infrastructure funding priorities and to fund the necessary £750,000 works required to reinforce the deck to the bridge over the railway in Westhumble so that the weight limit for traffic using the bridge can be increased and the risk of sudden failure of the existing cast iron structure can be avoided."

  • Claire & Clayton
    Article: Jun 19, 2015

    Electors in the Holmwoods gave the Lib Dems a resounding thumbs-up by electing Claire Malcomson and Clayton Wellman as their new councillors on Mole Valley District Council. Claire and Clayton join District Councillor Wayne Monkman and County Councillor Stephen Cooksey as the Lib Dem team representing the area.

  • Clayton 22 bus
    Article: Jun 15, 2015

    Over 150 residents in Chart Downs have signed a petition to save a Saturday bus service threatened with closure by Surrey County Council.

    Surrey County Council is threatening to close the 22 bus Saturday service, which serves residents from Newdigate, Chart Downs, Dorking, Wotton, Coldharbour and Abinger, but it is relied on by many people including vulnerable residents to get to the shops and other transport links in Dorking.

    Article: Jun 11, 2015

    OFSTED carried out an inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers in Surrey in October and November 2014. Today it published its inspection report with the overall judgment that Surrey County Council's Children's Services are "inadequate".

    In the report, OFSTED inspectors found "widespread and serious failures that potentially leave children at risk of harm." They were particularly critical of the inadequate leadership, management and governance of Children's Services in Surrey.

    The Inspectors found that a reorganisation of Children's Services in March 2014 had resulted in a significant number of children in need not receiving an adequate service. For example, the service for children who go missing from home or care was judged inadequate because the children do not always have a return interview to ensure that they are safe.

    The County Council also had failed to demonstrate the impact for neglected children with child protection plans. Many case records for children were not up to date and lacked enough detail to show sufficient support to help children.

    Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on Surrey County Council, Cllr Hazel Watson, said: "This report is a shocking wake up call for the Conservative administration at County Hall."

    She continued, "Protecting vulnerable children from harm should be the top priority for the County Council. Sadly the leadership and management in Surrey have been severely lacking, which has put such vulnerable children at risk of harm."

    Cllr Hazel Watson added: "The County Council has already started work to implement all of the recommendations made by the Inspectors. These include improved training for social workers, better assessment and planning for looked after children and more support for care leavers. I am pleased that the work to put things right is already underway."

    Cllr Hazel Watson will be continuing to work with the Conservative administration and representatives of other Political Groups to ensure that the report's recommendations are fully implemented. She is also pressing the County Council to do much more to recruit and retain social workers in Surrey so that there are enough experienced social workers to provide the best service possible for Surrey's children.

    Cllr Hazel Watson concluded: "Surrey's Conservative administration has to make significant improvements in Children's Services as it has brushed the problems under the carpet for far too long. I hope that following the recent change in the Cabinet member responsible for Children's Services in Surrey that this new leadership will result in rapid improvement."

  • Paul Kennedy
    Article: Apr 25, 2015

    On Tuesday 21 April Lib Dem candidate for Mole Valley Paul Kennedy spoke at The Grange in Bookham, which helps people with disabilities to achieve their potential and live independent and fulfilling lives.

    For his talk Paul used the Liberal Democrats' "Easy Read" manifesto which has been produced with help from MenCap, the charity for people with learning difficulties:

  • Free Childcare
    Article: Apr 25, 2015

    Almost one-third of Surrey parents are unable to take up childcare places with most failing to take up the childcare places because it is too expensive according to a recent report published by Surrey County Council. Instead, they have to rely on other family members, particularly grandparents, to help with all or some of their childcare needs if they want to return to work or study.

    Cllr Hazel Watson Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on Surrey County Council said: "Childcare costs in Surrey are so expensive that many parents just cannot use the childcare that is available as it leaves them in a pay-neutral or pay-negative position."

    This arises where the cost of childcare plus the cost of travel wipe out someone's entire net of tax earnings, preventing many parents from going out to work and from earning a living to support their families.

    It is also stopping those parents from contributing their skills to the Surrey economy.

    Hazel Watson continued, "The cost of childcare should not be a barrier to parents taking up childcare and going to work. Childcare is a necessity for working parents, not a luxury, and should be available, at an affordable price, to all and especially to those on low incomes.

    Hazel Watson added, "In order to meet this need, the County Council has to ensure that there are enough childcare places at affordable prices in Surrey to meet demand."

    Hazel Watson concluded, "It is no good having childcare places on offer to parents if they are too expensive and unaffordable to parents who want to go out to work to support their families."