Sadly, as the BBC has reported, the River Mole has the highest number of unpermitted raw sewage spills in the country. Even worse, our Conservative MP voted against an amendment in parliament to force water companies to clean up their act.
Here Cllr Chris Coghlan explains what our Liberal Democrat Council is doing to encourage our MP and Thames Water to act on sewage.
Conservative Surrey County Council and Police and Crime Commissioner increase Band D council tax by £87, Liberal Democrat run Mole Valley by less than £5.
£50 million property losses at Surrey
Conservative-run Surrey County Council has imposed a 5% increase in its council tax precept, while admitting it has lost £50 million on commercial property investments outside Surrey. In answer to questions from Lib Dem councillors, the Council admitted that the Malvern Retail Park, bought for £75m in 2017, is worth just £38m, and a Debenhams store in Winchester bought for £15.8 million is now valued at just £6.25m.
Today our Dorking Councillors David Draper, Hazel Watson, Chris Coghlan, Margaret and Stephen Cooksey attended the opening of the new Garden of Remembrance at Dorking Cemetery with Chris Hunt, the Council Chairman. David Draper in particular has been working hard to deliver this project for our residents and it is wonderful to see it delivered for our residents.
Conservatives running Surrey County Council have dismissed calls by the Lib Dems to roll out 20 mph zones in residential roads and outside schools across Surrey.
Surrey Lib Dems recently 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.
Parking improvements to be financed, in part, by below inflation increase in parking fees
The Lib Dem administration at Pippbrook is investing £1 million pounds in improvements and essential maintenance to Mole Valley's car parks. Depending on the car park and its needs, the refurbishment fund will deliver new surfacing and markings, lighting improvements, new railings and footways, structural improvements, and the Electric Vehicle Charge Point roll-out.
To help finance this, the charge for parking will go up to £1.10 per hour from September. This will be a new flat rate for both cash and Ringgo. It is the first increase since 2018 and is less than the rate of inflation for the period. However, anyone who uses Ringgo to pay will see a 2p reduction in cost for the first hour, because there will no longer be an extra charge for users of the service. That means, despite the rise in base price, nearly 50% of users will actually pay less for an hour's parking.
The Council is also introducing a new permit system from April that will significantly benefit 80% of users. For most residents and businesses, the monthly permit price will reduce to £56 from £85. In addition, there will be Low Paid Worker Permits at £15 per month to support retail, hospitality and care workers.
The continuation of more people working from home for at least part of the week is also being recognised with new flexible permits available pro rata at no extra cost e.g. a permit for 2 days per week.
Cabinet Member, Councillor Clayton Wellman, said, "Not surprisingly, our car parks have been used less than normal in the last two years resulting in a drop in income. This has affected the Council's ability to fund necessary maintenance work and improvements. Much as we'd all like to keep parking charges frozen, this has made a carefully measured increase in the parking charge essential. With that extra money, we will be able to bring the car parks to the standard that residents expect and which makes our town and village centres attractive to visitors."
"I am also delighted that we are able to support residents and local businesses by reducing the permit cost and creating a much more flexible system for so many people who don't have off-street parking and therefore need to use the Council's car parks on a regular basis."
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