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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.

Recent updates

  • Bombshell
    Article: Dec 24, 2016

    Liberal Democrat county councillors in Surrey have expressed their dismay at Conservative plans to hike council tax by a massive 16% in the county.

    According to a report in the well-respected Municipal Journal magazine, which covers local government issues, the county council is seriously considering a proposal to hold a county-wide referendum with the intention of raising council tax by 16%. Under the current rules, the county council can only raise the tax by an extra 4.99% a year, 3% of which is ring-fenced for adult social care, and must hold a referendum if it wishes to raise a larger amount.

  • Refugees at Pippbrook
    Article: Dec 21, 2016

    At the Mole Valley Executive meeting on 25th October, Mole Valley Liberal Democrats joined with the other parties in supporting a joint statement following the deferral of the motion proposed by Liberal Democrat Councillor Margaret Cooksey at the full Council meeting on 11th October. The statement comprised an amended version of the motion which received the backing of all parties on the Council.

  • David Draper
    Article: Dec 21, 2016

    Pharmacies throughout Mole Valley are at risk following the Government's decision to introduce cuts of 4% in their grants next year, rising to 7.5% by 2018. Some short-term help has been agreed for over 1300 pharmacies, but none of these are in Mole Valley.

    At the Council meeting on Tuesday 6th December Liberal Democrat Councillor David Draper proposed a motion stating that these cuts could threaten pharmacy services in Mole Valley, and requesting more information from the Director of Commissioning Operations for the local NHS. David Draper said "Across the country both County and District Councils have opposed these cuts but now that they have been confirmed it is time to see what effect they will have on our local pharmacy services. In this uncertainty the residents of Mole Valley will expect us to seek the most accurate information available in order to be best prepared."

  • Hazel by Superfast box
    Article: Dec 19, 2016

    On 13th December, Surrey County Council announced that it has failed to meet its target to deliver a Superfast Broadband service to almost 100% of residential properties in Surrey. Furthermore it is planning to drop this target following a county council report which has revealed that 15,300 Surrey properties in the Intervention Area are unable to access Superfast Broadband. The county council's plans to increase the number of premises able to receive Superfast Broadband will not achieve 100% coverage and will take two years to deliver.



    Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council said:

  • Article: Dec 4, 2016

    Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling for the council to urgently address the lack of key worker housing available to its staff, which could save it millions of pounds each year.

    In 2015/16, the county council spent £14.9 million on agency staff and have so far spent £7.4 million in this current financial year from 1st April. The council's over reliance on costly agency staff is a result of the difficulty the council has had in recruiting and retaining key staff to work for the organisation. These include social workers, planners and highway engineers. The council currently has 510 vacancies, 378 of which are for social care staff. The lack of affordable housing and the high cost of living in Surrey makes it difficult to attract the skilled staff that the council needs to provide vital services for Surrey residents.

  • Hazel Watson
    Article: Dec 4, 2016

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that Surrey County Council's spending on consultants has increased by over 40% from the previous year.

    Following a question tabled by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, at the Cabinet meeting on 22nd November, it was revealed that spending on consultants has risen from £305,000 in 2015/16 to £431,000 so far in 2016/17, with the bill set to rise further before the end of the financial year. Day rates ranged from £350 to a shocking £1800 per day - meaning that some consultants working for the Tory administration were earning the equivalent of £468,000 a year. The council also admitted that it cannot supply figures for spending on consultants before 2015 and did not release information as to whom the county council had paid to do the work.

  • Article: Dec 4, 2016

    Figures released by the respected Leonard Cheshire charity have revealed that Surrey County Council has turned down thousands of requests for social care in the last year.

    In 2015/16, the county council turned down 78% of requests for social care which means that out of 35,565 requests, only 7,995 were successful. Leonard Cheshire also shone a light on the declining number of people that Surrey has provided adult social care to in recent years. In 2009, Surrey County Council provided 31,095 people with social care but by 2014 it had reduced to 29,650 - a fall of 5%.

  • Adult SS
    Article: Dec 4, 2016

    Liberal Democrats in Surrey have written to the Equality & Human Rights Commission asking them to investigate the Tory council's policy that has increased adult social care charges for disabled residents by over one million pounds a year.

    In July this year, the Conservative cabinet agreed changes to the way in which it calculates adult social care charges for those on benefits such as Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance. The changes mean that the council will be charging disabled people over one million pounds a year extra for their care.

  • Randalls Rd recycling centre
    Article: Oct 31, 2016

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors have expressed their surprise and anger after it was revealed that Surrey's unpopular "Tory Tip Tax", where residents are charged to use local Community Recycling Centres (CRCs), could be illegal.

    Legislation was passed in March 2015 by the then coalition government which prevented councils from charging residents to use household waste recycling centres, either at the point of entry, exit or disposal. The government guidance makes it clear that residents should not be charged for disposing of any waste from DIY, as it considers DIY waste from households as a type of household waste. But Tory-run Surrey County Council last month introduced charges for people disposing of household waste from DIY, despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats and local residents, and a consultation which resulted in massive opposition to the scheme.

  • Headley bus route in snow
    Article: Oct 31, 2016

    Surrey Liberal Democrat County Councillors have welcomed the decision by Surrey's Cabinet to reject proposed cuts to the Winter Maintenance budget which could have put Surrey residents at serious risk of harm.

    Earlier this year, Liberal Democrat Highways spokesperson Cllr Stephen Cooksey chaired a Winter Maintenance Task Group which was requested to consider proposals to make budget savings of £340,000 including reducing the salting network, not filling the network of grit bins and scrapping one of the County's mini salting vehicles.