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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

  • Chris Botten
    Article: Dec 2, 2017

    Commenting on the letter published by OFSTED today, Councillor Chris Botten, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children & Families, said:

    "These are very serious criticisms of Surrey County Council, 3 years after the County Council's Children's Services were inspected by OFSTED and subsequently rated as "inadequate". There is a long list of failings that have been identified: the poor quality of social work, weaknesses in managerial oversight, children not receiving the right help at the right time and, in some cases, children being at risk of harm.

  • Hazel & Ges Ray
    Article: Dec 2, 2017

    A petition of over 2,000 signatures was today presented to a meeting of Surrey County Council's Cabinet, calling for Surrey's Performing Arts Library to be saved. The petition, which was launched by Liberal Democrat county councillors in September, was handed in by Ges Ray, Vice-Chair of the Leith Hill Music Festival. Recommendations as to the future of the service will be proposed by the Communities Select Committee at their meeting in February 2018, with a final decision taken by the Council's Cabinet in March.

  • Angela Goodwin & Chris Botten
    Article: Dec 2, 2017

    Liberal Democrats have called upon Surrey County Council to improve and expand its provision of services to children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND). The County Council spends a total of £237 million on SEND services for children and young people, educates 822 SEND students outside of the county, and spends nearly £27 million on travel costs for SEND students. Liberal Democrat county councillors have tabled a motion, to be discussed at Council next week, calling for the Conservative-administration to invest in more SEND provision within Surrey, in order to reduce the number of placements outside of the county, as well as reducing travel costs and times for children and parents alike.

  • Cllr Stephen Cooksey
    Article: Nov 28, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors today welcomed the decision by Conservative-run Surrey County Council to amend its unpopular street lighting policy. The policy, which was introduced in 2016 and early 2017, saw thousands of street lights turned off across the county without any consultation with the residents affected. The change of policy means that lights will stay on until 1am rather than midnight from Thursday 23rd November 2017.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Nov 28, 2017

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

    "This Budget was a missed opportunity for the Government to address the crisis in social care funding in places like Surrey and to alleviate the pressure on local councils delivering essential services to vulnerable residents but who cannot keep up with demand and cost pressures. The worsening growth figures outlined by the Office of Budget Responsibility paint a bleak picture for local councils who desperately needed a cash injection from the government in order to carry out their statutory duties.

  • Tories Waste Money on Luxury Cars
    Article: Nov 28, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have expressed their concern after it was revealed that Surrey County Council's spending on consultants has more than doubled from the previous year.
    Following an information request to the County Council by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, it was revealed that spending on consultants rose from £305,000 in 2015/16 to £663,420 in 2016/17 - a staggering rise of 118%. The maximum day rate paid was a shocking £1800 per day - meaning that at least one consultant working for the Tory administration was earning the equivalent of £468,000 a year.
  • SPA library
    Article: Nov 16, 2017

    Liberal Democrat county councillors have handed in a petition with over 2,000 signatures calling for Surrey's Performing Arts Library to be retained. It follows a consultation held by Surrey County Council which outlined 3 options for the Library - closure, fragmentation of the service across other libraries or the service by being provided by another organisation. The Library, which is currently based near Dorking at Denbies Wine Estate, houses a unique collection of music, theatre, orchestral and dance materials available for public loan.

  • Dene Street
    Article: Nov 16, 2017

    Liberal Democrat County Councillors have expressed their dismay after it was revealed, in response to a Freedom of Information Act Request, that Conservative-run Surrey County Council has left 20 buildings empty for a cumulative total of 112 years, with one building in Warlingham left empty for a shocking 18 years. The County Council spent £307,464 in just one year in 2016/17 maintaining its 20 vacant buildings.

  • Margaret Cooksey
    Article: Nov 5, 2017

    The following statement has been issued by Margaret Cooksey, the Lib Dem Planning spokesperson on Mole Valley District Council:

    The somewhat flawed but very important first consultation process for the new Local Plan has now concluded and the results are being analysed. The consultation, based on the disputed requirement to build nearly 6,000 additional new houses, has, as expected, raised significant and controversial proposals and suggestions and the conclusions are awaited with great anticipation and concern.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson
    Article: Nov 5, 2017

    Surrey County Council has been ordered to pay £18,400 in compensation to the family of a severely autistic child after a highly critical report from the Local Government Ombudsman. The report criticised all aspects of the County Council's handling of the case, which concluded that there was fault by the County Council and that an injustice had taken place.