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Lib Dem group with Vince Cable - narrow format

  • Tree cleared in Thickthorne Road, Staines (Spelthorne Lib Dems)
    Article: Oct 28, 2020

    the condition of the tree demanded urgent action

    Recent inclement weather claimed another tree casualty in the Staines South Ward, this time in the walkthrough at the back of Thickthorne Lane.


    High winds saw a complete tree branch come down damaging the fencing of two nearby properties. Local Lib Dem Councillor Chris Bateson was soon on the case arranging for the offending tree branch to be removed. Sadly, further inspection of the tree revealed it had significant rot to the point that it was deemed too far gone to be saved. Due to this danger, Chris pressed the Authority responsible to take urgent action to remove it and replace the damaged fencing."

  • KPMG response (Spelthorne Lib Dems)
    Article: Oct 10, 2020

    We will monitor the issue and take action where necessary

    There has been comment in the media recently that some of the commercial property investments undertaken by Spelthorne Borough Council during 2017/18 may be unlawful.

    The articles do not present a balanced view of the situation and appear to be designed for journalistic impact rather than to assist in reaching a resolution.


    The articles indicate that sensitive letters have been leaked to journalists and these have been selectively used to create an impression negative to the Council. Liberal Democrat councillors deplore the leaking of any confidential documents.


    The situation has arisen from concerns raised by the Council's external auditors, KPMG, about the 2017/18 transactions and their obligations to produce a Value for Money statement. As part of their duties under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 KPMG have asked questions about aspects of the acquisitions. The issues are complex and involve areas of law and governmental guidance that are untested in court.


    A recent report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said "According to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) borrowing purely to invest for yield has traditionally been presumed to be unlawful". Spelthorne BC has legal advice that supports its view that its actions do comply with all relevant legislation and guidance.


    In May 2020 Liberal Democrat councillor Lawrence Nichols was elected as the first non-Conservative Chair of Spelthorne's Audit Committee. He was very concerned about the delays in finalising the accounts for 2017/18 and has worked with the Leader of the Council and officers to push KPMG for a resolution to this issue.


    Cllr Lawrence Nichols said "I want to see this issue resolved as quickly as possible. The inability to finalise the 2017/18 accounts is unsatisfactory and the inevitable negative speculation is not helpful. Although I am an opposition councillor, I have no interest in anything other than seeing KPMG give the commercial property investments a clean bill of health. Failure to do could plunge Spelthorne into a totally unnecessary financial crisis."


    Liberal Democrat councillors have concerns about how the Council got into this current situation and these which will need to be investigated after KPMG's issues have been resolved. We will monitor the issue, we will take action where necessary and provide residents with the accountability they deserve.


    Articles have been published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Surrey Live and The Times (behind paywall).


    Spelthorne Borough Council has issued a response which is available here.


    Have something to say on this subject or another? Here's your chance:

  • Surveying and pruning tress in Worple Road, Staines (Chris Bateson, Spelthorne Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Oct 7, 2020

    "I am delighted to have achieved this within a short space of time"

    An ongoing issue raised with Lib Dem Councillor Chris Bateson as a Local Ward Councillor for Staines South was the degree to which trees had overgrown, both sides of the road throughout the entire length of Worple Road. This made it acutely difficult for double-deck buses carrying in the main schoolchildren to traverse the route safely. It presented serious safety issues as well as resultant damage to the buses involved as they could not avoid coming into contact with the overhanging branches and foliage.

  • Single Unitary for Surrey not the answer - Spelthorne Lib Dems (Photo by Todd Trapani from Pexels)
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    this meeting shows the effectiveness of cross-party working

    All the Council Meeting motions can be seen at the end of the article or download them

    Spelthorne Liberal Democrats, furious with Surrey County Council's plans to abolish Borough Councils, replacing them with just one Unitary Authority for the whole of Surrey, have responded, highlighting Surrey's many current failings. We have led the drive for Spelthorne to be proactive, regarding setting out its future in Local Government. This was highlighted and debated at an Extraordinary Council meeting of Spelthorne Borough Council on 24 September. Spelthorne Lib Dem's formulated the shape of all four motions discussed. Each debated in turn was supported not only by us but unanimously by all Councillors present in the chamber. This was an important marker in cross-party working on this crucial issue.

  • All Liberal Democrat Councillors on Spelthorne Borough Council
    Article: Sep 18, 2020

    GETTING THINGS DONE - EVEN IN A PANDEMIC


    Many residents will be aware of the increase of Coronavirus cases in Spelthorne. We recognise our responsibility in this pandemic to be working together and avoiding a local spike and the implementation of any extra measures. In light of this, we wanted to share what work we as councillors have been doing in relation to Coronavirus:
  • Staines Mobile Mast Application Stopped - Spelthorne LibDems (Spelthorne Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Sep 14, 2020

    Fenton Avenue, Petersfield Road, Strodes Crescent and Kenilworth Garden residents affected

    Of serious concern to Residents living in the Fenton Avenue, Petersfield Road, Strodes Crescent and Kenilworth Gardens areas was a planning application submitted to erect a 20 metre high phone mast. This was to be situated slap bang in the middle of a condensed residential area at the junction of Fenton Ave and Petersfield Rd.

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