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Recent updates

  • Airplane
    Article: Mar 6, 2019

    Surrey Liberal Democrats remain opposed to the third runway at Heathrow, and whilst we appreciate this consultation is about changing the airspace, it is clear that not all of the proposals being consulted on are intended for the existence of only two runways. Therefore, we feel it poignant to reiterate our opposition to the expansion of Heathrow at this point, before establishing our position on the specific consultation issues. The need for further airport expansion is clear from increased efforts to open up global mobility, however, we feel expansion would be better utilised somewhere other than the South East of England which is already plagued by numerous airports. The South East of England will not be able to cope with the expansion of Heathrow as there is a serious lack of infrastructure to cope with all the consequences a bigger airport will cause. The investment into expansion and thus infrastructure would be better spent elsewhere in the country, and could be used to spread the economic opportunity to the North of England, where it is so desperately needed.

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Mar 6, 2019

    Much of the depth of Surrey's financial crisis can be tracked back to the chaotic introduction of computer systems which an audit has revealed, among other things:

    • The audit team were "unable to find the business case or any supporting paperwork for the Cabinet Member decision to purchase" [the IT system in question]
    • The system is not fully utilised which shows an "inefficient use of public money to purchase and pay annual costs for a system that is not fully implemented"
    • The improper use of the system "frequently results in parents arranging private support, followed by judicial review in the parents' favour. This in turn leads to increased costs of provision for the council"
    • There have been instances of the Council paying a foster carer, or a school, for a child that is no longer being seen to by that specific service.

  • Article: Mar 1, 2019

    The latest edition of the Staines South Focus is hitting the streets now and includes articles on:

    • Staines Park update
    • Future of Buckland children's centre
    • Local crime concerns
    • Good neighbours scheme
    • Local Lib Dem agenda for Staines South

    Link to Staines South Focus

  • Article: Feb 22, 2019

    The latest edition of the Halliford and Sunbury Focus is hitting the streets now and includes articles on:

    • Campaign to ensure local footpaths are protected
    • Update on revised plans for Watersplash Farm
    • River Thames task group

    Link to Sunbury and Halliford Focus

  • Article: Feb 11, 2019

    Amid increasing uncertainty surrounding Britain's place in the European Union (EU), Surrey County Council has agreed a request made by Surrey Lib Dems to help its EU staff and children in care apply for 'settled status' post-Brexit.

    Earlier this year, the Government announced that EU nationals would have to apply and pay for settled status post-Brexit, though they have recently waived the application fees. This 'pay to stay' process has been widely criticised as being too complicated and making Europeans feel unwelcome in the UK.

  • Full Council
    Article: Feb 11, 2019

    Speech delivered by the Leader of Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group, Chris Botten, delivered at the Full Council Meeting on 5th February 2019.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, I am setting out this morning the reasons why I and my group will be voting against the budget papers as presented to us; we understand the extreme difficulties the council faces in producing a balanced budget, but we believe some core principles have been elided and some significant failures to address important issues are manifest.

  • County Hall
    Article: Feb 4, 2019

    At Surrey County Council's Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Cabinet members approved plans to shut 31 of Surrey's 58 children centres. Liberal Democrat County Councillors spoke out at the meeting against the closures, believing the proposals were not in the best interests of the residents of Surrey and the current users of the centres.

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Jan 28, 2019

    Cabinet papers* released yesterday by Surrey County Council reveal the outcomes of recent consultations carried out in relation to a number of essential services provided by the Council. The public consultations were based on a set of proposals for five service areas:
    • Children's centres
    • Community recycling centres
    • Concessionary bus travel
    • Libraries and culture
    • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
    The consultation delivered over 28,000 responses from across the county, yet seem to have been somewhat overlooked in the recommendations to the Cabinet.

  • Will Forster Headshot
    Article: Jan 18, 2019

    Lib Dem County Councillor Will Forster has today called on Surrey County Council to support European Union (EU) nationals living locally from the damaging effects of Brexit.

    Before Christmas, the Government announced that EU citizens would have to apply and pay for 'settled status' post-Brexit, causing fears that some European workers will leave the UK post Brexit. Surrey County Council, like other local authorities, relies on EU nationals to fill key jobs especially in the social care sector.

  • Article: Jan 2, 2019
    By Greg Foster

    As we enter 2019, time is ticking down on Brexit, and with it the whole future of the country.

    The history books will look back on these coming three months as critical.
    It is almost unbelievable that Parliament is waiting a further week to return!

    After two long years of negotiation, the Prime Minister has brought back a Brexit deal that satisfies no-one. Her reaction is to try to scare people with the prospect of a 'No Deal' Brexit. In reality, that can't happen unless she decides it should.

    So the only way forward - now - for the country and the Prime Minister is for the public to have the final say, and the option to Remain.

    It's a campaign we Liberal Democrats started more than two years ago. Now millions of people have joined us in demanding a better future than Brexit Britain has to offer.

    And the power of the millions who have signed petitions, lobbied their MP, or marched on Parliament - 700,000 of them just this year - is beginning to bear fruit. A People's Vote has moved from being a possibility to being a probability.

    But only if we keep the pressure up. If we succeed, 2019 will be a year remembered not because we harmed our country with Brexit, but because we - the people - stood up and stopped it.

    And if we do that, our Parliament and Government can once again deal with big issues like climate change, rising crime, the social care crisis, homelessness and housing supply, all of which have been neglected because of Brexit.

    Enjoy your New Year celebrations and then let's get out there in 2019 and win the fight for a People's Vote and a brighter future for Britain.

The Liberal Democrat Plan for Britain in Europe

What the EU is good for

Brexit - LD statementLib Dems want a further referendum on BREXIT terms


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