The atmosphere is said to be "TOXIC" amongst Surrey council Tories
Following the publication of the list of candidates for this year's Surrey County Council elections, it has emerged that 25 out of 56 Conservative county councillors are stepping down - a dropout rate of 45%.
The decision of so many Tory county councillors to leave office comes less than a year after the County Council was heavily criticised for wasting £250,000 on a failed bid to become a unitary authority by abolishing Surrey's borough and district councils. The County Council is widely regarded as an out-of-touch authority, which cannot get the basic services like repairing local roads and pavements right.
I'm offering a fresh approach to policing and crime in Surrey - based on my extensive professional and community leadership experience, and my commitment as a Liberal Democrat to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, upheld by the rule of law.
Surrey Council and contractor Suez in court over £42m fiasco
The Surrey County Council Lib Dem Group have called for a review into the Council's failed attempt to build an 'Eco Park' to process much of Surrey's household waste after it was revealed that the Council is in legal proceedings with the builder of the facility.
At the Full Council meeting in March, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change announced that after "exhausting other options available, we have now entered legal proceedings with Suez to resolve our issues. We hope to bring this to a swift conclusion to allow us to move forward with the Eco park and resolve the matter."
The County Council's Eco Park has been beset with problems since it was announced in 2009. The Eco Park was meant to treat waste with an anaerobic digestion plant and gasification facility. However, despite getting planning permission in 2012, it has never opened.
In a question to today's Cabinet meeting Lib Dem Group Leader, Chris Botten, asked for an external audit report into the Eco Park saga.
Councillor Chris Botten said, "Last year, the Council removed the £42 million 'asset' that is meant to be the Eco Park from its list of assets, so I am sadly not surprised by the news that the Council and Suez are in court. Once this court case is finished, the Council needs to call in external and independent audits to establish why the Eco Park has gone so wrong."
"The Council was due to receive £63 million from the Government as a Waste Infrastructure Grant, this funding is clearly now at risk as a result of this mess."
The Lib Dems and I always had grave concerns about the Eco Park plans. Residents in Spelthorne have been suffering for years due to this project in terms of increased air pollution and noise, traffic congestion and from having to live in the shadow of 'Surrey's biggest eyesore", however, all Surrey's residents may now need to pay the price for the Conservative Council's failures."
In responding to Chris Botten's question the Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate change said "In line with the Cabinet report providing an update on the Eco Park contract in November 2020, a wider review of the contract has been undertaken with the Council's legal and financial advisers specifically in response to the delays experienced in the delivery of facilities by the contractor, which has resulted in the legal process now underway. However, once this legal process is complete, I can confirm that we will be reviewing the contract and the lessons learned."
Lib Dems have lobbied to make sure improvements are incorporated
Local Lib Dems have been pushing hard to get the necessary repairs and improvements to the Sunbury swimming pool completed as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it looks like the pool will not re-open until July 2021. This means that whilst Sunbury Leisure Centre will be open for use of the gym and sports hall facility in line with the Government roadmap, the swimming pool will not.
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Individuals are encouraged to respond before 21st March 2021 when we expect the decision to be made. To add your objection email email@example.com with the subject SCC Ref 2019/0147
Spelthorne Liberal Democrats are encouraging residents to support Spelthorne Borough Council's objection to the extension of opening hours to the 'Eco Park' for HGVs. Having sought clarity with Spelthorne Officers, Spelthorne had raised its objection when the original consultation came forward, a copy of which can be found here. A decision on the matter is due this month and therefore we want to encourage as many residents to respond as possible.
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