Agenda item


Despite making significant savings in previous years, the County Council needs to make further savings of £85m in the next year.  To achieve this and continue to provide services to residents some changes will need to be made.  On 30 October 2018, the County Council launched a series of consultations on five service areas to shape those services for the future: children’s centres; concessionary bus fares; special educational needs and disability (SEND); libraries and cultural services; community recycling centres.


The Local Committee is invited to consider and discuss the proposed service changes as they relate to the Waverley local area.



Declarations of Interest: None


Officers in attendance: Mary Burguieres, SCC Assistant Director, Systems and Transformation.  Richard Parkinson, SCC Waste Operations Group Manager.


Petitions, Public Questions/Statements: None.


Member discussion key points:


Discussion covered the five service areas being considered in the public consultations.  Officers provided context and members asked questions.  The Chairman requested that the officers take questions grouped by service area.

Officers stressed that this was a public consultation and that nothing had been decided yet.


·         Children’s Centres
Members felt that children’s centres are successful in Waverley and are well used.  Closing some centres would mean there would not be enough centres for Waverley’s population and some residents would not be able to access and benefit from the service.  Peer and staff support available in centres would be lost.  Centres offer help and advice on a range of issues, for example substance abuse and mental health.  Links with SCC’s health and wellbeing strategy should be ensured.
The officer stated that centres are failing the most vulnerable children and this needs to be addressed.  The Children’s Centres model has been re-shaped in other areas and this now needs to happen in Surrey.  More outreach needs to be considered rather than children travelling to a specific centre.  All partners will have a role in signposting.  Staff in centres are being consulted to help design the future model.
The officer said that feedback and comments in letters from town and parish councils would be really valuable.

·         Concessionary bus fares
Some changes are sensible but not all is being made clear.  There is concern regarding carers being able to accompany a disabled person.

·         Libraries and cultural services
The officer stated that the library strategy is based around lifelong learning - early literacy and learning throughout life.  There will be further consultation as this is only the start of the process.  There are over 21,000 hours per year in Surrey library volunteer time and 700 volunteers.  There is a lot of support for multi-use libraries; for example, CAB is working closely with Jobcentre Plus with universal credit and getting people back into work, using libraries.  Members highlighted that village libraries act as a hub for surrounding villages and want assurances that population growth, land development and an ageing population is being considered.  Also raised was that diversification is important but not at the cost of access to culture, books, film and poetry for all ages upwards from the very young.

·         Special educational needs and disability (SEND)
A member said that he knows of a resident who is part of a High Court challenge.  The officer stated that SCC has to do things differently as children in Surrey with SEND do less well than children in other areas and this cannot continue.  SCC wants to invest money in early prevention.  Specialist, planned provision is needed in Surrey so that children do not have to be sent to areas far from home.  Members commented that school funding needs to be considered to enable this to happen.

·         Community Recycling Centres (CRCs)
There was much discussion as two of Waverley’s CRCs are included in the consultation – Cranleigh and Farnham.  There is concern regarding extra traffic on roads leading to other CRCs, using neighbouring counties’ CRCs at present which will be not be possible for much longer, poorly maintained and managed CRCs, an increase in fly tipping, investment required in CRCs and residents not able to use a local CRC near to their homes, despite living in a heavily populated area.  Members are encouraging residents to respond to the consultation so that the depth of feeling is understood and formally recorded.
The officer stated that all avenues have been explored and that SCC would like to invest but this is not possible financially.  The tonnage of waste collected is less so this indicates that use of CRCs is dropping, but a direct relationship with an increase in fly tipping has not been found.  All consultation responses will be considered.



Cllr Maurice Byham left the meeting during this item at around 12 o’clock.


Cllr James Edwards left the meeting during this item at 12.27pm.


Cllr Carol Cockburn left the meeting at the end of this item at 12.30pm.





Supporting documents: