Agenda item


The Leader to make a statement.


There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions and/or make comments.



The Leader made a detailed statement. A copy of the statement is attached as Appendix A.


Members raised the following topics:


·         Noted highways as an area of concern which affected all residents and on which Members received a large volume of correspondence; further noted concern that Members were not consulted upon regarding the major changes proposed in the Highways Service noting concern in the loss of local knowledge in the Highways team and the lack of information provided by the Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure.

·         Highlighted Your Fund Surrey as an area of concern, that proper governance was critical noting that the rules setting out the detail on the spend of the £100 million had been delayed and queried when the change in the Advisory Panel making the final decision on shortlisted applications was made.  

·         Noted supported living units as an area of concern, ensuring value for money was vital; further noted Cabinet’s recent approval for a feasibility costs for four sites of which £1 million of the £1.9 million feasibility costs was for demolition and queried why no formal valuation report was taken to Cabinet on the £16 million purchase of the Dakota building in Brooklands.

·         That as a ‘critical friend’ it was right to highlight the above issues of concern to the Council’s current Conservative Party administration recognising the balance with Covid-19 recovery and looking out for the disadvantaged.

·         That with the upcoming lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, questioned whether the Leader would encourage residents to continue to wear face masks in the absence of legal requirements.

·         Welcomed the Leader’s mention of the recent Ofsted visit and full inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services of Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, hoping that the relevant select committees would review the reports.

·         Disagreed that the public would struggle to meet the Council’s climate change commitments as many members of the public were urging local and national authorities to tackle the climate emergency; offered cross-party support to meet that commitment and hoped that the ambitions set out in the updated Surrey Transport Plan - LTP4 would be followed up with action and funding.

·         Noted that Covid-19 showed the need to get ahead of the curve, crucial with the upcoming lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on 19 July as infection rates and hospital admissions increase; asked the Council to lobby the Government to ensure that the vulnerable were protected.

·         That early intervention was in health was vital by reversing the Council’s underfunding of public health querying what plans there were to support those with long Covid-19 and the wider mental health needs in Surrey.

·         Queried how the Leader’s call to encourage more residents to ‘join up and join in’ applied to children’s early intervention, supporting families and the provision of universal youth support.

·         Asked how the social care system would be transformed from an early intervention approach, addressing the systemic underfunding of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

·         On early intervention regarding roads, asked whether the Leader had approached the Department for Transport for funding as Surrey had received a £400 million cut for local road maintenance; Government funding was needed to realise the Surrey Transport Plan - LTP4 focusing on road safety and sustainability measures not at the expense of Government funding on international road expansion and house building on Surrey’s green belt.

·         Asked whether the Leader would call on the Government to reduce handouts for incineration, early intervention on waste was crucial in order to boost plans to eliminate single-use plastics in Surrey and to reuse and recycle ensuring a green economy.

·         That earlier intervention on climate change was critical, going further than reversing earlier cuts to building maintenance towards retrofitting schools, buildings and transport networks.

·         Early intervention and the reversal of funding for late intervention was vital, asked the Leader to reset the approach to fairer funding for Surrey by lobbying for sufficient long-term sustainable funding for all councils.

·         On the Surrey Transport Plan - LTP4, welcomed the Leader’s commitment to increase bus services and asked whether that meant a reversal in cuts in routes and timetables over the past decade and an improvement in transport links across Surrey going forward.

·         Referred to a previous original motion adopted by the Council which stated that Surrey would not approve any further expansion of Heathrow Airport until there was a firm commitment to ensuring adequate train links to Surrey and asked whether the Leader would reiterate his commitment to a train route improving transport links between Heathrow Airport and Surrey.

·         Noted that many members of staff found the journey to Woodhatch Place, Reigate longer than their previous route to County Hall, Kingston; asked whether the Leader would put in place a policy to encourage car sharing or a method to facilitate easier access to and from Reigate train station.


Supporting documents: