ePetition details

Bring Surrey Choices back into Surrey County Council

We the undersigned petition Surrey County Council to bring Surrey Choices back fully under local authority control and management. We oppose Surrey County Council’s proposed cuts to the budget of Surrey Choices. We believe that service users and staff would benefit from the service being brought back into the council, as opposed to being a private company that the council ‘owns’.

Surrey Choices is a “Local Authority Trading Company”, wholly owned by Surrey County Council, established by Surrey County Council in August 2014 when it was outsourced from local authority control..

Surrey Choices now has a contract with Surrey County Council to provide opportunities for adults, with learning and other disabilities, to access activities.

The original business case for outsourcing Surrey Choices was that it would save Surrey County Council money and improve outcomes for service users. Since Surrey Choices was created, the budget has been repeatedly and substantially cut.

Surrey Choices is currently facing significant budget cuts, while trying to transform the way care is delivered in the county, at the same time.

Budget cuts are having a significant impact on the service provision from Surrey Choices, for adults with disabilities in Surrey.

Staff who work for Surrey Choices earn less and receive fewer benefits than colleagues in Surrey County Council, for work of equal value. The lowest paid staff in Surrey Choices receive just the minimum wage. No staff directly employed by the council receive this low rate.

We want the opportunity to put questions to Surrey County Council.

Some examples of questions we want to ask are:

How can Surrey Choices be expected to transform the way care is delivered, while dealing with significant budget cuts at the same time?

Why are low wages, with no enhancements and longer working hours, appropriate for Surrey Choices staff, but not for staff who are employed directly by Surrey County Council?

Why are Surrey County Council seeking to benefit from a chronically underfunded system, by paying the absolute bare minimum, rather than setting the standard for pay and conditions in adult social care in the private sector in Surrey?

We feel staff, service users and carers and families are being let down by the current situation.

We feel everyone would be better off – service users and staff - if Surrey Choices was brought back into Surrey County Council ownership, control and management.

Started by: Barney Wakefield (Surrey UNISON)

This ePetition ran from 24/01/2022 to 06/05/2022 and has now finished.

109 people signed this ePetition.