Surrey County Council

Election 2017 Results

CON HOLD
Party Seats 2013 Seats 2017 Change

PartyConservative

Seats 201358 Seats 201760 Change+2

PartyLiberal Democrat

Seats 20139 Seats 20179 Change-

PartyResidents' Association

Seats 20138 Seats 20178 Change-

PartyIndependent

Seats 20131 Seats 20172 Change+1

PartyGreen

Seats 20131 Seats 20171 Change-

PartyLabour

Seats 20131 Seats 20171 Change-

PartyUKIP

Seats 20133 Seats 2017- Change−3
Change compared with

Latest Updates

  1. Council poised to end RideLondon-Surrey cycle race support

    RideLondon-Surrey cycle race

    Surrey County Council is set to end its support of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey cycling event after 2021.

    The council's cabinet will decide on 27 October the future of its association with the event, with a report recommending the authority should focus on smaller, community-led events that encourage a greater variety of participants whilst minimising disruption for residents.

    During a public consultation earlier this year residents expressed concerns about the level of disruption the event caused to Surrey communities.

    This year’s RideLondon-Surrey event was cancelled due to coronavirus, and organisers have scaled down the May 2021 event, with no 100-mile sportive event or men’s UCI World Tour race. The event is only set to pass through Surrey for around four miles.

  2. Surrey County Council to move back to Surrey

    Julie Armstrong

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Surrey County Council’s (SCC) headquarters are set to be back in the county boundaries next year for the first time in more than half a century.

    The authority voted to officially designate the former Canon building at Cockshot Hill, Reigate, as their new “civic heart” from 1 January 2021.

    SCC has been based at County Hall in Kingston since it was built in 1893, even though Kingston was transferred from Surrey to Greater London in 1965.

    Some councillors raised concerns about how accessible the Woodhatch building would be.

    It is about a 20-minute walk from Reigate town centre, with Woking county councillor Will Forster saying: “After declaring a climate emergency, and complaining about Surrey’s roads being congested, the council cannot move to Woodhatch knowing that that move would encourage people to use their cars, sometimes for lengthy journeys across Surrey.”

    But Residents’ Association and Independent councillor Ernest Mallett, who represents West Molesey, accused councillors of “making a mountain out of a molehill”.

    He said: “Transport is not rocket science, anyone can arrange a shuttle service quite easily. This is really blowing up something that doesn’t exist.

    “We’ll never get anything done if we concentrate on this sort of detail.”

    The council is also considering another three workspace hubs for council workers around the county.

  3. Rise in Covid cases across parts of Surrey

    The orange denotes areas where local concerns have been raised on Covid-19 cases
    Image caption: The orange denotes areas where local concerns have been raised on Covid-19 cases

    Parts of Surrey are seeing a rise in the number of Covid cases, a council has warned.

    A statement from Surrey County Council confirmed cases of coronavirus in Guildford had risen, as well as in Elmbridge, Woking, Waverley, Runnymede and Spelthorne.

    Surrey Local Resilience Forum said residents should remain vigilant to slow any spread of the virus.

    Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s director of public health, said: “Rates of coronavirus infections are rising fast across the country and Surrey is no exception.

    “We’re at a crucial point and now is the time to do everything you can to limit the spread of the virus.

    "It has been a really tough year for all of us, and I know people are starting to feel ‘Covid fatigue’. But things are changing quickly and we need to get our infection rates back down.”

  4. Council shake-up plans dubbed "waste of money"

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money has been spent on unitary authority plans that now look doubtful to get government support.

    Surrey County Council (SCC) spent nearly £250,000 after the government said in July it was keen on a unitarisation agenda in England.

    The 11 boroughs and districts also approved a combined £300,000 budget for consultancy fees to research an alternative proposal of their own, of multiple unitaries rather than one “monster authority” as the Liberal Democrats refer to it.

    They have already spent some, but not all, of this budget. Now it appears the government has done a U-turn.

    Surrey and Woking councillor Will Forster said: “What a waste of money this has been not only for the county council but also for Surrey’s borough and district councils, whose much smaller budgets are already stretched to the limit having to deliver extra services during the pandemic.

    “They didn’t even have a response yet from the government – which I think is awful with Surrey being a big economic powerhouse."

    SCC leader Tim Oliver said the work done had been highly valuable, whether or not any reorganisation takes place in the future.

    He said: “The money spent on research looking at more effective community engagement and the structure of local government in Surrey will be essential to our future work – particularly on local community networks – regardless of any reorganisation.

    “It has provided valuable insight into upcoming challenges across Surrey and provided useful feedback from residents, which was mostly positive.”

  5. Council pledges cut to specialist school journey times

    Julie Armstrong

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Surrey Council

    Surrey County Council has committed to investing in 213 additional specialist school places to save children having to make excessively long journeys to outside of the county.

    At the moment the council is spending £41m a year on travel for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to get to school.

    Due to a current shortage of appropriate places in state schools, SCC also spends in excess of £63m each year placing 1,200 young people in the independent sector.

    The average cost of a placement there is £53,000, whereas a state school placement costs about £16,000.

    More than half (54%) of those in independent settings have to be placed outside of Surrey.

    Councillor Julie Iles, cabinet member for all-age learning, said: “It will ensure that our children and young people with special educational needs and Education, Health and Care Plans are educated in the most appropriate settings and, very importantly, closer to home.

    “Increasing the range of options within the county will help young people to fulfill their potential while continuing to play an active role in their local communities.

    “It is fundamental to decreasing the journey time when children have to travel a long way to go to out of county settings, and bringing the resulting transport budget to a sustainable level, not to mention the benefits to our greener future agenda.”

  6. Petition aims to resist Surrey council mergers

    Julie Armstrong

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Campaigner Christopher Barrass
    Image caption: Campaigner Christopher Barrass has questioned whether the changes are worthwhile

    A group of residents and councillors are attempting to resist the biggest shake-up of local government in Surrey in 50 years.

    Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary (RASSU) has gathered more than 2,000 signatures on a petition against the merger of Surrey’s 12 councils into one.

    Campaigners view the one-size-fits-all model proposed by Surrey County Council as a response to the rising popularity of independent residents’ groups.

    'Better local engagement'

    Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver says reducing the number of councils is needed to save money and simplify the system.

    RASSU campaigner Christopher Barrass said: “They talk about saving £30m a year but that equates to about £28 per person – is it really worth it for such a massive change?”

    But Mr Oliver said: “This is government policy, not something Surrey County Council has come up with.

    "I thought residents’ associations would be enthusiastic about this proposal where there’s a clear understanding of the need for putting in place better local engagement."

    The plan is expected to be put to a vote at the 13 October council meeting but RASSU wants to force a debate at a council meeting on 29 September.

  7. Tattooists and nail bars asked to donate PPE

    Surrey County Council has appealed to businesses to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to help protect frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The council said there is a "very limited supply" coming into the county for social workers, care home staff, firefighters and volunteers.

    A council spokesman said: "Businesses such as tattoo artists, beauty salons, nail bars and others using these products daily can help by offering stocks while they are closed."

    Donations can be made by contacting ppe.donations@surreycc.gov.uk and delivery and collection can be arranged, the council said.

  8. Council defends car park closures

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    A council has defended its decision to close car parks at open spaces in the countryside due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Surrey County Council closed all car parks in places like commons and heaths on 23 March.

    Responding to criticism of the decision on social media, a council spokesman said the decision was taken to meet government advice after large crowds gathered on 21 March. “While people can still visit the countryside, we would advise residents who are going out for their daily exercise to visit quiet locations close to their homes and not travel,” the spokesman added.

  9. Fire service union suspends Surrey action

    A Fire Engine

    The Fire Brigades Union has temporarily suspended its industrial action in Surrey during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The union launched six months of action in December, including an overtime ban and a refusal to “work up” to more senior roles.

    The union said it had now reached a "landmark agreement" with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and fire service employers on how to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

    If agreed locally, it said firefighters would be able to drive ambulances, deliver food and medicines to vulnerable people, and retrieve the deceased.

    Jay Devey, FBU brigade secretary, said: "For now it is essential that we all pull together and do our bit to beat this crisis."

    But Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, added: "When we eventually see through this crisis, we hope they will remember the value of properly resourced services and bring an end to a decade of dangerous cuts.”

  10. Faith groups to use empty youth centres

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Youth centres which have remained closed due to a lack of funding are to be offered up to faith groups and charities to use.

    Surrey County Council owns and manages the empty buildings at a cost of about £900,000. Over the last 10 years the number of youth clubs has dwindled.

    Mary Lewis, lead cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “We have 35 buildings which we know are not being used fully.

    "It’s about making use of our assets and the experts in the voluntary and faith sector so it brings these buildings alive again."

  11. 'No link' between tunnel closure and crashes

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Hindhead Tunnel
    Image caption: The tunnel under the Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey opened in 2011

    There is no link between a tunnel closure and lorries hitting a bridge on a diversion, according to figures collected by Highways England.

    Data shows that since the Hindhead Tunnel under the Devil's Punch Bowl in Surrey opened in 2011, a railway bridge in Farnham has been struck by HGVs 39 times.

    But when dates of it being hit were compared to the dates the tunnel was closed, it was found that although some matched, the diversion routes had not been activated.

    The data was presented to Surrey councillors on Friday.

    Matthew Salt, service delivery manager for Highways England, said: “No identifiable strike occurred on the diversion route when the tunnel was closed.”

    This came as a surprise to county councillor Wyatt Ramsdale, who said he was “utterly convinced” of a link.

    And in a written question, the meeting heard of a “nightmare traffic scenario”.

    Councillor Peter Clark, Wrecclesham ward member for Waverley, said signs warning lorry drivers to turn back were “too late”.

    He wrote: “This results in complete traffic chaos, danger to pedestrians, broken-up pavements and damage to private property."

    Councillors will now meet to discuss the problem again.

  12. New school places for children with special needs

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    More than 880 school places for children with special needs are to be created in Surrey by 2023, Surrey County Council has said.

    The authority said it aimed to reduce travel time by placing children in schools closer to home.

    It currently provides about 3,000 places in special schools and dedicated units within mainstream schools.

    Some 12 per cent of 8,732 children in Surrey with Special Education Needs and Disabilities currently attend special schools which charge fees, costing the council £49m last year.

  13. Report released on impact of Brexit

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    Vulnerable adults who rely on the support of care workers could be affected if Britain leaves the EU on 31 October, Surrey councillors have been told.

    Staff shortages and tracking illegal goods through trading standards are among the problems Brexit could create for Surrey County Council according to a report.

    The council has been given £87,500 from a £20m pot from central government to aid Brexit preparations.

  14. Residents parking permit price hike

    Rebecca Curley

    Local Democracy Reporter

    The cost of resident parking permits could rise by 60%, Surrey councillors have been told.

    A report into the parking strategy was presented at the county council's communities, environment and transport meeting.

    The cost of the first permit for households in Surrey could increase from £50 to £80.

    Second permits will increase from £75 to £100 with a third one costing £130 in a bid to deter multiple applications per household.

    But it provoked opposition from some who said there needed to be more work on enforcing penalties for anti-social parking such as cars parking on pavements.

    Visitor permits could also change from £2 a day to £1 for two hours and all-day permits for £3.

    The changes will go out for public consultation and then considered by cabinet early next year before being implemented.

    There are no changes planned for carer and medical permits or for business permits.