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

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."

'No link' between tunnel closure and crashes

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Hindhead Tunnel
BBC
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.

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.

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.

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.

Conservative councillor defects to Brexit Party

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Mike Bennison
LDRS

A long-standing Conservative councillor in Elmbridge has defected to the Brexit Party.

Mike Bennison, who represents Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott on Surrey County Council, said he would continue to serve his constituents to the “high standard” he feels he has shown. He becomes the county’s first Brexit Party councillor.

He said he had no choice but to leave the Conservative Party after he was told he would not be re-selected for the next local elections.

Mr Bennison, who has been a councillor for 20 years, also represents Cobham and Downside on Elmbridge Borough Council.

He said he was “absolutely dumbfounded” when he was told he had been turned down to represent the Tories in the borough elections next year and county elections in 2021.