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Letter: A Unitary Authority for Surrey Could Lead To An Independent County Council

Published on: 10 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 10 Jul, 2020

From Caroline Perkins

In response to: Surrey County Council Faces Battle in Bid to Scrap Borough and District Councils

Fantastic, a breath of sensible air at last. This will set the perfect environment for independent groups in Tandridge, Waverley, Epsom & Ewell and R4GV in Guildford etcetera to sort out the huge and urgent issues at Surrey County Council that are simply not being addressed.

It must be difficult for smaller parties to have to first found, and then run candidates at both borough and county level, as I see it this plan will mean they stand in just one election, a far more practical and sensible approach.

With a unitary, we could easily have an Independent council at County Hall.

Correcting the unhealthy 58/23 Conservative majority at the county council can only be a good thing.

Good plan. Someone has engaged their brain.

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test 5 Responses to Letter: A Unitary Authority for Surrey Could Lead To An Independent County Council

  1. Ian Sams Reply

    July 10, 2020 at 9:03 am

    The main reason for the reduction in Conservatives at the last borough elections was the national picture over Brexit.

    After the pandemic crisis the need will be for a business led recovery to provide new jobs for old and generate taxes to fund the NHS etc. A reversion to the party that supports business as a means to this end will be required not a disparate mix of well meaning, good intentioned individuals.

    I think the Independents should enjoy their moment because it’s not going to last.

    • John Perkins Reply

      July 10, 2020 at 10:31 am

      It might be that part of the reason for the collapse in Conservative support at the last borough elections was due to Brexit, but given the benefit they enjoyed nationally of returning UKIP voters it’s very unlikely to be the main reason.

      Anybody following the sometimes heated debate over development in Guildford, and in other boroughs throughout the country, are more likely to think in terms of planning.

      A recovery funded by vast centralised spending and biased in favour of developers should not be described as “business-led”. Moreover, it’s only necessary because of decisions taken by the Conservative government which have caused the recession in the first place. Those whose “old” jobs will be lost are not likely to favour the party that lost them.

      I think it’s the Conservatives who should be enjoying their moment.

      Surely “a disparate mix of well-meaning, good-intentioned individuals” is the essence of democracy, whereas a “party that supports business” is by definition autocratic.

  2. David Hirundo Reply

    July 10, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Surrey County Council is a failing organisation, rated inadequate by OFSTED, chronically indebted, remote from its residents and with no discernible sense of community identity.

    Does this sound like the basis for a new county unitary authority?

    Three unitary councils in Surrey is about right.

  3. Robert Shatwell Reply

    July 11, 2020 at 8:37 am

    The Conservatives have had their day. They have destroyed the confidence in the residents by ignoring what those residents tell them. They are arrogant in their attitude and they have been wasting money by not properly assessing costs of new developments. The Conservatives are “always right” and when they’re not they’re “never wrong”.

    Independent councillors don’t have to follow party doctrine and can listen to and respond to the residents.

    Party politics are dead, in my view.

  4. A Dee Reply

    July 19, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Surrey is way too big to be a single Unitary Authority. Better to create unitaries from the existing boroughs and districts, some of which could merge, if local people wanted that.

    Also, this may correct the error of placing Spelthorne in Surrey, when it should be in London.

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