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Letter: Aren’t There Higher Priorities for SCC Funding Than These Road Works

Published on: 1 Dec, 2022
Updated on: 1 Dec, 2022

From: Anthony Mallard

See also: Timespan of Criticised County Council Cycle Lane Scheme Reduced

This letter was submitted before SCC announced the work would be completed by May 31.

Am I alone in thinking Surrey County Council has lost its moral compass?  I have recently received a notification that Surrey County Highways intends to undertake road works in Burpham, closing the northbound London Road. The work includes:-

  • Installing one-way segregated cycle paths on both sides of London Road.
  • Upgrading the existing roundabouts to provide safer crossings for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • New crossing points
  • Improvements to existing junctions.
  • Upgrading bus stops.

It also plans to undertake night works in London Road, Woodruff Avenue, Weylea Avenue, Burpham Lane and New Inn Lane.

These road works must be going to cost millions.

However, my mind strays to the fact that the County Social Services department tells the residents that it hasn’t enough money or resources to provide discharge packages for those individuals who are clinically fit to be discharged from hospital.

This results in blocked beds, up to 25 per cent of the bed capacity of the local hospital, with the knock-on effect of long waits in Accident & Emergency, ambulances delayed because they are unable to hand over patients and delayed elective admissions, etc.

The criteria for packages of care for the elderly to enable them to remain in their own homes are forever being raised by way of rationing and, like hospital discharge packages and staff resources, again we are told it’s due to underfunding.

Community services for the mentally ill and children’s services too are severely underfunded as are school budgets.

There are many similar examples and I could go on but I am sure readers understand my point.

The road works I have illustrated are laudable when money is readily available but when all we hear from the county council is that their budget is limited and they can’t do this or that because of lack of funds, why are these road works a priority over care for the disabled and elderly, children and other, certainly more needed, services for the people of Surrey?

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Responses to Letter: Aren’t There Higher Priorities for SCC Funding Than These Road Works

  1. Paul Robinson Reply

    December 2, 2022 at 11:18 am

    The answer to this is simple – departmental budgets.

    I saw similar events with my last employer.

    Although SCC is one ‘company’ each department’s budget is sacrosanct and cannot be transferred to others. Basically it is – use your budget or lose it, and lose the underspend from next year’s budget.

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