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University Report Sets Out What is Needed for Surrey’s Post-Covid Recovery

Published on: 13 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2020

By Martin Giles

A report entitled, “Charting Surrey’s Post-Covid Rescue, recovery and Growth” was launched last night in an online meeting of 150 of the county’s movers and shakers.

Commissioned by Surrey County Council in conjunction with former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, as Chairman of the Future Economy Surrey Commission, it examines what Surrey needs to do to maintain its economic prosperity following the pandemic and any changes Brexit might bring.

The report was put together by Professor Amelia Hadfield, head of Politics at the University of Surrey. (See her interview with Dragon editor Martin Giles below…)

Cllr Tim Oliver

Leader of Surrey County Council Tim Oliver, says in the report: “We face an extraordinarily critical, complex, and uncertain time and need to make decisions and act in ways that will address these challenges both now and for the longer term.

And today he added: “The County Council has four, clear strategic priorities: tackling health inequalities, empowering communities, a greener future and growing a sustainable economy, from which everyone can benefit.

“This research forms an impressive foundation from which to deliver our ambitions. I look forward to working with our partners, to drive forward tangible action to ensure Surrey’s position as an economic leader is maintained and that residents affected by the pandemic are supported.”

Angela Richardson MP

Welcoming the report, Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson said it, “…highlights the wide focus being given to the importance of Surrey and how stakeholders view our strengths and challenges. Surrey is in a good place, however, important not to rest on our laurels but to continue to identify areas of growth and investment opportunities.

The policy recommendations are ones that Surrey MPs can look at together and identify what can be successfully taken forward.

Cllr John Redpath

John Redpath, lead councillor for Economy at GBC, also welcomed the report and thanked the university.

He said: ” The cross-section and thoroughness of stakeholder contributions makes the report a useful tool to guide us through the rough economic times ahead.  It also echoes how lucky we are to have the University of Surrey in our midst and taking an active role in helping all sectors of Surrey’s economy in such a positive way.”

Cllr Ramsey Nagaty

And Ramsey Nagaty, leader of the Guildford Greenbelt Group, emphasised his view that a desire for growth should not be at the expense of Surrey’s countryside: “The report by Professor Amelia Hadfield is to be commended. It is an important read and reference for anyone interested in Surrey and the recovery and growth hoped for post-Covid-19.

“It is important to recognise the key elements that make Surrey a favoured place to live and work. The desire for growth emphasised in this report should not destroy the beautiful countryside that is such an asset for Surrey.

“We need to assist existing businesses to stay and grow, good new businesses to be attracted to Surrey, the right new homes in the right places and better infrastructure and greener energy and transport.”

The Charting Surrey’s Post-Covid Rescue, recovery and Growth report can be seen here.

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