Fringe Box



Letter: What Price Local Democracy?

Published on: 28 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 4 Sep, 2020

From: Mrs Jenny Grove

A report today (August 28) said that abolishing 213 smaller councils in England and replacing them with 25 new local authorities could save almost £3bn over five years and Surrey County Council is mentioned as one of the authorities making plans.

£3bn is not a lot when we think of the figures that we regularly hear these days regarding Government borrowing, and it really is not a lot in terms of financial benefit to the people of this country against what we are losing in terms of local democracy.

£3bn over 5 years is £600m per annum nationally or £24m for each of the new 25 councils per year.  There are 1.2 million people in Surrey so the benefit is £20 per head per year. £20 per head per year, decreasing with inflation, is a pretty paltry sum of money to be selling our local democracy for.

And who are Surrey County Council anyway?  They aren’t even in Surrey.

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Responses to Letter: What Price Local Democracy?

  1. John Bayley Reply

    August 29, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    On Radio4 this week, I learned that in Hertfordshire they are having the same debate as we are in Surrey. Their county council proposes a unitary council for a county of 1.3million people, similar to us in Surrey. As would be expected the objections from residents are similar to our own.

    Given that this has come about with no consultation and Tory MPs are supporting it, we have to assume it is a diktat from on high in the government. So much for all the chat about transparent government.

    I am in favour of a unitary council for each of West Surrey, East Surrey and North Surrey. All residents need to have a say.

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