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Reigate Liberal Democrats

Your Local Lib Dems

We cover the towns of Banstead, Redhill, Horley and Reigate, as well as the villages of Burgh Heath, Chipstead, Earlswood, Kingswood, Lower Kingswood, Merstham, Salfords, Southpark and Meadvale, Tadworth, Walton on the hill Woodhatch and Woodmansterne.

What do we Stand for locally?

We stand for -

  • Delivering a Carbon Neutral area with environmental sustainability;
  • Investing in social housing.
  • Protecting our Borough. From cuts to services, police and healthcare
  • Making sure that new development is integrated with public transport and services
  • Creating new recreational spaces and maintaining the existing ones.
  • Supporting pro-active community housing groups and new builds

What do we stand for Nationally?

  • Staying in the EU. We believe Britain will be stronger,
    better off and safer if we stay in
    the European Union
  • Saving our NHS and care services. Asking people to pay a bit more tax (1p)
    for every pound they earn. The money
    will go to the NHS and care services. Making sure people don't wait longer
    for mental health care than for
    other healthcare.
  • Put children first.
    Every child should have the best start
    in life. Spending £7 billion extra on education.
  • Britain needs an economy that gives
    people jobs and the chance to do well.
    We will build an economy that is strong,
    fair and works well now and in the future.

Recent updates

  • Norbury Car Park
    Article: Mar 27, 2019

    The County Council admitted in its Cabinet meeting, on the 26th March 2019, that the car park charges introduced last year at the Norbury Park car parks has resulted in substantially fewer vehicles being parked in the car parks than anticipated.

    This admission came as Liberal Democrat County Councillor Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) questioned the Cabinet Member responsible for introducing the charges at the Cabinet Meeting held at County Hall.

  • Will Forster Chris Botton
    Article: Mar 25, 2019
    By Will Forster.

    Lib Dems achieve restrictions on high cost staff

    Yesterday, the Lib Dems saw success when our motion aimed at cutting the costs of interim staff at Surrey County Council was adopted.

    The motion, proposed by Chris Botton and seconded by Will Forster, was produced in reaction to recent news that the Council was recruiting for another interim manager on a £90,000 annual salary. The motion approved by Council read:

    "This Council:
    • believes in the importance of an equitable wage ratio;
    • notes the 60+ consultants currently appointed on interim contracts;
    • recognises that interim contracts are often far more costly than those of permanent staff, with the Programme Manager currently being recruited for with a potential salary of £98,000/year on a two year fixed term contract;
    • acknowledges that many residents within Surrey are struggling to make ends meet and facing higher Council Tax bills;
    • notes the ongoing cuts to essential Council services including children's centres, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provisions and bus subsidies;
    • notes that a number of senior appointments are not being approved by the People, Performance and Development Committee (PPDC) where they ought to be.

    This Council therefore resolves to:
    • adopt a policy of recruiting to permanent positions where appropriate;
    • work with the Surrey Boroughs and Districts to share talent and resource where possible to contain the overall Surrey payroll costs."

    Lib Dem County Councillor Will Forster commented:

    "My Lib Dem colleagues and I think there should be no area of the Council's budget which is under less rigorous control than others. We believe staffing has been an area with inadequate scrutiny and we need to rein it back, by looking at sharing employee resource with Borough and District Councils wherever possible. There is excellent practice in this country in post sharing and we are pleased our motion was accepted by the Council."

    "Surrey County Council cannot plead poverty, and ask both the public and Government for more money, whilst at the same time pay such high salaries to staff for such a short space of time. The Council needs to get its act together on interim staff pay."

    "The Lib Dems and I want the County Council to only appoint temporary staff when absolutely necessary. Currently, the Council employs far too many interim staff and at a high cost."

  • Better together in the EU
    Article: Mar 24, 2019

    More than one million people turned out to march through London to demand another vote on Brexit. This would not be a rerun of the referendum held in June 2016, but one based on knowing what Brexit would look like in detail. It would be a vote where the electorate could make a genuine informed choice without the lies and spin which characterised the first ill-thought-out ballot.

  • Will & Chris
    Article: Mar 19, 2019

    The Liberal Democrats today saw success when their motion aimed at cutting the costs spent on interim staff at Surrey County Council was adopted. The motion, proposed by Cllr Chris Botten, and seconded by Cllr Will Forster was produced in reaction to recent news that Surrey was recruiting for another interim manager on a £90,000+ annual salary.

  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Mar 14, 2019

    Two onerous responsibilities impacted on me at the beginning of this week. You may have seen the BBC programme in which Gareth Malone trains a choir for a concert at the school which sits beneath the hulk of Grenfell Tower. In a very moving film, he works to identify talent among the remarkably resilient and interesting young people, who lost many of their school friends in the fire. Among them is a young man with an obvious talent and imagination, but who finds school challenging because he has had to move to new foster parents; he has difficulty trusting people because as he gets to know them they seem to abandon him.

  • Int Womens Day
    Article: Mar 8, 2019

    The 8th March 2019 marks International Women's Day across the globe, and we Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council want to wish all the strong women across Surrey, and further, a very happy International Women's Day. At County Hall four of our nine Liberal Democrat councillors are women, and this is something we are proud of but hoping to further improve on in all future local elections.

  • Will Forster
    Article: Mar 6, 2019
    By Will Forster.
    Lib Dems deplore Surrey's continued use of high cost interim staff
    Surrey County Council is advertising yet again for temporary staff with salaries in excess of £90,000. The latest job is for a Programme Manager to oversee the move from County Hall.
    Will Forster, Lib Dem County Councillor for Woking South, said:
  • Article: Mar 6, 2019
    By Will Forster.
    EU Citizens in Woking face 60 mile round trip to register for Settled Status
    The Lib Dems and I have slammed the Conservative Government for their "hapless treatment" of European Union (EU) citizens after the Home Office released guidance on the new EU Settlement Scheme.
    The Home Office has confirmed that for the duration of the trial period, EU nationals applying to stay in the UK must either use an Android phone or travel to one of 13 'document scanning' centres instead.
  • Chris Botten Large
    Article: Mar 6, 2019

    Much of the depth of Surrey's financial crisis can be tracked back to the chaotic introduction of computer systems which an audit has revealed, among other things:

    • The audit team were "unable to find the business case or any supporting paperwork for the Cabinet Member decision to purchase" [the IT system in question]
    • The system is not fully utilised which shows an "inefficient use of public money to purchase and pay annual costs for a system that is not fully implemented"
    • The improper use of the system "frequently results in parents arranging private support, followed by judicial review in the parents' favour. This in turn leads to increased costs of provision for the council"
    • There have been instances of the Council paying a foster carer, or a school, for a child that is no longer being seen to by that specific service.

  • Health Checks Table
    Article: Mar 5, 2019

    The Lib Dems have warned of a 'postcode lottery' as official figures reveal that only 30% of people in Surrey have been offered a health check over the last 5 years, significantly below the national average of 85.21% - the lowest in the country.

    Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly blamed "swingeing Conservative cuts" and her party has called for "a transformational investment in public health with a penny on income tax."

    Health check-ups for adults in England are available to everyone aged 40-74. According to the NHS, these checks are designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.

    However, figures published by Public Health England have revealed 22 local authority areas in England, including Surrey, have failed to offer more than 60% of people a health check.