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Surrey County Council By-Election, Epsom West, 19 November

Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats nominated Julie Morris as our candidate

Julie has posted a daily by-election campaign blog at Julie Morris here

There is also an index at My campaign blog so far

Although over 3 in 4 voted for other parties, the Tories won the seat

  • Fightback
    Article: Nov 21, 2015

    In an extraordinarily close result, the first four candidates in last Thursday's by-election in Epsom West all came with 34 votes of each other. Regretably our excellent and hard-working candidate Julie Morris did not come first and Epsom West is now back with the Conservatives for the first time since 1993.

  • Tom Brake MP
    Article: Nov 12, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats launched the "Lib Dem Fightback" to reconnect with Surrey residents and started planning for the County Council elections at a well-attended Conference in Guildford recently. The Conference followed on from a series of Council by-election wins in Surrey since the general election where the Party held council seats in Mole Valley, Elmbridge and Woking and gained a seat from UKIP in Mole Valley.

  • SCC Petition
    Article: Oct 15, 2015

    Following the Lib Dem motion to the County Council Meeting on Tuesday, a petition has been launched to stop the council either reducing the opening hours or introducing charges for DIY waste at refuse tips.

    We believe that such proposals would simply increase fly tipping across the county, thus increasing costs rather than making savings, besides the effect on our surroundings. We are getting strong support for this view from across the political spectrum.

  • Lib Dem activists campaigning outside one of Surrey's rubbish tips
    Article: Oct 12, 2015

    Liberal Democrats are calling on the Conservative administration at County Hall to ditch their controversial plans for changes to Surrey's tips as they would increase fly tipping across the county.

    Cllr John Orrick, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Opposition on Surrey County Council, said:

    "The County Council's recent consultation about Surrey's tips angered many residents because the changes would increase fly-tipping. The proposed changes included charging for disposing of DIY waste at the tips, reducing their opening hours or even closing some of them.

    "The wording of the consultation only gave unacceptable options that would make it more difficult for residents to recycle or dispose of waste at Surrey's tips. It gave no opportunity for residents to say that the tips should stay the same or improve.

    "Fly-tipping is already a big problem in Surrey with rubbish being dumped on land and roads. Not only is it a blight on Surrey's beautiful countryside, but it is hugely costly for landowners such as the National Trust, as well as district and borough councils, to clear up the mess. These so-called 'savings' would just push the costs onto others.

    "Surrey residents should send a message to the County Council telling them to ditch these unacceptable changes to the tips. Residents can show their opposition by signing the online petition on the County Council's website."

    Cllr Orrick concluded:

    "I hope that the Conservative administration will listen to Surrey residents and drop these misguided changes."

  • Surrey has seen a 23% increase in accidents during the past year (http://www.getsurrey.co.uk)
    Article: Oct 7, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling for urgent action to tackle the sharp rise in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Surrey's roads. This follows the recently released figures for 2014 showing that Surrey had the third largest increase in people killed and seriously injured in England and Wales. The number of deaths on Surrey roads more than doubled, increasing from 18 to 38 deaths.

    Liberal Democrat County Councillor, Will Forster (Woking South) said:

    "The number of people killed and seriously injured on Surrey's roads is unacceptable. Each person killed is a tragic loss and impacts severely on their family and friends. This cannot be allowed to continue. The Conservative administration at County Hall has clearly taken its eye off the ball and not given road safety the attention it deserves.

    "I am calling on the Conservative administration to give much higher priority to road safety. This must include more funding for road safety education such as through Drive SMART, road safety outside schools and highways improvements. Much more could be done to make Surrey's roads safer, for example by making sure that all roads have appropriate speed limits, warning signs and road markings to alert drivers to hazards, pedestrians crossings to help pedestrians cross the road safely, cycle lanes and junction improvements."

    Cllr Forster concluded:

    "This is a wake-up call to urgently improve road safety to save lives on Surrey's roads."

  • 20mph sign
    Article: Sep 25, 2015

    The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council are calling on the Council to provide the necessary funding to implement 20 mph speed limits outside Surrey schools where requested by the school and the local community.

    Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said "Surrey parents want their children to be safe going to and from school and 20 mph speed limits outside schools help to achieve this by reducing traffic speeds and improving road safety. A reduced speed limit warns drivers that they need to slow down near a school and in general drivers do slow down."

  • Article: Sep 9, 2015

    The Children's Improvement Plan 2015 to improve Surrey's inadequate Children's Services was today published by the County Council. The plan was required following the Ofsted inspection report published in June 2015 that rated Surrey's Children's Service as "inadequate". Inspectors concluded that there were "widespread and serious failures that potentially leave children at risk of harm."

  • Article: Aug 10, 2015

    New figures released by the Department of Health show the Conservative Government is planning a £2.2m cut to the public health budget across Surrey.

    The public health budget pays to relieve pressure on local NHS hospitals and clinics by helping people to solve their own potential health problems before they become more serious. The budget includes work to help people to exercise more, give up smoking and tackle drug addiction.

  • Article: Aug 10, 2015

    Just over a year ago, in the letter to all Whitehall departments, Danny Alexander, then Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, wrote that trying to abolish check-off (the process by which employers deduct union subscriptions directly from wages for union members in the public sector) ,is not only unjustified, but also likely to backfire. Danny wrote:

  • Article: Aug 10, 2015

    Episode 2 of Dan Snow's superb programme: "Locomotion: the history of the railways" drew our attention to the railway mania by investors once railways ceased to be confined to the North of England and reached London.

    In May 1866 the Overend Gurney Bank, which had massively overstretched itself by fancy investing & financial instruments, a lot relating to railways, collapsed which led to a catstrophic banking crisis, a massive flight from stocks and the financial ruin of thousands of investors.

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