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Welcome to the website of the Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats

We are a group of local residents, not professional politicians. We work together to promote a fair, free and open society. Our funds are raised through the efforts of our own members, without any subsidy by government, unions or businesses.

We believe that the role of national governments, and of local councils, should be to provide those services that their citizens require, without seeking to impose unnecessary limits or to needlessly restrict individual freedoms.

If you agree with this philosophy, you would be welcome to join us. Contact FOCUS@epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk

  • Stephen Cooksey
    Article: Oct 24, 2016

    Surrey Liberal Democrat County Councillors have welcomed the decision by Surrey's Cabinet to reject proposed cuts to the Winter Maintenance budget which could have put Surrey residents at serious risk of harm.

    Earlier this year, Liberal Democrat Highways spokesperson Cllr Stephen Cooksey chaired a Winter Maintenance Task Group which was requested to consider proposals to make budget savings of £340,000 including reducing the salting network , not filling the network of grit bins and scrapping one of the County's mini salting vehicles.

  • Cllr Stephen Cooksey
    Article: Oct 18, 2016

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have criticised Tory-run Surrey County Council after it was revealed that residents who are set to lose their street lighting at night were not formally consulted on the proposal.

    At a meeting of the Council's Cabinet on Tuesday 18th October, the ruling Conservative administration agreed proposals that would see 44,000 lights switched off between midnight and 5am. However a consultation which was carried out in August that boasted a 75% approval figure for the plan, was actually conducted through the Council's residents' panels, drawn from people all over the county, rather than those specifically affected by the turning off of street lights.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Oct 12, 2016

    Liberal Democrats in Surrey have warned that the County Council's finances face an uncertain future after the Conservative administration today rejected a 4-year funding offer from the government.

    The funding offer consisted of a guaranteed grant from the government lasting until 2020, but part of the deal involved having to pay back £17.3m to central government in the final year. The decision by the Conservative-administration to reject the offer means an even worse funding deal could be foisted on the Council by the government. This follows a decision last month by the Tory administration to tighten its belt even further by reducing planned expenditure for next year on vital services such as adult social care, children's services, highways and transport.

  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Oct 7, 2016

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have warned Conservative-run Surrey County Council that it is facing a continuing crisis in adult social care, after the Council forecasted a £7.4m overspend for this financial year. The figures were revealed just weeks after Tory bosses agreed to charge disabled residents over £1m a year more for their care.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside The Malthouse youth centre in Dorking
    Article: Oct 3, 2016

    Questioning by Lib Dem councillors has uncovered that Surrey County Council youth centres are only open for a very limited number of hours, with one centre in the county that is only open for just over ONE hour per week.

    In a response to a question by Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, it was revealed that a total of 23 youth centres across the county were open for only 5 or less hours per week, making it difficult to meet the needs of young people in Surrey. The Tory-run County Council also admitted that 254 hours a week of youth work is not being provided due to vacancies within the youth service.

  • Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall
    Article: Sep 21, 2016

    Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have revealed almost £67m of public money has been spent on buying properties outside the county, using a council-owned property company called Halsey Garton Property Limited. The properties purchased with funding from the Conservative-run Council were mainly warehouses situated in locations such as Wiltshire, Bristol, Worksop and Salford. The most expensive acquisition was an office in Bristol, at the cost of just under £20m.

  • Cllr Stephen Cooksey
    Article: Sep 16, 2016

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have criticised Tory-run Surrey County Council after discovering that residents have still not been informed about plans to turn off thousands off street lights at night.

    In response to a question at the July County Council meeting from Councillor Stephen Cooksey, Liberal Democrat Spokesman for Highways & Environment, the Council stated that it was planning to permanently turn off 45,000 street lamps from midnight until 5.00am. The first phase of 33,000 lights was scheduled for 1st October 2016 and the second, of 12,000 lights, for December or January. But Surrey County Council have admitted that the process has been delayed and that they cannot give a date as to when residents will find out if they will be left in the dark by these proposals or not.

  • Cllr Fiona White & Nick Markwick of the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People
    Article: Sep 8, 2016

    Liberal Democrat Councillors have strongly criticised Conservative-run Surrey County Council for agreeing to hike adult social care charges by over £1m for disabled and vulnerable residents. The new charges, due to take effect from 3rd October 2016, have been pushed through by the Conservative-run Council, despite a consultation which showed strong opposition to the plans by residents and disability groups.

    Previously, Surrey residents in receipt of Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance had the first £27.20 of their benefit disregarded when the Council was calculating their income. From October, the full amount of their benefit will be taken into account - which means that Surrey County Council will be billing disabled residents for an extra £1m. The increase in charges follows the deepening crisis for Adult Social Care services in the county and the failure of the Conservatives at County Hall to come to grips with a spiralling budget and years of overspends.

    In June this year, the cross-party Social Care Services Board heard evidence from the Surrey Coalition of Disabled People and Action for Carers, who both strongly opposed the changes. The Board went on to criticise the proposals noting that there was "strong resistance to the proposed changes, and concerns about the detrimental impact on disabled people, their carers and families given the reduction in disposable income". And in July, the Conservative Cabinet was presented with the results from the consultation which showed that 61% of respondents "disagreed or disagreed strongly" with the proposal. This follows on from another recent consultation where the Council ignored the views of residents - the unpopular "Tory Tip Tax" - a charge local people have to pay to use their local Community Recycling Centre.

    Cllr Fiona White, Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats on Social Care said:

    "In just a few weeks time, our Conservative-run County Council will start charging an extra one million pounds from 700 of our most vulnerable residents. How on earth can they justify spending millions of pounds on buying property outside of Surrey, whilst pushing through a proposal that will cause real hardship to disabled people? One of the most important aspects of our role as Councillors is to protect vulnerable and disabled residents, and help improve the quality of their lives. These proposals are anathema to that and it is appalling that these plans have been given the nod by the Conservatives - they should hang their heads in shame.

  • Article: Aug 31, 2016

    Liberal Democrat councillors are warning that the Conservative-run County Council's plans to charge the public for using Community Recycling Centres, as well as reducing their opening hours, could lead to even bigger increases in fly-tipping across Surrey. Recent figures show that fly-tipping across the county has doubled in the last two years, from 2093 tonnes in 2013/14 to 4441 tonnes in 2015/16.

  • Happy Face 2
    Article: Jul 3, 2016

    Congratulations to Joe Crome and the Lib Dem Focus team in Mole Valley, who have gained Leatherhead North with a spectacular 19.5% swing from the Conservatives.

    As reported on Twitter by @britainelects ("Britain Elects") the resuls were:

    • LDEM: 56.6% (+27.4)
    • CON: 22.3% (-11.7)
    • UKIP: 10.3% (-7.9)
    • LAB: 8.9% (-5.7)
    • GRN: 1.8% (-2.1)
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