We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

The Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats are local residents who work to promote a fair, free and open society. We raise our funds without any subsidy from governments, unions or businesses. For further information, please contact FOCUS@epsom-ewell-libdems.org.uk.

We believe that governments and councils should provide the services people need, without imposing unnecessary limits or needlessly restricting individual freedoms. If you agree with this, help us to change Britain's future for good by joining the Liberal Democrats HERE.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Feb 28, 2019

    News released today has revealed that the University of Surrey are planning to cut their staff, with all staff being given the option of voluntary redundancy*. The University has released a letter, sent to all staff, which highlights that one of the key factors influencing this decision is the uncertainty surrounding the UK's position in the EU, and how this may affect the University's financial position.

  • Airplane
    Article: Feb 27, 2019

    Surrey Liberal Democrats remain opposed to the third runway at Heathrow, and whilst we appreciate this consultation is about changing the airspace, it is clear that not all of the proposals being consulted on are intended for the existence of only two runways. Therefore, we feel it poignant to reiterate our opposition to the expansion of Heathrow at this point, before establishing our position on the specific consultation issues. The need for further airport expansion is clear from increased efforts to open up global mobility, however, we feel expansion would be better utilised somewhere other than the South East of England which is already plagued by numerous airports. The South East of England will not be able to cope with the expansion of Heathrow as there is a serious lack of infrastructure to cope with all the consequences a bigger airport will cause. The investment into expansion and thus infrastructure would be better spent elsewhere in the country, and could be used to spread the economic opportunity to the North of England, where it is so desperately needed.

  • LibDems at County Hall
    Article: Feb 26, 2019

    Surrey County Council is advertising yet again for temporary staff with salaries in excess of £90k. The latest is for a Programme Manager to oversee the move from County Hall.


    Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, said:

    "The use of temporary staff runs the risk that if they fail to deliver long term solutions to the problems set, they are long gone before the problems come to light but are enriched by their generous salary.

  • Cllr Chris Botten
    Article: Feb 25, 2019

    So much more in sorrow...

    While it appears that some fault-lines in national politics may be shifting (in all honesty it is far too soon to tell what will change in the medium/long term), on a day to day basis things have to go on and people are paying a lot more Council Tax for, it may be reasonably said, fewer or poorer services. This is not universally true, but what cannot be gainsaid is that the cost through the regressive, outdated Council Tax system, based on property values, not disposable income, and therefore completely unrelated to ability to pay, is much higher, with no guarantee that the value residents receive is also higher or that the quality improves.

  • Full Council
    Article: Feb 5, 2019

    Speech delivered by the Leader of Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group, Chris Botten, at the Full Council Meeting on 5th February 2019.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, I am setting out this morning the reasons why I and my group will be voting against the budget papers as presented to us; we understand the extreme difficulties the council faces in producing a balanced budget, but we believe some core principles have been elided and some significant failures to address important issues are manifest.

follow us on twitter Epsom MP in the News
Lib Dem Blogs button
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Cllr Fiona White outside Surrey County Hall
    Article: Feb 28, 2019

    News released today has revealed that the University of Surrey are planning to cut their staff, with all staff being given the option of voluntary redundancy*. The University has released a letter, sent to all staff, which highlights that one of the key factors influencing this decision is the uncertainty surrounding the UK's position in the EU, and how this may affect the University's financial position.

  • Airplane
    Article: Feb 27, 2019

    Surrey Liberal Democrats remain opposed to the third runway at Heathrow, and whilst we appreciate this consultation is about changing the airspace, it is clear that not all of the proposals being consulted on are intended for the existence of only two runways. Therefore, we feel it poignant to reiterate our opposition to the expansion of Heathrow at this point, before establishing our position on the specific consultation issues. The need for further airport expansion is clear from increased efforts to open up global mobility, however, we feel expansion would be better utilised somewhere other than the South East of England which is already plagued by numerous airports. The South East of England will not be able to cope with the expansion of Heathrow as there is a serious lack of infrastructure to cope with all the consequences a bigger airport will cause. The investment into expansion and thus infrastructure would be better spent elsewhere in the country, and could be used to spread the economic opportunity to the North of England, where it is so desperately needed.

  • LibDems at County Hall
    Article: Feb 26, 2019

    Surrey County Council is advertising yet again for temporary staff with salaries in excess of £90k. The latest is for a Programme Manager to oversee the move from County Hall.


    Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council, said:

    "The use of temporary staff runs the risk that if they fail to deliver long term solutions to the problems set, they are long gone before the problems come to light but are enriched by their generous salary.

  • Cllr Chris Botten
    Article: Feb 25, 2019

    So much more in sorrow...

    While it appears that some fault-lines in national politics may be shifting (in all honesty it is far too soon to tell what will change in the medium/long term), on a day to day basis things have to go on and people are paying a lot more Council Tax for, it may be reasonably said, fewer or poorer services. This is not universally true, but what cannot be gainsaid is that the cost through the regressive, outdated Council Tax system, based on property values, not disposable income, and therefore completely unrelated to ability to pay, is much higher, with no guarantee that the value residents receive is also higher or that the quality improves.

  • Full Council
    Article: Feb 5, 2019

    Speech delivered by the Leader of Surrey County Council's Liberal Democrat Group, Chris Botten, at the Full Council Meeting on 5th February 2019.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, I am setting out this morning the reasons why I and my group will be voting against the budget papers as presented to us; we understand the extreme difficulties the council faces in producing a balanced budget, but we believe some core principles have been elided and some significant failures to address important issues are manifest.