Tory Budget Bad News for Surrey's Residents
Lib Dems at Surrey County Council opposed the ruling Conservative administration's 4.8% rise in council tax and condemned a cut in roads and schools maintenance spending.
County Councillor Colin Taylor says expenditure proposed on roads is an actual cut of 13% over this year's spend (around £4m) and the lowest for five years. It fails to tackle the massive £200m backlog of road repairs needed to bring Surrey roads up to a reasonable standard. Lib Dems also suggested £600,000 should be allocated to the Youth Service to end the recruitment freeze and allow youth centres to open more often. £12m was also put forward for schools, for essential maintenance and to ensure the ongoing provision of places for school age children.
The Lib Dem group believe council tax is too high yet money is piling up in the County Council's coffers : a Future Income Fund has £15m and a Policy Initiatives Fund £1.5m. Little is on offer for service improvement such as the Youth Service or to improve the county's deteriorating school buildings or roads.
Liberal Democrats at Surrey County Council put forward a rise of 4.5%, a saving of £1.5m.