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£58 million underspend puts county council's service improvements at risk

October 29, 2008 12:12 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
Man holding bags of money

"The unspent money should be used to improve services for Surrey residents" says Lib Dem County Cllr Colin Taylor

The Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have called for the Conservative administration to get a grip on its finances, after revealing it has £58 million of unspent capital in its coffers from the 2007/08 financial year.

At a meeting of the full Council, the Lib Dems called for the Tory administration to use the money to radically improve services - such as highways and children & families' services - which are currently suffering as a result of poor financial management.

Local Lib Dem county councillor Colin Taylor said: "£58 million is a massive underspend. This shows that there are problems with the planning and management of the Council's capital schemes. The unspent money could and should be used to improve the facilities and thus services for Surrey residents."

"Yet the administration frequently complains about Government underfunding Surrey. The reality is very different. The County Council is not sufficiently well organised to spend the money it has in its own coffers. The unspent money could be used to improve school buildings and provide extra school places where appropriate. Money is also needed to resurface more roads to reduce spending on filling in potholes."

"Mobile equipment is needed for social workers to reduce form filling and improve efficiency. Better planning and project management is needed so that projects are delivered within a reasonable timescale and on time. With an economic recession starting, now is the time for the County Council to improve its buildings and roads to give a boost to the Surrey economy."