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Lib Dems welcome Magna Carta re-think

November 14, 2012 8:02 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have welcomed the decision to ask the County Council's Cabinet to look again at its plans to spend £5 million on a Magna Carta Visitor Centre at Runnymede.

Liberal Democrat Communities Spokesperson John Orrick said: "We are being sold a pig in a poke by Runnymede. Surrey's Conservative Cabinet decided to spend £5 million of Council Taxpayers money based on just nine paragraphs in a report.

"Many Surrey residents would have seen the equivalent of a 1% Council Tax increase being spent on a hugely expensive centre that they would get minimal benefit from."

Hazel Watson, the Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on Surrey County Council said: "We support strongly that the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta should be celebrated and and that there should be a permanent legacy. However, £5 million is a huge amount of the County's budget to spend on a plan for a building that has already been turned down by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"The Cabinet decided to spend £5 million of Council Taxpayers money without having a business case, an Environmental Impact Assessment, legal advice on access to land, plans of the proposed visitor centre or the consultants report. The building is too big, too expensive and in the wrong place."

"Surrey's Conservative Cabinet should go away, think again, and find a cheaper and more accessible alternative."