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Surrey Lib Dems welcome rethink on Winter Maintenance cuts

October 24, 2016 11:13 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

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

Stephen Cooksey

Cllr Stephen Cooksey

, not filling the network of grit bins and scrapping one of the County's mini salting vehicles.

These proposals were unanimously opposed by Councillors on the Task Group as it was felt that if implemented these cuts could put Surrey residents in danger. The Board's decision was then ratified by the Cabinet on Tuesday 18th October and it was agreed that the savings would have to be found elsewhere.

Cllr Stephen Cooksey said:

"I am pleased that Councillors on the Board from all political persuasions were persuaded by our arguments that these cuts were unacceptable and not in the best interests of Surrey residents. This is how scrutiny and the budget process should work and I am pleased that the Council's Cabinet have backed our decision. I look forward to seeing further proposals in due course as to how the Tory administration is going to balance the books but with an emphasis on cutting waste and bureaucracy rather than cutting essential services".

ENDS

Notes to Editors

- The original proposals put before the Economic Prosperity, Environment & Highways Board can be found here:

https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/s31959/EPEH%20Winter%20task%20group%20report%20v5.pdf

- The Cabinet report and recommended decision can be found here (appendix 3):

https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/g4592/Decisions%20Tuesday%2018-Oct-2016%2014.00%20Cabinet.pdf?T=2