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Kennedy: Surrey needs Lib Dem professionalism not Tory cronyism

April 23, 2021 11:52 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Paul Kennedy, Liberal Democrat candidate for Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, has challenged the Conservative candidate's claims that her links with Conservative Ministers will somehow deliver more police funding for Surrey. Experience shows that Ministers just take Surrey Conservatives for granted, preferring to channel extra funding to "red wall" seats in the North.

Paul Kennedy with Lib Dem stake board

The Conservative candidate, who worked for Conservative MPs for nearly 10 years, and has since stood for Parliament in Norwich South and worked as a lobbyist, made the claims at a Radio Surrey hustings on Thursday.

Cllr Paul Kennedy, who has 30 years' professional leadership experience in criminal/public law and financial management, including 10 years overseeing national public interest bodies on a non-political basis, said:

"Surrey Conservatives always claim that their close links with Ministers will deliver more funding for residents. But they never do. David Munro, the current 'independent' PCC who was elected as a Conservative in 2016 but lost the nomination this time, failed to get extra funding using his party links, and the same goes for Conservative leaders of Surrey County Council. Mr Munro has increased Surrey Police's council tax precept by 30% instead.

"Surrey's 11 Conservative MPs say they will help, but year after year they just vote for inadequate funding settlements for Surrey's police and local government.

"In fact it is often non-Conservative administrations which put a better case for Government funding. For example, Liberal Democrat-controlled Mole Valley recently won Government funding to carbon-proof its buildings and for extra electric vehicle charging points in its car parks.

"Ministers are hardly going to waste taxpayers' money supporting a Conservative or ex-Conservative PCC whose efficiency is still rated as 'requires improvement'. Surrey needs Lib Dem professionalism, not Tory cronyism, to fix police funding and deliver value for money to council tax payers."