Many residents will already know of Surrey County Councils (SCC) plans to abolish all of Surrey’s borough and district councils and create a Single Unitary Council providing all services for Surrey’s 1.2 million residents.
The plan was hatched in secret, with SCC’s leaders talking to the Government and Surrey’s Conservative MPs, and it was only made known when it was revealed in an article in the press. However, whilst the Government had signalled its intentions to review local government, SCC was in fact trying to get ahead of any actual announcement of their future plans.
As it was, the Government itself told SCC that it was premature, but not before the leaders of SCC had spent a huge amount of council taxpayers’ money on consultants, leafleting, market research and lobbying.
At the SCC Council Meeting in October, Residents’ Association County Councillors put down a Motion calling for the Conservative Leader of SCC to publish the cost of his plans to date.
Instead of debating the motion, the Conservatives ordered their county councillors not to speak and, after only two speeches a vote was taken and the motion calling for details of the costs to be made public was defeated by 52 votes to 21.
Despite this refusal to be open, various requests for financial information show that so far SCC has spent over £¼ million on the project.
Across Surrey there is real concern about SCC’s attempt create a unitary council and thereby seize the powers and the financial and property assets of boroughs and districts.
A new group called #Residents Against Surrey Single Unitary had been set up to challenge the plans and you can find out more about the group and SCC’s plans at www.RASSU.org.uk.
The RASSU website also allows you to sign a petition against SCC’s plans for a unitary council.