Monthly Archives: February 2018

Council Tax is Set to Rise Once More in Surrey

RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION AND INDEPENDENT GROUP

Council Tax is Set to Rise Once More in Surrey

Surrey County Council agrees to raise Council Tax by 5.99% for 2018/2019

On 6th February the Conservative-led Surrey County Council (SCC) approved another Council tax hike of 5.99%. Band D households in Surrey will be facing an annual increase of £80 as Tory ministers have relaxed the council tax cap.

Last year, after a shambolic council tax referendum proposal, SCC Leader David Hodge reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the government. This coming year the Council will receive £20 million as a one-off under a Business Rates retention pilot scheme, but will still need to find £39 million from its declining reserves and capital receipts. Surrey will have lost £200 million of its core government funding over the last 8 years.

In his annual budget speech, Leader of the Residents’ Association and Independent Group Nick Harrison pointed out that councils must balance their books, and very soon SCC might not be able to do that:

“Council are straining to make cuts, to improve their efficiency, deal with reduced national funding and if all else fails, to use reserves. Eventually, the books just won’t balance. Somebody had to get there first and last weekend Northamptonshire declared it was in ’special measures’. Surrey faces similar challenges. Increasingly the cuts are being noticed by our residents as they impact the services we all use – turning out street lights, reducing spending on roads and charges and reduced hours at the recycling centre.”

Cllr Harrison added that the Council does not have a credible plan to meet its statutory obligations whilst retaining a reasonable level of universal services beyond 2018/2019. He further noted that Surrey’s MPs are not listening to their Conservative colleagues in Surrey:

“I listened to Council Leader David Hodge on BBC Radio Surrey asking residents to spend 50p on a stamp and write to their MP’s about the funding situation. That’s an incredible admission about his group’s lack of clout. I have explained the situation to my MP and the next step must be to withhold support for these budget recommendations.”

Residents’ Association and Independent County Councillors abstained or voted against the proposed budget during Tuesday’s full council meeting. Despite the opposition’s concerns and protests, the Conservative majority approved the 2018/19 budget.

For further comments:

Cllr Nick Harrison – 01737-215405 (H) 07971-664079 (M)

Bus route 166

We are delighted to announce that both bus route 166  will be retained without amendment for the next 5 years, thanks to an agreement between Surrey County Council (SCC) and Transport for London.

Over the last three months SCC has been working closely with Transport for London to secure the future of bus routes 166 and 216. These are important bus routes used by many residents living in Surrey and London. Both bus routes are contracted by Transport for London, crossing the London boundary into our county to serve residents of Epsom & Ewell and Spelthorne respectively.

This means SCC be investing around £130,000 annually to ensure the 166 bus continues operating between Banstead and Epsom Hospital and the 216 carries on running from Staines to Ashford Hospital as normal.

In the case of the 166 bus route, it links many of our residents and neighbouring areas to Epsom Hospital.

The County Council has agreed to financially support the cost of both bus routes, allowing them to continue unaltered for the next 5 years.

You can find more information on the 166 bus route and other bus routes linking Epsom General Hospital here

 

Ewell Village – Spring clean up

When: Saturday 3rd March at 10am

Where: Bourne Hall Car Park

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Ewell Village Residents Association, supported by Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, and with the help and support of Glyn School, will be holding a community litter picking morning on Saturday 3rd March. Volunteers are invited to assemble at 10am in Bourne Hall car park. Litter pickers and refuse sacks will be provided, but please bring your own gloves and wear clothing suitable for the conditions.

If you are not able to join us at that date and time, please feel free to tidy up in your own area. If you let us know we can ask the Council to arrange to pick up any bagged litter and rubbish collected.

Also if you are aware of any litter ‘hot spots’ in and around Ewell Village  please tell us and we will do our best to send a crew to sort it out on the day.

Please help us spread the word by joining our Facebook event click here and sharing it with your friends. You can also print our flyer to display it in your shop window, school, etc. Click Here

A picture of our campaign a few years ago.

A picture of our campaign a few years ago..