Surrey County Council Update
Positive and encouraging news from Surrey County Council. Cty Cllr Keith Witham reports.
At a Full Meeting of Surrey County Council the news was encouraging. Overall, the County Councils finances are sounder than previously because of a lot of work over the past two years to make the Council more efficient - no reserves have been drawn on either last year or this year.
This allows the Council to do more to respond to public concerns and make choices. Plans include:
- A Greener Future. The Council is committed to leading by example in reducing our carbon emissions, protecting and enhancing our countryside, improving air quality and working in partnership to face the climate emergency and make a positive contribution from Surrey to what is a global issue. We will address and implement the things that we can do on a Surrey basis.
- Part of a Greener Future is recycling and the Leader of the Council said that all current Community Recycling Centres will remain open and accessible for residents (four of the smaller CRCs had been scheduled for closure)
- a plan is underway to plant at least one tree for every one of Surreys 1.2 million residents - the first new oak tree was planted in Cranleigh last Saturday.
- boosting the Surrey local economy by setting up a £50million community grant fund to improve our High Streets
- providing surplus space in Surrey County Council buildings for free use by voluntary and charitable organisations
- considering conversion of any surplus council owned land to public allotments to produce food for foodbanks
And as previously reported, the County Council has agreed plans to modernise the Surrey Fire & Rescue service to make it fit for the future. The last time this happened was in the 1970's! The Safer Surrey Plan includes investing MORE money, recruiting MORE firefighters (82 new firefighters recruited and trained, now on duty, so far this year), greatly increasing safety prevention visits from 2,000 a year to 20,000 a year, and delivering a more mobile, dynamic response - Keeping Surrey Residents Safe