Will Forster

Former Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Surrey’s Conservative Councillors award themselves a pay rise but promise huge cuts to County Council services

by willforster on 25 May, 2018

My Lib Dem colleagues at County Hall and I have heavily criticised the Conservative administration at Surrey County Council after they awarded themselves thousands of pounds of extra allowances in a vote at Full Council earlier this week.

The vote means that 4 new Deputy Cabinet positions will be created, at a cost of £40,000 a year, as well as extra allowances for committee vice-chairs.  The Lib Dems opposed these increases and voted against them at County Hall.

At a time when residents are looking to Surrey County Council to increase its cost effectiveness, and at a time when severe cuts in services are proposed, the Tories should not be looking to award themselves a pay rise.  Many local residents have had no real increase in their income for ten years and they will be appalled to see these increases voted through.  The overall cost of allowances for members should be capped for three years and any adjustments made by moving money within the existing budget.

We told the Leader of the Council yesterday how disappointed we were with his proposals to pay thousands of pounds of additional allowances to Conservative Councillors, whilst at the same time proposing huge cuts to essential services.  The County Council is telling residents that difficult decisions need to be made on spending but at the same time is able to find extra money to keep backbench Tory Councillors happy.  The Lib Dems and I have called for the Conservative administration to reverse this decision and instead put this money into front line services.

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