Liberal Democrat County Councillors have expressed their concern as new figures were released that reveal poor levels of public satisfaction with Conservative-run Surrey County Council.
According to the latest figures from the county council's own survey, just 39% of residents agreed that the county council provided value for money. The poor figures follow the Tory-run council's decision to cancel a 15% council tax rise after a public outcry from Surrey residents.
Other findings included:
33% agreed that they can influence decisions by the county council
40% were satisfied with services for older people
33% were satisfied with road maintenance
38% were satisfied with the places provided for young people to meet
33% were satisfied with services for people with disabilities
Councillor Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council, said today:
"These disappointing figures come from the county council's own residents' survey and confirm what Liberal Democrat councillors have been saying for years - that the council is remote, inefficient and does not provide good value for money.
"We have highlighted the poor use of public money by the county council over a number of years, with council-owned offices under-utilised, council owned properties laying empty, £50K a year on the unnecessary Cabinet Associate posts, £136m spent on investment properties outside of Surrey and £14m spent last year on agency staff.
"It is no wonder that the public reaction to the proposed council tax rise of 15% was highly negative as Surrey residents do not trust this council to spend their money wisely. The county council could begin to repair its reputation with residents by scrapping the unpopular Surrey Matters magazine for example, which to date has cost Surrey residents over £1m since 2011.
"However there will be an opportunity for residents to express their opinion on the way in which Surrey County Council has been mismanaged by the Conservatives over the last four years, at the county council elections on May 4th."