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The leader of Conservative run Surrey County Council made a spectacular U-turn yesterday abandoning plans to hold a referendum to increase council tax by 15% because of Lib Dem and resident pressure.
David Hodge, Leader of the Council and County Councillor for Warlingham said that he is prepared to “take a risk” with the people who need adult social care. He is confident that a solution to the funding crisis will be found but added no detail.Even more spectacularly, today it emerged that David Hodge had been texting members of the government in an attempt to “Kill off the R [referendum]” and there have been accusations of a cover up.
David Lee, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary candidate for East Surrey says, “The Conservatives seems to be flailing from one self-induced crisis to another. Only a few weeks ago we were told that there would be a referendum on a proposed 15% hike with £93million of unspecified cuts, then 20 minutes before the decision the Conservatives suddenly u-turn. Now Surrey will increase tax by 4.99% at the same time slash budgets by £93million with a further £30 million black hole. It seems to be finger in the air planning via text messages. Do they know what they are doing?”
|Conservative Run Surrey has be incompetent in managing its finances. They have invested in property outside the county and spent £400k on consultants.|
|Conservative government is cutting Council’s grants to shore up central finances.|
|Conservative MP Sam Gyimah voted to cut Surrey’s grant by 24% - causing this crisis|
Surrey's shambolic and secretive Tories has been accused of agreeing a "sweetheart deal" with Tory Ministers to ensure the Conservative-controlled council dropped plans to raise council tax by up to 15% at today's PMQs. Text messages have been discovered between the Tory leader Hodge and the local government minister.
Tim Farron tweeted after seeing the texts "It might not be a sweetheart deal but it looks like a secret one. We have a social care crisis & every council now must have the same offer"
Liberal Democrats in Surrey today claimed victory as the Conservatives cancelled their planned 15% tax rise in the face of overwhelming opposition from Liberal Democrat councillors and Surrey residents.
The ruling Conservative administration agreed proposals that would see 44,000 lights switched off between midnight and 5am.Residents of Tandridge are rightly worried about safety as the lights go out across the district.