Tories U-turn on 15% Council Tax rise thanks to residents pressure
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?”
Who’s responsible for Surrey County Council’s Financial Crisis
|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|
Labour MPs Back Brexit and Article 50
Tonight Labour MPs backed the Conservatives in voting to trigger Article 50, the start of the formal process of Britain leaving the European Union.
They did so even though Theresa May has chosen to pursue a hard Brexit, which will mean ripping Britain out of the single market – something that no one voted for last June.
They did so without securing any guarantees that the government will be subject to proper scrutiny throughout the negotiation.
Tim Farron MP says, "I respect the outcome of the referendum, but I have not changed my view that Britain is best in Europe."
Secret Text Messages show Surrey Tories shambles
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"
Lib Dems call on Surrey MPs to back cross-party care plan
Liberal Democrats in Surrey have written to the county's 11 Conservative Members of Parliament, asking them to back a cross party initiative on the future of social care and how to fund it.