Surrey County Council's finances face uncertain future say Lib Dems
Liberal Democrats in Surrey have warned that the County Council's finances face an uncertain future after the Conservative administration today rejected a 4-year funding offer from the government.
The funding offer consisted of a guaranteed grant from the government lasting until 2020, but part of the deal involved having to pay back £17.3m to central government in the final year. The decision by the Conservative-administration to reject the offer means an even worse funding deal could be foisted on the Council by the government. This follows a decision last month by the Tory administration to tighten its belt even further by reducing planned expenditure for next year on vital services such as adult social care, children's services, highways and transport.
Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:
Hospitals crumble as Government funds are cut
The Government have cut NHS building funding by £17.4 million over the last year and have been attacked by the Liberal Democrats for letting hospitals crumble. Norman Lamb has blasted the Government to ‘turning our hospitals into health risks’.
An NHS report released by NHS digital shows that while investment to reduce Backlog Maintenance has decreased by £17.4 million from the previous year the cost to eradicate High Risk Backlog increased 69.3% from £458.0 million to £775.5 million.
High risk is where repairs/replacement must be addressed with urgent priority in order to prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury and/or prosecution
Lib Dems reveal Surrey County Council’s £67m spend on property outside the county
Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have revealed almost £67m of public money has been spent on buying properties outside the county, using a council-owned property company called Halsey Garton Property Limited. The properties purchased with funding from the Conservative-run Council were mainly warehouses situated in locations such as Wiltshire, Bristol, Worksop and Salford. The most expensive acquisition was an office in Bristol, at the cost of just under £20m. Cllr Hazel Watson outside County Hall