Local flood defences and EU funding

Godalming's party branch chair, Heather Hullah, has written to the Surrey Advertiser regarding funding for local flood defences and the prospect for their continued support in the light of Brext.

The letter has been published in today's edition of the newspaper. The text of the letter is shown below:

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National Cross Party Review needed following Tory U-turn on 15% tax bombshell

Conservative-run Surrey County Council's leadership has cancelled its own plans to raise council tax by 15% in order to make its budget work for the next few years. Instead, it is now recommending a lower increase of 5% - which will still mean a cut to next year's budget of £93M.

Stewart Edge, Chairman of Waverley Liberal Democrats has said:

"I’m very pleased that the proposal for a 15% Council Tax increase has been withdrawn and if this means the Government intends to provide the funds to avoid some social care cuts this is good news – though other unacceptable cuts are still planned (even with extra funds) by Surrey CC.

"However the Council has a legal duty to prepare a balance budget - not one with a £30M gap between income and expenditure. Surrey Conservative plans appear to plug the gap either with extra money which might follow private conversations between the Leader and Government; or by the identification of additional unspecified permanent service reductions which have not yet been identified to, let alone discussed with, councillors. What a mess our Conservative Government and Councillors have got our County Council into!"

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Petition against 15% Tory council tax increase

Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council have today launched a petition against the 15% increase in council tax being proposed by the Conservative administration, the largest in the country and 9 times the rate of inflation.

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Cranleigh By-election 21st December

A by-election was held in Cranleigh on Wednesday 21st December for a seat on Waverley Borough Council.

Local party member Richard Cole stood for the Liberal Democrats. Find out more about Richard's campaign and what local Liberal Democrats are doing in your area.

 

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Lib Dems win Richmond Park

Sarah Olney has won the Richmond Park by-election, following a swing of 21.7%. This overturns Zac Goldsmith's majority of over 20,000 votes at the last General Election. Party members from all over Surrey, and from the whole country, helped to deliver this amazing result.

Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrat MP

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Tories break their promise on Heathrow

The Conservatives have broken their promise to Surrey residents not to build a third runway at Heathrow, after the government backed the option recommended by the Davies Report today. The Tory U-turn is in direct contradiction to promises made by David Cameron, the former Prime Minister, who said in 2009 that “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts.” The Conservative manifesto of 2010 promised no third runway at Heathrow, and Surrey residents have been clear in their opposition to airport expansion at both Heathrow and Gatwick. 

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Farnham by-elections this Thursday

This is a reminder that there are by-elections this Thursday (18th August) in three areas of Farnham, and we have candidates for all three elections.

Stewart Edge, Sylvia Jacobs, and Jo Aylwin need our support if we are to increase the non-Conservative representation on the Borough and County councils.

 

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National party grows by 17,500 following referendum result

Many of us joined (or re-joined) the Party in the aftermath of 2015's disastrous General Election result. Party numbers grew by about 20,000 at that time. Now, following on from the referendum result, our numbers have swelled again, by a further 17500 new members

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Charles Kennedy Was Right On Iraq

In 2003 the then leader of the Liberal Democrats, the late, great Charles Kennedy was one of only a few voices in Parliament speaking out against the Iraq war. He said:

"The big fear that many of us have is that the action will simply breed further generations of suicide bombers."

He was attacked and vilified, with a particularly horrible Sun front page comparing him to a snake. With the release of the Chilcot report this week he was proved right beyond doubt, if the last thirteen years hadn't proven it enough already.

Tim Farron made a speech to Parliament in response to the Chilcot report, in which he asked MPs to apologise to him as well as to our servicemen and women, our country and the people of Iraq.

The full text of his speech:

"Today, we stand alongside the families of the 179 British servicemen and women and 24 British civilians who died in the Iraq war. We also stand beside the many more who continue to live with injuries sustained while serving their country in Iraq. We are proud of them and we honour them.

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Waverley Borough Council local plan emerging

Waverley Borough Council has published Part 1 of its new Local Plan, in draft form. Part 1 covers strategic sites such as specific plots of land adjacent to existing towns, and the proposed development of Dunsfold Park.

In response to Waverley’s long Awaited Local Plan proposals, Stewart Edge, Chairman of Waverley LibDems, has accused Waverley Council of ignoring the clear results of their own consultation in 2014.

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