#VoteLabour – Our Manifesto for Surrey County Council Elections 2017

Meet your local Surrey County Council Labour Party Candidates here.

A fresh start for Surrey
Labour’s better plan

Surrey deserves better. You deserve more.

This county has been badly run by the Conservatives for the last four years. The next administration will now inherit a huge budget deficit due to their mismanagement and austerity strong policies.

The original Tory plan for a 15% rise in council tax with a referendum showed them to be incompetent in office and not fit to be to be re-elected. The 5% rise is still more than twice inflation.

Privatisation of council responsibilities does not enable cost savings. Labour will restore better value and improved services across Surrey.

Because Surrey deserves better.

1. Only Labour believes in fewer councils to save you money

The Conservative high-command at County Hall is a top-heavy administration. In Surrey, the Conservatives run most boroughs and districts. They have all 11 Surrey MPs, three of whom are in the cabinet. The Chancellor is a local Tory MP; yet still, Surrey gets a poor deal!

A Labour Surrey would reduce the tiers of local government, cutting the number of councillors, over-paid chief executives
and high ranking staff. Currently there are over 600 councillors, twelve civic centres or town halls and twelve chief executives!

We’ll reverse councillor allowance rises including the leader of the council’s extortionate 55% rise.

Residents deserve real influence on the services they use and Council staff must have a say on where to get efficiencies.

2. Fixing Surrey’s roads

The Tories have negotiated a contract for the whole county with Kier. It has been mismanaged and clearly isn’t value for money as roads go unrepaired, more potholes appear and work is often less than satisfactory.

A Labour Surrey would end this monopoly and introduce proper competition, with better in-house coordination and planning function. We’ll make our roads safer for drivers and cyclists.

3. Saving our buses and improving train services

Across the County Labour has been challenging the Conservatives over their cuts to our vital bus routes.

If a suitable private sector provider cannot be found, a Labour Council would set up and use a not-forprofit bus operator.

Labour opposes Southern Rail and South West Trains being reappointed as franchisees due to the expensive and unreliable service they offer and the under investment.

We will continue to push for London’s Oyster Card zone 6 to be extended to include Surrey’s commuter routes.

4. Labour will make Surrey an economic power house

The Tories are allowing Surrey to fall behind in the global economic race. They fail to back small businesses and are letting our high streets decline.

Labour will regenerate every town centre with a Business Improvement District. We’ll provide free tax and legal advice; discounted office space and direct council investment to encourage entrepreneurs. We’ll penalise developers who demolish Surrey’s buildings then leave sites undeveloped or empty and instead we’ll encourage low-cost, affordable housing.

We support ethical business initiatives. Thanks to Labour Cllr Robert Evans, Surrey is now a Fair Trade County.

5. Saving Surrey’s Libraries – our community hubs

In some parts of Surrey, the Tories have abandoned the professional library service leaving volunteers to run them. This cannot be a solution for the whole service.

Labour will protect our libraries from closure. Instead of cuts, we’ll expand the range of services that libraries offer. We’ll allow libraries, with the consent of both staff and the community, to convert to community benefit societies.

Our better, more sensible plan for Surrey

Saving our Fire Stations

The Conservatives have plans to close more and more fire stations across Surrey, putting us all at greater risk. From Staines to Esher, Camberley to Epsom, fire stations are under threat.

Surrey is a crowded county with miles of busy motorways and many rivers – all ably protected by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

In addition the Conservatives are now downgrading our protection still further, by suggesting that in places, we move from a professional fire service to a volunteer one.

These cuts are a false economy as they will endanger property, put lives at risk and inevitably push up the cost of your home insurance.

Labour rejects the Conservatives’ dangerous fire station closure plans.

We oppose de-professionalising our fire services, by using on-call crews.

The Fire Brigades Union suggest merging the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service with West and East Sussex would provide a cheaper, streamlined and more efficient service; saving money and protecting citizens.

Investing in education

We need stability in our school system. No more top-down reorganisation, segregation, grammar schools or academies.

Labour will address the school places crisis by expanding the number of Surrey schools.

We’ll reverse policies that undermine our teachers and education experts and encourage youngsters to stay in education.

Keeping Surrey safe with the streetlights on!

Of all their daft cost-cutting ideas, the Conservatives most dangerous plan is to switch off our street-lights, plunging whole areas of Surrey into darkness at night.

Having trialled this in Guildford, the ruling group now plan to extend this life threatening exercise across the County.

Ending animal cruelty

Labour will ensure that Surrey Police enforce the ban on hunting with hounds.

We will continue to oppose the badger cull, which the right-wing Conservatives voted to allow in Surrey.

Labour will pressure the Government for measures to ensure that Surrey’s wildlife and biodiversity is safeguarded.

Investing in adult social care

Labour believes you shouldn’t have to sell your home to provide for your old age. We plan to integrate social care with the NHS, making it more appropriate, cost effective and respectful of people’s wishes to maintain their independence for as long as possible – staying in their own homes.

Outrageous call for 15% Tax Rise

The original plan by Surrey Conservatives to call for a huge inflation-busting 15% rise in council tax, showed just how out-of-touch they had become.

Labour believes that adult social care must be paid for by central government. Making Surrey rely on council tax to fund all social care is unsustainable and unrealistic.

Labour led the way and forced this right-wing Conservative Government and council to think again. Even now, 5% is far too high and twice the rate of inflation.

Surrey people need new Labour councillors who will listen to their views and speak up for them, not more ‘yes, ok’ Conservatives.

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