June 14, 2018 12:31 PM

The Lib Dems and I have launched a petition calling for the recent increase in allowances for Conservative Surrey County Councillors to be reversed.

The increase was voted through by Tory Councillors with four new positions of "Deputy Cabinet Member" created, each at a cost to the taxpayer of £10,000, despite the County Council planning millions of pounds of cuts to services over the next year. The Conservatives also voted to reinstate allowances for vice-chairs of committees, contradicting a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel which concluded that allowances for vice-chairs were not necessary.

cash £ coins, notes, money, pound

We are calling on local people in Surrey to back our campaign for this increase in allowances to be scrapped and the money be used instead to support Council services. It simply is not right in the current financial climate for the Tories to award themselves a payrise while at the same time cutting services for residents. The County Council's finances are in a parlous state and every penny must be spent wisely, this pay rise should be scrapped immediately.

Along with his Lib Dem colleagues at County Hall, Cllr Will Forster voted against these proposals because it was the right thing to do. Will said "How can we look our residents squarely in the face when we are increasing our allowances but cutting their services? The County Council faces enormous challenges in the future, in terms of funding and increased demand for services. Those are the challenges that the Conservatives should be focussed on, not increasing their own allowances. If you agree, please sign our petition."