Massive Unitary Authority planned for Surrey - Lib Dems demand local people consulted

September 3, 2020 7:30 PM
By Cllr Ann-Marie Barker

Ann-Marie BarkerAs Woking took tentative steps out of lockdown, news broke of a massive power grab by Conservatives at Surrey County Council. In July this year Surrey County leader Tim Oliver announced his ambition to centre democratic control for all of Surrey at County Hall.

Surrey County Council commissioned consultants PWC to produce a report showing abolishing Woking and other local councils in Surrey would save money. The Conservative run authority wrote to the government about their plans which tie in with government proposals for reorganisation of local government.

Woking and other local councils in Surrey are looking at alternatives for our County that keep more democratic control locally.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Liberal Democrat Leader in Woking, insists residents are not forgotten in this battle for local democracy and has called for reports on the future of Woking to be public.

"Surrey County Council came up with a secret plan while the rest of us were busy battling a pandemic. They didn't ask local people. Woking Council intends to fund a study on an alternative plan, but the result could be confidential and no funding has been committed for local consultation