Cllr Hazel Watson, Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council wrote to the Secretary of State asking him to investigate the excessive increases in councillor allowances and the excessive number of special responsibility allowances pushed through by the Conservative administration at County Hall. She also asked him to check whether the Government's own regulations had been followed by the County Council.
Cllr Watson said : "I am delighted with the response I have received from Brandon Lewis, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to my letter. He has condemned the decisions on councillors allowances as "deeply concerning" and agrees with me that the County Council did not comply with Government Regulations. He has stated that the Government expects those in public life to show restraint and to set levels of allowances for councillors and remuneration for officers which reflect the pressure on budgets and the need to pay off the deficit left by the last Administration. I totally agree with his comments.
"Given the Government's clear condemnation of the decisions and also the outrage expressed by Surrey residents who have to foot the bill, I am again calling on the Conservative administration at County Hall to overturn their decisions on councillors allowances and replace them with something much more reasonable.
"The Conservative administration at County Hall is living in cloud cuckoo land if they think that they can get away with these outrageous councillor allowances. It is time for them to back down and admit they made a massive mistake to the detriment of Surrey residents."
The Liberal Democrat case on Europe is being endorsed by experts left, right and centre.
Our case is that being in the EU is vital for economy. It means jobs, trade and prosperity.
I spoke to Nick Clegg about the business case for EU membership last week – he is right to say EU withdrawal would leave Britain "isolated and irrelevant in our own backyard" and not "taken seriously".
Roger Carr, President of the CBI
UK membership provides unfettered access to a single market of 500 million people, which today is our largest export customer.... Departure would undermine jobs, dilute international relationships and damage national wealth.
Federation of Small Businesses
The internal market creates some legal certainty and a level playing field throughout competition rules and many harmonised rules. This means that businesses can save considerable cost when selling to EU countries.
The outcome of this year's European Election will have a direct effect on our economy for years to come. Nick Clegg spoke about this in his New Year message. Nick said, "The Liberal Democrats are Britain's Party of In... because being in Europe means jobs, trade and prosperity."
The Coalition Government has today announced that Surrey will get £7.5 million to deliver 15 hours a week free early years education for the poorest two-year olds by 2014.Read more...