A Progressive Future for Surrey: Our Common Programme for Surrey County Council

Compass supporters and progressives across Surrey have come together to develop a common programme for the 2021 Surrey County Council elections. Find the full list of target seats here.

Who we are

  • We are a progressive alliance of members and supporters of the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the Labour Party, other progressive political parties and residents’ groups, as well as others without any particular party affiliation.
  • We share values and aspirations that cross the political divide. We are committed to the notion of the Good Society, underpinned by principles of equality, sustainability and democracy. We believe in treating people and the environment with respect and kindness.
  • While recognising that the new administration will face severe financial challenges and a legacy of policies that we want to review, we are determined to face the challenges ahead by supporting an administration that brings together the different strands of progressive politics in Surrey: Liberal Democrats, Labour and Greens – and others including progressive independents and residents’ parties.

We want to see Surrey County Council:

  • Reflect the shared values and aspirations outlined above in its policies
  • Lobby central government for a fairer funding settlement for all levels of local government, to better meet the needs of communities and ensure that the burden of local taxation falls more heavily on the better off in our community
  • Give district and borough councils greater powers to support their communities
  • Resist any further attempt to create an all-powerful unitary council to govern the whole of Surrey
  • Support public services, enhancing well-being for all residents while providing particular support to the most vulnerable.

The Ecological and Climate Emergency

We need greater urgency in aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030 across the council and across Surrey, in line with the majority of the districts and borough councils. We support zero-carbon buildings, community energy projects, traffic-free towns, active transport, protecting our Green Belt and ecological land-use policies: protecting and planting trees and hedgerows and rewilding. We are committed to the goal of a pesticide-free Surrey by 2025 and want to change the SCC minerals and waste policy to ban fossil-fuel drilling and fracking in Surrey. SCC should end investment in fossil fuels and divest the Surrey Pension Fund from fossil fuels, as part of a new ethical and sustainable investment policy.

Children’s Services and Education

We will protect funding for schools and oppose government cutbacks in education spending. We will develop a partnership with all maintained schools, encouraging collaborative working, and bring back strategic planning notwithstanding government restrictions resulting from academisation. We will provide extra support for schools in challenging circumstances and we will support the most vulnerable in the education system, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). We will support the most vulnerable Surrey children and ensure that no child in Surrey goes hungry – by opposing cuts in children’s social care and further closures of childrens’ centres, and supporting the school meals service. We will help schools to build back and give extra support to pupils as we emerge from the pandemic. We will support childcare provision for working parents.

Safety, Security and Emergency Planning

We oppose cuts in the Fire Service and support the expansion of emergency planning for inevitable climate scenarios, while drastically reducing Surrey’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2030. We will ensure that systems are robust for any future pandemics.

More Sustainable, Accessible and Safer Travel

We will shift priorities away from roadbuilding and incentivise active and sustainable transport, building cycleways and walking routes; supporting 15-minute neighbourhoods, school streets and 20mph zones in residential areas; and expanding electric vehicle charging points, working in partnership with district and borough councils.

Libraries, Museums and the Arts

We will invest in libraries and the creative and performing arts to help ensure, with district and borough councils, that the creative industry properly recovers following the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to ensure libraries become multi-use hubs for their local communities, encouraging the revival of the creative and performing arts post-Covid and supporting the extension of the Library of Things initiative to encourage reduction and re-use of things, alongside recycling.

Social Care

We will prioritise investment in social care for both children and adults in need, and improve safeguarding measures for children and adults. We will improve the timeliness and effectiveness of initial child protection conferences and improve the quality of child protection and child-in-need plans, in line with the recommendations from the most recent Ofsted monitoring visit following the judgement in 2018 that children’s’ services were ‘inadequate’.

Strategic Planning

We will develop a new Minerals Plan for Surrey, work to end fossil-fuel extraction in Surrey and promote genuinely affordable housing and social housing across Surrey without infringing on our Green Belt.

Waste Disposal

SCC should follow the lead of Derry and Strabane council to become a zero-waste authority in partnership with our borough and district councils. We will expand the CRCs in furtherance of a zero-waste strategy. We will encourage and invest in encouraging reduction and re-use as well as recycling.

Find the full list of our target seats here.

One thought on “A Progressive Future for Surrey: Our Common Programme for Surrey County Council

  1. It would be great to have a Surrey Compass facebook site, where Surrey Compass members can discuss these ideas.

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