Reports from the Local Politics Front Line

Surrey County Councillor, Chris Botten provides information about local politics and what is going on at Surrey County Council. Chris uses this website to keep his constituents informed about situations and events, and in particular, his own involvement in these.

Chris will post mostly weekly updates on his work on behalf of his constituents, as a County and District Councillor. He will describe the processes and possible frustrations associated with getting things done while in opposition, and also share the key issues on which he will be fighting. He hopes residents will find it helpful and informative. It will rarely be party political, but if it is, it will be obvious why.

After twenty years as a Tandridge District Councillor and thirteen as a Parish Councillor Chris is now one of the 81 County Councillors.

He’s in opposition, as he has been for most of that time; there are 61 Conservatives at County, so Chris will bechallenging, bringing a different perspective and trying to make things fairer. He has led the Opposition at Tandridge for a number of years.

A Democratic Deficit

A Democratic Deficit Last week I attended Surrey’s Health and Wellbeing Board. This committee contains representatives from patient organisations, Clinical Commissioning Groups, (CCGs), the SCC Cabinet (represented, I have to say, by three councillors who are really effective and know their brief) and Borough and District Councils. Its remit is to take a strategic view […]

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Flayed Alive.

Flayed Alive. The last couple of weeks have been very difficult. Part of the problem is the intense frustration associated with failings of the system I can do little or nothing about. I am extremely upset that the Caterham Hill branch of the Children’s Centre is being evicted to less than ideal premises because the […]

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Beyond Repair?

Beyond Repair? I was at a conference last week for District Councils and heard two stimulating contributions calling for councils to focus on the wellbeing of their residents. What a useful objective for us. The trouble is, despite the invention of Health and Wellbeing Boards, no body has oversight of our health and wellbeing. The […]

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What we Pay for.

What we pay for. The Council Tax Conundrum This is the Council Tax setting season, when we pore over budget lines and projections and try to make sense of them for our residents. The more granular the spreadsheets, the better we can explain. Except we can’t do that for the County Council as they are […]

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A Strange Feeling of Impermanence

A Strange Feeling of Impermanence. I attended a seminar this Monday morning which was led by senior figures in the Local Government Association, looking at ideas for the County Council to save money. Publicly available information tells us the following about the Council’s current position: “Over the last six years the Council has achieved annual […]

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A few surprises and some shocks- now begins a very busy period.

  After the summer lull, the next ten days will see some very important developments and some significant challenges. While welcoming the change of heart with regard to the Community Recycling Centres, I am worried about what reductions in opening hours the service will face and the impact of any reductions. More significantly, the issue […]

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