South West Surrey Organiser Peter Webb updates us on the SW Surrey TPA Campaign for April.
2nd: PW letter to MP Jeremy Hunt pointing out lack of answers to 13th Feb 5 questions and challenging his letter of 31st March with its unsubstantiated “clear policies”..This ended up with a time-limited meeting on 19th April with PW and Barry Smith concentrating on County Council shortcomings, unclear MP support for it, and need for better government ideas from Conservatives. Little achieved. Our Mike Hutchinson of Shere reported sightings of Guildford BC white vans with CCTV cameras aboard. Need to get ‘official’ position re privacy issue.
10th: Barry Smith writes MP Jeremy Hunt, cc David Cameron, re uncollected council tax etc and need for Conservatives to plan for replacement of council tax.
11th: PW letter published “keep up pressure” for reform and linked to earlier letters from others.
Published letter from Nevill Shearman protesting at County spending and precept increase. Intends to pay last year plus 2% only.
16th: Response from David Cameron’s office to Barry Smith demolished in annotated return of message shown also to Jeremy Hunt
17th: Jeremy Hunt replies to Barry Smithand, says will forward concern to Hazel Blears.
18th: PW quoted in Surrey Ad news report on residents falling value for money belief, one third from two thirds 2 years ago. Another hard-hitting published letter from Steve Bowers following County Leader Nick Skellett’s failure to answer calls to explain 5% precept increase.
19th: Meeting with Jeremy Hunt MP (see above)
21st: Submitted statement to Audit Commission carrying out quinquennial corporate assessment of County Council to study whether the council has a clear ambition and priorities, how it delivers and whether objectives achieved. Evidenced summary that Council makes no effort to ‘woo’ resident taxpayers with a shareholder interest, is sluggish and top-heavy.
23rd: Answer received to FOI question to County Council about costs and failure associated with change of contractor for Suretime bus stop information system. Answer incomplete and evasive. CCllr (mine) Chris Slyfield has been active re Police precept rise of 9.7%, its cap and appeal. It turns out that nobody attended public meetings (The Surrey Police Authority didn’t visibly tell anybody ). He asked for SW Surrey TPA to be put on Police list of stakeholders for possible input for or against precept. I made direct contact.
30th: TPA 10% challenge: commented at length to Vita of Surrey Advertiser.