South West Surrey TPA organiser Peter Webb gives us his branch's update from their May Campaign, including:
- Mass lobbying of Surrey County Councillors;
- Attending Councillor meetings to hold them to account;
- Numerous letters published in the Surrey Advertiser. (See below for a selection of clippings)
If you want to join the SW Surrey TPA Campaign email Peter Webb at SWSYTPA@pgwebb.com
April omissions. Member Mike Harrison reported use of Guildford BC white vans as mobile CCTV platforms and that no privacy impact assessment carried out. This is a sensitive issue brought to attention of MP Anne Milton.
Long running issue of poor state of Surrey roads and management: Peter Rauch FOI questions cv of Jenny Isaac new Head of Surrey Roads. Answer only assures proper interview and selection procedures followed. No qualifications divulged.
May 9th: PW letter published on 7 week delay in Hospital medical report. Followed on 24th by news report in Surrey Times crediting as of TPA.
Reported in press that only 1/3rd of Surrey people now think County gives value for money
10th: Surrey Ad report on TPA 10% cut initiative with quotes after consulting me on 30th April
11th: Sent block message to County councillors and MP on value for money. Asked MPs for more intervention in Surrey government and suggested to CCllrs a different approach to planning leading to stripping out non-productive activity to reduce cost base, and then simulate without income cap towards making good case publicly supported, for income to match.
12th: Attended with Barry Smith and Ernie Hughes at Guildford library to question CCllrs on their initiative ‘Council Tax Unwrapped’. Lack of other people due to lack of notice given gave us opportunity to harangue for 1 ½ hours.
16th: Surrey Ad reported on meetings at expensive hotels outside the county to foster nebulous ‘togetherness’. I had been asked for comment and noticed that Editorial Comment was excellent: “County togetherness hardly harmonises with the taxpayer”; “nebulous ambition to build capacity”; “long-term challenges vs emptying bins and mending roads”; “partnership” now hackneyed word; “having shied away from prospect of single tier local government in Surrey, now we are told local politicians need cash to work out how they are going to work together”; “does it matter which tax, council tax or otherwise”.
30th: 3 letters published (click to enlarge):
Punishment of Taxpayers Must Stop (Steve Bowers),
Who Will Take a Stand in Council Tax Battle ?(Peter Rauch),
and Quangos and Call for Control (Peter Webb).
Council tax unwrapped block message to CCllrs set out big figure perspective over ten years asking ‘what have you done with it all ?’. Also joined to question to our two MPs: “When will Surrey MPs raise their game on high spending and disconnected Surrey government? When will they address government machinery failure and publicly call, and plan, for re-structuring? When will they acknowledge more forcefully the weaknesses in the taxation system and especially the local funding question?
CCllr Gosling (Exec Ctee – Resources) wants to see me “to clarify things” and “look at SW Surrey TPA main public statement”. (Will I need armed escort?)