24 November 2017
Green county councillor Jonathan Essex tabled 53 questions at the Surrey budget scrutiny meeting yesterday. No wonder it was a long meeting! He had this to say about Philip Hammond's budget: "This budget did little to address the UK's cost of living crisis for many, continued the squeeze on council budgets and did nothing to address climate change. The budget still leaves local councils – including Surrey – struggling to make ends meet. Instead we need proper funding so that all services, not just social care, can be properly delivered. Similarly, this budget has failed to address the housing crisis - where we must focus on first providing the homes affordable for all living locally.
The budget also failed on climate change, continuing oil and gas subsidies, which risks blighting Surrey's countryside instead of supporting local energy initiatives and investment in renewables. Whilst we welcome plans for a plastic tax – to start addressing how plastic now litters our oceans and enters our food chain - this is just one issue. We need the budget to create a new economic settlement that offers hope for everyone, both now and in the future".