Surrey’s public sector calls residents to have their say on services

DebateWEBONEbPublic bodies across Surrey have teamed up to call on local residents to have their say on services  as the country braces itself for the tough times ahead.

At a time when the Government have major budget reductions for public services in the Comprehensive Spending Review, Surrey’s public sector organisations (including Surrey County Council, Surrey Police Authority, Surrey Police, NHS Surrey) have launched the Have Your Say campaign.

The initiative will give residents a unique opportunity to shape the delivery of future public services. The Surrey debate offers news on the financial challenges facing the public sector; answers to frequently asked questions; toolkits to guide group discussions across the county and a range of ways for residents to submit their views.

Surrey County Council Leader, Dr Andrew Povey, said:
Difficult decisions will have to be made by all of us in the public sector over the next few years. A lot has already been done but the gravity of the national financial position means much more change will be necessary. It is vital residents feel they are getting value for money from their public services and it is therefore essential that they have their say on what changes take place.

Even ahead of the Government’s spending announcement Surrey County Council already knows it has to save £180m over the next four years, that’s about a quarter of the annual budget.

We have already identified more than £60m of savings for this financial year, but so many public services are interdependent that it is sensible that we work together. This will ensure we avoid duplicating work unnecessarily and make sure any changes have as little adverse impact on residents as possible.

David Clayton-Smith, Chair of NHS Surrey, added:
Surrey’s NHS already faces a deeply challenging financial position. Add to this the increasing demand for healthcare, the impact of an ageing population and the cost of new and expensive drugs and treatments, it’s clear the county’s NHS is unsustainable – and that radical change is needed.

Local residents are invited through the campaign to have their say and help shape the delivery of different, but better, services that offer value for money.

Views can be posted on a new website.

www.SurreyHaveYourSay.info

Alternatively, residents can email enquiries@surreyhaveyoursay.info or phone 03456 009 009 to find out more.

Cllr Mark Brunt – Merstham Ward
It is important that we understand which services are important to local people, where they think money could be saved and how they would be prepared to get involved in helping your community in these difficult times. Residents views will inform our decisions, so have your say today.

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  1. Glyn says:

    Also I have reported several times over the past two years that the street lights at the top end of the alley between Mansfield drive / Huddlestone Crescent are not working and also the same with the alleyway between Huddleston Cresent/ Radstock Way. The paths down both these alleys are a terrible hazard with massive cracks and uneveness due to subsidence. There are areas down both alleys where in the dark you cannot see these faults. The last time I reported it a couple of weeks ago ,I was told they could not rectify the problem due to recent financial cutbacks. SO why wasnt it done over the last two years when I and several other people I know also had reported it again and again. In that time they have built one of the best play areas in Surrey over in the Priory grounds. Dont get me wrong it is brilliant park and I take my grandchildren there, but the point is they will spend money on a Reigate recreational area but not maintain basic paths and lighting in Merstham.

  2. Glyn says:

    Yes I totally agree with Nigel too many projects are going ahead that are just superficial. What we need is someone with clarity on what is essential now! With so many cuts ahead, we have to have the budgets spent on important issues that affect our everyday living. I have seen police patrolling Merstham at 08.00am this week and for what ? To make us feel safe as we are going to work, NO if we are get value for money with our police force then we need them in the evenings and early hours not 08.00 in the morning. Total waste of resources, we want them to patrol our streets,when they are most needed at night time! Another point Nigel also made was that flower planting on roundabouts was absolutly true, a roundabout that is attractive surely takes drivers attention away from the road so keep them plain and save money, its not a neccessity, Spend the money on filling potholes and the repair of neglected paths in our area instead, Im sure £60K would have gone a long way towards this. Some are getting really hazardous and will result in injuries and people suing the Councils for neglegence and saying they cannot afford the repairs in that case is a false economy.

  3. Nigel Cubbage says:

    Significant savings could be made if a lot of the regulatory infrastructure is scrutinised.
    For instance, why is the planning permissions process so costly?
    Unnecessary interference in terms of H&S over-inquisitiveness needs to be addressed. It is an important function, undeniably – but it now costs business an additional 15% to comply with all this stuff – surely the burden can be reduced and, by definition, the cost of council regulation?

    Councillor salaries and costs must be halved – why did SCC spend £15,000 on “brewery costs” last year?

  4. Nigel Cubbage says:

    The priorities surely have to be health care, education and facilities for the elderly and disabled. To a large degree, everything else should be considered up for grabs – but these must be ring-fenced.

    Initiatives such as Surrey business link should be evaluated for their ability to aid the recovery – probably dubious.

    Parks etc – could encourage locals to particiapte more in initiatives like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “Plant a fruit tree”, instead of spending huge amounts on flowers at roundabouts and grass cutting.

    Roads – cut all proposals for humps and traffic calming – the beneficial effects are largely negligible anyway. The work done on my road (Nutfield Rd) has had no benefit whatsoever as far as I can see in terms of changing driver behaviour.
    If anything, the chicanes have made things more dangerous.

    Nutfield road shopping parade had about £60K spent on a facelift last year – this sort of project has to go.

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