Here’s a pretty picture of the county of Surrey – which could become a behemoth – Council with 1.2m residents called The Surrey Unitary Authority!
Why? Simples: As Cllr Liz Townsend said at ‘Your Waverley’s’ Full Council meeting recently, The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.
Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.
“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields. We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”
And here’s the man leading the power grab – Leader Tim Oliver.
In Tim Oliver’s letter to the Secretary of State asking for Surrey to become a Unitary Authority includes this sentence:-
“We can build more homes more quickly and develop the high streets and town centres of the future, but to do this we need to streamline decision making on planning and infrastructure with a single clear strategic approach.
We can tackle inequality and level up within Surrey to ensure inclusive growth. We can reach net-zero carbon emissions and deliver a greener future. Our One Surrey Growth Board is well-placed to provide the place-oriented leadership and strategic co-ordination to deliver this.”
Want to know which areas have been earmarked on Oliver’s Surrey Growth Board?
You can read about those areas here: Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.
The Government will publish a Recovery and Devolution White Paper in the autumn, setting out its plans for the devolution of powers, freedoms and flexibilities alongside intentions to increase the number of unitary and combined authorities and elected Mayors. Doing so will support the achievement of the 2030 Community Vision for Surrey.