Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.

Come on Waverley residents lets all join The great Surrey £100 million giveaway, or should it be called bribe?

Perfect timing – in the run-up to the Surrey County Council elections next May – all of a sudden the cash-strapped council has decided to give away £100million to enhance the county’s communities. The same council that slashed its youth centre provision last year now wants to help communities to set up youth centres. Really? You couldn’t make it up?

County Councillor Mark Nulti wants to give away £20 million every year for the next five years to the public to give them back “ownership, of their communities. Despite SCC saying it has to make £200m savings over the next three years! Oh! and by the way – the scheme is being funded by ‘BORROWING.’

Surprise, surprise – just months after the county council’s head honchos launched their bid to the government to become THE largest Unitary Authority in the country. A bid that is opposed by all 11 borough and district councils in the county – along comes the BIG SURREY GIVEAWAY!

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti is playing Father Christmas as he asks the public to pitch projects to enhance Surrey’s communities. Nicely timed? 

The county council has launched its £100 million scheme, giving financial backing to ideas put forward by residents and community groups. He wants people to “think big” and come up with ideas to improve their areas – the minimum giveaway is £10,000 of the £20million up for grabs.

Deputy cabinet member Cllr Nuti, who is the leading the ‘Your Fund Surrey’ scheme, said:

“This is groundbreaking in the public sector. I’m not aware of anything else on this scale. We’re giving ownership back to the residents. There is no bad idea.”

“The council is constantly telling people what they want and what they need. The classic example is the youth centre that goes to rack and ruin within two years because no one was asked if they wanted one. We’re saying, tell us what you want, and we’ll try to make it happen.”

He must be pulling our legs with bells on?  Wasn’t it the very same Surrey County Council that slashed its budget for youth leaders not so long ago? 

Remember these headline?

Youth worker hours to be cut by Surrey County Council in bid to save £2m

The proposed cuts mean boroughs will lose a combined total of 250 hours each week

Cutting back on youth workers will have a knock-on effect for Surrey’s children later on in life, a councillor warned.

Surrey County Council is slashing youth worker hours in a bid to save more than £2m of the £9.7m savings needed in the council’s Early Help provision budget.

Cllr Clare Curran, the cabinet member for children, revealed at a cabinet meeting last week that the numbers of hours of youth service provision each week in boroughs and districts across Surrey are planned to be reduced.

Responding to a question submitted by Cllr Jonathan Essex she said a restructure would reduce delivery from 794 hours across Surrey each week to 618 and that £2.46million had been saved from freezing vacancies and integrating functions.

However, Cllr Essex said at the time:  

 “cuts to early years help would have a long-lasting effect on children growing up in Surrey today and stressed concern that fewer youth services and workers helping children now would have a knock-on effect later on in life.

He said: “Early engagement is about doing the right things early to save problems later. Whether it’s running youth centres or providing youth workers. This is what holds our communities together. That’s invaluable. You cannot put a value on a strong community. “Investing in our young people in Surrey is absolutely crucial to help keep them safe and to give them the opportunities and life experiences to grow up into well-rounded adults.

Anyone proposing an idea will have to have a Business plan for how it will operate once it’s up and running.





3 thoughts on “Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.”

  1. Other than being (as you said) essentially a pre-election bribe, it is of course bribing the public with its own money (and potentially at the expense of services).

    Let’s just say they get this money at the public works loan board rate of 2.8%.

    Most of these projects they have in mind won’t be generating revenue back to the council causing 2 very large issues:

    1) how do these groups maintain and run these assets or projects going forward.

    2) assuming these things make enough to make it a sustainable asset going forward, that money isn’t doing what PWLB borrowed to invest normally does / is supposed to do – to be used to generate a yield of the repayments plus x %.

    So Surrey (if they use this money) will be opening up yet another front for revenue issues in the future.

    #TimeForAChange in Surrey as this lot have just lost the plot. I’ll be doing my bit by attempting to take the Godalming South, Milford and Witley division.

  2. Let’s hope the May elections produce a council that can be honest and transparent with the public, rather than treating them like morons. The average Surrey taxpayer will not be duped by such transparently obvious bribes like this. Particularly as capital projects, as you so rightly say, then have to be funded. By whom we wonder?

    Let us hope that the political parties can be sensible and all work together to kick some – and we do say some – of this lot out. Start with a a clean sheet – tell the public how it really is at County Towers and then move on for all our sakes.

    Good luck in Godalming South, Milford & Witley division – highlighting the traffic problems might be a good idea. Tomorrow’s post. Another SCC highways failure in the making!

  3. This SCC promotional video (link below) comes with a health warning. Mark Nulti performing like some second-hand car salesman, desperate to stay in office by using the Big Bribe. It’s cringe worthy.
    He only secured 59% of the vote in 2017 with a 31% turnout – so his seat is distinctly wobbly. Roll on 2021 elections.

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