The new Leader of Surrey County Council has used his acceptance speech to announce plans to leave County Hall in Kingston.
Tim Oliver, the county councillor for Weybridge, was this morning (Tuesday 11 December, 2018) elected to lead the authority and immediately revealed the plans to fellow councillors.
Taking over from David Hodge who stepped down from the role after seven years, Mr Oliver said: “For too long the emotional connection to a community has been taken for granted. For 50 years we have not been close enough to the residents we serve, and we all represent. I have therefore asked the officers to start the detailed planning for the relocation of the people in this building back in to the county of Surrey.”
He added that he hoped the authority would leave the building in Kingston-upon-Thames “by 2020”. There are no plans for where staff will move to but Natalie Bramhall, the county councillor for Redhill West and Meadvale, has been appointed a Deputy Cabinet member and handed responsibility for finding the council a “suitable new home”.
Setting out his leadership plans, Mr Oliver said: “It is now my task to implement the core strategies Members agreed in October…. My commitment to the principles that underpin these strategies is unwavering: No one should be left behind, we will take a fresh approach to working in partnership, we will help people to help themselves and others, and we will involve and engage our residents more fully in the development of services.” He added: “Our first objective must be to make Surrey financially sustainable once again.”
Turning to the County Council’s relationship with Central Government he said: “We will forge a new working relationship with Central Government in which we work together. Whilst we must work to unlock funding and secure policy reforms that help us adapt to changing needs and pressures in our communities, I also want us to offer our support and assistance to them to find solutions to problems felt across society.”
Finally, the new Leader announced Colin Kemp would become Deputy Leader and revealed a number of new faces to the County Council’s Cabinet. Julie Iles joins as Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning, Matt Furniss takes over Highways and Sinead Mooney picks up responsibility for adult social care. In a sign of the new leadership’s commitment to address the financial issues facing the council Mel Few moves from adult social care to a new finance brief. Natalie Bramhall is joined by Wyatt Ramsdale as a new Deputy Cabinet Member. Full details of the new Cabinet can be found below.
Leader – Tim Oliver
Deputy Leader – Colin Kemp
Cabinet Member for Corporate Support – Charlotte Morley
Cabinet Member for Finance – Mel Few
Cabinet Member for Highways – Matt Furniss
Cabinet Member for Adults – Sinead Mooney
Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families – Mary Lewis
Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning – Julie Iles
Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste – Mike Goodman
Cabinet Member for Fire, Community Safety, Fire & Resilience – Denise Turner-Stewart
Deputy Cabinet members:
Highways – Cameron McIntosh
All-Age Learning – Alison Griffiths
Environment & Waste – Wyatt Ramsdale
Property – Natalie Bramhall