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29.03.17

Surrey CC gives notice to withdraw membership from LGA and CCN

Surrey County Council has given notice to withdraw its membership from the Local Government Association (LGA) and County Councils Network (CCN), PSE has today learned.

This development follows leader Cllr David Hodge resigning last week as leader of the LGA’s Conservative Group after the so-called ‘NickiLeaks’ affair.

PSE reported earlier this month that released correspondence between the county council and DCLG leadership had revealed a possible secret deal between the two parties, which may have influenced the council’s decision to U-turn on a referendum proposing a 15% tax rise.

A Surrey CC spokesman now said: “Along with many councils up and down the country Surrey is facing huge financial pressures, due to a combination of reducing government grant and increasing demand for vital services, and these pressures are set to continue.

“It is therefore essential we consider every aspect of our spending and that is why we have given notice on our membership of four associations – the LGA, the CCN, South East England Councils and South East Strategic Leaders.”

He added that notice will allow the county council to review the decision in a year’s time based on its financial position at that time.

LGA chair Lord Porter also said that his association was continuing to work hard to ensure that councils were stable enough to deal with financially challenging times ahead.

“We are also working with councils and the government on the Fair Funding Review, making sure all the factors that influence the need to spend are considered,” he added.

Lord Porter also explained about the work being done with the LGA’s members to secure £2bn extra funding for social care over the next three years, and also cash secured to fund school repairs.

“Providing real value for money for all of our members and securing the best possible deal for all councils remains our top priority. It is normal for councils to look at their membership of the LGA when scrutinising their budgets, given the tough financial climate they all face,” Lord Porter said. “As of today, there is only one current member council yet to confirm its membership of the LGA next year.

“We are constantly listening to what our members tell us in order to improve our membership offer and the services we provide to councils. We will continue to work hard to represent the whole of local government as we ensure the benefits of being in membership outweigh the cost of subscriptions.”

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