Author Archives: Councillor Jonathan Essex

Time for the Council to address affordable housing shortage and climate threat

At the Council’s budget-setting meeting on 13 February 2020, I called on the Council to set targets for new genuinely affordable homes for rent, to provide stronger support across all our communities to address the impacts of austerity, and to commit to real urgency in addressing climate change.

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Council tax rises – and Conservative cuts

This week, the Surrey Mirror asked local politicians to comment on the question: Has the rise in council taxes affected residents in our area?  This is my response: Simply put – yes. Council taxes for Surrey County Council, local councils and police funding have all increased, hitting the poorest hardest. Taxes for the largest Surrey […]

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Comment on Surrey earthquakes: reopen the inquiry into links with oil industry

Early this morning, people across a wide area of Surrey and Sussex were woken by a bang and felt buildings shake and furniture rattle as yet another earthquake was recorded in Newdigate. This was the 21st earthquake in the ‘swarm’ that started last spring and, at 3.1 magnitude, the largest so far.

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Development Plan ‘needs improvement’: Aerodrome site saved

Helen Hockenhull, the Planning Inspector appointed to examine Reigate & Banstead Council’s ‘Development Management Plan’, has provided feedback following last year’s hearings. You can read her Post Hearing Advice Note here – it’s the last download on this page. She said the plan requires major modifications, the most significant of which is to remove the […]

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Have your say on proposed council cuts

How do you think Surrey County Council should invest its money? Surrey is consulting on proposed changes to some of its vital services: Children’s Centres Concessionary bus travel Libraries and cultural services Special educational needs and disability Community recycling centres If you have views on these, please share them with the Council by 4 January 2019.

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Ambition needed on transport and air quality

I spent Bank Holiday Sunday reading Surrey County Council’s new draft strategies for electric vehicles and for addressing the air quality and climate impacts of transport. What do they all say? Here’s a quick summary of the new strategies, together with a few of the points I submitted in response to the consultation.

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Expanding Heathrow will harm the climate and people’s lives

Last night, the House of Commons voted to approve the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement [1]. This paves the way for a third runway at Heathrow, and signals the government’s intention to fly in the face of international climate change agreements, as well as ignoring those calling for public transport connections, air pollution and noise […]

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Green success as Surrey  County Council agrees to go “plastics free”

Last week, Surrey County Council passed a motion which I had tabled to tackle the scourge of single-use-plastics. The motion follows campaigns across the country to reduce the use of single-use plastics after programmes such as the BBC “Blue Planet II” series highlighted the damage they cause to oceans and marine life.

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DMP: We propose new development policies and object to Green Belt release

East Surrey Green Party submitted a response to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s Development Management Plan (DMP) Regulation 19 consolation. We do not believe that the DMP in its current form is sound. The DMP doesn’t set any density targets. If it required higher density at development sites (with different targets depending on the type […]

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Surrey County Council budget: Let’s demand better funding for Councils and invest in services for a better future

Surrey County Council’s financial problems are set to continue as a Council Tax rise of 6% was announced, as well as £66 million of spending reductions required in the next financial year. The proposals will be approved by the County Council’s Conservative Cabinet next week before all Councillors vote on the proposals at the Budget […]

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