Author Archives: Councillor Jonathan Essex

The Autumn Statement: my response

I had hopes for the Autumn Statement. The Local Government Association and Surrey County Council had talked up the massive funding gap to local councils and social care, which is making 4% a year council tax rise the new normal. And the UK government had, just a week ago ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement. […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Local: which way will Conservative councillors vote?

Tonight Reigate and Banstead Borough Council will vote on a recommendation by the Executive NOT to sign up to the ‘Climate Local’ initiative. Climate Local is an initiative run by the Local Government Association and the Environment Agency to encourage and support local Councils to take action on climate change [1]. I introduced a Motion suggesting […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Earlswood Lakes: how was decision to allow boating made?

Many residents have contacted us about their concerns over recent developments at Earlswood Lakes. The Council is awarding new contracts for catering at the Lakes, including the reintroduction of boating on the top lake. Boating was stopped years ago and since then the lake has been managed for wildlife.  It is part of a Local […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Responses

Reigate and Banstead can choose to invest to make our services better and living here more affordable

This is the speech I made in response to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s budget proposal at last night’s Council meeting. (Please see the footnotes for references and further information.) I will start by thanking officers for their work preparing this financially sound budget. Yet our strong financial position includes money not yet used, which […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Government should not force Surrey to make frontline cuts

Today was the annual budget-setting meeting for Surrey County Council.  This is the speech I made. I cannot support this budget.  As an opposition member here in Surrey I only get to vote on the budget envelope rather than on what’s inside. This budget hides all the details which could mean deeper cuts to care […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

Marketfield Way: why no affordable housing?

At the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Executive meeting last Thursday, the Conservatives announced the next phase of plans to develop on Marketfield Way car park in Redhill. The latest proposals added a few extra storeys to the plans previously unveiled – it will now be up to ten storeys – and included agreement that […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greens oppose Airport City Gatwick plans

I am supporting residents opposed to the construction of a 172-acre business park to the east of Horley. Although I serve on both Surrey and Reigate and Banstead Councils, the first I heard about this was when the proposal for ‘Airport City Gatwick’ came to Reigate and Banstead’s Executive last week for agreement – you […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

Parking update

Parking issues are probably raised more often than any others, with many residents finding it difficult to park near their homes because of commuters and shoppers parking in local roads. There are no easy answers to this thorny problem, and we are very aware that no solution is going to work for everybody.  The only […]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Airports Commission report backs third Heathrow runway

The Airports Commission report, published today (1 July), has backed a third runway at Heathrow, saying it will add £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050. This proposal from Howard Davies is deeply disappointing. His proposal for a third runway at Heathrow would see local communities further blighted by noise and air pollution […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response

Proposed cuts to bus services

Surrey County Council is proposing to make cuts to its local transport budget to the tune of  £2 million by 2017/18.  The proposals will be discussed at the Cabinet meeting next Tuesday (23 June). You can see the report that will be presented to the meeting here:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment