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Looking back at 2019

Published: 24 December 2019

A year in focus

What a year 2019 has been in Surrey. The council has been fully committed to making good progress on transforming services, ensuring that children are safe, the vulnerable and elderly are supported and that residents feel part of this amazing county. There have been some great initiatives introduced this year that focus on Surrey being a county that is fit for the future, greener and brighter. Here's a recap of some of the milestones that were achieved this year.

Greener Future

On 9 July 2019 the council declared a climate emergency and committed to working with partners to agree Surrey's collective response, including a strategy for becoming carbon neutral as early as possible. The Greener Futures project was Surrey-led, bringing partners from across the county working together on schemes to deliver real change. As part of this, Surrey County Council launched an exciting new project to plant a new tree for every Surrey resident by 2030. On Saturday 5 October, the first of 1.2 million trees were planted in Cranleigh.

Fit for the future

The River Thames Scheme funding was also announced in October for long term flood risk management work across Surrey to protect homes and roads. This includes a contribution of £270 million, which will reduce flood risk to 15,000 properties and tens of thousands of people living and working near the Thames.

Countryside parking charges were removed opening up the countryside for all to get out and explore, enhancing Surrey resident's health and wellbeing. Community Recycling Centres have all remained open and Surrey's libraries are now in the process of being modernised.

Plans were also unveiled for three new extra care housing developments in Guildford, Surrey Heath and Runnymede. Up to 165 new homes specially designed to help older people live independently are set to be provided across the three sites in Surrey, with hundreds more to come.

A Safer Future

Surrey Fire and Rescue Services' Making Surrey Safer Plan was agreed by Cabinet. Tim Oliver the Leader of Surrey County Council said "The intention of this plan is to modernise the service and make it fit for purpose for the next 20 years, reflecting all of the new challenges and demographic changes that we see throughout this county."

Children and young people in Surrey are continuing to be supported to be safe and feel safe and confident by improving and strengthening our support for those that are vulnerable, at risk or in care. This was confirmed by a positive Ofsted monitoring report in June, and further progress noted in a follow-up visit reported in December.

At last the new Civic Heart for Surrey County Council was confirmed as being Woking - moving closer to where our residents actually are - and moving out of County Hall in Kingston by the end of 2020.

We at Surrey County Council are well on our way in our transformation journey towards delivering the Vision 2030 that we set out at the beginning of 2019. We are continually asking for your views to help shape the changes that need to be made, so please keep an eye on Surrey Matters for the latest developments. We've still a long way to go but so far some positive changes have been made.

So it remains for us to wish all our Surrey residents a happy and healthy 2020. Watch this space for continuing updates on what's going on in your community and Surrey wide. Follow Surrey Matters on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit Surrey News for regular news updates.

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