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Legal, Democratic and Cultural Services

Our role

We provide legal advice and representation to the Council and its services, and support the democratic process, civic role and decision-making machinery of the council, ensuring the law is correctly applied. Our vision for 2017 as part of the Chief Executive's Office is to enable and assist Surrey County Council to deliver the most effective and efficient services to residents. "We will do this by engaging with the public, embracing new legal powers, supporting and advising Councillors and working with colleagues and partners to deliver services and to shape innovative future provision, and we will focus our resources to improve outcomes to the Surrey public" - Ann Charlton, Head of Legal and Democratic Services.

Legal Services

Legal services provides legal advice focused on supporting front line services and protecting the council's reputation and resources. The service is grouped around council services/areas of expertise and consists of the following teams:

Corporate Group - providing advice and assistance on procurement, property, highways, planning and litigation matters.

Children, Adult and Education Group - providing advice and representation in relation to child care, adult social care and education matters, including assistance for schools.

Legal Support Team - providing administrative and business support to the rest of the service.

The Monitoring Officer role

Ann Charlton has been appointed by the council as Monitoring Officer to ensure the sound governance and lawfulness of all Council decision making. She is supported in that role by all staff in Legal and Democratic Services. The Monitoring Officer provides advice to the Standards Committee. Any complaint about a Surrey County Council member or co-opted member is referred to the Monitoring Officer.

Democratic Services

Democratic Services ensure the decision making processes, governance and scrutiny functions of the Council are efficient and effective, enabling the business of the Council to be carried out in a transparent and accountable manner.

Cultural Services

The mission of Cultural Services is to enhance the quality of life of the County by providing its statutory service responsibilities efficiently and to deliver accessible, high quality, inspirational and enjoyable cultural and learning activities and information for all people living in or visiting Surrey.