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Legal, Democratic and Cultural Services

Director – Ann Charlton

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


Our services


Manager – Sarah Baker

We provide 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.  Any complaint about a Surrey County Council member or co-opted member is referred to the Monitoring Officer.


Democratic Services

Lead manager – Katie Booth

We provide excellent support in order to ensure that the senior leaders of the organisation are assisted and enabled to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Ensuring the decision making processes, governance and scrutiny functions of the Council are efficient and effective, we enable the business of the Council to be carried out in a transparent and accountable manner.

We support and contribute to the delivery of the Council’s strategic goals and we drive and support service transformation and organisational change. Our Civic Support Team, Information Governance Team and School Appeals Service deliver professional support to the wider community in Surrey.

Email us at: democraticservices@surreycc.gov.uk

  • Leadership and Member Support - Executive, Personal and Leadership Assistant support to the Leader, Chief Executive and Cabinet, and business support to all county councillors.
  • Cabinet and Committees - Our purpose is to support the Council’s Cabinet, Regulatory Committees and Scrutiny Boards and their Members, so that decision-making and business management processes operate openly, efficiently and effectively within the terms of the Constitution, and comply with statutory requirements and best practice standards. The Council has a number of decision making committees including Cabinet, County Council and several Regulatory Committees. These committees are held to account by the Council's six Scrutiny Boards.
  • School Appeals - The School Appeals Service organises admission appeals and exclusion reviews for all community and voluntary controlled schools within Surrey and schools that make their own admission arrangements.
  • Civic Support - Providing support to the Chairman, Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff; co-ordinating briefings and organising events, including all royal visits within the County.
  • Information Governance - Promoting the Council's information governance framework, ensuring that the authority complies with its statutory obligations in relation to both Data Protection and Freedom of Information.

Cultural Services

The mission of Cultural Services is 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. The service provides highly visible frontline services, available to all the public. It comprises of seven divisions. These are:

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