This article appeared in The Surrey Advertiser on 11th October 2011
David Hodge was today (Tuesday 11 October) elected the new Leader of Surrey County Council and immediately announced a change to the authority’s parking charge policy.
Speaking to a meeting of the Full Council following his election, Mr Hodge said the council’s countywide policy for on-street parking would “end today”. Instead, local committees* will now be given freedom to decide on the policy.
The county councillor for Warlingham told the meeting: “The county council’s on-street parking policy has proved enormously unpopular. I believe we should be strong enough to recognise when we have got something wrong.
“That is why I can announce that the single countywide policy for on-street parking ends today.
“Local committees, working with boroughs and districts, are far better placed to make these decisions.
“From today local committees will have the freedom to decide without interference from us.”
Mr Hodge said his style of leadership would be based on a “one team” approach, where “everyone’s views” were taken into consideration and “those best placed to decide” would be given the power to make decisions.
“Our county council needs a new approach,” he said. “One that recognises that the best decisions are made when everyone’s views are considered carefully. One that recognises that we will be more effective if we work together. And one that recognises that those best placed to decide should be given the freedom to do so.”