|Farnham Caste - location for Surrey Conservative away days|
- At a time of contracting budgets, belt tightening and major challenges facing local government Surrey's ruling Conservatives took 26 Conservative councillors and county council staff for two days to Farnham Castle in November. This working break received extensive press coverage both locally in the Surrey Advertiser and in the national media. Press stories pointed out that Conservative Local Government Minister Eric Pickles recommends councils "cancel away days at posh hotels". Mr Pickles recommends using a room in a council owned property or swapping a room with a neighbouring authority. All very sensible cost saving measures.
- Ignoring Mr Pickles's advice and seemly unphased by criticism Surrey's Conservatives are planning to do it all over again. Same venue, another two days away with an overnight stay. The Surrey Advertiser has the story.
- The Surrey Advertiser explains that the event is in Leader David Hodge's diary. It also gives the dates 6 to 7 June 2013. In addition to the arrogance of spending taxpayers money on away days Conservative councillors are pre-empting the results of elections to the county council due to be held in May 2013.
Surrey County Council Conservatives have now cancelled the away day planned for June 2013. Lib Dem Leader at the County Council Hazel Watson is still seeking answers on previous away days at the castle. The County Council are listed on the castle's website as regular users. It is thought there may have been trips to the castle since 2009.