The call for greater powers and freedoms to be devolved to the south-east has come from three council leaders.

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Surrey County Council latest authority to ask for financial independence from government

David Hodge: Wants what's best for Surrey

David Hodge: Wants what’s best for Surrey

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Leaders from Surrey, Sussex and East Sussex county councils all signed a letter sent to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

They wrote: “Together we can ensure that the right decision are made in the right places to guarantee that the current contribution to our nation’s success and finances is not only continued but also expanded to the full potential it can reach.”

To tackle issues such as school places, housing and social car the councils want access to more of the taxes raised locally.

David Hodge, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Our residents and businesses are at the heart of our plans and only through collaborating and working as one team – using the local expertise we possess – can we be certain to make the services people rely upon fit for the future.”

Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton councils also recently announced their own push for semi-independence from Government funding.

The five councils said if they could keep business rates, they would not need the traditional funding from Government and could use the money raised  to create 500,000 new jobs and build 20,000 extra homes.

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