SURREY (NEWS 1130) – One Surrey city councillor is worried about safety in the city given that the municipality hasn’t budgeted to add more police officers or firefighters in the new year.
Surrey’s 5-year draft budget will be front-and-centre Monday, as public consultations on the matter are set to kick off.
Councillor Jack Hundial says he is concerned about the $129-million allocated to Surrey’s transition from RCMP to a new police force.
“When you look at a no growth position on any of these, what you are doing is stretching out these resources and you know, we’re not going to able to provide those services in a growing city.”
He adds he is worried essential services will suffer as a result, despite assurances from the mayor that this is not the case.
“He tried to make the claim which he can’t, that it does not come at the cost of cannibalizing the entire rest of budget for the city for one program, or one direction. From today or even to the future, we know the cost for police is going to increase. No one ran in the election to say we are going to give you less police officers for no money.”
The hiring freeze is meant to keep costs on track due to plans for a new police force.
Public consultation kicks off at Surrey City Hall at 1 p.m. Monday, and council will vote on the budget in the evening.
Hundial encourages Surrey residents to contact their elected officials to express their concerns since the weekday afternoon consultation may not be the most convenient time for everyone.