Woking Borough Council
Civic OfficesGloucester SquareWokingSurreyGU21 6YL
Telephone: 01483 755855
The Council is made up of 36 councillors who are elected by local residents and represent 17 wards. The whole Council agrees overall policies. Day-to-day decisions are then made by the Executive comprising a leader and five councillors who are appointed by the Council.
The Executive's work is reviewed by a single Overview and Scrutiny Committee which considers a range of social, environmental and economic matters. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is responsible for setting up task groups to look at different aspects of our work and can `call-in' (or stall) the Executive's decisions for further consideration.
The Council's vision is 'towards tomorrow today'.
achieving things and looking to improve
having a forward-thinking attitude
building on what is good today, and
planning and working for the future.
More information about our vision and values is available elsewhere on this site.
We provide a wide range of services and facilities and to help us to use our resources in the most effective way, we have to set priorities. We will focus on four key priority areas for the coming year, as follows.
decent and affordable housing
health and well-being.
One of the most important issues identified by our residents is the need to provide good-quality affordable housing for local people. This includes social housing as well as homes for key workers and others excluded from the open market because of the relationship between house prices to buy and rent and people's incomes.
The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) carried out in 2008 identifies the need to provide 499 additional units of affordable housing per annum. Progress in this area has become increasingly difficult over recent years. Due to the economic climate, development activity has declined with few house builders starting on site in the Borough on schemes with an element of affordable housing. The affordable housing opportunities coming forward are therefore limited. The target of 499 additional units is unlikely to be achieved without a significant change in market conditions.
In spite of these challenges the Council is:
The Council has agreed that economic development is an important area of work and has added this as a priority, to mitigate the impact of the economic downturn and build for the future.
Economic development will focus on the following key objectives.
To improve the quality of life for people who live in, work in and visit the Borough, we must protect and improve the environment in ways which can be maintained without using up natural resources and are sustainable in the future. This includes working on reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to climate change.
We are working to maintain a clean, healthy and safe environment and keep the amount of waste sent to landfill as low as possible and increase recycling.
Our priorities include the following.
Continuing to divert waste from landfill with our alternate weekly collection of waste and recyclables, weekly collection of food waste, garden waste collection service and recycling sites. These successful services have seen our recycling rate rise to over 50% in 2010, a major landmark.
Working with our partners, Serco, performance on street cleaning and grounds maintenance has seen a steady improvement. More needs to be done and changes have been made that should ensure improvements continue in future years.
Our Climate Change Strategy provides a clear vision of how Woking wishes to achieve a low carbon and well-adapted area, integrating mitigation and adaptation. First adopted in 2002, it provides a short, medium and long term framework aligned with national targets under the Climate Change Act of at least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, against a 1990 baseline. The strategy incorporates three principal objectives: reduction in Borough-wide CO2 equivalent emissions; adaptation to climate change; and promotion of sustainable development.
We contribute to the health and well-being of our residents through the work we do to make sure that buildings, businesses and the environment are not causing harm. We also work to encourage people to take part in leisure and cultural activities that are available to everyone.
Our priorities include the following.
Progressing the aims of the cultural strategy and meeting the community's needs, including bringing our development plans relating to arts, sports, health and well-being and green spaces into force.
The Lightbox, a new gallery and museum for Woking, opened in 2007 and we will continue to work with and support this prestigious project as a valuable community facility.
Increasing the number of people from all sections of the community taking part in sports and cultural activities and target programmes for under-represented groups.
Working with the Safer Woking Partnership to reduce crime, improve safety, and tackle anti-social behaviour.
Beacon status recognises local councils which are delivering excellent public services. Winners are invited to share their experience and expertise to help other councils.
The Council has been successful in three categories: