Coronavirus information

The Civic Offices remain closed to the public. We're continuing to deliver services to the community. For Council service updates, national guidance and how to contact us, click the link below.

Find out more

Coronavirus: council service updates

LATEST UPDATE: Monday 1 June 2020

This statement is an update on the position of Woking Borough Council in respect of our activities in light of the Coronavirus and the emerging national picture.

Underlying what we do is the safety and wellbeing of the community and the safety and wellbeing of our staff in meeting the needs of local people. Whilst we aspire to ‘business as usual’, the reality is that it cannot be the case.

View the latest joint statement from the leaders of Woking Borough Council.

The Government continues to publish advice on what individuals should do to protect themselves during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is important that individuals follow this advice and take necessary steps to protect themselves, their families and others.

View the Government's current Coronavirus advice, guidelines and support measures.

Woking Borough Council service updates

In light of the Prime Minister's continued instruction to stay at home if you cannot work from home, the Civic Offices remain closed to members of the public. We are continuing to deliver our services, which can be accessed by the public via this website.

The Civic Offices closure also includes access to services provided by: Surrey Police, JobCentrePlus and Surrey County Council Adult Social Care.

View contact details for each organisation.

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Council facilities reopened for public use

In line with the Government's announcement on Sunday 10 May, the following facilities are open:

We ask that visitors to enjoy the facilities responsibility and follow the Government’s advice:

  • Only visit/use these facilities with people from your own household or with one person from outside your household.
  • Maintain social distancing – stay two metres apart at all times.
  • Bring your own hand wipes or sanitiser to clean equipment or when using entry gates.

View the Government's full guidance for spending time outdoors.

Business

Business rates

The Government has updated it business rates support for retail and other business sectors. It has expanded its ‘retail discount’ to 100% discount on business rates.  This discount now covers, all retail, leisure, hospitality businesses plus estate agents, letting agencies and bingo halls.

Find out more about business rates and the new temporary discounts.

Business grants

The Government has provided funding for business grants of £10,000 or £25,000 to qualifying small businesses and some businesses in receipt of business rates retail discount. We have written to over 1,250 local businesses which may qualify.

Find out more and apply for a small business grant.

Commercial tenants

We will review across our corporate estate where tenants may need a flexible approach from us about delaying rent payments. Where possible we will delay the obligation to pay if that enables a business to survive and retain employees.

Guidance for food businesses providing takeaways and deliveries

The Government has set out measures so that pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home.

Read the Government's revised approach for restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Businesses offering new takeaway and delivery services must think about any new hazards and ensure updated control measures in place to eliminate risks. Additionally, your business can only offer these additional services if it’s a registered food business with us.

Read our takeaway food and deliveries guidance.

Business advice and support

Read useful guidance and support for businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Community and living well

Brockhill Extra Care

Brockhill Extra Care remains open for residents. Day centre services have closed.

Community support and helpline

Surrey County Council is coordinating a county-wide helpline and support services for vulnerable residents and those struggling to access the right services, finances and food supplies.

Read about the support available.

Community meals service

The community meals service remains open. 

The service is taking new referrals only. This covers residents who have come out of hospital, those who are unable to shop for meal requirements or have no alternative arrangement in place for shopping

We are working with our existing network of community support, including Woking Community Transport, to reach more people and will continue to extend this network.

Careline personal care alarms and sensors service

Careline is operating business as usual service. However, all routine follow-up visit will now be conducted by phone.

Careline's fall responder service is suspended until further notice.

Centres for the Community

Our Centres for the Community (Moorcroft, Parkview, St Mary’s and The Vyne) are closed to the public. Instead, these will be used as hubs to coordinate support to vulnerable residents.

For those residents who usually use our centres for support and/or meals, alternative support is being arranged including providing meals through our  community meals service, social contact will be maintained through regular phone calls, and visits and essential shopping will be provided through our home support services.

Handyperson service

The handyperson service is currently available to residents who have been discharged from hospital only.

Returning home after a stay in hospital

Our Homesafe Plus service is not operating in its usual format due to staffing capacity at local hospitals. Hospitals will continue to refer patients to relevant council services where possible.

Social prescribing

The social prescribing service is operating a reduced service. Client visits have ceased, whilst phone calls to clients continue.

Woking Food Bank

It operates a delivery service six days a week. Emergency helpline number: 07309 115 862.

Find out how to get help from Woking Food Bank.

Volunteering

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, our volunteering team has been overwhelmed with hundreds of pledges of support from local volunteers. Due to the high level of volunteers coming forward, all of our volunteering roles have been allocated at this time.

We’re aware of a number of local volunteer projects which are currently recruiting volunteers and may welcome your help.

Find out more about community volunteering.

Local businesses wishing to volunteer, for example, by diverting their resources to support the community or providing help in any other way, can register their interest with us.

Register your business to provide community support.

Vulnerable residents

Vulnerable people known to us are being supported and the engagement with community networks is being developed.  We will be redirecting further colleagues, including staff of partner facilities we have closed, to support this activity.

Council Tax

Council tax payments

Council Tax payments will be taken as usual.

Anyone who is struggling to make payments, should contact us to agree a revised payment plan.

The Government has introduced a Council Tax hardship fund targeted at those in receipt of Council Tax support.

Read more about Council Tax payments and support.

Council and democracy

Council and committee meetings

Full Council, Executive and committee meetings will resume from Tuesday 12 May 2020. All meetings will be hosted virtually via Zoom.

Read more about the new virtual meeting arrangements.

The Mayor and elected members

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, the 46th Mayor of Woking, and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Saj Hussain, are to remain in office for another year.

The process to formally request the Mayor's attendance at civic events is suspended until further notice.

The council’s annual meeting and Mayor-making ceremony, scheduled to take place in May, has been postponed until May 2021 meaning all existing councillor appointments remain in force.

Read more about the Mayoral arrangements

Freedom of Information (FOI) and Data Protection requests

We have suspended Freedom of Information (FOI) or Subject Access (Data Protection) requests during this time. The suspension will be reviewed at the end of May 2020.

Young People's Civic Awards 2020

The winners' Civic Reception has been postponed until April 2021. Winners have been informed by post.

More information about the Young People's Civic Awards.

Housing

Housing - choice based lettings

Bidding for properties via our  Choice based lettings (CBL) system will resume in June. The next bidding cycle will start on Tuesday 9 June and close on Friday 11 June.

Homelessness prevention

We are working positively with the York Road Project to ensure our rough sleeper community has accommodation during the Coronavirus crisis.

Our housing advice team are conducting homelessness assessments by telephone. If you are homeless or have been made homeless due an emergency situation, phone 01483 743 834.

Housing applications

Our housing needs team are still managing phone calls, letters and emails.

Housing register applications are still being accepted by post and processed. Until further notice, we have suspended verification visits until further notice. Unfortunately, this may delay some allocations.

Many properties are still being allocated but there is a delay on repairs due to contractor staff shortages. Some removals are taking place, but only in very special circumstances.

Read more about how to apply for housing.

Tenancy information for New Vision Homes tenants

New Vision Homes is making all efforts to keep its services running with as little disruption as possible.

Read New Vision Homes' Coronavirus guidance and service updates.

Tenants experiencing financial difficulties

We and ThamesWey are working positively with tenants in financial difficulties to avoid the risk of homelessness.

Private sector housing

The Government has published non-statutory guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors.

Read the Government’s full guidance for landlords and tenants.

Leisure and culture

HG Wells Conference and Events Centre

HG Wells Conference and Events Centre has closed and will not reopen due to the scheduled closure in July.

Leisure centres (Council owned)

Woking Leisure Centre, Pool in the Park and Woking Sportsbox are closed. If you are a member, your direct debit payment will be suspended and no further payments will be taken whilst the centres are closed.

View Freedom Leisure's closures information.

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms (Council owned)

All play areas and playgrounds and outdoor gyms across the borough are closed.

Parks and green spaces (Council owned)

Our  parks and green spaces remain open for informal exercise.

Celebrate Woking events

Events organised by us as part of the Celebrate Woking programme of events have been postponed until 2021.

Read more information about Celebrate Woking events.

Licensing and permits

Taxi and private hire operator licences

The licensing team are continuing to offer renewals, but are no longer accepting new licence applications until further notice.

Find out more about applying for taxi and private hire licence renewals.

All enquiries should be emailed to: licensing@woking.gov.uk

Parking

Temporary changes to our parking operations

  • All council owned car parks will remain open and operate free of charge until further notice.
  • All  permit holders, both car park and on-street residential, will have their permits automatically extended to cover the period where parking is provided for free.
  • We will not be processing new car park or residential parking permit applications until further notice.
  • Our civil enforcement officers will only enforce parking in the interests of public safety.

More information about car parks and on-street parking.

For further parking enquiries, please email parking@woking.gov.uk

Planning and building control

Building control applications and site visits

We are still accepting electronic building regulation applications and conducting some visits.

Read the latest building control service updates.

Pre-planning advice

Pre-planning application meetings are cancelled. Written advice will still be provided by email development.control@woking.gov.uk

Planning applications

The planning service is still accepting and processing planning applications.

Read the latest planning service updates.

Protected tree works

Applications to undertake works on protected trees are still being processed and photographs are requested to illustrate the proposed works.

General site visits have been suspended until further notice.

Read the latest tree management updates.

Waste and recycling

Community recycling centres

 Some Some community recycling centres (CRC), run by Surrey County Council, have reopened with new social distancing rules. The reopened sites includes Martyrs Lane community recycling centre in Woking.

Read more about the new rules for using Martyrs CRC.

Waste and recycling collections

Joint Waste Solutions is running a normal waste and recycling service at present.

The textiles and small electrical items collections will resume on Monday 1 June.

See the latest service updates for waste and recycling collections in Woking.

Due to advice to stay at home, Joint Waste Solutions is experiencing more demand for its services and it has issued advice on how residents can assist collections during this busy time.

Residents are requested to put out their bins for collection the night before their scheduled collection.

Read Joint Waste Solutions waste and recycling advice for residents.

Joint Waste Solutions has issued specific advice for residents who are self isolating. This involves double bagging your personal waste and isolating it for at least 72 hours.

Read Joint Waste Solutions waste and recycling for residents who are self isolating.

Our employee working arrangements

Wherever possible, appropriate adjustments have been made to enable staff to work from home and continue to deliver services for residents.

Non-essential staff have been redeployed to ensure front-line services can remain open to the public.