Government intervention

On Thursday 25 May 2023, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published the outcome of its non-statutory external assurance review into Woking Borough Council’s finances, investments and related governance.

The Secretary of State considers the council is failing in complying with its best value duty under the Local Government Act 1999. In particular, the scale of financial and commercial risk due to the council’s legacy of extraordinarily high and disproportionate levels of debt. The government’s intervention will be in place for five years.

Read the DLUHC external assurance review report

The report highlighted that the council does not have the capacity or capability to manage the severe financial challenges faced by the authority, and it must increase the pace at which the recovery must happen.  

Following publication, the government formally announced a series of measures that outline the next steps. This included confirmation of a government-appointed commissioning team to work with our Corporate Leadership Team to address the authority’s ongoing financial challenges.

Read the letter sent to our Chief Executive, Julie Fisher


Commissioners have been appointed to Woking Borough Council for a minimum of 12 months. They are accountable to the Secretary of State and will report regularly on the council’s progress towards recovery.

During this time, commissioners will work with senior council officers to deliver an agreed recovery and action plan at pace.

The commissioners appointed for the initial 12-month period are:

  • Jim Taylor, Lead Commissioner
  • Carol Culley OBE, Commissioner
  • Mervyn Greer, Commissioner.

Find out more about the commissioners

Related council news

Read the council’s statement in response to DLUHC’s external assurance review

Related external links

Read DLUHC’s external assurance review of Woking Borough Council

Read DLUHC’s letter to the Chief Executive of Woking Borough Council

Read all documents relating to the review and the government’s best value intervention

More information

Further information will be published on this website as and when it is available.

Sign up to our enewsletter list to receive the latest council news