Cllr Liam Lyons, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulation, said: “The Council is committed to improving amenities which enable local communities to thrive. The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy that Councils apply to new developments. It plays a critical role in maximising the funds available to Councils and communities to improve local amenities, from park improvements to safer highway schemes.
“The Council will comply with its statutory obligations under both the Section 216 of the Planning Act 2008 and in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, and it will utilise all CIL funds that have been collected for the intended purposes.
“However, the Council is dealing with unprecedented financial challenges. The expenditure of the Council is likely to exceed the financial resources available and, therefore, it can no longer balance its budget for the remainder of this financial year and subsequent years. As a result, the Council has had to adopt spending controls which stops all but essential spending, ensuring that it can continue to provide vital services to its most vulnerable residents.
“Officers have advised all Councillors, irrespective of their political party, that the spending controls that have had to be introduced must apply to all financial transactions which have an impact on cash coming into and leaving the Council’s accounts. It is in this context that that CIL commitments are required to comply with the controls the Council has had to put in place.
“This is however a temporary position, and the Council is planning to comply with all of its commitments and contractual requirements.
“I am equally frustrated by the impact of the Council’s spending controls on the delivery of services and support to communities, but I accept this is required and I will continue to represent and advocate for communities to ensure that CIL schemes can progress at the earliest opportunity.”