Council welcomes first commissioner report


Thursday, 19 October, 2023

Government-appointed commissioners, appointed to Woking Borough Council following its financial and governance challenges, have published their first report on the council’s progress since intervention began.

The report has now been published on the government’s website and accepted by the council.

Cllr Ann-Marie Barker, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “I welcome the response from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to the publication of the Commissioner’s first three-month report. The Commissioners’ report provided an assessment of how Woking Borough Council has responded to the government intervention and directions.

“My administration and officers of the Council have welcomed the government’s intervention and the support provided by Commissioners. We agree with the report’s findings, which mirror our own assessment presented to Council in August 2023.

“The Commissioners are right to draw attention to the severity and uncertainties that remain around our financial position. The Council continues to work hard to understand the full implications of our situation, whilst also taking the necessary steps to manage our current and future budget overspend. This is a key focus as we work towards setting our 2024/25 budget, ensuring that the council learns to live with within its means and achieves financial sustainability. This will inevitably involve difficult decisions in the coming months.

“I am pleased that the Commissioners have recognised the important progress the Council has made in adopting a robust Improvement and Recovery Plan and how we are determined to become a smaller, more efficient council focussed on delivering core services to residents.

“Commissioners have also acknowledged how elected members and officers have worked with them in an open and transparent way and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership to achieve financial stability in the future.”

Read the Ministerial response.

Read the Commissioner’s first report.