Local residents, businesses and community partners are invited to have their say on the future of Woking Borough Council’s discretionary services. These are services that the Council is not obliged to offer but currently provides.
Services, such as arts and culture, sports and leisure, and independent living, are currently provided and funded at the discretion of Woking Borough Council. Many councils do not always fund or provide these services.
Considering the significant financial challenges the council faces, including the need to bridge an £11 million budget shortfall in 2024/25, it is necessary to make difficult decisions about these discretionary services.
In order to continue providing these services the council may need to increase charges, transfer the delivery of services to partners or not provide the service at all.
Cllr Ann-Marie Barker said: “As part of the council’s improvement and recovery plan, we need to become a smaller organisation focused on delivering core services to residents.
“It is, however, important that we hear the views of local residents and partners on the discretionary services that matter most to you before any decisions are made. Your views will be paramount in determining the future of the discretionary services we provide whilst ensuring best value for the local taxpayer.
“The more feedback we receive the better informed we will be, so I would strongly encourage you to share your views with us. Together, I hope we will get through this challenging time and become a smaller council that is fit for the future.”
Services such as waste and recycling collections, planning, housing, homelessness and environmental health are statutory services that are required by law and will continue to be provided. Services delivered by Surrey County Council, such as highway maintenance, are not affected.
Residents and partners keen to tell the council their views on discretionary services can do so by visiting Woking Community Forum before the closing date, Thursday 10 August 2023.