The Council's key strategies and policies

Accessing the Council's Strategies and Policies

The provision of our services and activities, and our plans for the future, are all underpinned by a number of key strategies and policies.

The following pages set out our key strategies and policies in alphabetical order and present a short summary of each of their aims and objectives together with a link to further details, or copies of the full document.

Anti-Fraud Policy

This policy details the Council's commitment to tackling fraud.

It covers action on fraudulent overpayments of benefit to claimants and to landlords, duties and consideration of anti-fraud officers, council employees and elected members, and benefit administration and counter-fraud action.

Asset Management Plan

The Asset Management Plan sets out how the Council undertakes the strategic management of its property portfolio and how this relates to the business objectives of the Council. The Plan:

  • ensures that properties are sufficient for the delivery of the authority's services, objectives and Community Strategy;
  • seeks to manage land and property in accordance with the principles of sustainability and the promotion of community safety;
  • ensures the land and property is managed and developed in ways that maintain or increase asset value.

Best Value Performance Plan

This is an annual document that provides a reference point showing the linkages between our Community's aspirations as articulated in the Community Strategy, the Council's own Vision and Priorities and the activities that are undertaken in individual service areas. It also sets out our achievements over the last year, how we are performing against our targets and how our activities are resourced.

The aim of the Plan is to:

  • provide clear information about the Council's performance and our plans for continuous improvement in the quality and value of services;
  • provide information on how the Council is managing the Borough's operations;
  • provide information on the Council's budgets and Council Tax information.

Building Control Charter

The Council's policy in the exercise of its statutory duty to perform the Building Control function is to enforce Building Regulations. The Council has adopted the principles laid down in the Building Control Performance Standards Document published in July 1999 by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Capital Strategy

This Capital Strategy sets out how the Council's capital investment contributes to the achievement of its objectives.

The Strategy explains:

  • what the Council's corporate objectives are;
  • who its key partners are;
  • how the Council is working corporately and with others to achieve corporate, cross-cutting outcomes;
  • how the Council's new investment is prioritised;
  • how the investment will be monitored and evaluated.

Climate Change Strategy

Woking 2050 (adopted September 2015) takes a look at our whole way of living and how it can influence our environment. Balancing our environmental aspirations with the Borough's need for development and economic prosperity is at the heart of our goals. The aim of this strategy is to coordinate a wide range of objectives into one comprehensive document that can be used by the Council and Woking's residents, businesses, community groups and others, to reduce the Borough's impact on the environment.

The Surrey Heath and Woking Community Legal Service was established in April 2000 with the aims of more effective targeting of public funds to meet local need for information, advice and legal services, and to ensure that all the funders and providers of these services work together.

The development of the Community Legal Service Partnership has established that there are generally a sufficient number of providers offering specialist and general legal advice and help in the area. The concern is that these services are provided by a relatively small number of agencies and some additional gaps have been identified in provision. The strategy details ways in which these issues are being tackled.

Community Safety Strategy

The 1998 Crime and Disorder Act gave the Police, the Borough Council and the County Council shared responsibility for developing and introducing strategies to reduce crime and disorder in the area.

The two aims that support all objectives and actions in the Strategy are reducing crime and providing people with a sense of safety and reassurance.

(See Safer Woking Partnership - Partnership Plan 2015-18)

Community Strategy

Woking's Community Strategy sets out a future for the Borough based on the local community's aspirations and vision, which were established following an extensive consultation exercise. It's key aims for improving the quality of life for people in Woking are to help create:

  • a strong community spirit with a clear sense of belonging and responsibility;
  • access to quality and affordable housing for local people and key workers;
  • a clean, healthy and safe environment;
  • a community which values personal health and well-being;
  • integrated and accessible local facilities and services;
  • a transport system that is integrated and accessible, recognising Woking's potential as a transport hub.

Contaminated Land Strategy

This strategy identifies local arrangements for fulfilling the Contaminated Land (England) Regulations 2000.

The aims are:

  • to identify unacceptable risks to human health;
  • to identify unacceptable risks to controlled waters;
  • to protect designated ecosystems;
  • to prevent damage to property;
  • to prevent any further contamination of land;
  • to encourage voluntary remediation of contaminated land;
  • to encourage re-use of brownfield land.

Countryside Strategy

The Countryside Strategy for Woking is to set out the Council's policies for protecting and enhancing the Borough's precious countryside resource. The aims of the Strategy are:

  • to protect and where possible enhance the Borough's 'natural' environment;
  • to ensure that there is equal opportunity for residents to have access to open spaces, wildlife and the countryside;
  • to broaden opportunities for the enjoyment of wildlife and the countryside whilst balancing recreational demand with the need to protect the Borough's biodiversity;
  • to increase general awareness and understanding of issues relating to the Borough's countryside through publicity, education and community participation;
  • to encourage support and co-ordinate the works and involvement of the community, interest groups and public bodies.

Cultural Strategy and Action Plan

The Strategy aims to identify how the Council, through working with its partners, can enrich the cultural life of the Borough for the benefit of the whole community. Through consultation the eight priorities that have emerged are:

  • building a strong local community spirit;
  • meeting the needs of young people;
  • enriching the lives of older people;
  • enhancing the Borough's environment;
  • promoting Woking as an attractive destination for evening activities;
  • raising the profile of the Borough as a venue for cultural activities;
  • making better use of resources;
  • effective marketing of cultural activities.

The Action plan sets out what we will do to respond to the priorities.

Economic Development Strategy

The strategy sets out Woking's vision to become Surrey's economic hub: a premier location in which to live, work, visit and do business.

Empty Homes Strategy

The aim of this strategy is to provide a framework within which the Council can work with other organisations and private individuals to bring empty homes back into use to meet an identified housing need.

Equalities: Being Equal Policy Statement

This policy aims to enhance both the quality and effectiveness of the Council's services in meeting the needs of everyone within the Borough.

The aim is to make equality an integral part of the way the Council works, by putting it at the centre of policy making, service delivery and employment.

Equalities: Race Equality Scheme 2008-2011

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 requires most public authorities, including Woking Borough Council, to promote race equality. Its aim is to make race equality a core part of the way the Council and other public authorities work, by putting it at the centre of policy making, service delivery and employment.

Wherever possible, the Council will:

  • eliminate unlawful racial discrimination;
  • promote equal opportunities;
  • promote good relations between people from different racial groups.

External Communications Strategy

The Strategy outlines the Council's approach to communication and consultation which ensures:

  • that the interests of all our communities are met;
  • that the democratic process provides direct accountability to the electorate by ensuring people have an understanding of the Council's actions, decisions it takes and the reasons for them.

Financial Strategy

The Financial Strategy sets out the issues facing the Council and the approach that officers will take in preparing the Budget for 2006/07.

Food Safety Service Plan

This sets out our commitment to the delivery of a continually improving food service.

The objectives of the Food Safety Service Plan are:

  • to ensure that food and drink intended for sale for human consumption, which is produced, stored, distributed, handled or consumed within the Borough without risk to the health or safety of the consumer;
  • to investigate suspected and confirmed food poisoning incidents, to locate the source of contamination and to prevent it spreading to protect the health of the public.
  • to provide information and advice on food safety matters for business and members of the public.

Health and Safety Policy

The Council is committed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees, customers, suppliers and members of the public throughout their interaction with the Council.

The Policy details the responsibilities of all employees, managers and supervisors, the Human Resources Manager, the Health and Safety Officer, the Executive Directors and Business Managers to ensure that the policy is implemented. It also lists the support documents available to facilitate this.

Housing Policies

The Council has adopted a range of policies which cover the activities provided by the housing service.

Housing Strategy 2011-2016

The Housing Strategy 2011-2016 outlines the Council's plans and priorities over the next five years, and focuses on delivering four key housing objectives in the Borough, namely:

  • providing well-designed, quality homes that are affordable and suit people's needs
  • preventing homelessness and providing help to people in housing need

  • helping people to achieve independence and choice

  • making better use of all existing housing.

The Strategy has five action plans detailing how the Council will achieve its housing objectives, which have been developed in response to local needs, as well as consultation with residents and partner organisations.

Internal Communications Strategy/Action Plan

This strategy provides a framework for developing and improving internal communication for individuals, within and between teams and and at the organisation level.

An audit of internal communications in 2001 highlighted eight key themes. The action plan details new initiatives under each of these themes.

Investment Programme

The Council's Capital Strategy includes a detailed outline of the underpinning Investment Programme (see paragraph 6 in the Capital Strategy).

Joint Municipal Waste Strategy

The Surrey Local Government Association have produced a Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy covering a 20 year period from 2006 to 2026.

By 2026 it is hoped that the amount of waste produced will be minimised, the overwhelming majority of materials will be re-used, recycled and have value recovered from then, and that the environment will be protected and enhanced for future generations.

Local Agenda 21

Woking's LA21 Group was set up to help raise awareness and promote environmental and sustainability issues in the Borough.

The website has details about the LA21 Action Plan, which was produced in 1998 after a widespread consultation and sets out the activities planned to ensure the sustainability of our area.

Local Development Framework

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 changed the way in which development plans are prepared. The new plan-making system introduced Regional Spatial Strategies (such as the South East Plan), and Local Development Frameworks to replace the previous system of Regional Planning Guidance, Structure Plans and Local Plans.

The Woking Local Development Framework (LDF) is known as Woking 2027.

Supplementary Planning Documents

The Council will also produce Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) to support DPDs. They will explain in more detail the application of particular policies set out in the Core Strategy and other DPDs, or policies of the Woking Borough Local Plan 1999 that have been 'saved' for continued use as part of the LDF.

Overpayment Policy (Benefits)

This document details the Council's Overpayment Policy, which deals with procedures, legal sanctions and recovery, customer rights, and monitoring and review.

People Strategy

The People Strategy is designed to ensure that the Council's most valuable asset, its people, are able to contribute successfully towards the strategic direction of the Council and achieve their full potential.

Planning Users Concordat and Enforcement Concordat

This charter sets out the Council's standards of service in relation to dealing with breaches (or allegations of breaches) of planning control.

Private Sector Renewal Policy

The Private Sector Renewal Policy aims to achieve long-term improvement to the private sector stock within the Borough and will form the basis of a comprehensive Private Sector Housing Strategy. The policy assists continued improvement to Private Sector housing to assist regeneration and environmental sustainability in the Borough.

Procurement Strategy

The aim of the Strategy is to set out a clear corporate framework to achieve the most effective method of procuring outcomes in line with the Council's business objectives and best value principles.

Public Realm Usage Policy

The report describes the role and function of the public realm spaces in Woking Town Centre and the objectives for their use, together with the expected codes of conduct.

Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion Strategy and Action Plan

The aim of this strategy is to minimise the risk of social exclusion in the Borough. The term social inclusion aspires to tackling the exclusion of individuals, neighbourhoods, districts and communities of interest.

The strategy identifies vulnerable groups within the Borough, the social and economic costs of exclusion, intergenerational impact, and provides data relating to both national trends and Woking specifically.

The action plan sets out planned activity to address the identified priorities.

Surrey Supporting People 2004-2009

The Supporting People Strategy has been pulled together in partnership with all stakeholders who provide services for vulnerable people in Surrey.

It has two strategic aims:-

  • to develop high quality, cost effective services which genuinely meet the support needs of vulnerable people;
  • to achieve the above through partnership.

Taxi Customer Charter

The Customer Charter provides a guide as to the type and standard of service to be expected when travelling in licensed vehicles.

Waste Management Strategy

The Waste Management Strategy sets out the Council's plans for achieving 'Zero Waste' and significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

Woking Borough Local Plan 1999

The Woking Borough Local Plan was adopted by the Council on 27 August 1999. It set out the Council's policies for the development and use of land and included the key considerations for determining planning applications.

In September 2007 most of the policies of the Woking Borough Local Plan were 'saved' as part of the Local Development Framework, which means that they can continue to be used until they are replaced by new policies in the Local Development Framework. Some Local Plan policies have been outdated by more recent national and regional planning policy.

Supplementary Planning Guidance

The Council has produced a number of Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to amplify the policies of the local plan.

This is a supporting document to the Health and Safety Policy.

This document details how to identify stress, the causes of stress, and means of coping with stress. It also details the active ways in which the Council tackles stress and highlights the availability of assistance if required by employees.