Relocation

WOKING could become home to Surrey County Council’s new headquarters, turning it into the county town.

On Tuesday, the county Cabinet will discuss a report calling for the council to move from Kingston by the end of next year. Woking and Guildford are the leading options for the new site.

The location for the WWF headquarters in Woking was considered for Surrey County Council’s HQ before the WWF moved in.

The move will involve establishing a “Civic Heart” where many of the functions of County Hall will be located.

The possible Woking site of the Civic Heart has not been revealed but is believed to include part or all of the police station/coroner’s court complex, Dukes Court, or one of the other town centre buildings not yet earmarked for redevelopment.

It is part of wider plans by the county council to save tens of millions of pounds by reducing the number of buildings the council uses from 300 to 100.

The report, by council leader Tim Oliver, states that staff will no longer all have to be in one central location but become an “agile workforce” with the majority “able to work anytime, anywhere, supported by the right technology.

“The adoption of an increasingly agile way of working for staff calls into question the place of the County Hall complex in Kingston, which, since county boundary changes in 1965, falls outside the administrative boundary of Surrey, no longer lends itself to supporting modern ways of working, and is costly to maintain.”

Over the past 54 years, several proposals have been made for the relocation of County Hall, with the Brewery Road car park, now the site of the WWF-UK headquarters, being raised at one point.

Cllr Oliver’s report said that one of the criteria for a Civic Heart would be “accessibility from across Surrey and from London, such as proximity to main road and rail networks.”

Would you like to see Woking become home to the Civic Heart? If so, where should it be located? Email editor@wokingnewsandmail.org.

For the full story get the 25 April edition of the News & Mail