Local residents, trade unionists and activists held a protest outside the borough council’s offices in Woking town centre calling for an end to cuts in council services and a rise in charges.

Paul Couchman, secretary of Save Our Services in Surrey (SOSiS), which organised the protest, said the group handed leaflets to councillors entering the building for a council meeting and to passers-by.

‘’The proposed cuts and closures to public services will have a drastic impact on our most vulnerable residents and mean the loss of hundreds of essential local jobs,’’ Mr Couchman said.

‘’A delegation from the protest went in to speak with council leaders who refused to accept responsibility for the cuts, saying they had no choice but to follow the dictats of the government commissioners who are being paid by the council to oversee the decimation of our public services.’’

Mr Couchman said those who most needed the services are least able to pay.

‘’These cuts would mean risk to life for many vulnerable people,’’ he added.

SOSiS believes the council should refuse to make cuts to services and make the government fund the shortfall.

Will Forster, the deputy council leader, said Ann-Marie Barker, the council leader, met the protesters to listen to their concerns.

‘’The council is working with the commissioners to seek support from the government for the council’s financial position,’’ Cllr Forster said.

Mr Couchman said SOSiS is planning a campaign meeting on January 4 and a major protest outside the full council budget-setting meeting on February 8.