The Knaphill Residents’ Association (KRA) has started a petition to keep open the facilities at The Vyne community centre.

Daily care services for the elderly and vulnerable adults at The Vyne are under threat from Woking Borough Council’s proposed funding cuts, and the council is in the process of privatising the community centre under community asset transfer.

The KRA believes the most likely outcome of this transfer is that an outside charity will take over the management of The Vyne but the KRA wants the social activities for the elderly, the NHS services for parents and children and other activities retained at The Vyne.

A spokesperson for the KRA said: “When it comes to cuts, or as the council call them, savings, the council is guided by government-appointed commissioners and they appear to rule on the difference between essential services and discretionary services. In the case of services for our elderly and vulnerable, the majority fall under the heading discretionary.

“What matters to the residents of Knaphill and villages around is how The Vyne will be run in the future and what services will be retained. The contract with any new management will need to stipulate this and the petition is demanding certainty for the village.

“The KRA welcomes plans to give Heathcot medical centre more space within The Vyne, so that the GP services in Knaphill can be improved. 

“But this extension should not hinder the other activities at the centre. 

“The KRA is also concerned about the potential disappearance of Bustler community transport, which is vital to bring users to The Vyne.”

KRA committee member and community pastor of the Baptist Church, Dr Hetty Lalleman, is very concerned about the future of The Vyne and Bustler transport.

“I was impressed by the stories of visitors who find a lifeline in visiting the community centre,” she said.

“One man told me that attending the group for those who have had a stroke helped him to regain his speech. A lady told me how one of her elderly neighbours came out in his dressing gown and slippers to express his concerns about Bustler services being stopped when she was collected by them.”

The current council budget for 2024 proposes to cease day care services at The Vyne, which are provided free of charge, and to close the café that supports all users of The Vyne during daytime.

“Day care service will still be available at Hale End Court, but that is simply not a viable alternative for Knaphill residents, especially not with the cuts in Bustler community transport,” the spokesperson added.

“We want an input into how the council and third parties provide services, including social activities, that give the most vulnerable a better quality of life.”

The petition reads:

We, the undersigned, are seriously worried about the provision for the elderly, the vulnerable and young families in Knaphill. We call on Woking Borough Council and all other parties involved to guarantee that any changes at our community centre The Vyne and to our community transport (Bustler) will not disadvantage these groups.

The petition can be signed at Valentino’s Café, Ernie’s Café, the Co-op, RSM, Sarwal’s, the two hospice shops and the library. 

Tomorrow (Saturday, February 10, 2024), the Baptist Church (88 High Street) will be open between 11am and 1pm for signatures.

The petition is online at – it will remain open until February 29.