Paul Couchman (Secretary) introduced the discussion:
The Council is bankrupt with a staggering £1.9bn debt.
SOSiS produced a People's Budget For Surrey on a programme of No Cuts, Improve Services, Fight For Funding.
Not a single Councillor from any of the Parties on the Council has refused to carry out the cuts.
Local Councils account for one fifth of public spending.
At last year's SOSiS conference it was unanimously agreed to adopt the manifesto and urge councils to protect services and jobs by using reserves and prudent borrowing whilst campaigning for increased government funding.
Tory Austerity plus local mismanagement has led to this huge debt (Annual Budget £24m - debt £1.9bn)
3 Commissioners have been appointed at a cost per Commissioner of over a thousand pounds per day each. They will be in place for 5 years.
The Council has been told to make £11m cuts out of a budget of £24m for 5 years.
Hundreds of jobs are threatened in Woking.
Woking could become a wasteland with shops closing down. Under threat are play areas, Light Box Theatre, Pool in The Park, Leisure Centre, 13 Sports Pitches and Pavilions, Cafe at The Vine, public lavatories.
Lower levels of maintenance work will also be scrapped
A good discussion followed
Need for services to be defended and a Socialist needs-led budget to be put forward, local activists to stand for Council against the cuts in Woking and the rest of Surrey 12 of the worst 20 Councils for debt are in Surrey. 50% of Councils facing bankruptcy . Councils of all shades Labour, Tory and Liberal (The biggest municipal authority, Birmingham, has gone bankrupt)
A press release article for local papers will be produced.
Contacts will be made with disability groups, Sports Clubs and other affected groups
Day of Action in Woking 16th December
8th February Council Meeting which will agree cuts Will be lobbied
Next Meeting of SOSiS 4th January which will discuss campaigning including standing Candidates in May Council Elections.