A Progressive Future for Waverley

This is the common programme written by South West Surrey Compass ahead of the 2023 Council Elections. To read the full story of South West Surrey Compass, click here


We are a progressive alliance of Liberal Democrats, Greens, Labour, Residents’ Groups and Independents seeking to achieve a collaborative approach between progressive elements within local councils.


We share values and aspirations that cross the political divide. We are committed to equality, sustainability and democracy.


To treat people and the environment with respect and kindness. To conduct council business in an open, inclusive, timely and democratic way.


We will protect and enhance the health, wellbeing, and economic security of Waverley’s residents, give Town and Parish Councils greater powers to support their communities and work in a decisive, constructive, collaborative, open and inclusive way for the benefit of all residents.

Specifically, South West Surrey Compass reaffirms its commitment to encouraging Waverley Borough Council in:

  • being more democratic, responsive and accountable governance through greater involvement of residents outside election periods
  • targeting the greatest support to those in the borough of Waverley to whose need is greatest, including the marginalised and disadvantaged
  • creating a better, cleaner environment and responding effectively to the climate and ecological emergency
  • promoting local sustainable businesses and developing a circular economy
  • planning decisions more responsive to local needs, taking account of the climate and ecological emergency
  • facilitating a shift from fossil fuel vehicles and the private car to more sustainable and active transport across the borough
  • meeting local housing need, particularly encouraging the further development of social housing provision.

Democracy, Accountability and Governance

Waverley Borough Council will

  • adopt a sustainable model of governance that focuses on further improving the council’s fiscal responsibility and resiliency, transparency, community engagement, public outreach, and accessibility;
  • develop further the joint governance of Waverley and Guildford Borough Councils, seeking devolution of powers from Surrey County Council and increasing the areas of collaborative working to include managing the joint commitment of both councils to a trajectory to net zero carbon by 2030 and mitigating the impact of climate change within the two boroughs;
  • further devolve responsibilities to local town and parish councils;
  • move towards a more democratic and participatory form of governance by ensuring that the Waverley and Guildford Climate Assembly has the capacity to hold both Waverley and Guildford borough councils to account in relation to their net zero objectives and extending the concept of deliberative democracy involving citizens’ panels and/or citizens’ juries.

Investing in our communities

Waverley Borough Council will

  • continue to work collaboratively with Guildford Borough Council to pursue greater efficiencies and stronger partnerships within our respective communities;
  • invest in our local economy to improve skills and the development of sustainable local businesses and a circular economy, further developing the scope of Waverley Training Services;
  • respond to local need as rapidly and as effectively as possible (such as ensuring effective local response to the cost-of-living crisis, housing need and support for hungry families, mitigating the impact of government imposed austerity);
  • develop in-house rather than contracted-out services in Waverley, including housing maintenance, green spaces, waste provision and leisure services;
  • expand the scope of local services provided by Waverley Borough Council, as appropriate to mitigate against the failure of Surrey County Council to deliver, including, as appropriate local children’s services
  • become a Living Wage Employer.

Planning and the Built Environment

Waverley Borough Council will

  • re-shape the Local Development Plan to ensure that it reflects the priorities of progressive parties and residents particularly in relation to:
    • protecting the Green Belt, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Areas of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) and countryside beyond these designated areas
      increasing biodiversity encouraging and enabling sustainable development
    • expanding Waverley affordable and social housing;
    • promoting infrastructure alongside genuinely sustainable development;
  • continue with our programme to
    • revitalize our high streets, giving priority to the development of local, sustainable businesses
    • help grow housing in the town centres without this being at the expense of facilities for residents
    • expand provision of good quality sustainable, energy efficient social housing;
  • continue to challenge government support for unsustainable development such as fossil fuel extraction and urge the reform of national planning policy to shift the balance of power away from private developers and towards local needs
  • support localism in planning. including local neighbourhood plans.

Environment & Sustainability

Waverley Borough Council will

  • apply a holistic approach to ‘true sustainability’ which contributes to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • use an accounting framework that incorporates four dimensions of performance: social, environmental, financial and governance;
  • extend the Climate Emergency declaration to include the ecological crisis;
  • reaffirm its commitment to net zero carbon emissions (Scope 1,2 and 3) by 2030;
  • work with others to promote and facilitate a net zero carbon borough by 2030;
  • lobby and challenge government to deliver on and extend its net zero commitment;
  • develop local generation of sustainable solar and wind power energy – for example, building solar canopies in council car parks (where feasible and viable);
  • facilitate local community-led renewable energy initiatives;
  • ensure that biodiversity is encouraged to the greatest possible extent across the borough by setting an example in relation to biodiversity net gain across all borough land;
  • oppose any proposals to extract fossil fuels in Waverley;
  • bring waste collection services and the management of our green spaces back in-house, rather than contracting out these services;
  • ensure that the use of toxic chemical pesticides such as glyphosate is eliminated in all but exceptional circumstances within two years in line with the Waverley Pesticides Policy.
  • encourage a positive reuse and repair culture within communities to support the reduction of waste to save residents money, reduce consumption, and keep usable items circulating locally.


Waverley Borough Council will

  • invest directly in the provision of housing that is genuinely affordable and for social rent;
  • ensure that all new build social housing is sustainable in use and in construction;
  • decarbonize the existing housing stock, ensuring that
    • every council home is energy efficient, thereby reducing energy use and tenants’ energy bills
    • every council home reaches the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainablity by 2030, using sustainable heat sources, local generation of sustainable energy and high-quality insulation;
  • improve and extend tenant engagement so that council tenants are involving in shaping the future of their homes;
  • promote “20 minute neighbourhoods” in which most of people’s daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle;
  • assess the extent of empty homes in Waverley and, where possible, bring them back into use.


Waverley Borough Council will:

  • develop sustainable and active transport and travel in the borough which improves connectivity and accessibility through better, integrated transport;
  • engage with community stakeholders to ascertain local transport needs;
  • work with Surrey County Council to proactively secure funding for the expansion of the walking and cycling infrastructure across Waverley such as the Guildford-Godalming Greenway;
  • introduce shuttle buses connecting the main centres of population to the town centres so as to mitigate the need to bring cars into the town centres, providing financial incentives to ensure that residents switch to more sustainable transport, starting with a pilot scheme in at least one of the main centres of population by 2024;
  • ensure that all vehicles operated by the council and its contractors are zero emission vehicles by 2027.

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