Fears about the impact of Government policy on the Council and residents’ finances have promoted action by finance head honcho Cllr Mark Merryweather.
However, Waverley’s leisure and cultural centres had pulled out all the stops for Ukrainian refugees now living in the borough.
Cllr Merryweather had previously commented on the impacts of government policy on the Council’s finances and on the ability to take steps to respond, but the Council’s priority was the impact this would have on Waverley residents.
For the vast majority of Waverley residents, any benefits arising from government proposals would be vastly offset by the economic consequences of those announcements.
The Executive had established a Cost of Living Working Group to assess and act on the deepening cost-of-living crisis in the community, and there would be further updates in due course.
At a recent meeting of the Waverley EXECUTIVE, he said Leisure Centre Operator tenders were expected back next month.
This was a difficult period, with energy prices rising and no identified support from the government. However, the support that the Leisure Centres had given to Ukrainian guests who had settled in Waverly had been exceptional:
Families had been given free 3-month memberships since May – Haslemere 77, Farnham 146, Cranleigh 38 and Godalming 66 – and when these were up for renewal, memberships were extended for a further three months. Farnham Leisure Centre also donated swimming lessons, squash and badminton courts, personal training vouchers, and a free pool party for Ukrainian children.
Haslemere Leisure Centre provides training and meeting rooms free of charge for volunteers to provide English lessons for Ukrainians in the local area. He said these had proved incredibly popular, with 30-40 attendees across two days. The Memorial Hall in Farnham also provided a meeting room as a venue for English lessons.