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Corporate Strategy 2021-2025

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You can download a copy of our  Corporate Plan 2021 - 2025 (PDF) [13MB]  or read its contents below.


A prosperous, green and caring borough: home to heritage, education and world class technologies

'Coronavirus (Covid 19) has had an unprecedented effect on all of our lives, from how we work and shop to how we see friends and family. The impact on our health and economy cannot be underestimated and as we emerge and recover from the crisis, our corporate plan sets out our priorities for an improved, more sustainable future for our borough.

We will ensure Guildford is a place where business can thrive and residents are able to find homes that meet their needs at a price they can afford. Access to high quality housing and jobs is crucial to the health and wellbeing of our communities and key to tackling inequality.

We are committed to delivering high quality design, renewal and regeneration in our borough, whilst protecting our hectares of special natural landscapes and unique heritage. Our focus will be on land previously used for industrial or commercial purposes (brownfield) to avoid further use of greenbelt land.

We will maximise the number of affordable homes and ensure infrastructure and facilities that residents need, such as schools, healthcare, recreational areas and green spaces are all provided.

We have ambitious plans to improve and reinvigorate our town centre. We will focus on housing and the needs of our businesses and improve flood risk, traffic congestion and air pollution. New neighbourhoods will be affordable and sustainable with work, leisure and cultural activities in walking distance. We will create the economic and social activity essential for supporting our High Street.

We will work with our business community and Business Improvement District to ensure our local economy remains competitive and will actively seek new inward investment. Our borough is a hub for education, healthcare, financial services, law and cutting-edge technology. High growth sectors such as cyber security, life sciences, telecoms and digital gaming continue to thrive here.

We will support these dynamic businesses, which are critical to our economic recovery and renewal.

Since declaring a Climate Emergency in July 2019, we are committed to becoming a net-zero carbon borough by 2030, collaborating closely with partners and communities to tackle it together.

Everyone has a responsibility to act on climate change and we need to do all we can at a local level to become more environmentally sustainable. We will lead by facilitating positive change to support our borough to reduce its carbon footprint.

Sustainable transport systems, cycle ways and footpaths and improved public transport routes are vital. New housing developments will be required to have lower carbon emissions. High energy efficiency standards, electric vehicle charging points and renewable energy sources will all be features. By using land more sustainably, we can also protect and create new habitats to enhance biodiversity.

Helping vulnerable residents is at the heart of everything we do and we remain committed to our communities. During the pandemic the compassion and community spirit shown by Guildford has been incredible. We will continue to work with our residents, communities, partners and businesses to do everything we can to support those most in need.

As we work to deliver our priorities, we do so operating within significant financial constraints with ongoing cuts to government funding and now the added impact of the Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic. We are immensely proud of the way in which our staff responded to the crisis. Critical services were maintained and from a standing start entirely new services were set up in days to protect our most vulnerable residents with welfare calls, hot and cold food deliveries and other support.

This all comes at a cost and despite having made £8 million savings through our Future Guildford transformation programme, we still need to save £6 million in the next four years.

Transforming our Council to better serve our residents while reducing costs is a journey. As we embed new technologies to enable you to access us more easily online, we continue to improve and look for opportunities to protect our frontline services and deliver them more cost effectively. We are exploring much closer partnership working with a neighbouring council. Difficult decisions will be unavoidable and as we navigate the challenges ahead we will continue to put our residents first and be honest, open and transparent with you every step of the way.

Our Corporate Plan (2021-2025) priorities provide a clear framework for you to see how decisions are being made. We want to hear your views, we are listening. We are confident we will become a greener borough with a renewed, thriving economy, coming together to support our communities and most vulnerable residents.'

Guildford Borough Council Executive

Our vision, mission and values

Our vision

A green, thriving town and villages where people have the homes they need, access to quality employment, with strong and safe communities that come together to support those needing help.

Our mission

A trusted, efficient, innovative and transparent Council that listens and responds quickly to the needs of our community.

Our values

  • we will put the interests of our community first
  • we will listen to the views of residents and be open and accountable in our decision-making
  • we will deliver excellent customer service
  • we will spend money carefully and deliver good value for money services
  • we will put the environment at the heart of our actions and decisions to deliver on our commitment to the climate change emergency
  • we will support the most vulnerable members of our community as we believe that every person matters
  • we will support our local economy
  • we will work constructively with other councils, partners, businesses and communities to achieve the best outcomes for all
  • we will ensure that our councillors and staff uphold the highest standards of conduct

Our corporate priorities 

Homes and jobs

Residents having access to the homes and jobs they need:

  • revive Guildford town centre to unlock its full potential
  • provide and facilitate housing that people can afford
  • create employment opportunities through regeneration
  • support high quality development of strategic sites
  • support our business community and attract new inward investment
  • maximise opportunities for digital infrastructure improvements and smart places technology


Protecting our environment:

  • provide leadership in our own operations by reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption and waste
  • engage with residents and businesses to encourage them to act in more environmentally sustainable ways through their waste, travel and energy choices
  • work with partners to make travel more sustainable and reduce congestion
  • make every effort to protect and enhance our biodiversity and natural environment


Empowering communities and supporting people who need help:

  • tackling inequality in our communities
  • work with communities to support those in need
  • support the unemployed back into the workplace and facilitate opportunities for residents to enhance their skills
  • prevent homelessness and rough-sleeping in the borough

Our key programmes and projects

  • our Guildford Economic Regeneration Programme will set out plans to revitalise the town centre with affordable, sustainable living and high-quality public spaces
  • Weyside Urban Village will provide a new riverside community of 1,500 homes on brownfield land at Slyfield
  • our programme for housing led regeneration of sites in our ownership will provide high quality homes for residents at an affordable price
  • our climate change programme will deliver us on the pathway to becoming carbon neutral by 2030
  • we will work with partners to deliver a range of transport and infrastructure projects to encourage more sustainable travel
  • our collaboration programme with Waverley Borough Council will deliver cost savings and protect or enhance frontline services in priority areas
  • our Savings Programme will deliver savings of £6 million over the lifetime of this plan, including through reviews of discretionary services and our operational assets.

How will we measure our success

We will monitor and report on our achievements and the overall health of the borough using our performance management framework including:

  • new homes built
  • affordable homes completed
  • empty business premises and vacant shops
  • our carbon emissions and energy usage
  • household waste recycled and composted
  • air quality at monitoring sites
  • elderly and vulnerable residents being supported to live independently
  • net gains in biodiversity and natural habitats