Monthly Archives: July 2014

Phoenix Cultural Centre


Last night the Phoenix Cultural Centre presented a petition to Woking Borough Council requesting assistance in securing a suitable location to accommodate a community cultural centre and live music venue. I have been supportive of the work of the Phoenix Cultural Centre for some time and was pleased to have the opportunity to speak in favour of the project during the debate on their petition.


We have a great musical heritage in the town that goes a lot deeper than the often cited Paul Weller, and during the discussion I referenced a number of bands who started out in the borough and have since gone on to better things. As the council has sought to promote Woking’s cultural offering in the past few years, having some form of dedicated live music venue would help establish our reputation as a borough that provides the resources to help nurture the talent and aspiration of our young people. I also believe that supporting efforts to deliver a live music venue in Woking aligns with what the council has been trying to achieve in the town centre by helping to provide more diverse and better quality evening and night time entertainment.


I commend the work that has been put in by Elaine McGinty and everyone else behind the Phoenix Cultural Centre. They have taken this project from an abstract concept to something that has become popular and successful, and they’ve done it with little in the way of resources or financial sponsorship. By demonstrating their commitment over a number of years, they’ve built a strong case to show that the council should work with them to help realise their ambition for a bigger and better premises.


As a result of the petition, the council has agreed to meet with the Phoenix Cultural Centre and help identify a suitable location as well as different ways in which they can obtain the necessary funding.


This a big step forward and means we can finally start to look forward to the day when Woking will have its own live music venue.


Woking Park play area


After consultation with residents, Woking Borough Council will take forward refurbishment of the play area in Woking Park over the next few months. The work begins today and will likely last for several months. The improvements include extending and re-landscaping the play area, fencing off an additional area as a ‘dog free’ zone, and also landscaping the grass verges at the bottom of the ramp to the swimming pool in preparation for the installation of a refreshment kiosk.


Obviously the timing of this work is far from ideal as it coincides with the start of the summer holidays. However, I have been advised that the repairs need to be done during a period when the weather is dry and that delaying until after the summer break would have pushed the work back into the autumn and winter. There is also a safety element to the decision to proceed now, since the retaining structure on the bank of the stream has been off-limits for some time. I am told a large part of the project will involve re-landscaping and reinforcing this side of the riverbank to bring it back into use.


The work should be completed by the week commencing 22nd September and I will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that this does not over-run and that residents are kept informed in the event of any delays or further disruption.