Good on unemployment and meeting the stock housing requirement, slow to react to the need for gypsy and travellers’ pitches and an increasingly older population - Elmbridge Council has been reflecting on its performance of the past year.

The average affordable house price in Elmbridge was higher than in London and the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance fell from 946 to 534, while satisfaction with services was high.

Councillor Andrew Kelly said the council needed to wait for the Government to confirm changes to policies with regards to traveller sites but: “It’s an area that we might have worked harder on.”

The council needs to create 36 new pitches by 2027, which would address problems encountered this year when groups of travellers set up camps in parks and car parks.

But for the most part Elmbridge enjoys a very high quality of life, and a key objective is “to retain the high quality of life experienced by most borough residents and share the benefits across all sections of the community”.

The report found there were no new extra care or private sheltered accommodation completions specifically for older people.

At a public meeting hosted by Philip Hammond, the MP for Runnymede and Weybridge on December 11 concerns were raised by the owner of a care home about the rising cost of taking care of the elderly, and the ability for older people to pay for such care in the county.

In the next 10 years, the council aims to increase care units by 250 and provide 200 more sheltered units.

Nigel Lucas, director of residential services at Walton Charity, said it was often a struggle to get through the waiting list to house older people. He said: “There is very much a rising ageing population across the country.

“We have found that for our sheltered accommodation that the demand has gone up hugely.

“It’s going to become a huge problem for this area, we’re not going to build our way out of it. We’re going to have to use resources even more imaginatively than we are now.”

The average cost of affordable housing is £691,056 - 40 per cent higher than the Surrey average and 37 per cent higher than some London boroughs.

As part of the 251 housing developments completed in the borough in the financial year to March 31, 2014, 48 units were for affordable housing needs, with planning permission granted for 26 additional affordable houses.

In the same time period the building of 622 affordable housing units started.

Ian Watts, managing director of Paragon Housing, said: “Paragon houses around 500 new families every year who are on the local council's housing allocation list. The demand for social housing far outweighs the supply. Paragon continue to build as many affordable new homes as possible in order to help tackle this shortfall.

"Residents' financial circumstances vary significantly which is why we offer a vast range of tailor-made services should they need assistance with: welfare benefit advice, access to local food banks, employment skills, help switching to cheaper energy tariffs, personal budgeting and being able to access the internet.

"We believe if residents are able to access the help and support they need to improve their quality of life, they will be in a better position to sustain their tenancy."

The report presented to officers read: “Last year’s authority monitoring report drew attention to the under delivery of affordable housing but recognised strength within the supply pipeline. This year, actual delivery remained weak, however this was chiefly down to completion certificates for three sites not aligning with 2013-14 monitoring dates.”