Wokingham.Today October 1, 2020

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ISSN 2634-8330





ISSN 2634-8330








Thursday, October 1, 2020 No. 281 9






Thursday, October 1, 2020 No. 281

Theresa May against 25,000 new homes for borough



By SUE CORCORAN news@wokinghampaper.co.uk

THE FORMER Prime Minister has expressed concern over the government’s plans to dump more than 1,600 new homes every year on Wokingham borough.

Theresa May, whose Maidenhead constituency includes Sonning, Twyford and Wargrave, has responded to concerns of residents in Hurst, over fears that the village will have to take a possible 5,000 new builds. The government has said Wokingham borough should build 1,600 new homes a year for around 15 years. That’s more than double the previous figure of around 700. The aim is for 300,000 new homes a year in the UK. Last week, council leader Cllr John Halsall said: “We’ve had 10,000 new homes in the borough in the last 10 years. Now the government want us to more than double that – they want us to build 25,000 new homes in the next 15 years. That would be like building two new towns the size of Wokingham every 15 years.” This week, Mrs May aired her fears. “As a country, we need to build more homes – but they need to be in the right place,” she told Wokingham.Today. “The Government is committed to levelling up across the country. That should mean not just economic development and infrastructure like roads and railways, but housing too. “I share the concerns of residents about the proposed new targets for the borough which are too high. “Indeed, I question the whole new approach to housing numbers which would also have an adverse effect on the rest of the Maidenhead constituency and other areas here in the South East.” � Continued on page 20


Gorse Ride redevelopment plan accused of splitting up council tenant community EXCLUSIVE

By JESS WARREN jwarren@wokinghampaper.co.uk

PLANS to demolish and rebuild a social housing estate have come under fire, with a borough resident accusing the council of social cleansing.

At the end of August, the borough council submitted its application to rebuild the Gorse Ride development. Chris Wallace, who lives in the estate told Wokingham.Today the phased building approach would “discriminate

against the elderly and disabled” who “will have to suffer living in a building site for five to eight years” as each phase of the project is completed. Under the plan, construction traffic and lorries will drive up Gorse Ride South, passing a row of bungalows occupied by elderly and disabled tenants, many of whom have long-term health conditions. “They need to find another entry point,” Ms Wallace said. “It’s quite a narrow road, with cars

parked on one side, all the way down.” She is also concerned that the number of social houses will be reduced by the redevelopment, with the council prioritising shared ownership and affordable rates over traditional council homes. But the mix between affordable, shared ownership and council properties will depend on demand closer to the time said the council. � Continued on page 9



4 | NEWS

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Foodbank welcomes housebuilder donation

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� Deaths SHURLEY, Clive of Arborfield. Passed away on 18th September aged 87 years. Will be sadly missed. A private funeral service will take place. Family flowers only please, but donations in lieu if desired, for the The Stroke Association online at: https://tributefunds.stroke.org.uk/ In-Memory/In-memory-of-Clive-Shurley or c/o Philip Peppard Funeral Directors, Bow House, Bow Street, Langport TA10 9PQ. Telephone: 01458 252505.

WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

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LAST WEEK, Barratt and David Wilson Homes gifted a donation to Wokingham Foodbank. Based at Broad Street Walk, the foodbank – part of the Trussell Trust – has provided assistance to 2,658 people since the start of lockdown. Items donated by David Wilson Homes Southern included sugar, tinned potatoes, instant mash, tinned carrots, preserves and shaving foam – all of which were in high demand. Samantha Stapley, chief operating officer at the Trussell Trust, said: “As the coronavirus outbreak develops, more people are likely to need a foodbank’s help. Our teams are working tirelessly to ensure that foodbanks are able to remain

Annette Medhurst, Wokingham Foodbank manager welcomes the delivery Picture: David Wilson Homes

open and have the necessary stocks to respond to this crisis. “The support of David Wilson Homes means foodbanks will be able to remain agile to respond to the fast-changing situation and continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food

and additional support for people in crisis.” Paul Crispin, managing director at David Wilson Homes Southern, said: “We’re thrilled to support Wokingham Foodbank at a time where togetherness and community spirit is most significant.

“The representatives of the Trussell Trust do an outstanding job in providing emergency supplies to those in need, and we hope our donation will support their admirable work during these testing times.” � For more information visit: wokingham.foodbank.org.uk

Student launches waffle company EXCLUSIVE

By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today EARLEY residents are bubbling with joy following the opening of a new local food business.

O Heavens Bubble Waffles, a delivery service, launched on Friday, September 18. The business was founded by local resident Ella Sandels and her boyfriend, Adam. It offers a variety of sweet and savoury treats. After feeling at a loose end during

lockdown, the 20-yearold Portsmouth University student decided to embark on her business venture and is currently running O Heavens out of her own kitchen. “I had been furloughed from work and with no university studying to do, I had a lot of time on my hands,” Ms Sandels explained. “Me and my boyfriend have always wanted to have our own business and start doing food markets, so we decided to buy the equipment and just see

where it goes. “We thought long and hard about what sort of business we could set up, and while there are a lot of savoury food options in Earley, there aren’t many sweet options — and nowhere is doing bubble waffles.” O Heavens offers sweet waffles with a variety of toppings including maltesers, strawberries and peanut butter, and customers are able to make their own u n i q u e creations. Ms Sandels also has savoury treats on the menu, in the form of bubble waffle pizzas. “We made up our own recipe for waffle pizzas,” Ms Sandels explains. “They’re very unique, I’ve never seen them before, and they’re really popular.” The pizzas are cooked on a garlic and rosemary bubble waffle base, and customers can choose from a range of savoury toppings. The menu has

vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, too. “It’s all been really exciting so far,” Ms Sandels said. “It’s provided me and Adam with such a sense of achievement. “We’ve had really good feedback too. We’ve only been open for over a week but we already h a v e

some loyal customers,” she added. The pair were initially going to open up shop at the end of July, but launching the business took longer than expected. “We first needed to register, and then organise our food and hygiene certificates, and then our insurance too.

For the record IN THE article titled Hurst Post Office resumes services published in Wokingham.Today last week, it states: Villagers have welcomed the news of the reopening

“We then had to wait for our applications to be confirmed, so it took a bit longer than we expected to get everything sorted,” Ms Sandels explained. But now that O Heavens Bubble Waffles is up and running, the team are already setting their sights on growing the business. “I’m currently working from home b e c a u s e university is all online, but we plan to start doing food markets in Portsmouth during the week when I have to travel down for university,” Ms Sandels said. “I then plan to come back to Reading on the weekends to continue with deliveries locally.” O Heavens Bubble Waffles currently delivers to Earley, Whitley, Woodley and Winnersh, and to the greater Wokingham area for an additional charge. � To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/ OHeavens1

on Monday. The Post Office will reopen on Monday, October 5 and did not open on Monday, September 2. Operating hours are 9am until noon and 12.30pm until 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturdays.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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NEWS | 5

Cancer charity founder features in national businesswoman project EXCLUSIVE

By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today A UNIQUE project has been celebrating female entrepreneurs up and down the country — and a local resident found herself included in the campaign.

Michelle Vickers, CEO of the Head & Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) was featured in the #SheCan365 project last year. The campaign tells the stories of 365 female businesswomen over 365 days and in exactly 365 words. It was founded by Helen Pritchard, an online marketing specialist, and it began on International Women’s Day in 2019. “I am so honoured to have been chosen to be included in the project, which is a world first,” Ms Vickers said. “All of the women who have been selected are absolutely amazing, so I’m extremely proud to have taken part.” She was selected for the project because of her work raising awareness of and implementing revolutionary head and neck cancer treatments as CEO of the HNCF. “At the HNCF, we work extremely hard to raise awareness of oral cancer, and to also raise funding for life-changing treatments,” Ms Vickers explained. “We are pioneering a treatment at the moment called Sentinel Node Biopsy which could massively improve patient quality of life, and we are also supporting NHS hospitals across the country in training and using this new treatment.” According to Ms Vickers, more than 8,000 people a year are diagnosed with oral cancer. So, she with the team at the HNCF are trying to raise awareness about potential symptoms too, encouraging people to detect cancer early by conducting regular mouth checks. Ms Vickers became the charity’s CEO in 2017, and has been working in the non-profit sector for 20 years. “I’ve mainly worked in the sports sector in the past, but as I got older, I decided I want to do something that matters. I want to feel like I’m making a difference,” she said. “When you meet people who have been impacted by oral cancer, it just breaks your heart. “Being part of this charity is the most amazing, and rewarding, thing I have ever done.” And the CEO is not only honoured to have been selected for the

Council opens new boardwalk in Winnersh Meadows THE COUNCIL has officially opened the new boardwalk at Winnersh Meadows. The £35,000 project was funded by Winnersh Triangle, the business park owned by Frasers Proper. Built from recycled plastic, it replaces the original that closed a number of years ago due to wood rot. Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, officially Michelle Vickers was joined the project for her work on head and neck cancers opened the boardwalk. #SheCan365 project, but is proud to is a decision. I am so proud of all our He said: “I am delighted to be able to represent mixed race contributors. officially open this fantastic addition businesswomen, too. “This is the boldest and most to Winnersh Meadows, the latest “Being able to represent older, ambitious project I’ve ever example of infrastructure we are mixed race women is so important to challenged someone to do, and I’m putting in place to support more me,” she said. super excited for the next phase of sustainable travel options across the “The entire project is so full of evolution for #SheCan365.” borough. diversity, so to be part of that was an � To find out more about the HNCF and “We are very grateful to Frasers absolute honour. Property for working in partnership what Ms Vickers and her team are “It’s really important to see currently working on, visit: hncf.org.uk with us and funding this important women, not just hear about them, project that will benefit so many.” but actually see them in action, being entrepreneurs and continuing to live their lives on the side.” Ms Vickers added: “As women, we need to hold doors open for those who come after us. “This whole book is full of women who aren’t just bosses — they are • Divorce and separa�on • Property/financial settlements leaders.” The #SheCan365 campaign has • Child arrangements • Family disputes since raised more than £9,500 through crowdfunding, allowing the • Cohabita�on agreements • Prenup�al agreements collection of stories to be published in a book. Contact our Family Law team today for a free 1 hour consulta�on Speaking about the project, founder Helen Pritchard said: “The Evolu�on House, 53-59 Peach Street, Wokingham, RG40 1XP book is about the nature of women Tel: 0118 978 1017 who commit to showing up every Email: Michele.Jenno@star-legal.co.uk single day, 365 days a year, and what can be achieved when success

For advice and assistance on Family Law matters including:


Nancy Apperley, marketing manager at Frasers Property, who was also in attendance together with officers from the council said: “Winnersh Meadows is an amazing asset to the business community at Winnersh Triangle, people enjoy it during their down time in the working day. “It is important to us that people can use the area to its full potential and improving the pathways has allowed this to happen.”

6 | NEWS

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Council’s £120k purchase of Covid-19 tests By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wokingham.today

WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL is to spend up to £120,000 to purchase Covid19 testing kits for key workers.

Its Executive committee approved the decision at a virtual meeting held on Thursday last week. The tests will be held for emergency provision and would be used only if needed. The money covers the swabs, lab analysis and notifying Public Health England of the results. The plan comes as the number of coronavirus cases across the country continues to rise. It follows a similar process the council undertook in April when there were shortages of PPE. Ahead of the meeting, Cllr Charles Margetts (circle), the executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “We could sit around and wait for the national system to be sorted out – but I’d rather we took action to protect our people. Of the money allocated, part would go towards the initial purchase with the remainder set aside if more tests were needed to be purchased. Cllr Margetts said: “We would not be attempting to make up all the shortfalls in the national system – that would be impossible. But these testing kits would help us protect vital services such as schools and care work for the community. It could also help us react quickly to any outbreaks should we need to.”

Before councillors voted on the purchase there were questions from members of the public and opposition politicians. Resident Wesley Budd wanted to know if the council would be able to claim the cost of Covid-19 tests back from the Government. He said that “I believe that one figure that has been mooted is that each test could cost around £100”. Cllr Margetts said: “An important point to make here is that the price includes the whole testing service and not just the test kit. So it includes the kit, the courier to the lab, the lab processing and public health having access to the test results.” He added that the council was seeking to secure a back-up supply “should we have a significant situation, such as an outbreak, where we experience a problem with the government testing routes”. Al Neal wanted to know if the council was confident that the tests would be conducted in the right way: “To be effective in stopping the spread of the virus, selecting those to be tested, carrying out the tests and communicating the results are timecritical tasks,” he said. Cllr Margetts replied: “We don’t know how long the national system will take to recover enough capacity so this seems to me like a sensible step. “At the moment cases of Covid in Wokingham are relatively low so between the national system, local

health and these back-up provisions, I feel we are doing absolutely the best we can to be prepared for whatever may come and protect our residents.” And the council was confident that the results would be timely. Mike Smith wanted to know who the keyworkers would be and if the tests would be available for residents and non-residents alike. “The Government’s national testing system scheme is available to all who need it,” Cllr Margetts said. “It would be wrong to rule specific groups in or out of that at this stage. “These tests will be for the management of situations in Wokingham if we cannot secure capacity through the national route first. “If there were residents outside of Wokingham that couldn’t get tested and it was critical that they did for the management of a situation in Wokingham then we would consider it.” Mr Smith said that he understood the council was buying 500 tests and wanted to know who the keyworkers would be. Cllr Margetts said that as the situation was “fluid and changing” it was hard to give a precise answer, and the tests would be used on a case-bycase basis, judged by senior councillors and management at the council, with no specific criteria at this point.

Cllr Halsall said that should the tests be necessary, “if we needed to hold a special executive meeting each week to discuss it we will do so”. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Cllr Lindsay Ferris, said that the purchase was a “good insurance policy” and the party backed the council’s plans to purchase the tests. He asked: “What criteria/ protocol is going to be used to decide who receives a WBC funded test, particularly if there are a number of people/areas who may need such a test?” Responding, Cllr Margetts said that the tests would be “Reserved for emergency situations for example where there is a significant outbreak and national testing cannot be rapidly deployed or where lack of national testing poses a risk to the capacity of local authority services. “The decision about when to use Wokingham Borough Council testing will be made by WBC Public Health Lead Ingrid Slade and Director of Adult Social Care Matt Pope, in consultation with WBC senior management team and the Lead Member for Wellbeing and Adult Services.” He added: “The key here is to keep watching,” when it came to deploying the tests. Cllr Halsall also added that Cllr Ferris

would be consulted. Cllr Margetts said that it was hoped that the tests would be available from early October. Introducing the debate, Cllr Margetts said: “I believe that this is the right thing to do.” He outlined some of the steps that the council had carried out this year, including procuring PPE equipment in April and stopping Covid patients from being discharged from hospitals and placed into borough care homes. During the discussion, Cllr John Kaiser said that the executive had received several questions about how to protect the vulnerable and that the purchasing of the tests fitted with that desire to look after residents. Cllr Charlotte Haitham-Taylor shared how a school had been unable to access tests, which “had a huge impact on the community”. And Cllr Gregor Murray wanted to know what the likely scenarios would be across the borough over the next few months. Cllr Margetts said that track and trace was not far off 90% “which is encouraging”, but that “in the months ahead we will face continued outbreaks”. The council would have some track and trace responsibilities in the coming weeks, and that he had every confidence in the council officers would carry that out. During the summing up of the discussion, Cllr Halsall thanked the Lib Dems for their support. The vote was carried unanimously.

‘They won’t be given to councillors’ says leader WOKINGHAM Borough Council’s stock of covid tests will NOT be used on councillors. That’s the promise of the leader, Cllr John Halsall. There had been speculation on social media that as the Executive hadn’t formally defined who would receive the tests, it would be used by councillors and council staff to bypass the Government’s test and trace service, which is run by private contractors Serco. At an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee on Thursday, September 24, councillors approved spending up to £120,000 on coronavirus tests for keyworkers as a backup (see above). In recent weeks, people have reported numerous problems with the test and trace service, with some being unable to secure a test and others being told to drive to the other side of the country to have a swab taken. The procurement enables the council to act quickly to administer its own tests, with results anticipated to be returned within 48 hours. This would be beneficial to suspected outbreaks of Covid-19 in care homes or schools.

But Cllr Halsall said it would not be abused. “If any councillor has coronavirus symptoms, I expect them to self-isolate and follow government advice,” he told Wokingham.Today. “The same goes for council managers as well. “The tests are entirely for school and care workers, not a single councillor will get one.” He added that he expects a high take-up of the new NHS Covid-19 phone app. “We are encouraging residents to download the app and grateful that businesses have the QR codes ready for scanning and they’re being really supportive,” he said. Coronavirus levels in Wokingham borough remain low compared to other parts of the country. However, the borough council, working with local charities including Citizens Advice Wokingham, The Link Visiting Scheme, and First Days Children’s Charity, to ensure vulnerable and isolating residents were able to access help, receive emergency food parcels and have a listening ear. Council staff were deployed to ensure these services were available.

“We did a good job during the first wave,” Cllr Halsall said. “We’ll go back to having daily top team (update) meetings. “We’ve still got the One Front Door scheme, we’ll be working with the charity sector, and we’re talking to charities to come and work with the borough on the issue of mental health.” However, he said that the council still hadn’t had any information from the Government about Covid marshal scheme that had been mooted. “What we did last time isn’t what we’d do this time, as it’s a different problem. The government was eager to protect the NHS, it is quite well organised now. “The new element is schools,” he said, adding. “They are well organised though.” He pledged that the council would continue to ensure that patients with covid weren’t sent to borough care homes, something that went against Government advice at the time. “I wasn’t elected to represent the Government in Wokingham borough,” he said of this stance, “I’m the leader of Wokingham borough, which means I represent the residents.”

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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY


Life in lockdown: University students face new world of study EXCLUSIVE By SUE CORCORAN news@wokingham.today A FORMER Maiden Erlegh School student is seeing the silver lining of life at his university, despite an outbreak of Covid-19 there.

Will Berrisford, 19, of Earley is in his second year studying computer science at Swansea University. On Sunday the city and surrounding area were put under lockdown. Many students have been finding life back at universities hard. “I have in some ways much the opposite experience,” said Will. “This year I’m sharing a house which improves things. There are two other people here. Another is locked down at home and another is shielding at home. “Last year I was [in halls] on a floor with 19 other people. They would find it pretty difficult, with the chances increasing of being in touch with someone who had Covid.” Fortunately Will is not having to selfisolate. On four days a week he has online

lectures. His first “labs” computer session face to face with a lecturer is tomorrow (Friday). There will be just 20 students, instead of at least 60 usually. “It all sounds okay for me,” said Will. “It’s certainly going to be a different experience. It will be harder and more difficult than being there in person all the time. Due to the course most of it is done on computers anyway. “The online lectures are more interactive – with the chance to type up a ‘chat’ comment. You can ask questions as you go along. When we had up to 260 people at lectures only five or ten asked questions. Now more people feel they can, it’s more interactive.“ On the all important social side Will said: “We’re quite lucky. Under the Welsh rules you can have 30 people together outside if they social distance. Swansea has a beach five minutes from the main student area. I can meet my friends there with plenty of space for social distancing.” Will did say that not everyone did distance. No socialising is allowed indoors beyond a household.

Health executive says help is at hand for informal carers THE COUNCIL has highlighted the range of support available to those caring for family at home. Informal carers of any age can access help by phone, online, or from someone visiting their home. An informal carer is any family member, friend or neighbour, giving regular assistance to another person without payment for the care given. “We know the last few months during

lockdown have been particularly challenging and isolating for informal carers, plus now the uncertainty about possible new restrictions. You’re doing a fantastic job looking after your loved ones,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services. “We also understand you may feel nervous about venturing out even though shielding has

been suspended. Local community services know this too and have been tailoring their support to reflect this.” To find out about support, call The Wokingham Carers Hub on 0118 324 7333. It is run by TuVida on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council and provides a wealth of information. Staff are highly trained in understanding carers’ needs, providing support, signposting people in the right

Library reopening on hold as staff redepolyed PLANS TO reopen Lower Earley Library have been cancelled, as the council redeploys staff to key areas for the second wave of Covid19 infections. Following the government’s announcement last week about the new national Covid-19 restrictions, the council said it must ensure measures are in place to protect existing services for the borough’s most vulnerable. “We know it’s disappointing that the return of Lower Earley and our other libraries have had to be paused, but we must make sure our resources are deployed to keep our most

vulnerable residents safe,” said Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure. At the start of August, Wokingham town centre and Woodley libraries reopened with Covid-19 public health measures, plus an expanded range of digital books, magazines, music streaming and virtual events are available for residents free of charge online. These two locations will continue to be open in Wokingham on Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1.30pm, and in Woodley from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday for returning and borrowing books and for collecting waste

“I don’t worry about catching the virus myself. But I do worry about being asymptomatic and giving the virus to someone who is vulnerable. I try to be responsible,” he added. “Once all of this is over there are definitely going to be some enormous parties.”

direction and can organise help groups and home visits. It also has an online group for young carers as well as telephone support. Residents can also request an assessment

for themselves. � To complete an online self-assessment, search for carers assessment at: www.wokingham.gov.uk or call the Health and Social Care Hub on 0300 365 1234 to request a paper assessment.

How to get help in Wokingham borough: To access the ‘One Front Door’ service, call Citizen’s Advice on 0300 330 1189 Those calling from a mobile phone should enter if prompted: 0118 978 7258

bags, which must be preordered online via the council’s website. Other services such as public computer use, study space, and newspaper and magazine browsing are not available. Hand sanitiser stations are located at both entrances and face coverings must be worn inside the buildings. Visitors must also follow the one-way systems as well as social distancing at all times. Library staff are urging people to minimise handling of books while browsing. If a book is touched, but not booked out, it must be taken to the returned books area where it will be put into quarantine for 72 hours before it can be returned to the shelves.

Cllr Batth added: “Wokingham and Woodley have been running well since reopening. “Between them some 2,500 residents have visited and borrowed a book, and more than a 1,000 of these residents have made return visits. Just under half of the outstanding books have also been returned during this time. “Remember, if you’re a member of any borough library, you can use Wokingham and Woodley if you wish, and use our online services for e-books and audio, and search our catalogue although this will always lag by 72 hours until returned items go back on the shelves. Many events and groups that moved online during lockdown are still happening there.”

NEWS | 7

8 | NEWS

Winnersh roadworks hours extended CHANGES are being made to allow workers creating a new road to clock in earlier and end later in the day. Wokingham Borough Council has given permission to extend Balfour Beatty’s operating hours in order to complete the North Wokingham Distributor Road. A spokesperson from Balfour Beatty said: “Due to the recent Covid-19 situation our pace of standard works had to be temporarily slowed down for safety reasons and in line with strict company and Government guidelines, as well as that from Public Health England. “As we now return to some normality, we are keen to make the most of what remains of the longer daylight hours, subject to good weather conditions, in our attempt to stay on track with our planned programme of works. This will help avoid any delays to the current phase of work.” The hours have been extended to 7am to 7pm on weekdays and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. The main building works will take place between 8am and 6.30pm, with the first hour of the day set aside for briefings and induction, loading and unloading of deliveries, and refuelling of plant. This will continue until Friday, December 18, but will be reviewed in late November. The spokesperson added: “We kindly ask you to bear with us while we carry out these necessary works and apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. “Should you have any queries or concerns please contact the Balfour Beatty helpdesk on 0800 121 4444.”

Pubs offer cheap pints PUBS ACROSS the Borough are currently busy enjoying Cask Ale Week. Until Sunday, Seven Red Roses in Lower Earley and The Station Tap in Wokingham are celebrating the occasion by offering deals on cask ales. The pubs have teamed up with Doom Bar to offer customers two-for-one on pints of the ale, and the chance to win a holiday to Cornwall. Alan Armstrong, director of marketing at Stonegate Pub Company, said: “Cask Ale Week is the perfect time for our teams and customers to celebrate the Great British Pub with the quintessential pub favourite, cask ale.” Cask Ale Week is organised by cask ale accreditation body, Cask Marque, in order to celebrate the drink and award pubs that serve quality cask ales. � To find your nearest participating pub, visit: www.craft-pubs.co.uk

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Student’s petition wins push for traffic light repairs in Charvil EXCLUSIVE

By SUE CORCORAN news@wokingham.today PEDESTRIAN lights used by hundreds of school children to cross the busy A4 road have been repaired following a sixth former’s petition and many complaints.

Unfortunately the headaches are not over yet – it’s been discovered another repair job is needed in the area at a later date. Long queues built up through Charvil and Twyford as Maidenheadbound A4 traffic was diverted along Old Bath Road, Twyford High Street and Wargrave Road for four days last week during repair work. The work was kept to 10am-3pm so peak hour traffic could use the A4. The engineers made sure the pedestrian crossing near the Park View Drive North junction was active during the morning and afternoon school runs. Work to repair the power supply to the crossing signals and also damaged street lighting finished last Thursday. A Wokingham Borough Council representative revealed on Monday that another repair in the same area is needed at a later date. “Following a road traffic collision on August 25, a new power supply has been provided to reinstate lighting on the main A4 towards Maidenhead and Park View Drive North junction,” she said. “Unfortunately, in the course of

Queues in Charvil

these works a further cable fault has been discovered which will be programmed for repair at a later date. “The temporary power supply provided to the signals has also been replaced by a new permanent feed and all excavations have been permanently reinstated. No further road closures are planned for the time being. “We would like to thank road users for their patience while this complex matter was resolved.” There was uproar when

Wokingham Borough Council referred to a 12 week delay to fix the crossing lights. Villagers said hundreds of pupils at The Piggott School, Wargrave and Charvil Primary School used the pelican crossing. The crossing and its temporary lights replacement had been failing on and off since near the end of August. Sixth former at The Piggott, Sophie Mundy, 16, started a petition signed by more than 270 people to get the repair done quickly.

Sophie’s father, Charvil Parish Councillor Paul Mundy, said: “The fact that it is safe for people to cross is definitely the right result. Sophie was happy that the petition raised the profile of what she saw as a seriously critical issue. “The council very much have the crossing high on their agenda now. They were saying it would take 12 weeks to repair and were not prepared to discuss it with me or anyone else.” Last week some diverted drivers said they took 25 minutes to travel about a mile-and-half from the Wee Waif A4 roundabout to Twyford traffic lights. Other residents complained queueing traffic blocked their driveways. The eastbound A4 was closed between its junctions with Old Bath Road and Wargrave Road. Victoria Hudson normally picks up her son Patrick, five, from The Colleton School, Twyford, by car. Last week she had to walk there and back from Charvil, with her baby in a sling and middle child in a push chair. “I didn’t really have a choice as the traffic was so bad. It was quicker to walk and I didn’t know how long I would be stuck in the queue,” she said. � Wokingham Borough Council posts updates on: www.facebook.com/ wokinghamroadworks and www.twitter.com/WBCTrafficAlert

Call to solve school road safety issues COUNCILLORS across Earley have joined a school’s call for help over speeding worries, writes Jess Warren. Teachers and staff at Hillside

Primary School have been encouraging drives to slow down on Rushey Way as children arrive and leave the site. And last week, Cllr Clive Jones,

Cllr Clive Jones, leader of Earley Town Council joined Hillside Primary School staff to call for cars to slow down on Rushey Way Picture: Andrew Mickleburgh

leader of Earley Town Council and Cllr Andrew Mickleburgh, councillor for Hawkedon joined the efforts to slow traffic. Cllr Mickleburgh said: “I was stunned and shocked at the number of cars absolutely driving above 20mph even when teachers were standing there. “Outside the school there are chicanes and 20mph speed signs. But the gaps after the chicanes are where cars are accelerating and exceeding 20mph. “Some parents and children try to cross at the chicanes but the majority cross between them — the area where cars are speeding and exceeding the 20mph limit.” But Cllr Mickleburgh said he is positive a solution will be found. “I contacted the Police Community Support Officers and Civil Parking Enforcement and

they’re going to organise a joint operation outside Hillside School and Loddon School,” Cllr Mickleburgh said. “A visible deterrent is always really helpful. I’m really pleased they’re going to do this for a number of days.” Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways at Wokingham Borough Council and councillor for Hillside, which includes Hillside Primary School told Wokingham.Today she and council officers have been talking to the school staff for some time about the issues raised. She said: “I’m in discussions with the school and I want to meet with them to discuss the problems in full, and find a proper highways solution.” Cllr Jorgensen said she would work to find the most appropriate solution to the school’s concerns.

‘The council is pushing social tenants out of Gorse Ride’ � Continued from front page

Commenting on the plans, Ms Wallace wrote: “The current estate is 76% social rent and 24% homeowners. The problem with the document is that three different groups have been lumped together and called affordable to give the impression that the status quo is being maintained. It is not. “It appears that WBC is trying to hide the fact that they are yet again reducing the availability of social housing. If these plans are passed as they stand, the council are leaving themselves open to charges of social cleansing and discrimination against the elderly and disabled.” The development plan would see 249 homes built, with a mix of bungalows, houses and apartments. The plans include 71 more homes than are currently on site. The exact breakdown of housing allocation has not been declared but there will be 64 homes allocated to the commercial property market and 185 classified as affordable, which includes social and shared ownership. Cllr Andy Croy, leader of Wokingham Labour grew up in Gorse Ride and said he was sad to see the neighbourhood being knocked down. “There’s a very strong community that’s being lost and broken up in the development,” said Cllr Croy. “Residents might not want to come back once they’ve been rehoused elsewhere.” Included in those is Ms Wallace, who said she wants to move away. “I don’t want to live on a building site,” she said. “I’m in my 70s with emphysema. Is that how I want to go out? Surrounded by dust and dirt? “I want to move into another council home near Wokingham town centre.” And Cllr Croy said he is also worried about living space.

“My concern is really with ramming in extra units and creating a much denser population,” he explained. “I’m angry we’re not treating people as well as we did in the 60s and 70s when the estate was built and people understood that families need space. “The homes might be boxy, but they're spacious and they have a garden,” he added. “It’s horrible for children to grow up in flats, their quality of life will be reduced. “Families need spacious gardens for their bikes and barbecues … somewhere to play.” Also joining criticism of the plans were Finchampstead Parish Council and St Mary and St John’s Church, both concerned that the taller apartment blocks would overlook existing properties. Cllr Gordon Veitch, chair of the parish council planning committee, commented on the plays to say: “We

Council view Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Our priority for Gorse Ride has always been to ensure the community are at the heart of the regeneration and any existing residents, whether private home owners or council tenants, who wanted to stay could remain. “We’ve worked hand-in-hand with residents and Steering Group to come up with great designs which have strong community support. Throughout the process we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from residents, incorporating many of their ideas into the final designs, such as an increased number of bungalows, improved pedestrian access, and the fantastic new landscaped park where residents can gather, relax and socialise. “The proposals also include

a range of initiatives to help improve residents’ lives including energy efficient homes, electrical vehicle charging points and building to the Homes for Life standard which will allow properties to be easily adapted to meet individual’s needs as they change throughout their lives. “We’re also increasing the number of affordable homes on the site by a third, with 185 affordable homes compared to the existing 138. These new homes will be a range of social rented and low-cost shared ownership with the final mix depending upon local demand at the time. The 64 private homes

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feel that the apartment blocks are too tall and would benefit from being brought down one level to prevent issues with overlooking.” Cllr Veitch pointed to the newly built apartments at Arnett Avenue, which have received criticism over their height from the community. And called for the design to be looked at again, as it is “not aesthetically pleasing”, a sentiment echoed by many residents, including Ms Wallace. She added: “Two years ago, before the council executive approved the plans, the grey and back design was rejected by everyone. Yet here we are with it in the planning application. “It doesn’t seem to matter what we say, they just do it anyway.” Rebutting concerns about resident engagement, Steve Bowers, chair of Gorse Ride Steering Group said: “The community has been involved from the inception of the project starting

will allow existing home owners to remain as well as helping fund the increase in affordable properties on site. “Delivering a scheme of this size is complex and it’s inevitable there will be some impact on those living near the development. However our proposed programme is designed to minimise this as much as possible and we will continue to work closely with the local community to address any concerns. “The Gorse Ride regeneration is a massively important project for both residents and the council. The planning application which has been submitted has been shaped for and by local residents themselves and feedback on the application has been positive. We are excited to see this ambitious project deliver real positive change for the existing community and for others in housing need across the borough.”

Residents are concerned that the bungalows knocked down will not be replaced like for like, with some disabled and elderly tenants given flats instead Pictures: Jess Warren and WBC

out with monthly meetings in 2015. “Residents also had an opportunity to see the plans and talk to the architects at exhibitions at the parish centre. “They could also go to the Gorse Ride coffee mornings once a fortnight if they had any questions. “If anyone from the Gorse Ride area has an interest in what is going on please come along and join the steering group.”

Council offers career help for school leavers THE COUNCIL is offering support and career advice to young people who have left school. Elevate, a support organisation run by the council, helps 16- to 18-year-olds plan their career by providing education, jobs, apprenticeships, training, work experience and volunteering opportunities. Open to those who are not in education, employment or training, the service can help young people identify their next step. Borough resident Charley (16), left school with no qualifications and did not have a career in mind. The 16-year-old said: “The Elevate team helped me realise that I’m not alone. I’m working with them to help me get the marks in English and maths I need to get a job as I did not get any GCSEs. “They’re helping me slowly get back on track and back on my feet as I haven't been to school in so long and knew nothing about getting a job, so they have helped me with my CV too.” She added: “If you’re in need of help I’d say definitely get in touch with Elevate as they are such a big help. If you do not have GCSEs like me and need them for an apprenticeship you are interested in they will help you with that like they did with me.” Cllr Ullakarin Clark, executive member for children’s services at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “We know that this year in particular has been difficult for our younger residents and we know they are capable of great things. “We want them to know that we are here to help and support them to succeed in whatever they choose to do in their future careers. “We have seen the positive difference that our Elevate team has made to the lives of so many of our young adults like Charley and I would urge anyone wanting a little support, including parents who are in need of some advice, to get in touch.” Elevate is currently offering telephone and online appointments. � For more information, visit: wokingham.elevateme.org.uk

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Oxford Quantum Circuits is moving into the Thames Valley Science Park

Quantum success By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today THE UNIVERSITY of Reading is welcoming a quantum research organisation to the Thames Valley Science Park (TVSP). The Park, based in Shinfield, is leasing laboratory and office space to Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC). Founded in June 2017, OQC began developing technology at the University of Oxford. But, as the organisation has grown, it now needs specialist lab space to accommodate its work to advance quantum computer technology. Christopher Reeve, director for the TVSP and the University of Reading, said: “The University’s Thames Valley Science Park is proud to welcome Oxford Quantum

Circuits, who we recognise as an exemplar UK enterprise at the forefront of the next generation computing technology. “Their welcome addition to the existing community of knowledgebased companies supports our ambition to create a science park playing into the heart of economic growth, technological innovation and job creation.” OQC will be moving into The Gateway Building at the TVSP. Harry Bevins, of Haslams Chartered Surveyors who advised the Park on the letting, added: “It is great to build on the success of The Gateway Building and secure OQC. “Their story is an impressive one and it is good to see a British company expanding at the current time.”

Some of the Friends and Family who have joined Becton, Dickinson and Company – aka BD – to help meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic. The Winnersh Triangle-based company has won an award for its initiative Pictures: BD

Local heroes help pump out med-tech for Covid patients By JESS WARREN jwarren@wokingham.today A GLOBAL medical technology company has won a Thames Valley Local Hero Award — and it’s based in Winnersh.

Becton, Dickinson and Company, also known as BD, received the award for its recent Family and Friends Initiative. BD provides infusion pumps, which deliver potentially life-saving medication to coronavirus patients in NHS hospitals. And to keep up with increased demand, it launched a project which saw company associates and their loved ones join forces to distribute this vital equipment. As part of the initiative, the company trained an additional workforce of

34 friends and family at its headquarters in Winnersh, transforming the office’s third floor into a temporary commissioning centre. Mike Fairbourn, BD’s general manager in the UK and Ireland said: “The project was no mean feat. “When we understood the scale of the task and logistics, we knew we would need the help from our own local heroes to pull it off. “We’re delighted with the accolade and it’s a great recognition to all of our BD Family and Friends who helped.” In just under 10 weeks, loved ones were taught how to safely unbox, inspect, configure and repack pumps to send to hospitals. “To us, they, along with all our key

workers, are the true heroes,” Mr Fairbourn added. The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, which organised the award, wanted to showcase the work of local businesses and commemorate their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. The Hero Awards scheme launched in August to “recognise and celebrate the spirit of businesses” across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Swindon. Award winners are automatically entered into the UK Business Heroes initiative, run by the British Chambers of Commerce, for recognition on a national scale. � To find out more about BD, visit: www.bd.com/en-uk

Tasha joins Blandy’s family law department TODAY is a big day for Wokingham.Today, thanks to its first print edition, but it’s also a special one for lawyer Tasha Bevan-Stewart. She has joined the team at Thames Valley law firm Blandy & Blandy in its family law department. Ms Bevan-Stewart joins from a fellow top tier (Chambers and The Legal 500)

law firm, in Surrey, and will eventually spend the majority of her time based in Blandy & Blandy’s Henley-on-Thames office. Tasha has more than 14 years’ experience, including three as a partner, in advising clients on all areas of Family Law, with a particular specialism in assisting clients through

collaborative law. Partner and team head Claire Dyer said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Tasha to our team and are looking forward to working with her. “Her passion for alternative methods of resolving disputes will greatly benefit clients who are looking for a way to resolve

matters without Court intervention.” Tasha added: “This is such a great opportunity for me to join a first-class Family Law team and I am excited to roll up my sleeves and get started. “I’m looking forward to engaging many clients in noncourt alternatives which are increasingly the direction of travel in Family Law cases”.

Make your virtual presentation unmissable WITH the government urging people to work from home, online meetings will be the main method of communication for the foreseeable future. But how can you ensure that your Zoom calls have pep and your Teams chats aren’t dull? Help is at hand thanks to a new meeting organised by the

Woodley Business Club. It is to hold a virtual networking event on Tuesday, October 13. Starting at 8am, it will see executive coach and trainer Jacqueline Harris focus on presentation skills for the online world, with an aim of making them have the same level of impact and presence as if it were

to adapt presentations, how to build rapport and connect with a virtual audience and how to make your message memorable. Afterwards there will be networking time in virtual breakout rooms. Woodley Business Club is open to new members as well as existing ones. a face-to-face meeting. Her tips will include how

� For more details log on to woodleybusinessclub.org.uk

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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New recycling sacks will be Pride plans park green and are on their way picnic for 2021 EXCLUSIVE By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wokingham.today

THE NEW recycling sacks will be pressed into use as they start to arrive on residents’ doorsteps.

The replacement to the borough’s black boxes is aimed at solving the problem of recycling plants no longer accepting wet waste. With velcro used to seal the sacks, residents should be able to present dry waste for collection from their doorsteps. It is expected that the first sacks will come to the borough around the turn of the year, with the full order completed by early February. And as residents receive them, they will be expected to make the switch from black boxes to the new system in a bid to save money. Wokingham Borough Council leader John Halsall said that the new bags were ordered as soon as possible after the special Executive meeting held on Friday, September 11. They will be 40cm by 40cm by 60cm, and have 350g of rubber weights for stability. They will hold around 65 litres of recycling, compared to the black boxes, which are 55 litres. And they can hold around 3kg worth of weight.

Picture: Wokingham Borough Council

The bags are expected to have a lifespan of at least five years and the council’s waste collection contract, currently with Veolia, will next come up for renewal in 2026. It is anticipated that work will start on a long-term solution to the borough’s recycling ready for the next procurement contract going to tender. For now, it is anticipated that the introduction of the bags will help the council avoid a £600,000 penalty for collecting wet waste. Cllr Halsall was keen for the bags to be implemented as soon as possible as the winter months are among the wettest in the year. He had previously said that the order had been delayed by the decision being

scrutinised by councillors, a process known as a call-in, and that the council had lost its place in the queue with the manufacturer. However, they had finally been ordered a week after the extraordinary executive meeting, and are in the process of being made. He told Wokingham.Today: “We are doing our best to get the supply to us as soon as possible. We’re expecting delivery in late December or January and completed by early February. “The bags are a unique design to Wokingham borough, including the velcro and the weighting.” Cllr Halsall said that the borough needed to have a unique solution to ensure their longevity. “It’s easy to order a bag (off-the-shelf), but they weren’t the quality we were looking for,” he explained. “We didn’t want them falling to bits the first time that it rains. “They will be green bags and they look good.” The council will have a quality control system in place. “We will have samples sent to us to ensure they are a consistent quality,” Cllr Halsall said. And as for deployment, he said: “It will be a rolling programme, as residents will get sacks, they’ll start to use them.”

PLANS ARE in place for next year’s Wokingham Pride event, due to take place in July, writes Jess Warren. Cllr Rachel Bishop-Firth, spokesperson for the group said they have decided on outline plans, which will be confirmed at their meeting on Thursday, October 15. The group are planning to host a family-friendly Pride picnic on Saturday, July 10 in Elms Field. And organisers hope that local LGBT+ support groups will be able to join the event, with a range of food and commercial stalls dotted across the park. Cllr Bishop-Firth said the event will be for “families of all shapes and types” across the borough. She added: “We will also explore finding speakers from the support groups and we will investigate the possibility of gazebos or an alternative indoor venue in case of bad weather.” And the group is open to involvement from other towns and villages across the borough that would like to show their support. “What’s wonderful is people are really running with it and asking how they can get involved,” added Cllr Bishop-Firth. This year, the Wokingham Pride event was moved online due to

Wokingham Pride 2020

pandemic, and Cllr Bishop-Firth said that if Covid-19 makes a physical event impossible next year, the group will take the event online again. “We've narrowed the possibilities down to a physical event,” explained Cllr Bishop-Firth. “But will work simultaneously with the local libraries to ensure that if Covid prevents a real-life meeting we can continue through them and online through Facebook.” If the event must become digital, the decision will be made by Thursday, June 10, 2021. Outside of the Pride event, the group provides information and support for LGBT+ people and their extended families across Wokingham borough. � For more information, and to get involved with Wokingham Pride 2021, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/ 866071167221161

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Parish and borough council meetings Assume meetings are online – contact councils for details Monday, October 5 Hurst Parish Council. Parish council meeting. 7.30pm. Hurst Village Halls, School Road RG10 0DR. Sonning Parish Council. Planning committee. 7pm. Sports Pavilion, King George V Playing Field, Pound Lane RG4 6XE. Winnersh Parish Council. Planning committee. 7.30pm. www.winnersh.gov.uk Wokingham Without Parish Council. Full council meeting. 7.30pm. wokinghamwithout-pc.gov.uk

Tuesday, October 6 Arborfield Parish Council. Planning committee. 7.30pm. Arborfield.org.uk Winnersh Parish Council. Recreation & Amenities Committee. 7.30pm. www.winnersh.gov.uk Woodley Town Council. Planning and community. 8pm. www.woodley.gov.uk Wokingham Borough Council. Licensing and Appeals Committee. 7pm. www.wokingham.gov.uk

Wednesday, October 7 Finchampstead Parish Council. Finance committee. 7.30pm. FBC Centre, Gorse Ride North RG40 4ES. Ruscombe Parish Council meeting. 7.30pm. William Penn Room, Loddon Hall, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford RG10 9JA.

Thursday, October 8 Wokingham Borough Council. Joint Waste Disposal Board. 9.30am. Wokingham Borough Wellbeing Board. 5pm. www.wokingham.gov.uk

Monday, October 12 Remenham Parish Council. Parish council meeting. 5.30pm. www.remenhamparish.org.uk Wokingham Borough Council.Standards Board. 7pm. www.wokingham.gov.uk

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FROMTHECOURTS � A MAN who pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place has been given a community order and fined £40. John Drummond Love, 58 and from Frederick Place, appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on September 1, where he admitted being stopped by police in Reading on April 4 last year, where he was found to have a knife blade / sharp pointed article on him. In addition to the fine, Love must pay costs of £85 and £85 to victim services at a rate of £10 per week from September 30. � A DRIVER who failed to provide a blood test for police has been banned from getting behind the wheel for three years. Arif Parvez Chaudhry, 42 and from Bays Crescent in Spencers Wood, pleaded guilty when he appeared before Reading Magistrates Court on September 1. He had been stopped in Earley on May 28. In addition to the ban, Chaudhry must pay a fine of £113, £85 costs and £32 to victim services. � A FINCHAMPSTEAD man has been given three points on his licence for speeding on Nine Mile Ride. Gary Austin, 49 and from California Park Homes, was stopped

WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Cases heard in Reading and Slough Magistrates Court in recent weeks he was also ordered to pay a fine of £750, £85 costs and £75 to victim services. � DAMAGING flower pots and a garage door has seen a Lower Earley man receive a 12-month conditional discharge. Luke Brown, 19 and from Grange Avenue, pleaded guilty to the damage in Burghfield on May 12, when he appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on September 3. He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and £21 to victim services.

by police on July 24 last year for driving at 37mph in a 30mph zone. In addition to the points, Austin was fined £115 and ordered to pay £32 to victim services. � A WOKINGHAM man has been banned from driving for 14 months after being caught over the limit. Daniel George Garland, 43 and from Carina Drive, had been stopped on May 25 in Bracknell. A breath test revealed that he had 108 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Garland’s ban will be reduced by 14 weeks on completion of a safe driving course. When he appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on September 3,

� DRIVING while over the limit has seen a BMW owner banned from getting behind the wheel for 40 months. Luke Richard Humphries, 26 and from Clifton Road, appeared before Reading Magistrates Court on September 3, where he pleaded guilty to driving along Reading Road in Wokingham on July 1. A breath test revealed that he had 54 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. Humphries must also pay a fine of £346, costs of £85 and £35 to victim services. � A SWALLOWFIELD man who was caught in Peterborough in search of game has been fined £150. Carl John Davies, 27 and from Trowes Lane, was one of a group

of people stopped on December 6 for trespassing on land at Thorney Dyke during the daytime. Police said that, contrary to Section 30 of the Game Act 1831, he had been pursuit of game, woodcock, snipes or conies. In addition to the fine, he must pay £105 costs and £32 to victim services. Davies appeared at Reading Magistrates Court on September 7. � A CHARVIL man has admitted breaching a community order. Kane Henry Philip Wootten, 24 and from Wenlock Edge, appeared before Reading Magistrates Court on September 7, after failing to attend unpaid work on February 9 and 16, without a reasonable excuse. He was ordered to pay costs of £60. � AN ARBORFIELD woman who appeared before Reading Magistrates Court on September 7, admitted failing to comply with a community service order. Kassie Louise Lee, 27 and from Howell Close, failed to attend appointments on February 18 and 25, and March 3. For this she was fined £40 at a rate of £5 per week from October 5.

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KFC plans for Lower Earley IN A SIGN of the times, popular fast-food chain KFC is planning to open its first store within Wokingham borough. The fried chicken specialist has lodged a planning application for illuminated signs to the branch which will be next to a Costa coffee. Planning permission for the site, in Chalfont Square, Lower Earley, to become a restaurant was granted by Wokingham Borough Council in October last year. This new application sees the fast-food company take over the final part of the former Just For Pets store, which was also the former site of a Blockbuster Video store. The proposals for the signs at the planned Lower Earley branch are currently out for consultation, which closes tomorrow. There would be a large illuminated KFC sign next to the Domino’s Pizza store as people drive into Chalfont Square. Outside the entrance to the store, there would be a picture of the chain’s founder, Colonel Saunders, as well as another KFC sign. There will also be an internal neon sign and a projection sign in the shape of a KFC bucket. In the application, Adam Beamish notes: “The proposed internally illuminated elevational signage is simple and proportionate in both size and appearance having regard

to the building as a whole, and nor does it over-dominant the frontage of the wider retail park or result in clutter.” Hillside Conservative councillor Pauline Jorgensen welcomed the news and had been visiting the site after learning of traffic concerns. “I had a look at the new Costa on Sunday and was pleased to see it busy,” she told Wokingham.Today. “I checked that there was enough car park space following concerns expressed to me from residents and on Sunday lunchtime there were still spaces which is also good. “People also were concerned about the pavement being obstructed but there is plenty of room.” She added: “I am glad to see that KFC are coming to Earley and taking up the last remaining unit, it’s good to see a full and bustling precinct of shops, and I am sure they will be very popular.” And Cllr Clive Jones, Lib Dem leader of Earley Town Council, was also looking forward to the restaurant opening. “It’s a good thing for Earley,” he said. “It’s the same with Costa next door, between them they will be employing around 20 people, that is good news.” � The planning application is 202177, at: planning.wokingham.gov.uk

WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Drug help demand increases By MARIE WILLIAMS news@wokingham.today

The SMART Wokingham team have seen a 40% rise in people seeking help

DEMAND FOR help with alcohol and drug issues has risen by 40% for a local charity.

SMART Wokingham, based on Station Road helped more than 60 adults with their concerns last month. And the services have been in high demand for the past four months. It comes as Alcohol Change UK reported one-in-five people were drinking alcohol more often during lockdown. The rise is expected to continue as Covid-19 puts increasing pressure on people’s lives. With one-in-14 people saying their own or someone else's drinking has increased tension or conflict in their home. “We are here for adults, young people and their families that need support with their drug or alcohol consumption,” said Vikki Lake, SMART Wokingham’s service manager. “We also provide a safe space where family members, friends, and carers can discuss their thoughts and feelings concerning another person’s drink and drug use. “Our team includes specialist substance workers, a well-being nurse, a dedicated family worker and a young person’s support worker. “It’s a common misconception that services like ours are only available for

people who are addicted to drugs, or dependent on alcohol, but this isn’t true. If someone feels their drinking or drug taking is of concern – we are here to help. “It can be hard to ask for support, but I urge you not to suffer in silence. It’s easy to get in touch and the team are really approachable and friendly.” The charity offers one-to-one sessions and educational and interactive groups — available face-to-face and online. Other services include counselling, information and advice for NHS workers and schools, educational talks for young people and substitute prescribing for alcohol and opiate dependency. And the centre has recently changed and improved its young person’s service, with a dedicated facilitator. “My role is to help young people. Some of whom come to SMART because they

have questions and are curious about using drugs and alcohol, while others are already using and require particular help over time,” explained Rachael Kerrigan, young person’s specialist worker. “I also help young people who are experiencing problems because of a family member’s addiction. “These are face-to-face sessions that provide the opportunity to explore feelings towards the person, situation and substances. We offer a flexible service where we can meet young people at locations where they feel safe, such as schools or youth clubs.” To receive help and advice, call 01189 772 022 Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm � To complete the SMART online referral form, visit: www.smartcjs.org.uk/contactus/wokingham

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Plans for new SEND school given approval PLANS to build a new special educational needs and disabilities school in Winnersh moved a step closer after the Executive approved a 125-year lease.

The Department of Education will take over the land at Winnersh Farm, in preparation for building the school, which will be operated by Maiden Erlegh Trust. The school will provide 150 places for children with autism and social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties from across Wokingham and Reading. One of the reasons for building the facility is to save money: it costs up to £2.2 million to send borough children to appropriate schools outside of Wokingham. A planning application is expected to be made early next year and the school will open in two years time. It is part of a plan to build 100 homes on the land off Woodward Close. The site is not without controversy. It is close to the M4 and there are concerns that the land is not suitable for children as a result of noise and air pollution. Before the vote, there were questions from opposition members. Cllr Rachell Shepherd-Dubey wanted to know why 100 “unrelated” homes were being planned for the proposed special needs school in Winnersh. Cllr Wayne Smith said: “Having reviewed the council’s land holdings it is proposed to site the school on land at Winnersh Farm adjacent to Wheatfield Primary School. “It is anticipated that a detailed planning application for the SEND school will be submitted in January 2021. That application will be for the SEND school only and will not include any housing proposals.” He added that the draft Local Plan Update for Winnersh Farm includes around 250 homes, this was adjusted down to 100 as a result of the school. “A separate outline planning application for housing on the remaining council-owned land is likely to be submitted early in 2021 for consideration,” he added. The proposal to place the school near to the M4 and the new North Wokingham Distributor Road was raised as a concern by independent

councillor, Richard Dolinski. “I have no doubt that any new building design will mitigate against noise, but children are not just confined to just four walls. As a (former) SEND teacher I became actually aware of how sensitive some children can be and how debilitating this can be for them,” he said, adding: “Will the council conduct extensive air monitoring exercises and publish its results before any planning approval is considered?” Responding, Cllr UllaKarin Clark said: “I can advise that our technical teams have already carried out initial impact assessments on these matters during the master-planning process, which demonstrate the noise and air quality levels are acceptable.” She added that this helped determine the school’s location. “All of these studies have been carried out in association with the Department for Education who are similarly satisfied that the levels are acceptable. Further, more detailed studies will be carried out by the DfE as part of the Planning Application process and considered by the local planning authority.” The placement was also a concern for Cllr Andy Croy, who simply asked: “What sort of local authority builds a SEND school next to one of the busiest motorways in the country?” Cllr Wayne Smith said that the school should be welcomed and that the council was “very conscious of the potential air quality and noise issues surrounding the site”. Later in the meeting, Cllr UllaKarin Clark introduced the motion that would see the executive approve the development of the site to provide a special educational needs school at Winnersh Farm. This would be a lease for 125 years at nil rent and the school would be run by the Maiden Erlegh Trust. Revenue funding will come from the councils’ High Needs Block Budgets. The council has said that had the school not been approved, it would need to provide SEN places for children by transporting children to schools outside of the borough. The vote was approved.

Insurance tender WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL’S property portfolio is now worth £120 million and, at a virtual meeting held on Thursday, September 24, the Executive agreed to tender its insurance cover for the buildings. The properties include commercial, retail and industrial properties such as the Elms Field and Peach Place developments.

The tender aims to “secure highquality cover at a competitive price with a single insurer”. The new policy will start on June 30 next year, in line with the council’s primary insurance programme and the premium is estimated to be between £450,000 and £625,000 over five years.

WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

PHIL CREIGHTON reports on the virtual meeting of Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive held on Thursday, September 24

Calls for new toilet at the waterside ANSWERING a call of nature in nature was a question of convenience posed by a member of the Wokingham Waterside Centre. Jennifer Lissaman appeared at the virtual meeting of Wokingham borough Council’s executive committee to explain the problems caused by Thames Valley Park’s riverside users when they get caught short. She explained that while the group had an external disabled toilet, those without access to the special RADAR key used to unlock it were using land next to a campsite at the centre. “Wokingham Waterside Centre trustees and board members find this unacceptable,” she said, “and ask that you find a way to provide properly working public toilets in a location appropriate to this sensitive location by the River Thames National Path.”

Responding, Cllr Parry Batth, the executive member for the environment, said that back in 2009, public toilets were replaced with a Local Loo scheme. “This decision was taken because these toilets were costly to maintain due to regular incidents of vandalism and graffiti,” he said. “The toilets also attracted anti-social

behaviour and were often closed to the public for repairs.” He felt that this scheme worked well for allowing the public to use a toilet while out and about. “Due to the size and semi-rural nature of our borough, it is not practical for the council to provide public toilet facilities in every location where residents may want to use them,” he added. “We urge everyone who lives in and visits our borough to adhere to the laws around public decency and to report any instances where this isn’t happening to the police.” Ms Lissaman said that the toilet couldn’t cope with demand. “It’s not acceptable for the public to use the grounds as a public toilet,” she added. Cllr Batth said, “I will be very happy to discuss this further.”

Covid sees reserves drop by £7 million THE council’s reserves have dropped by more than £7 million as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At a virtual meeting of the executive, held on Thursday, September 24, opposition leader Cllr Lindsay Ferris asked for details of the council’s financial picture in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The council has had to spend additional, unbudgeted sums as it helped maintain essential services while also running a community hub providing emergency help during the initial stages of the Covid-19 emergency. Responding, Cllr John Kaiser said that council does not keep a running balance of its reserves throughout the year, but would produce forecasts “at year end to assist with future budget setting”. He added: “Balances on reserves as at March 31, 2020 are on page 18 of our draft accounts, which are available on the council’s website. These show a General Fund reserve of £12.43 million and Earmarked Reserves of £91.52 million.” However, this does not include spending since then. “The forecast General Fund reserve balance at the end of this financial year (March 31, 2021) as reported in Quarter One revenue monitoring to Executive in July was

£5.01 million. “The main reasons for the drop was approved carry forwards of £2.7 million and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. “A revised estimate at Quarter 2 will be reported to Executive in October which should see an improved position expected due to additional funding from Government for Covid-19 costs and a better understanding of the financial pressures. “The 2020/21 annual budget includes a net contribution to the Earmarked Reserves of £1.5 million.” When pushed for more details, Cllr Kaiser told Cllr Ferris that “where we are, at the moment, we are in a good place compared to other councils” and pledged that the October update would give a clearer picture as what the reserve balance will look like. This financial theme was picked up by fellow Lib Dem Cllr Sarah Kerr, who said: “There still appears to be a lack of clarity and commitment from the Government to long-term funding for council Covidrelated expenditures. “Some of these vital activities that the Council has funded from its own resources are particularly important for less

economically well-off members of our borough.” She wanted to know if it was possible to avoid any cuts “forced upon the council by insufficient Government support?” Responding, Cllr Kaiser said that the Government made available £4.3 billion to local authorities, with Wokingham receiving £8.3 million. “In addition to this the Government have announced a variety of other measures, some offering financial support, such as the ‘75p in the £’ compensation for lost income, to passported grants to local businesses and care providers and also deferred payments to assist with cash flow issue,” he said. However, he said that the council has had to pay up front for some support. “this will impact on the council’s General Fund Balance (the money it holds to cover such crises); whereas every effort is being made by the council’s officers to secure funding to cover these pressures and manage down costs, it is still anticipated that the council’s general balances will be depleted at year end. “Furthermore, the impact of Covid-19 does not fall neatly into one year and as such its impact will be felt strongly as we formulate our budgets for 2021/22 and

beyond.” He continued: “I can assure the councillors and the residents of the borough that we will continue to make our representations to Government for the funding we need in both this year and future years. In addition we will need to continue with our diligent measures of financial management.” He pledged: “Officers are working to maintain a financially sustainable Council with a balanced budget whilst minimising the impact on residents. Inevitably, as with all councils at this time, it is will mean having to make some difficult decisions. “As stated previously, a second wave of the virus will only make matters worse. We are nowhere near out of the woods. “If we do not control our costs, we will be broke and we will be no good to anybody.” Responding, Cllr Kerr wanted to know if services would face increased costs. Cllr Kaiser said that the council does make money through investments and council tax, which was limited to a percentage rise each year. “We understand everybody will be in the same situation, and where possible we will make concessions,” he said.

‘No significant number of eviction cases’ WOKINGHAM Borough Council is not currently aware of any significant number of pending eviction cases brought in after the government ban ended. Private landlords had been prevented from turfing out tenants during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, but the policy changed on September 20. At a virtual meeting of Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee on Thursday, September 24, Lib Dem

councillor Prue Bray wanted to know if any research had been undertaken on the impact “in terms of numbers of people the borough would need to re-home in order to fulfil our statutory requirements to the homeless?” Cllr John Kaiser, the executive member for housing and finance, told Cllr Bray that while the ban had come to an end, landlords had to give at least six-months’ notice with exceptions for anti-social behaviour, fraud and domestic abuse.

He said: “From our work with landlords and tenants over the past few months we are not aware of any significant number of pending eviction cases however our Homeless Reduction Act specialist will continue to monitor the situation and carry out some more detailed modelling in October.” He added that the Local Homelessness Co-ordination Cell had had success in tackling the borough’s rough sleepers and homeless people during lockdown.

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY


PHIL CREIGHTON reports on the virtual meeting of Wokingham Borough Council’s Executive held on Thursday, September 24

Residents call for clarity over protest photocall A PHOTO taken for Wokingham.Today was the subject of a question from two residents.

At the Black Lives Matter rally at Elms Field held in August, politicians from both Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties and town and borough councils, came together to show support for the rally. Before the meeting started, they posed for a picture, at the request of Wokingham.Today. Originally, this was to be with a flag that said Black Lives Matter and would have been similar to a photo taken in July for Wokingham Pride. However, this upset some of those gathered, who were angry with Cllr John Halsall’s comments earlier in the year. Arya Babollah said: “What were you thinking when you tried to commandeer a Black Lives Matter banner for your photo ops at the BLM protest against for what you said and stand for in Elms Field in August?” Responding, Cllr Halsall said: “I have a duty to all residents to understand their views, and do everything to ensure the council upholds its equalities duties.” He added: “My previous comments about Black Lives Matter have been misconstrued, although I accept, they may have been open to an interpretation that I did not intend. There is always space for all of us, including myself, to educate ourselves and grow in our understanding of each other.”

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Wokingham Borough Council was, he continued, an organisation committed to antiracism and celebrated diversity while promoting equality. “If there is an area in which we are deficient in these aims we wish to know it, to address it if we can and create a better quality of life for all our residents” Responding to the question directly, he said: “I did not commandeer the flag as you suggest, in fact I was invited to join my council colleagues who were holding the flag, when an individual in a mask snatched their flag from them and ran away. I was saddened to witness this as it lowered the tone of what was otherwise a peaceful and powerful event. And so, I fear that you have been misinformed about this incident.” A similar question was posed by resident Tracey Stone, who wanted to know: “You have made statements on national television and made postings on your Facebook page which could

appear racist and has spread fear, alarm and distress to many people of all ethnicities, but particularly black residents, living in Wokingham and districts. As the leader of a public body, why did you do this?” “If any comments that I have made have been offensive to anybody then, once again, I apologise unreservedly,” said Cllr Halsall. “That was never my intention; rather by reaching out we had hoped to bring residents together.” He added: “I have never made statements on national television. There was a piece which was selectively extracted from an executive meeting mixed in a feature on South Today. My postings on Facebook were not racist and indeed I have gone to great lengths to clarify any possibility of misunderstanding or misinterpretation. I have also apologised if I have inadvertently caused offence amongst any community; I would never knowingly do so. “Unfortunately, your question is phrased in a way which is incorrect and mischaracterises my words and actions.” Neither Mr Babollah nor Ms Stone were able to connect to the meeting at the time their questions were asked, so they were read out by Cllr Halsall. They were unable to ask a supplementary question as a result of the technology failure.

Fuel poverty support criteria HOW does the council identify residents who face fuel poverty? That was the question asked by Daniel Hinton – who is Wokingham town council Conservative group leader – to Cllr Gregor Murray, the executive member for resident services, communications and emissions for more details on the criteria used to prioritise households. “Wokingham council has 949 properties in (council tax) E, F, G bands,” he said. “In addition, from the database we can identify those older private properties that could benefit from this scheme, having a combined figure of 1,809 properties. These homes form our target group, which we will review against the eligibility criteria for this scheme.” He added that local knowledge and experience will be essential for identifying those most in need. “These properties will receive a letter to invite those who meet the edibility criteria to contact us.

“We will liaise with our housing departments to target those on benefits or council tax benefits who could also benefit from this. “To be eligible, households must receive one or more of the benefits listed in the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) also known as the ‘the Affordable Warmth Obligation’.” Cllr Murray added that he wanted a wide uptake on the scheme “to ensure that energy efficiency measures are installed in as many eligible households as possible”. In response, Mr Hinton asked if the council’s scheme would be different to the government’s grants, which pays for up to two-thirds of the cost of green energy enhancements to the home. “This will be separate to the Government grant scheme, and many will be eligible for both,” Cllr Murray said. The executive approved the plan later in the meeting.

Tender for substance misuse help SUBSTANCE misuse support is to be put out to tender. Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee voted to approve the tender caused after the existing provider, SMART Wokingham, gave notice. It told the council that it had been subsidising the service from its charitable reserves since at least

2017 and they could no longer sustain this position. The new contact will be for £642,000 per year, an increase from the £492,000 agreed with SMART. The service is mandatory for the council, and it warned that without adequate funding, it runs the risk of no one bidding for the contract and ultimately no service to residents.


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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020


It’s safe to shop, and where be‫מּ‬er than local?


HE COUNCIL has installed new signs around the borough’s towns to encourage people to stay safe while shopping local. The signs, which include reminders about Covid-19 safety will be dotted across Wokingham, Woodley and Twyford. Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor,

executive member for regeneration at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Research shows that for every £10 spent in a local independent shop, up to £50 goes back into the local economy. “Now more than ever it is critical that we support our local town and village shops – they’ve had a tough time for the last six months and it

looks like we’re in it for the long haul. “Use them or lose them, as the saying goes and we do not want to lose our wonderful local shops and businesses. “We’ve continued to work closely with our local business associations and town centres to come up with a range of measures

to help support our local businesses. “As the latest part of this, we’re installing signs on the edges of our shopping centres to encourage residents to come back into our town and village centres and signs in the shopping districts reminding people about how to remain Covid secure.” Once the signs are up, the council will be removing the remaining red and white traffic barriers in

Wokingham town centre — which were originally installed to create more space for pedestrians to walk safely in town. Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “Over the last few months we have monitored usage and believe now is the right time to remove the remaining barriers as feedback suggested that people were managing to socially

distance without the additional space. “To encourage more of our residents back into Wokingham, we are keen to return as much of the town centre back to two-lane traffic to provide additional capacity. “This follows the successful removal of the barriers in Rectory Road and Broad Street over the last month.”

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INSPIRATIONS Hair and Beauty has moved to 8 Elms Walk, part of the new Elms Fields, development in Wokingham. Formerly in Denmark Street and owned by Rosemary and Gary Palmer, we have been established for 30 years in Wokingham. We have staff that has been with us for many years, including one stylist who has been with us for the whole 30 years. When our lease was due to run out we thought it was time to move to Elms Fields and a brand new salon. We’re surrounded by new shops and so near the park. We are hoping that the new development will bring in new people to the area. At present we have opening offers running: � Cut and Blow Dry £30, with a selected stylist, available Mondays to Fridays. � 20% off colour on a Tuesday � Lash Lift, for volume and lift, for £38, reduced from £48. For more details or to book, call 0118 977 4066.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

Woodley Christmas plans

Tamsin Westhorpe’s winning entry

In second place was Jane Eales’ plant

Happiness through flowers

Jessica Thompson’s entry came third in the Berkeley Homes contest

SPREADING hope and happiness with flowers, the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society has congratulated the top entries to its photography competition. Sponsored by Berkeley Homes, who donated 2,000 packets of sunflower seeds to spread community cheer, including at Woodhurst Park in neighbouring Warfield, the winners were announced last week. Tamsin Westhorpe scooped first prize, and a £100 National Garden gift voucher, for her photograph of a bee on her homegrown sunflower. And Jane Eales and Jessica Thompson took second and third prize respectively. The 20 entries were judged by a panel including David Emanuel, famed for cocreating Princess Diana’s wedding dress, Andrew Try, the chairman of RWRHS and Lady Nicola Perowne. “We were overwhelmed by the standard of entries to the competition – and congratulations to the well-deserved winners,” said Mr Try. “The campaign as a whole has been a great success and I know that many

people in the area have felt uplifted by the various donations that we’ve organised. “Although The Royal Windsor Summer Show couldn’t go ahead this year, we are so pleased that we, together with Berkeley Homes, have been able to bring the community together through a shared love of gardening and the great outdoors.” The RWRHS is one of the oldest continuous running societies of its kind. It was due to celebrate its 115th annual Royal Windsor Summer Show in July but its cancellation prompted the launch of the Hope and Happiness project. Benjamin Ivey, sales director at Berkeley Homes said: “Congratulations to the winners of the picture competition, we are delighted at the positive response we’ve had from the campaign too. “Our residents have really enjoyed getting outdoors and it has been great to give back to the local community during what has been a challenging time for many.”

THE FAINT sound of jingle bells may be ringing in Woodley residents’ ears, as the town centre makes plans for a festive event. Each year, Woodley town centre manager, Brian Fennelly works with musical groups and the town council to create a magical event to mark the Christmas season. This year, Mr Fennelly has a plan to bring the event to the screen, with a virtual Christmas light switch-on. “We would usually have a big carol concert with the Christmas tree light switch-on,” he said. “We won’t be able to do that this year, but we’ve got plans in place for something special.” Woodley Concert Band will be joining the Yuletide event, which will be filmed and then released on Saturday, November 26. Mr Fennelly added: “We haven’t just given up on Christmas this year, the town centre lights will be on, we’re encouraging everyone to please come and do your Christmas shopping in Woodley.” Mr Fennelly and the team of organisers hope that residents across Woodley will tune into the festive event at 6pm for a mass viewing at home. Woodley is also planning to hold a charity Christmas event in lieu of the Winter Extravaganza. Charities and local groups are invited to apply for a stall at the new fundraising day, which runs from 10am to 3pm on Sunday, November 29. Mr Fennelly said: “We are very conscious that local charities are having a very challenging year and that the cancellation will have further affected revenues. Woodley Town Centre has been looking at ways we can support fundraising. We are delighted to announce a very special oneoff Christmas event in Woodley town centre.” There will be no charge for stalls, but charities need to have valid public liability insurance and undertake a risk assessment. The closing date for applications is Saturday, October 31. � For more details, log on to www.woodleytowncentre.co.uk



Lynne wants to share her love for Pinehurst Care Centre with you

T’S ALL about being together.” That’s the core message from Lynne Cotterell, the manager of Pinehurst Care Centre in Crowthorne. She is determined that the 47-bedroom home at the heart of Crowthorne village is one big family, with all residents feeling special, and treated with due care and attention. “Each home here has different people that need to be looked after very differently,” she says. They do this through a variety of ways, all aimed at empowering those who live there, be they long-term residents or visiting for some respite and post-operative care. One of the houses in the complex specialises in assisting people with dementia, and sees Pinehurst employ specialist nursing and care staff to offer 24-hour care. And there is a mixture of activities and entertainment available for residents to enjoy. For Lynne, who has worked in the care sector for 35 years, she relishes each day. “I absolutely love my job. I’m very, very lucky to have this role, it’s an amazing place and I have great job satisfaction. I see it on the residents’ faces. “We treat each one as if they were a family member, each is unique, but they are our family and I’m very proud of what we have here. “We cover everything, every aspect of looking after someone, those who need additional help as well as those who need a lighter touch. “And we have fun: how many people get paid to go to work and have fun?” Lynne has been at Pinehurst for 11 years: “I walked in and fell in love. It’s a unique home. The residents and

staff here make it one great big family. “The staff make it worth coming to work, and the residents are amazing.” The home is split into three houses, a 21-bed dementia community, a 10bed residential community and a 16bed transitional community. “Each of our homes meet different needs,” Lynne explains, adding that individual care is tailored to the needs of each resident. That tailoring starts at the very beginning of the process, with Lynne making personal visits – Covid

permitting – to meet with the family and the potential resident to ensure that Pinehurst can meet their needs, whatever they may be. “If someone makes an enquiry, I make of point of talking with the family as much as I possibly can,” Lynne explains. “I will try and arrange for them to visit – we can sit outside and spend as much time so they can find out what they feel they need to know. “I’ll introduce them to different members of staff, including the activity team, so they know what their relative will be doing all day – they won’t be left in the chair all day. “If they would like me to carry out an assessment of

their family, I will go wherever they want me to go – if that means Edinburgh, I will. I believe it’s better for me to go so that I know we can care for that person. “We’re like a big jigsaw puzzle, we all have to fit together. It’s no good having a sharp edge where it should be a round one, that’s why we always make sure that we can manage their needs.” When people arrive now, there are Covid-secure measures in place to ensure that the virus cannot spread through the home. This includes testing. “We have to make sure that we protect our residents,” Lynne says, adding “We always offer a four-week trial period so that residents know they are happy and they are sure we are the right home for them.” The best way to find out is to give Lynne a call and have a chat. She hopes you’ll fall in love with Pinehurst, just as she did. � Nothing we can write here can convey the understanding, warmth and care that Pinehurst Care Centre staff have for their residents. Our reputation is one we are very proud of. It is best if you meet with us at your earliest opportunity to register your interest. � Please visit Pinehurst Care Centre at any time, however as we are a busy home it’s best to telephone and arrange a visit with our manager, or administrator, who will show you around. � Call 01344 774 233 or email us at pinehurst@foresthc.com or visit www.foresthc.com

Pinehurst Care Centre at the heart of Crowthorne village has a real focus on being a family

01344 774233 | Pinehurst Care Centre, Dukes Ride, Crowthorne RG45 6ND | www.foresthc.com

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Members of Hurst Village Society are calling on residents to take a stand against the government’s white paper on planning Picture: Sue Corcoran

‘Hurst could see 5,000 new homes if planning shake-up goes ahead’ � Continued from front page

Mrs May said that she had “pressed” housing minister Robert Jenrick on the issue. “I have been working with Wokingham Borough Council to ensure the Government understands the impact such numbers would have locally,” she added. “Let’s ensure the homes we need are built in the right places and reflect the Government’s aim of levelling up across the country.” Her concerns are also shared by Reading East MP Matt Rodda, who said: “The Government’s proposals are a developer’s charter, which will threaten the countryside and could lead to more luxury flats in towns. “It is almost the opposite of what we actually need, which is making better use of brownfield, affordable homes to buy and rent, family homes and protection for our countryside and historic buildings.” And last week, members of the Hurst Village Society told residents how they could be fighting a huge battle to stop possibly 5,000 new homes being built on its green fields. Banners have been erected,

urging residents to Save Our Village by joining the fight. Hundreds of leaflets have been delivered to homes. Hurst villagers fear thousands of the new homes could end up in their rural parish which acts as a large green lung of fields in the middle of the borough. They’ve been pouring emails onto their MP Theresa May, complaining about the new proposed 1,630 target figure, ahead of the deadline for responses, which is October 1. On Wednesday, September 23, Hurst Village Society held a virtual, online meeting for residents to update them on the campaign. Society chair Wayne Smith, who is also Wokingham borough’s Hurst councillor, told them: “Hurst people have been lobbying and writing to Theresa May. There have been a lot of contacts from the village.” He urged everyone who hadn’t already written to Mrs May about the proposed 1,630 new homes a year to do so by Thursday, October 1. Speaking as chair and not as parish councillor, Mr Smith said Hurst, Wokingham borough’s largest

parish covering two-and-a-half square miles, was particularly at risk. Wokingham, Shinfield, Arborfield and Barkham had already taken quite a lot of housing. Wargrave, Ruscombe and Remenham were mostly protected because much of their land is designated as green belt. Hurst was left vulnerable. In the village society’s letter to Mrs May, Mr Smith and society president Annette Drake said that the large Grazeley Garden Village building scheme was now unlikely to happen. There was no doubt that one of the areas Wokingham Borough Council would seriously consider to help make up for that loss was Hurst. This could be for a minimum of 250 homes, but to fulfil the government’s demands for homes about 5,000 was more likely. They challenged the method used to work out the 1,630 figure, saying that if the method was approved “Hurst will be vulnerable to losing a substantial area of countryside to housing.” This would harm Hurst parish

and also residents of Woodley, Wokingham and Bracknell who saw Hurst as a “green gap between settlements and somewhere to visit and enjoy the views and countryside.” If the area was lost to development “Hurst will end up as yet another vast housing estate merging with the neighbouring urban towns,” they added. They said Wokingham had dutifully built 10,000 homes in the last 15 years, but that was at a great cost to the community. Roads were choked with traffic, doctors’ surgeries couldn’t cope with appointments unless they were three or four weeks in advance and stations had insufficient parking. “The health and social well-being of the community you represent is already suffering and will suffer further should this unreasonable increase in new housing take place,” they told Mrs May. They asked her to challenge Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick over how the target figure was worked out, so the calculating method was changed or dismissed.

Councillor talks housing at Lib Dem conference LIBERAL DEMOCRATS have joined the chorus of disapproval over the government’s white paper. At the party’s annual conference, held virtually on Sunday, Emmbrook councillor Imogen Shepherd-Dubey was one of a number of people speaking out against the plans which could see 25,000 new homes forced on Wokingham borough. She said that it would do nothing to help the nation’s housing problems: “There is nothing in these plans to compel our big property developers to actually build the homes we need. “It also means that developers would provide less affordable housing, less social rented housing and less money for roads, schools and the other services that are needed.”

The conference passed a motion calling on all party members to take part in the consultation, which closes today, and to “reject the arbitrary housing targets and reduction of local control proposed”. The party feels that the motion shows the risks of the Government’s proposals, calling it a power grab. Cllr Lindsay Ferris, Liberal Democrat leader at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that we have made strong objections to the Government's planning proposals which would destroy many areas across the country including our own.” He highlighted one particular objection, which is that the reformed will restrict a planning authority’s ability to set local planning policies in line with the

needs of their area and community aspirations, undermining the planled system, disempowering councils and communities. Cllr Ferris said: “This specifically deals with the arbitary nature of allocating the number of homes to an area, where in Wokingham Borough we were expected to take 1,635 per annum, a totally artificially generated figure.

“This motion would put the power back into local hands and any housing numbers would be based on the actual need and views of the local community. This is essential for our area, otherwise we would be deluged with housing and our semirural nature of our environment would become yet another Inner and Outer Suburbia. “It is essential we oppose now.”

Join the protests: how to fight housing numbers � Before October 1, email your MP and copy in Wokingham Borough Council’s email address, fairplayinhousing@wokingham.gov.uk. MPs: theresa.may.mp@parliament.uk, john.redwood.mp@parliament.uk, matt.rodda.mp@parliament.uk, james.sunderland.mp@parliament.uk � Contact Robert Jenrick via forms.communities.gov.uk and tell the council by emailing fairplayinhousing@wokingham.gov.uk � Complete the Government Consultation at: www.gov.uk/government/ consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system. � For more details, visit www.wokingham.gov/uk/fairplayinhousing

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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Ladds demolition work halted after planning visit WORK TO demolish and rebuild a Hare Hatch garden centre has been halted after planning officers visited the site last week.

Following up resident concerns of unauthorised development, the officers visited Ladds Garden Village to remind the new owner when planning permission is required. The Granary Group, which took over the centre at the start of September, said it wants to engage with the community before submitting plans. Last month, the company started “extensive works” to turn the site into a “contemporary garden centre” called The Berkshire Gardener. On Wednesday, September 9, The Berkshire Gardener’s website stated: “We’re currently forging ahead with demolition within the main building. “Walls are being pulled down to reveal the full scope of the internal areas. “The planning team continue to develop exciting ideas for both the internal and external spaces including a café and courtyard, homewares and gift section and a substantial terrace for plants and gardening supplies.” As part of the redevelopment, all tenants at Ladds Garden Village were served notice at the start of September, giving them three months

to pack up and find a new venue. On Friday, a visitor to Ladds Garden Village said they think the new landlords are a “cowboy act”. They told Wokingham.Today: “I am aware the small businesses have been asked to leave at Ladds Garden Village. However I visited this morning to discover Wokingham Borough Council has stopped the work of the new landlords, due to no planning. “Those poor small businesses that have tried to survive during Covid are now faced with a site looking like a bomb site. “How can this be allowed to happen to these small businesses? The old landlords have had this site for 40 years and quite literally given the lease to a complete cowboy act, they should be ashamed of themselves.” Another visitor told Wokingham. Today: “A new company has started work, tearing walls down with the main building, working with the area where the public still have access as businesses are still trying to trade. “I believe they intend to widen the main entrance from the road and I haven’t seen any planning application notices at the site.” They added: “The business units have all been given notice which is such a shame as they are real assets to the community.” A spokesperson from the borough

council said: “The council’s planning enforcement team visited the site after receiving a report that unauthorised development may be occurring. The officer provided advice regarding when planning permission is required.” And on Monday, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the site to inspect the demolition. A spokesperson from The Granary Group said the company had not yet submitted planning permission but will do soon. They said: “We are hoping to hold an introductory evening to our business showcasing our plans for the future at Ladds Garden Village. “We wish to meet local residents, council members before we submit a full and comprehensive planning application.” They said if approved, The Berkshire Gardener will include: “Electric charging for cars and bikes, solar roofing to power both those and the centre itself. A farm shop including vegetable growing gardens plus wildflower planting, the ability to collect rainwater and surface runoff to flush toilets and water plants. “Our focus includes outdoor healthy adventures and The Granary Group hopes to be a leader in sustainable garden centres of the future.” The introductory meeting will be held online on Friday, October 9. � For more information, visit: berkshiregardener.co.uk

The Highways Care automated cone laying vehicle, which will soon be trialled on the M4

Cone machine joins M4 MOTORISTS will soon be able to snatch a first glimpse on the roads of a pioneering conelaying vehicle that will eliminate the need for road workers to do the job from the back of a truck. After successfully completing off-road testing, the automated cone laying vehicle has now taken to the road network for the first time. So far, it has been working on the A5 and M54 in Shropshire. But further testing is planned for the Berkshire stretch of the M4. Developed by Highways England and a group of industry experts, the vehicle

avoids the need for two people to manually lift and drop the cones in almost all weathers. With traffic rushing past, the bulk of this work is undertaken at night with the workers lifting up to ten tonnes of equipment per shift. The automated cone laying vehicles, which could be in use by the end of the year, will be operated solely by the driver, improving safety and freeing up two workers to carry out other tasks. Highways England head of lean and continuous improvement, Martin Bolt, said: “The implications of these vehicles in protecting the

safety of workers are immense and we are delighted that testing is progressing so well. By taking the human element out of laying cones we are eliminating one of the greatest risks for road workers. “We have received a lot of support from the industry as a whole for the automated vehicle and we are now getting some very positive feedback from those workers who have been trialling the Highways Care prototype on the live roads network. “If this testing proves as successful as we anticipate it will, motorists could be spotting more of these automated cone laying vehicles on the roads by the end of the year.”



By JESS WARREN jwarren@wokingham.today

Council approves plan to keep residents warm this winter THE COUNCIL has approved plans for a scheme to keep residents warm this winter. Help to Heat, run by the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and local ECO Flex aims to help residents improve the energy efficiency of their home. Available to people with low performing homes, the scheme includes loft or cavity wall insulation. And the improvements are usually free or heavily subsidised as they are funded through a national levy on major energy suppliers such as British Gas, EDF Energy, EON, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE. Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for climate emergency, said: “Currently almost 1,800 homes in Wokingham Borough are believed to have the worst energy performance rating of E, F or G, with almost half of this figure made up of council homes and social housing stock. This low rating means these homes are performing very inefficiently with occupiers paying much higher heating bills than they should. “We already know that fuel poverty, caused by continually increasing energy costs, is affecting 1 in 10 households across the UK, and is having a massive impact on some of the eldest, most vulnerable and most at risk residents of the borough. “We don’t believe anybody should be forced to decide between

heating and eating which is why initiatives like the ECO scheme, and the new Green Homes Grant, are so important for our local residents. By improving the energy efficiency of local homes we can help occupiers reduce their bills and enjoy warmer, more comfortable homes. “Improving the energy efficiency of local homes will also help tackle the wider climate emergency by lowering carbon emissions across the borough.” The council also intends to use ECO funding to improve low performing council homes to help benefit local tenants as well. To qualify for support, residents need to meet certain eligibility criteria and have their home’s energy performance surveyed by the council’s ECO scheme partner, Insta Group. National ECO eligibility criteria includes those in receipt of Universal Credit or the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). By adopting the local ECO Flex Help to Heat element alongside this, the council can increase eligibility criteria to include a wider range of residents. Details of the wider eligibility criteria, the types of improvements available and how to apply for support, will be shared when the council ECO Help to Heat scheme launches later this month. � For more information, visit: www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmentalprogrammes/eco


Due to recent Government guidelines we are unable to welcome prospec�ve students and parents into our school this year. Instead, we have plenty of other opportuni�es for you to get involved with at our Virtual Open Events.

Boo Req king uire d!

Virtual Open Experience As well as our Live Events (below) explore our Open Experience webpage to find out more about Waingels. You can take a virtual tour and find out more from the staff and students at Waingels. Coming soon… ‘A day in the life of a Year 7’, School welcome, subject presentations and more…

Tuesday 29th September: 4:00pm Thursday 1st October: 4:00pm & 6:00pm Monday 5th October: 10:00am Thursday 15th October: 6:00pm *Please note, you do not need to sign up to every event as the events are repeated.

To be involved in these events, please sign up on our website

www.waingels.wokingham.sch.uk @WaingelsCollege


Better Never Stops

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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How lockdown turned a care home into a village RESIDENTS at a Wokingham care home have been busy making memories during lockdown – by creating their very own model village. The large scale creation was bourne out of the visiting restrictions that have hit the sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. And now The Berkshire Care Home on Barkham Road has its very own miniature collection of homes and buildings. It was organised by the brighterkind-run centre’s Magic Moments Club coordinator Blerina Cuka. She said that they wanted residents to have a big project during these strange days and that the village was packed with memories. First on the list was a church, requested by Betty Spaans, aged 89. Connie Brownjohn, 90, wanted a bakery just like the one in the village where she grew up and Sheila Wilson, 88, had fond memories of walking along a canal when she was younger. Louise Hill, 89, said the village should include the residents themselves, plus a dog and also a garage as she remembered spending a lot of time having to have her car fixed. Michael Mace, 83, thought that the only essential building

Left: The Berkshire Care Home’s model village Below left: Betty Spaans with the village Below right: Sheila Wilson helps create another home for the village, which is packed full of memories

to have was a pub. The residents also made models of the homes they used to live in and decided to add their room numbers at the care home on the doors. Betty said: “I’ve loved doing this, it’s very beautiful. “The pretty houses and the bridge over the canal are my favourites.

“I could sit here all day admiring it. “I’ve told my daughter and son all about our village and I can’t wait for them to see this.” And a delighted Ms Cuka said: “We encouraged our residents to get involved by reminiscing about their younger days and helping to build our model village. “The idea was to bring back

and share happy memories with each other and do something that everyone could contribute to. “It took us about two months to make and during that time we had lots of fun, enjoyed plenty of trips down memory lane and drank lots of tea. “We are still considering what else we can add to our village, so it could soon become a town.”

Councillors commemorate Battle of Britain anniversary By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today COUNCILLORS and staff at Wokingham Borough Council commemorated the 80th anniversary of The Battle of Britain last month.

On Tuesday, September 15 they raised a special flag at the Civic Offices at Shute End. Cllr John Halsall, leader of the council, along with former Royal Air Force (RAF) member Cllr Carl Doran and chief executive Susan Parsonage, raised the RAF Ensign. This was in tribute to the men and women across the world who risked their lives flying and supporting the RAF during the Second World War. “The RAF Benevolent Fund carried out a survey this summer which found that 44% of those asked didn’t know about The Battle of Britain,” said Cllr Halsall. “I think that marking any anniversary is a great way of educating people about historical events, but this particular event is a pivotal part of our history and, indeed, world history.” September 15 is marked as Battle of Britain Day because on that day in 1940, the Luftwaffe launched its largest attack in London with the hope of defeating the RAF permanently. But the RAF proved them wrong and held a strong defence – it was the climax of the battle. Cllr Doran, who raised the Ensign along with Cllr Halsall, said that he wanted to honour those who made victory possible in the Second World War.

Council leader John Halsall with chief executive Susan Parsonage and Cllr Carl Doran with the RAF Ensign outside the borough council’s offices Picture: Stuart Turkington

“The pilots, who Winston Churchill famously referred to as, ‘the few’ were the spearhead but the rest of the spear was made up of many,” he said, including ground crews, radar operators, and aircraft workers. “The Battle was won by the team, and today is about thanking and paying tribute to every single one of them.” Both of the Cllr’s grandfathers served in the RAF during the Second World War. He then joined the RAF himself at 18 where he served as a technician for ten years. Reflecting on the commemoration,

former RAF airman, Cllr Gary Cowan, said: “I would like to take this opportunityto express my deepest gratitude to Wokingham Borough Council for raising the flag at the council offices in remembrance of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.” Cllr Angus Ross also added: “After spending 20 years as a pilot in the RAF, I can still barely appreciate how so few so young and so inexperienced pilots were able to perform so magnificently in the battle. “We still owe them an immense debt of gratitude.”

NEWS | 25



Same, but different WHAT’S in a name? For the past five years, The Wokingham Paper has been your fearless voice in the borough. Standing up for you, sharing your news and campaigning on your behalf. This week, we have a new name. But our aims remain the same. In our first issue, we said that local news is precious and needs to be protected. We stand by that. Over the past five years, we have seen other news outlets retreat. We remain the only place to go to for full coverage of Wokingham borough. We have also seen phenomenal growth for our website, Wokingham.Today. Each month there are millions of page impressions. And we reach thousands of people via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We are now more than just a newspaper. So our new name reflects the way in which news media is changing: we share news online and in print. One thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to bringing you quality journalism every week. Make sure you buy a copy of Wokingham.Today every week.


Uncles and aunties


IVING in a small Essex village 80 years ago, pretty well everybody knew everybody; there were no strange faces. There were two bakers baking every day; a fishmonger, two greengrocers; one butcher and a wool shop. One’s parents friends were always politely called “auntie and uncle”. These were the days before the NHS. We had to pay the doctor. One local GP held a regular Saturday surgery in a house by the green. Any villager who need help could attend and pay what they could – sometimes nothing. Many years later, when discussing an approaching operation with the surgeon and anaesthetist, I talked of this doctor, who had been held in deep affection by everyone, a bit of a local hero. The anaesthetist smiled and said, “That was my Dad”. I had two “Uncle Earnies”. One Uncle, with Auntie Minnie, came to live over the road. They were Austrian Jews who came to England just in time before the war. They engendered sympathy and admiration for their bravery and became family friends for life. Auntie Minnie taught me to crochet and I just loved her delicious sauerkraut. Uncle Earnie was the typical jolly uncle. The other Uncle Earnie and Auntie Dora came to live next door. He was a retired PhD of Botany. We children were regularly asked to Sunday tea when we could watch television. Although I was a regular attender at the Baptist Sunday School, I wanted to be confirmed in the Church of England, like my friends. First, I had to be Christened, as I had not been baptised as a baby. Auntie Dora and Uncle Earnie were asked, and agreed to be, godparents. So I attended a “Baptism for those who are of Riper Years”, and was duly confirmed. Although I am now a Quaker, I still feel I have a foot in both camps: like Terry Waite, I am a “Quanglican”. Many years later, looking at old photos, I found out that my dear godfather Uncle Earnie was, to quote my parent, "a black Jamaican who came to England to study and stayed on" Dear Uncles, one Jewish and one Jamaican – I remember both with real affection. Paula Seddon from Wokingham Quakers on behalf of Churches Together in Wokingham

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020 We love to hear from you! Send us your views on issues relating to the borough (in 250 words or less) to The Wokingham Paper, Crown House, 231 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS or email: letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk We reserve the right to edit letters Views expressed in this section are not necessarily those of the paper

Use the boxes to stop the bags blowing away As Wokingham Borough Council announces the inception, at some stage in 2021, of new recycling arrangements with the provision of two plastic “hessian” bags, should we assume that the next phase of this, prior to commencement, would be for Wokingham Borough Council to issue each household with some form of receptacle in which the bags once emptied by the refuse crews can be placed. Or are we to be faced with the same prospect as with the erstwhile green garden recycling bags which on breezy or windy days could often be found loose and blowing along the road like tumbleweed? Unless, of course, the crews will politely hand back each households' bags once emptied. An possibility could perhaps be to use the then redundant black plastic boxes currently used in which to place the empty bags following collection of recycling. This at least would stop them “escaping” before having the opportunity to retrieve them from the pavement or indeed the road. Simon Jackson, Wokingham

Residents are write I am disappointed to see that Your Letters seems to have descended into council members 'having a moan' at each other or each others parties. They are over-long and consist of issues best discussed at council meetings. This week is no different, and apart from a resident’s letter about Commons Road (a valid point that needs urgently sorting), and a delightful picture from ‘Cally’, we are subjected to five long letters from council members. We already have a page dedicated to Council News on page 14. Where are the letters from residents? The page is called Your Letters after all. Jan Frances, Wokingham Editor writes – We welcome more contributions from readers

Councillors on housing Labour councillors on the town and borough councils within the Wokingham borough area have submitted this response to the Tory government's planning consultation. This is a collective response by Labour Town and Borough Councillors within the Wokingham Borough area to the Government’s white paper “Planning for the Future” published in August 2020, setting out potential new planning rules. We do recognise that planning regulations need an overhaul. The proposals in the white paper will reduce the ability of local people to influence the scope, scale and location of developments in their area. In an area like ours, the ability to influence development is already severely curtailed by the combination of high housing supply requirements and the pro-development skew of the National Planning Policy Framework. The division of our borough into areas of growth, regeneration and conservation will remove what little protection exists for our green spaces

Picture of the week

During the summer, three young foxes adopted us. In the early evening in broad daylight they played in the garden and behaved like mischievous children, trying hard to break into a netted strawberry bed, digging holes and carrying off gardening gloves we had left handy. This fox was the boldest and one evening sat at the top of the garden calmly watching us. She still comes to visit mid evening to see if there is anything to eat and peers at us through the patio doors. Ray H Li‫מּ‬le, Finchampstead � We welcome your pictures for this slot. Send your images to letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk and we’ll do the rest

outside of designated Greenbelt. In addition, the continual conversion of unsuitable former offices to residential space will increase the quantity of unsuitable homes in unsuitable areas. A converted office block on an industrial estate is no place to raise a family. The reference to the quality of the design of new houses and the adaptation of designs that blend with local tradition is, however, to be welcomed. Accompanying the main white paper and issued at the same time is the document Changes to the Current Planning System. This covers many issues of the planning process, including the number of homes that Wokingham Borough would be compelled to accommodate in the future. In past years Wokingham Borough has seen the building of a flood of new homes commensurate with the Five Year Land Supply requirement; in spite of developers, in some instances, dragging their feet in commencing house building after planning permission has been granted. The planned current Strategic Development Locations ensure that the high level of building will continue for the foreseeable future. This volume of building has reduced the availability of green spaces and put severe stress on the local infrastructure, particularly roads. Recent changes to central government funding of infrastructure on planned new settlements such as Grazeley mean that Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) will not be able to build the infrastructure required for such a massive development. Furthermore, the changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy and other changes to funding and regulations mean that even fewer social homes will be built in future. This continued local development is excessive and Wokingham Borough

Council have been ignored in the past when approaching the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government to request that the required housing numbers be reduced. In 2018, the consultation for the new local plan showed the four top local issues identified by residents were all related to aspects of over development. In 2019 WBC spent more than £50,000 on another survey just so local Conservatives could demonstrate they were opposed to the housing numbers. Consider the horror therefore that the number of homes to be built in Wokingham per annum required by the new proposed formula is more than double. This is wholly unacceptable as it would mean that two towns the size of Wokingham town would have to be built every 15 years. This is not a viable proposition. We do understand that this commitment to build more homes in areas like ours was in the Conservative manifesto presented at the General Election: (“This will see us build at least a million more homes, of all tenures, over the next Parliament – in the areas that really need them. And we will make the planning system simpler…”, p31) We do think there are other ways to do it. Fundamentally, the Thames Valley is an economic hotspot that draws in jobs and people from all over the country. Until there is a rebalancing of the UK economy to a more equitable distribution of prosperity around the country, there will be a continued high demand for housing in this area – and the housing will simply be too expensive for most people to buy or rent. We strongly request that the Secretary of State for Housing Communities & Local Government (1) Withdraws in their entirety the proposals in the current white paper (2) Develops a new white paper, in consultation with the Local

Government Association (3) Empowers local authorities to build more social rent council housing (WBC has started just ten in ten years) (4) Adopts a new methodology for calculating Local Housing Need that has a greatly reduced requirement for Wokingham Borough so the current horrendous proposed numbers are not inflicted on the residents of Wokingham Borough (5) Introduces a ‘use it or lose it’ requirement on developers who obtain planning permission (6) Gives more control to Local Authorities to restrict unwanted development – via their Local Plan process AND via the powers of Planning Committees (7) Works with government colleagues to rebalance the geographic inequalities in the UK economy which are driving the extremely high demand in the Thames Valley. Cllr Nada Al-sanjari, Bulmershe ward, Woodley Town Council Cllr Shirley Boyt, Bulmershe and Whitegates ward, Wokingham Borough Council Cllr Rachel Burgess, Norreys ward, Wokingham Borough Council Cllr Andy Croy, Bulmershe and Whitegates ward, Wokingham Borough Council Cllr Carl Doran, Bulmershe and Whitegates ward, Wokingham Borough Council Cllr Nick Fox, Norreys West ward, Wokingham Town Council Cllr Tim Lloyd, Evendons West ward, Wokingham Town Council Cllr Sheena Ma‫מּ‬hews, Whitegates ward, Earley Town Council Cllr Majid Nagra, Loddon South ward, Woodley Town Council Cllr Marion Shaw, Whitegates ward, Earley Town Council Cllr Abby Tebboth, Norreys East ward, Wokingham Town Council


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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

mattrodda Westminster diary

garycowan richarddolinski, jimfrewin Independent view

Planning white paper completely fails us

A way forward



ERKSHIRE has a lot to offer. Rolling countryside; the rivers Thames, Kennet and Loddon; attractive towns and villages with interesting historic buildings, yet at the same time is within easy reach of London and many other parts of the country.

I am proud to represent our community and want to protect our local environment, both our countryside and open spaces as well as our attractive local towns and villages. I believe that we need to conserve our environment to protect wildlife and tackle the climate crisis and to stand up for residents to ensure that they have green space and are protected from pollution. I am, therefore, concerned about the changes to the current planning rules being proposed by the Government which could have a damaging effect on the environment and ultimately would harm the quality of life for local people. My biggest concern is the proposal to increase the number of houses which would need to be built in Wokingham borough to meet the Government’s new Standard Model. According to well-respected Planning consultants, Lichfields, under the proposed new “Standard Model”, Wokingham borough would have to find space for an additional 1,635 houses each year. Reducing the allocation of housing to nothing more than a Government algorithm undermines the very fabric of local control and fails to recognise that while parts of the UK want to protect their greenbelt, others are crying out for their former industrial sites to be redeveloped. There is plenty of brownfield land available in many parts of the country which could be redeveloped, allowing the Government to meet its national housebuilding target while

tonyjohnson That was the week

Bad day at Black Rod


LTHOUGH Britain isn’t supposed to be a comedy show, it’s fast turning into one as minister after minister had their very own Bad Day this week. Billy Banter led the team with a “does my policy look fatuous in this?” daring raid on the tuck shop, only to come down with a bad case of Church Chill.

Locally, on WoBoCo TV, an unexpected gem turned up in the curate’s eggs of this week’s broadcasts, making that two in two weeks for the team at ShUTe End. No, that’s not a typo, it used to be called IT, but our council has been afflecked by UT (Use-less Technology).

Closing Time As the PM called time on the nation, bookies were lowering the odds on the nation calling time on the PM. This was just one part of Billy Banter’s miserably mixed messaging as £10 off became 10pm bedtime. Luckily early doors didn’t apply to such ‘works canteens’ as the Member’s Dining Room, the Pugin Room or the Stranger’s Bar, or any other of the 30+ bars at the Palace of Westminster which fuel our nation’s MPs with quality drinks at subsidised prices. By the time Billy and the Front Benchers had woken up to the gaffe, the hangover of “one rule

promoting regeneration in some of the most deprived parts of the UK. Adding 1,635 houses each year in Wokingham borough would cause significant problems for our community, both in terms of the loss of green land and the knock on effect of more traffic and therefore greater levels of air pollution and increased pressure on vital services, like schools and doctors’ surgeries. These are problems residents already experience in areas like Woodley and Earley, where there has been a lot of development. To add insult to injury, the Government’s long-term plan is to deregulate the planning system, making it easier for developers to build what they like. Again, no local control, just a series of big developers whose motivation will be not what a community needs but how much profit they can make. The Government has failed to promote the right mixture of housing. Too many new builds in Berkshire are executive housing and flats. There seems to be a limited supply of family housing, particularly affordable homes to buy and rent – and that includes

not building enough council houses. No system is perfect, however the current planning system has helped reduce unsuitable development, protect green spaces and encouraged development in keeping with existing towns and villages. This is a proud legacy of the Atlee Government’s 1948 Town and Country Planning Act. In Parliament this week, I opposed the new rules that would allow two story extensions to be added to residential buildings without the need for planning permission – this is another idea from the Government. But the plans go further that more houses and fewer protections. It places our green fields at risk, it gives developers the upperhand and it takes away the voices of local communities. The Planning for the Future White Paper sets ambitious national targets but it completely fails to recognise that local people should be able to shape their own communities and not simply be at the mercy of a one-size-fits-all approach Government and profit-hungry developers.

for the country and another for us” was growing to Barnard Castle proportions.

demonstrated that they not only knew what they were talking about but then gave a master-class into the consultation’s structure, what it meant for Wokingham and our proposed rejections. Fortunately, this speech is a) short, b) understandable and c) free to view on WoBoCo’s video channel. And WBC’s written raspberries are available too as the reply to MHCLG has been published online for those who want to bone up before they respond to the consultation before the deadline of Oct 1st (aka ‘today’).

Universally Challenged At Her Majesty’s Prison Manchester, aka the Metropolitan University, the ministry of misinformation led by Gavin (the boy from the back row) would have us believe via the news broadcasts that students are self-isolating. The actuality is that they’re now incarcerated in MMU’s halls of residence (read: tiny garret bedrooms) facing £10,000 fines if they put a foot outside. The University has “generously” provided a 50 quid voucher for food, then left them in the lurch as to how they actually get any. And while education via video (that they could have watched at home) rolls out smoothly and the nation’s second-biggest landlords enforce the housing contracts, the word ‘university’ becomes less a ‘place of learning’ and more a ‘national profit-centre’.

Ordure at Audit Locally, when a knowledgeable councillor well versed in the ways of professionally run IT functions started questioning officers about the risks of running an IT system on a single firewall (sorry, no clue either) the Audit meeting got much more serious and it became apparent that ‘Debbie does Digital’ might not be quite such a good idea after all.

IEMD or just an IED? WBC’s video of the Exec Member’s decision on the Planning Reform consultation was late starting but turned out to be an absolute gem. The WBC Strategic Planning Officer

Ma‫ מּ‬Rodda is the MP for Reading East, which includes parts of Woodley and Earley

Questionable Time Despite the technological erudition of a councillor and the crystal clarity of an officer, both clearly on top of their respective games, you just knew that it couldn’t last. And it didn’t. During public question time, last week’s executive meeting turned into the councillor Halsall show, where the leader not only answered the public’s questions, he asked them too.

The last word At a national level it’s strangely comforting to learn that the Daily Torygraph thinks that Rishi Sunak “can get us out of this” even if the detail of how, why and when are hidden behind a paywall. And at a local level, there’s always hope that the new brooms can rescue the microphones off, lens-caps on nonsense that the WoBoCo TV channel has become for most participants. With politicians like these, who needs comedians? caveat.lector@icloud.com

VER the past few weeks, each of the Wokingham Borough Council political party leaders have written to this paper about a range of topics, but mostly about what each party would do differently from each other. One thing that all the political parties can be relied on is to consistently vote along party lines. A fine example of this, if fine is the right term, was at the recent September full council meeting where, two unfortunate Conservative councillors voted the ‘wrong way’. The subsequent confusion and mayhem resulted in the vote being retaken but this time on strict party lines. The delay resulted in council business not being concluded. There are many enthusiastic, well-informed, knowledgeable and sincere councillors across all parties. Many are truly passionate about their communities. However, there are those who appear totally silent and are in the main subservient to their leadership. If you look at the make up of all the WBC committees, they are chaired by a Conservative and they hold a Conservative majority. This in itself would not be an issue if all the committee members were able to exercise independence and represent what they truly believe is right for the Wokingham borough residents. Unfortunately, some councillors are constrained by their political allegiance and their party whips. There have been and are some excellent debates across WBC, where ideas, challenges and potential actions are being made. Things that could really make a difference for all Wokingham borough residents. However, when it comes to a vote, you can safely predict the exact numbers of votes for and against. More worryingly it’s the outcome, as the Conservatives hold the majority the result is a forgone political conclusion. It doesn’t need to be like that. There are more than 20,000 local councillors in England and Wales, each representing their local community and all with their own reason for doing so. Approximately 2,000 of these councillors are Independent or from small local residents’ groups. In order to be truly democratic, councils need to be representative of their community. To make the best decisions, they need to draw on a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge of what their local community wants and needs. Councils need local people who can bring their own perspective on what is needed in their neighbourhood and the wider community. As we move towards next May and the local elections each of the political parties will put forward party candidates. Some candidates will not live in or have any affiliation with the nominated ward. They will be there simply to keep up the party numbers, these are know as paper candidates. We don’t believe this is right. So, when it comes to next May we ask residents to look at each candidate’s record of achievement and what they really aspire to do for their community. If you care strongly about your community and cannot see a candidate or party that matches your aspirations then why not consider standing as an Independent candidate. It may well be that come May you might find yourself holding the balance of power in a coalition administration. If you are interested contact any of the Independent councillors via the Wokingham Borough Website – Find Your Councillor page. We will be delighted to speak to you about how you too can make a difference. After all, we are proud of our campaign record on local issues and of our considered voting on matters that concern you. Cllr Richard Dolinski, Cllr Gary Cowan & Cllr Jim Frewin are independent borough councillors at Wokingham Borough Council

28 | NEWS

nelliewilliams Nellie knows www.nelliewilliams.co.uk

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What links this cottage with 007?


REMEMBER the first day of The Wokingham Paper as I eagerly devoured the contents including my own first column, gosh it seems ages ago, now here we are with the first paper of Wokingham.Today and I’m still here. Local papers are great and I am not just saying that because I write for one. I can’t resist picking up a local paper and learning something about an area when I am on my travels, admittedly my travels have been curtailed since March but I have enjoyed a few days away here and there in the UK.

Chilling at a car boot I didn’t feel so good at the first car boot as I underestimated how chilly a late September morning would be but was thankful for the dog blanket, okay I smelt grim but I felt warm. For the second car boot I was much more prepared with my hat, gloves, scarf and clean blanket and very grateful to see someone from Hurst who manned my stand while I nipped off for a comfort break, thank you Mr L. Car boots are great for getting rid of stuff but be prepared for haggling and bargaining. On arrival the serious buyers come to your car checking your stuff out, then the early buyers who I am sure hunt in pairs, followed by the Sunday car booters. I have now reduced my stuff considerably and, like a saddo, went home to see what else I could take to the next one, for there is apparently only one car boot left this year. Needless to say as much as I am beginning to enjoy a minimalist phase there are just some things I still want to keep, even if they are in boxes in the loft.

Author talk As restrictive as lockdown has been it has also given me the opportunity of walking miles, a slower pace of life, less M4 and plenty of books. I tend to have two books on the go, one on Audible and one actual book. The last book I heard was Wicked Game by Matt Johnson which I finished in a 600-mile Welsh trip, wow it is good, in fact I would go so far as to say it was brilliant with a wonderful plot and great narration. Matt is part of Crime Cymru and together with Alis Hawkins he came to Berkshire for Wales Week / Berkshire this year. Who knows what events we will be able to put on next year but the planning is well underway, February 20 to March 7, 2021.

Happy birthday EBP One event I am looking forward to is standing at the door singing Happy 70th birthday to Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, the founder of DrugFam. Have a look on the website – www.drugfam.co.uk – to see her Power of Seven appeal.

Thought for the day “In life, you will fall out with people that you never thought you would. Get betrayed by people you trusted with all of your heart. Get used by people you would do anything for. But life also has a beautiful side to it. “You will get loved by someone you never thought you would have. Form new friendships with people that will establish more meaningful and stronger relationships. And overcome things you never thought you would get over. “We all have chapters that end with people at some point in life. But take pride in knowing that the very best part of your book is still being written.” The best really is yet to come. It truly is.

Take a trip to by visiting the By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wokingham.today

YOU MIGHT think that being in hospital during the pandemic would be a depressing affair – all those safety measures, face coverings and rules can turn the place of healing into something more austere.

Stuff At the start of the year I decided I was going to clear stuff and sort the house, then lockdown happened and with the tip and charity shops closed it seemed to me to be a pointless exercise as I would only be moving stuff from one place to another so I rethought that plan and we cracked on with jobs around the house and garden. In the last week I have done two car boots, been to the tip, got rid of furniture, dropped stuff off at various charity shops and it feels good.

WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

THERE’S a house with a whole lot of history in Warfield – and it could be yours. Over the past 300 years, Lynwood Cottage has been owned by a James Bond movie stunt double, a wealthy British diamond dealer, and members of the aristocracy. And now the Grade II listed home is looking for new custodians. The house’s owners, Gerry and Jenny Brown have spent years uncovering its history, and they are now putting it on the market. After buying the property in 1988, their son Steve based a school project on the historic building and the family began to piece the cottage’s story together. “When we came to view the house, there were pictures on the walls of the owner with huge stars, such as Roger Moore – the lady was a stunt double in Bond movies,” says Jenny. “Upstairs, one of the bedrooms housed costumes, wonderful hats, and wigs. She also had a dressing room full of beautiful clothes. It was very glamorous.” The property was originally built in around 1640 as a forester’s cottage on the Duke of Downshire’s country estate. With only one room downstairs and a ladder leading to the upstairs space, it was far more modest than the four-bedroomed house with a swimming pool that is standing today. As centuries passed, the estate changed hands and purpose. In the 1800s, Lynwood Cottage became a farm, and by 1925, it was sold to a British diamond dealer, Otto Oppenheimer, who renamed it Lynwood Chase.

And according to the Brown family, owning a Grade II listed house requires a bit of work. From restoring brickwork to revamping flooring, Gerry’s engineering background came in handy when refurbishing parts of the historic building. “We brought in a specialist builder to renovate the fireplace using the old bricks and a few reclaimed ones. “And a few years ago, we replaced the lounge floor and beneath it we found old sheep’s teeth and pieces of leather belt,” Gerry says. According to Rosie Ryder, interim head of media at Historic England, owners of listed buildings have great responsibility. “They are custodians of our heritage,” she says. “They are responsible for looking after historic buildings and passing them on so that they can remain for future generations.” And now, it is time for Lynwood Cottage to start a new chapter. “This is not your average house, and it won’t suit everyone,” Jenny adds. “But I do hope the next custodians will cherish it and have fun here. We certainly have. “This house has a lot of love to give.” Lynwood Cottage is now being marketed by Avocado Property for £1.15 million.

But thanks to some talented artists and craftsfolk, there’s a whole new look to the entrance to the South Block at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital. Their exhibition features pieces in oil, acrylic and mixed media, including stitched fabric, collages and bright inks. It’s been created by the Mixed Media Monday group that has, until lockdown, been meeting for more than five years in the Reading branch of retailer Hobbycraft. There are six boards of work that can be admired, including the Reading mural – a 4m by 1m piece that combines hand-painted images of the rivers Thames and Kennet, as well as churches, cinemas and places where people eat, work and relax across the greater Reading area. This means there are plenty of landmarks that everyone will recognise. And some items are available for sale, with 25% of each piece going towards a project to enhance a garden used by both visitors and patients. Janina Maher, who leads the art group, was pleased to be able to exhibit at the RBH. “We hope it will help patients to a speedier recovery and give the staff some interesting work to admire as they pass through the corridor,” she said. “We hope we sell lots to contribute to the volunteer garden charity. There is so much to inspire artists and makers, using all media, to create wonderful artworks to brighten up our lives. “It’s a shame that there are not more

Members of the Mixed Media Group preparin

visitors to the corridor because of Covid- 19, but we have put our work on a shared Facebook page for people to view.” One inpatient at the hospital said: “I really liked the painting

How to ensure your ho A WOKINGHAM couple are hoping to bring the joy of art to homes across the borough with their new business venture. Professional artist and designer Jayne Leighton Herd and her husband Laurent Stadelmann want to ensure that home offices can enjoy some bright and colourful art ahead of the dull winter months ahead. The duo have launched their new business, Claude & Leighton, provisioning contemporary art prints, posters and wall decor which they say will suit all rooms. Jayne, who has been working as an artist for 15 years, says: “I am always creating, experimenting, painting and designing in different genres and media. “With a background in graphic design I also love digital art and composite photography. “Before now, people would only get to see my collections of originals, and a couple of

particular styles – my official art, if you like. “Now I’m so excited to share my other art and designs too, and I hope people will find pleasure in them.” While Jayne takes the creative lead, Laurent is the business mind and the catalyst for Claude & Leighton. He says: “I have seen many times how much pleasure Jayne’s art gives to people. “We want to bring more smiles of joy to a greater audience during these difficult times. “We want our colourful wall art to lift the mood of all those people who, in these very difficult pandemic times, are spending more time than ever within the walls of their homes.” Their business name is formed from parts of Laurent and Jayne’s own names, and honours two muchloved people who inspired them creatively and motivated them with their entrepreneurial spirits and

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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

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Space: The Dara frontier

By JESS WARREN jwarren@wokingham.today SCIENCE lovers are invited to join a virtual space camp with Dara Ó Briain tomorrow. Wargrave-based organiser, Rachel Murphy has worked to create the intergalactic event on behalf of Scholastic UK — who are publishing Dara’s third book today. Is Anybody Out There? discusses the possibility of alien lifeform and the wonders of the universe. Dara says: “I'm very excited to be setting sail again across the skies with another book for young people about space. “This time, we'll be hunting distant planets, communicating with aliens, and finding out why humans are probably the only creatures in the galaxy to ever leave a bag of poo on another celestial body.” To celebrate the launch, children are invited to join Dara’s virtual space camp tomorrow night at 6pm. Ms Murphy, who works as Scholastic UK’s senior publicity

Preparing a university personal statement

manager, said: “It’s a really lovely thing for families to get involved with. “At 6pm we will be hosting a live broadcast, first starting with Luna Valentine, who illustrated Is Anybody Out There? She’ll be running a draw-along with aliens and spaceships. “Then Dara will speak about the stars and constellations in the sky that night and the possibility of alien life.” There will then be a live question and answer session, where children and their equally space-curious parents can type questions for Dara to choose from and answer. Ms Murphy added: “We’re encouraging people to tune in and dress up in their best space-themed fancy dress.” Pictures can be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #IsAnybodyOutThere and Dara will pick the best dressed listener — who will win a signed copy of his new book. � To tune into the event, visit: www.scholastic.co.uk/space-camp

Now there’s a thought

ng for their exhibition at the Royal Berks, which will raise funds for the hospital’s garden

Homecoming – you’ve no idea what a difference seeing changing artwork on the walls makes to us, when we have to come to hospital for treatment.” The exhibition runs until Saturday, October 24, and is available to view

during visiting hours – subject to coronavirus restrictions – at the entrance to the South Block, on Addington Road, Reading. � It can also be viewed online at: bit.ly/MixedMediaRBH

ome office is colourful

work ethics: Jayne’s late mother Leigh, and Laurent’s late uncle JeanClaude. The company has a range of prints from abstracts and landscapes, to portraits and animal art, to fine art

photography and typography. All prints and posters are created in their Berkshire print studio, and packed in gift-ready, recyclable packaging. � For more information, visit: www.claudeandleighton.com

NEWS | 29

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By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokinghampaper.co.uk IF YOU’VE ever thought Wokingham is one of the nicest places to live in the UK, you might be right. This is because it has just been named one of the most thoughtful communities in the country, according to letterbox flower company Bloom & Wild. The organisation recently published a leaderboard showing the best towns in the country. It defined thoughtfulness in a number of ways, including the number of registered charities and the number of volunteering opportunities in a given area. And Wokingham came in fourth in the charity to person ratio board. According to Bloom & Wild, there are 219 registered charities in the area. “We can all look back on the last year and admire the level of community spirit that we’ve seen in the UK,” a spokesperson for the company said. “During the peak of the pandemic we saw a massive amount of people volunteering to help the NHS, care homes, charities and shielding neighbours. “All this goodness left us wondering, where actually are

the most thoughtful places in the UK? So we gathered a tonne of data to discover which parts of Britain are always putting their community first.” The other areas Bloom & Wild measured to define thoughtfulness were the number of community gardening schemes, the recycling rate, and electric car ownership in each area. And Wokingham received a score of 65 out of 100 in the overall leaderboard, coming in as the 14th most thoughtful community in the UK. Taking the top spot was Swindon, with an overall score of 79, followed by Bath and then Oxford with scores of 78. Slough also made the list, ranked as the place in the UK with the most registered ultra-low emission vehicles. “Our hearts were warmed with just how many places in the UK are prioritising thoughtful acts,” the company said. “And during the pandemic, these thoughtful actions have only increased. [They] have made every community a kinder, stronger place during these testing times.” � To see the full leaderboard, visit: www.bloomandwild.com/mostthoughtful-communities-in-britain

We love receiving reader’s poetry. Email us your submissions to letters@wokinghampaper.co.uk


NIVERSITY students have been in the news a lot this week. Non-existent Fresher Weeks and underwhelming online tutorials have taken up much of the headlines, not the mention the students who are wondering whether they can get home at Christmas. University life has been front of mind for me too but that’s because I’ve got my UCAS deadline fast approaching. Personal Statements and university choices have been on everyone’s mind for a long time now but thankfully, this week I think I’ve finally cracked it. Since lockdown I’ve been looking into the universities I’d love to attend and all those Zoom calls and online open days have been leading up to where I am right now. Course structure, distance from home, league ranking and required A-levels are the most prominent things considered, as well as accommodation and nightlife, of course. Although nightlife might not be a consideration after all if social distancing continues. Let’s hope not. The process has been less than exciting to be honest – online open days and Zoom Q&As with admissions departments have replaced the usual day trips to visit our chosen campuses. Lockdown has put a dampener on the whole event and all of a sudden it’s crept up and taken me by surprise. A few last minute changes to my top choices were made at the weekend and my personal statement has been typed up, edited, and re-typed so many times. Summing yourself up in just 4,000 characters (not words) is actually really hard. Showcasing your best self, alongside your academic ambitions started as a daunting task. It’s been a long process but it’s now starting to take shape after several failed attempts and I finally think I’m there. The idea is that you include all of the reasons why you love your subject, why you want to study it, and what you’ve done to show you love of your chosen course – something much easier said than done when you’re confined to little over 600 words. Pestering teachers for references and predicted grades has also become a daily occurrence, all the while trying to ignore the fact that my year group only has one more year together before we all head off to pastures new. If I don’t flunk my exams, September 2021 will mark a new beginning. But it’s also the end - the splitting up of my year group, as we head off to different places around the country to pursue our dreams. But that seems like a million years away because now is not the time to get emotional, there’s so much to do. Right now, the next few weeks will be dominated with ensuring all the right forms are filled out online, revising for mock exams which start next month, and keeping on track with the long list of coursework and study that Year 13 brings. For now it’s a few months are hard work and then I can hopefully take a breath and wait for the university offers to roll in. Here’s hoping.


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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

INTHECOMMUNITY John Singer Sargent’s Lady Agnew of Lochnaw

The Arts Society Wokingham UNBEKNOWN to the members of The Arts Society Wokingham eagerly awaiting the start of their monthly on-line lecture on Monday evening, the technical team behind the scenes were experiencing problems. In the nick of time, all was resolved and Alexandra Epps started her lecture entitled The Power of the Portrait promptly at 7.45pm. Alexandra took members on a journey through Sargent's career explaining what made him the most successful and prolific portrait painter of the Edwardian era. Through her expert selection of images we saw that Sargent’s dazzling innovative technique enabled him to create amazing life-size portraits of ladies and children. He employed different styles for each subject to emphasise their character. His painting of Madame X, the famous socialite, with her pale makeup, bright red lips and wearing that ‘flagrantly insufficient’ black dress contrasts sharply with his portrait of the rather prim Mrs Henry White in an elegant white evening gown holding her opera glasses and fan. The portraits themselves are amazing, but what made this lecture so special was Alexandra's

CLASP Wokingham A WEEK-LONG roadshow for people with learning disabilities has been hailed a success, despite having to use virtual technology for the meetings. CLASP Wokingham welcomed speakers from all areas of the Learning Disability Community and beyond, such as Talking Therapies for the event. It wasn’t all serious: there was some light-hearted fun thrown in – singing, dancing and a quiz. Over four days, CLASP had

own enthusiasm for and knowledge of her subject. In the words of one member: “Oh to have such a depth of knowledge as Alexandra. “She spoke with no hesitation and shared her love of the portraits of John Singer Sargent. “He was so talented that his work has a photographic quality. His ladies are dressed in beautiful gowns adorned with jewels. “Lady Macbeth (Ellen Terry) is wearing a wonderfully dramatic creation. Some facial expressions are enigmatic. “I knew little about this artist and am now a convert. Thank you for continuing to provide a lecture via YouTube – a monthly treat.” It's not too late to join the society and enjoy these monthly treats. The next lecture celebrates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth. Sandy Burnett, the well-known BBC Radio 3 presenter, will be guiding members through the life and work of this brilliant, cantankerous and astonishingly original composer. The lecture will be streamed to the society’s YouTube channel at 7.45pm on Monday, October 19. In November’s lecture, Sarah Deere-Jones will be bringing alive the spirit of a medieval Christmas. To find out more, visit www. theartssocietywokingham.org.uk

more than 130 attendees, some interested in our services and we imparted information that listeners did not know. We shared the latest government guidance on Covid in Easy Read, talked about changes to Wokingham’s town centre, explored transitioning experiences from school to the working/ different world for those with learning disabilities and had some great questions. The feedback both during the sessions and post have made me very proud to be

Wokingham Lions NICK Halford is celebrating 40 years of service to the community, as a member of the Wokingham Lions Club. Last month, he received a letter of congratulations from Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada, past International President, Lions Club International, and a special 40-year chevron Lions pin. Nick said: “I was introduced to Lionism by my father, who was a charter member of the club from 1974. “I supported him in various club activities such as programme selling for their annual Donkey Derby, and collecting pledges for a local radio charity appeal. This continued until my father passed away suddenly in 1980, when I became a member of the club.” Nigel Page, president, Wokingham Lions Club, said: “Nick is the epitome of what the Lions Club stands for – supporting those in need, raising funds for local charities, and helping the community.” Nick has spearheaded the

Nigel Page, president of Wokingham Lions Club, presents the letter of congratulations and a 40-year chevron pin to Nick Halford in his garden

club’s efforts to collect and recycle used spectacles for the club’s Spek Trek initiative. This involves collecting and delivering unwanted glasses to a Lions Club on the south coast, where they are sorted and shipped to France. From there, they are sent to eye clinics in developing countries to help those in need have access to a pair of glasses. Over the years, Nick has supported the running of numerous fundraising and community service activities such as: � An annual Donkey Derby

minded people at various events such as a local quiz, treasure hunt or safari supper are just a few examples. “On a wider scale, we have attended meetings of other UK Lions Clubs when visiting a different part of the country, and made to feel very welcome. “Participating in international exchanges with our twinned clubs has been rather special too.” � For more information on the Wokingham Lions Club, please visit the website, www.wokinghamlions.org.uk.

COATS Crowthorne COATS, the charity for senior citizens in Crowthorne, is running a vintage event at its popup shop. Shop volunteers have been saving items for a few months and now have a huge range of stylish, vintage clothes, linens, china, glass, crockery, decorative items, and toys, all donated by generous donors. The event was launched last Thursday. Due to Covid-19 measures, the COATS Centre is currently closed to visitors but the charity is using its premises in Pinewood Avenue, Crowthorne to run its very popular pop-up shop. Donors and shoppers have been flocking to the shop from as far away as Ascot, Camberley and Wokingham as word got out about the selection of bargains that are available. The pop-up shop is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Thursdays and from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Friday and Saturday. There is free parking and both cash and cards are accepted. The COATS charity shop page on Facebook has lots of pictures of the vintage items included in the event. So hurry along and grab a vintage bargain or two.


part of this community of enthusiastic members and supporters who continue to raise awareness, stay positive and drive for equality for all. Some of the kind words were: “Good clear relevant topics and engaging speakers who delivered presentations and engaged well”. “Lots of interaction with people asking questions, it felt very collaborative”. “It was my first time attending this Roadshow event and I found it very interesting, educative and informative”.

� Attending many local fairs and fetes with fundraising games � Assistance at a residential camp for severely disabled youth � Transporting people to entertainment evenings � Assisting local residents with gardening and decorating � The Can Can appeal – helping collect and distribute food to local residents “The social side of the club has been very enjoyable for my wife Ann and me,” Nick said. “Spending time with like-


“Thank you very much for letting me be part of your roadshow and you should all be proud of yourselves for the excellent way you pulled this together in very difficult times. “Well done everyone.” “It was a fantastic attendance and really good and useful information. “Thank you so much all of you for all your hard work putting this together.” For more on CLASP and its activities, log on to www.wokinghamclasp.org.uk DEBS MORRISON

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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY


News from your community groups, clubs and societies helenabadger Send your reports to news@wokinghampaper.co.uk volunteer corner Thames Valley Ancient Egypt Society

Thames Hospice THAMES HOSPICE is calling on residents to get running, writes Marie Williams. The annual Santa Dash in Swinley Forest has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but organisers are encouraging people to don their Christmas attire and do a solo run on the first weekend of December. Alison Evans, head of events and community fundraising, said: “Although we will miss kicking off the Christmas season together with our community, we hope that our supporters will enjoy their own festive fun dash. “Everyone is welcome to get

involved, whether it’s in a local park, at the gym or on a treadmill in the living room. She added: “We have never needed our wonderful supporters more than we need them now, so invite your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours to take part and help us raise funds to provide local people with quality of life when they most need it.” Residents across the borough are encouraged to run 3K, 5K or 10K, while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing guidelines. It costs £10 for adults to sign up before Saturday, October 31 and £2.50 for children.

British Modern Military History Society THE BRITISH Modern Military History Society (BMMHS) is holding twice-monthly talks, all given by leading historians, writers and former military personnel. On Tuesday, October 6, at 2pm, Dr Kate Vigurs will speak on the theme The Women of SOE — A Cool And Lonely Courage. It will focus on the recruitment and training of 39 women who were chosen to work in a secretive, clandestine and mainly male domain, Special Operations Executive, French section (SOE F).

Reading Guild of Artists READING Guild of Artists' (RGA) is thrilled to announce the opening of its first on-line exhibition, 90 years after the Guild was founded in 1930. Billed as the first instalment of Celebrating our Town – Discover Reading, artist and designer Martina Hildebrandt, has curated the most beautiful exhibition. Visitors are invited to roam, at their leisure, from ‘room to room’ without having to worry about social distancing and enjoy an artist’s view of the town, the

After that, prices rise to £15 for adults and £5 for children. Anyone who raises more than £100 in sponsorship will be awarded a medal, with those raising more than £500 also receiving a one-off Santa Dash event hoody. All participating adults will receive a Santa suit, and all children will receive reindeer ears to wear on their dash. Participants who are taking part in memory of a family member or friend can also download a bib for their suit to dedicate to their loved ones. � To sign up, visit: www.thameshospice.org.uk/ santadash

Ranging from housewives to grandmothers, shop assistants to countesses, they were taught a range of skills including silent killing, instinctive shooting and sabotage as well as survival tactics for life in Nazi-occupied France. Life expectancy was short, sometimes a mere six weeks, but these women worked and fought hard. The talk will be held on Zoom. Virtual doors open at 1.50pm and the meeting will last around an hour. The society asks for a donation of at least £5 to attend the talk, or £20 for a block of five. � For more details, or to book, log on to www.bmmhs.org/bmmhs-zoom-talks/

countryside and the people of Reading. Art lovers can purchase works created by members of the RGA, in all styles and media. One visitor commented “It is so beautifully presented, informative and elegantly hung”. RGA President, Shiplake artist Clive Duncan, said: “It is remarkable that even in this difficult and rather scary time, visual art and communication can triumph.” � For more details, visit www.rgaartists.org.uk

THE THAMES Valley Ancient Egypt Society has announced its autumn series of lectures, which will be held online. The coronavirus pandemic means that it cannot meet at usual at its Woodley base of the Oakwood Centre, but these online lectures enable the community to use Zoom to learn more about the past. Meetings start with an AGM, held at 1pm on Saturday, October 10. This will be followed at 2pm by a lecture by Professor Susanne Bickel, an Egyptologist at the University of Basel, Switzerland and diirector of the Swiss Mission in the Valley of the Kings. Her talk will be entitled The Princesses’ Burial: New research in the Valley of the Kings KV63. On Saturday, October 24, Drinking Wine, Baking Bread, and Making the Best of It: Humor and the Afterlife in Egyptian Tomb Scenes is the title for a talk by Dr Stephen Harvey. He will explain how Egyptian tomb chapels feature a variety of scenes which often feature unmistakably humorous or light-hearted content. A literate ancient visitor to a tomb would have had an extra treat available in the form of captions, conversations, quarrels, songs, and arguments recorded as dialogue in the hieroglyphic inscriptions often written above such scenes, Dr Harvey will explain more. On Saturday, November 14, there will be a focus on the Chadwick museum in Bolton, named after its principle benefactor. Ian Trumblein will give a talk on how the museum came to be and specialise in world cultures. There will be particular focus on a mill owner’s daughter, Annie Barlow, who worked with the Egypt Exploration Society to bring Egypt to Bolton. From mummies to jewellery, and statues to temple columns the collections span several thousand years of history. More than 130 years later, Bolton now has one of the largest and best collections of Ancient Egyptian artefacts in the UK, that are newly displayed in Bolton’s Egypt. There will also be lectures on Saturdays November 28 and December 12. Entry costs £4, and participants are asked to keep microphones and cameras turned off during the lecture, with any questions at the end being courteous, concise and on topic. For more details, log on to www.tvaes.org.uk

� Crowthorne Old Age to Teen Society (COATS) was set up in 1966 to support older people living in and around the area of Crowthorne in Berkshire. We own and run The COATS Centre, recently totally refurbished through the Building a Better COATS Programme. The charity employs staff to run the Centre, together with many volunteers, who also help in the well-equipped kitchen and drive the charity-owned minibus. Following the centre refurbishment, our trustee Board is now looking to the future, with some more-longstanding trustees feeling the time is right to pass on their responsibilities to another generation. We are looking for the following Trustees; Health & Safety – acting as liaison with the ‘responsible person’ for the centre, charity shop and minibus, providing your expertise in our compliance; Human Resources – acting as the lead for our HR strategy and support to our employees; Honorary Secretary – to support to the Board, arranging meetings, producing Minutes; Health, Well-being or Social Care liaison – providing your specialist knowledge and expertise in developing our relationships with Health and Social Care agencies, and in the health and well-being agendas. � Citizens Advice Wokingham offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information to anyone living or working in the borough. We are looking to recruit volunteers who will talk to clients over the phone, face-to-face (when regulations allow it) or online to explore what problems they have and identify the right level of support. You will be required to write a summary and the actions that need to be taken. It is a chance to be a part of making a real difference to someone's life. You will gain knowledge in areas such as benefits, housing, debt and employment through training and then the role itself. You will need to be; friendly and approachable, non-judgmental, have good listening skills and excellent communication skills, good IT skills and be calm under pressure. We need a minimum of six months commitment and we ask for six hours per week, which can be over one day or spread over two. � The Cowshed is a charity which provides support to people of all backgrounds in a time of personal crisis. It provides good quality cleaned and ironed clothes and other essentials free to anyone in need. It has recently opened a new distribution centre in Winnersh and are looking for more volunteers, particulary on Fridays to help sort and wash/iron donations from 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm. � Contact us: tel. 0118 977 0749, email volunteer@wok-vol.org.uk or visit our website: www.volunteerwokinghamborough.org.uk

32 | NEWS

Neighbours’ lottery win

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‘Lobby MPs to stop chlorinated chicken from coming to UK’ By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wokingham.today

NEIGHBOURS in Lower Earley had a grand start to their weekend after winning a lottery. Eleven people in Marefield have each scooped £1,000 in the People’s Postcode Lottery’s daily draw for Friday, September 25. It’s just one of a number of recent successes in the borough for the draw. People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Judie McCourt sent her well-wishes to the winners: “What a fantastic way to kick start your weekend. Congratulations to our winners, I hope they have fun spending their winnings.” The draw was promoted on behalf of Friends of the Earth which has received more than £9.1 million in funding thanks to players. It defends wildlife and natural habitats, works to secure safer food and water and champions the move to clean energy. A minimum of 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £600 million to date for thousands of good causes in Britain and beyond. � For more information on People’s Postcode Lottery, visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

The RSPCA is campaigning to keep UK food standards high in the event of a No Deal Brexit Picture: Capri23auto from Pixabay

A CHARITY that campaigns for higher standards of animal welfare is calling on Wokingham residents to lobby MPs in a bid to prevent chlorinated chicken from coming to the UK.

The House of Commons is to vote on an Agriculture Bill next week, which they say could lead to a postBrexit country accepting a flood of imported food raised to a lower standard. This would include eggs from hens kept in barren battery cages, pork from pigs reared in sow stalls and hormone beef – all products made to welfare standards that are illegal here. Last week, the House of Lords voted through an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to ban imports of products produced to a lower welfare standard than the UK. But MPs could vote differently when they debate the bill on Wednesday, October 7. This would be at odds with the Conservatives manifesto pledge to stop lower standard imports when the UK leaves the EU. The RSPCA argues that the Government has failed to enshrine this promise in law. And it says that more than three-quarters (77%) of people in the South East want lower

standard imports to be banned postBrexit. RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood said: “The Government must now honour its manifesto promise and back this amendment. “If it doesn’t, MPs must vote with their conscience and reflect the strong feelings of the public. “It’s a choice between protecting the UK’s globally-recognised high farm animal welfare standards or allowing in products like chlorinated chicken and hormone beef from abroad.” He added: “We are pleased that the Lords have voted for a law to stop imports of food produced to lower farm animal welfare standards but now that the Agriculture Bill

returns to the Commons, we urge MPs to seriously consider what’s at stake here. “Unless MPs also agree to enshrine in law what was promised in the Conservative manifesto, a nodeal would mean the UK faces a flood of imported food that is illegal in the UK.” He warned that with a no deal Brexit still a possibility, the Government’s desire to sign trade deals, failure to act now “could result in a catastrophic weakening of the hard-won protections for millions of animals in this country and could risk setting back animal welfare for many years ahead”. And he warned: “It would also threaten UK farmers’ livelihoods as

they would be at risk of being undercut by imports produced to much lower welfare methods than are allowed in the UK. “Research shows that 83% of people do not want to see imports of food from abroad that are produced to lower standards and tens of thousands of people have signed our petition pressing the government to introduce a law to that effect. “We need MPs to realise how strongly the public feels about this issue and are urging people to contact their local MP to pressure them to support this law to stop lower welfare imports coming into the UK.” In June, Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood said: “I find the argument over chlorine washes misleading. The EU allows chlorine washes for items like bagged salad, which I never get complaints about, yet I get complaints about alleged chlorine washes for US chicken. “Our water system relies on chlorine washes for hygiene in the pipe network, and medics advise that small traces of chlorine are not harmful.” The RSPCA has set up a page on its website devoted to the campaign, which includes details on how to contact MPs and give more details on how to protect farm animal welfare. Visit: www.rspca.org.uk

Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

NEWS | 33

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Wokingham business to run Hallowe’en family fundraiser EXCLUSIVE

By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today

Pumpkin trail plan for borough children

A WOKINGHAM business is planning a haunted Hallowe’en event this year — and it will be raising money for a very personal cause.

Leona Knight, from Leona’s Bespoke Catering, is hosting her annual Spooky Garden Extravaganza and this year, she will be fundraising for Kidney Research UK. The business owner is currently making sure her garden is looking suitably sinister for Hallowe’en so that in late October, families will be able to explore the ghostly set-up. “Me and my husband will be dressing the garden up with Hallowe’en decorations for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Knight said. Shortly after launching her catering business, Leona Knight’s husband was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. Following a successful kidney transplant last year, the couple have decided to run their annual Hallowe’en event and raise awareness of a cause close to their hearts. “We’ve held a Hallowe’en event like this for the last couple of years, but last year we decided to open it up to the general public. “We raised money for Cancer Research UK after a close friend passed away. “This year, we’re raising money to say thank you to everybody involved in kidney research after my husband’s diagnosis.”

AN EARLEY resident is organising a Hallowe’en Hunt in the borough — and more than 1,000 people are interested in taking part, writes Charlotte King. Sally Evans began organising a small but spooky event in Earley at the start of September, but her plans have quickly grown in size. She is now busy arranging Hallowe’en Hunts across Earley, Lower Earley, Woodley and Winnersh. “I initially started organising the event because I promised my son that he could go trick or treating for the first time this year,” she said. “But suddenly, everybody was saying they’re not going to entertain the idea because there’ll be no social distancing. “I didn’t want to let my son down, so I started thinking about ways that we could enjoy Hallowe’en safely,” she added. Ms Evans explained that the Hallowe’en Hunt will see people decorate their houses with all manner of decorations. Then, residents will be allocated numbers which they The outdoor event can be found on Wiltshire Road in Wokingham later this month Picture: Leona Knight

And Ms Knight is not only organising the event — she is catering it too. “Our mission is to provide bespoke catering so we’re supplying a whole host of Hallowe’en themed treats.

“These include dirt and worms, mummy dogs and graveyard brownies.” The Spooky Garden Extravanganza will run from 6.30pm until 8.30pm on October 23, 25, and 30, and

November 1 on Wiltshire Road. Entry is £1 for children and £2 for adults. All proceeds will be donated to Kidney Research UK.

Trick or Treat: Spooktacular event planned for Twyford families EXCLUSIVE

By CHARLOTTE KING cking@wokingham.today MANY families are cancelling their annual trick or treat outing due to the coronavirus pandemic. But, to make sure children still get to take part in the spooky season, a Twyford resident is proposing a different kind of event this year — a Covid-safe Hallowe’en Hunt. Rebecca Meeuwissen is busy encouraging villagers to put out all manner of Hallowe’en decorations. Then, rather than knocking on people’s doors, children and their families can dress up, go on a walk and spot their favourite creepy creatures from afar. And the idea is that every

time children come across a Hallowe’en house, they get a sweet from their parents. “Because of coronavirus restrictions, and as lockdown is looking more and more imminent, I wanted to find something fun for the children to do,” Ms Meuuwissen said. “I don’t have children but I’m a Girl Guide leader, and I know how excited children get at this time of year to dress up and have a look at all the decorations. “Every year for the past 10 years I’ve always decorated my house, in the hope I can get a few local kids to come and trick or treat for us,” she added. She is currently setting up an interactive map for ‘Hallowe’en Hunters’ around

Twyford — and houses in Ruscombe, Hurst and Charvil are also being included. “I’m putting a virtual guide together that people can download. Then they can see which streets are getting involved,” she explained. “And I’m trying to get people to encourage their neighbours to get involved so children can walk down the road and find four or five houses, not just one.” Ms Meeuwissen hopes the Hallowe’en Hunt will be similar to the bear hunt which took place earlier this year, where children went out to look for rainbows and teddies in people’s windows during lockdown. The Twyford Hallowe’en Hunt is a free event and will be held from Friday, October

Picture: Rebecca Meeuwissen

30 until Sunday, November 1. � For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/ 649500082369827

must include in their display, and trails will be made in each local area for children to follow. Children and their families can get dressed up and go on a Hallowe’en hunt for each house. Every time they cross a number off the trail children can collect a sweet. And Ms Evans never expected so many people to get involved. “When I set up a little Facebook group, I genuinely thought I’d only get 30 or 40 people who were interested, and it just snowballed. “I’ve decided to organise a lot of little Hallowe’en Hunts in each area now, and it’s just nice to know there’s something available for kids to do on the night,” she said. “This could be something we do every year instead of trick or treating,” Ms Evans added. The Hallowe’en Hunts will all be taking place from Wednesday, October 28 until Sunday, November 1. � For more information and to register interest, visit: www.facebook.com/groups/ 941302719682551


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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

Created from scratch in Wokingham, Bears, Burgers & Chicken present a unique and delicious take on old favourites, including the cheeseburger (left) and chicken burger

Gourmet burgers to your doorstep Bears Burgers & Chicken roastwokingham.co.uk


HAT do you do if you set up a company selling roast dinners, which a lot of people only want on Sundays? Why, branch out of course. Chris Murray, who previously worked at the Michelin-star Fat Duck in Bray, launched Roast Wokingham earlier this year. It’s been a great success, offering home delivered meals on Sundays between noon and 7pm. And to complement it, Chris has created Bears Burgers and Chicken. Don’t worry, no bears are harmed in this making of his menu, but these are gourmet meals made from scratch. Chris creates everything in his Wokingham kitchen, using seasonal ingredients. This means that the selection changes on a regular basis. Chris also works on a zero-waste policy, with leftovers donated to the Share Wokingham. And he plans to help customers reduce theirs – recipes and

other ideas will be coming to his website soon. There’s more: deliveries are made using an electric car and packaging is as environmentally friendly as possible. They are trying to reduce their carbon footprint while creating some tasty food. Dinner is served between 2pm and 10pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and there’s a breakfast available on Saturdays between 8am and noon. You pre-order and book a delivery or collection slot, which run every 30 minutes. These are available on first-come, first-served basis. You have to be quick as most slots sell-out out in advance. Delivery is up to six miles of RG40 5SA. If you live within three miles and spend £35 or more, you can enjoy free delivery – all other orders are £3. Alternatively, you can collect. You are urged to be prompt as food is prepared for the booked order time. Burgers are, naturally, a big hit with my son. He tried Bears Cheeseburger (£12) – this is no tiddly meal. There are two smashed patties of beef, Bears’

unique burger sauce, with a garnish of lettuce, tomato and onion, all carefully laden into a brioche bun. It comes with a serving of skinny fries and, via the website, there are plenty of ways to customise the order for a small additional fee, including Dirty Fries: pulled pork, cheese and Bear’s barbecue sauce. My son lavished praise on the burger, appreciating the high-quality meat used and the sauce to garnish it. My daughter went for Bears’ fried chicken and fries (£10). There are two large pieces, with options including bacon cheese fries for an additional £4. Chris fries chicken breast in a deliciously crunchy coating. This was a definite hit, and she might try the vegan version next time. Speaking of meat replacement, there is a veggie burger option, as well as a seitan burger, which is suitable for vegans and served with a vegan mayo, lettuce and onion. Both are £10. It was this that my meat-loving husband chose: it is everything a vegan burger should taste like – a great bite but

no mushiness and packed with flavour. He was impressed and said he would have it again. My choice was the Chicken Burger (£12), which came with a spicy sriracha mayo, giving it a nice kick. As with the beef burger, it was served in a brioche bun with lettuce, onion and cheese, along with a side portion of skinny fries £12. The first thing that struck me was how enormous it was: this was not for those with small stomachs. The chicken is lightly fried with a delicious crispy coating, the spicy sauce compliments the burger perfectly, along with tomato and crispy iceberg lettuce. This scored a definite thumbs up from me. As well as the burger customisation options, there are some side dishes to choose from, again these vary but can include onion rings (£3), chicken tenders (£5), a seitan version (£5) and sauces (£2.50). We were impressed and have joined the Facebook page to see the latest menus. CLAIRE WORSFOLD

Tears of joy as theatre returns to Wargrave A Seat In The Park Wargrave Theatre Workshop Mill Green September 19-20


HAT a treat it was to take my own seat to the park (Mill Green) and watch A Seat in the Park by Cherry Vooght last Saturday. The sun was shining and 1920s music was floating through the air as the superbly organised Covid-secure front of house staff showed us to our clearly marked-out, socially-distanced area. It was the first time in six months that I’d been in a theatrical environment and I don’t mind admitting that I shed a few tears when the performance started. Tears of sadness at what has happened to the performing arts industry in recent months but mostly tears of joy knowing that somehow theatre always finds a way. Vooght’s play is a series of short scenes, set on the same park bench outside a public lavatory, that focus on the friendships and families of real lived-in characters, each of whom is missing something or someone important from their lives.

The script calls for strong female performers and the cast did not let us down. Kudos to directors Ann Roberts and Clive Dow for allowing the actors licence to give believable and beautifully understated performances. We were totally drawn into each little world. We cared about each character. It was wonderful to watch Emmajane Hughes’ gloriously ditzy ‘Woman’ win over the world- weary excelebrity, aptly played by Graham Wheal. A great reminder that sometimes strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet. Bringing both humour and hard-hitting pathos, Grace Tye’s and Jenny Manning’s bickering bench

buddies were superb. This scene was a highlight for me, especially the heart-warming moment when, although hen-pecked and belittled by her, Jenny’s “Second Lady” was still willing to accept her friend’s fantasy. Christine Christie and Celia Reinbolt brought great warmth as Rosie the bag lady and Agnes the toilet attendant as they enjoyed a birthday celebration while toasting their late friend with a few mugs of whisky. Christine’s performance as Rosie was heartfelt and earthy, and Celia’s re-enactment of the various lavatory visitors was a real treat. Special mention must go to the younger members of the company Sophie Errington and Amy Ambrose who, although playing supporting roles, deftly handled some difficult dramatic sequences. As you’d expect from Wargrave Theatre Workshop, the attention to detail was spot on in every aspect, from the well thought-out costume choices to the simple raised set and subtle sound design. This play was poignant and certainly relevant as we adapt to this “new normal” way of living. Now, more than ever, we need family, friendship and togetherness. Thank you for a wonderful and thought-provoking afternoon of much-needed theatre. ADAM LINSTEAD


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Thursday, October 1, 2020 WOKINGHAM.TODAY

Bloodshot The Watermill Theatre, Newbury Until October 22 www.watermill.org.uk

WIN! A year’s membership of eActive and flotation treatments worth £1,416 Second prize: Free flotation session and one-month membership worth £118 Third prize: a massage session and a Reiki session worth £80 Plus: 10 one-month eActive memberships worth £59 each


IN £1,416 worth of prizes at eActiv Health Lounge in Wokingham. eActiv, in partnership with Wokingham Today, are offering this prize along with 12 other prizes, exclusively to the readers of Wokingham Today. eActiv Wokingham is a brand new state of the art facility that has only just opened at Peach place. The club boasts an intelligent training system that is more like playing a game than exercising and can guarantee results with two visits per week. The Health lounge provides a non-intimidating

environment for people of all ages to get healthy in. They have first-class safety measures in place and even a unique air filtration system that purifies the air. Add to this a Floatation Therapy Pod, Massage, Reiki, NLP and a soon to arrive 4D scanner and you can see why eActiv is fast becoming a popular place in the town centre. Up for grabs (to our readers only) is an annual

membership to their health lounge worth £708 plus 12 Floatation sessions worth £708. They are also giving away a second prize of a Free floatation session plus a 1-month membership worth £118 ...and a third prize, a Massage session and a Reiki session worth £80 Not only that they are giving away 10 x 1 months memberships worth £59. To enter this competition simply cut out the coupon on the front of the paper and either take it in to eActiv Health lounge in Wokingham or send it to us here at: Wokingham.Today, Crown House, 231 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS. Closing date: Thursday, October 15, 2020. Editor’s decision is final, no correspondence can be entered into. Usual rules apply. You can see more about eActiv, the new state of the art facility in the centre of Wokinghamat: www.wokingham.eactiv.co.uk

‘I felt amazing after an hour in the flotation tank’ Our competition prize includes a year’s worth of flotation tank treatments – CLAIRE NASH looks at what you can expect


N THESE strange times, we need every bit of calm we can get. And that’s exactly what’s on offer thanks to a new health lounge that has opened in Wokingham’s town centre. Part of the new Peach Place development, eActiv is like a boutique health club catering for people who are time poor, but want to shape up. It has a 30-minute continuous circuit programme that allows people to workout quickly and effectively. Safely spaced, it uses eGym technology to tailor exercises to the user and get results. The centre also has efL-exx stretching machines, perfect for those aches and pains. But the showstopper is a special flotation pod, that uses a state-of-the-art body analyser that can tell you what you are made of. It’s unique in the town, but what is it? Well, it’s called the I-sopod, and is a water-based unit filled with Epsom salts. These help with detoxing, relaxing and muscle relief and there’s enough in there

for you to float. In some ways it’s a bit like the Dead Sea, and in others it’s like being back in the womb – a safe space where you can switch off for an hour and relax. eActiv takes every precaution to be Covid-safe, including temperature checks on arrival. There were also some health and safety rules in place for the pod: before my visit, an email was sent detailing any potential risks, such as pregnancy. And you need to bring your own towel due to the virus. Donna gave me a warm welcome, putting me at ease and explained all aspects of the private room: as well as the pod, there’s a shower and a lovely wallpaper detailing the Northern Lights.

There’s also a chair, water, ear plugs, Vaseline for placing on any cuts – saltwater can sting – and an area to hang up clothes. You need to shower before you enter the pod to remove any deodorant, shampoos and body lotions and the pod has a filtration system which is run between clients to ensure everything is as hygienic as possible. To ensure privacy, the door is locked. There’s a safety button if needed in the pod, which shuts when it use. When you’re ready, you can start to lock out the world and start the destressing. To help, there’s 10 minutes of gentle music, with five minutes at the end

helping to gently ease you back. eActiv says that there are mental benefits to flotation, including shifting brain waves to lower frequency alpha, theta and even delta, this creates mental clarity and alertness, which in turn can boost creativity. There’s other benefits too: the calm and peaceful relaxation improves sleep, alleviates stress, and energises, rejuvenates and revitalises you. It can relieve pain such as arthritis, migraines, injuries and boost your immune functions. The team say it can also help speed up the healing process. It’s clever stuff. I lay back in the pod, feeling weightless and fully relaxed. I closed my eyes, the earplugs meant I couldn’t hear anything and went into an amazing meditation, I’d lost all sense of time – my hour had flown by. I felt so relaxed, my skin had a kind of silky coating to it from all the salt and I felt amazing. The last few months have been tough for all of us, we have/are living through times that seem so surreal, this treatment is like a recharge for your mind, body and soul and is highly recommended. The cost is £59 and is open to nonmembers. There is a whole list of the benefits to this treatment on their website: wokingham.eactiv.co.uk/ floatation-therapy

If you text ‘TRIAL’ to 07984 354606, you can enjoy a one-week FREE gym pass!


OW DO you conjure the magic of theatre when Covid-19 heavily restricts the number of people you can have on one stage? The Watermill Theatre has revamped its 2020 season around this very question, and Bloodshot – a show that first appeared at the venue 20 years ago – is the first clue as to what the theatre of tomorrow might look like. Much like Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down, Douglas Post’s play begins with barfly Derek Eveleigh on the edge of a sheer drop, deciding whether to leap. Looking up, he notices the audience, and begins to narrate the journey which brought him to this precipice. It’s a compelling period story rooted firmly in the 1950s – a crime scene photographer, unable to stomach the grisly reality of his job, quits and falls on hard times. But then an anonymous benefactor offers him a job he really can’t resist – a huge wad of cash to follow and photograph a beautiful young black woman (portrayed in photographic form by Amanda Wilkin). Who is she? And who’s going to such extreme lengths to keep tabs on her? Unable to resist the answers (and the money), Derek takes the job. To write any more would spoil things. But suffice to say, such a questionable assignment brings its fair share of complications, and before he knows it Derek is embroiled in the seedy underside of the entertainment business and confronting a variety of musicians and magicians alongside former colleagues from the Met. It’s a compelling narrative from start to finish, and – all credit to the production team here – the pull of the story is allowed to blossom into a fully realised world through the creative use of background projections and an array of props. In one of my favourite moments, every time Derek snaps a picture of his target, the picture instantly appears on the screen behind him. All the technical marvels surrounding the story would be for nought, however, without a cast of actors at its centre. The play is therefore all the more remarkable for the fact that its world and characters are brought to life solely by actor Simon Slater. His main role as Derek is brilliantly threedimensional (and made me wonder if this is the sort of character Oscar Wilde would’ve written if he tried his hand at detective stories), but in the blink of an eye Slater transitions to a fully believable Irish comedian, Russian magician (complete with razor-swallowing tricks) and American saxophonist – often acting out conversations between them and Everleigh. Like the best tricks, these illusions don’t rely on elaborate preparation – he becomes another person with a slight change of posture, and an instrument. To my very great enjoyment, he was as fluent with the latter as his characters – his saxophone playing in particular really capturing the smoky ambience of latenight bars. Immersion into the half-lit world of the play was actually heightened by the restrictions placed upon the theatre. With a reduced audience size, and social distancing measures enforced via the blood-red ribbons binding up the verboten seats, I really felt like I was one of the last ones standing after a everyone had drunk too much at the local bar and headed home. It’s worth noting if (like me) you’re concerned about venturing out into crowded spaces during these infectious times, that I also felt completely safe too – the theatre really have gone out of their way to protect the audience. It just goes to show that with the right material, the right actor to bring it to life, and the right technical tricks to elevate it into a living, breathing world – socially distanced theatre can still provide a transcendent experience. MICHAEL BEAKHOUSE


wokinghamlovesmusic Chris Hillman

bit.ly/wokingham lovesmusic


HERE’S NOTHING finer than discovering a new treat and that’s exactly what’s on offer thanks to Wokingham Loves Music. This week’s collection of tunes includes an appearance from Wokingham-based Crooked Shapes. Their Let It Go acts as a perfect curtain raiser for a socially distanced show later this month. And there’s more – Chris Hillman from White Star Records has curated the Wokingham Love Music soundtrack which features songs from bands and artists with some connection to Wokingham’s music scene. There’s a range of musical styles to enjoy meaning that there’s something for everyone You can listen for FREE via Spotify. There’s a special page set-up at bit.ly/wokinghamlovesmusic Crooked Shapes – Let It Go This Wokingham based three-piece perform their own original material that has a classic rock feel with a youthful modern edge. They are missing playing those live shows, having performed at many events including in the US, but they are looking forward to being on the bill at a socially distanced show on Friday, October 16, at The 1865 in Southampton. Here’s a great track from their Fallout EP. https://www.facebook.com/ crookedshapes A Bossa Elétrica – Sob A Luz Do New Wokingham Jazz record label Wallen Bink, specialising in quality vinyl releases, recently put out a limited edition coloured vinyl single which included this track by the Swedish band that draws on bossa, jazz, funky samba and Afro-Brazilian rhythms. The label is getting such a good reputation that the single quickly sold out. However, there is a new limited edition black vinyl edition out this week. wallenbink.com Bradley Watmore – Plain to See Local musician and songwriter Bradley is back with his second single, a great piece of bouncy feelgood indie pop – www.facebook.com/bradleywatmore/ Aaron Cilia – Meadows A sound engineer, lighting engineer & record producer and now this young local talent has released an album of his own music on which he played every instrument. – www.facebook.com/ AaronCiliaArtist Hester and the Heathens – Regenerate An energetic and powerful pop-punk sing-along anthem from this three-piece local band, who are definitely one to watch in the future – www.facebook.com/hesterandtheheathens/ Rob James – West Coast Nights (Shuffla Remix) Here’s a track remixed by Finchampstead based DJ, musician and audio engineer, Sam ‘Shuffla’ Brice – www.facebook.com/shufflamusicofficial/ Reliant – Antisocial The new single from this Wokingham and Readingbased four-piece is an exciting and uplifting anthem that the band describe as an unconventional love song – www.facebook.com/WeAreReliant The Gaslights – The Ocean They performed a great set at Wokingham Festival last year, and now, this up-and-coming indie band have a wonderfully atmospheric new single – www.facebook.com/gaslightsuk The Room – Bodies on the Road Local melodic rock band The Room with their new single from their critically acclaimed Caught By The Machine album – theroom.band Wishbone Ash – Blind Eye A video of this track being performed live at last year’s Wokingham Festival by Martin Turner ExWishbone Ash was recently released – www.martinturnermusic.com

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WOKINGHAM.TODAY Thursday, October 1, 2020

plasticfreehome Dave Lamont facebook.com/PlasticFreeHomeUK

Life lessons from the man who has travelled the natural world “What happens next is up to every one of us,” warns Attenborough


ELCOME to our inaugural column in the newly renamed Wokingham.Today (great job team). It’s been a busy week or two in the world of Plastic Free Home too. Last week I co-hosted a live Q&A session with zero waste business founder Kate Cottrell, who runs the fantastic Scoop in nearby Fleet. Well worth a visit if and when you get time. We weren’t sure how long it would last or whether we’d find an audience but had said that if we attracted more than ten viewers we’d be doing well. As it happens, we were still going after 1 hour and 45 minutes, with 1,400 viewers during the course of the evening and nearly that number again have watched the recorded version (on our Facebook page if interested). We fielded questions on everything from bathroom and kitchen swaps to compost bins and electric cars. I’ve also been busy writing for several publications and would like to thank a business I won’t name and a few eco brands for getting in touch and the Woodley Central WI Group for inviting me to speak in the spring of next year. I’ve previously been invited to do so by businesses, local councillors, community groups, charities and schools and give my time freely when available, so do ask. And this fortnight also saw us tuning in to what I would describe as one of the most important pieces of television ever

made: Extinction: The Facts, With Sir David Attenborough. Those of you who have followed Plastic Free Home for some time will know that Sir David was the main inspiration behind creating our online community in December 2018. I often describe this as a ‘wake-up’ moment. A point at which I, and we as a family, decided that enough was enough. We wanted to do more and to try even harder when it comes to caring for our planet and living more sustainably. Sir David has been busy promoting his newly released film, A Life On Our Planet, which is also accompanied by a book, and this week gave a poignant interview on BBC Breakfast. The film will be available on Netflix once its run at the cinema is over. I can’t wait. To mark the occasion, I wanted to share some of Sir David’s most

important words from the above. Ones that we should all read to carefully and act upon instantly, before it’s too late. If these words don’t shock and sadden you sufficiently, nothing will. “I’ve been making television programmes and certainly for the last 20, 30 years, I’ve ended them saying ‘look the world is in peril, look we are damaging it’ and very little has happened. Suddenly it’s as if people have woken up.

"We are facing a crisis and one that has consequences for us all. “Treat the natural world as precious. “Every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food we eat comes from the natural world ultimately and if we damage it we damage ourselves.” “Over the course of my life I've encountered some of the world's most remarkable species of animals. “Only now do I realise just how lucky I’ve been – many of these wonders seem set to disappear forever. “Studies suggest that extinction is now happening a hundred times faster than the natural evolutionary rate. And it’s accelerating. “We are facing nothing less than the collapse of the living world – the very thing that gave birth to our civilisation. The thing we rely upon for every element of the lives we lead. “We haven’t just ruined it… we’ve destroyed it.” “We are bringing irreversible change. "I may not be here to see it but if we make the right decisions at this critical moment, we can safeguard our planet's ecosystems, its extraordinary biodiversity and all its inhabitants. “One thing we do know, is that if nature is given the chance, it can bounce back. “What happens next is up to every one of us.”

For more tips and advice, join the online group at www.facebook.com/ plasticfreehomeuk Got a comment or question? Email plasticfreehome@gmail.com

Need more caffiene? Why not bake a cake ...


and chocolate and add the milk and coffee mix. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, and whisk in the flour. Evenly divide the batter into the tins and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. To make the icing; heat the milk in the microwave and dissolve the coffee granules in the milk. Mix the butter, milky coffee and sugar together until light and fluffy. Spread half of the mix over each cooled cake layer and sandwich together. Grate the chocolate over the top of the cake to create a cappuccino look.

HE nation will be awakening to the most invigorating of mornings today – not just as it’s the first issue of Wokingham.Today, but it’s also International Coffee Day. With around two billion cups of coffee consumed every day, Aldi is helping coffee lovers celebrate with two coffee-fuelled recipes to awaken tastebuds in the form of a Mocha Cake to indulge in throughout the day, and a Coffee Rub to be slathered over your favourite meat for something different.

Aldi’s Mocha Cake For the sponge � 100g Butter at room temperature � 150g Caster sugar � 3 tbsp Milk � 3 Eggs � 200g Self-raising flour � 125g Fairtrade dark chocolate � 4 heaped tsp Fairtrade granulated coffee For the Icing � 1 tbsp Milk � 1 tbsp Fairtrade coffee granules � 150g Butter � 300g Icing sugar � 25g Fairtrade dark chocolate

Aldi’s Coffee Rub Pre-heat the oven to 180°/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease two 8 inch circle cake tins. Melt 125g of the chocolate and butter in bowl over a pan of simmering water. In a small bowl heat the milk in the microwave and dissolve the coffee granules in the milk. Stir the sugar into the butter

� 1 heaped dessert spoon of Easy Days Ground Coffee � 1 heaped dessert spoon Demerara Sugar � 1 heaped tsp Smoked Paprika � 1 heaped tsp Sea Salt Crystals � 1 flat tsp Ground Cumin � 1 flat tsp Dried Thyme � 1 flat tsp Chilli Flakes � ½ tsp Garlic Granules

Put all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind to a smooth rub. Use 3g to 4g for each steak (or about a tenth of your mixture). Rub over both sides of the meat and cover and rest out of the fridge for 15 minutes. Then cook to your liking. Keep any unused rub in an airtight container.

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PUBLIC NOTICES WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL PLANNING APPLICATION The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 AND/OR Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Regulations 1990 The following application(s) have been submitted and are advertised for the reasons below: Application


Reasons for Advert Description


31 The Terrace, Wokingham

Conservation Area

Application for Listed Building consent for the proposed replacement and relocation of gas boiler from basement to first floor with exterior pipework.

The application is available to view online at wokingham.gov.uk � Planning � Search planning applications and typing in the application number above. All libraries in the Borough have internet access in order to view this page. Comments on the application can be made online from this web page. Any comments must arrive on or before 22nd October 2020. Any comments made are not confidential and can be seen by anyone as they form part of the public record. The comments, unless offensive, discriminatory and/or racist, will appear on the Council’s website within 24 hours and include the submitted name and address. Due to the high volume of comments received we do not provide individual responses.

Date: 1st October 2020



NOTICE IS HEREBY given that on the 24th September 2020 Wokingham Borough Council as Traffic Authority made an Order under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which is to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along:

NOTICE IS HEREBY given that on the 24th September 2020 Wokingham Borough Council as Traffic Authority made an Order under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which is to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along:

Dell Road, Finchampstead between its junctions with B3348 The Ridges and Lower Sandhurst Road.

1. Lines Road, Hurst between its junctions with Church Hill and Dunt Avenue.

The alternative route for all vehicles affected by this restriction shall be via Lower Sandhurst Road, Cricket Hill, B3016 Longwater Road, B3016 Jubilee Road and B3348 The Ridges or by this route in reverse.

The alternative route for all vehicles affected by this restriction shall be via A321 Wokingham Road, A321 Broadwater Lane and B3030 Lodge or by this route in reverse.

Works requiring this restriction will take place on 6th October 2020 between 09:30 and 15:30. The reason for these prohibitions is to allow BT Openreach contractors to undertake repairs to a damaged pole in safety. Access for residents and businesses within the boundaries of these restrictions will be maintained at all times. The restriction imposed by the Order shall only apply during those periods when traffic signs complying with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are lawfully displayed. The restrictions contained in the Order shall come into operation on the 6th October 2020 and shall continue in force for a period not exceeding 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Dated this 1st October 2020 Mark Cupit Assistant Director – Delivery and Infrastructure Wokingham Borough Council Civic Offices Shute End Wokingham Berkshire RG40 1WL


2. Church Hill, Hurst between its junctions with Lines Road and Orchard Road. The alternative route for all vehicles affected by this restriction shall be via School Road, A321 Wokingham Road, A321 Broadwater Lane and B3030 Lodge Road or by this route in reverse. Works requiring this restriction will take place between 5th October and 23rd October 2020. The reason for these prohibitions is to allow Southern Gas Network contractors to undertake gas main replacement and connection work in safety. Access for residents and businesses within the boundaries of these restrictions will be maintained at all times. The restriction imposed by the Order shall only apply during those periods when traffic signs complying with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are lawfully displayed. The restrictions contained in the Order shall come into operation on the 5th October 2020 and shall continue in force for a period not exceeding 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Dated this 1st October 2020 Mark Cupit Assistant Director – Delivery and Infrastructure Wokingham Borough Council Civic Offices Shute End Wokingham Berkshire RG40 1WL

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL ASTON LANE, REMENHAM HILL (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF DRIVING) ORDER 2020 NOTICE IS HEREBY given that on the 24th September 2020 Wokingham Borough Council as Traffic Authority made an Order under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which is to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along: Aston Lane, Remenham Hill between its junctions with A4130 White Hill and Remenham Lane. The alternative route for all vehicles affected by this restriction shall be via Remenham Lane and A4130 White Hill or by this route in reverse. Works requiring this restriction will take place between 5th October and 8th November 2020. The reason for these prohibitions is to allow Southern Gas Networks contractors to undertake gas main replacement work in safety. Access for residents and businesses within the boundaries of these restrictions will be maintained at all times. The restriction imposed by the Order shall only apply during those periods when traffic signs complying with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are lawfully displayed. The restrictions contained in the Order shall come into operation on the 5th October 2020 and shall continue in force for a period not exceeding 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Dated this 1st October 2020 Mark Cupit Assistant Director – Delivery and Infrastructure Wokingham Borough Council Civic Offices Shute End Wokingham Berkshire RG40 1WL

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL (THE TERRACE, WOKINGHAM) (TEMPORARY PROHIBITION OF DRIVING) ORDER 2020 NOTICE IS HEREBY given that on the 24th September 2020 Wokingham Borough Council as Traffic Authority made an Order under Section 14 (1) (a) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which is to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding along: The Terrace, Wokingham between its junctions with A329 Reading Road and A329 Shute End. Works requiring this restriction will take place between 5th October and 6th October 2020. The reason for these prohibitions is to allow Wokingham Borough Council contractors to undertake installation of grasscrete concrete paving slabs in safety. Access for residents and businesses within the boundaries of these restrictions will be maintained at all times. The restriction imposed by the Order shall only apply during those periods when traffic signs complying with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 are lawfully displayed. The restrictions contained in the Order shall come into operation on the 5th October 2020 and shall continue in force for a period not exceeding 18 months or until the works have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Dated this 1st October 2020 Mark Cupit Assistant Director – Delivery and Infrastructure Wokingham Borough Council Civic Offices Shute End Wokingham Berkshire RG40 1WL

ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT WOKINGHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL (VARIOUS ROADS, WOKINGHAM BOROUGH) (STOPPING, WAITING, LOADING AND UNLOADING PROHIBITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS, PARKING PLACES AND RESIDENT PERMIT PARKING PLACES) (CIVIL PARKING ENFORCEMENT) (CONSOLIDATION) ORDER 2017 (AMENDMENT NO. *) ORDER 202*. 1. Wokingham Borough Council hereby give notice they propose to make the above name Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended and all other enabling powers the Orders. 2. The general effect of the Order, would be to amend the Wokingham Borough Council (Various Roads, Wokingham Borough) (Stopping, Waiting, Loading and Unloading Prohibitions and Restrictions, Parking Places and Resident Permit Parking Places) (Civil Parking Enforcement) (Consolidation) Order 2017 (the Order of 2017) by either introducing or amending waiting restrictions operational: (a) ‘at any time’ on a length or lengths of the following roads: Ardwell Close Ravenswood; Anderson Avenue Earley; Baston Road Arborfield; Biggs Lane Arborfield; Blackthorn Close Earley; Byron Road Earley; Dalley Road Wokingham; Elgar Avenue Crowthorne; Ellis Road Crowthorne; Elms Road Wokingham; Emerald Close Wokingham; Fairview Road Wokingham; Gipsy Lane Wokingham; Grange Avenue Crowthorne; Hilary Drive Crowthorne; Hilmanton Earley; Isaac Newton Road Arborfield; Loddon Bridge Road Woodley; Millers Grove Woodley; Nightingale Road Woodley; Northway Wokingham; Nuffield Road Arborfield; Oak Avenue Wokingham; Pepper Lane Early; Purcel Road Crowthorne; Ravenswood Avenue Crowthorne; Silk Road Reading; (b) Mon-Fri 8.30-9.30am & 3-4pm on a length or lengths of Addington Gardens Woodley; (c) Mon-Fri 8.30-9.30am & 2.45-3.45pm on a length or lengths of Brunel Drive Woodley and on a length or lengths of Hilmanton Earley; (d) Mon-Sat 11.30a.m.-12.30p.m. on a length or lengths of Silk Way Reading and Weavers Way Reading. 3. Copies of the draft Order(s), statement of reasons and plan(s) are available online and may be viewed online at ‘www.wokingham.gov.uk/consultations’ for a period of 21 days from the date of this Notice. 4. Any person wishing to object to the proposed Orders should send a statement in writing stating the grounds of the objection to the Traffic Management Team, Place & Growth, P.O. Box 153, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1WL or via e-mail to ‘TM.consultations@wokingham.gov.uk’ by no later than the 22 October 2020. Dated this 1st October 2020 Christine Traill Director Place & Growth Wokingham Borough Council Civic Offices Shute End Wokingham RG40 1WL

GOODS VEHICLE OPERATOR’S LICENCE Josh Henry trading as On Point Recovery of 91 Southmeadow, Crowthorne, Berkshire RG45 7HP is applying to add an operating centre to keep 5 goods vehicle and 3 trailers at Tanners compound Tanners farm, Swallowfield road Arborfield, Berkshire, RG29LA. Owners or occupiers of land (including buildings near the operating centre(s) who believe that their use or enjoyment of that land would be affected, should make written representations to the Traffic Commissioner at Hillcrest House, 386 Harehills Lane, Leeds, LS9 6NF, stating their reasons, within 21 days of this notice. Representors must at the same time send a copy of their representations to the applicant at the address given at the top of this notice. A Guide to Making Representations is available from the Traffic Commissioner’s office.

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By PHIL CREIGHTON news@wokingham.today THE START might have been delayed by five months, but athletes pounded the streets on Sunday as they took part in the Sonning 10k.

Organised by Berkshire Country Sports Club and Barnes Fitness, the event should have been held in May but was postponed due to coronavirus. There were two routes, one at 5km and the other at 10km. Around 300 runners took part, starting at the Sports Club off Sonning Lane and running through a course specially devised to be Covid-secure. Measures involved setting runners off in groups of six. The route included some of the most beautiful parts of the borough including the River Thames. And all runners enjoyed a hog roast as well as a medal for completing the course. One of the organisers, James Manser, said that they had received nothing but positive feedback from participants about the organisation and covid-safe measures in place. “People were happy to be running again, although some felt that 10km had got longer since March,” he joked. “Lots of people have missed the feeling of running in an event.”

The groups of six worked well, he added. Participants lined up according to their predicted finish times. “Runners were then allocated into six ‘waves’ with the fastest runners heading off first,” he said. “The waves were called to the start line in groups of six and set off every 30 seconds. “There was plenty of space at the finish area for competitors to pick up their freshly sanitised medals and bottled water themselves.” Conditions for the course were windy, especially at the course’s start and finish point. Mr Manser said: “It was great for kite flying, and the air temperature was ideal for running – there was no rain as well.” For the team, the event was judged to be a success. “Highlights included seeing lots of happy runners safely completing the course and, in particular, Kingsley Starling, local running legend from Reading Joggers, taking on the challenge of the 10km at the young age of 79,” Mr Manser said. All being well, next year’s event will revert to its usual springtime pattern, taking place on Sunday, May 23. � For more details, log on to: www.sonning10k.co.uk

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SONNING 10K Pictures by Steve Smyth


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Ben Henderson in action for Rams in their National League One campaign last season Picture: Paul Clark


HOOKER Ben Henderson is delighted with how Rams are shaping up ahead of their second National One campaign – despite the RFU announcing it will not start before January at the earliest.

Almost all of the squad – which finished as runners-up last term – have returned to Old Bath Road, along with a handful of new signings including former Oxford University captain Fergus Taylor and young fly-half Sam Nicholls. And Henderson believes it is a hugely positive sign. He said: “To keep almost the whole squad together is fantastic, especially when there’s so much turnover of players around the league. "There’s a core of players here who have been together for four or five years and that’s important, especially with how things are at the moment with some players maybe chasing a bit more security and chasing money at different clubs. “We’ve added some fantastic players who compliment the squad nicely and one thing director of rugby Seb Reynolds has always been keen on is getting the right people. “Someone like Fergus Taylor, I’ve spoken to a lot of people who know him and they’ve all just said he could not be a better match for Rams, and the rest of the new boys are fitting into the same model.” The popular front-row forward believes the players are ready to kick on and avoid any ‘second-season syndrome’ whenever play is allowed to return. He continued: “We played last year knowing we had to be at the top of our

performance to compete, never resting on our laurels, which was maybe how we caught a lot of other teams out. “We will have to do that again. “There were a lot of other teams with, on paper, much better squads, but if you take your foot off the gas, you’ll be beaten at this level. “Even the relegated teams pushed the top sides hard at times and you just can’t take anything for granted. “Luckily it’s not going to be as much of a slog this year (in the number of games), but it will be a case of keeping your mentality strong because if there is going to be

promotion, we will only have half the time to make it work either way.” Looking back to last season and the stunning journey, Henderson said: “We had the big, memorable games like the two Chinnor ones and Rosslyn Park, but for me, the most important thing was the first four or five games when we were the underdogs coming in and no-one knew what to expect. “People outside the club might have been expecting teams to put 60 points on us every week, but we kept winning and they still weren’t getting the message, but I don’t think we’ll have that luxury (being

underestimated) this year.” Rams have now completed four weeks of pre-season, but Henderson said he has been working hard throughout the summer. He said: “We were quite lucky things opened up early for us (with the outdoor gym) and since I was on furlough at the time, ironically they couldn’t keep me away which has horrified a lot of people round here. “It’s been nice to see people and a welcome relief from all the stuff going on in the world.” Whenever rugby can resume,

Henderson will be three short of 50 tries for the club, including a remarkable 21 in the 2018/19 season. Tom Vooght and Jak Rossiter topped the charts with 12 apiece, but Henderson has said he hopes to grab more. He joked: “Two years ago I was the five-metre specialist at the back of the driving maul, but this year it was a lot harder to get over the line so I had to pass the ball back a few more times. “I can’t really claim any of those tries as they are ‘team ones’, but I’ll be trying to keep Jak especially on his toes!”

CHRIS EXCELS THANKS TO EXILES RUGBY PROJECT PREMIERSHIP Rugby's Project Rugby programme has introduced thousands of young people every year to rugby as a game for everyone, regardless of background or ability.

Chris Pullinger

Thanks to school taster sessions run by Project Rugby and the ongoing support of London Irish and London Irish Foundation, Chris has flourished into a full-contact rugbyloving player for London Irish Foundation disability hub club and the Exiles’ mixed ability side Chris Pullinger had never even thought about playing rugby – until Project Rugby and the pioneering community work of London Irish Foundation arrived in his life. Chris, who has autism, excelled so much in Project Rugby sessions at Castle School that he has not only gone on to play at Newbury RFC’s disability hub club but also shine in full contact games for London Irish Foundation mixed ability team.

A naturally reserved and shy individual who initially got involved in tag rugby, Chris was undeterred every step along the way as he grew in confidence. “Chris’ move to the mixed ability was great because he is quite shy, and our mixed ability team is a combination of some of the other disability schools we work with and our HITZ programme” explained Joe Pegg, Foundation Manager at London Irish. “The individuals naturally have very varied levels of skill and playing capability and it was quite daunting for Chris initially. “But he did so well – even with the challenging things for him like getting on to the team bus. “It was a great opportunity for Chris and he flourished, especially at the disability club where we taught him how to tackle, land

safely and the main rules of the game. “He actually ended up getting involved in the lineout and the scrums – he evolved so much, so quickly. He threw himself right in which was so good to see. “Going to contact rugby was a big leap for Chris, but he gained more confidence from the noncontact and then began tackling people at the right pace. “It’s daunting for anyone, particularly someone like Chris that hasn’t come from a particularly sporty background, but he was fantastic.” Project Rugby is designed to increase participation in the game by people from traditionally underrepresented groups, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and those with disabilities. Since its launch, more than 45,000 young people have been

introduced to rugby through the initiative who wouldn’t otherwise have had access. Joe added: “The first time I noticed a difference with Chris was when he first got involved with a lineout. “They all come from different backgrounds with different circles of friends. “It was the first time I saw him embrace the group and they embraced him; he was a really valued member. “From then on he got more and more stuck in – and as we were playing he would ask more questions. “At first he was reserved with aspects like the landing, but he really grew into it and that was the beauty of seeing Chris develop.” � To find out more about Project Rugby and to find a session near you, visit: www.projectrugby.co.uk.

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Cardiff City 1 Reading 2 By ANDY PRESTON apreston@wokinghampaper.co.uk READING stay top of the Championship after they made it three wins from three with second half goals from Michael Morrison and Lucas Joao.

Morrison headed the Royals in front early in the second half before Joao bagged his second goal of the season to double the lead. Cardiff pulled a goal back with nine minutes left through Lee Tomlin but Reading held on for another win. The Royals extended their winning run to three games in the league and, along with Bristol City, are the only side in the division with a 100% success rate. Veljko Paunović made one change from the side that beat nine-man Barnsley as John Swift was replaced by Yakou Meite. Meanwhile, Cardiff lined up with two former Royals in their starting eleven with Sean Morrison and Leandro Bacuna. Both sides were locked in an even start, but it was Reading who forged the first chance of the game. Yakou Meite made a run in behind and was found brilliantly by a long ball by skipper Liam Moore, his headed effort was saved comfortably by Alex Smithies. Junior Hoilett picked up the first booking of the game as he cynically brought down Ovie Ejaria as he looked to break forward for the visitors.

The Bluebirds had their first sniff of goal after 27 minutes when Kieffer Moore found Bacuna in the box but his volley was easily held by Rafael. Michael Olise went down under the challenge of Jordi Osei-Tutu, leading some players to appeal for a penalty kick, but the referee waved away the shouts after the French midfielder went down rather easily. It was the Royals who continued to have the better of the half as danger man Lucas Joao caused problems for Morrison at the back for Cardiff in an intense battle. He headed just wide from a corner before he used his immense strength to shrug off Morrison and, despite being fouled, he managed to get his shot away, which was parried out by Smithies as the first-half ended goalless. The Royals scored just two minutes into the second half and were good value for their lead. Olise’s out-swinging free kick was met by the head of Michael Morrison as he stooped low and glanced the ball into the top right hand corner out of the reach of Smithies to give Paunović ‘s side the ideal start to the half. Lucas Joao came close to getting a strike away on goal after he breezed past a few defenders but a last ditch tackle from Curtis Nelson prevented the Portuguese striker from pulling the trigger. Both sides made changes on the hour mark as Lee Tomlin came on for Will Vaulks for the home side, while Felipe Araruna was forced off with an injury and was replaced by Tom Holmes. Rafael came to Reading’s rescue as he

reacted superbly to a deflected shot from Bacuna which struck Morrison, but the Brazilian keeper adjusted quickly to keep the ball out with his foot. And just moments after the save, the Royals capitalised to double their lead. Josh Laurent worked his way into the box and squared he ball to Joao who kept his marker at bay and showed superb footwork to get the ball under control before firing it into the net. Rafael made another important stop to keep Cardiff at bay as he got down low to collect Osei-Tutu’s cross as the full-back looked to pick out a blue shirt in the middle. But they weren’t able to keep the clean sheet as substitute Tomlin scrambled the ball over the line from Marlon Pack’s corner as the Royals conceded their first league goal of the season. It was a nervy end to the game for Paunovic’s team as they had to endure nine minutes of added time, but they did so to wrap up another victory. Reading host Watford on Saturday at the Madejski Stadium, who were relegated from the Premier League last season. CARDIFF CITY: Smithies, Osei-Tutu, Morrison, Nelson, Cunningham, Bacuna, Vaulks, Pack, Ojo, Moore, Hoilett SUBS: Glatzel, Murphy, Tomlin, Whyte, Bamba, Day, Bagan READING: Rafael, Araruna, Morrison, Moore, Richards, Laurent, Rinomhota, Meite, Ejaria, Olise, Joao SUBS: McIntyre, Baldock, Gibson, Southwood, Aluko, Holmes, Puscas GOALS: Morrison 47′, Lucas Joao 66′, Tomlin 81′

Michael Morrison opened the scoring for Reading Picture: Steve Smyth


� Continued from back page

“The flip side to the win are the injuries for Felipe Araruna and Lucas Joao. It doesn’t look well but we will wait for the doctor’s assessment,” he continued. “Regardless of the injuries we know our plans for the transfer window, it won’t change drastically but we know the depth is very important. “I always say to injured players, the first day of their injury is the first day of their recovery. They have to think about what they can do to recover as soon as possible. “He (Swift) picked up a hamstring injury in training and it doesn’t look good.

“We think it will be a medium-term injury. “We think Lucas Joao has dislocated his shoulder. He seems much more calm but it didn’t look well on the field. We will see how he recovers and what will be the time of his recovery. “It’s unfortunate but this is the game. “Nobody likes to see sad faces on our players, especially when these injuries happen. “But on the other side we know this is part of the game, we’ve all been through it.” And the Serbian boss is keen for his side to keep their momentum going as they look forward to hosting Watford.

“We will continue with our same approach and being consistent with our plan,” he said. “I always give my best and ask everyone around me to give their best.” “I think we have to absorb good vibes but at the same time channel that to not relax and stop doing the things that have helped us get there. “The defence starts from our front guys. Our warriors in the midfield, Andy and Josh, and our four guys at the back and our keeper are ‘Spartans’. “They are fantastic guys, they have a huge spirit and belonging to the team and to each other.”

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With Olly Allen By ANDY PRESTON apreston@wokinghampaper.co.uk THE ROYALS will be defending their spotless Championship record when they host Watford at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Reading have won their opening three league games to give them their best start to a league campaign in 35 years, with their perfect record giving them joint top spot at the top of the table with Bristol City on nine points each. Watford have enjoyed a decent return to the Championship after their relegation from the Premier League last season. Vladimir Ivic’s side are fifth after two 1-0 wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures in the division. Both sides boast a formidable defensive record as the Royals have let in just one goal, while the Hornets are yet to concede. The team’s last met in the League Cup in August 2018 which saw the Hornets come away with a 2-0 victory. They haven’t met in the league since the 2014/15 season, which saw Watford take the points on both occasions

with a 1-0 win at the Madejski, before they thumped the Royals 4-1 at Vicarage Road in the season which saw them win promotion to the top flight. Despite their superb league form, Reading go into the game on Saturday with several injury concerns following their win in Wales. John Swift is expected to be sidelined for a couple of months after he sustained a hamstring injury in training before Reading’s trip to Cardiff. Paunovic described Swift’s injury as ‘medium term’, while they will also be without Andy Yiadom who is still recovering from a knee injury that is expected to keep him on the sidelines for a ‘considerable’ amount f time. Lucas Joao, who has been in scintillating form having already scored five goals in all competitions, will also be in doubt for Saturday’s game after he appeared to sustain a dislocated shoulder against Cardiff. Felipe Araruna was also subbed off against Cardiff and is likely to miss out, leaving the Royals short at right-back. Reading captain Liam Moore wins an aerial duel Picture: Steve Smyth


WOMEN FACE HAMMERS CLASH READING WOMEN return to Women’s Super League action on Sunday after a three-week break with an away visit to West Ham United Women.

Kelly Chambers' side have won one and lost one after they defeated Aston Villa Women 3-1 to recover from a 6-1 thrashing to Arsenal Women on the opening weekend to put them in seventh. Meanwhile, the Hammers are in ninth after a draw and a loss in their two fixtures. West Ham drew their opening game of the season in a 1-1 stalemate against

Tottenham Hotspur Women, but they were also on the end of a huge thrashing to Arsenal. The Gunners thrashed West Ham 9-1, with Jill Roord following up on her hat-trick against the Royals with a treble against the Hammers. Reading were the victors in a thoroughly entertaining contest when the two sides last faced off against each other in November 2019. The Royals were 2-0 with just 15 minutes left and down to 10 players after Rachel Rowe’s first-half red card. But they made an incredible

comeback to earn the win as Kristine Leine, Brooke Chaplen and Jade Moore scored three goals in quick succession to complete an unlikely turnaround. Lauren Bruton made her long awaited return to action after 16 months on the sidelines with an injury and marked her comeback with a goal against Villa. “Last season was difficult for me with regards to the injury and not being able to play,” said Bruton. “It was tough watching the team every week knowing you can’t help.

I just knew in myself I had to remain positive and count down those months until I was back. “My first full competitive game felt like a long time coming. “It was a big result for the team but for me personally scoring a goal topped it off perfectly. “It was a great team performance, we were incredibly happy to walk away with our first win of the season, especially at the Madejski. “Hopefully now we kick on and have a strong season.”

There’s nothing wrong with getting carried away…


HE last three years haven’t been all that enjoyable for Reading fans. There have been some good moments for sure, but for the most part it has been a painful amalgamation of sub-par players, out-of-their-depth managers, underwhelming performances and poor results. While we are fortunate not to have battled the same off-field problems many other clubs have, on the pitch, I can’t think of many fanbases who have had it consistently worse over the last few seasons. I’ll hold my hands up and say I thought we were in for much of the same this season. Making what was largely considered to be an unneeded managerial change two weeks before the start of the campaign was chaotic. Nothing will change that fact however well new man Veljko Paunovic does. But in a remarkable twist of fate, it has all come together in the opening weeks and Reading find themselves top of the Championship table with three wins from three games. It is our best start to a league season since 1985. People will say that it is still ridiculously early days and we should not get carried away, and this is absolutely true. Given the unpredictable nature of the football club recently, it almost wouldn’t be a surprise to see a complete implosion in the next couple of weeks. It would be typical Reading. But that doesn’t stop us enjoying what is right now a real feel-good factor around the club. When you consider that it was only two years ago that we lost all of our first three games, and that last season it took us 12 matches and two managers to get to nine points, I think we’re allowed to bask in such a superb start to the campaign. Light-hearted remarks about

promotion may be premature, but why not dream? Football is all about dreaming. Without hope, the sport is nothing. It’s been so difficult following Reading over the last few years because that hope didn’t exist. Now it does, and it has given everyone a lift which was even more needed in this Covid-world. There is nothing wrong with fantasising about the Premier League because quite frankly it is much more enjoyable than worrying about Reading heading out of the Championship in the opposite direction as we have done far too often of late. Just seeing the club talked about so positively in the wider media is great to see. It’s rare that others sit up and take notice of Reading, but last weekend we were portioned a decent chunk of airtime on Quest’s EFL highlights show and also featured on the front page of Sunday’s The League Paper. It’s our turn in the spotlight and long may it continue. Maybe this run stops against Watford this weekend. Maybe the team will go on to win 13 in a row like that 1985-86 side. Whatever happens, I’m enjoying the ride. Perhaps it is the hope that kills you, but that doesn’t seem like a bad way to go.

Ovie Ejaria Picture: Steve Smyth

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WOKINGHAM & Emmbrook maintained their perfect start to the league season with another clean sheet as they defeated Thame Rangers.

The Sumas are the only side in the Hellenic League Division One East with a 100% record having won their opening four games of the campaign. Their exceptional start to the season has seen them conceded just one league goal, while they have put 15 past their opponents. Sumas began tentatively and soon had a chance with a header which was an easy save for Mick Rundle who was stretched in the next approach. Joe Cummuskey, defending, was forced to concede a corner kick to Thame which floated in for Sean Woodward to claim the ball. After Thame took a free Kick, Sumas defended until clearing the ball which fell kindle for a continuation of possession and with some slick passing along the right wing which culminated in a cross into the centre for

Jake White to lob the ball smartly over the top of the approaching Rundle, who had left his line, and ending up in the back of the net with only 12 minutes gone. Sumas were in an advantageous position as long as they kept up the momentum. Jake White ran across parallel to the goal line but his effort found the side netting. Calvin Evans and Finlay Murray combined to clear the ball for the visitors but a well placed ball gave Luke Scope a good chase. In the 34th minute Jake White managed to put Sumas further ahead with a sublime free-kick. There was the occurrence of a disallowed goal as the Sumas were denied a third goal before the break. As Thame recovered from the pressurised quick fire attacks, they received a free kick within range of goal and a large wall of Sumas confronted Calvin Evans who delivered a low shot straight at the legs of the wall and Sumas were relieved. At the end of the half, George Weller rose up high to head the ball towards Sumas' goal but Woodward was able to deal with it and provide a break away from defence for Sumas. Starting the second half, Sumas had

a two nil cushion which had to be maintained but Thame hoped to play catch up especially when Liam Boushay’s effort had to be saved and cleared by Woodward. A free kick then put Woodward back into action with one of his trademark claims. Luke Scope worked his way forward and a possibility for a strike was met with a poor clearance from the Thame defence which gave Sumas a chance at scoring a third goal. Substitutes were made by both sides. However, Rundle made a great save. Sumas took possession again with a strong approach into the Thame half although the push through was too wide for Scope to reach. Woodward made another useful save after which Sumas had a free kick from the edge of their own area. As time ran out Sumas were passing well but then the final whistle blew to mark the end of the match. Job done and Sumas’ three points put them on the top of the league. WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK: Woodward, (GK), O’Connell, Day, Guest, L. Eagle, (c), Cummuskey, Mullen, Byrne, Scope, White, N. Batemean. SUBSTITUTES: Badshah, C. Eagle, Clark. Rowland [not used].

Sumas are top of the league after four wins from four Pictures: Andrew Batt FootballinBerkshire


HAT-TRICK HERO: ANDERSON TREBLE FIRES KESTRELS THROUGH Taplow United 1 Woodley United 5 WOODLEY UNITED eased into the next roundof the challenge cup with a 5-1 win at Hellenic Division Two East Taplow United thanks to a hat-trick from Ben Anderson.

The margin of victory is promising and is the first time that Woodley have scored five in a competitive match since February 16 last year. Just like the season opener at Abingdon a fortnight ago, Woodley scored in the second minute through Kalum Patrick. This goal was a much better strike than the tap-in in Oxfordshire as the pacey

winger darted past his man before striking a low shot into the left corner from the edge f the box. Patrick was at the heart of the next chance as he latched onto a ball over the defence to go one-on-one with Michael Twelftree in the home goal. Unable to fully control a ball that took many bobbles, the shot lacked power allowing an easy save. Taplow’s next chance saw them level from the penalty spot when Jordan Jawhanda beat Perry Howard. After a sloppy spell of football where both sides surrendered possession,

Woodley took control of the game. A couple of free kicks; the first taken by Tyrese CorbinChandler, the second by Lamin Ceesay were just off target. The visitors continued to press, but were unable to test Twelftree. Ceesay blazed over following a through ball that sent him clear before the same player badly skewed his shot wide after cutting in from the left. Five minutes before the break, Woodley retook the lead. Some good play from left back Tahir Carmichael in the 18-yard box saw him drill in a low cross that found Anderson.

With his back to goal, the Kestrels player turned and arrowed a shot into the right corner. The final two chances of the half went to Taplow. James Oldham was thwarted by a good save by Howard who did really well to get down and parry out a low shot whilst Jawhanda headed wide from close range. Woodley started the second half with plenty of possession but were only able to carve out three clear cut chances in the first 20 minutes after the restart. Centre back Jordan Carter had an effort cleared off the line with the follow up being

smashed wide. Anderson then shot over from 20 yards. A shot from distance tested Twelftree, before a bit of magic out on the left created a scoring opportunity. Showing incredible balance, he jinked past several challenges before pulling the ball back to Anderson who had an effort deflect behind. Corbin-Chandler then came close to getting his maiden goal for the club when a curling effort went narrowly wide. Four minutes after the change Anderson netted his second when he side-footed home a low cross from Ceesay. Corbin-Chandler then went

close again from pretty much the same spot as his previous attempt. Shone got his first goal for the club when he tapped in a right-wing cross from Thomas. The scoring was complete on 86 minutes when Anderson got his third with a low shot into the left corner from 25 yards. In injury time Shone was denied a second by the linesman’s flag. WOODLEY UNITED: Howard, Wayborn, Carmichael, Boyd, Carter, Alexander, Patrick (Edwards), Curtis (Wood), Anderson, Corbin-Chandler, Ceesay (Shone) Sub not used Swift

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BOARS CAUGHT HOOK, LINE AND SINKER Chessington & Hook United 3 Eversley & California 2

EVERSLEY & California dropped down to 16th in the Combined Counties Division One after their second defeat of the season.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the Boars fell behind just six minutes into the second half as Chessington & Hook scored a free-kick. But they weren’t behind for long as Eversley fought back rapidly through Ross Mckernan who applied the

finishing touch on the rebound to convert the ball after Cameron Edwin’s shot was initially blocked. The hosts then capitalised on a mistimed header back to the keeper as they took advantage to take the lead for the occasion in the match. And things got even worse for the Boars just four minutes later as the Chessington added a third goal in the 72nd minute. Liam Vaughan ensured that the Boars stayed in the contest as he saved a penalty in the 75th minute

to give them a glimmer of hope. Matty Angell’s side then set up what they hoped would be a grand stand finish after Joe Pantony met Harry Stephenson’s corner and fired a bullet header into the back of the net in the 89th minute. Despite their late pressure, the Boars were unable to find an allusive equaliser as they fell to an away defeat. EVERSLEY & CALIFORNIA: Vaughan, Robson, Knight, Mckernan, Edwin, Small, Robson, Ambler, Appleton, Dickie (c), Moriarty SUBS: Blackie, Wint, Stephenson, Pantony

Eversley & California’s Cameron Edwin puts in a sliding tackle Pictures: Richard Milam



BINFIELD’S winning start to the season ended but they remain unbeaten as they were held to a draw by Longlevens.

The Moles drop down from first to fourth early in the campaign having played just three league games so far. Binfield did take the lead in their trip to Longlevens as Elliott Legg put them in front after 17 minutes. Captain Sean Moore was then forced off with an injury and was replaced by Josh Howell in the 24th minute.

But Binfield’s day took a turn when goalkeeper Chris Grace was sin binned, meaning that Adam Cornell had to take the gloves and take up the unfamiliar role as goalkeeper. Longlevens ensured that they capitalised on their one man advantage as they equalised five minutes before the break. And the Moles had to settle for a point as their winning start to the league season came to an end. Binfield co-manager Carl Withers said: “Sadly we weren’t at it, and credit must go to Longlevens who made it a difficult day for us.”

The Moles dropped their first points of the season in the league with an away draw to Longlevens Pictures: Andrew Batt FootballinBerkshire

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BOARS BEATEN BY LATE GOAL By ANDY PRESTON apreston@wokinghampaper.co.uk

Hellenic Premier Division BINFIELD bounced back from their weekend draw by taking all three points against Flackwell Heath after a late winner from Elliot Legg. The Moles hit back early in the second half after going behind through Josh Harris, before Elliot Legg notched the inner Binfield move up to second having played four matches. Binfield co-manager Carl Withers said: “These lads will always find a way to win games and this was the case against a resilient,hard working side in Flackwell Heath. “Two special goals from Josh Harris and Elliot Legg in front of another fantastic crowd and we will now prepare right for another tough test this Saturday.”

Hellenic Division One East WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK made it five wins from five with second half goals from Callum Eagle and Will Day to beat Kidlington Reserves 2-0. A closely contested first-half ended goalless but the Sumas took advantage after Kidlington were reduced to 10 players after a red card to keep their spectacular form going. Dan Bateman hailed his team's performance as one of the best since he has been in charge. “I was so pleased with Tuesday’s performance, it is definitely one of the best team performances since I’ve been in charge of this group,” said Bateman. “Again we were well organised and weathered the storm after they threw a lot at us in the first half, in particular they were in control in the first 20 minutes. “After the sending off we took control of the game. We can't always have all of the game our own way so we had to be patient and wait for our chances but we did well to limit their chances and took ours when they came.” Bateman is keen for his side to maintain their winning start to the season which sees them with a five point lead at the top of the table. He continued: “I like Long Crendon as a side, they’ve kept their core of the team together for a while and it’s led to them being well organised and difficult to beat. We will certainly have to be on our a game to beat them. We’re challenging the boys to keep this winning run going and seeing how long it can continue so we can’t allow for any kind of complacency. “It’s too early for us to look at the league table but we’re more than satisfied with our start, it couldn’t have been much better. We’ve got the points on the board and that’s

the most pleasing thing.” WOODLEY UNITED are just above the drop zone after their third defeat of the season with a 2-1 away loss at Holyport. The Kestrels went into the break two goals down, and despite an improved second-half display that saw Max Laschok claw a goal back, they were unable to find an equaliser as they fell to a narrow defeat.

FROM THE MIDDLE With Dick Sawdon-Smith

Combined Counties Division One EVERSLEY & CALIFORNIA were dealt a sickening late blow as they conceded a stoppage time goal against Godalming Town in a 2-1 defeat. The Boars went behind just before half-time but found a leveller on the hour mark through Ross Mckernan. But a stoppage time winner from Godalming ensured that Eversley went away with nothing to show for their performance.


Thames Valley Women’s Division One WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK LADIES suffered a heavy defeat after they were beaten 7-1 in their away trip to Tilehurst Panthers Women Development. Lydia Vettese and Tilly Waight both scored braces to ensure that Tilehurst maintained their winning start to the season, while the Sumas were beaten for the second time this season. They dropped down to eighth position in the table having played three games, but have a chance to return to form to end their run of two consecutive defeats when they travel away to face Wargrave Women on Sunday. WARGRAVE WOMEN earned their first win of the season as they beat Caversham AFC Ladies to move up to fifth in the table. A stunning first-half performance from Wargrave saw them go into half-time with a four-goal lead after goals from Hannah Sheehan, Millie Bilcliffe and a double from Sian Blissett. Caversham clawed two goals back in the second half, but Wargrave held onto claim all three points. EVERSLEY & CALIFORNIA LADIES played out an entertaining 3-3 draw against Milton United Ladies to ensure they remained unbeaten in their opening two league games. The Boars are fourth, having won one and drawn one of their two fixtures in the league.

FA Youth Cup WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK booked their place in the second qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup after a comprehensive win

Wokingham & Emmbrook Ladies suffered a heavy defeat Pictures: Andrew Batt FootballinBerkshire

FC Fernhill beat Morale Madrid in the Bracknell Senior Cup semi-final

over Cove FC U18’s. Jack Webb enjoyed a sensational night for the young Sumas side as he smashed in four goals, while Mason Creech and Alfie Wilson added to the score to record a superb 6-2 win to take them through.

Friendlies WOODLEY UNITED ROYALS ended their pre-season campaign with a victory in well contested game against WARGRAVE FC which saw the Kestrels win 3-2. Woodley United Royals begin their league season on Saturday

with an away fixture against BERKS COUNTY, while Wargrave host Slough Heating Laurencians in Thames Valley Division One. Nick Payne netted for FINCHAMPSTEAD but they were defeated 2-1 by Westwood Wanderers. Finch play Maidenhead Town away from home in their opening fixture in Thames Valley Premier League.

Bracknell Senior Cup FC FERNHILL booked their place in the Bracknell Senior Cup final with a 3-1 victory over MORALE MADIRD.


HE new football season has finally got underway and what it has in common with the last three seasons, is that it comes with a few more changes to the Laws of the

Game. However, with 103 changes over the last three years, this season is quite limited, with only 15 changes and clarifications. Some of these have come about because changes last year, created situations that hadn’t been considered at the time. For instance, the Laws about goal kicks had a fundamental change last season. Previously, at a goal kick, the ball had to pass outside the penalty area before it was in play. This meant among other things that if the goal kick hadn’t passed outside the penalty area, the goalkeeper could pick it up and retake the goal kick without facing any sanction. Also, opponents couldn’t enter the penalty area until the ball left it. Now of course, the ball is in play as soon as it is kicked and clearly moves. That means that the ball could be attacked by opposing players while it is still in the penalty area. If the goalkeeper decides to prevent this by picking up the ball or play it in any other way, he will now have committed the offence by playing the ball a second time before it is played by another player. This would be penalised by an indirect free kick. The same would apply if another player took the goal kick, except should he play it with his hand or arm a penalty would be awarded. This ruling also applies to any free kick to the defending inside in their own penalty area. The real crunch comes when, if by playing the ball a second time, the kicker denies an opponent setting up a promising attack. This would lead to a yellow card for the offending player. Worst still, if the kicker’s action robbed the attacker of a goal or goal scoring opportunity, this would mean a red card and being sent off. The game’s restart, however, would still be an indirect free kick.

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SOUTH BERKS LADIES OPEN WITH WIN By ANDY PRESTON apreston@wokinghampaper.co.uk

MBBO Regional 1 SOUTH BERKSHIRE 1s suffered a big defeat in their opening game of the season. Marlow 1s bagged seven goals without reply to dish out a thrashing to South Berks, who host Oxford Hawks 2s on Saturday.

MBBO Regional 2 SONNING 2s were beaten in their opening game with a narrow 3-2 defeat to Aylesbury 1s. Stephen Crowther and Jordan Manning netted in their defeat. They host Wallingford 1s in their next match.

MBBO Division 1 SOUTH BERKSHIRE 2s opened with a victory as they took the points in an entertaining nine goal game, Daniel Ray bagged a double, while Peter Forbes, Paul Kaplanski and Desmond

Sanders netted in a 5-4 triumph for South Berks to give them a winning start.

MBBO Division 3 SONNING 3s earned a pont against Aylesbury 2s in a 2-2 draw after Christopher Stone scored a brace. South Berks host Reading 5s on the weekend. Meanwhile, SOUTH BERKSHIRE 3s endured a difficult day away from home after they were defeated 3-0 against Marlow 3s.

MBBO Open Division SONNING 4s fell to an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Tring 1s in MBBO Open Division 6, while SOUTH BERKSHIRE 4s began their MBBO Open Division 7 campaign with a 5-1 thrashing over Windsor 3s. SOUTH BERKSHIRE 6s smashed six past Wallingford 5s in their Division 9 opening game.

South Clubs’ Women’s

Division 3A SONNING LADIES 1s kicked off their season with a victory over Buckingham Ladies 2s. One goal was enough to see them take three points in their opening fixture of the new season.

Trysports Premier 2 SONNING LADIES 2s were edged out 2-1 by Oxford Ladies 3s as they began their campaign with defeat

Trysports Division 1 SOUTH BERKSHIRE LADIES 2s opened their account with victory in a 3-0 triumph over Bicester Ladies 1s, while SONNING LADIES 3s fell to a 3-1 home defeat against Newbury and Thatcham Ladies 2s.

Trysports Division 2 SOUTH BERKSHIRE LADIES 3s came away with an away victory as a solitary goal saw them take three points against Wychwood Ladies 1s.

RESULTS Saturday, September 26

Saturday, October 3 Sky Bet Championship Reading v Watford


Hellenic Premier Division

Sky Bet Championship Cardiff City 1-2 Reading

Bishop’s Cleeve v Binfield Hellenic League Division One

Hellenic Premier Division Longlevens 1-1 Binfield

East Sumas v Long Crendon Woodley United v Langley

Hellenic League Division One Sumas 2-0 Thame Rangers

Thames Valley Premier League Berks County v Woodley United

Combined Counties Division

Royals Maidenhead Town v


One Chessington & Hook United 3-2 Eversley & California

Finchampstead Thames Valley Division One Mortimer Reserves v Hurst

HOCKEY MBBO Regional 1 Sonning 1s P-P Ashford 1s Marlow 1s 7-0 South Berkshire 1s MBBO Regional 2 Aylesbury 1s 3-2 Sonning 2s MBBO Division 1 South Berkshire 2s 5-4 Bicester 1s MBBO Division 3 Marlow 3s 3-0 South Berkshire 3s Sonning 3s 2-2 Aylesbury 2s South Women’s Division 3A Buckingham Ladies 2s 0-1 Sonning Ladies 1s

Wargrave v Slough Heating Laurencians Thames Valley Division Two Berks County Reserves v Henley Town Twyford & Ruscombe v Goring United Woodcote Reserves v Hurst Reserves Thames Valley Division Three Woodley United A v Taplow United Reserves HOCKEY MBBO Regional 1 Witney 1s v Sonning 1s South Berkshire 1s v Oxford Hawks 2s

Trysports Premier 2 Sonning Ladies 2s 1-2 Oxford Ladies 3s

MBBO Regional 2

Trysports Division 1 Sonning Ladies 3s 1-3 Newbury

MBBO Division 1

Sonning 2s v Wallingford 1s

Reading 4s v South Berkshire 2s

and Thatcham Ladies 2s South Berkshire Ladies 2s 3-0 Bicester Ladies 1s Trysports Division 3 Sonning Ladies 4s 2-1 Aylesbury Ladies 2s

South Clubs Women’s Division 3A Sonning Ladies 1s v Hampstead and Westminster Ladies 3s Three Counties Premier 1 Marlow Ladies 2s v South

Trysports Division 5 Sonning Ladies 5s 1-1 Bicester Ladies 3s

Sunday, September 27 Sonning Ladies 2s were victorious over Marlow Ladies Pictures: Steve Smyth

FOOTBALL Thames Valley Women’s Division One Milton United Ladies 3-3

Berkshire Ladies 1s Three Counties Premier 2 Oxford Hawks Ladies 4s v Sonning Ladies 2s Three Counties Division 1 South Berkshire Ladies 2s v Newbury and Thatcham Ladies 2s

Eversley & California Ladies Tilehurst Panthers Women 7-1 Wokingham & Emmbrook Ladies Wargrave Women 4-2 Caversham AFC Ladies

Sunday, October 4 FA Women’s Super League West Ham United Women v Reading Women

Tuesday, September 29

FA Women’s Cup


United Ladies

Hellenic Premier Division Binfield 2-1 Flackwell Heath

Thames Valley Women’s

Fulham Women v Woodley

Division One Hellenic League Division One East Holyport 2-1 Woodley United Sumas 2-0 Kidlington Reserves

Caversham AFC Ladies v Eversley & California Ladies Wargrave Women v Wokingham & Emmbrook Ladies

Combined Counties Division One Eversley & California 1-2 Godalming Town

FIXTURES Friday, October 2 FOOTBALL Combined Counties Division One Eversley & California v Jersey Bulls

Thames Valley Women’s Division 3S Wargrave Women Development v Thatcham Flames S4K Ladies v Wallingford Town Ladies







Paunovic praises team spirit as Royals win again

Injury fears over Swiﬞ and Joao


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Published by The Wokingham Paper Ltd, Crown House, 231 Kings Road, Reading RG1 4LS. Printed at Reach Watford © The Wokingham Paper Ltd, 2020


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