NEWS Your magazine from Wokingham Borough Council
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r ck cove a b e h t See tmas s i r h C r for you cycling e r d n a waste r calenda
Food waste recycling starts soon
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Official Fuel Consumption Figures in mpg (l/100km): RAV4 Hybrid Icon 5 door FWD 2.5 VVT-i Auto. Urban 57.6 (4.9), Extra Urban 56.5 (5.0), Combined 56.4 (5.0). CO2 Emissions 116g/km. Prius Hybrid Excel 5 door 1.8 VVT-i Auto. Urban 85.6 (3.3), Extra Urban 85.6 (3.3), Combined 85.6 (3.3). CO2 Emissions 76g/km. C-HR Hybrid Design 5 door 1.8 VVT-i Auto. Urban 80.7 (3.5), Extra Urban 68.9 (4.1), Combined 72.4 (3.9). CO2 Emissions 87g/km. Yaris Hybrid Design 5 door 1.5 VVT-i Auto. Urban 85.6 (3.3), Extra Urban 78.4 (3.6), Combined 78.4 (3.6). CO2 Emissions 82g/ km. Auris Hybrid Touring Sports 5 door 1.8 Auto. Urban 61.4 (4.6), Extra Urban 68.8 (4.1), Combined 65.6 (4.3). CO2 Emissions 99g/km. Prius Plug-In Hybrid Excel 5 door 1.8 Auto. Combined 235 (1.2). CO2 Emissions 28g/km. All mpg and CO2 figures quoted are sourced from official EU regulated laboratory test results. These are provided to allow comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect your actual driving experience.
Keeping in touch with us www.wokingham.gov.uk email@example.com (0118) 974 6000 /wokinghamboroughcouncil /wokinghamboroughcouncil @WokinghamBC /WokinghamBC Visit us: Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm Write to us: Wokingham Borough Council, Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN Find out more information by: Email and text updates – register at: www.wokingham.gov.uk/signup
Also in this issue...
Welcome Many more of you are aware of the fundamental shift in the relationship between local authorities and the public. You understand local councils now face challenges never faced before – massive funding cuts from central government set against the rising costs of our statutory and non-statutory duties, plus expectations from some who still see us through historical eyes. But despite this, Wokingham Borough Council continues to weather the storm a lot better than others. This is because we’ve found opportunities amid austerity – new ways to be resourceful, inventive and efficient, building new partnerships with fellow public sector organisations, the voluntary and private sectors, and of course with you - the communities we serve. Our emerging Borough Plan on page 26 is an example of this. Here we’re working with you, and the groups above, to pinpoint Wokingham Borough’s unique challenges to formulate a realistic joint action plan to overcome them. By working together we’re stronger. The wide range of infrastructure needed for the planned new homes coming to the Borough is being created or started before the developments are completed, through partnerships with the developers themselves. See pages 13 and 24.
Could you adopt?
Help shape the Local Plan
With our own housing developments such as Gorse Ride (page 9), we’ve been talking to the community already there to ensure they were involved right from the start helping to shape the new estate. And with the cost of adult social care rising dramatically – due to
Chance to win cinema tickets
our ageing population both here and nationally – we work with partner health organisations and the patients themselves to create seamless care packages specifically for them (page 17). At this time of year, it’s good to take stock and consider what we’ve achieved by working together. Our New Year’s resolution to you is that we’ll continue to think outside the box to safeguard your services. I wish you all a peaceful festive season with a positive 2019 we can embrace together. Remember you can keep up-todate with our latest news on our dedicated website at: www.news. wokingham.gov.uk. This is where all our news, videos and photos are in one place for you to enjoy at any time you like. You can also like us on Facebook (facebook.com/ wokinghamboroughcouncil) or follow us on Twitter (@WokinghamBC). If you have any questions or comments, please do email me at: Pauline.Jorgensen@wokingham. gov.uk Cllr Pauline Jorgensen Deputy Leader of the Council
Editorial: Wokingham Borough Council’s Communications Team Design and printed by: Digital Solutions on uncoated FSCM 80gsm paper Cost: 10p per person / 25p per household To advertise in Wokingham Borough News, or if any other queries about this magazine including delivery, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. A pdf version of this magazine is available online at: news.wokingham.gov.uk/wokingham-borough-news All details were correct at the time of going to print.
Roll of honour for community champions A teacher and a community stalwart were the first recipients in the new Wokingham Borough Mayor’s Roll of Honour awards for outstanding commitment and contributions to the area. Sukhdev Kaur Bansal from Wokingham, and Janet Woodruff from Shinfield, were presented with this accolade by Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser during September’s full Council meeting. Sukhdev, a qualified teacher, has been voluntarily running Panjabi language classes for adults and children for 35 years after realising the importance for the community to retain its own culture. She then turned her ambitions into reality. Supported by Ramgarhia Sabha Reading, classes up to GCSE level are held Friday evenings during school term at Maiden Erlegh School, and every year more than 150 children achieve Panjabi GCSEs with outstanding grades. Sukhdev has also worked with schools, scouts and other local groups to teach more about Sikhism. Other winner Janet Woodruff is a very active member in the Shinfield community. She distributes community newsletters from the Community Flat, and Loddon Reach from Shinfield Parish Council, to residents on the Shinfield Rise estate every six to eight weeks without fail. Janet has also supported many Borough Council activities run on the estate by either encouraging people to attend or helping to run the events.
“Wokingham Borough is full of fantastic people who make our communities special,” said Cllr John Kaiser, Borough Mayor. “They volunteer tirelessly to make a real difference and this recognition is thoroughly deserved.” Any Borough resident can be nominated. “We’re looking for people who make that extra effort for others,” said Cllr Kaiser. “Maybe by fostering, volunteering or being a carer; there are many thousands of such people out there and we need to hear about them. For children and young people, we would like to hear about those who have overcome adversity.” To nominate somebody, simply email the mayor’s office (see below), and in no longer than 200 words set out why that person should be considered for the award. For the children’s awards, outstanding achievements in sport or arts are considered. You must be a Borough resident to make a nomination. Each month, Cllr Kaiser and his Deputy Mayor Cllr Bill Soane will select worthy winners from the nominations with the awards then presented during full Council at Shute End. (Sadly this magazine went to press before the next round of award winners were officially announced – Tony Lack, Steve Bowers, Wallis Ferne and John Prior. So many congratulations to them too!)
More information: email@example.com
FOOD FOR THOUGHT HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT This April we are starting weekly food waste collections, which will be picked up alongside your blue bag and recycling black box on the same day and time as they are now. From mid-March every household will receive a lockable 23-litre kerbside food waste container along with a 5-litre kitchen caddie and a roll of liners for it. This is in addition to your usual annual supply of 80 blue bags (more for larger families). Once your indoor caddy is full, close and secure the liner, transfer the bag to the See the caddies and learn more outdoor caddy and lock its lid to keep the about the new service: contents safe from animals and to deter flies. • Council Offices, Shute End – December This larger caddy only needs to go kerbside on • Wokingham Library – January collection day. Regularly emptying your indoor • Earley Library – February caddy and storing the outdoor one out of direct sunlight will minimise potential smells. • Morrisons, Woosehill, 5 February, You will be able to get additional kitchen caddie liners from our Council offices and 10am – 2pm libraries, as you do now with blue bags. • Asda Shopping Mall, Lower Earley, 12 If you currently get assistance with your waste and recycling, you will automatically be February, 10am – 2pm eligible for assisted food waste collection. • Waitrose, Twyford, 19 February, 10am To begin with this service will only be for houses, not flats. Because flats come in – 2pm various shapes and sizes with different access and waste and recycling services, we • Woodley Library – March want to get it right. So we will be working out the best way to provide effective food • Finchampstead Library – April waste recycling at flats in each location and will contact you before we start your food • More dates to be confirmed on our waste collections. So until that time, carry on using your current refuse and recycling website services. More information: What can go into the food caddy? www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘rubbish and recycling’) (0118) 974 6000 ✔ Yes please • All cooked and un cooked foods • Tea bags and coffe e grounds • Vegetable peeling Executive View s, banana skins, ap ple core Cllr Norman Jorgensen, Executive Member for • Pet food Environment, Leisure and Libraries • Out of date food (without packaging) “By recycling food waste, we can divert 30 per cent of u! yo k the current contents of blue bags away from landfill. That an ✘ No th d tin foil an ng pi ap wr , m equates to 10,000 tonnes annually, saving up to £100 per fil • Cling ys tonne for the public purse, as well as cutting methane tra • Pots, pollution and our carbon footprint. Our target is to recycle at ds • Liqui ste wa least 50 per cent of household waste by the end of 2020.” en • Gard ing dd be or er litt s, es m • Pet
Inspiring tomorrow’s writers Hundreds of children and their parents experienced books brought to life at the first ever Wokingham Children’s Book Festival, in October. They met more than 20 authors and illustrators during the fun two-day event, packed with workshops, quizzes, and an awful lot of audience participation. The event, aimed at three to 12-year-olds, was a partnership between us, Wokingham Town Council, More Arts, plus a team of volunteers at the Town Hall and Wokingham Library. “The children who attended had a wonderful time exploring new worlds, meeting new characters and getting lots of amazing writing tips from an array of authors and illustrators,” said Elizabeth McDonald, Wokingham Borough Council’s Young People and Families Outreach Manager. “It was great to see so many of them interacting and taking part.” Cllr. Gwynneth Hewetson, from Wokingham Town Council, said: “It was such a pleasure to share in the delight and enthusiasm of the children over the entire weekend.”
What the critics said The World of Planet Stan talk by Elaine Wickson: Isaac said, “I liked that Elaine takes her ideas from all around the world and put it in a pie chart.” Once upon a Star with James Carter: Jessica said, “We learnt about how the moon was born and how to create a Kennings poem together. I liked the music on the melodica and guitar, and really fun poems that made me laugh.” I am Otter by Sam Garton: Daniel’s mum said, “Thank you for this lovely event, it really brought the book to life. What a lovely introduction to seeing into the life of an illustrator.”
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN WOKINGHAM TOWN CENTRE Come to Wokingham Town Centre for your festive and sales shopping. With Market Place now redesigned, and the first of Peach Street’s retailers moving in as part of our regeneration project, Wokingham Town Centre offers unique quality and charm. Whatever gift you need, one of the independent, local, or big name retailers and bigger market has something for you. Fashion for all the family, electrical items, books, arts and crafts, jewellery, household items, shoes, toiletries, stylish knick-knacks – you name it. It’s already there, with more to come. You can also pamper yourself with a haircut, or get your nails done, and enjoy a spot of lunch. We have spent a lot of time listening to you about the type of businesses you’d like to see, as well as working with our letting agents to make sure we attract local independents and boutiques mingling with excellent national names. In time for Christmas, GAIL’s artisan bakers and national favourite Waterstones are due to take up residence in Peach Street. Cook, the high-end frozen food retailer, is due to open on Rose Street in the New Year. Peach Place’s new pedestrian square will see more independent retailers. Executive View We’ve lined up lots of businesses for this space and, following some internal Cllr Philip Mirfin, tweaks to these units to accommodate their layouts, we expect them to Executive Member for start opening early next year. So please listen out, as we’ll be releasing more Regeneration names soon. We are also holding back two units on Peach Street for high-end fashion “We know it’s been difficult retailers who will be great for the town but don’t wish to open until the for you this year with the New Year. town centre disruption, and we truly thank you for All of these new businesses join the list of those already coming to Elms your patience. But happily Field, which include boutique cinema Everyman Cinemas, an Aldi food you will now begin to experience the benefits of all store and a Premier Inn. Work on Elms Field is moving along well with the this work. Not only a fantastic town centre with far frameworks of the new buildings now up. better facilities, but also a town centre generating Find out more about Peach Place, Elms Field and all parts of our town new income for you funding the essential council centre regeneration by visiting the website below. services you want and need.” More information: www.regenerationcompany.co.uk
Kissing gates welcome walkers in Hurst
Tackling litter is EASI
Kissing gates have replaced four stiles on walking routes around Hurst village near to Lines Road and Dunt Lane. Kissing gates are hinged but designed in such a way that only people, not livestock, can pass through. Compared to stiles, they are also far more accessible for people of all ages and abilities making local open spaces easier to reach. The new gates were funded by us, the Ramblers’ Association and Hurst Parish Council. And landowner John Belcher, who owns Hatch Gate Farm, kindly agreed to the gates going on the public footpaths across his land. “We’re planning to replace three more stiles with gates in Barkham parish next year,” said Steve Vale from the Ramblers’ Association, “and we’ve already replaced stiles in Finchampstead and Wargrave parishes. We want to make the network easier for walkers to use.” Our Rights of Way Improvement Plan sets out our desire, if landowners agree and with support from the Rambler’s Association, to eventually replace every stile across the Wokingham Borough with more accessible gates.
Earley Adopt-a-Street Initiative (EASI) is the largest communityrun litter picking group in the Wokingham Borough, with now more than 300 volunteers covering nearly all of Earley’s roads and footpaths. EASI was the first of its kind in the Borough when it launched in 2010, and since then more groups have formed locally, as well as individual volunteers without a group in their area. If you join our Adopt a Street scheme we can provide a litter picker and rubbish bags. You can monitor your neighbourhood and report any problems to us. We will collect the rubbish bags along with your normal household waste. EASI regularly liaises with us about placing litter bins where they are needed the most. And it recently installed more than 25 micro bins for smokers at bus shelters and other locations across Earley, keeping hundreds of dog-ends per week from the ground and polluting the environment. “In most places, though not everywhere, we find that keeping a street reasonably clear of litter results in less being dropped,” said Peter Soul, one of EASI’s founders. EASI members meet up at the Huge Earley Litter Pick (March), the EASI Summer Party, the Thames-side Litter Pick (September), the autumn coffee morning plus small occasional working parties. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘adopt a street’) Peter Soul (EASI) (0118) 926 4997
COMMUNITY SPIRIT RUNS DEEP ON GORSE RIDE Planning permission for the first phase of our multi-million pound redevelopment of the Gorse Ride estate in Finchampstead was granted in October. Many of the existing homes on the estate are outdated with timber frames and modular construction, so we’re going to replace them with fresh modern homes. But homes don’t make a community, it’s the people living in them. Betty Sleet moved onto the estate 43 years ago, into a threebedroom house with husband Tony and their two daughters. “We’d been living in a mobile home in Park Lane, so here seemed huge. We had an industrial size sink – all the houses did – and you had to charge up the central heating with electricity before you put it on. If you didn’t do it enough, it would cut out and you’d be freezing. “It was all close-knit. I ran the Littlewoods Club. There was policeman at number 16, and number 11 was adapted because he was disabled. George and Jo lived next door with their daughter and two boys. George was a postman and persuaded my Tony to become one, which he then did for 29 years. “It was a lovely place to bring up children. They all played out in the Close or on the land behind our garden which is now flats in Arnett Avenue. On Sundays there were football matches where the FBC Centre is now.” Over the years the houses have had new roofs, kitchens, bathrooms and modern central heating.
“Yes I will be sad to leave this house, but I do understand why. They were only supposed to last 25 years so they’ve done extremely well considering. I’ve even got the original clothes ‘whirlie’ and paving slabs in the garden.” Betty, like all our tenants, will be offered a new home on the renewed estate on a lifetime assured tenancy with similar terms to their current one. Private home owners will be offered a range of options, such as buying a new home on the estate (or potentially off site) through an equity loan scheme or similar help to ensure their new home compares with their old. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘Gorse Ride’)
Executive View Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Executive Member for Housing “Our ambitious Gorse Ride plans will both address the needs of the area and, as importantly, provide high quality homes in a great community. Gorse Ride is rich and vibrant community which we want to protect both now and in the future.”
10 Winter 2018
Borough Plan Update Thank you if you took part in our recent consultation into the Borough Plan, telling us your priorities for the Wokingham Borough. Since then, we’ve been sharing your feedback with our stakeholders. A special conference is planned for the public sector, town and parish councils, business leaders, and the community and voluntary sector, to consider the Borough’s priorities and its challenges. Local government used to be seen as having all the answers, but this is no longer the case. So we work with our partners to support people to help themselves, who can then also help others. This dialogue with you and our stakeholders is shaping the new five-year Borough Plan, setting out a vision of what sort of place we want to live in and how we can all contribute to achieving this. The engagement document and survey can be found on the current consultation webpages on our website. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘finished consultations’)
Empty nest? The perfect time to foster Few things are as rewarding as fostering. If you’re ready for a new start then you could make a big difference to a local child. Call us on 0118 (0118)974 9746204 6204ororvisit visit www.fostering.wokingham.gov.uk for more information about fostering with us.
Foster for Wokingham Borough
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GIVE A CHILD THE FUTURE THEY DESERVE When you hear about adoption, you see images of babies or children. But adopted children grow up, and Tara Sutton is a shining example of how adoption moulded her into a dynamic and compassionate young woman. Between running her growing cleaning business, and planning her own wedding, Tara recently organised a ‘DIY SOS’ type makeover for an elderly lady’s house pulling together a team of volunteer painters, cleaners, and even a dog groomer. “I was adopted age four after being in and out of foster care,” she said. “My adopted parents gave me all sorts of opportunities I wouldn’t have had such as horse riding, ballet and tap. Like most kids I never fully realised how much they’d done until I had contact with my half-sister and heard her stories – the childhood I could’ve had. I then saw they’d recognised what I’d needed.” Some adopted children can suffer from insecurity and anger, blaming themselves for being adopted. “I remember a kid at primary school saying I was adopted because no one loved me. At the tender age of five that cut deep. I used to dream my real parents were movie stars or would one day arrive on a white horse and whisk me away. Adopted parents and children can access all types of support. “I had massive help from a lady called Jacky. She helped Mum and Dad correspond with my birth mum and helped me open up. Even now we’re still in contact, and I still talk to my foster parents and their daughter, who’s my godmother.” Tara’s parents also adopted a boy with physical disabilities. “We can fight like cat and dog but he’s my brother through
and through. Because of the problems he’s faced, I’m super overprotective of him, which I think drives him mad as sisters are supposed to! “Parents hold you when you’re crying at night, walk the mile to school with you and then pick you up, whatever. They subtly rearrange the Christmas tree lights to make them symmetrical, and watch you hurl around at 100 miles an hour over horse jumps in the pouring rain. These are parents, not people who just give birth. “Being adopted has made me strong, made me believe in myself and believe that everyone deserves a chance, no matter their past. To anyone else, they may just be people or adoptive parents, but to me, they’re my world, my daughter’s grandparents and the only parents I’ll ever have.” More information: www.adoptthamesvalley.co.uk
12 Winter 2018
Keeping you in the know Our contractor, Balfour Beatty is producing a series of e-newsletters about our major new highways programme across the Borough. If you’d like to receive updates on the progress of one or indeed all of the five major schemes, simply email the addresses below with your name and email. The schemes are: • Arborfield Cross Relief Road • Barkham Bridge Improvements • Winnersh Relief Road phase 2 (including Lower Earley Way) • South Wokingham Distributor Road (including Eastern Gateway, Spine Road, Western Gateway) • North Wokingham Distributor Road (including West of Old Forest Road, Toutley Road, Ashridge Farm) More information: WRR@balfourbeatty.com (including Winnersh Relief Road Phase 2 and Lower Earley Way) Arborfieldcross@balfourbeatty.com (Arborfield Cross Relief Road) BarkhamBridge@balfourbeatty.com (Barkham Bridge) SWDR@balfourbeatty.com (Spine Road, Eastern Gateway, Western Gateway) NWDR@balfourbeatty.com (Toutley Road, Ashridge Farm, West of Old Forest Road)
NEW HIGHWAYS FACEBOOK We are creating a new Facebook page called Wokingham Borough Council Traffic and Travel, devoted entirely to highways to give you all the latest information on planned and reactive roadworks across the Borough. It will also include updates on the major highways projects and is aimed at those of you wanting to know how these and roadworks affect your journeys, thus helping you to plan your routes in advance.
Executive View Cllr Anthony Pollock, Executive Member for Highways and Transport “We’re continually looking at new ways to make it easier for you to find out about both planned and emergency roadworks, giving you the information you need to plan your journeys. In addition to our new e-newsletters and Facebook page, there’s www.roadworks.org and the ‘roadworks’ section of our website where you can also sign up for traffic email, text alerts and on our ‘major new developments’ section sign up for our new highways newsletter.”
Street light project nearly finished We’ve replaced more than 15,600 street lights and 8,480 of their columns across the Borough with new more reliable and energy efficient LED versions, and are now down to the last few hundred. We’ve also been upgrading the lighting for traffic signs and subways, which we’ll complete next year. LED lighting reduces energy consumption by up to 60 per cent and don’t need replacing as often. We’ve also installed a remote control and monitoring system into the new lighting so we can check on their health, and dim them later at night when there are fewer motorists. This a joint project with Slough Borough Council and Reading Borough Council thanks to Department for Transport funding.
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MAJOR NEW HIGHWAYS UPDATE We are making strategic improvements to Wokingham Borough’s road network to serve our growing communities. North Wokingham Distributor Road (NWDR)
South Wokingham Distributor Road (SWDR)
• NWDR is being built in sections, with some completed by residential developers that will join up with the segments we are building. Once completed, it will connect the A329 London Road to the A329 Reading Road
• SWDR, like the NWDR, is also being built in sections. The Eastern Gateway part of it received planning permission last February and work is due to start next year.
• West of Old Forest Road would link the A329 Reading Road to Toutley Road. An exhibition last summer gave people the chance to ask questions and tell us what they thought about the project before the planning application was submitted. • There are a number of sections of the NWDR currently under construction which include Bell Foundry Lane, Keephatch Beech and Kentwood Farm West.
Winnersh Relief Road • Planning permission for Phase 2 (B3030 King Street Lane to A329 Reading Road) was granted in October. Work preparing the site for construction is due to start soon. • We will be widening Lower Earley Way to provide two lanes in each direction, between the Loddon Roundabout and the new junction with the Winnersh Relief Road.
• The Spine Road section is due to be submitted to planning in the New Year alongside new housing applications from the developers. • The Western Gateway section is at the preliminary design stage. • Once completed the SWDR will link the A329 London Road to the A321 Finchampstead Road.
Barkham Bridge • We have finished consultation with local residents and other key stakeholders including the Environment Agency. A detailed design of the scheme is now being finalised with construction due to start next year.
Arborfield Cross Relief Road Planning permission was granted last January and construction is due to start in the spring.
More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘major new roads’) and/or (search ‘major developments newsletter’)
14 Winter 2018
It’s all in the name
We’re responsible for naming and numbering new streets and buildings across the Wokingham Borough. Meet Viv Conlon, who’s been co-ordinating this for the past 18 years. “If we need a name for a new street, there’s a list of rules we must stick to. For example, the first thing we do is look at the history of the site to see if there’s anything that could inspire new names. I work closely with Peter Must and his colleagues from the Wokingham Society who are able to research this - they are now looking at names for the new roads needed for Elms Field as part of our Wokingham Town Centre regeneration.” Road names can also be used to honour local people. Former town centre manager and long-time charity stalwart John Bingham was recognised this way last July, with Bingham Way on the new Eldridge Park development. His widow Jane and family members joined us and other local dignitaries for the sign’s unveiling. Streets cannot be named after a living person. “A developer once sent me a list of suggested names that sounded a bit odd,” said Viv. “When I asked what connection these had to the site, they said these were the names of all the people in their department. Nice try, but a no go!” Street names must be easy to spell, pronounce, and can also refer to the natural or landscape features of that area. “Fawn Drive and Elk Path in Shinfield were named because deer used to be there, thanks to a suggestion from the parish council. “When new homes were being built near the A329 London Road (Keephatch Beech) there was a lovely old oak tree in
the middle with a tree preservation order. So I suggested Oak Avenue and Acorn and Catkin House for the flats, which they now are.” The Royal Mail always screens suggested names to make sure they aren’t similar to any others in their delivery area. “We ran a public competition four years ago to rename Eustace Crescent on the Norreys Estate, but first ran the shortlisted entries past Royal Mail to make sure they approved. We couldn’t have our judges picking a winner (they chose Phoenix Avenue by the way) that couldn’t then be used. “And yes, of course I’ve been sent hilarious and sometimes rude suggestions in the past. But I couldn’t possibly repeat them.” More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘street naming and numbering protocol’) Royal Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or (0845) 604 5060 ext 1
Winter 2018 15
Don’t be alone on Christmas Day If you’re on your own this Christmas, or would struggle to give yourself a festive meal, the Link Visiting Scheme invites you to enjoy Christmas lunch with them. Sit down and enjoy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, cooked by a local chef. Transport can be arranged to the venue, which is in the Wokingham Borough. This invitation is aimed at older people on their own but people in need, of all ages, are also warmly welcome. More information: (0118) 978 1480 RandRHardy@hotmail.co.uk
Top tips to keep warm and well this winter 1.
Keep warm - Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F). You may prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed at night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections
Get financial support - There are grants, benefits and advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills
Look after yourself - Contact your GP or local pharmacy to get your free flu jab if you’re aged 65 or over, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person. NHS Choices provides information about flu (see more information)
Don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats. Visit your local pharmacist or call NHS 111 for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover quicker Layer your clothing whether indoors or out. Wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air
Wear shoes with a good grip when you go outside
Get up and stretch your legs and make yourself a warm drink every hour or so if you’re sat down indoors
Get your heating and cooking appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they’re operating safely
Contact your water and power suppliers to see if you can be on the Priority Services Register if you are older and/or disabled
10. Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out when it’s very cold More information: If you’re worried about an older person either contact a family member, us on (0118) 974 6000, or Age UK (0800) 00 99 66. NHS Choices www.nhs.uk (for more winter wellness tips and flu information)
16 Winter 2018
Their opinions count
People with learning disabilities led a conference designed to empower others just like themselves, hosted by our social care company Optalis. Called ‘Have Your Say,’ this was Optalis’ first customer conference. Its aim was to explore how important it is for people with learning disabilities to have choice and control over their lives. The interactive event brought together Optalis’ customers to voice their opinions about the care and support they receive, and then influence it. The conference also celebrated the hundredth anniversary of women getting the vote. Optalis has joined other organisations across the UK in a campaign calling for people with disabilities to get the right support and information so that they can use their vote. “Our customers co-produced the Optalis business strategy and we continue to work closely with them to make sure that our organisation is run the way people want,” said Martin Farrow, CEO at Optalis. “This event was created by people with learning disabilities, for people with learning disabilities, with the focus on inclusivity where voices are heard and opinions count.” More information www.optalis.org
Green health Your physical and mental wellbeing are shaped by your environment. This is why our Public Health team works closely with our planners, leisure and sports, parks and recreation, housing, and highways departments (among others) to design and action projects big and small to benefit our residents’ mental and physical health. Successes include the Borough’s first traffic free green route (greenway) between Finchampstead and Arborfield Green, making sure the redeveloped Market Place includes trees, and designing a range of activities especially for people with dementia. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘Creating the Right Environments for Health’)
Make healthy habits not promises If your New Year’s resolutions include health and wellbeing, we can point you in the right direction to find an activity that’s just right for you to help make that promise to yourself come true. Whether you’re over (or under) 60, want to keep the children happily engaged during the holidays, love yoga or swimming, if you fancy some fresh air and stretching your legs, enjoy fishing, have a specific health condition, or just want to book a spots hall or pitch - our website can help you. The web page also links to our leisure centres across the Borough as well as Dinton Pastures Activity Centre. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘sports and activities’)
Winter 2018 17
Working as one for Guy Guy has chronic diabetes and has had two brain aneurysms and two strokes. “For the first two months of the year I was in and out of hospital every other week, or every two weeks, so I spent half my time in hospital.” Now he’s under the care of an integrated health and social care team, Guy has not been admitted to hospital in six months. “I have what is called a multi-disciplinary team for the different aspects of my needs. We meet every month and I explain to them what’s needed and they sort things out.”
Social worker • Occupational therapist District nurse • Diabetic nurse Housing officer • GP Transform Housing & Support charity Guy’s kitchen is one of the things the team has sorted. “I’m not having ready meals anymore. I can cook what I like, within reason, and I think one of the biggest reasons I haven’t been back into hospital is because I can provide for myself.” He says integrated teams give him a better outcome and a better lease of life. “It’s like a proper networking system and is a lot faster and a lot more informative. It’s one of the best ideas.” Guy’s multi-disciplinary/integrated health and social care team in the Wokingham Borough is thanks to the Better Care Fund (BCF). Launched in 2014, the BCF brings together us, the NHS, and community organisations to create joined-up health and care services directly in people’s homes. By doing this, people can manage their own health and wellbeing to live independently for as long as possible.
WOKINGHAM’S ADULT INTEGRATED TEAM:
Wokingham Borough Council • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust • Berkshire West CCG Wokingham GP Alliance • Involve charity • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust • Optalis This new approach means people only need to tell their story once because their information is shared among all the professionals involved. It also gives people more power to shape their own care to what they need. This helps them stay at home, which in turn shifts traditional hospital care into the community where it has the most effect. More information: email@example.com
18 Winter 2018
Swallowfield volunteers win Queen’s Award Congratulations to the Swallowfield Horticultural Society for winning a 2018 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It was presented to members of the Society by the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire, James Puxley, at The Windsor Guildhall. The award recognises the Society’s dedication in promoting gardening, and organising events that benefit the community and local charities. The Society has more than a hundred volunteers and organises, among other things, the annual summer Swallowfield Horticultural Show which attracts more than 7,000 visitors. This unique UK national honour was created by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
UP ON THE BOARDWALK If you’re visiting California Country Park you’ll notice a new 200metre boardwalk across Longmoor Bog. It replaces the previous 18-year-old timber structure which had weakened with age and was also regularly vandalised. The new boardwalk cost £88,000, funded by us and Finchampstead Parish Council. We’re also improving the car parking layout at the country park and creating an all-weather outdoor café seating area and a new road for better access. The park, including the café, will remain open during this work which is due to be finished by next summer.
Opening doors for key workers Twenty-two new key worker apartments at the Peach Place development in Wokingham Town Centre are nearly ready to welcome their new occupants. The one and two bedroom flats, from our local housing company Berry Brook Homes, will be available early next year to key workers who either live or work in the Wokingham Borough. Rents will be up to 80 per cent of market values. Key workers are public sector employees who provide an essential service. This includes the NHS, education, police, prison service, probation service, local government, the Ministry of Defence, environmental health officers, and Highways Agency traffic officers. The Peach Place apartments will be allocated through our Housing Needs team, which will examine your employment and circumstances to see if you are eligible. Other housing associations and private developers, in addition to Berry Brook Homes, can offer key worker housing across the Wokingham Borough. As the allocations for all of these sit with us, you should always register your interest with us if you want to be considered for one. More information: (0118) 974 6760 firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter 2018 19
Fostering a new beginning for older living Fosters independent living scheme in Woodley has been open for almost a year now so we’ve caught up Rita Sheppard, one of its first tenants to move in. Rita, 79, asked to move from Polehampton Court sheltered housing to Fosters because she knew she would need additional care and support to maintain her independence for as long as possible. “I couldn’t have wished for anything more,” said Rita. “The staff, be that from Optalis, the onsite restaurant team or the Council’s housing team, have all been so helpful and caring. The décor is fabulous and I’m delighted to have a balcony to enjoy the outside space. “Knowing the support here at Fosters can change as my needs do, is very reassuring.” All of the 34 homes have private front doors leading into specially designed apartments. They each have an entrance hallway, double bedroom, a wet room bathroom with dual entrance to the hallway and bedroom, a spacious kitchen/living room and either a private balcony or terrace. Even though the homes came with new carpets and neutral décor, tenants have been encouraged to make them their own. This is exactly what Rita has done. She has taken huge pride in her new home and decorated it beautifully throughout, putting her stamp on it.
If the residents want to stretch their legs, or socialise, there are landscaped gardens, two communal living rooms, guest suite accommodation for friends and relatives, and a café offering freshly cooked healthy food. Our care provider Optalis provides 24/7 background support on-site to residents for extra peace of mind, and individual care packages are tailored to match residents’ personal needs. Rita says a real sense of community has developed between the service providers and residents, including seasonal events run by staff via the onsite catering team including the Royal Wedding party in May, McMillian Coffee Mornings, Bingo days, and chair Yoga. She says she joins in with all the activities and particularly likes the restaurant for lunch where she and her fellow residents all sit and chat, sometimes over a glass of wine. She says her family, which visits often, are pleased and thankful their mum has a lovely and safe place to live. Built by our development company Wokingham Housing, and now managed by our social and affordable housing company Loddon Homes, this scheme is a cornerstone in our commitment to provide the very best living choices for older people across the Wokingham Borough. More information: www.loddonhomes.co.uk www.wokinghamhousing.co.uk
20 Winter 2018
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Winter 2018 21
Finding the trees from the wood Have you ever wondered if that silver birch outside your home is protected? Now it’s easier to find out thanks to our new web mapping service. This is part of the suite of improvements under our 21st Century Council programme giving you the freedom to access our services at times convenient to you. Trees across the Borough are protected in several ways. Those growing in Conservation Areas are protected, as are those covered by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). By using our new web map, you can check online whether or not trees are in a Conservation Area or if they have a TPO. You get your answers within seconds, rather than having to come in and see us. A TPO can cover a single tree, a group of them, or an entire woodland (including self-seeded saplings). There are thousands of protected trees in the Borough, and TPOs protect a wide variety of native trees and also non-native ornamental species. Their ages range from a few years to many hundreds. Conveyancing solicitors will benefit because TPOs will be referenced in land searches. And prospective buyers can find out if there’s a TPO on a property before they buy it. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘TPOs’)
IT’S ALL IN THE PLANNING As part of our 21st Century Council programme we’ve upgraded the planning service on our website, allowing you to do far more online. There are now two new mapping facilities on there – one for planning applications and the other for constraints such as flood risk or listed buildings. This means you can search for history or constraints without needing to talk to a Planning Officer. And you can even run a constraints check by simply drawing a line around the site you’re interested in. The new online form for pre-application requests makes it easier to submit, and helps you check what we’ll need before you do. The planning application search page now gives you more choices when searching for an application. If you submit a comment about an application it will now appear on the website much faster, and you can also check if any comments have been made about your own. Because of these technological changes helping you do far more, Planning Officers are now freed up to focus on processing planning applications. If you still need to contact us about a planning matter you can do this during office hours over the phone or have a web-chat with one of our Customer Delivery Officers. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘planning applications’)
22 Winter 2018
Please check if you can fell a tree When our Trees and Landscape Team was alerted to a tree illegally felled in the Sonning Conservation Area, they found a 16-metre Coast Redwood had been cut down without the owner giving us statutory notice in writing. The owner, who is developing two neighbouring properties, admitted his mistake and agreed to accept a simple caution instead of going to court. Conservation Areas are protected because of their special or historical architectural value. But it isn’t just buildings that are protected within them - trees are too, even in private gardens. This is because they contribute to the whole street scene. This tree was a high quality amenity, so prosecution was the right course. But in this instance a simple caution was the better option because it still resulted in a conviction without clogging up the courts. The caution has gone on the developer’s record with the police, and he’s agreed to replace the tree. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘tree preservation’)
Loddon Valley Leisure Centre update
Anyone for squash?
Work updating the facilities at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre is going well.
We have invested £35,000 refurbishing two squash courts at Berkshire County Sports Club in Sonning, which you can use seven days a week.
The ground floor changing room refurbishment, creation of two new studios, and gym extension are all on track to be finished next year. Refreshing the café and reception areas, creating a new adventure play area, and work on the toilets are next. Our partner Places Leisure is investing £2million to enhance the centre’s current facilities to increase your choice of sport, fitness and wellbeing activities on site. More information: www.placesleisure.org
Carnival Pool Leisure Centre We plan to start work on the new Carnival Pool leisure centre once Bulmershe Leisure Centre is open in 2020. Called Carnival Phase 2, it includes the brand new leisure centre, a new library and apartments, and is part of our town centre regeneration. More information: www.regenerationcompany.co.uk (search ‘Carnival Phase 2’)
The Berkshire County Sports Club leases the building from us, and is run entirely by volunteers. It has provided a wide range of high quality sports activities for more than 60 years. Each squash court costs £8 to hire; the same price as in other Borough facilities. To book, visit the club’s website at: www. berkshirecountysports.club/book-online. Squash is also available at St Crispin’s Sports Centre in Wokingham, which is managed by Places Leisure.
Winter 2018 23
WATCH THIS SPACE! With the old Bulmershe Leisure Centre now demolished, we’ve been busy preparing the Woodlands Avenue site in Woodley ready for construction to start of its £14million replacement. The new centre will include a six-lane 25-metre swimming pool, a teaching pool with a movable floor to enable a larger number of groups of ages and abilities to use it, a bigger gym plus a ‘live well’ (long-term condition) gym, a four-court sports hall, and an additional studio and a café. It will benefit the whole community by providing up-to-date, accessible and flexible facilities, as well as preventative health services. We also hope it will become a community focus for people, regardless of their age or sporting ability, as a place to enjoy, and socialise, as well as somewhere to go for help to avoid health issues becoming a problem in the first place. While the new centre is being built, people can use facilities at the St Crispin’s, Loddon Valley and Carnival Pool, Ryeish Green and Arborfield leisure centres. We’re aiming to have this new centre ready and open during summer 2020. It will be run by our new partner Places Leisure. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘Bulmershe Leisure Centre’)
Check out Ryeish Green Sports Hub It replaces the former Ryeish Green Leisure Centre, which we closed in 2010 because it was no longer fit for purpose. Following a public consultation in 2015 we then invested £4million to refurbish the site and create the purpose-built facility that people wanted. The new-look centre boasts a 45-station gym for members, a four-court sports hall, and studio, changing rooms and a full-size 3G football pitch and grass pitches. Funding for all of this work has come from developer contributions, which are part of the planning agreements for the major housing developments in that area. This means these facilities have been created at no cost to the public purse. It is being run by our new partner Places Leisure and is open Mondays to Fridays 7.30am to 10pm, Saturdays 8am to 6pm, and Sundays 8am to 8pm. More information: www.placesleisure.org
Over 60s swim for free If you’re over 60 you can enjoy up to four hours free swimming each week. Swim for free at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre between 8.25am and 9.25am on Mondays, and 2pm to 3pm on Wednesdays. At Carnival Pool it’s 3pm to 4pm on Tuesdays, and 9.30am to 10.30am Fridays. Simply show your proof of age at reception when you arrive.
24 Winter 2018
What has developer funding actually done? As our Borough grows from the new homes being built to meet the housing need, the developers are also making a huge investment to specifically build and enhance schools, roads, sports facilities and do other local improvements.
• Five substantial new roads, including a bridge over the M4 motorway and another over the Wokingham to Waterloo railway line • Significant improvements to the cycle network and ‘greenway’ bridleways that improve connectivity across the Borough
We insist that this developer funding, also known as Section 106, is at the core any new large housing development coming to the Wokingham Borough.
• Two new park and rides
This financial input amounts to about £500million worth of infrastructure (or £1billion if affordable homes are included), with significant funding coming from Section 106 as well as more recently the Community Infrastructure Levy. We are now bringing in about £40,000 per home built – a tenfold increase compared to eight years ago. The major communities currently being built across the Borough have also attracted other funding from Homes England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Department for Transport, and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
This funding has so far (or will) pay for:
• Seven new primary schools as well as Bohunt School Wokingham, which is now open. And in September the developer in the new north Wokingham community handed over the site to us where the new Matthewsgreen primary school will be built
• Seven new community centres, including one at Matthewsgreen (see above) • Three new sports hubs (see page 27), as well as improvements at Cantley Park • Nearly 90 hectares of new public open space, play areas and parks have already been opened to the public (see page 27)
Bohunt School Wokingh
Executive View Cllr Simon Weeks, Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement “We make sure that we get the maximum amount of S106 and Community Infrastructure Levy to spend on the right infrastructure. And if the funding isn’t yet in place, we sometimes fund a project ourselves to make sure it’s in place when people need it, and then recoup that cost from the developer.”
As well as these large scale projects, developer contributions have also been used for: • Primary school expansions across the Borough • Improvements at Dinton Pastures Country Park and California Country Park (page 18) • Replacing tired and old equipment at St Crispin’s Skate Park
Winter 2018 25
Putting children f irst and foremost Meet Carol Cammiss, our new Director of Children’s Services. Carol’s responsible for local authority education services, children’s social care, and early help in Wokingham. “With the growing number of academies, local authorities’ role in education is changing. We want to foster and maintain close links with academies and work together with all the Borough’s schools to ensure the best education for all our children. “The majority of our children do well in school, which is fantastic. But we’re also doing all we can to help the small number who, despite living in our prosperous Borough, aren’t achieving their potential. “I’m also responsible for ensuring children with special educational needs get the best support possible, which is why school planning is so important – making sure our provision meets their needs so they can be educated close to home. ‘’In the care of their parents and families, sadly some children suffer significant harm. Where possible, we work with children to safeguard their wellbeing at home. If home isn’t an option, we secure permanent, safe and nurturing arrangements to meet the needs of individual children and keep them as close to their community as possible. “We also offer early help services, supporting children and families to address issues before they escalate. “We’re one of the lowest funded local authorities and, like all other councils, regulated by stringent Ofsted inspections. We need to work hard to achieve our ambitions for our children, and I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to improve the lives of children and young people in the Borough.” If you have concerns about a child’s or young person’s safety contact the police if they’re in immediate danger, or contact us on (0118) 908 8002. After 5pm, or at weekends, call (01344) 786 543). More information: www.wokinghamlscb.org.uk
Did you know? Just over 30 per cent of Wokingham Borough’s population is under 25 We spend £22million a year in the Wokingham Borough protecting vulnerable children whether disabled, with special educational needs, with emotional health issues, young offenders or those in danger of neglect or exploitation.
Executive View Cllr Pauline HelliarSymons, Executive Member for Children’s Services “Huge congratulations to our year 11 students and sixth formers who yet again gained excellent exam results this year, and heartfelt thanks to their teachers and parents helping them through their studies. And to any young person who didn’t get the results they wanted, I also wish you my very best in finding your alternative route to the success you want. Don’t worry, you will find your way.”
26 Winter 2018
Are you affected by crime or abuse? Victims First offers free emotional and practical support to victims of all types of crime or abuse across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. This support also includes witnesses and victims’ families, regardless of whether it’s been reported to the police or when/ where the crime happened. Help can be over the telephone, face to face, advocacy (including help to access sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol and legal services), assistance through the criminal justice system, and therapeutic counselling. There are also specialist services depending on people’s needs, for example for younger victims and sufferers of sexual violence. More information: (0300) 1234 148 www.victims-first.org.uk
Breaking Free from alcohol
Easy to follow and completely confidential, Breaking Free lets you work on your drinking at your own pace. Free online 24/7 support, every day of the year to Wokingham residents. You can access it on any device with the internet such as computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. You can learn a wide range of proven positive coping skills, and can choose to set a goal to reduce or stop your drinking. You’ll be able to track your progress on your personal dashboard and get a certificate to show how well you’ve done. If you have an Android or iPhone, use the Companion app to get even more from Breaking Free. Just visit the App Store and search for ‘Breaking Free Companion’. More information: email@example.com
Help us stop inappropriate developments Significantly more homes will be coming to the Wokingham Borough – but this is unavoidable because central government is committed to more housing and this is a popular area to live. But with careful planning we can make sure these new homes bring with them the right roads, schools, parks, play areas, sports centres, community centres and health facilities; additional amenities to also benefit existing residents. A high proportion of these new homes must also be affordable. To ensure this careful planning we produce a Local Plan, which we’re doing through the Local Plan Update (LPU). This is a strategic map setting out where all development (commercial, leisure and residential) can and cannot be allowed between now and 2036. The latest LPU consultation is running as this magazine goes to press (see web link below). We have sent a LPU guide, called Homes for the Future, to all residents in the Borough. If you haven’t received yours, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘Local Plan Update’)
Executive View Cllr Stuart Munro, Executive Member for Business, Economic Development and Strategic Planning “Without an up-to-date Local Plan, we wouldn’t be able to resist inappropriate development, or properly plan and deliver the infrastructure needed for the rest. So please do get involved in the consultation. It is vital as many people as possible do.”
Winter 2018 27
THE GREEN GRASS OF YOUR NEW COMMUNITIES We’re making sure the major new developments being built across the Borough are accompanied by the right infrastructure and amenities. Vast areas of open space are being opened up for the first time, giving people new opportunities to stay fit and healthy and have fun. All of the major new developments being built must have newly-opened public open space such as nature parks, play areas or more traditional parks. The developers building these homes must also make financial contributions to our country parks, Dinton Pastures and California Country Park. So far some 110 hectares of nature parks, play areas and parks have been opened directly because of the major developments at the former Arborfield Garrison, in Shinfield, and in north and south Wokingham. This is the equivalent to about 150 football pitches. And there’s a further 130 hectares (some 180 football pitches) still to come. This is all brand new public open space – land that was private before but is now open to the public for everyone to enjoy.
There will be some 40 new children’s play areas built because of the major developments, and more than 400 allotment plots as well. As well as these play areas and informal public open space, we have opened new public leisure centres at Arborfield and Ryeish Green (see page 23) and are about to start construction on a new Bulmershe Leisure Centre (see page 23). This is all part of the almost £1billion investment in roads, schools, community centres, and sports facilities - infrastructure being funded by developers alongside the new homes they’re building. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search ‘major developments’) Arborfield Leisure Centre
28 Winter 2018
Tell us what you think We’re always looking at ways to improve Wokingham Borough News and we’d be really grateful if you could take some time to complete this survey to help us plan future editions - you could even win a pair of cinema tickets for your efforts. Wokingham Borough News costs 10p per person / 25p per household.
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Winter 2018 29
What’s On this winter… 8 January
Healthy Menu Planning
Workshop led by nutritionist Joanne Hart showing you how to plan your meals for the week, save time, and get new food ideas using cookery books from the library. Wokingham Library, £3, 10.30am to noon
Embroidery Hoop Pictures Workshop
15 and 16 December
Dinton Christmas Fair
Market stalls, meet the reindeer, Reindeer Stories and Crafts, fairground rides, climbing tower, gifts and stocking fillers, Christmas Rhyme Time, seasonal food and drink. Dinton Pastures Country Park, 11am to 7pm, entrance to the fair is free but charges may apply for some attractions, visit: www.dinton-pastures.co.uk (search ‘what’s on’)
The Live Nativity
Part of Wokingham Living Advent Calendar (runs 1 to 24 December). Howard Palmer Gardens, behind Cockpit Path car park in Wokingham Town Centre, 4pm
Living Advent Calendar
Surprise Christmas celebration event. Wokingham Library, free just drop-in, 6pm to 6.30pm
Create a sweet stitched design in a cute hoop frame using basic stitches and additional decorative elements. Wokingham Library, £5 plus materials, 10am to 1pm
More than Bully Beef and Jam Food in World War 1
Book Groups in Wokingham Libraries
Do you enjoy reading and discussing books? Join one of our library book groups and find out what’s new in the world of books. Visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk/libraries or email: email@example.com. uk for more information
Reminiscence Clubs in Wokingham Libraries
Come to one of our free sessions and discuss your memories of days gone by Wokingham Library - first Thursday of the month, 10.30am to noon Twyford Library - first Tuesday of the month, 2.30pm to 3.30pm Woodley Library - last Thursday of the month, 10.30am to noon
A talk with local historian Mike Cooper. Wokingham Library, £5, 10.30am to noon
For people with some, little or no computer or internet knowledge, learn how to get the most from your laptop, iPad or tablet. Wokingham Library, 2pm to 4pm, (0118) 9743797, email: adulteducation@ wokingham.gov.uk
Last Tuesday of the month
Family History drop-in Expert advice from the Berkshire Family History Society. Wokingham Library, 2pm to 5pm
Visit ww w.wo ‘what’s on’ to d kingham.gov.u iscover more th k and search Events in ings to s Woking ee and ham Bo do. rough L ibraries website a u r n e d a e ls r ‘librar For Out o on ou ies’. do r site und ors, Sports and er ‘spor C o u n tryside ts and a lo parks an ctivities,’ and ‘c ok on our d o untrysid c o n s Remem ervation e, ber Paris ’. h a nd Town Borough Cou also hav e activiti ncils across our Search o es plann ur webs ed. it e fo councils ’ to find r ‘parish and to w their we b pages n .
30 Winter 2018
Recycling tours fully booked To mark national Recycle Week in September, re3 held guided tours of its Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in Reading to give local people unique insight into the recycling process. Five tours were held with 75 people seeing first-hand how all the recyclable household waste generated across the Wokingham Borough, Bracknell Forest and Reading is sorted and then baled.
Last year, more than 24,000 tonnes of recyclable materials were processed at the MRF. It can sort 14 tonnes of recycling per hour using a combination of manual and automatic processes including magnets, conveyor belts and lasers. Once baled, it is sent to responsible and sustainable companies to recycle into new products. The tours were fully booked. During their visits, people also picked up recycling tips for their kerbside black boxes and were introduced to re3’s new waste search tool – re3cyclopedia – a free app for smartphones, which can be downloaded from either the Apple or Google Play stores. (Please see re3’s re3cyclopedia advert on the opposite page for more information). Re3 says it hopes to run the tours again next year.
Meet Kate Binslet and Jar Jar Clinks Kate Binslet and Jar Jar Clinks are re3’s new wheeled ambassadors to encourage us all to recycle more glass, bottles and jars. The two new glass recycling vehicles were named by the public thanks to a fun social media competition run by waste management partnership re3. ‘Kate’ and ‘Jar Jar’ are more efficient than the old models because they are fitted with the latest weighing equipment allowing re3 to empty bottle banks at the right time. Each glass recycling vehicle empties an average of 150 bottle banks, can carry up to 12 tonnes of material and regularly collects some 30 tonnes of glass every day – that’s the equivalent of approximately 60,000 wine bottles. It takes a million years for a single glass bottle to decompose naturally. This is why it is so crucial to recycle glass, and why bottle banks are put near shops, parks and leisure centres so people can deposit their glass while they’re already out and about running other errands. As bottle bank glass is less likely to be contaminated and is colour
separated as it is put in, it can be recycled into far more valuable products instead of just highway construction. Also, bottle banks need fewer vehicle movements than kerbside collections. Please do not put glass in your black kerbside recycling boxes or bins, because it will damage re3’s recycling machinery. More information: www.re3.org.uk
Summer 2018 31
RECYCLING. WE . BECAUSE IT MATTERS. More and more of us in Wokingham Borough recycle empty bathroom items. Do you?
DOWNLOAD OUR NEW APP TO CHECK FOR RECYCLABLE ITEMS
available now on iOS and Android www.re3.org.uk @re3recycling
Waste and recycling collections Christmas and New Year Normal Collection Day
Actual Collection Date
Christmas Eve (Mon)
Christmas Eve (Mon)
Christmas Day (Tues)
27 December (Thurs)
Boxing Day (Wed)
28 December (Fri)
27 December (Thurs)
29 December (Sat)
28 December (Fri)
New Year’s Eve (Mon)
New Year’s Eve (Mon)
2 January (Wed)
New Year’s Day (Tues)
3 January (Thurs)
2 January (Wed)
4 January (Fri)
3 January (Thurs)
5 January (Sat)
4 January (Fri)
7 January (Mon)
7 January (Mon)
8 January (Tues)
8 January (Tues)
9 January (Wed)
9 January (Wed)
10 January (Thurs)
10 January (Thurs)
11 January (Fri)
11 January (Fri)
12 January (Sat)
Normal service resumes on Monday 14 January
Time of collection Please place your waste out the night before, as collections start earlier than normal
Garden waste Collections will coincide with the above schedule
Christmas Trees If you’re part of the garden waste collection scheme, please cut up your real tree and place it in your brown wheelie-bin or compostable sacks and put out as normal
Christmas cards Many charities collect these for fundraising. Put cards made from paper into your black recycling box
Wrapping paper Put this in your recycling box. Metallic paper must be put in your blue bag
Wokingham Borough News, Winter 2018 issue from Wokingham Borough Council