See back page for Christmas waste and recycling calendar
Your magazine from Wokingham Borough Council Winter 2016
In this issue...
Marvellous Festival returns page 3
Focus on Twyford page 8
Dazzling new facilities page 25
You can really make a difference by fostering
Keeping in touch with us www.wokingham.gov.uk firstname.lastname@example.org (0118) 974 6000
Welcome "It's been widely reported that between now and March 2020, we have to find almost £19million in savings. But facing a tight financial future is nothing new for us.
/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...
Elevating young people
All go for Wokingham regeneration
Keeeping you fit and healthy
Christmas waste and recycling collections
"We've responded well to austerity since 2010, but the goal posts have moved again, and we will see the complete withdrawal of the government support grant during the next two years. The point has now come where a radical and different approach is needed to secure our medium to long-term future.
it is significant regeneration, there will, I am afraid, come some disruption. We're working hard to minimise this as much as possible and encourage you to still visit the town - it will be open throughout the construction phase (page 11).
"On top of the savings already identified this year (£5.2million), the 21st Century Council programme will generate £4million staff savings every year; as well as £9.7million through various initiatives. You can find out more about the programme on pages 4 and 5 of this magazine.
"You can like us on Facebook (facebook. com/wokinghamboroughcouncil) or follow us on Twitter (@WokinghamBC). Some of our photos are also available to see on Instagram (wokinghamboroughcouncil).
"There's a lot going on in this magazine, from an update on the investment we "We have recently embarked on a are ploughing into schools (page 25), to transformation programme involving a finding out more about the fascinating number of different initiatives, and we're Berkshire Record Office (page 13) - and bringing these together under the title of from profiles on Twyford (page 8) to 21st Century Council. updates on our major road projects (page 24). I'd also like to pass on my "We are transforming and reshaping congratulations to Oakbank Secondary ourselves as a Council. Changing our Free School in Three Mile Cross for its approach radically and doing things recent Ofsted inspection (page 14). differently is not going to be easy. But I'd like to assure you that it will be very "Make sure you keep up-to-date with all much business as usual during the the latest Council news by visiting our transition. dedicated website at: http://news.wokingham.gov.uk. This is "You should see availability and access where all our news, videos and photos to our services improve through digital have been brought together in one, easy channels, as well as swifter resolutions to to use place for you to enjoy at any time issues and queries. you like.
"January is just around the corner and Wokingham town centre regeneration will really begin to gather pace as we move on site at Peach Place. This area of the town will include a new public square, shops, cafes and restaurants. As
"If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me via email at: email@example.com." Cllr Keith Baker Council Leader
Editorial and design: Wokingham Borough Council's Communications Team Produced by: Digital Solutions on uncoated 60gsm UPM Matt C paper Cost: 7p per person / 16p per household To advertise in Wokingham Borough News, or you have any other queries about this magazine including delivery, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. A pdf version of this magazine is available online at: http://news.wokingham.gov.uk/wokingham-borough-news
MARVELLOUS... all over again!
July 2016 saw the family-friendly Marvellous Festival take place in the Borough for the first time at Dinton Pastures Country Park. Some 8,000 people, young and old, descended on the country park to soak up the festival atmosphere, with music from superb world-class tribute artists, as well as a fun fair, big kid's village, food and drink stalls and a Napoleonic re-enactment. And, we're really pleased to announce Marvellous will return in July (29 and 30) next year. One of next year's highlights is sure to be the last ever performance from The Great Pretender, a Freddie Mercury tribute artist, who will be closing the festival on the Sunday evening. Definitely a treat not to be missed! Discounted early-bird tickets are on sale until December 31, with weekend, camping/ glamping packages and day tickets also available. Visit: www.marvellousfestivals.com
Competition To win a pair of weekend tickets - including camping - simply tell us the real name of The Great Pretender before Friday January 27. Email your answer to: email@example.com along with your name and address, to be entered into the prize draw.
Preparing for winter weather Being prepared for winter weather can help reduce the possible risk of flooding. It's your responsibility to protect your property from flooding, so follow these handy tips to help prepare you... You • Check if you are in a flood risk area on the Environment Agency website at: www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk. You can also sign up to the Flood Warning Service • If you're in a flood risk area, prepare a flood plan for your property including property level protection • Check out our sandbag policy (visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk search for 'sandbags') and buy sandbags if your property is at risk of flooding or if it has flooded in the past Community groups • Prepare a community emergency plan. Details on how to create one can be found at: www.nationalfloodforum.org.uk • Nominate Flood Wardens to report drainage issues or flooding to us • Check all ditches and culverts in your area, and make sure they are clear of rubbish and not blocked. If they are, ask the owner to clear them • Check rivers and streams are clear of rubbish and other obstructions. If they are blocked contact the owner and ask them to clear them Useful websites and information: • Environment Agency - www.environment-agency.gov.uk • Met Office - www.metoffice.gov.uk • Thames Water - www.thameswater.co.uk
st Becoming a 21 Despite responding well to austerity and funding cuts from central government in recent years, we still have to save almost ÂŁ19million by March 2020. And, we need a radical and different approach to secure our medium to long-term future. Our far reaching 21st Century Council programme will make a significant contribution to our three-year savings plan, and we'll become a leaner, more efficient Council costing significantly less to run. Savings for 2016/17 have already been agreed (ÂŁ5.2million), and a further ÂŁ9.7million needs to be saved during the next three years (up to and including 2019/20). It will be met through various initiatives including closer integration between health and social care; continuing to ensure best value for money from our largest contracts; looking for further opportunities to share services with other councils, and to raise and generate income such as through our own companies. The shape, structure and size of the Council, and how we operate, will change and work has already started on this.
So what does this mean to you? We'd like to reassure you that it will be very much business as usual during the transition, which will be completed by March 2018. You should see availability and access to Council services improve through digital channels, as well as swifter resolutions to issues and queries. Greater self-service By improving and better integrating our technology, you will be able to get what you need, find the information you want, make bookings, payments and complete more transactions remotely and online. For those less confident with technology, other channels will still be available such as by telephone or in person. However, we will encourage those that can, to self-serve. Customer Services and case management New teams of problem-solving case managers will look after
more complex cases that can't be sorted out when you first contact us. They will liaise with you and our specialists. Some of our teams will be based in your communities and will work closely with the police, NHS, town and parish councils and the voluntary and community sectors. They will be equipped to address a wider range of issues, relating to people and communities, to environmental issues, in a more connected and efficient way. We're finding increasingly innovative ways to provide the services that help make this a great place to live. Innovations are coming in a range of ways - from our new grass cutting service to state-of-the-art play areas - but are linked by a common theme of striving for quality service within limited means.
Customer account and APP Do you want a new black recycling box, or do you need a permit for the recycling centre? Or perhaps you want to tell us about a road problem like a pothole or sign up for our garden waste collection service? You can do all this, and more online using our digital customer account available through our website. If you register for a digital customer account, we can let you know how your request or order is coming along - either by email or text (your choice). Our digital customer account services can also now be accessed via an APP. To set up your own customer account visit: https://selfservice.wokingham.gov.uk/register or download the APP to your mobile device from the iTunes and Android stores.
Century Council Some recent examples of innovation include:
Countryside Services Our country parks are lovely things to have and we're determined to protect them. But they are not a statutory requirement. So we need to make sure they can pay their own way to survive in these tough financial times. This needs a range of practical measures (such as an increase in car parking charges and improved online booking for the Dinton Activity Centre) - but it also needs creative ideas such as: â€˘ Bringing the Marvellous Festival, the open air cinema and other fun events to Dinton Pastures â€˘ Planning for a new and improved California Country Park with a better cafĂŠ/ restaurant and lakeside seating area Our libraries We're investing in self-service technology to enable us to extend opening hours. All libraries will remain staffed, but the self-service systems will provide a more efficient service for members. We've also introduced Wi-Fi access at our main libraries. State-of-the-art games area at Finchampstead The recently built Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) in Finchampstead is proving a huge hit with all, and its success is down to an innovative design that ensures all ages and abilities have space to play. This design is attracting attention from play area builders across the country. Grass cutting Our new grass cutting contract was introduced this year amid some initial teething problems. But these issues have been solved and the inventive thinking behind the new way of working is coming through. The service allows us to focus increasingly on the areas important to residents, develop more wildflower meadows where appropriate, and encourage biodiversity - while also saving money. Traded service In response to feedback from customers and the wider community, during the last year, we have changed and improved our range of professional traded services. Brought together under one name, Select Business Services, we now provide a more appropriate and flexible range of services to the education, public and third sectors. We not only extend our expertise, but offer very competitive rates. Our professional services on offer include legal, HR, print, property management, grounds maintenance and energy management. Full details are on our dedicated website: www.selectbusinessservices.co.uk
Direct Debit is easier for you If you make regular payments to us such as council tax, housing rent or adult social care charges, have you thought about paying by Direct Debit? It makes things easier for you. No more visiting the bank or post office to make payments, writing and sending cheques, nor amending standing orders each time a payment changes. In fact, once set up, you can forget about it. Paying by Direct Debit is the simplest and most convenient way for you to make regular payments. It is also the cheapest way for us to receive and process payments - so we can limit any council tax increases and spend the money on the services that you need and would like. You will be covered by the Direct Debit Indemnity Guarantee, and we'll inform you at least 10 working days in advance of your account being debited of any changes to the amount, date or frequency. Visit our website or call us to start paying your regular bills by Direct Debit. More information â€˘ www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'Direct Debit') â€˘ (0118) 974 6000
Direct payments are changing If you receive a direct payment to cover the costs of your adult care services, the way you get that payment will soon be changing. At the moment you open a special bank account just for your direct payment. You are required to keep all statements and receipts and send them to us for monitoring every three months. We are trialling a new system where we will open an online account for you. You can still add your own funds if needed, as well as make Direct Debit or standing order payments. You will also receive a debit card with a MasterCard symbol, meaning you can use it anywhere that card is accepted. You will no longer need to pass statements and receipts to us as we will be able to see all the transactions that have taken place on your account. This will make it easier for you to administrate. Once our trials are complete, we will start rolling out this new account to existing customers. We'll even help you transfer your current account to the new one. Look out for more information next spring.
Executive view Cllr Anthony Pollock, Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance "Direct Debit is the preferred payment method for more than half of the UK's population, and is also the cheapest way for us to collect payments. It's easy, it's safe and once set up your bank or building society will do the work. Your monthly instalments will be paid on time throughout the year, every year. Why not make the switch today?"
Talking to you about the challenges we face At our budget engagement sessions recently, we talked to you about the changes coming and our financial challenges we face. Thanks to everyone who came along. It was certainly an interesting conversation. We will tell you more about it later this year on our website - http://news.wokingham.gov.uk
A tree for all seasons We caught up with Chris Hannington, Team Manager - Trees and Landscape
Taking a break in the warm after a cold afternoon in the garden, I look out of my front window at the berries ripening on my Paul's Scarlet - a variety of native midland thorn. Some neighbours have admired the new tree and a fat woodpigeon sat in it last year, gorging itself on the berries, flattening some of the fragile shoots. "In my job within the Planning Team part of my role is preserving trees and encouraging house builders to plant new ones. But, as I look at my tree, I think again of all the treeless front gardens lining our roads and wonder why so few of us seem to want to grow our own trees. "Trees are beautiful to look at and as we saw this year they can brighten the dull days of autumn with the rich colours of their foliage fruits and berries. Trees modify the climate in our towns making them gentler places for us all to live. "They provide shade from the summer sun and cool our streets through evapo-transpiration. Trees help shelter us from icy winds and feed our garden birds in winter. Trees also soak up rainfall helping prevent flooding and the right species can help improve the value of your home and its kerb appeal. "As we all hunker down for winter, I look forward to the birds stripping the berries from my tree and then seeing the spring blossom and bright green leaves – a sure sign of the warmth of summer to come.
"I planted our tree to mark a new 'season' in the life of my family. For advice on which tree you should plant consult your local nursery or visit the Royal Horticultural Society website at: www.rhs.org.uk.
Barn Owls project A project launched 13 years ago to reverse the decline in the local Barn Owl population has proved a great success. When the project was launched in 2002, it was believed only about five pairs of breeding Barn Owl (a protected species) were living in the whole of Berkshire. There are now about 25 in Wokingham Borough alone. The success is down to specialist owl nest boxes installed and maintained by our Countryside Service, with the Barn Owl Conservation Network and Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership. About 20 boxes have been put up around the Borough and these are carefully checked, and kept in good repair, by licensed experts working with local volunteers. The nest boxes have provided a home to more than 230 owl chicks since the project started. As an additional bonus, some of the nests boxes are large enough to have two compartments, and this has led to some having barn owls beneath and kestrels nesting on top. We're always looking for volunteers to join the Wokingham Borough Barn Owl Project, or any of the other environmental work carried out by the Countryside Service. Please get in touch. More information: • www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'parks and countryside') • firstname.lastname@example.org
Nestling in the north of the Borough, Twyford village is home to some 7,000 people and dates back to Anglo Saxon times. But what makes it special? We asked locals just that. "It has a great sense of community and feels like a traditional village. A special place to live." "Nowhere else will you annually witness multitudes of grown men running around a field with their arms outstretched, hoping to catch a packet of crisps falling from the sky. You've got to love the Twyford Donkey Derby crisp drop."
"Twyford is a happening place," said Gordon Storey, a committee member of Twyford Together (formerly The Twyford Village Partnership); which brings together local businesses, groups, residents, charities, churches, councils and schools. â€œYou're in the countryside with lovely lakes, but 25 minutes later by train you can be in the centre of London. The M4 is five minutes away, and Wokingham, Henley wildflower area, fitness trail and football and Maidenhead are just down the road. and cricket facilities. And one mustn't What's not to like?" forget nearby Loddon Nature Reserve with its water meadows. 'Villagers' are a blend of young families taking advantage of the rural setting and Online it's also thriving. Twyford Berkshire's commuter links, and people who've lived Facebook page has more than 3,000 there decades. members, and Twyford Together's website is also popular. It has good schools and community amenities, and its mix of independent Popular community events are regularly stores and two supermarket chains has organised by the parish council, Twyford seen the village buck the national retail Together, local groups and organisations trend in falling trade. And whatever your supporting each other. These include the interest or hobby or sport, there's a wide Twyford Wildlife Safari, family fun run, choice of local groups to join with likeTwyfest, and family picnic. minded people. "I've lived in Twyford all of my life and I The village benefits from The King George V love it here," said Lucy Moffatt, Clerk at Recreation Ground with play areas, aerial Twyford Parish Council. "It's such a close runway, skate park, tennis courts and community." football pitches, as well as Stanlake Meadow with its community orchard, Twyford is very special indeed.
Photo courtesy of Emma Donald from Twyford Together
Helping elevate young people
Elevate is an employment and skills hub offering support to young people and adults to enter the world of work. Located at Wokingham Library, it's open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 9.30am and 5pm and Wednesday between 9.30am and 1pm. With the help of various organisations and services it helps both young people and adults to find work, training opportunities, college and university courses and employment support. Elevate runs employment events and a weekly Job Shop (Tuesday between noon and 4pm) to help those looking for jobs, tweaking a CV and completing an application form. There are also regular free workshops and courses, including interview skills and CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card training. The National Careers Service also offers appointments for free professional careers advice and guidance and CV building on Tuesdays to people aged 19 and above. Adviza offers both appointments and a drop-in service to young people, aged 16 to 18, who have left school. In October, Elevate held its annual careers fair offering information on apprenticeships, internships, and work experience opportunities. Harry (16), who attended the fair, said: "At the Elevate careers fair, I was able to speak to large companies such as Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Thames Valley Police and the NHS and find out what opportunities are available. I'll definitely be recommending the Elevate Hub to my friends." More information • www.wokingham.elevateme.org.uk • www.facebook.com/elevatewokingham • www.twitter.com/elevatehub • email@example.com • (0118) 974 6900
Happy staff for better business Health and wellbeing at work can make a real difference to people's lives, as well as boost an organisation's reputation and benefit its business.
leadership, health and safety, and alcohol and substance abuse. These standards aren't exhaustive, and are there as a starting point to build from.
The West Berkshire and Wokingham Workplace Wellbeing Charter is a free and voluntary award recognising the commitment of public, private and voluntary sector organisations of all sizes to support their staff.
More than 1,000 companies across England now have the award, says PHE. Companies taking part report happier and more productive staff, with absence rates among some down by 30 per cent.
The charter is a way of giving employers a checklist, or toolkit, to improve and embed good workplace health practice.
Last year, days off caused by sickness cost the Wokingham Borough and West Berkshire economy some £50 million.
It is part of a national initiative, promoted by Public Health England (PHE). Businesses across the Wokingham Borough can contact us if they would like to take part, now we are registered to assess in the scheme. To achieve the award, businesses meet nationally agreed standards which include areas such as
More information: • firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com • www.westberks.gov.uk/wellbeingcharter
Helping you to recycle
What can you recycle?
Paper/cardboard, plastic bottles (no lids), food/drink cans and aerosols can be recycled via the Borough's kerbside recycling scheme. Items such as Tetrapak can be recycled at local bring banks, visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'recycling') to find out more. It is not financially viable for us to collect low value mixed plastics at the moment, so please put items like yoghurt pots and plastic food trays in your general waste, and plastic bottles only in the recycling box. Please don't put recyclable items in plastics bags as these get caught in recycling sorting equipment and can cause damage and delays.
Gift that keeps on giving In the re3 area (Wokingham Borough, Reading and Bracknell Forest), as much as 2,722 tonnes of paper, card and cardboard is still going to waste. By not recycling it, we're paying more for its disposal. That's almost £237,000, across the three boroughs, that could be used to help fund frontline council services. Before throwing away your paper and card gift packaging this Christmas, ask yourself, can you recycle it? If it is non-metallic then it can be put in your kerbside recycling box. For more information on recycling, please visit: www.re3.org.uk
the Turn to for ge back pa waste as Christm dar calen
Concerned for a child? Do something If you have concerns about a child or young person not being properly cared for or you're worried they may be neglected physically, emotionally or sexually abused, get in touch confidentially with our Early Help Hub. Children and their parents may need help urgently.
The most important thing is to tell someone who can help. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call the police on 999. More information: • (0118) 908 8002 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'safeguarding')
It's all go for Wokingham Town Centre
Exciting times are coming to Wokingham town centre in 2017 as work continues on our ambitious regeneration plans. Last year (2015) we refurbished Peach Place corner, and since then we've been working hard to finalise the detailed designs for the remainder of the proposals at Elms Field and Peach Place. Work started on the new 529 space multi-storey car park adjacent to the Carnival Pool leisure centre back in June. As well as the car park there will be a new purpose-built home for Wokingham Superbowl on the ground floor. The car park is due to open next spring with the bowling alley opening later in the summer. This January sees work starting at Peach Place, with the Rose Street car park closing and the parade of 1960s shops demolished. This will make way for a new pedestrianised square and new retail units, cafes and restaurants, with improved links through to the surrounding streets. And in May next year, work starts on Elms Field and the Paddocks car park. New commercial units will be built including new shops and restaurants, a new foodstore, an Everyman boutique cinema and a Premier Inn hotel. New homes are also set to be built and the lower part of Elms Road moved to create a link through to Shute End. There will also be an improved large park. This will have a top of the range new play area, along with a great space for events which will be properly serviced with electricity and water. More information: www.regenerationcompany.co.uk We know the scale of this project will impact on the town, and we're working hard to minimise this as much as possible. We've set up co-ordination groups to bring together all relevant organisations working in the town centre. This allows work to be planned in a much more joined-up way. It also means we can respond quickly and effectively when things do come up. There were some initial fears from local residents and businesses when we worked on Peach Place corner. However, by closely liaising with stakeholders and neighbours to find the best approach, and by appointing the right contractor, we managed to build with little discernible disruption to those around the town centre.
Executive view Cllr Mark Ashwell, Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration "The facilities we're delivering in Wokingham town centre will really improve residents' lives, giving them great quality and choice right on their doorstep. While the next phases are on a much larger scale than previously, we hope a similar carefully-managed approach will help the work run smoothly. Please bear with us during this time while we build a town centre you can be proud of."
900 years at your fingertips
Photograph shows the Terrace, Broadmoor Asylum (1885)
Do you fancy seeing a Wokingham Police poster from 1926 about the disappearance of novelist Agatha Christie? Or reading an order from 1560 stopping bull baiting on Sundays, to entice Wokingham locals away from their favourite pastime and into church? Are you intrigued to see the 19th Century plans for Wokingham Town Hall, or perhaps study a 1669 map of Earley Common Field? Or maybe you just want to trace your family history? That's alright, because The Berkshire Record Office can let you do all these things - and more. Nearly 900 years of Berkshire's history is safeguarded on seven miles of shelving in a gleaming modern building in central Reading. The archive is funded by all six of the Berkshire local authorities, including Wokingham Borough, and includes family history sources dating back to the 16th Century; maps and plans of towns and villages; records from more than 800 schools; and collections of national interest such as from Broadmoor Hospital and the Thames Conservancy. The oldest document in the archive is a property deed on a piece of land in Aldermaston which is estimated to be from 1156 because of the known dates of the people who witnessed it. The newest materials are this year's electoral registers which come in monthly. The record office has recently been in the news for its contribution to the 'Inside' exhibition at Reading Prison. More locally, it's been given funding to catalogue the archives of the Merchant Seamen's Orphan Asylum which for a time was based at Bearwood. The old documents - maps, agendas, charters, historic seals and an exceptional collection of historic wills - are held in strong rooms kept at between 15 and 18 degrees centigrade and 50 to 60 per cent humidity.
The record office's role is to locate and preserve the Royal county's archives and records for its people, and to make them available for research to all. It's all about the democratic accountability of public organisations such as councils, hospitals, schools and courts, so that people can see how decisions were made. Plus it also creates an excellent historical memory and research resource. For finding out about local and or family history the record office is useful because many of the records it holds arenâ€™t available elsewhere or online. It also runs events to support people using its services, and includes sessions on learning to read old handwriting and behindthe-scene tours of the archives. Anyone can use the service and access is free, although there may be a charge for things such as printing or photographs. More information: â€˘ (0118) 937 5132 â€˘ www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk
Oakbank School "on an Upward Trajectory" There's reason to celebrate at Oakbank Secondary Free School in Three Mile Cross. Back in the summer, the school received a visit from Ofsted and was delighted to be told that it is a 'Good' school. The inspectors praised Principal Maggie Segrove for her strong and effective leadership, saying Oakbank was on 'an upward trajectory'. They also commended the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, outcomes for pupils, and personal development, behaviour and welfare. The full report is available to view on the school's website at: www.oakbank.education but here are just a few excerpts: 'Relationships between leaders, staff and pupils are very positive and there is a warmth and generosity of spirit which shines through.' 'Pupils are encouraged to think for themselves through skilful questioning and they set to work quickly and eagerly. They are given demanding work to do and they rise to the challenge. They enjoy working together and the strong relationships between peers and between teachers and pupils result in faster progress.' 'The school has a strong moral purpose and pupils are expected to give back to their community.'
To share the good news, staff organised a surprise afternoon of celebration for the students. There was a live band, games and inflatables to play on, a barbeque and an ice cream van. One student remarked: "I'll remember this day for the rest of my life. Oakbank is the best school!"
The school opened in 2012 following a campaign led by a group of local parents, known as the West of Wokingham Parent Group. 'During break and lunchtimes pupils mingle happily together. Following the introduction of the government's free school They are polite and mature in their dealings with each other, staff initiative, the group developed the concept of the school. The and visitors.' Ofsted 2016 founding vision had the community at its heart; providing a rigorous academic curriculum and a strong pastoral ethos to Mrs Segrove said: "During their visit, the inspectors saw a true every student. reflection of what takes place here each and every day, and I'm proud they recognised good practice across the board. We are The proposal received overwhelming support from the local already looking to the future with strategies that will set us on the community and was approved by the Department for Education journey to Outstanding. in 2011. Like other schools in the Borough, Oakbank follows the National Curriculum and school admissions are managed through "Being Principal of Oakbank continues to be a real privilege and the local authority. this Ofsted judgement recognises that we have what every school would wish for; a highly-skilled and dedicated team of staff, a More information: supportive and committed parent body and last but not least, www.oakbank.education happy, hardworking, well-mannered students!"
Do you know people in Wokingham Borough are healthier than in other parts of the country?
Our Public Health Team works in partnership to support our population whatever their age. It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of local people, such as helping them take control of their own lifestyle choices by stopping smoking, becoming more active and helping to prevent long-term conditions. Here are some of things we offer: • 'Smoking Free Life' will support you in getting the most appropriate and suitable support to give up smoking. More information can be found at: www.smokefreelife.co.uk • For a healthy lifestyle, come and join our sport and leisure activities to free your mind after a long working day. More information can be found under the 'Keeping the Borough fit and healthy' on pages 16 and 17 of this magazine • If you are aged 16 and above, and you want some advice to manage your weight, eat healthy foods and be physically active, EAT 4 HEALTH is there for you. Find out further information at: www.eat-4-health.co.uk If you are over 40 and have no long-term conditions, you can still have a health check. Visit your GP or the nearest pharmacy to get weighed and have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked. You will also be able to talk about lifestyle choices and how you can help your future wellbeing. For information and advice for sexual health related issues including clinic locations, opening times and information on testing, visit: www.safesexberkshire.nhs.uk And now as winter is here, keep well with a flu jab, available free for children and people over 65. Contact your local GP for more details. For those of you without a long-term condition, you can also contact your local pharmacy for more details. Visit: www.nhs.uk/ Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/flu-influenza-vaccine.aspx We'll soon have a public health display in The Mall at our Civic Offices, Shute End - please come and see it sometime.
Executive view Cllr Julian McGhee Sumner, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing "In Wokingham Borough we know we still have a lot to do; we want to hear your voices, and put them at the centre of our care for a happier and healthier area. Please contact us with any suggestions or questions at: email@example.com."
Keeping the Borou
To keep Wokingham Borough residents as fit and healthy as possible we organise and run a series of programmes to help. Check out some of the things on offer…
Wokingham Active Kids Looking for something to entertain the kids during school holidays? Then why not sign them up for Wokingham Active Kids? Taking place at Loddon Valley and St Crispin's leisure centres, it gives children, aged between five and 12, the chance to enjoy different sports including rugby, athletics, basketball, trampolining, swimming, Judo, gymnastics and football. Children with additional needs can also enjoy the Active Kids camps, and with prior arrangement can be provided with a 'buddy' to help them get the most out of the activities (subject to availability). Prices start from £16 a day with a wide range of activities for both boys and girls. Find out more by visiting: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'Active Kids') or by calling (0118) 974 3728.
Dementia-friendly exercise classes People with dementia can benefit from our friendly programme of chairbased exercise sessions at venues across the Borough. These classes are designed to build or maintain muscle strength, balance and overall wellbeing. Exercise helps reduce the incidences of falls and other complications, associated with dementia. We host two dementia-friendly Steady Steps sessions and a seated exercise class on a weekly basis. People can be self-referred and carers can attend and join-in the fun. There are opportunities to socialise and share time with other carers and support staff. Weekly sessions cost £2.50 (subject to change - carers are free): • Steady Steps Tuesday, 11.45am to 12.30pm at Westmead Centre, Rances Lane, Wokingham Tuesday, 1.30pm to 2.15pm at Loddon Valley Leisure Centre, Rushey Way, Lower Earley • Chair-based exercises Wednesday, 10.30am to 11.15am at Westmead Centre, Rances Lane, Wokingham For more information call the Sports and Leisure Team on (0118) 974 3729 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulmershe Leisure Centre update Thank you to everyone who took part in the online consultation or chatted to us at one of our pop-up events on the future of Bulmershe Leisure Centre. At the time of going to print (November) our decision-making Executive was due to discuss the results of feedback and discuss the future of the leisure centre, whether it would be refurbished or knocked down and rebuilt. This investment is subject to securing the necessary funding which will be considered early in the New Year, along with other key capital projects.
ugh fit and healthy SHINE SHINE is a physical activity programme for adults aged 60 and over. With the New Year almost upon us, it's a great time to evaluate our activity levels and try new things. The SHINE programme offers you the opportunity to join stimulating activity classes. There is a something for everyone with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities. Depending on your mood and energy, you can join one of our Nordic walking sessions or enjoy relaxation and calmness that comes from Tai Chi. If you're looking for a dance-themed experience, the Zumba classes are always a hit, and line dancing will get you moving. You may enjoy our Latin inspired, Latino dancing class. Anyone wanting to play a little bit more sport can try out archery, Box Fit, walking football, short mat bowls or the increasingly popular walking netball. If you wish to improve your posture and core strength, our Pilates sessions are extremely popular along with the stretch and reach sessions, stretch and relax, core strength and pure stretch classes. SHINE is a member's only programme and there are a variety of joining options. The cost is equivalent to approximately ÂŁ2.50 per session, and new members can purchase coupon cards or join up as annual members. Sign up by visiting: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'SHINE'). For more information call (0118) 974 3728 or email: SHINE@wokingham.gov.uk. SHINE members can also apply for a gym and swim card that can be used at any of the 1-Life Leisure Centres in the Wokingham Borough. This allows you to use either the gym or swimming pool for ÂŁ2.50 (subject to change).
Wokingham Active Adults More and more people are benefitting from the Wokingham Active Adults physical activity programme. The New Year inspires many people to boost their exercise regime so we've designed activity sessions that fit around your busy lifestyles. The programme is aimed at 16 to 59-year-olds and activities take place mornings, afternoons and evenings. Activities include Boxercise, Kettlercise, Pilates, running club, Yoga, Zumba, aerobics and circuits. To reserve a place and for more information call the Sports and Leisure Team on (0118) 974 3728, email: email@example.com or visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'Active Adults')
Have your say on our Leisure Strategy What can we do to encourage you to be PRIZE more active? What prevents you from being active? What does the perfect DRAW leisure facility look like? We need a Leisure Strategy to guide a new leisure centres' contract so we can produce the best service for the next 10 to 15 years. Share your thoughts for your chance to win a year's family membership for any 1-Life leisure centre. Your views will help us shape the strategy. Find out more at: http://news.wokingham.gov.uk/news/leisure-strategy
Executive view Cllr Angus Ross, Executive Member for Environment "We're currently consulting on a new Leisure Strategy. This strategy aims to position our support for trying to get everyone exercising as part of our Heath and Wellbeing agenda for a healthy lifestyle. "Part of this work will be to continue to target resources where we can make the most impact and your views will be welcome. It will also support that we maintain and expand our leisure centres provision and tender for a new contract to run these with us from 2018."
Support children by volunteering Me2 Club, based in Woodley, helps children and young people, aged five to 19 with additional needs and disabilities, to take part in mainstream leisure activities such as sports, art and drama. The Me2 Club recruits and trains volunteers who are then matched with a specific young person to help them take part in their chosen activity and have fun alongside other children. We caught up with Ellie and Tom, who have been matched together. Ellie, who joined Me2 Club recently, said: "I feel being a Me2 Club volunteer will be a really rewarding experience to help a child and see them progress. I want to be a nurse when I am older so I think volunteering with Me2 Club will give me good experience." Tom said: "I like having a Me2 Club volunteer because they walk with me and talk to me at Scouts." You can find out more about volunteering for the Me2 Club by visiting: www.me2club.org.uk Find out more • (0118) 969 6369 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.me2club.org.uk
Your WISH for better care Our social and health care teams are joining forces to create a brand new service offering individually tailored short-term support to vulnerable people, in a way not possible before.
bringing them together creates a faster more flexible response for the people they need to support. It also means people don't have to repeat their details again and again.
Wokingham Integrated Social Care and Health (WISH) helps organise people's short-term health and social care needs in the community. It also helps them avoid hospital admission, or support them to return home as quickly as possible.
It also gives peace of mind to their families and carers because they know their loved ones are getting the tailored extra support they need, when they need it.
The aim is to make people comfortably independent in their own homes as well as build their confidence overall, which in turn improves their quality of life. Under the old system social care and health teams worked separately, so
WISH is not just there for older people, but for anyone aged over 18. People are referred to the team via their health and social care professionals or self-referrals. More information Health and Social Care Hub 0300 365 1234
Adult education judged as Good Adult education in Wokingham Borough has been judged as 'Good' by Ofsted. The service, which provides a range of educational classes to residents via a network of partners, received good judgements across the board. This is a huge leap forward from when adult education was last inspected in November 2014 and its overall effectiveness was judged 'requires improvement'. The vast majority of learners achieve the qualifications they are studying for or achieve/ exceed their course aims or learning goals. Visit our website to find out what courses are on offer. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'adult and community learning')
Pothole patrol out and about Earlier this year central government gave additional funding to all highway authorities in the country to help them repair potholes. We received £159,000. Rather than spending this money on temporary potholes repairs, we're using it where possible to permanently fix them. Work has begun in Earley, Woodley, and Woosehill, and we will continue to work our way across the Borough. But at locations where small-scale pothole patching is uneconomical, or unsuitable, we will think about resurfacing larger sections of the road. A list of repaired roads, accompanied with 'before and after' photos, will soon be published on our website. You can also use our website to report potholes or problems with a road such as flooding or a broken traffic light. You can simply log your report online. Alternatively, you can set up a digital customer account which also means you can track progress of your report online, and ask for updates sent to you via email or text (see page 4). More information: https://selfservice.wokingham.gov.uk
On track Phoenix Avenue's new residents are due to start moving in this spring, over several weeks. Our £12million scheme is creating 68 homes, ranging from one-bedroom flats to four-bedroom houses, in the heart of the Norreys estate in Wokingham. Building work on our new Fosters Residential Care Home in Woodley is on target for next autumn. It will have 34 one-bedroom apartments, for frail elderly and those suffering from dementia, as well as communal facilities and overnight guest accommodation. Both schemes are being developed by our housing company Wokingham Housing Limited.
New affordable homes across the Borough In November our planning application for 11 new affordable homes in Tape Lane, Hurst was approved. The new homes would replace our six 'prefab' properties on the site. We've also selected Wokingham Housing Limited as our development partner for 24 new affordable homes (subject to planning permission). These would be built at Norton Road, London Road, Elizabeth Road, Emmbrook Road, Gorrick Square in Wokingham; Middlefields and Orchard Estate in Twyford and Finch Road in Earley - a mix of rented properties and shared ownership.
Play time Wokingham Without Parish Council has recently installed some new play equipment at Pinewood Centre. The new equipment has been designed for younger children with a variety of equipment, including a slide, trampoline, swings, climbing frame and a snake swing. This is in addition to the existing adventure play area and trim trail. Pinewood Centre also offers free parking, woodland walks, pond dipping and a café in addition to clubs and activities on site. More information www.wokinghamwithoutparishcouncil.gov.uk
Out & About Optalis @
Out & About is Optalis' evening and weekend service primarily aimed at providing support to people with learning disabilities and/or a physical disability. The service has been running for four years, attracting a loyal following of customers, who regularly use it. It started initially with two customers, and has developed into a very successful enterprise with around 70 people enjoying the exciting range of excursions available such as trips to theme parks, picnics, cinema visits and weekends away to the seaside. Karyn Fowle, Service Manager, said: "It's amazing to see a great idea turn into reality. Watching the service grow, and go from strength-to-strength, shows that this is a much-needed social outlet for our clients. Not only does Out & About provide a vital community network for our customers, who get to go on some fantastic days out and weekends away, it has also helped some of the people we support develop their self-esteem and confidence. "The service was initially set up to provide one-to-one support access to the community, and we do this for some of our customers. But our group activities and leisure programme have become the most popular part of the service. "Our weekend trips are particularly popular because people get to hang out with their friends, going to places they love. We provide door-to-door transport and our customers have a really great time travelling together, experiencing different opportunities. "They have good banter and this has led to some strong friendships being made. We've received some amazing feedback from parents on how our service has changed the lives of their son or daughter. "Another secret of our success is our fantastic support workers, who are dedicated, loyal, and completely committed to making sure the people we support have a great time, whilst also keeping them safe."
Out & About is a unique service, and it offers something that other services don't. Join our mailing list now to receive regular information about our services. Please email: email@example.com or call (0118) 989 9750 to find out more.
"Just wanted to say my son had a fantastic day yesterday. He really liked it and learnt things from it. What a fantastic place for you to have chosen. I appreciate how hard it must be to find different places to go, but you do a good job of it. We've always said we would go to Warwick Castle, but haven't got there yet."
There's a scam with your name on it Mass marketing fraud (MMF) is big business for all the wrong reasons, and if it isn't happening to you there's a good chance it is to someone you know. An estimated 3.2million people in the UK are victims of it every year, with between £1.2 and £5.8billion lost annually. It's a crime where victims are persuaded to part with their money in exchange for something bigger through unsolicited letters, emails, or phone calls. Examples include fictitious prize draws, false investment opportunities and clairvoyant or dating scams. A new study of more than 30,000 UK victims of MMF shows each will lose an average of £6,744 in their lifetime. While older people tend to be the most prominent victims, research shows no-one is immune from falling for it - whatever your age, class, occupation, socio-economic background, race or gender. Put simply, there's a MMF out there targeting someone just like you. "Modern mass communications have transformed this into a global issue. But because many of these scams are based outside the UK, with money siphoned from victims straight into foreign bank accounts, it's harder for UK authorities to arrest and punish them," said Allyson Bartram, from the West Berkshire and Wokingham Trading Standards Service.
What does scam mail look like? It's designed to look official and authentic, and uses well-known marketing techniques to be highly persuasive. Prize draws, lottery wins and sweepstakes tend to use: • Coats of arms • Seals • Serial numbers • Barcodes • Watermarks • Mimeographed signatures • Rubber stampings For clairvoyant and psychic scams: • Fake photos of 'psychics' • Spiritual/religious imagery • Symbolism • Supernatural objects • Astrology • Occultism
"But we can help people get free of it, or stop them being snared in the first place by raising awareness. We can all keep an eye out on friends and relatives." The motivations vary why people fall for them, but they tend to have money issues or want to help their families, they live alone and are lonely, or they think it's worth the risk. "It becomes a habit, a friend, and when they realise there's a problem they feel too embarrassed to admit it," said Allyson. "Successful scams thrive on silence. But if you don't tell your family or friends you're a victim, then more people will fall prey. But there are lots of things we can do to help. Remember the old saying, 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is'." More information: • Citizens advice helpline 03454 04 05 06 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive view Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Executive Member for Resident Services "Scammers will do anything to part you from your money, and we're doing all we can to support victims. You too can play a huge part by keeping an eye on family or friends who might have fallen prey but are too embarrassed to say."
You really can make a difference
"We enjoy everything about being foster carers; the fun, the ups and downs, but we love seeing them grow" Catherine is one of our foster carers who does There are children and young people in our Borough right now looking for a loving home, and the chance to reach their potential.
just that. For the past eight years she's been opening up her home to boys and girls of all ages - from a baby only days-old to 18-year-old teenagers. Some carers are supported to care for children in a specific group that suits their family.
"My husband is one of seven and my parents were foster carers, so I grew up with it," she said. "We enjoy everything about being foster carers; the fun, the ups and downs, we love seeing them grow. "Not only do they become part of our family, but by remaining in the Borough it means these vulnerable young people can still see their family and friends and not be forced to leave their existing schools. "That's why the Council is looking for more foster carers. They offer excellent support and you get all the training you need. I trust them, and that's very important." We need foster carers from all walks of life. If you are over 21 and have a spare room, there are no restrictions on profession, gender or marital status. What's important is that you offer a safe, warm and happy family life, commitment and security.
Catherine with her own children More information: (0118) 974 6204 • email@example.com • http://fostering.wokingham.gov.uk • www.facebook.com/wokinghamfostering •
Local Plan Update Work to make sure the homes, schools, roads, business space, parks, shops and other infrastructure needed to keep Wokingham Borough a great place to live continues through the Local Plan Update (LPU). The LPU will set out where development can - and most importantly - where development cannot take place in the Borough from now until 2036. Producing the LPU is a long process which is being carried out in collaboration with our neighbouring local authorities and other organisations as well as in consultation with you. We have recently held a consultation on the principles by which we will make decisions over where development should and should not go (known as the Issue and Options consultation) and are currently looking at the findings from this. We have also invited individuals and organisations to nominate land for potential development (the Call for Sites consultation). The next stage will be for us to consider the sites put forward, and the comments made in the Issues and Options consultation, to decide the Preferred Options for where development should be allowed. There will be a consultation on the Preferred Options document next summer. We're in the early stages of producing the LPU and expect to complete it by 2019. More information: For full details, and how you can get involved, please visit: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'local plan update'). To receive email updates about each of the LPU consultations, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more in our handy centre-page pull-out in this magazine.
Road to better highways Find out more about some of the latest major projects in the Borough...
South Wokingham Distributor Road (Eastern Gateway) We hope to hold public information exhibitions about the next phase of this scheme early next year to help us prepare our planning application, which we'd like to submit in the summer. This phase - the Eastern Gateway - will run south from the new Montague Park, over the Waterloo/Reading railway line on a new bridge, and then link to Waterloo Road. The current Waterloo Road level crossing will then close and all traffic including pedestrians will use the new bridge. The Eastern Gateway is part of the South Wokingham Distributor Road, which will serve the South Wokingham Major Development of 2,500 homes. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'South Wokingham Distributor Road')
Loddon Viaduct Finished ahead of schedule, we've now upgraded both the east and westbound carriageways of the A3290/A329M viaduct. Thank you for your patience during the work this summer. We do appreciate it. Because of its location, and the number of vehicles using it, this scheme was always going to be challenging. But now the viaduct won't need major maintenance for some time and thanks to its new road surface it'll be quieter for everyone.
Street lighting upgrade latest We're now well into our project replacing 8,000 of our ageing light columns and installing 13,000 LED lanterns across the Borough. Things are on track. The new LEDs may be brighter for the first day or two until connected to the central management system and then dimmed. If they remain bright after this time, please email: email@example.com. On our website you can also find out if your street is being done, and if so when. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'street lighting upgrade')
Shinfield Eastern Relief Road At the time of going to print this new mile and a quarter long road is due to open soon, connecting the Black Boy Roundabout to Arborfield Road, passing east of Shinfield. It also includes a new six lane bridge over the M4, with the old one now refurbished solely for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. The relief road has been built by the University of Reading for its new science and innovation park, as well as for the new homes in Shinfield Parish Major Development. More information: www.southofm4.com/relief-road.aspx
Cllr Malcolm Richards, Executive Member for Highways and Transport
Keep up-to-date about road closures, temporary lights, incidents and traffic jams at: www.roadworks.org
"We're looking at ways of enhancing our communications about highways and transport projects.
From your smart phone, tablet or computer find it via our website in the 'current roadworks' section. You can see why work is being done, and by whom. You can also get current information, as well as future dates set by you in the search box.
"If the information we give you is accurate and timely, you can make better informed decisions about your travel plans."
Schools dazzle with new facilities With so many new homes being built in our Borough, and the number of primary school pupils rising, the demand for school places has never been so great. We've been busy expanding and creating new facilities giving our schools and teachers the tools they need to offer the best possible educational experiences for our children whatever their age.
Bohunt School Wokingham interior designs Our construction of the new £32.5million building is on the home stretch, with work now focusing on its interior. Some 100 students started at the secondary school in September using the existing Arborfield Garrison legacy facilities next door, while we finish the new build. The frame for this new structure is complete with the inside areas now being painted, floors laid, lights fitted, and services such as gas, water and electricity installed. Staff and students will move in ready for autumn term next year. It is being run by Bohunt Educational Trust and will eventually cater for up to 1,500 students.
Expanding horizons for our primary schools
- £2.1million Shinfield St Mary's CE Junior School srooms is clas al ition add project to create three outside with e plet com due to finish this term, the existing in ts men rove imp landscaping and other general a and rs floo new , school such as painting tidy-up. - The final Shinfield Infant and Nursery School new multia me phase of this £1.9million sche include ses pha purpose hall - is finished. Earlier ms sroo clas al a new school kitchen, addition rbished refu as well as remodelled from the old hall, ks. bloc ones from existing classroom ning application Beechwood Primary School - A plan for four new is due to be submitted in December nt in the classrooms and internal refurbishme existing school. ng the first Loddon Primary School - After completi tinues to phase to provide more space, work con r facilities. provide additional classrooms and othe ies on Highwood Primary School - Work carr r facilities. othe and ms sroo creating additional clas
Secondary schools first for student facilities
St Crispin's School - Building its new sixth form facilities is going well, as part of our mul ti-million pound investment. The foundations are nearly done, and it should be ready for students next autumn. The old sixth form building is being transfor med into an ASD unit.
The Emmbrook School - Foundation s for its new maths block are nearly finished, and is due to be completed by summer 2017. A new English block opened last year.
Executive view Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, Executive Member for Children's Services "These are exciting times for our pupils and students at our schools across the Borough. With enhanced and expanded learning experiences it gives them every chance to reach their full potential and chase their dreams."
Keeping adults safe The West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board covers Wokingham Borough, Reading, and West Berkshire. It meets four times a year and discusses how agencies should work together to keep adults at risk of abuse or neglect safe in the local area. Safeguarding means looking out for, and trying to protect others in our community who are vulnerable, or may be at risk of harm. Suspected abuse or neglect are treated very seriously and all partner agencies work closely together to make sure they are fully investigated and that vulnerable adults are protected from harm. The Board is a statutory and includes representatives from local organisations and services such the local authorities, health, police, probation, fire and rescue, ambulance and HealthWatch. The voluntary sector in Wokingham Borough is represented by Involve Wokingham Borough. This year the Board's priorities include sharing learning from serious incidents, improving the way feedback from people using services is collected and used, and providing better information to people. The Board's website has information to help if you're worried someone you know is being abused or neglected. There is also information if you're an adult at risk because of your age, an illness or disability, and someone is hurting you, frightening you, stealing from you or neglecting you.
Wokingham Adult Safeguarding Partnership Forum provides useful information and opportunities for providers and people using services to give their view on different topics. The Forum meets quarterly to raise awareness of adult safeguarding with the aim of listening to people and promoting best practice. If you would like to know more about the Forum please contact Johan Baker, Adult Safeguarding Prevention Advisor and Forum Co-ordinator, on (0118) 974 6976 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A quarterly briefing note summarises topics discussed at Board meetings. More information: www.sabberkshirewest.co.uk
Safer Place in Wokingham Borough For nearly seven years we've been successfully running the Safer Place scheme in the Wokingham Borough. Green 'Safer Place' stickers are displayed in shop windows and businesses taking part in the scheme. This means the people who work there are able to help anyone feeling vulnerable or scared. They will find somewhere quiet for the person to sit and will phone someone to help. This might be the police (if there has been a serious incident) or someone the person knows who can come and take them home. We've been told some people who have used a Safer Place are sometimes unsure how to ask for help. So we've produced a credit-card size card to help. They are doubled-sided with the Safer Places logo on one side, and on the reverse there is room for phone numbers of someone to call. More information: To register for a card, (0118) 974 6976 or email: email@example.com
Tell us what you think!
For your chance to win either a year's free family swim membership, adult gym membership or SHINE membership for two, let us know what you think about Wokingham Borough News. We're always looking at ways to improve Wokingham Borough News and would love to hear your thoughts.
• What articles did you enjoy? • What stories would you like to see in future? • Does Wokingham Borough News keep you informed?
Let us know online at: http://news.wokingham.gov.uk/wokinghamborough-news for your chance to win (closing date January 31)
Making a difference Wokingham, Bracknell & Districts Mencap is a local charity that has been supporting children and adults with learning disabilities and/or an autism spectrum disorder, their carers and families for almost 20 years.
YOUR TIME TO SHINE
It currently supports 228 families in Wokingham Borough.
As the nights draw in we're reminding you about being bright, safe and seen if you are walking or cycling this winter.
As the local voice of learning disability and autism, it has teams providing support. The Family Liaison Team works with carers and their families; the Acorn Social Group organises social activities for young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism, and the Siblings Team give young people with disabled brothers and sisters the opportunity to let off steam and have fun, as well as provide emotional support.
During October we visited schools, community groups and workplaces around the Borough with activities and competitions to help them keep shining brightly day and night during the winter.
It also has a designated Life Skills Team which provides developmental and learning opportunities. Borough Mayor Cllr Bob Pitts said: "This vital local charity is affiliated to, but not funded by, the Royal Mencap Society. This can be a challenge as many people believe that they receive national funding, but as an independent charity it has to source all its own funding. "I'm dedicated to raising funds for Wokingham Mencap to enable them to continue the important work they do within the Borough."
Top tips include wearing hi-vis and reflective clothing, footwear and accessories, using appropriate lights and torches, and finding buddies to walk or ride with. For more information about sustainable travel options in our Borough, please check out the My Journey Wokingham website at: www.myjourneywokingham.com
Major Developments in Wokingham Borough Interactive up-to-date maps for all four of the Major Development Locations (previously known as SDLs) approved phases can now be found in one place.
Wokingham Borough Major Developments
You asked: We listened When we first launched our new major developments website pages, we had a request for updated maps. We thought that was a great idea and have created interactive PDF maps for each site that show, at a glance, what is happening on the site and also contains the site layout plans for all phases that have been approved.
When you look at these maps online, hover over an icon on the map and a box will pop up with more information. If the area has an approved site layout, you can click through to it.
Arborfield Garrison Major Development
Shinfield Parish Major Development
Other ways to get involved Website Visit the major development pages on our website for a one-stop-shop full of information about the new developments. Newsletter Sign up to receive our electronic newsletters for any/all of the major developments to keep up with the latest happenings by visiting our website or emailing us.
South Wokingham Major Development
Community Forums We have created community forums for each major development area. The forums are your way to find out what is happening and to get involved. Find the schedule on our website. More information â€˘ firstname.lastname@example.org â€˘ www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for 'major developments') North Wokingham Major Development
The maps can be viewed on our website or downloaded. We will keep updating them as the sites progress, so be sure to check the website for the latest version.
Please note that plans are subject to change as part of the planning process
What's on this winter... Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout December
Market in Wokingham Market Place between 8am and 5pm December 1 to 24
Wokingham Living Advent Calendar
Performances every night at 6.15pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends at a different venue around the town every night. Free www.wokingham-tc.gov.uk/advent
December 2 to 10
Festive Stories and rhymes for parents and children to enjoy together. Five and under, free www.wokingham.gov.uk/ libraries Sunday December 4
Woodley Christmas Extravaganza
Plenty of rides, stage entertainment, reindeer and a Santa's Grotto in Woodley Town Centre. 10am to 3pm Thursday December 8
Wokingham Living Advent Calendar
Just drop-in to Wokingham Library for a surprise Christmas celebration. 6.15pm, free
Saturday December 10
Wednesday December 21
January 26 to February 4
Join the Christmas sing-a-long concert at Wokingham Town Hall followed by mulled wine and mince pies (donations welcomed for the Town Mayor's charity Soulscape) Noon to 1pm, free
Captain Hook, Zarina the pirate fairy, Belle and Tinkerbelle invite you on their journey of good and bad. Will you be on the good side? Presented by the Enchanted Players at Wokingham Library. 2pm to 3pm, £5
Set in 1940s New York, 'the worst singer in the world' was the performer everyone wanted to see. This hilarious and heart-warming comedy has something for everyone. www.wokingham-theatre.org.uk
Christmas lunchtime Sing-a-long concert
Wednesday December 14
Carols in the Courts
The Pirates and Princess Show
December 21 to 23
Join in festivities with the Tenant Involvement Team, St Sebastian's Band and Wokingham Borough Mayor for Carols in the Courts at Targett Court, Winnersh, followed by mince pies and refreshments. 7pm, free
Christmas Drop 'N' Shop Holiday Camp
December 15 to 18
Festive Get Arty
Elf the Musical
Berserk Productions present Elf the Musical at Woodley Theatre in the Oakwood Centre. www.woodleytheatre.org Sunday December 18
Come and witness the Live Nativity and discover the wonder of Christmas at Howard Palmer Gardens, Wokingham. 4pm (procession at 3pm) www.lovewokingham.co.uk
Morning sport and afternoon craft sessions available at Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Woodley. (0118) 921 6969 / email: email@example.com December 22 and 23 Festive crafts for children aged 12 and under at libraries across the Borough. £1.50, just drop-in Thursday January 12
Wokingham Film Society Presents: Dheepan
Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris. Seeking to build a new life and a real home, the daily violence he confronts quickly reopens his war wounds. Whitty Theatre, Luckley House School, 7.30pm, £6.50
Winter Reading Challenge Open to library members aged four to 16, sign up in your local library and get a free collector card, borrow and read three books and receive a certificate on completion. Why not also write a book review to add to our challenge wall? Once complete you can enter our book-themed prize draw. The challenge runs until Sunday January 8.
Wokingham Theatre presents: Glorious
Thursday January 26
Of Sushi and Students
My experiences of living and working in Japan: An illustrated talk with Katrina Barnes Wokingham Library from 6.30pm to 7.30pm £3 charge Friday January 27
Wokingham Film Society Presents: 20 Feet from Stardom
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in pop music, but we've had no idea who they are or what lives they lead… until now. Whitty Theatre, Luckley House School, 7.30pm, £6.50 February 13 to 17
Children's Holiday Camp
Children's Holiday Camp at Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Woodley for children aged five to 14. (0118) 921 6969 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Waste and recycling collections Christmas and New Year Normal collection day* Monday December 19 Tuesday December 20 Wednesday December 21 Thursday December 22 Friday December 23 Monday December 26 Tuesday December 27 Wednesday December 28 Thursday December 29 Friday December 30 Monday January 2, 2017
Will be collected on Monday December 19 Tuesday December 20 Wednesday December 21 Thursday December 22 Friday December 23 Tuesday December 27 Wednesday December 28 Thursday December 29 Friday December 30 Saturday December 31 Monday January 2, 2017
Delay No change No change No change No change No change 1 day 1 day 1 day 1 day 1 day No change
Normal service resumes on Monday January 2, 2017
*Garden waste collections will coincide with the above schedule
Christmas cards Many charities collect these for fund-raising or put cards made of paper into your black recycling box
2017 bank holidays We work on all bank holidays in 2017 (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
Time of collection Please place your waste out the night before as collections start earlier than normal
Christmas trees If you are part of the garden waste collection scheme, please cut-up your tree and place it in the brown wheelie-bin or compostable sacks and put out as normal
Wrapping paper Put wrapping paper in your recycling box. Metallic paper must be put in your blue bag