Page 1

Wokingham Borough

Autumn 2013

Your magazine from Wokingham Borough Council

In this issue... Destination play at Dinton Pastures

Elms Field: Creating a great space for all www.wokingham.gov.uk

page 4

Top class schools

page 10

Focus on Shinfield

page 22


2

www.wokingham.gov.uk

Keeping in touch with us Phone: (0118) 974 6000 Fax: (0118) 978 9078 Email: wokinghamdirect@wokingham.gov.uk Text message: 07786 200 974 Website including webchat: www.wokingham.gov.uk Visit us Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 5pm at the Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 IBN. Social networking sites

www.facebook.com/ wokinghamboroughcouncil

Follw us on

Twitter

www.twitter.com/wokinghamBC Email and text updates – Register at: www.wokingham.gov.uk/online Information kiosks – Available at Woodley and Lower Earley libraries and the Civic Offices. Looking Local – Access local information and services using your digital television remote control. (Virgin Community Channel – 233 or Sky Community Channel – 539) My Council app – Our Looking Local app for mobile and tablets has had a facelift and been renamed ‘My Council’. Available to download from iTunes and Google Play, the app gives you access to a whole host of council services

We’d like to hear what you think of Wokingham Borough News, and in particular if you would like to contribute to future editions. Tweet us, send us a message on Facebook or an email to: communications@wokingham.gov.uk Editorial Communications Team at Wokingham Borough Council. Design and printed by Whatever Design Ltd on Woodfree Silk 70gsm. Cost 11p per person /22p per copy.

PEFC Certified This product is from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources

PEFC/16-33-775

www.pefc.org

Welcome We are more than halfway through this financial year and whilst we continue to face huge financial pressures from being poorly funded, we are however very ambitious.

Cllr David Lee (left) with Managing Director of David Wilson Homes Southern Paul Crispin at Montague Park

Much change is coming to the Borough. Work has now started on Wokingham’s newest housing development off London Road. This is an important milestone as Montague Park is the start of plans to build vibrant communities in our Borough in four Strategic Development Locations (SDLs). At Montague Park a new open space of 30 acres will be created; the size of more than 17 football pitches. You can read more about the SDLs, and our recent consultation on roads to support these developments, on pages 12 and 13.

Much has been said about our plans to regenerate Wokingham town centre – some true, some not. Our planning applications will soon be submitted for Elms Field and Peach Place Plaza and will be considered by planning committee in 2014. See the centre pages for a reminder about why we need to regenerate the town, and an update on our refurbishment work at Peach Place. We’re starting with Wokingham, but our plans are to regenerate towns and villages across the Borough to support prosperity.

As well as the budget challenges we face, we also have an ever increasing demand on our services. September saw us open two new primary schools to meet demand. We’ve invested some £30million in new school buildings and facilities to ensure our children get the best start in life (see pages 10 and 11).

One of the principles underlining our Vision is to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of our residents. And since October nearly 1,000 over 60s have been enjoying the benefits of swimming – all for free. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late – details can be found on the opposite page.

And it’s not just schools we’re investing in. Thanks to developers’ contributions, we’re building an amazing flagship play space at Dinton Pastures Country Park (see page 4). Once completed in the spring, I am sure many families will make it top of their lists of places to visit – there’s already a lot of interest in our plans and this will only grow as the play space takes shape.

We remain committed to our Vision and will continue to invest in the Borough’s long term future. As ever, I am happy to hear your views and ideas so please get in touch with me at david.lee@ wokingham.gov.uk. Also why not find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for all the latest news? Cllr David Lee Leader of the Council


Autumn 2013

3

Never too old N!

I JOIN

In this edition Flagship play space at Dinton...............4 Visit Woodley............................................6 Value for money........................................7 Making life easier for you......................8 Tackling congestion.................................9 Top of the class................................. 10-11 Building vibrant new communities..................................... 12-13 Let’s talk regeneration................... 15-18 Waste and recycling.............................. 21 Focus on Shinfield................................. 22 Remember dementia............................ 27 Readership survey................................. 29 What’s on..........................................30-31

Free swimming is back! But this time it’s for those aged 60 and over. Whether you want to swim or splash about in aqua aerobics for free, if you are aged over 60 all you have to do is show your Wokingham Borough library card.

Not a library member? It’s easy to join; visit any of our libraries today, fill in a form and bring some ID to show where you live – it’s that simple! We’re running the scheme in partnership with C-Salt and Woodley Town Council – details of the available sessions can be found below. This summer saw nearly 28,500 children and young people grab the chance to get more active at free swimming sessions.

And more than 1,330 of them joined the library as a direct result and are now benefitting from an extensive range of books, clubs and events. Free swimming for over 60s is available until March 31, 2014. For information: • (0118) 974 6264 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/ freeswimming

Bulmershe Leisure Centre

Carnival Pool

Loddon Valley Leisure Centre

Monday

6.30am to 8am (swim) 8.30am to 9.30am (swim)

N/A

2pm to 3pm (swim)

Tuesday

11.15am to 11.45am (aqua)

2pm to 3pm (swim)

N/A

Wednesday

10.15am to 10.45am (swim)

9.30am to 10.30am (swim)

8.30am to 9.30am (swim)

Thursday

6.30am to 8am (swim) 11.15am to 11.45am (aqua)

10.15am to 11.15am (aqua)

N/A

Friday

11.15am to 11.45am (swim)

8.30am to 9.30am (swim)

10am to 10.45am (aqua) 2pm to 3pm (swim)

Saturday

N/A

N/A

N/A

Sunday

N/A

N/A

2pm to 3pm (swim)


4

www.wokingham.gov.uk

The wow factor grows at Dinton Pastures! Giant nest towers, wigwams, monkey ropes, funnel trap nests, secret hobbit holes and giant climbing logs are just some of the exciting activities coming to Dinton Pastures Country Park next spring. The exciting flagship play space, financed from developers’ contributions, is really starting to take shape and will also include a woodland picnic area, den-building structures and a woodland obstacle course. Due to the complexity of the works and the various weather conditions we face, the current play area is closed until next spring. But there is still lots on offer for children and young people, as well as adults, including: sailing, kayaking, rock climbing, golf, nature trails, wildlife watching and events. During half term, children joined us in building dens and Tee-Pee play structures from scratch. They got their hands dirty by digging holes, peeling bark, cleaving chestnut poles and assembling the main frames ready for them to be installed shortly. Keep an eye out in the local press, and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, for all the latest information, photos and videos of the new play space. October

November

Executive view Cllr Angus Ross, Executive Member for Environment “Over the coming months and years the Wokingham Borough has some exciting plans to not only improve existing facilities at many of our country parks and nature reserves, but also create new and exciting areas for the whole family to enjoy - whether it’s enjoying a stroll through woodland or having a go at giant climbing logs.”


Autumn 2013

5

Bright future for California Country Park

California Country Park, set within 100 acres of ancient bog-land and lowland heath in Finchampstead, is one of the Borough’s most scenic and popular destinations and is a popular location for children’s play and adventure, family picnics, walking, wildlife spotting and fishing. In the 1930s the site was developed as a holiday park with a zoo, circus and a glass-floored ballroom and went on to attract visitors from across the south east. It also became home to the California Poppies speedway team. Those days are long gone, but we are now looking at opportunities to invest in the park to improve existing facilities and develop new activities to breathe more life into this historic setting. Options under consideration include improvements to roads and car parking, new adventurous activities for youngsters and a wider range of catering options for visitors wanting a more relaxed outing.

The country park is sited near to the new Arborfield Strategic Development Location and developer contributions from this site will help fund the improvements. Our Executive will soon consider a draft vision for the country park. We’ll then ask you what you think about our plans and you’ll have a chance to comment. We are proud of our country parks and look forward to an exciting future!

Buckhurst Meadow As you will read on page 12, work has now started on Wokingham’s newest housing development off London Road. As part of this a major area of green open parkland will be created on the eastern boundary of Montague Park comprising around 30 acres of open space and woodland (the size of 17 football pitches), with footpaths meandering across the parkland linking into the new residential area and beyond.

To be known as Buckhurst Meadow – in recognition of its heritage – the country parkland area will include a community orchard, a play area based on the natural features of the location and a piece of public art installed at the highest point. The initial phase of Buckhurst Meadow will feature an informal route for pedestrians and dog walkers and will be ready when the first residents move into their homes in spring/summer 2014.

DID Y KNO OU W? The lake in the park was created when clay was extracted to make the millions of bricks which were used to build Bearwood College.


6

www.wokingham.gov.uk

Visit Woodley Woodley is a thriving town and sits between Reading and Wokingham. Woodley has a diverse community, busy shopping precinct, weekly markets, two leisure centres, and is also home to the Museum of Berkshire Aviation. Throughout most of its length Woodley’s eastern boundary follows the River Loddon. There’s a lot going on in the town. Read on to find out more… Vibrant market and shopping centre Woodley has a vibrant, modern shopping centre at Crockhamwell Road, enhanced by Woodley Town Centre Management Initiative projects. A local Farmers’ Market is held on the third Wednesday of every month. And you will find high-quality local products on sale including meat, bread, cheeses, pies, fruit and vegetables as well as crafts. There is also a popular general market every Saturday. Car boot sales also take place in the town centre on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

The pedestrianised centre has a wide variety of shops and businesses including several new retailers this year, ranging from larger nationwide stores to small, family-run shops, many of which also trade from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Ample car parking is available. So why not check it out? The Woodley Town Centre Management Initiative is run as a partnership between Woodley Town Council, the Borough Council and the Woodley Traders. More information: • Jacques Lherbier, Town Centre Manager, on (0118) 921 6920 or 07506 741591 • towncentremanager@woodley.gov.uk • www.woodleytowncentre.co.uk

Break a leg! Woodley Theatre, formerly ‘Woodley Players’, was set up in 1945 and is based at the Oakwood Centre. It’s a thriving amateur group with a reputation for performing productions of a very high standard. They typically put on six productions a year, including a Christmas show and a production from the youth group. More information: • www.woodleytheatre.org • Box office: 07939 210121

Saturday November 30 4.30pm to 5.30pm Christmas lights switch on and carol concert Sunday December 1 10am to 3pm Woodley’s 17th Winter Extravaganza

e or r m Fo ents in ev ning h g 1 ppe ou ha Bor S 30-3 e e th  pag see

Saturday December 7, 14, 21 and 28 9am to 3pm Saturday markets Sunday December 8 8am to 1pm Car boot sale and table top sale Wednesday December 18 9am to 1.30pm Farmers’ market

Woodley Town Council There’s lots of information on its website about things happening in Woodley, from sports clubs to allotments and children’s activities to healthy habits programme. The Town Council offices are based in the Oakwood Centre on Headley Road. The centre also houses the Police Neighbourhood Team and the Just in the Park Cafe, run by a not for profit organisation. The Oakwood Centre has several meeting rooms and can cater for wedding ceremonies and receptions, social events and for business and community meetings and activities. More information: • (0118) 969 0356 • admin@woodley.gov.uk • www.woodley.gov.uk


Autumn 2013

Offering excellent value for money People often wonder what we spend our money on. With a budget of £113million, our services are wide-ranging and touch everyone’s lives. From looking after young people and adults during vulnerable periods in their lives, to maintaining the Borough’s roads and collecting rubbish.

Our challenge now Owing to the government’s austerity programme, which affects us all, the Borough has seen the amount of government grants reduce. This adds to our existing financial pressures not just from inflation but from the escalating costs of statutory services. Our population is growing. Older people are living longer and often have more complex and expensive needs, and more babies are being born. Whilst the population numbers are increasing, the public purse is shrinking. We faced the lowest financial settlement from central government than ever before in 2013/14 and remain the

lowest funded unitary authority in the country. With cuts in government funding, on top of cuts in previous years, we have to save £25million during the next three years. Future potential changes to social care legislation could increase this to over £28million. Whilst we have big plans for the Borough, our future financial position is challenging and we have some tricky decisions to make. We do more with less staff per head of the population than any other council in the country. Each member of staff serves approximately 176 residents – one of the highest ratios in the country.

In 2013-14, Wokingham had the lowest formula grant per head of population of all unitary authorities

807.0

£ 313.1

329.3

287.4 165.7

e ag er ry Av nita U

h

ug

Slo

ng

di

a Re

ell kn ac rest r B Fo

148.9 t es re W shi k r Be

95.1 nd ra d so hea d in en W aid M

86.6 am

gh

in ok W

ey

Ha

n ck

Our challenge for the future Although we are in good shape now, we already know our grants from the government will reduce between £3million and £4million every year for the foreseeable future. The reduction in grant is on top of the increase in our statutory spending pressures in excess of £4million every year. This makes a total of approximately £8million we have to find every year. Because of this, we need to change how we deliver services in the future and we will have to consider those areas where we may need to reduce or stop what we do. We’re restructuring our senior management to reflect this change. We will ensure priority is given to frontline services, and to the most vulnerable in our community.

90.00

£86.57

Executive view Cllr Anthony Pollock, Executive Member for Finance “We’ve always been an efficient council and we do everything we can to make sure the council tax we collect goes as far as possible. We will continue to work efficiently but there is a stark horizon ahead of us. Reductions year on year in government funding have left us facing big financial challenges; to save £25million during the next three years. We will do all we can to minimise the impact on services we deliver, but it’s going to be tough.”

What do we spend our money on? Did you know the majority of our money is spent on statutory services? This means we have no choice but to provide them. However we have growing costs year on year because of more customers and increased demand on services. Budget 2013/14 - £113million Statutory services - £90million e.g. adult social care, children’s services, waste collection and disposal, and highways

Estimated formula funding per head of population

20%

80.00

£71.43

70.00 60.00

£48.28 £35.03

50.00

80%

40.00 30.00 20.00 10.00

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

We are committed to delivering our key priorities and will continue to invest in the Borough’s long term-future. We are focused on making your council one that you can be proud of.

Non-statutory services - £23million e.g. librairies, leisure, parks and open spaces, and bus subsidies

7


8

www.wokingham.gov.uk

Our customer services – making life easier for you…

Your Council is now ‘My Council’ Our Looking Local app for mobile and tablets has had a facelift and is now called ‘My Council’. Under ‘Street Reports’ you can tell us about everything from abandoned vehicles and dumped rubbish to street lighting faults. The ‘My Area’ section lets you check whether the fault has already been reported by someone else – saving you time. It also shows all the street works currently in that area, to help you plan your journeys better.

as care providers or how to apply for a disabled parking badge.

The ‘Jobs’ section lists a variety of local vacancies, which you can filter based on location or according to your skills and requirements.

Download the app to your mobile or tablet from iTunes or Google Play by selecting ‘My Council’ and ‘Wokingham’.

And the news section keeps you abreast of what’s happening in the Borough. So whether you are on the move, at work, or at home, you can have instant access to council services at your fingertips.

More information: There is also a ‘Health and Social Care’ section, signposting you to a wide range of services – such

www.wokingham.gov.uk/ services/digital

Executive view Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, Executive Member for Internal Services “As a local councillor I spend a lot of time talking to residents about problems in my area, such as potholes and overgrown vegetation. I use the ‘My Council’ App regularly and find it invaluable for reporting issues on the spot. It’s really easy to download and use.”

Tell Us Once When someone has died there are lots of things that need to be done, at a time when you probably least feel like doing them. Contacting us and other government services is one of them. This is why we have launched the Tell Us Once Service that automatically notifies council services and government departments of your bereavement. When someone has died within the Borough, the death needs to be registered with the registrar. The Tell Us Once service will be offered at the same time and gives us the opportunity to notify other organisations (on your behalf) that may have to be contacted and given the same information, such as

the Department for Work and Pensions who then inform HM Revenues and Customs, Passport Office and DVLA. We will also ensure the relevant teams, such as council tax, social care, housing, are told so that their databases can be updated. And if a Wokingham Borough resident dies outside the Borough, we’ll also get that information through the Tell Us Once service, so that we can ensure our records are kept up-to-date. More information: • The Register Office (0118) 974 6554 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/birthsdeathsmarriages • www.gov.uk/tell-us-once


Autumn 2013

9

Our vision is to tackle congestion where you live Here’s what we’re doing…

Hop on a bus Ditch the car and catch the bus to Reading, avoiding congestion and parking charges. We’re building two new park and ride sites - one at Mereoak (near to M4 junction 11) – and another at Winnersh Triangle. The new sites are being built thanks to government local sustainable transport funding, and should be up and running early next year.

Regular non-stop bus services into the heart of Reading will operate throughout the day. The Mereoak site will provide many more spaces for people travelling in from further afield as well as Wokingham Borough residents. The new Winnersh Triangle facility is taking the place of the one at Loddon Bridge, which is prone to flooding.

Pedal power comes to the Borough Plans to introduce a bicycle hire scheme similar to London’s are being developed to include parts of the Borough.

• Free half-hour use for members at the start of every rental, meaning the majority of their cycle trips will be free

Reading Borough Council hopes to introduce some 200 hire bicycles at 29 docking locations across the area at key points such as railway stations, shopping centres, business parks, and the university.

• An easy-to-use website for registration where members can top-up and manage their accounts

Hourbike will run the scheme, which is due to start in the spring. Its highlights include:

• Pre-payment similar to a pay as you go mobile • Both individual and business annual membership, as well as occasional or oneoff temporary hires

Advance warning – Loddon Valley Viaduct

Travel solutions at your fingertips Don’t forget to check out the MyJourneyWokingham website. It’s your one stop destination for travel information and advice in and around Wokingham Borough.

We completed the first phase of the Loddon Viaduct improvements in October.

When finished, the bridge will be quieter for nearby residents and motorists using it.

We apologise for the inconvenience this caused motorists. The impact on the surrounding network was greater than we’d originally thought.

We’re replacing the bridge’s noisy joints, installing new permanent concrete safety barriers, improving drainage and signs, and giving the dual carriageway a low noise road surface.

Whether you want to find out about cycle routes to work, walking maps, links to public transport, or live travel information - you can access it all online.

It also means the bridge shouldn’t need significant maintenance for some time.

More information: www.myjourneywokingham.com

With this in mind, we’ve moved the second phase from January to the school summer holidays. This allows extra time to review traffic management arrangements.

Clever traffic lights New traffic lights at Winnersh crossroads on the A329 Reading Road automatically react to real time traffic flows, to cut queues. Advanced stop lines for cyclists have

also being created at the junction. The improvements are part of our MyJourneyWokingham programme, funded by the Department for Transport.


10 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Their schools are top class We’ve been busy this year making sure the Borough’s children have the learning environments they deserve – investing some £30million in new school buildings and facilities…

Add ington Schoo l £100,000

Radstock Primary Schoo l £175,000

Westcott Primary Schoo l £30,000

rimary P y e l e z a r G Schoo l £500,000

rook The Emmb Schoo l £2million

choo l S d l e i f h t u So £200,000

on The Co llet hoo l Primary Sc £4million

mary i r P h s r e n Win Schoo l £250,000

e and Lambs Lan Savio c i n i m o D t S hoo ls Primary Sc £30,000


and chool S y r a t Prim Piggot ry School l i v r a a Ch ill Prim Windm s this on emy r pupil £8mili w acad irst eve

The Bulm ershe Sch ool

Autumn 2013 11 - £6millio n

Things are moving at pa and staff a t this Woo ce for students dley secon are alread d y benefitt ing from re ary. They classroom furbished s for Geog rap revamped hallways, a hy and English, new roof sixth form on the blo ol throughou ck, and 120 new d oors t the scho imary Scho r P n o d e k o l. classroom Haw s have also Seven modular been dem make way £3.5million oli for a new t as part of entrance b shed to ther projec o n uilding. a Constructi is is h T to create on investment r jo a building w of the new entranc m r u o ool places e ith a 400-p primary sch l a erson aud n expected io it d d a rley. We’ve ito to start aro in Lower Ea e und Christ rium is m ti is th ms, a multimas. ew classroo n r e u fo t il u b A) and hav area (MUG s e . m a n g e ch se it u k the existing remodelled d the e will expan g a st t x e n The ternal ll and see in existing ha ut across d ie ts carr o n e m h is rb refu school. the whole

o ne heir f ming t built these tw and in o lc e W e em ough. n, we’v ising d autum o meet the r ross the Bor t ac k schools chool places ast Par s ol, at E y r o a tt h o c im g S r ig p ary eP h im r T P y t b t g run Piggo f the Charvil harvil, is bein first phase o d is e C h on Farm in Wargrave. T , and the sec d in e School work is finish ristmas. g Ch l is buildin finished by e oosehil b W o t t a e l u o d o ary Sch ill Prim F Schools, m d in L W y Primar un by G being r h Wheatfield h is it hic along w Winnersh w mber. in te School en next Sep p o due to

Shinfie ld Schoo Infant and l - £40 Nurse ry 0,000 This p

Outstanding! That’s the verdict of government inspectors in their Ofsted reports about Addington School and Bridges Resource Centre for disabled children. Addington, a special school in Woodley, is described by inspectors as, “a vibrant community where every pupil is valued.” They also praise the excellent progress made by pupils and the range of subjects and activities available. They also note how much parents love the school.

Bridges, also in Woodley, provides a range of short breaks (including overnight stays) to disabled children and their families. Inspectors say this service, “meets individual needs exceptionally well, achieving outstanding outcomes for children and young people.”

op expand ular village s ch e of entr d from two t ool is being o three y and n -forms ow has and wa it a extend ing area, main new entranc e ed play ground office, and . Work t o and ne construct a n w class ew link ro c will be finishe om has starte orridor d early d, and school’ next ye s ar. primar expansion is also pa This y schoo rt of o l strate there a ur g re eno ugh pla y to ensure across ce the Bo rough. s for childre n

Staff are skilled and highly committed, says the report, relationships between them and young people are excellent, and the children enjoy an active and stimulating experience during their stay.

Executive view Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, Executive Member for Children’s Services “Schools lay many of the vital foundations on which our future selves are built – this is why we strive to give our children the very best start in life. The finest learning environments will help shape tomorrow’s generation of leaders and create the conditions for every child to fulfil their potential.”

Well done! Congratulations to the 1,650 students in the Borough who received their GCSE results this summer – because they bucked the national trend!

Nationally, the proportion of exam entries graded between A* and C including English and Maths was down to 68.1%, compared to 69.4% in 2012.

The proportion of young people in the Borough achieving 5 A* to C grades including English and Maths this year was 71.8%; up from 65.7% last year.

Almost all young people in the Borough who sat their GCSEs this summer - 99.9% - achieved at least one GCSE at grades A*to G. The previous year it was lower at 99.2%.


12 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Building vibrant With work started in some locations and planning applications approved or being considered in others, the major developments that will bring much-needed homes, schools, community centres and sports facilities to the Borough are taking shape. Building work has started on Montague Park (formerly known as Buckhurst Farm) off London Road in Wokingham (South Wokingham Strategic Development Location [SDL]), bringing 650 new homes, a new primary school, neighbourhood centre and an area of green open parkland. At Kentwood Farm near Warren House Road, Wokingham (North Wokingham SDL), work has begun on the new nature reserve that will be created as part of the development. These two SDLs will bring new primary schools, shops, community facilities, play areas, nature reserves and major new sports facilities.

Negotiations are ongoing between us and Arborfield Garrison Landowners’ Consortium (AGLC) over the envisaged development of 2,000 homes and accompanying infrastructure on the Arborfield Garrison site. This development will include a new secondary school, two new primary schools as well as a neighbourhood centre, sports, leisure and community facilities. In Shinfield West, the University of Reading has planning permission to build 1,200 homes as part of the major development due to take place around Shinfield, Three Mile Cross and Spencers Wood (known as the South of the M4 SDL).

Having your say about roads – what’s next? Once analysed, the responses will be considered alongside a technical study that was carried out on both roads to assess how well they would deal with traffic and the impact on the environment. Our decision-making Executive will then select its preferred route. After a preferred route is identified (likely to be next spring), detailed design and costings of the scheme will be worked out before a planning application is submitted. This will be your chance to comment further on our plans.

Responses to the public consultation on the Arborfield Cross relief road and North Wokingham distributor road are being assessed to help us select a preferred route for both roads. The Arborfield Cross relief road will provide a by-pass for Arborfield Cross, which is heavily congested during rush hour, and will also help to minimise the impact of the homes and facilities due to be built at Arborfield Garrison

and around Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross. The North Wokingham distributor road will serve homes and facilities due to be built north of the town and ensure congestion on the local road network does not increase. The consultation took place during eight weeks in September and October and sought residents’ views on potential routes for the two roads.

Keep any eye out for more details on the South Wokingham distributor road in the new year.


Autumn 2013 13

new communities Community Forums

• South of the M4 Community Forum: Monday December 2, 6pm Shinfield Parish Offices, School Green, Shinfield

All aspects of the major developments are discussed at regular Community Forums.

• North Wokingham Community Forum: Monday January 20, 7pm Wokingham Town Hall, Market Place, Wokingham

The four forums meet at least quarterly to bring together residents, developers, local councillors and officers. In the past they have discussed issues such as proposed road routes, new schools, new community centres and sports facilities among other things.

• South Wokingham Community Forum: Wednesday January 29, 7pm Bradbury Centre, Rose Street, Wokingham

The forums are not decision-making groups but provide a way for you to find out about developments and have a say on some issues.

More information: • (0118) 974 6002 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/ communityforums • SDL.Forums@wokingham.gov.uk

• Arborfield Community Forum: Monday March 10, 7pm Henry Street Garden Centre, Swallowfield Road, Arborfield

Better connected We’re developing a vision for a network connecting the major new developments in the Borough for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Known as green ways, the strategy sets out our long-term goal to create a fully connected network of cycleways, footpaths and bridleways that would allow car-free commuting as well as provide pleasurable places for people to stroll or ride. The vision is in its early days and details, such as the exact nature or route of all the paths, have not been set. But the principles are that the routes will be continuous, attractive to use and will join places where people live to places where people work, or go to school. The next stages will be to confirm the proposed network is realistic and can be built, agree details such as surfacing and then consult with land owners who may be affected. There will also be consultation with interested groups and individuals before the strategy is put into action.

Executive view Cllr Keith Baker, Executive Member for Strategic Planning and Highways “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views on the proposed roads in North Wokingham and Arborfield SDLs. We had a huge response from people coming to our exhibitions, and we are now in the process of analysing all the comments received, before making a decision on preferred routes later in the spring. “These roads are a vital part of our vision for carefully planned, high quality development that brings the right infrastructure to go with the new homes we need.”


14 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Station redevelopment Station link road moving up a gear Earthworks and drainage works are on target at the northern end of the new station link road in Wokingham.

Work is going well on Wokingham’s new £6million train station.

This new highway – between Reading and Wellington roads - is a vital part of the multi-million pound scheme to transform the town’s train station into a 21st Century travel centre, ease traffic congestion and make the route safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

This major redevelopment of the current station site not only includes a new passenger building and ticket facilities, but new retail units, forecourt with improved access, and a footbridge with lift.

Work on new signals onto Reading Road will start after Christmas, and the southern section of the link road will be finished next spring.

The work is being carried out by South West Trains, using some funding from us, and is part of our station link road scheme.

The final element - new signals at Station and Wellington roads - will start next summer. The entire scheme is due to be finished by autumn 2014.

More than two million journeys are made through Wokingham each year. The old station building will be demolished once the new one is fully open.

Better by design The Youth Service and Children’s Centres have been redesigned to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children and young people, and their families.

helping our most vulnerable young people and children - such as those with learning disabilities or at risk of dropping out of education, employment or training.

Activities are still being provided in most of our centres, and our programmes are developing.

Communities and town and parish councils in Earley and Twyford are now running their own universal youth services at Twyford Youth and Community Centre, Earley Centrepoint and Earley Silverdale centres, thanks to our support.

So, what’s changed? Youth Services Woodley Airfield and Wokingham Town are now hubs with staff working out of them

We are currently negotiating and working with Woodley Town Council about universal youth provision. Children’s Centres Our services formerly at Wokingham Town and Riverdale can now be found by families at other nearby children’s centres. We also have a children’s centre mobile bus, which will continue to travel across the Borough.

More information: New Children’s Centres timetable: www.wokingham.gov.uk/family/centres Youth centre community bookings: • Silverdale and Centrepoint Centres (0II8) 986 8995 • Twyford Youth and Community Centre (0118) 934 0891 • Bulmershe Youth and Community Centre (0118) 926 8733


Let’s talk regeneration After many years in the planning, applications for the wider regeneration scheme will be submitted very shortly, including Elms Field and Peach Place Plaza, to transform Wokingham town centre.

Design and architecture • changes to hotel design to set it back from the road

The regeneration proposals include a new foodstore, hotel, 157 homes, new retail units and upgraded Elms Park as well as a redeveloped Peach Place Plaza. We’ve been talking to you about our plans since 2008, and throughout you’ve helped shape them in many ways. You told us your views and some of the changes we’ve made to our proposals as a result of our consultations include:

• a green wall along the foodstore servicing area to increase biodiviersity and habitat in the area • the right mix of brickwork and render to complement the rest of the town

Transport • removing the proposed multi-storey car park at Shute End offices • more cycle parking

Elms Field

• changes to the road on Elms Field to stop it from becoming a rat run

• increasing the size of the play area and adding play equipment • creating a larger area of open, green space • a new community space • removing the proposed community orchard and pavilion • more trees, attractive planting and areas to sit and relax

Retail and events • a better mix and number of smaller units • improved and larger area for specialist events and markets • public toilets at Peach Place

Executive view Cllr Alistair Corrie, Executive Member for Regeneration “This is a hugely ambitious and exciting project. We’ve been working for many years to draw up plans to transform the town centre. We’ve spent a huge amount of time developing plans and consulting on them with the community and interested parties to ensure they reflect the needs of the town. “We believe our plans will significantly enhance the town and will create a vibrant future for all our residents, now and in the future.”


Let’s talk regeneration Why we’re regenerating Government told us: Build 13,000 houses in the Borough by 2026 Wokingham town growing – we need to make sure facilities are in place 2013:

12,000 homes

2026:

16,000 homes

30,000 residents

Phases:

2013

(1) Peach Place Corner refurbishment

Increase by 1/3

2014

40,000 residents

2013

2026

2015

2017

2018

2016

Mid 2014

(2) Elms Field development

Late 2017

(3) Peach Place Plaza

Early 2018 (Approx dates / Phases 2 and 3 subject to planning permission)

Benefitting new and current residents: New jobs, shops, leisure and cultural activities to support our town’s growth

Retail and Leisure etc. We’re building a foodstore, hotel, cafés, restaurants, better range of shops including national stores and independents, improved open space and play area so you enjoy and stay longer. We’re not competing with Reading and Bracknell.

Current retail vacancy rate:

Below national average of

2.2% 14%

But 64% of you leave to shop elsewhere: online, out of town retail parks, other towns. For our town to thrive, we need you to visit.

= Daily trips to the food store

More people living in town = foodstore needed. Where to build it?

In town

town centre declines rapidly

Out of town

or

linking more people visiting

other retailers thrive

trips to the bank

having a coffee

Wokingham: a historic market town but we want bigger, better and specialist markets. More events regularly, all year round.


n Wokingham town centre Jobs

800 £26k

130

£21m

Approx.

Average wage:

new construction jobs every year for 5 years

additional wages for the local economy

new jobs.

Value for money Our approach makes scheme viable: with our partners

£95m £115m project

we build

we own

Costs offset across whole scheme to avoid over-development of Peach Place.

inject profit back into the community

=

estimated value

we control

New homes and apartments

Architecture and design A detailed study of existing architecture has ensured the town’s architecture, character and heritage are enhanced by our designs.

We’re building

pitched roofs

bricks and render

varied chimneys

157

dormer windows

new homes: apartments, 2, 3 and 4 bed houses.

Wokingham has no one style – it’s developed over centuries = different styles in different areas.

Better connected More cycle parking – 140 spaces

Consultation Lots of consultation since 2008: We’ve talked, you’ve talked. We’ve listened and made changes Over

Lots of car park spaces – new 350 space underground car park

Better pedestrian links to station and public transport hub

Homes for life. Homes for our children and our children’s children.

60

stakeholder sessions

Town Centre Forums / Steering groups:

17 meetings

2 public consultation events:

2,900

visitors

school presentations:

7 1,380

pupils


Let’s talk regeneration

18 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Update on Peach Place Refurbishment

Work’s progressing well at Peach Place corner. Our contractor Dawnus has been busy putting up scaffolding, demolishing concrete stairs and stripping out the empty offices and flats as well as removing the existing façades. Next steps will see them reconstructing the façades and fitting out the new apartments. Dawnus continues to meet daily with retailers, including Boots, John Wood Sports and Clarks, to ensure the work is not affecting their businesses in anyway. Remember the shops and car parks remain open while the refurbishment work is happening, so don’t forget to visit sometime soon. A lot of the work so far is going on behind the scaffolding, so we thought we’d take you behind the scenes to see what’s been happening…

you ive et e rg rec fo o ’t tion pt Donign u nera tter e e n s Reg wsl ct us e ca r s@ ta ou ate n ion Con t d ca ov.uk Up mail. uni g e . by omm ham c g at: wokin

More information: • @WokinghamRegen • www.wokingham.gov.uk/towncentre • (0118) 974 6000


Autumn 2013 19

Preserve your vote now Now’s the time the annual canvass forms are being delivered to all Wokingham Borough households. If you want to preserve your vote you must respond – even if there are no changes to be made.

Thinking of becoming a councillor? The next local elections take place on Thursday May 22, 2014. No other role gives you such an opportunity to make a difference to the quality of life for people in your local area. If you would like to know what it means to be a councillor visit: www.beacouncillor.org.uk or www.wokingham.gov.uk (search for ‘be a councillor’), or contact Electoral Services. Details of which wards are up for election in May 2014 are also available on our website. If you are interested, we can either put you in contact with the local political parties or provide you with the information you need to stand as an independent councillor.

• It’s an individual responsibility • Preserve your vote • Improve your credit rating • It’s the responsibility of ALL occupants to ensure their household canvass form is returned – HAS YOURS BEEN DONE? If you move please tell Electoral Services. Telling the Council Tax team does NOT re-register you at your new property.

Contact Us: • Electoral Services helpline number (0118) 974 6522 / 6523 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm) • electoralservices@wokingham.gov.uk • www.wokingham.gov.uk/elections • Electoral Services, PO Box 151, Shute End, Wokingham, Berks RG40 1GY

Optalis can help you find your way Older people who privately fund their care and support need to access timely, high quality information and professional advice to ensure they can make effective choices in respect of their care and housing needs. In partnership with the Borough Council, Optalis has launched an Independent Brokerage Service. It supports access to appropriate and cost effective residential and nursing home accommodation, as well as assisting to set up homecare services and signposting to any other service that may be needed. Expert knowledge and experience, coupled with extensive research of the market, enables our broker to advise on a range of services. The service (which is chargeable) can arrange assessments to establish your needs and wishes, and will then advise on a range of possible solutions, as well as acting as an intermediary in negotiating with care providers where possible. We will ensure that solutions provide value for money, and that you feel confident in making independent decisions. We’ll also review your new care service once you are settled. You can read more at: www.optalis.org/indbrokerage

Optalis can help you find your way. For more information, or to arrange an introductory visit, please call (0118) 974 6251 or email: independentbroker@optalis.org


20 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Improving your health, wellbeing and quality of life… You CAN do it! If you can quit smoking for 28 days, you’re five times more likely to stop for good. You’ll also begin to have more money in your pocket, feel better and have an improved sense of taste and smell. And of course you’ll have less chance of getting lung cancer and heart disease. Public Health Berkshire can help you every step of the way to kick the nicotine habit, from helping you draw up a 28-day personal quit programme to face-to-face support and inspirational tools to keep you on track. More information: www.smokefreelifeberkshire.com

One jab is all you need Flu is a viral infection that occurs every year, usually in the winter. It’s highly infectious, with symptoms that come on very quickly. Healthy individuals usually recover quickly, but for some the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.

What’s in your glass? To give you all the right facts about alcohol to help you drink responsibly, you can pick up a free ‘What’s in Your Glass?’ kit from a local pharmacy. Alcohol is one of the top three things that can badly affect your health – along with smoking and poor diet. But sometimes it’s hard to know how many alcohol units we consume in a drink. Just like with calories or fat, if we are better informed about alcohol units, we can avoid harming our health. The kit contains a unit measure cup, a calorie calculator as well as information to help support and guide you to track your drinking; and cut down if you need to. It is part of a campaign by Drinkaware, Public Health Berkshire and the Berkshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

Who should have the flu vaccine? • people aged 65 and over • people with long term conditions e.g. respiratory, heart, kidney, liver or diabetes • pregnant women • people living in long-stay residential care homes, longstay care facilities, and carers • health and social care workers • children aged between two and three-years-old on September 1, 2013 Flu vaccination is available from your GP surgery. More information: www.nhs.uk

Executive view Cllr Julian McGhee Sumner, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing

“Prevention is always better than cure so taking steps to protect yourself against the flu this winter makes perfect sense. And being better informed about smoking and alcohol, and getting the support you need, means you are more able to change your lifestyle for a healthier and happier future.”


Autumn 2013 21

How you can help reduce recycling mistakes Kerbside recycling in the Wokingham Borough increased by 24 per cent in 2012/13. However the number of wrong items placed in the black boxes has been slowly increasing.

12 per cent of kerbside recycling collected, and sent to Smallmead in Reading for sorting, could not be recycled. Last year this equated to approximately 2,000 tonnes, and one of our biggest problems is plastic bags. Things in plastic bags will not be recycled even though some of it may be recyclable, as the plant cannot deal with plastic bags. We understand that some of you may store your recycling in plastic bags in the kitchen, but before you put it in your black box for collection, please make sure you remove the bag. Another reason you may use plastic bags is to prevent the materials blowing around, so why not put your blue bag on top of the black boxes instead?

Get composting this autumn Composting at home is the greenest way to deal with your garden waste. To encourage you to give it a go, we are subsidising a range of compost bins from just £6.98 (usual RRP £39 plus delivery). To see what’s available or to bag a bargain bin, call 0844 571 4444 or visit: www.getcomposting.com. Composting tips: • Your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags (green waste) and plant and grass cuttings, egg shells and paper and card (brown waste) • During autumn and the winter months give your compost a ‘turn’ every couple of weeks; this will give it some air, help with the rotting process and prevent animals using it as a habitat • Don’t put cooked meat in your compost as this can encourage unwanted pests

If space is a problem additional black boxes are available free of charge by contacting Wokingham Direct. More information: • (0118) 974 6000 • wokinghamdirect@wokingham.gov.uk

Recyclebank relaunches as Greenredeem Recyclebank relaunches as Greenredeem in Wokingham Borough to bring more ways for local residents to recycle and earn rewards. You will now have even more choice as Greenredeem launches in the Borough. Replacing the popular Recyclebank programme, Greenredeem offers you new ways to redeem your points, such as printing rewards at home, redeeming on a new mobile app or even more ways to earn points for your green actions. Existing Recyclebank members should have received an email with instructions on how to move their accounts to Greenredeem. If you haven’t, contact Greenredeem directly on 0844 409 9490, or info@greenredeem.co.uk. All the points you’ve earned, your account details and preference will remain the same. For more information about Greenredeem, and the rewards it will be bring you, visit the website. www.greenredeem.co.uk


22 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Focus on

Shinfield

Shinfield is centred around a village green, surrounded by two pubs, a few shops, two schools and recreation grounds. It might be a small village but the parish covers Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross, Ryeish Green and Grazeley. Greater involvement in planning Shinfield Parish Council has been developing its Neighbourhood Plan. We caught up with Vice Chairman and leader of the local group, Cllr Peter Hughes, who told us more about their plans. “We were the first parish council in the Borough to sign up to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan under the government’s localism bill. Now just over a year into working on the plan, we’re about to deliver the first draft for everyone in our parish to consider and comment on. “The concept for neighbourhood plans was to allow local communities a greater involvement in planning decisions and land use within their individual areas. Providing these neighbourhood plans work alongside existing planning strategies and they are well consulted on within the local community, after consideration by a planning inspector they go to local referendum and, if approved, become part of the Borough’s plans for the area. “Shinfield is one of the Borough’s Strategic Development Locations. By developing the right sort of plan we can play a much bigger part than before in helping to shape these developments and obtain the right kind of infrastructure improvements. “Local people will have more say with the plan in place than without it. Whilst we can’t change the actual locations of these new

homes, as this has already been agreed, we are very involved with the detail. We’re working with the development consortium and the Borough Council to ensure the existing local community and the newcomers will continue to benefit from living in Shinfield parish.” More information: • (0118) 988 8220 • www.shinfieldplan.org

New sports venue The former Ryeish Green sports hall, and other former school land earmarked for housing may now become a sports venue. We’ve been working with Shinfield Parish Council and local sports clubs to look at options for providing sports facilities for the area – which will serve the new homes being built around Shinfield, Spencers Wood and Three Mile Cross in the coming years. It has become clear that the community favours the use of land at the former Ryeish Green site as a sports hub and we’ve listened to these views and changed our policy accordingly to back the principle of using Ryeish Green for sports facilities. The next step will see us working in partnership with local community representatives and the developers to produce a new Ryeish Green Sports Hub Masterplan.


Autumn 2013 23

It’s your business

New football session Kickz off for young people

Keeping children safe in the Wokingham Borough is everyone’s business – including yours.

A new football programme called Kickz, for young people aged between 11 and 19, has kicked off!

If you have concerns about a child or young person not being properly cared for or you are worried they may be physically, emotionally or sexually abused, or neglected, get in touch confidentially with our Referral and Assessment Team. Children and their parents may need help urgently.

The Kickz initiative set up in partnership with the Premier League, Reading Football Club and us offers free football sessions to youngsters by qualified instructors.

If you don’t feel comfortable about telling us, or you are not sure if you are right, you can also speak to a police officer, teacher, health visitor, doctor or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

The project aims to reduce anti-social behaviour by creating safer, stronger, more respectful communities by developing young people's potential. The free sessions run for 48 weeks across the Wokingham Borough. More information: • (0118) 974 6264 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/football

The most important thing is to tell someone who can help. If you believe a child is in immediate danger you should call the police on 999. More information: • (0118) 908 8002 • r&at@wokingham.gov.uk • www.wokingham.gov.uk/ safeguarding

Independent Remuneration Panel members wanted The Independent Remuneration Panel reviews councillors’ allowances annually and is looking to recruit new members on a voluntary basis (travel expenses paid). The previous panel consisted of five independent people.

Superfast broadband to reach 91% of Berkshire Along with five other local authorities in Berkshire, we’ve recently signed a contract with BT that will see high-speed fibre broadband becoming available to some 91 per cent of premises across the county by the end of September 2015. The contract represents a step forward for the Berkshire project and another key stage in the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The panel meets at our Shute End offices and is in regular contact by email and phone during the review period. The reviews normally take place between January and June, depending on the number of issues that need to be considered. Interested? Contact Senior Democratic Services Officer Susan Coulter by December 31.

On completion, Superfast Berkshire will make fibre broadband available to an additional 18,000 premises during the next two years. Additionally, the project aims to ensure that everyone in Berkshire has access to a minimum 2mbps broadband speed.

More information: • (0118) 974 6059 • susan.coulter@wokingham.gov.uk

More information: www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk


24 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Mayor’s Message Promoting community partnerships in the Wokingham Borough As Mayor, I’m constantly reminded of how many of our residents are involved with the voluntary sector. These are dedicated people who contribute tirelessly to our community and make the Borough the excellent place it is to live and work. Many of our residents rely, or know others who rely on these volunteers. With funding becoming increasingly more difficult to come by, sustaining the voluntary sector has become an extremely important mission. All of us can help through Local Giving, a scheme which encourages donations to local charities.

Mayor Cllr UllaKarin Clark (second from right) at a Local Giving launch I would also like to promote and encourage more community partnerships between the Borough’s businesses and the voluntary sector. But it’s not all about funding. I have seen how well these relationships can operate when skills and knowledge are brought together. With this in mind, I shall be organising a networking event in the spring. If you are a

business or local charity and would like to know more about this event and/or get involved, please contact my office. Cllr UllaKarin Clark Borough Mayor More information: • (0118) 974 6004 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/mayor • www.localgiving.com

Spotlight on the Mayor’s Charity – Building for the Future Building for the Future was launched in 2007 by parents of disabled children living in the Borough. Its goal was to raise enough money to provide a community centre for disabled children and their families, because there isn’t currently one in Wokingham. Its goal is now only months away, after it secured a long-term lease on a single-storey building in Toutley Road, Wokingham. Work is underway to transform it into a purpose-built space for all disabled children, and it’s hoped it will open in late spring.

The building will include a sensory room, an area for teenagers, as well as space for therapies and for staging performances and plays.

Mark Ashwell

There will also be a fully-accessible disabled toilet, a kitchen, a parents' room, an outside area and parking. Mark Ashwell, Chairman of Building for the Future, said: “Being the Mayor’s charity this year is a wonderful way to raise the profile of disabled children in our community. Every child deserves to be valued and to be recognised as important, regardless of the challenges they may face. “Our building will be a focal point for this in the heart of Wokingham's community. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to our Mayor for her support in choosing us as her charity for 2013/14.”

Trustees of Building for the Future looking at designs for the new building

More information: www.bftf.org.uk


Autumn 2013 25

Executive view

Spending developers’ money wisely As part of our drive to be more open and accountable, we’ve launched a quarterly report showing how developers’ money is used to fund infrastructure improvements and how it is spent. The money (which comes in the form of Section 106 agreements) is paid by developers to offset the impact of their developments, for example: road improvements, new or expanded schools and sporting and leisure facilities. The principle behind these agreements is that developers can be required to fund

improvements that are directly linked to their development – they cannot be asked to deal with problems that existed before. Some of the recent projects funded or part funded include improvements at Dinton Pastures and a new disabled toilet; Station Link Road in Wokingham, and improvements at Shinfield Tennis Club. The Quarterly Report can be found online. www.wokingham.gov.uk/planning/ residents/contributions

Cracking down on housing fraud Before 2010, our Investigations Team focused on housing benefit fraud, but now its expertise and investigation techniques are also being used to investigate other allegations including:

Do you know someone who:

• Council tax discount and exemption fraud

• has not been truthful about their situation to get a council house?

• Disabled blue badge fraud • Direct payments fraud • Financial irregularities

Cllr John Kaiser, Executive Member for General Planning and Affordable Housing “The report gives a breakdown of how much money we have received in each town or parish and how much has been spent or allocated to be spent. Section 106 agreements have been, or will be, negotiated for all the major developments coming to the Borough during the next few years (see pages 12 & 13). “These agreements ensure the developments are infrastructure rich, with the right schools, roads, shops, community and sporting facilities. We look at the overall requirement for each development to ensure it’s sustainable, and work with developers to achieve the best outcome for both existing and new residents in the Borough.”

• is not living in their council house? • is renting out their council house to other people?

Did you ? know

Please report it confidentially to our Fraud Team:

• Housing fraud

• 0800 454240 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/benefits/ report

It’s estimated that one in 20 Council houses are occupied fraudulently, leaving vulnerable people without a home.

Any reports or allegations can be made anonymously.

In 2012, the National Fraud Authority estimated that housing tenancy fraud costs the public at least £900million each year. It also costs £18,000 a year to place a family in temporary accommodation because of the lack of social housing available.


26 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Spotlight on social care services This month (November) we’ve published the second Wokingham Your Local Account - our annual report for adult social care. It gives information on services provided, our achievements for the past 12 months, what challenges we’ve faced and our plans for the future. Your Local Account marks a shift from just reporting on our services to central government, although we still do that too. The report enables local people to understand, challenge and influence what we do. We hope you will take the opportunity to do so, either by contacting us directly at: localaccount@ wokingham.gov.uk or by talking to local representative groups such as Healthwatch. The first Local Account was published in early 2013, following extensive consultation with local groups supported by Wokingham LINk. The views and concerns of customers and their carers and relatives are vital in helping us deliver and develop social care. We’ve also included in the report a selection of some of the many voluntary and community organisations, which are important partners to the statutory sector in supporting older and vulnerable people in Wokingham Borough. More information: • www.wokingham.gov.uk/localaccount • www.healthwatchwokingham.co.uk

Renaming Eustace Crescent Our plans to redevelop Eustace Crescent’s flats and maisonettes are progressing well, with construction of the new homes expected to start towards the end of 2014, subject to planning permission. Many wrongly associate the name Eustace Crescent with issues such as anti-social behaviour so we are in the process of asking local people whether they’d be happy for us to rename it. If they agree, we will be running a renaming competition in the local press. More details will be available shortly via our website and in The Wokingham Times.

60 English Oak Trees planted across the Borough

Jubilee tree at our Civic Offices

You may remember reading in previous editions of Wokingham Borough News, 60 English Oak trees were planted across the Wokingham Borough to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in partnership with

the Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association (WDVTA). Thanks to the hard work of the WDVTA and our very own Tree and Landscape Team, each tree has a numbered commemorative plaque and is recorded in the Woodland Trust's Royal Record. For the next five years the Jubilee oaks will be regularly watered, weeded and tended to ensure that the trees grow to their full potential. To find out where the 60 Jubilee trees are planted, visit: wdvta.org. uk/jubilee-map.php. For a printable Jubilee tree leaflet, with map, email: jubileetrees@wdvta.org.uk


Autumn 2013 27

Remember dementia… Young people aged ten to 17 across the Borough are reaching out to people in their communities with dementia. Schools, youth charities, church groups, our youth service, adult services and the Alzheimer's Society are creating a Dementia Action Alliance to make the Borough a more dementia-friendly community. The first phase, which started in May, focuses on intergenerational activities such as befriending, entertainment, games, fundraising, and visits to enrich the lives of both the youngsters and people living with dementia. People living with dementia, their families and carers are involved in planning these activities. “The young people have really enjoyed and benefitted from the experience,” said Nathan Bray, Project Co-ordinator. “The next phase is to work with businesses and local organisations and for them to sign up to the aims of the alliance.”

Whiteknights Primary School pupils planning an intergenerational project There are 1,700 people with dementia in the Borough. Two-thirds are cared for at home, mainly by their family and friends. One in three of us over 65 will develop dementia in later life. There are a large number of services here in the Borough to help support people

Tuesday night sports Dance, boxercise, trampolining and gym are just some of the many activities for adults with learning or physical disabilities to enjoy at St Crispin’s Leisure Centre in Wokingham. The aim of the Tuesday night sessions, from 5.30pm to 7pm, is to help people achieve their personal fitness goals, try out something new, and make new friends. The sports activities available have been chosen specifically because they improve confidence, independence, physical and psychological wellbeing.

with dementia and their carers, and includes a dedicated café, respite service and care advisors. More information: • Dementia Action Alliance (0118) 974 3798 • Wokingham Information Network (WIN) info.wokingham.gov.uk

Take your first steady steps These special exercise sessions help people aged 60 and over who’ve had a fall, or are at risk of falling. Falls are the main cause of hospitalised injuries, and fatalities for the over 65s but regular exercise can combat this and improve bone health.

The sessions are supervised, with professional coaches on hand.

Steady Steps focuses on balance, coordination, muscle strength, confidence and wellbeing. Your GP, physiotherapist or health professional can refer you to these sessions, and a course lasts ten weeks.

They are open to adults aged 16 and over and cost £3.90 per session. You get a 10% discount if you pay for the whole term in advance.

Abilities in a class vary considerably, so everyone can work at their own level and pace.

More information: • (0118) 974 3729 • Adam.godwin@wokingham.gov.uk

More information: • (0118) 974 6265 • claire.osler@wokingham.gov.uk


28 www.wokingham.gov.uk

Tackling domestic violence In the last year recorded crime hit its lowest level for fifteen years, making Wokingham Borough one of the safest places in the country to live and work. However, we know that some people are still suffering in silence from hidden crime, especially domestic abuse.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in their own home, and dealing with domestic abuse is one of Wokingham Borough Community Safety Partnership’s key priorities.

We’ve been working with a number of organisations such as Thames Valley Police, Berkshire Women’s Aid and local GPs to help victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse to come forward and get the help and support they need. Domestic abuse isn’t just violence; it can include both verbal and psychological abuse along with controlling behaviour over people’s lives and finances. The earlier someone asks for help either with their partners or their behaviour, the more options there are to help them – including counselling, employment or financial advice, and alcohol and drug services. There are also more immediate refuge services for high risk cases. Don’t live in fear or suffer in silence; you are not alone; there is always someone to turn to for support and advice. Contact: Always call 999 in an emergency • Berkshire Women’s Aid on (0118) 950 4003 • Thames Valley Police on 101 • www.wokingham.gov.uk/ domesticabuse

Nationally, one in four women and one in six men will suffer domestic abuse in their lifetime.

W Do hat is m Abu est se ic ?

Women’s Aid describes domestic abuse as: physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family relationship, and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.

Executive view Cllr Rob Stanton, Deputy Leader “Domestic violence is a despicable crime and is made even more horrifying by the fact that the attacker is known to the victim and someone they trust. It cuts across gender, age, and ethnicity and is a key priority to tackle in our Borough. “We know many victims feel terrified and trapped in their situation and asking for help and support, could literally save their lives. If you or anyone you know is in this situation, or is concerned about a friend or family member who may be suffering in silence, remember help is out there.”

Keeping the Borough’s children safe The Wokingham Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) works to safeguard children and young people and protect those at risk. Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) were set up by the government to ensure organisations such as councils, police and health, work together to protect children and promote their welfare. They also ensure safeguarding methods are effective in protecting children across the area.

A copy of the WSCB Annual Report 2012/13 outlining its work during the last year, as well as setting out the priorities for the coming year, can be found on our website. More information: www.wokingham.gov.uk/lscb


Autumn 2013 29


30 www.wokingham.gov.uk

What’s on… Lots for you and your family to do and see to make the most of the festivities and season! ...in your local library December 1 Woodley Winter Extravaganza Crafts for children from 11am to 3pm. Reading Symphony quartet (light classical and seasonal music) 2pm to 3pm. Winter Tales 11.30am and 1pm. Refreshments available. Woodley Library 10.30am to 4pm December 2 Living Advent Calendar Wokingham Library Café 5pm to 7pm New Year and January Why not see-in 2014 and take up a new hobby or make new friends by joining one of the many clubs at a Wokingham Borough library? There’s lots to choose from and include knit and natter, crafts and laughs, book groups, and more… February Drawing Workshops with Karen Carter Wokingham Library 10.30am to 12.30pm. Cost £5 plus £2 for materials. No experience necessary! February 4 - Drawing - Basic Principles February 11 - Charcoal, Pencil and Graphite February 18 - Drawn Monoprints February 25 - Pen, Ink and Wash

February 8 It’s National Libraries Day so visit your local library to see what’s on offer. February 17 to 21 February half term will be all things horrid, with Horrible History fun at all Wokingham Borough libraries. Horrible Histories craft sessions will be taking place at selected libraries; decorate shields and create hats and crowns throughout history. Horrible Histories Hunt – seven characters from different periods of history will be hidden in every library in the Borough, plus lots of quizzes and colouring sheets. eBooks Available to download at home, at your convenience, direct from our website. Simply enter your library card number and PIN to borrow up to six eBooks for free for up to three weeks at a time. You can download to iPads, iPhones, android devices, a range of popular e-readers and home computers.


Autumn 2013 31

...in the countryside Dinton Pastures and California Country Parks will continue to have a full timetable of fun and action-packed activities for families, adults and children during 2014. An exciting programme of outdoor activities at Dinton Pastures Country Park is being expanded next year. We are working closely with Barnes Fitness to develop a programme of open water swims, running events, duathlons and triathlons. Both racing and training opportunities will be available.

...season’s greetings December 20 Carols in the Mall at our Shute End offices from 3.30pm. Come and sing traditional Christmas carols and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Music provided by the Berkshire Maestros Youth Brass Band, conducted by Marc Edwards. Free. All welcome! December 7 and 8 Christmans Craft Fair organised by Berkshire Woodturning Association. Saturday December 7, 10am to 4pm Sunday December 8, 11am to 3pm Free admission TradeMark Showrooms, Oakland Park, Fishponds Road, Wokingham www.berkshirewoodturners.org.uk

...throughout the year Wokingham Music Club www.wokinghammusicclub.co.uk

For details of these events and more, please see… • www.wokingham.gov.uk/events • www.facebook.com/wokinghamboroughcouncil • www.facebook.com/wokinghamboroughlibraries • www.twitter.com/WokinghamBC • www.nationallibrariesday.org.uk • www.barnesfitness.co.uk

Why not check out www.morearts.org.uk for a list of events taking place around the Borough and beyond?


Waste and recycling collections – Christmas and New Year 2013/2014 Waste, recycling and garden waste collections Normal collection day*

Will be collected on

Delay

Monday December 23

Monday December 23

No change

Tuesday December 24

Tuesday December 24

No change

Wednesday December 25

Friday December 27

2 days

Thursday December 26

Saturday December 28

2 days

Friday December 27

Monday December 30

3 days

Monday December 30

Tuesday December 31

1 day

Tuesday December 31

Thursday January 2

2 days

Wednesday January 1

Friday January 3

2 days

Thursday January 2

Saturday January 4

2 days

Friday January 3

Monday January 6

3 days

Monday January 6

Tuesday January 7

1 day

Tuesday January 7

Wednesday January 8

1 day

Wednesday January 8

Thursday January 9

1 day

Thursday January 9

Friday January 10

1 day

Friday January 10

Saturday January 11

1 day

A normal service resumes on Monday January 13, 2014

*Garden waste Collections will coincide with the above schedule

Christmas trees If you are part of the garden waste collection scheme, please cut up your tree and place in the brown wheelie-bin or compostable sacks and put out as normal. Not on the scheme? You can take your trees to the recycling centres at Longshot Lane, Bracknell or Smallmead, Reading

2014 bank holidays We work on all bank holidays in 2014 (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Place your waste out the night before as collections may be earlier

www.wokingham.gov.uk/rubbish

Christmas cards Many charities collect these for fund-raising or put cards made of paper into your black recycling box

Community vehicle After Saturday December 21, there is no amenity service until Saturday January 18, 2014

Collection time Please place your waste out the night before as collections times may be earlier

Wrapping paper Put Christmas wrapping paper in your black recycling box. Metallic paper or plastic wrapping must be put in the blue bags with your normal waste as it can’t be recycled

Wokingham Borough News Autumn 2013  

Your resident's magazine from Wokingham Borough Council; creating a great space for Elms Field, free swimming for over 60s, creating the wow...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you