Wokingham mayor

Wokingham Borough Mayor Awards

Wokingham Borough Mayor launches Roll of Honours Awards to recognise community champions and celebrate success stories


Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser has launched the Roll of Honour Awards to recognise people who make an outstanding contribution to their community.

Each month Cllr Kaiser and his deputy mayor Cllr Bill Soane will select worthy winners from those people nominated by members of the public. There will be children’s and adults’ categories and each winner will receive a lapel badge and scroll to mark their achievements.

Cllr Kaiser said: “Wokingham Borough is full of fantastic people who make our communities special – and we want to recognise their contributions. We are looking for people who make that extra effort for others – maybe by fostering, volunteering or being a carer; there are many thousands of such people out there and we need to hear about them. For children and young people, we would like to hear about those who have overcome adversity.”

Any borough resident can be nominated for an award. To nominate somebody, all you have to do is email the mayor’s office at: Nominations (which can only be made by Wokingham borough residents) should be no longer than 200 words and should set out why the nominee should be considered for the award. For the children’s awards, outstanding achievements such as in sport or arts will be considered.

The awards will be given out monthly and the first awards will be presented at September’s full council.

Wokingham mayor

Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr John Kaiser (L) & Deputy Mayor Cllr Bill Soane (R)

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shed break-ins Wokingham area

Police warning of increased shed break-ins across Wokingham area

Shed break-ins across Wokingham area

The Police have issued a recent alert to highlight an increase in offenders targeting sheds and garages in the Wokingham area. The police ask everyone to please keep an eye out for anything suspicious and call 101 if you see anything. 

Why Sheds?

Opportunist thieves identify sheds as easy pickings because they are unprotected and lack basic security measures.

The buildings often contain property that can be sold on or implements that can be used to force entry into the owner’s home.

What can you do?

Many people fall short on basic security of their sheds.

Please make sure you:

• Keep your shed in good condition

• Fit a closed shackle padlock to the door

• Fittings should be bolted through the door and any screws concealed

• It is easy to unscrew the ironmongery, steal contents and in some cases replace the screws to make it look as if the shed has not been tampered with

• By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts, together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.

• Bond any window glass in with mastic to prevent easy removal. Fit grilles or mesh to windows to slow down the thief.

• Ensure all equipment and tools are locked away when not in use

• Install a shed alarm

• Post-code or mark all property such as lawnmowers, bikes, and tools using ultraviolet pens, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA, Smartwater or engravers.

• Install security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points

• If building a shed, put it where it is most visible to you and neighbours

• Ensure ladders are locked to a secure fixture in the shed or garage so they can’t be used to reach top floor windows

• Chain large items such as bicycles together, making it much more difficult for a thief to carry away

• Fit a wire cage inside the shed where more expensive items can be locked away.

No thief wants to hang about longer than they have to so delay the time it will take!

shed break-ins Wokingham area

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children's activity camps

Woodford Park Leisure Centre launches new camps

New children’s activity camps

Woodford Park Leisure Centre has launched new children’s sport activity camps for the Summer holidays. Attending structured sports activities has many benefits for children and even parents too.

Benefits of sports activities

Here’s a summary of ‘Top 5 facts’ on the importance of children’s organised activities:

1. Brain skills – healthy bodies create and support healthy minds, resulting in improved performance and concentration, as well as providing the opportunity to learn new skills.

2. Life skills – starting physical activity at an early age is more likely to follow through into early adulthood and beyond, creating a lifetime of fitness.

3. Social skills – structured activities encourage and develop social skills, creating the opportunity to make new friends outside of a school environment, meeting new people across the community.

4. Confidence skills – sports activities can help children to build their self-esteem as they learn to trust and thrive in their abilities, receive encouragement and praise and learn how to process constructive criticism.

5. Parent skills – parents are naturally happy to be able to send their children to organised, safe and fun activities, which can reduce stress levels and give parents the opportunity for time out, whether it’s for work, social or leisure time.

Spaces are limited and do book up quickly!

For more information, please visit the Centre, call 0118 9216969, or explore the website

children's activity camps

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Woodley Town Council business apprenticeship

Business Apprenticeship at Woodley Town Council

Woodley Town Council – helping young people into employment

Adding to its contribution to local employment, Woodley Town Council is now looking to recruit an Apprentice Administrative Assistant to be based at The Oakwood Centre.

The Council, through the apprenticeship scheme, will provide hands on training to help the successful candidate develop skills and knowledge, while also earning a wage and completing a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration.

First hand skills

The successful candidate will assist in running the busy Council office, as well as providing administrative support across the Council, gaining skills and knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, venue assistance and customer service. Working in the Council’s small office team, the successful candidate will learn about the services provided by the Council, have ownership of specific tasks and also have the potential for a full-time role at the end of the apprenticeship, providing the opportunity to further develop the role.

“Woodley Town Council is very proud of its contribution to local employment and its alliance with local young people. The successful apprentice will benefit from working for a committed and dedicated employer, providing training, excellent working conditions and opportunities to develop,” comments Council Leader Keith Baker.

How to apply

To apply for the apprenticeship, candidates need to be aged 16 or above, not be in full time education, be eligible to work in England and willing to sign up to the Apprentice scheme for 12 months.

Further information can be found by contacting Rachel Weston at Dudley College, the training provider. (Rachel Weston 01509 640456 Alternatively, candidates can apply directly through the Government’s Find Apprentice Service online (


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Woodley Woodford Park Green Flag

Woodford Park receives Green Flag status

Woodley Town Council is delighted to announce that Woodford Park has received Green Flag status amid high commendation from the judges and is recognised as one of the UK’s best green spaces.

Woodford Park is the first park in the Wokingham Borough area to receive Green Flag status, and joins other green spaces awarded recognition across the UK.

The park is among a record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that have received a prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.

Green Flag award

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

Town Mayor, Sam Rahmouni, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for first time. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Woodford Park to such a high standard with Woodley Town Council and the Friends of Woodford Park’s support.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year. Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”


The judges were particularly delighted with the changes made from last year’s visit to Woodford Park and commented that “it was a privilege to judge this site on their second year of judging”. Key areas highlighted include the entrance to the park with the decorative gates, memorial and decorative beds being welcoming and inviting, as well as the new signs in the park.

Healthy, safe and security was also commended, alongside how well-maintained and clean the park is, with very high standards for litter and dog waste.  Woodford Park was also applauded for how the environment is managed with minimal chemical use and also the investment in the park’s biodiversity landscape; particularly the regeneration of the lake and the further work planned.

“This site really delivers a great amount for the community as a resource.  It is really well used by a wide range of community groups, some of whom organise regular events that provide a focus for community spirit in Woodley and enhance the area as a place to live and play. Really impressed with the Friends group and other community groups who are positive, enthusiastic and make a real contribution to the standard of the park. The paddling pool is an excellent facility for small children. The youth centre and skate ramps cater for young people. Provision for active sports is good. There are lots of benches for the elderly,” the report cited.

Proud team

Bill Soane, Chairman of Woodley Town Council’s Leisure Services Committee comments: “We are delighted with the Green Flag award and it has been many years of hard work from the team and I would like to thank our previous Head Groundsman, Kevin Weller for his work towards this award during his nearly 40 years of service, our current Grounds Maintenance Manager, Terry Gough, his team and the Friends of Woodford Park who have all contributed to create such a wonderful green space and put Woodley firmly on the map.”

Woodley Town Council will be displaying the flag in the park in the near future.

Woodley Woodford Park Green Flag

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Woodley public toilet installation

Woodley Town Centre public toilet update

Public toilet

Following the 2015 Woodley Resident’s Survey, conducted by HMR, an independent research and consultancy service, Woodley Town Council has responded to local resident requests for a public toilet and works to install it are currently underway. The unit is due to arrive on 30 July; however, electrical and water connections will need to be completed.

The decision to spend funds on a public toilet in the town centre were a result of the independent survey.

Resident’s Survey

Conducted both as a doorstep survey and as an online self-completion survey, it received feedback from over 924 local residents, and 18 users of Woodley facilities who did not live in Woodley. Over 60% of respondents wanted a public toilet to be provided.

62.9% asked for a public toilet in Woodley, 29.8% said no and 7.3% responded with ‘don’t know’.

Comments made during the survey were frequently based on people’s feelings about the needs of people with health conditions, disabilities, or people with young children who needed to have easy access to a toilet.

While Woodley Town Council is aware that the installation of the toilet will not please everyone, its responsibility is to the local residents and, in this case, the majority of residents requested a toilet.

The public toilet will be positioned in the southern area of the town centre, near to Waitrose car park.

Full details of the survey can be accessed on the Woodley Town Council website:

Woodley public toilet installation

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Woodley Mayor attends Waingels art collection

Woodley Town Council Mayor attends private art viewing

Mayor attends art viewing – Unmasked

On Thursday 5th July, Woodley Town Council Mayor Sam Rahmouni attended Waingels School’s annual Year 13 Art Private View, ‘Unmasked’; a celebration of very talented Art & Photography student’s coursework and exam pieces.

One of the students, Zoe Binden, looked at the history of pattern in her coursework project. She studied the work of William Morris and even took a trip to the John Lewis heritage centre to observe first hand some of the iconic prints and patterns we have furnished our houses, hotels and even the Titanic with over the years. She has created a modern approach to wallpaper using traditional repeating methods as well as printing processes to digitally compose her beautiful final pieces.

Woodley Mayor attends Waingels art collection

Another Waingel student, Samson, spent his Photography coursework project looking at the idea of ‘Destroy’. He took his photographs in a variety of venues including bomb shelters along the coast in France and old abandoned outhouses. There was something sad he noticed about the way we so quickly disregard objects, buildings and landscapes once they are no longer used. Samson spent a long time ‘destroying’ the frames he presented his work in – using charring methods as well as physically building the frames himself from scrap materials.

Woodley Mayor attends Waingels art viewing

Mayor Sam Rahmouni had the opportunity to see these and other unique pieces of art created by the Year 13 pupils and was very impressed with the dedication and the design process the students used and explored.

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Mayor at The Bulmershe School

Woodley Mayor commends ‘mini medics’

Mayor presents mini medics at The Bulmershe School with awards

At a recent presentation at The Bulmershe School in Woodley, Mayor Sam Rahmouni presented certificates to Year 9 students who had participated in and been awarded for First Aid in the Community.

“Over the past term a group of our year 9 students have been carving out their place in the community by becoming fully trained ‘Mini Medics!’,” commented Katie Gaetan, First Aid Trainer and member of the school inclusion team.

The Mini Medics trained hard to learn life-saving First Aid but also demonstrated their new found understanding of mental health, learning how to help themselves and their friends with life-long issues, such as understanding emotions and coping with stress, creating ‘Mental Health First Aid kits’ for children and young people to use in difficult times.

Health and well-being

“Students here are always encouraged to take an active role in their health and well-being and our Mini Medics helps raise awareness of the struggles that so many people face, but still feel unable to talk about. The mini medics at Bulmershe help our students know that we are a listening school, a school where we look at the whole student, not just their grades. The Bulmershe School is proud to be part of our community and help shape its future leaders, we are of course extremely proud of all our newly qualified Mini Medics! Well done Year 9!” added Katie Gaetan.

Mayor Sam Rahmouni was delighted to present the awards and hear of the hard work the students had put into learning life-saving skills and their understanding of emotional wellbeing.

Mayor at The Bulmershe School

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Woodley Town Council loan approval for projects

At the June Full Council Meeting held at the Oakwood Centre, approval was given to apply to the Public Works Loan Board for a loan of £240,000 to fund three projects. These projects reflect the continuous investment of the Town Council into its services and facilities and builds on the investment of £500,000 already made over recent years.

A key principle of the Town Council is to constrain the financing of loans to a set level to ensure that town council tax levels do not need to be increased to cover the costs. There are two existing loans which will mature in 2019 and 2020, meaning the payments for these loans can be used to finance this new loan. In the intervening gap between now and the maturity dates, the financing will come from reserves.

The projects

Lake regeneration

Preparatory works at the lake, including cutting back overgrown areas, removing the hedge at the eastern end of the lake and, following a professional tree survey, removing trees that were in poor condition or damaging the lake and island banks, have already been undertaken. The loan, at an estimated cost of £70,000, will aid further work to improve the habitat, ecosystem and amenity value of the lake and will include the creation of a wildlife area, a boardwalk across the lake with a dipping platform, desilting of the lake, and improvements to the pathways and bank areas.

Woodford Park Leisure Centre

Following feedback from Resident Surveys, leisure centre customers and recommendations from the manager, plans to update and refurbish three areas of the leisure centre have been agreed. The installation of new ladies’ toilets, additional back office space and refurbishment of the foyer, replacement LED lighting in the sports hall and improvements to the centre’s north facing façade at an estimated cost of £90,000.

New workshop for the maintenance team

It has been agreed to build a new workshop for the Maintenance and Ground Maintenance teams to provide a space for repairs to be carried out, for tools to be stored and for the two teams to have access to toilets, a shower and a rest/tea area on site. The new workshop will be placed within the current Grounds Maintenance depot area in Woodford Park, at an estimated cost of £80,000.

Council leader Keith Baker

“Approximately six years ago, the council started to invest in capital projects in a financially controlled way. Woodley residents have been seeing the results of that investment in improved facilities and services over that period. This investment is a continuation of that approach and I am extremely pleased that all this has been done without raising the town council tax rate. I am especially pleased about the long awaited total refurbishment of the lake which is at the heart of Woodford Park which will improve this area significantly. I am proud to be the leader of a town council which has such ambitions to provide first class services and facilities to its residents,” comments Council Leader Keith Baker.

Keith baker Woodley Town Council

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