waste collections

Christmas and New Year waste collections

Residents will now experience up to a three-day delay on their collection prior to normal service resuming on 11 January. 

Changed collection dates

Please be aware rounds will be starting earlier during the festive period so put bins out the night before. The changes, which allow our crews to spend time with their families at this time of year, are as follows:

Normal Collection DayActual Collection Day
25 December 202028 December 2020
28 December 202029 December 2020
29 December 202030 December 2020
30 December 202031 December 2020
31 December 20202 January 2021
1 January 20214 January 2021
4 January 20215 January 2021
5 January 20216 January 2021
6 January 20217 January 2021
7 January 20218 January 2021
8 January 20219 January 2021

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, said: “These small changes to our schedules mean our waste teams can spend some time at Christmas having some well-earned rest with their families. 

“The festive season is a time when residents really can make the most of our range of recycling services, making sure all food peelings and offcuts go into their caddies to be turned into energy or breaking down cardboard boxes and keeping them dry so they can be recycled. We’ve put together some easy tips for residents to help them do their bit.”

Recycling centre opening times

Longshot Lane, Bracknell, and Smallmead, Reading, recycling centres will be open for most of the Christmas period, with the only changes being closure on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, as well as shutting early at 4pm, rather than 8pm, on Christmas Eve. Residents are required to book if they are visiting, using the click and tip service.

Recycling tips for Christmas

  • Make the most of the food recycling service by putting your turkey bones, potato peelings and any leftovers into your caddy
  • Use paper-based wrapping paper, rather than plastic or metallic-based wrapping paper, as this can go into the black recycling boxes (scrunch it, and if it stays scrunched, it can be recycled)
  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables
  • Write your shopping list and stick to it
  • Use your leftovers from Christmas lunch for meals in the following days or make a plate for a friend, family member or neighbour who is on their own this year
  • Recycle your plastic bottles, paper/card, aerosols and food/drink tins
  • If still in doubt please check our re3cyclopedia app to see what can and what cannot be recycled
  • Don’t miss out on our recycling incentives. Register for GreenRedeem to enjoy our fun and informative activities on waste and recycling
  • Break down cardboard boxes to save space and ensure they fit into the recycling box (and keep it dry to make sure it can be recycled)
  • Old, unwanted electrical items can be recycled at re3 recycling centres
  • Chop up your real Christmas tree, put it into your garden waste bin or take it to our household recycling centres.

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Woodley Town Council

Town Council Tax Survey results

1 in 5 households respond to the Woodley Town Council Tax Survey for 2021/22

Key points:

  • Objective: to establish range of increase residents would find acceptable
  • 1 in 5 households responded (2,384 responses out of 10,755 households)
  • Zero increase added into responses
  • 2 in 3 responses (65.1%) found 40% (extra 87p per week) acceptable
  • 42.5% found 50% (extra £1.09 per week) acceptable (1,009 responses)
  • 22.6% found 40% (extra 87p per week) acceptable (536 responses)

Woodley Town Council is facing the likelihood of a financially challenging year in 2021/22 as a result of the pandemic which has led to the temporary reduction in, or closure of services, and facilities run by the Town Council, causing a significant decrease in income. Costs have been reduced where possible, with the Council only spending on essential or contractual costs. In addition, furlough claims for staff were made, where appropriate. 

In these difficult times where everyone is suffering financially it is essential that the Town Council recognises this impact when considering what Town Council Tax to charge in the next financial year. In an unprecedented step, not repeated by any other Town Council in the Borough, the Town Council decided to ask every householder in Woodley what increase they could accept. 

The survey was designed to provide a range of what was acceptable to our residents and not simply whatever the majority decided would be implemented. The results would be fed into the budget setting process where the thrust would be to keep any rise to be as small as possible. This range would provide the flexibility needed when discussing the financial options in the budget.

The survey, which was distributed to all 10,755 households in Woodley, was carried out between 9 October and 16November to gauge residents’ acceptability of four possible levels of increase. inviting response by either post using a freepost return card or online via the Woodley Town Council website.  

Householders could respond either by post or on-line. A magnificent 22.2% response was achieved, meaning one in five householders gave us their views. Responses were received from all areas of Woodley, with no significant difference in response depending on location. 

The full results can be found as Note 1. You will see that a number of residents added a fifth option which was a zero option which has been included in the data. Two out of three responses (65.1%) found a 40% increase acceptable with the 50% increase the most popular at 42.5% of all responses. 

While comments were not specifically invited especially the on-line survey, many of the postal responses provided one. We also received many comments of thanks and support for the Council’s efforts during this Covid 19 pandemic which was much appreciated.

The most common comments received were:

  • Difficult personal circumstances due to Covid 19
  • Concerns about increasing Council Tax during the difficulties of Covid 19
  • The Council should first make cuts or changes to facilities, services, staffing and councillor costs
  • Wokingham Borough Council should be helping Woodley Town Council
  • Central government should be helping Woodley Town Council
  • Council Tax is too high anyway
  • The increase should only be for 2021-22 and then reduce back to where it was.

There was also some confusion from several residents about what the Borough Council provides and what the Town Council provides with comments aimed at services which are provided by the Borough Council.

Over the next few months extensive work will be undertaken to construct a suitable budget to be presented at the Full Council in February 2021. This will take into consideration many different factors, including the survey results and the ever-changing economic climate created by the Covid pandemic.

“We are very grateful to the unprecedented response from residents who took the time to respond to the survey. Running a survey like this is a first in the Borough so we did not know what to expect. It is clear, through the huge return, that residents clearly appreciated being asked. Resident feedback is important when making decisions about the community as a whole. We appreciate that the Covid 19 pandemic has and continues to leave many residents in difficult situations. All of this will be considered when setting the Town Council Tax level for next year. We are proud to have got the current Town Council Tax level to be lower than the 2013/14 level. Our natural inclination is to continue to keep it as low as possible which is what we intend to continue to do for next year’s tax levels.” says Keith Baker, Council Leader. 


OptionNumber of responses% response Options A-D plus ‘no increase’
(increase of 43p per week)47920.19
(increase of 65p per week)24110.16
(increase of 87p per week)53622.60
(increase of £1.09 per week)100942.54

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wokingham borough libraries online covid 19

Wokingham Borough libraries now online only

After reviewing the new regulations under Tier 4, WOkingham Borough Council has decided to move to a digital only library service across the Borough until 4 January.

The service will then move to a click and collect service at Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley libraries.

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Tier 4

Wokingham Borough is now in Tier 4

Wokingham Borough has been moved into the new Tier 4, which effectively places us back into a lockdown

New Tier 4 rules

Anywhere in South East, East and London (including Wokingham Borough) that was in Tier 3 will move into Tier 4, which will essentially mean lockdown rules apply from one minute past midnight tonight (00:01am Sunday December 20)

  • Residents in these areas must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions set out in law.
  • Non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close.
  • People must work from home if they can, but may travel to work if this is not possible.
  • People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home.
  • Individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space.
  • Communal worship can continue.
  • It will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work purposes.

New Christmas rules

Those living in tier 4 areas should not mix with anyone outside their own household at Christmas, though support bubbles will remain in place for those at particular risk of loneliness or isolation.

Across the rest of the country, the Christmas rules allowing up to three households to meet will now be limited to Christmas Day only, rather than the five days as previously set out.

Helpful contacts during the pandemic

Helpful contacts…

How Covid-19 is affecting our services

Advice and help for local businesses during Covid-19

Public Health England and Department of Health and Social Care guidance

NHS England advice

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covid 19

Woodley moves into Tier 3 restrictions from Saturday 19 December

Wokingham Borough moves to Tier 3 (Very High)

In its latest review, UK Government has placed Wokingham Borough in Tier 3 (Very High). This will come into effect from 12:01am on 19 December and there are tighter restrictions to what you can and cannot do. For the full list of guidance, please visit the website.

Please note that the following factors are taken into consideration by the Government when deciding which tier each area of the UK should be in:

  • Case detection rates in all age groups
  • Case detection rates in the over-60s
  • The rate at which cases are rising or falling
  • Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
  • Pressure on the NHS

In order to go back down to Tier 2, there must be a sustained downward trend across a number of these factors. The next review will take place on 30 December.

You can find out which tier other parts of England are in through the Government’s Covid -19 postcode checker.

BC Case rates rising

Cases rising rapidly

Our Public Health experts have informed us that cases are increasing rapidly, and we are seeing daily rates hit levels that are higher than before the November lockdown.

The weekly case rate (up to 11 December) as reported on the Covid-19 dashboard is 185.8 per 100,000 people.

Each of us has a responsibility to continue to adhere to the guidance to keep ourselves, our families and our neighbours safe.

Remember, you should not be meeting other households indoors, and you should continue to follow basic public health measures around washing your hands, wearing a face covering where required to do so and making space from others.

BC Christmas

Consider your actions before Christmas

One of the most important actions we can take to help slow the spread of the virus is to limit our number of social interactions. This is crucial over the festive period, which we know is usually a busy time for get-togethers with friends, family, and colleagues.

However, with Christmas just over a week away, please remember that if you have any contact with someone who goes on to develop Covid-19 (within the subsequent 48 hours) you will need to self-isolate over the festive period.

Just because you can form a bubble with two other households over the festive period, it doesn’t mean you have to. Please use your judgement to make the right decision and take extra caution now to help keep your loved ones safe and protected.

Helpful contacts during the pandemic

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Register early for postal vote

On Thursday 6 May, 2021, Wokingham Borough residents will go to the polls in the local elections to have their say on who represents them on Wokingham Borough Council and who will be the Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley Police Force Area.  

Keeping you safe

While the elections are not until May, the borough council is already hard at work making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.  

There are a number of ways to have your say in the elections in May – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.

Apply for a postal vote now

If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the council’s election webpages.  

You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the elections – the easiest way to register is online by visiting website.  

Andrew Moulton, electoral registration officer for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “The elections next year are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Wokingham Borough.

“We’re thinking about these elections now so that, however you choose to cast your vote in May, you can do so safely. We’re putting arrangements in place to help you stay safe at the polling station. But you also have the option to apply to vote by post or by proxy. You don’t need to wait until nearer the time, we are encouraging you to register now.”

More information

If you have any questions about registering to vote, or applying for a postal vote, email the electoral services team at:

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donate unwanted technology

Donate your unwanted technology to the vulnerable

As part of its commitment to reducing loneliness and isolation in the borough, Wokingham Borough Council has joined forces with local charities, as part of the Wokingham Borough Community response, to provide donated IT equipment to vulnerable residents who don’t have the knowledge or tools they need to go online.

The ‘Digital Donations’ initiative will improve their ability to access the internet, ultimately helping to reduce the impact and risk of loneliness and isolation in the borough. This includes households whose income falls below the poverty line.

One Front Door

The Council has been working with Citizen’s Advice and other key partners across the voluntary sector as part of its One Front Door scheme, to offer support to residents who are classed as critically extremely vulnerable (CEV) during the second national lockdown. 

As part of this work, it has identified key individuals and families within the community who are most at risk from digital exclusion and who would benefit from access to donated IT equipment.

Accepting donations

As a result, the Council is encouraging businesses, charities and members of the public to donate good quality IT equipment that is no more than five years old; including computers and laptops (minimum Windows 7, or OS Version 10.13), tablets (minimum Android 7, or OS supported) and keyboards (USB or wireless, complete with all keys). 

Once donated, the Council has enlisted the help of a local IT business to make the devices as safe and easy-to-use as possible. They will then be passed on to local charities, including the Link Visiting Scheme and First Days, to deliver to residents and provide guidance on how to use them. 

Improving digital engagement

Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for adult social care and public health, says: “In our Covid-19 Residents Impact Survey, we found that 7% of respondents admitted that they struggled with IT, internet, or use of digital technology during the first wave of the pandemic and this is something we want to change. 

“Our Digital Donations project will be a springboard for creating medium to longer term solutions that will improve digital engagement across the borough, by providing vulnerable individuals and families with access to valuable IT equipment.”

Drop-off points

For GDPR purposes, all devices must be restored to factory settings before being donated, and items should also be fully sanitised. These can be donated in a Covid-secure manner at several sites across the Borough from Monday 14 December, including:

  • Wokingham Library – open 9.30am-1.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 
  • Woodley Library – open 9am-1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Lower Earley Library – open 9.30am-1.30pm on Monday and Thursday  

Ambitious digital strategy

Cllr Charles Margetts continues: “Having to self-isolate or stay at home during the national lockdowns has been particularly hard for some of our most vulnerable residents. At the same time, we understand that there are children within our communities who do not have access to the IT equipment they need to aid their personal development. 

“That is why this is such an important step in our ambitious digital strategy, ultimately improving their ability to access the internet and reduce any feelings of isolation.”

If you, or you know someone who would benefit from this scheme, please contact the following organisations:

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wokingham borough council

Wokingham Borough Council Christmas opening hours

Wokingham Borough Council has announced its office opening hours for the Christmas and New Year period.  

DateShute End offices
Thursday 24 December9am to 3pm
Friday 25 December  (Christmas Day)Closed
Saturday 26 December   (Boxing Day)Closed
Sunday 27 DecemberClosed
Monday 28 December (Boxing Day substitute day)Closed
Tuesday 29 DecemberNormal opening hours (9am to 5pm)
Wednesday 30 DecemberNormal opening hours (9am to 5pm)
Thursday 31 December (New Year’s Eve)9am to 3pm
Friday 1 January 2020(New Year’s Day)Closed

The emergency out-of-hours telephone number during the holiday period is (0800) 212 111. Social services emergencies out-of-hours telephone number is (01344) 786 543.

The telephone number for reporting out-of-hours repairs to council properties is (0800) 515 287 for general repairs and (0800) 389 8789 for heating repairs and gas servicing. The calls will be managed by the council’s out-of-hours call centre and passed to the appropriate contractor.

The community mental health crisis team will be providing out-of-hours urgent care service, available on (0300) 365 9999.

Waste and recycling
The Civic Offices at Shute End in Wokingham will be open on the days stated above, with Covid-19 safe restrictions in place to allow residents to access essential waste and recycling items only. Those purchasing blue bags or garden sacks will need to pay in advance on our website and then bring the receipt with them.

The only entry point will be via the main entrance off Biscoe Way, operating on a one in, one out basis. All enquires will be triaged on arrival and visitors will be asked to provide track and trace details.  Social distancing must be followed at all times, with distancing signage in place as a reminder.


All Wokingham Borough Libraries will be closed on Friday 25 December, Saturday 26 December, Sunday 27 December, Monday 28 December and Friday 1 January.

Wokingham Library

Wokingham Library will be open on Tuesday 29 December and Wednesday 30 December from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Woodley Library

Woodley Library will be open on Wednesday 30 December from 9am to 1pm.

Lower Early Library

Lower Earley Library will be open on Thursday 24 December and Thursday 31 December from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Other libraries in the borough remain closed due to the council’s Covid-19 response. Further details can be found online at

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Happier and healthier Berkshire

Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Berkshire West

Joint Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Berkshire West

The Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Berkshire West: Reading, West Berkshire & Wokingham

What is the Joint Health and wellbeing strategy?

A Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy sets out where professionals across health and social care will work together to improve the health of the population.

This year, for the first time, the Health and Wellbeing Boards in Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham have joined together to produce a new 10-year plan to improve the health and wellbeing of people who live across Berkshire West.

Why is this strategy important?

The new strategy will be the focus for health and social care working in partnership across all three areas to improve your health and wellbeing. It is a declaration of where we all think it is important to work together to make a difference, and so will affect decisions about where money is spent and where resources are put over the next 10 years.

How can I make a difference? 

We have spoken with professionals and looked at data to see what areas we think are important to include. Through this, we have created a list of 11 possible priorities but now need your help to decide which of these should be included in the final strategy.

All 11 of these areas are important, but we think it is essential to focus on a smaller number and so make sure we can do them right, making a real difference to people’s lives. We want to understand what is important to you and where you want us to focus our time, energy, resources and commitment.

What can I do?

We will be hosting three virtual public meetings on 13th, 20th and 27th January. If you would like to attend, please let us know at

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Woodley library December 2020

Woodley Library to re-open 7th December

Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley library buildings will reopen from Monday 7 December, following the end of the national lockdown and the introduction of new Tier 2 (High) restrictions. 

All will operate at reduced hours, enabling them to deliver an in-person library service in the safest way possible.

Opening hours

Under current plans, Wokingham Library will be open between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, Woodley Library between 9am and 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Lower Early between 9.30am and 1.30pm on Monday and Thursday. 

This will help staff to safely manage and quarantine books that are returned, which is particularly important as there are currently 32,000 books on loan across the borough.

Re-deployment of staff

In November, the council took the decision to close both Wokingham and Woodley library buildings to enable staff members to be redeployed into other statutory services to help manage the spread of the virus and protect the vulnerable within our communities. 

Following a successful month of effort in these areas during the latest lockdown, some of these staff are now able to return to their substantive roles, whilst others are still directly supporting our most vulnerable residents.

Safe places to visit

Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure said: “We are delighted to be re-opening our three largest libraries, enabling us to meet demand and deliver the service as safely as possible. Prior to the national lockdown, our Wokingham and Woodley libraries had been successfully operating with Covid-19 public health measures since re-opening in the summer, and residents were making repeated use of our services. 

“We are very pleased to also be re-opening our Lower Earley library, which has been closed since the first national lockdown, and we have a range of measures in place to ensure that all of our libraries are safe places to visit.” 

Please note, services are currently limited to the lending library and waste sack collection. Other library services such as computer facilities and events are still unavailable at this time.

Social distancing efforts

In terms of social distancing, all three libraries have one-way systems in place which people must follow, as well as hand sanitiser stations in the entrances for use when entering and leaving the premises. 

Face coverings must be worn inside the buildings and visitors should try to minimise their handling of books while browsing. If a book is touched, but not booked out, it must be taken to the returned books area where it will be put into quarantine for 72 hours before it can be returned to the shelves.

Online library service still available

“For anyone who is unable to visit our libraries once they re-open, we do have a digital service available. This continues to be a popular option and we were very pleased with the uptake of our online offering during lockdown”, says Cllr Parry Batth. 

“This includes an expanded range of digital books, magazines, music streaming and virtual events, which are available for residents free of charge.”

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Friendship Alliance Wokingham

Friendship Alliance Newsletter December 2020

Please note that the ‘Find Out More’ buttons in the Newsletter are not linked. For more information, please contact Jayne Streak, Project Lead at the Friendship Alliance on: / 07464 834949 / 0118 979 8019.

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