garden waste collections Wokingham Borough Council

Garden waste collection delays


A brown garden waste bin

Disruption to garden waste collection services

Garden waste collections may run slightly late this week due to collection staff having to follow Covid-19 guidance to self-isolate after being pinged by NHS Test and Trace.

If your garden waste is not collected on the day it is due please leave your bins and sacks out until the following day when it will be collected as we catch up. Report your bin or sacks as missed after 4pm on the day after your collection is due if it is missed.

You can check your waste collection day by entering your postcode on Wokingham Borough Council’s collection day checker on its website.

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Woodley Town Mayor opens New Woodley Branch of Travis Perkins

Town Mayor opens new store in Woodley

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel opened a new branch of Travis Perkins in Woodley last week, marking the occasion with a ceremonious ‘ribbon cutting’.

Ribbon cutting with, Samantha Nice, MP Matt Rodda, Woodley Town Mayor Cllr Janet Sartorel and Louise Lister at Travis Perkins, Woodley

The brand new Travis Perkins branch features a new plumbing and heating showroom and a tools and plant hire section which includes diggers and dumpers. With over 25,000 products in branch and online, it offers a fast and convenient one hour click and collect service and next day delivery.

Louise Lister and Cllr Janet Sartorel

“I am delighted to attend the opening of the Woodley branch of Travis Perkins on behalf of the residents of Woodley. It’s wonderful to welcome a new service provider to our town. The new employment opportunities are an added bonus to our thriving community,” said Woodley Town Mayor Cllr Janet Sartorel. 

Cllr Janet Sartorel, Louise Lister, MP Matt Rodda, Samantha Nice

Matt Rodda MP, who also attended the opening, said: “I was delighted to visit the new Travis Perkins Branch in Woodley. It was interesting to meet managers and staff and to hear about the business and the opportunities it is providing through apprenticeships and its efforts to attract a wider range of people into the building industry. I was also interested to hear about the firm’s commitment to selling sustainably produced timber and its work with its suppliers”.

Janet Sartorel, Samantha Nice and MP Matt Rodda at Travis Perkins Headley, Reading, 19th July 2021

Branch manager Samantha Nice said: “This new state-of-the-art branch provides a one-stop shop for all building and construction needs. It is twice as big as before, with a stunning new plumbing and heating showroom and is in a much more prominent and visible location in Headley Park.

“With demand for construction and building at an all-time high, the opening of our new branch couldn’t come at a better time.”

Cllr Janet Sartorel and Louise Lister

If you would like to invite the Town Mayor or Deputy Town Mayor to an event, please email:

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climate emergency

New climate emergency measures in the borough

Wokingham Borough Council’s decision-making executive will meet on Thursday 29 July to discuss next steps on several climate emergency projects across Wokingham Borough, including public engagement, a tree planting project and a new solar farm.

The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and the ambitious projects form part of its climate emergency action plan, aiming to make the borough net zero carbon by 2030.

Amongst the items set to be taken forward to the next phase are plans to invest in a tree strategy for Wokingham Borough, including planting the first set of trees The council has committed to planting 250,000 new trees during the next five years, adding to the 100,000 it already looks after. 

Converting land to woodlands will play a key part in capturing and storing excess carbon, however it is the woodland ecosystem as opposed to single trees that will make the difference. Undertaking a feasibility plan and developing a strategy will enable trees to be planted in locations and ways that will create the greatest benefit for the borough.

Also being discussed is the proposed solar farm in Barkham. A planning application has been submitted to build the solar farm on council owned land and is set to be considered by the planning committee in the Autumn. It is proposed that funds will be agreed now to avoid delays in starting the work should the application be approved.

Woodley Town Council solar energy

The farm would cost around £20 million to develop and last for 25 years, after which time the land could revert to farmland. The energy it would generate is equivalent to offsetting the whole of the council’s own emissions, including offices, schools and civic buildings. The added benefit of the project is that excess energy can be sold, earning revenue that the council can spend on providing services for residents and projects across the borough.

Finally, the executive will be asked how to engage with the public on climate emergency. After a robust analysis of different methods of public engagement, it is proposed that the council use e-panels and focus groups, which topped the evaluation in terms of cost effectiveness, diverse participation opportunities and overall effectiveness.

Members of the public in the borough will be invited to participate from early 2022, which will give the council opportunities to hear their voices, collect their views and gather insight to inform future decisions.

Cllr Gregor Murray, executive member for resident services, communications and emissions, said: “Climate emergency is a key focus for Wokingham Borough Council, and we are committed to making Wokingham Borough net zero carbon by 2030. As a council we are implementing a wide range of schemes, including tree planting, a solar farm and public engagement.

“Having a solar farm will significantly offset our carbon emissions and is a big step in the right direction for a net zero carbon borough. There are, however, areas that it won’t be possible for us to completely eradicate carbon emissions.

“The tree project will help carbon that we can’t eradicate to be removed from the atmosphere. We need to carefully look at where these trees are planted. We think we will need around 250 hectares of land. We will be looking at our own land as well as talking to local landowners to identify the best locations.

“We also need support from our residents and businesses to look at how we can encourage people to make changes. Things such as recycling more, choosing green energy suppliers and cutting down on using our cars.

“Being able to speak directly with residents, businesses and schools to see how the council can support and encourage people to make changes, as well as finding out what are their key drivers in supporting the climate emergency is really important to us to understand how we can work together to make the borough net zero carbon.”

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town mayor awards mini medics Bulmershe school

Town Mayor awards Mini Medics

Town Mayor of Woodley presents Mini Medics certificates to students at Bulmershe School

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, had the privilege to recently award Mini Medic certificates to students at The Bulmershe School. 

The students had learnt how to deal with a casualty not breathing, choking, allergies, recovery positions, talking to the emergency services and how to be Covid safe and still treat someone who is ill or injured. All of the students did remarkably well, particularly during the recent challenging times of the Covid 19 pandemic. 

“It was a privilege to watch the first aid skills that had been learnt and I was very impressed with the knowledge and proficiency of the students. Their confidence really shone through,” said the Town Mayor. 

Medical Lead at the school, Mrs Gaetan, praised the students for all the hard work they put in, despite the disruptions throughout the pandemic, particularly focusing on how resourceful they had been and the hard work they had put in to catch up and complete the course. 

The Town Mayor further commended the students for their hard work. 

“I would like to congratulate the students for their focused team-work, helping each other in different first aid situations, demonstrating skills that they will be able to carry on outside of school and support the wonderful community of Woodley. I hope you are all very proud of yourselves.”

If you would like to invite the Town Mayor or Deputy Town Mayor to an event, please email:

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Woodley library

Wokingham Borough libraries

Woodley library

Wokingham Borough Council library buildings reopen from Monday 19 July, in line with the easing of national restrictions.  

Wokingham, Lower Early, Spencers Wood, Twyford, Wargrave, Finchampstead and Winnersh libraries will all open on their full operating hours and resume all services from Monday 19 July.  

Woodley library will be open for its full hours, apart from Sundays which will start again later in the summer.

The Arborfield pop-up library is implementing a staggered re-opening approach from Monday 2 August.

Full details will be available on the Council’s website

All library buildings have remained closed since the start of the pandemic, with only Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Early opening in between lockdowns for book browsing and borrowing; as well as the council’s popular digital library service, providing a range of ebooks and virtual events. 

Cllr Bill Soane, executive member for Neighbourhood and Communities said: “I am excited that we can finally reopen the many libraries we have in Wokingham borough. These are community hubs for our residents, offering useful learning resources and helpful services for all, so we look forward to welcoming people back.” 

To encourage the community to get back out utilising these services, the council has replaced all public computers and upgraded them with new software; there will also be a programme of activities in place throughout July and August, particularly focusing on supporting children’s literary development. These programmes include the Annual Summer Reading Challenge including a range virtual events, the Teen Writing Group, and some themed Storytime Sessions planned for later in the summer.  These activities are specifically aimed at children and young people, who have had a challenging experience this past year and a half; with the programmes designed to get them inspired through literary during the summer holidays. 

Cllr Bill Soane continues: “With the plethora of programmes scheduled for this summer, I am hoping our residents can take advantage and get involved in the activities created for them.” To find out more about the library programme of activities this summer, visit the council’s website:

Please note that while cases are high and rising, the council feels it is important to maintain all social distancing measures and one-way systems in public buildings beyond Monday 19 July. Therefore, screens will remain in place in library receptions, hand sanitiser will be available, and visitors are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings and keeping their distance from others to protect themselves and staff. 

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face mask update

Face mask update

Face masks to continue to be worn after 19 July

As the UK government eases its Covid 19 restrictions, we are mindful that cases are high and rising, and have therefore taken the decision to remain cautious by asking users of our facilities to continue to wear a face covering* in communal areas, respect social distancing measures and sanitise their hands to protect themselves, others and staff. This will apply at all of our facilities including the Oakwood Centre and Woodford Park Leisure Centre. We will also continue to display the QR codes for NHS Test and Trace and encourage users of our facilities to check in to help the service identify people who may have the virus. 

Thank you for your cooperation. 

Woodley Town Council 

*Wearing a face covering does not apply if you are medically exempt. 

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town mayor charity event

Town Mayor at recent charity event

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, was delighted to attend a family fun day held recently at The Shepherds House Inn. 

The event was held to raise money for Arrhythmia Alliance, an organisation which focuses on improving the treatment for those affected by heart rhythm disorders. 

The fun day was organised by Claire Page, whose daughter Lilly-May Page suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died while at school on May 15, 2014 at just 5 years old.

Claire has since raised money for Arrhythmia Alliance and also heads up its A-A defibs save lives Lilly may page campaign

Cllr Sartorel said: “I was very pleased to attend the event to help raise the importance of defibrillators being readily available to the community. It was a fun event with a lot of information available.”

Click HERE for more information about the Defibs Saves Lives Campaign.

If you would like to book the Town Mayor or Deputy Mayor for an event please email:

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free school meals

Free school meals to continue in the summer break

Wokingham Borough Council is using its remaining allocation of the government’s Covid Local Support grant to ensure pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals during term time continue to have access to healthy meals during the upcoming summer holidays. 

The government has extended the Covid Local Support Grant, which was set to end in June, until 30 September. The council is using the additional funds to provide food and grocery vouchers to support children and young people who receive benefits-related free school meals over the six weeks summer holiday to the value of £15 per child per week. The vouchers will be distributed to eligible families through schools.

Cllr Graham Howe, executive member for children’s services, said: “This has been a really difficult year for all of us, but particularly so for families with young children whose lives have been so disrupted. The council wants to ensure that no child in Wokingham Borough goes hungry this summer and that parents are given the support they need to feed their families in these difficult times.”

Borough pupils who receive benefits-related free school meals are also eligible to register for the council’s Holiday Activities and Food Programme, a new initiative funded by the Department for Education which provides free places at organised holiday activity sessions over the summer and Christmas holidays in 2021. A free healthy meal is provided at every session.

There is a programme for primary school aged children, secondary school pupils, pupils with SEND and a series of community activities for all families. Parents and carers of eligible pupils will have been contacted through their school. For more information about the programme, visit the council’s website and search for ‘Holiday Activities Programme’.

Cllr Howe continued: “We hope that the combination of providing food vouchers and free places at holiday activity sessions over the summer help our children and young people enjoy their summer holidays and help the families in the borough who most need our support. It’s been a challenging year and these young people have earned a bit of summer fun.”

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New wellbeing service for the borough

In partnership with Wokingham Borough Council, a new wellbeing service delivered by Oxfordshire Mind, is hosting a series of regular, free forum events to bring the Wokingham Borough community together to discuss mental health and wellbeing needs.

The Wokingham Wellbeing Service will host its first two forums on Thursday 15 and Tuesday 27 July between 2pm and 3:30pm. Residents who have completed mental health first aid training are invited to attend the ‘Mental Health First Aiders in Wokingham’ forum on Thursday 15 July to share experiences and challenges, and to discuss how their invaluable skills, both individually and collectively, can be used to help Wokingham Borough residents suffering from mental health issues. To book free tickets at the first virtual forum, visit the Event Brite website.  

On Tuesday 27 July, the ‘Mental Health & Wellbeing Community Alliance’ forum will be available to voluntary or community sector (VCS) organisations or groups that have a focus on improving mental health and wellbeing within Wokingham Borough. Facilitated by Oxfordshire Mind, the Alliance will help develop and integrate the local VCS offer of mental health and wellbeing provision for residents. The aim of the Alliance is to improve the experience of people accessing mental health and wellbeing support. Organisations from VCS organisations or groups can book free tickets at this virtual forum by visiting the Event Brite website. 

Executive member for adult social care and public health Cllr Charles Margetts said: “Partnering with Oxfordshire Mind on this fantastic mental health and wellbeing pilot scheme will provide residents with an efficient and effective service that offers quality support, at the right time. We have a duty to protect the vulnerable, and the two forum events are an excellent opportunity for those who have an interest or work in services to improve wellbeing, to get involved and help their local community.” 

Oxfordshire Mind’s Wokingham primary care wellbeing project manager, Claire Shropshall, said: “We’re really excited to begin this next phase of the project – it’s a privilege to be able to  support the Wokingham community to identify and respond to local mental health needs in such a collaborative way. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all our partners across the borough for their continued support with launching the new Wokingham Wellbeing Service.” 

Wokingham’s Wellbeing Service is an eighteen-month pilot project dedicated to help Borough residents suffering from mental health issues, including anxiety, isolation, and stress. The scheme was initiated by a generous donation of £250,000 to the Berkshire Community Foundation from a Remenham family earlier this year. The scheme will focus on recognising mental health issues early and intervening to prevent conditions deteriorating, ensuring timely referrals to specialists, coordinating the support available for those with mental health issues and promoting awareness issues within Wokingham Borough.

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cycleways woodley

Improved cycleways between Woodley and Reading

Plans are being drawn up to make it easier to cycle and walk between Woodley town centre and the Reading borough boundary at Palmer Park.

Wokingham Borough Council will be progressing with its Active Travel Fund proposals for the area following public engagement on plans for Woodley, Earley and Wokingham earlier this year. More than 600 responses were received on three proposed routes, with several options looked at for each area.

Respondents indicated that the Woodley/Reading route will have the most significant impact on reducing car dependency and increasing bike use. The first section of the route, between Woodley town centre and Bulmershe Leisure Centre, will be progressed as the first phase with the aim to complete construction by Spring 2022.

In total, the new route will cost almost £4 million and the first stage will be funded by the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund. The council will look for funding to provide the rest of the route in the years ahead. Further consultation with residents on detailed plans for the Woodley to Reading route will come forward later this year. 

“Feedback from our residents tells us they want to see segregated cycleways and these would lead to more of them feeling safe to travel around their area on their bikes,” said Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport.  “We’re hoping to bring that to Woodley over the next year, with the first section of the Woodley to Reading route between Woodley town centre and  Bulmershe Leisure Centre. We’re already looking at how to get funding in place to complete the rest of the route.” 

The council continues to invest in infrastructure across its road network to make it easier for residents to walk and cycle across the borough. This includes our growing greenways network and investment in cycle paths in other areas as better facilities will help cut the number of car journeys within the borough. It’s part of the council’s wider climate emergency agenda, with a goal to make Wokingham Borough carbon neutral by 2030.  

The other proposed routes will be progressed subject to further consultation and when funds allow. The full engagement summary from the initial consultation will be available to read on the MyJourney Wokingham website and as part of the an individual executive member decision will be made on the proposals on 8 July. 

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