Poppy Appeal

The Royal British Legion and Woodley Town Mayor thank the residents of Woodley for their generous donations to this year’s Poppy Appeal

Woodley Town Council has received a letter from The Royal British Legion thanking the Council and the residents of Woodley for raising £7522.06.

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, also wanted to pass on her thanks to the residents of Woodley for their generous donations.

“I would like to thank the residents of Woodley for their very generous donations to this year’s Poppy Appeal. Donations enable the Royal British Legion to help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families,” she said. 

Woodley Town Mayor Janet Sartorel

For more information about The Royal British Legion, which celebrated its 100th Anniversary this year, please visit its WEBSITE.

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new covid rules 10 December 2021

New Covid rules from 10th December

The UK Government has introduced new Covid rules in England from tomorrow, 10th December (2021).

😷 Face coverings required in most public indoor venues, other than hospitality from 10th December

🏠 Work from home if you can from 13th December

📜 Covid passes will be mandatory in certain settings (nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather)

Find out more HERE

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Woodley Christmas Fayre

Christmas celebrations in Woodley

Woodley Town Mayor helps Christmas festivities get underway in the town centre

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, helped to start Woodley Town Centre’s Christmas festivities by turning on the Christmas lights on Saturday 27th November, along with Christmas poster competition winners Coco Mead (8) and Jocelyn So (6).

A long-time Woodley resident herself, Cllr Sartorel told the crowd that the lights switch-on and carol concert always marks the beginning of Christmas for her. 

Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel joined poster competition winners, Coco Mead (8) and Jocelyn So (6) in switching the lights on.
Photo: Steve Smyth

Christmas Fayre – 25th Anniversary

The following weekend (Sunday 5th December), Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel opened the 25th Woodley Christmas Fayre, which had been cancelled last year due to the Covid restrictions.

Cllr Sartorel was joined by MP for Reading East, Matt Rodda, MP for Maidenhead, Teresa May and Leader of Woodley Council and Wokingham Borough Mayor, Cllr Keith Baker.

Matt Rodda praised Woodley for being a “fantastic, vibrant place” and told the crowd to “enjoy Christmas, spend lots of money and support local businesses”.

Teresa May wished everyone a Merry Christmas and hoped they enjoyed the Fayre.

While, Cllr Keith Baker thanked Woodley Town Centre manager, Brian Fennelly for his hard work to get the event together, particularly praising the street entertainers.

Cllr Sartorel was delighted with the turnout at the Fayre and thanked the crowd for coming and supporting the fantastic community of Woodley on the Fayre’s 25th Anniversary.

Cllr Sartorel wished everyone a wonderful day and hoped that they purchased some special Christmas gifts before declaring the Christmas Fayre officially open.

(L-R) MP Teresa May, MP Matt Rodda (back), Cllr Keith Baker, Brian Fennelly (back), Cllr Janet Sartorel
Photo: Wokingham News

 There were many stalls at the Fayre, including a range of charities and craft stalls. Entertainers included the Starlet Dance School, Pauly Zarb, Anything Goes Theatre, Steppin Out Stars of Tomorrow, the Rock Choir and Woodley’s songstress Charis-Anne. Circus Scene entertainers, Sister Ruth on her motorised piano and R&R Fisher wandered around entertaining the town.

There was also a guest appearance of Santa in his sleigh!

Santa in his sleigh!
Photo: Wokingham News

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Woodley Town Council

Community grants November 2021

Community Grants awarded at recent Council Meeting

At the recent Strategy & Resources Committee meeting, held on 23rd November, the following community grants were awarded:

Kick Twist Cheerleading

£250 – To purchase air track equipment to aid the teaching of beginners’ teams.

Woodley Adopt a Street Project (WASP)

£250 – To purchase additional street cleaning equipment for volunteers.

Wokingham Job Centre Support

£250 – To help towards the cost of providing internet access and training / support on how to find and apply for jobs.

Berkshire MS Therapy

£250 – To help fund exercise sessions for members.

Berkshire Vision

£250 – To help fund a monthly programme of activities for members.

Woodley United FC

£250 – To contribute towards the hire cost of additional training facilities.

About the grants

Community grants are available to community organisations based in Woodley, which act for the local good of the town or those that can demonstrate how they serve Woodley residents and whose membership is open to Woodley residents.

Grants of up to £250 are available for one-off costs such as equipment, materials or building alterations or a youth (under 21) team/group attendance at county, regional, national or international level primarily within a sporting or cultural activity. 

For more information, or to apply, please click HERE or email:

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coronation hall

Woodley added to village hall Domesday Book

Woodley Town Council is delighted to list its halls, Coronation Hall and Chapel Hall, in the village hall Domesday Book.

Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), a national charity representing and supporting rural communities, has created a virtual ‘Domesday Book’ for village halls to record the work they are doing in 2021. 

ACRE hopes the record will help make the case for sustained funding and support for village halls, particularly with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity) said of the venture:

“Village halls have been a crucial part of rural life for the past century. They provide a space for activities and events that bring people together, create a sense of community, reduce loneliness and support local businesses. 

At a time when many village halls are closed because of coronavirus, it is especially important to recognise and celebrate the work they do. As such, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone involved with a village hall to sign this ‘Domesday Book’ and help create a record demonstrating how important these buildings are, and what is needed to make sure they survive in the future.”

There are now over 380 village hall entries in the ‘Domesday Book’, including Coronation Hall and Chapel Hall.

Please click HERE to view the records.

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top tips to stay covid 19 safe at Christmas

Staying Covid safe this Christmas

As we count down to the festive season and gear up to spend time with loved ones, here are some tips to stay safe and protected from Covid-19 and other winter viruses. 

top tips to stay covid 19 safe at Christmas

Here are Wokingham Borough Council’s top 12 tips for staying Covid-safe this festive season. 

1. Stay safe when doing your Christmas shopping

If you’re heading into town to shop, remember to pack your face covering, as it’s now compulsory to wear one inside shops. Many local retailers are practising good hygiene by providing hand sanitiser, so use this too. 

Please also be respectful to staff – always, but especially during these busy times. Visit Wokingham Borough Council’s website for tips on staying safe during a pandemic

2. Enjoy local outdoor activities

There are lots of exciting events happening in the borough this month, from Christmas Fayres to the synthetic outdoor ice rink. Meeting outside where Covid-19 particles can blow away will be much safer for you and your loved ones. Visit Wokingham Borough Council’s website for details of its Christmas events.

3.  Get protected ahead of the festive break

Remember, it takes two weeks for your immunity to build from the Covid-19 vaccine, so make sure you book yours to get protected over the Christmas season and beyond. Book your vaccine appointment on the NHS website.  

4. Check foreign travel rules

If you’ll be enjoying the festivities outside of the UK, remember to check foreign travel advice, arrange any Covid-19 tests you need for entry, access your NHS Covid Pass to prove your vaccination status and check what you need to do when you return to England.

This now includes taking a PCR test at the end of the second day of your arrival and self-isolating until you have a negative test result. Visit the website for travel advice this season.

5. Stock up on rapid tests

Remember, 1 in 3 people infected with the virus don’t show any symptoms, so stock up on your rapid tests ahead of the festive season. Taking regular lateral flow tests means you can check you aren’t infected and unknowingly spreading the virus to others.

There are several ways to get them – including ordering them through the website or collecting them from local test centres

6. Look out for vulnerable people

Older relatives, friends, and neighbours; be sure to check in on them to see if there’s anything they need during the busy festive period. You can also refer them to the One Front Door website for help and support during these challenging times. 

7. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell

It’s tempting to brush the sniffles off, but remember, Covid-19 symptoms can vary from person to person. If you’re feeling unwell, it’s best to stay home to avoid passing any illnesses onto others. Consider booking a PCR test on the website to check you aren’t infected. 

8. Enjoy your festivities safely

Whether you’re out with your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else, take precautions to stay safe, keep Covid at bay and have fun this Christmas by taking a lateral flow test before meeting others, getting vaccinated and self-isolating if you test positive. 

9. Take care on public transport

Heading to a festive activity? Or travelling to another part of the country for the Christmas break? It is now mandatory to wear a face-covering on public transport in England (unless you are exempt). 

Remember to plan ahead and try to avoid rush hour if you can. Find out tips on travelling on public transport safely on the website

10. Have a backup plan in case you get ill or need to self-isolate

Make sure you have enough medication in case you are unable to go out and ensure you get your prescription medicines before pharmacies close on Christmas Eve. Visit Wokingham Borough Council’s self-isolation webpage for advice. 

11. Don’t forget – help is here

The festive season can be a hard time for many, so check in on friends and family, and access local and national support lines if you are struggling. Wokingham Borough Council’s online Local Support Hub website can help with a range of issues from finance to health. 

12. Host your festive activities safely

Have friends or family coming over during the holidays? Viruses can spread easily when we’re gathered inside, so make sure you let fresh air in by opening a window or door and practising good hand hygiene. Visit Wokingham Borough Council’s website for tips on staying safe.

Most of all, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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sustainable Christmas tree Woodley Town Council

Our carbon conscious Christmas tree

We are delighted to have hired a living, pot grown Christmas tree from the Festive Tree Hire for the Oakwood Centre as part of our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.

The specially selected tree will return to the Festive Tree ‘family’ in January, to continue to grow and be nurtured, ready for us to hire next Christmas.

We’ve decorated the Christmas tree with the same baubles we have used for several years and it is lit using LED lights for that carbon-conscious Christmas sparkle. 

We are aware that the tree is leaning slightly to one side but we think it adds to its charm and beauty of being a real, sustainably sourced living tree. 

We hope the Christmas tree brings you some sparkle and joy during the festive season! 

Merry Christmas to all of our residents. 

Tree recycling tip! 

If you have a real Christmas tree this year that cannot be replanted or grown, this should be recycled. 

If you are registered with the garden waste scheme or have purchased garden waste bags, please chop your tree up and pop it in there for collection. Alternatively, take it along to one of our recycling centres.

If you’d like to take the hassle out of recycling your tree, while supporting a good cause, you could use Just Helping’s Christmas Treecycling scheme, who will collect and recycle your tree in return for a minimum £10.50 donation to a local hospice.

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charity community hub

New charity community hub for Wokingham Borough residents

Charity and community hub launches in Wokingham

The Wokingham Charity and Community Hub, the first of its kind in the Wokingham Borough, has launched this week (1 December).

Initially the hub, which is located at Waterford House in Wokingham town centre, will open for appointments only. Appointments can be booked by calling (0118) 228 0480 or emailing from 8 December.

And it will fully open its doors in the new year for members of the public to drop-in and seek help, advice and support. It is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Earlier this year, Wokingham Borough Council agreed grants and contracts worth more than £2million with voluntary, and community sector (VCS) organisations to provide prevention services to adults.

The charities who will use the hub are Involve, Cranstoun Wokingham, Home Start Wokingham District, Health Watch Wokingham Borough, The Link Visiting Scheme, Mind in Berkshire, Citizen’s Advice Wokingham, CLASP, Promise Inclusion (Pinc), Wokingham Foodbank and Wokingham Volunteer Centre. 

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green forest garden scheme wokingham

Garden Forest in Wokingham Borough

In celebration of National Tree Week, Wokingham Borough Council is launching a pilot Garden Forest Scheme, which is part of its aspiration to becoming a net-zero carbon borough, and invites residents to apply for a tree, or trees, for their own garden.

Over the next five years, the Council is looking to plant 250,000 trees across the borough to increase carbon sequestration rates. Carbon sequestration is a process whereby the trees will draw excess CO2 from the atmosphere and store it.

In order to apply to the Garden Forest Scheme, the Council invites you to visit its Engage platform, where you will find an application form and more information about the scheme, and the project as a whole.

Plant a tree in Autumn 2022

The scheme is set to initially run for two years, after which it will be reviewed, and a decision made on whether to extend it. The initial application window, open until 31 January 2022, and applicants will be contacted throughout March, with successful residents being given more information on arrangements for collecting a tree, which will be early Autumn 2022, to coincide with planting season.

In order to be eligible, you must have space in your garden for a tree and permission to plant the tree if the garden is not yours.

Councillor Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement, said: “I am really excited that we are able to launch the Garden Forest Scheme, and offer residents another way that they can help towards reaching our goal of a net-zero carbon borough.

“We know that as a council we can’t do this alone, so being able to offer residents ways in which they can help is so important.”

John Tucker, Director of Woodland Outreach at the Woodland Trust added: “The Woodland Trust is proud to be supporting Wokingham’s Tree Project through our Emergency Tree Fund. Planting new trees is a vital step in fighting climate change and nature loss.  

“By joining in the Garden Forest initiative, residents across Wokingham can play their part and get the lasting benefits of trees to enjoy for years to come.”

Councillor Gregor Murray, executive member for residents, communications and emissions added: ““The Garden Forest Project is just one part of our plans to plant 250K trees across the borough over the next five years. 

“Through this project, we are inviting residents to get involved in greening up Wokingham borough. We know that we can’t get meet our climate emergency aspirations alone – we need to work with residents, partners, businesses and town and parish councils. Sign up and get involved.”

For more information about the scheme, please email:

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covid bus wokingham 4 5 December 21

Covid vaccination bus 4-5th December

The Covid 19 bus is back this weekend for 1st, 2nd, and booster jabs for the over-16s. No need to book – just turn up! 💉

📌 Saturday 4th December 10.00-16.00 – St Sebastian’s Church Hall

📌 Sunday 5th December 10.00-16.00 – Lower Earley Library

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electric vehicle charging points coming to Wokingham Borough

Electric vehicle charging points coming to Wokingham Borough

Dozens of electric vehicle charging points are set to be installed across Wokingham borough in a bid to reduce its carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency on a local level.

Wokingham Borough Council’s executive has approved a small-scale rollout of about 36 on-street points in residential areas.

This would be subject to public consultation once preferred sites are agreed and several more could be provided in about 10 of the authority’s car parks. 

They would be owned by the council and maintained by a supplier with expertise in the field who would cover any costs, and the scheme would operate at no net expense to the taxpayer.

The council would invest £66,000, a quarter of the cost, which it would get back from income generated, as long as it secures the remainder through Government funding this financial year.

Green gains in the long run

After 18 months, the charging points’ effectiveness will be reviewed and the findings will inform the council’s electric vehicle strategy for years to come.

This, in turn, will help the authority meet its pledge to do as much as it can to bring the borough’s carbon emissions down to net zero by 2030 and will also improve air quality.

Road travel is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and nitrogen dioxide, a harmful pollutant created by burning fossil fuels, so moving away from them is key to meeting these goals.

However, many residents don’t have their own driveways and this is where electric vehicles are most often charged.

Because of this, charging points will be installed in areas where off-street parking isn’t available and residents broadly support the idea.

On-street charging is easier and cheaper than using rapid hubs, which are the EV equivalent of petrol stations, and typically save drivers more than £100 a year by comparison.

The council will identify sites by working with the Energy Saving Trust to work out where demand is greatest using previous resident surveys, number of EV registrations and other data including numbers of properties with no parking.

The Government’s share of funding would come from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles’ On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

‘Leading by example’

Councillor Gregor Murray, executive member for resident services, communications and emissions, said: “The climate emergency requires immediate action and we’ve committed to playing as full a role as possible, leading by example as well as encouragement, in achieving a net zero carbon borough by 2030.

“Electric vehicles are a crucial element in this because transport, and cars in particular, account for more than a quarter of carbon emissions so there is a clear benefit in achieving a reduction in this area.

“However, lack of off-street parking is a major hurdle for many residents who want to make the switch so we’re doing all we can to help them realise the benefits, and at no net cost to our finances.”

Councillor Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, added: “This is just the latest in a series of measures we’re taking to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions while keeping traffic moving on our roads. 

“These also include smart traffic signals whose timings can be changed according to demand as well as electronic message signs which warn users of disruption and suggest alternatives including public transport.

“This not only fights congestion but reduces emissions by ensuring vehicles spend less time idling.”

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