Christmas 2022

Merry Christmas from Woodley Town Council and a message from Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel.

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sustainable christmas tips

Tips for a sustainable Christmas

Wokingham Borough Council has lots of tips for a sustainable Christmas…

Sustainable present ideas  

  • When it comes to presents, think quality not quantity. Purchase gifts that will last a long time and not end up in household waste, which ultimately gets incinerated
  • Consider gifting an experience such as an electronic gift voucher, event ticket, overnight stay or a restaurant reservation. The receiver will be able to experience the gift twice, once when they receive the gift and again when they redeem it
  • Look at the materials potential gifts are made from and avoid single use plastic items. Keep sustainability in mind by opting for recycled items or organic-certified food and clothing.

Wrapping and packaging

  • Reduce waste by buying gifts with little or no packaging
  • If you must use packaging, use recycled, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, recyclable materials, such as brown paper and paper bags, or reusable fabric wrapping paper and bags 
  • Avoid plastic wrapping paper and packaging, plastic ribbon, tape and foil-backed wrapping paper. None of these can be recycled and must be placed into the bin for incineration.

Christmas cards

  • If you like sending Christmas cards, look for cards made from recycled or FSC-certified paper
  • Save paper by sending a Christmas e-card or a festive email instead.

Christmas trees

  • Reuse artificial Christmas trees or if you are planning on purchasing a real tree, make sure it’s FSC-certified
  • Consider hiring a Christmas tree from a local company which collects the tree after use and replants the tree ready for hiring again next year
  • Think about how to use or dispose of your tree once the season is over. If it is potted, consider replanting it outside and reusing it again next year. If you use our garden waste collection service, you can cut up your real tree and place it in your brown bin or sack on your collection day. Alternatively, you can take it to your local Re3 recycling centre.

Christmas decorations

  • Light up your Christmas tree with LED lights. Not only do they use less energy and last longer, they are cooler to run and also do not contain harmful gases unlike traditional halogen or filament lighting. For your safety and to save energy, remember to switch your lights off at night or when not in use 
  • Make your own Christmas decorations by repurposing items in your home. You can make tree decorations from wood, card and recycled materials. Bunting and paperchains can be made from paper or materials found around your home
  • Avoid single-use tablecloths and napkins and use material alternatives. Not only will they last longer, but they can also be used year after year, simply put them in the washing machine and wash on a low temperature 
  • Finish your table setting off with FSC-certified Christmas crackers or better yet, make your own reusable crackers and fill them with environmentally friendly alternatives such as chocolates. These options are much better and friendlier for the planet than traditional crackers which can contain plastic items and made from non-recyclable materials.

Food and drink

  • Cut down on your meat consumption and opt for vegetarian or vegan free alternatives. There is a great selection of meat-free alternatives for the dinner table including nut roast, mushroom wellington, vegetarian pies and more. There’s a wide range of local shops in the Borough to explore meat-free alternatives 
  • If you don’t fancy cooking, why not support a local business instead? We are lucky to have a wide selection of local restaurants, pubs, cafes, pubs and shops in the Borough – there is something for everyone
  • Try not to overspend on food and drink to avoid waste. Around the festive break, there’s often a lot of food waste. To avoid this, budget and plan your meals carefully. 

Recycling tips from Re3

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Woodley Town Council Christmas hours 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Brown Bag Cafe closed 14th December

Brown Bag Cafe will be closed on Wednesday 14th December while the Oakwood Centre has new doors fitted.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Community Grant Winners - Dec 2022

Community Grants awarded at Full Council Meeting

At the recent Full Council meeting, held on 6th December, community grants were awarded to seven organisations, presented by Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel. 

Community Grants awarded

Berkshire Vision

£250 – To support the organisation to continue to offer a wide range of events and activities for visually impaired and blind people in Berkshire.

Vic Lowry, Berkshire Vision with Woodley Town Mayor

Three C’s Cafe at Emmanuel Church

£150 – To pay for refreshments and food items provided for by the free café to users, providing a place for those who may be lonely or need advice.

Rachel Hogg & Jenny Ayliffe with Woodley Town Mayor

Woodley Adopt a Street Project (WASP)

£250 – To purchase additional equipment for volunteers, such as litter picker bag holders and Hi-Viz jackets.

Mary Holmes with Woodley Town Mayor

Woodley United FC

£250 – To contribute towards the costs of additional volunteers required to support an increase to the number of female participants, including to pay towards DBS checks, safeguarding and coaching training and qualifications.

Colum Moon & Mark Rozzier with Woodley Town Mayor

The following organisations were also awarded community grants but were unable to attend to collect.

Berkshire MS Therapy Centre

£250 – To help fund sessions to provide specialist therapies to MS sufferers.

Friends of Woodford Park

£250 – To restock shrubs and plants for Woodford Park.

Woodley Schools Cluster

£200 – To fund the purchase of materials needed to run two cluster projects for school students from within Woodley. Jackie Andrews sent a written thank you to be read out at the meeting.

Community Grants in Woodley

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. 

More information can be found HERE.

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Rubbish & recycling over Christmas

Please contact Wokingham Borough Council for more information: 0118 9746000.

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We have installed two Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) outside the Oakwood Centre and Woodford Park Leisure Centre (WPLC). 

The defibrillator at the Leisure Centre is located on the rear of the building, opposite the 3G pitch, while the defibrillator on the Oakwood Centre building, is located on memorial ground side, across the field from Coronation Hall. 

24 hour access

The defibrillators have been registered with The Circuit, which is part of the British Heart Foundation and connected with the South Ambulance service. This enables them to be used by any member of the public to help someone experiencing a cardiac arrest.

Both defibrillators have 24/7 access via locked cabinets. When calling 999 in an emergency, the operator will give these locations and the code to unlock the box to access the defibrillator. The operator will then give instructions over the phone on how to use it, unless paramedics or other emergency services are on the scene and they will access the defibrillator. 

Premier League’s Defibrillator Fund

The defibrillator at WPLC was funded by the Premier League’s Defibrillator Fund. The Fund, set up by the Premier League, will enable more than 2,000 sites across the country to install an AED and is supported by The FA and Sport England and delivered by the Football Foundation. 

Defibrillator locations

Locations of defibrillators in the UK, including Woodley, can be found here:

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traffic enforcement survey

Traffic enforcement survey

Wokingham Borough Council is seeking views from residents, businesses and other interested parties on its plans to apply to take over the enforcement of some moving traffic offences across the borough.

The consultation asks a few short questions and is available on the Engage Wokingham Borough platform from 21 November to 2 January 2023. 

Traffic offences

Moving traffic offences that would become enforceable by the council include offences such as driving through a ‘No Entry’ sign, turning left or right when instructed not to do so and driving where and when motor vehicles are prohibited. Currently, these offences can only be enforced by the police under criminal law. 

By being able to carry out enforcement itself, the council will be able to respond locally to areas it knows are problematic, and expand the enforcement it already does to maintain safe and accessible roads. 

The move comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) announced in 2020 that it would invite local highway authorities to apply for these powers from May 2022, under the Traffic Management Act (part 6). 

Following consultation, should the council want to apply an application will be submitted to the DfT in January 2023, with a start date dependent on central government but anticipated to be later in 2023. If successful, the council’s parking services team would manage the new enforcement powers through external contractors. 


Under government guidelines, the council would mainly use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras at chosen sites, with penalty charge notices (PCNs) issued for those who have committed an offence. Unlike revenue raised from safety camera enforcement which goes to central government, any income through this enforcement will be kept by the council and primarily spent on costs accrued to manage the enforcement, meaning that it contributes towards keeping the roads safe and traffic moving. Any extra income could only be used for highway improvements, public transport and environmental improvements. 

“We want to do all we can to ensure the safety of all road users,” said Councillor Paul Fishwick, executive member for active travel, transport and highways. 

“Restrictions are put in place for a number of reasons. Safety is the main priority, but we also want to keep traffic moving, encourage sustainable travel and improve air quality. We want to hear from as many of you as possible. The survey is very short and will only take a couple of minutes to complete.” 

Take the Survey

For more information and to take the survey, please visit Engage Wokingham Borough

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Loddon Bridge viaduct disaster memorial

Loddon Viaduct Disaster Memorial Tree

On the 26th October 1972, the A329M bridge over the Loddon collapsed, while under construction. It tragically resulted in three deaths and ten injuries.

In honour of those involved, Woodley Town Council and Earley Town Council planted a Hornbeam (Carpinus Betulus) tree in Dinton Pastures, near the cafe.

Earley Town Mayor, Cllr Tahir Maher and Woodley Town Deputy Mayor, Cllr Kay Gilder, attended the memorial to unveil the tree and plaques.

Cllr Kay Gilder & Cllr Tahir Maher

Cllr Kay Gilder said: “I am privileged to represent the people of Woodley today alongside the people of Earley as represented by the Earley Town Mayor to honour and remember those who lost their lives, were injured and the impact it had on their families and the community. This tree represents a lasting memorial to all involved.”

“We are here, on this sad occasion, to remember three lives lost and ten injured on 24th October 1972, 50 years ago. The incident resulted from a collapse of ‘falsework’. These are plywood constructions into which concrete was poured. A construction of the size of the Loddon Viaduct, which was a substantial structure holding many tonnes of concrete. The practice of these large construction sites at the time allowed the sub-contractors to perform their tasks without any oversight from the main contractor.

“The consequence of this disaster was the ‘Bragg Report’, which introduced a responsibility for these construction sites to a named engineer working for the main contractor. This provided a hierarchy of responsibility and ensured that the responsible engineer agreed upon designs for falsework. This made the disaster a landmark in health & safety on large construction sites,” said Cllr Maher.

“The site of the disaster is exactly where the three civic parishes of Earley, Woodley and Winnersh meet. Before this tree-planting event, there has been no memorial to this tragedy,” he added.

Kay and Tahir were joined by Cllr Carol Jewell from Woodley Town Council, Cllr Nicola Brock, Cllr Alison Newton, Cllr Keith Yabsley, and Cllr Al Neal from Earley Town Council.

L-R: Cllr Gilder, Cllr Jewell, Cllr Brock, Cllr Newton, Cllr Yabsley, Cllr Maher, Cllr Neal

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TPOs South Lake Woodley

Tree Protection Orders in South Lake

At the recent Planning & Community Committee meeting, Cllr Richard Skegg raised concern about a little-known Tree Protection Order (TPO) covering the South Lake area of Woodley.

TPO-0003/1951 prevents any unauthorised works or felling of any tree, from sapling to fully established tree, regardless of age, origin, quality, or value to the neighbourhood within the South Lake area of Woodley, south of Silver Fox Crescent, east of Kingfisher Drive, west of Nightingale Road and north of the A3290, as shown by the bold red boundary in the picture below. 

Any works to trees in the area require planning permission from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC), without which residents who undertake tree work are potentially liable for prosecution. 

Planning consent can be applied for via WBC’s Planning Portal.

The only significant exceptions are for dead/dangerous trees or commercial fruit production; however, more details can be found HERE.

Cllr Skegg is to draft a letter to WBC, detailing the Planning & Community Committees’ concerns and request that it examines a more effective method protecting relevant trees within the area than the existing blanket TPO, which many residents are unaware of.

Changes to the TPO would raise awareness with local residents, reducing accidental breaches, allowing residents to maintain their trees properly without fear of inadvertently breaching the rules. It would also make it easier for Council tree maintenance for both WBC and Woodley Town Council.

In line with Climate Change and both Councils’ commitments to be carbon neutral by 2030, changes to the TPO could also potentially create a public debate about tree protection and the importance of protecting these vital assets. 

We will keep residents informed on progress. 

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EV charging points in Wokingham Borough

Locations confirmed for new electric vehicle charging

Wokingham Borough Council has just announced the sites for new electric vehicle charging points, which should encourage higher ownership when they are installed with Government funding next year.

They’ll be funded by a grant from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, for two points at each of 19 locations. This covers 60 per cent of the cost and the rest will be met by suppliers, who will be responsible for maintenance once a contract is agreed.

Twelve sites are residential streets, all five minutes’ walk from areas of high demand:

  • William Heelas Way, Wokingham town, RG40 1RE
  • Pigott Road, Wokingham town, RG41 1PY
  • St Paul’s Gate, Wokingham town, RG41 2YP
  • Station Road, Twyford, RG10 9NE
  • Pitford Road, Woodley, RG5 4QF
  • Bramshill Close, Arborfield, RG2 9PT
  • Braybrooke Road, Wargrave, RG10 8DY
  • Roycroft Lane, Finchampstead, RG40 4HW
  • Chatsworth Avenue, Winnersh, RG51 5EW
  • Westminster Way, Earley, RG6 4BZ
  • Maiden Place community centre, Earley, RG6 3HE
  • Wheble Drive, Woodley, RG5 3DU

The rest will go in our Denmark Street, Rose Street and Cockpit Path car parks, all in Wokingham town, Polehampton Close (West) in Twyford, Station Road in Earley and Crockhamwell Road and Headley Road in Woodley. There’ll be dedicated EV bays so owners will always have access.

Read more here:

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