2023 annual canvass Wokingham Borough

Annual Canvass

30 August 2023

All households must ensure their details are correct by the end of November to appear on the published register

Residents of Wokingham Borough are encouraged to check their electoral registration details or risk losing their chance to vote on decisions that affect them.

The annual canvass allows Wokingham Borough Council to keep the electoral register up to date, to identify those at risk of losing their voice at elections and to encourage them to register to vote before it is too late.

It is a legal requirement for the council to carry out the canvass every year and every household must ensure that the information is correct. With elections taking place everywhere in the borough in May next year, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

Correspondence coming soon

This year’s canvass will take place from August to November in readiness for the publication of the revised electoral register on 1 December 2023. The council will contact some residents by post, while others will be contacted by email.

Correspondence will tell you whether you need to respond and not all residents will be contacted when the first letters and emails are sent out at the end of August. The council will be sending out further correspondence, as well as reminders, in September and October.

Andrew Moulton, Returning Officer at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Keep an eye out for important updates from the council. The annual canvass is our way of making sure that the information on the electoral register for every address is accurate and up to date. To make sure you don’t lose your say at upcoming elections, simply follow the instructions sent to you. If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online.”

How the canvass process will work

The council will begin to send out correspondence via email and in the post to residents at the end of August, with a response from someone in the household required. Reminder emails will then be sent in September to those who have not responded.

At the beginning of October, two types of letters will then be sent out: those who receive a ‘Canvass Communication A’ letter do not need to respond if the details are correct, while those who receive a ‘CF’ form are required to respond.

Forms will be addressed to ‘The Resident’ but anyone in the household can respond. Canvass correspondence sent via email will be sent from and will contain the council’s official branding.

It is vital that residents confirm the details by 30 November in order to appear on the published register, while any new electors must register by 22 November.

During the canvass period, you can respond on the Household Response website, but you will need to use the security codes provided on the form to do so.

People who have recently moved home in particular are being encouraged to check their details, as research from the Electoral Commission shows that recent home movers are less likely to be registered than those who live at the same address for a long time. In Great Britain, 92 per cent of those who have lived in their home for 16 years will be registered, compared with 36 per cent of people who have lived at an address for less than a year.

More information on registering to vote is available online from the Electoral Commission. Residents with questions about their registration status can contact the council’s electoral services team at or call (0118) 974 6000.

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changes to grass cutting and grounds maintenance in Wokingham Borough

Wokingham Borough Council consultation: street cleaning & grounds maintenance

24 August 2023

Due to unprecedented financial pressures including the triple threat of high inflation, continuously low funding from central government and increasing needs in the community, Wokingham Borough Council will no longer be able to continue street cleaning and grounds maintenance services as they currently are.

The Council is grappling with the ongoing triple threat of high inflation, which leads to vastly increased costs, as well as growing needs among the community and a long history of inadequate funding from the Government.

With this in mind, it is launching a consultation on how it can make necessary savings in areas like street cleaning, grass cutting, litter bins and other services which will help it keep its finances stable and continue looking after those who rely on it most.

Despite the unprecedented challenges it faces, it is committed to protecting services such as adult and children’s social care, which together make up about 60 per cent of its council tax spend.

It was in light of these commitments that it introduced recent changes such as taping off some litter bins and cutting some grass less often, with further changes also planned.

However, it accepts that all the correct processes were not followed and is now taking this through the formal decision-making route.

This includes a public consultation, which is open until Sunday, 10 September.

Planning changes to minimise impact

The consultation includes about 150 litter bins that could be removed out of about 1,100 in the borough.

These bins have been chosen because the council believes their removal would have the least impact. However, the consultation will offer the chance to comment on the selection and suggest other bins that could be removed instead.   

Other ideas include reducing the amount of weed spraying that is carried out, clearing up around bottle banks less often and spending less on town centre mechanical street sweeping. The council needs to save £600,000 over three years with the changes.

Grass cutting could be reduced from about six times a year to four for verges and smaller spaces, with grass kept appropriately short in play areas, sports pitches and where motorists need visibility.

The council proposes letting grass grow long in more places and cutting annually, which will provide habitats for local wildlife and help address the climate emergency. These changes would save a further £100,000 per year.

Under pressure from all angles

Wokingham Borough Council gets the least Government funding per resident of all unitary authorities in the country, an average of £30 million per year less than others, because it is seen as having low deprivation.

This means council tax payments make a proportionally higher contribution towards services than anywhere else. With running costs and capital project costs both rising, and council tax rates capped below inflation, the only option is finding savings.

The council has successfully lowered costs by almost £29 million over the past six years and shrunk its overall budget by 34 per cent in real terms since 2010/11, but the pressures continue to grow on many fronts including energy costs, significant inflation on contract costs and providing statutory care.

In other places where councils have effectively gone bankrupt, council tax has risen by up to 15 per cent with services stripped to the bare minimum.

Your chance to shape these services’ future

Please give your feedback by taking the survey HERE.

The survey is open until Sunday 10 September

Please note that it will be easier to take this survey using a laptop or desktop computer. It can be taken on a mobile phone or tablet, but will be more difficult.

If you need help with the survey, please drop into one of Wokingham Borough Council’s libraries or call the customer services team on 0118 974 6000.

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bridge repairs at Sandford lane Woodley

Bridge repairs at Sandford Lane

22nd August 2023

 Sandford Lane, Woodley – Essential Structural Maintenance to the Bridges 29/8 – 1/9

Wokingham Borough Council will be carrying out essential routine maintenance to the bridges along Sandford Lane, Woodley between Davis Street and Mohawk Way. These works will take place from 9.30am to 4pm on 29th August to 1st September

Road closures

To allow these works to be carried out safely, a road closure will be in place between 9.30am to 4pm every day. The diversion in place during these works will be Davis Street, Reading Road, The Bader Way, and Mohawk Way or by this route in reverse.

A map of this diversion can be viewed HERE

Access for vehicles will be restricted during the works, but access for residents and businesses will be maintained throughout the closure. 

If the works are delayed due to weather or any other reason, a sticker will be placed on the advanced warning signs, notifying of the delay.

Contact details

If you have concerns or have any special requirements, please contact Wokingham Borough Council’s Capital Projects team HERE

You can report any issues with roads and streets online, including streetlights, problems with traffic lights, potholes, damaged street furniture, problems with road markings and removal of dead animals, directly to Wokingham Borough Council HERE

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Community Heroes Awards 2024

Community Heroes Awards 2024

8 August 2023

It’s that time of year again when we ask you to nominate your local heroes, whose good work benefits the community of Woodley. 

Perhaps it’s a neighbour who goes above and beyond to help others in Woodley, or the young child who picks up litter in their spare time. Maybe you know someone who gives up their time to volunteer and help others in need or someone who is championing charitable causes that benefit people in Woodley. 

Give them the recognition they deserve and nominate them now for one of our Community Heroes Awards.


Community Heroes – Neighbour of the Year

Community Heroes – Volunteer of the Year

Community Heroes – Voluntary Group of the Year

Community Heroes – Climate Champion of the Year

Community Heroes – Young Person of the Year

Community Heroes – Mayor’s Outstanding Contribution Award

For more information on the awards, and how you can make your nomination, please click on the link below:

Community Heroes Awards (link)

Deadline: 15th December 2023

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changes to railway tickets

Railway station consultation

Train operators are proposing changes to the way they sell tickets at stations, including proposals to close or reduce ticket office opening hours. Those locally affected include:

Great Western Railway – Reading and Reading East

South Western Railway – Wokingham, Winnersh, Winnersh Triangle and Earley

The closing date for comments for the consultation process has been extended to Friday 1 September 2023.


Find out more about the consultation HERE.

Access the Consultation Response Form HERE.

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Planet Earth on white background

Climate Change

Woodley Town Council’s commitment to Climate Change

At the Full Council Meeting on Tuesday 1 October 2019, the following motion was adopted:

“This Council notes that:

  1. The impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world.
  2. Limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, October 2018) may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.

This Council therefore:

  1. Commits to a declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’ with the aim of becoming a carbon neutral organization by 2030.
  2. Welcomes the declaration by Wokingham Borough Council of a ‘Climate Emergency’ and will actively participate in the creation of the Borough-wide climate change strategy to ensure Woodley Town Council is fully engaged in its creation for the benefit of its residents.
  3. Will explore, with all parts of the community, the development of a local action plan in support of, and to compliment, the Borough Council’s climate change strategy plan for those parts relevant to Woodley Town.”

Climate change initiatives

Since declaring a climate emergency in October 2019 Woodley Town Council has embarked on an ambitious plan to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.

January 2020 saw the installation of solar panels on the Oakwood Centre as part of a contract with Reading Community Energy Society to provide cheap daytime electricity and return renewable energy to the grid. This followed the installation of a similar system at Woodford Park leisure centre in 2019. In addition to the discounted rate for electricity, the systems will generate renewable energy with the equivalent saving of around 13 tonnes CO2 per year.

We have also worked to replace the lighting in our buildings with low energy LED and introduced rainwater harvesting.

Climate Emergency Plan

To manage our plan we have developed a Climate Emergency Plan, which identifies specific measurable targets and links in with the work being carried out by Wokingham Borough Council and other town and parish councils across the Borough. The latest action plan is available below.

Climate Emergency Action Plan – Latest Update

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Green Flag award 2023

Green Flag 2023

Woodford Park awarded the coveted Green Flag Award for the sixth year running as it is again officially recognised as one of the country’s best parks 

In a record-breaking six-year run, Woodford Park is again raising its prestigious Green Flag Award

Woodley Town Council is once again celebrating after receiving a Green Flag Award for Woodford Park for the sixth year running. 

“The news that Woodford Park has once again achieved the accreditation – the international quality mark for parks and green spaces – is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team that care for the green space so that everyone can enjoy it,” said Cllr Keith Baker, Woodley Town Council Leader.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award Scheme Manager Paul Todd MBE said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved at Woodford Park in achieving a Green Flag Award.

“Woodford Park is a vital green space for the community in Woodley, bringing people together and providing opportunities to lead healthy lifestyles. The staff and volunteers do so much to ensure that it maintains the high standards of the Green Flag Award and everyone involved should feel extremely proud of their achievement.” 

“The award is the international quality mark for parks and green spaces and I am so proud of the team for their hard work and dedication to ensure that Woodford Park has kept this status for six years running. Each of them always goes above and beyond and I’d like to thank them and also thank The Friends of Woodford Park for the wonderful work they also do in the park,” said Kevin Murray, Woodley Town Council Deputy Town Clerk. 

 “Woodford Park has many areas for residents to enjoy, including the lake and boardwalk, the grass areas, two play areas, an outdoor paddling pool, the Garden of Remembrance, the Rotary Garden, the Memorial Ground and beautiful planting by The Friends of Woodford Park. Not many local parks can boast such facilities. In fact, Woodford Park is the only park in the Wokingham Borough area to have achieved and been awarded Green Flag status,” said Keith.

While Kevin added: “The addition of the Living Wall, planted this year to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, along with tree and painted stone dedications to our late Queen’s Jubilee, is yet another unique feature of Woodford Park, that also involved the community of Woodley. The stones were painted by local children and the wall was unveiled during a community Coronation picnic in the park, which was a huge success and really showcased Woodford Park.”

Love Parks Week

We will be celebrating the park and all of the parks and green spaces which we manage during Love Parks Week, which starts on 28th July. Children can collect a Biodiversity Quiz to complete from the Town Council’s reception, as well as a seeded earth card to plant wild flowers, while stocks last. 

Woodley Town Council team with Green Flag
L-R: Liam Haines, Amenities Team; Kevin Murray, Deputy Town Clerk; Mark Illsley, Amenities Team; Chris Baker, Amenities Team; David Provins, Friends of Woodford Park 
Members missing due to staff holidays: Gerard Wirth, Amenities Team; Colin Holland, Amenities Manager; Aaron Rogers, Amenities Team

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