Household Support Fund Winter 2023

Up to £240 to help with winter costs

Wokingham Borough Council has launched a new round of its Household Support Fund alongside its Hardship Alliance partners.

Payments have been increased for the winter months, which are often more expensive because of the need to stay warm at home.

If you’re struggling to pay for things like food, energy, bills or other essentials, you can get help. The options are:

  • Parents of children who receive means-tested free school meals can get £20 per week for each eligible child during the school holidays
  • Households with pensioners, carers, a disabled person and/or households with four or more people can get a one-off £250 payment
  • A one-off £120 payment is available for any other households which are struggling to pay for essentials.

If you’ve applied and received a grant from Age UK Berkshire or Citizens Advice Wokingham between April and September 2023, you can now apply again. New applications are welcome.

Please apply HERE.

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Wokingham Borough Council Cost of Living Survey


As the higher cost of living continues to impact residents and communities, Wokingham Borough Council wants to know how you’re feeling after the summer and looking ahead to the winter.

Higher bills, housing costs and weekly shops are adding up to make things more difficult for residents. 

Please take the survey and tell the Council your views.

The survey will close on 9 November.

Your responses will shape the Council’s work alongside its Hardship Alliance partners, as it continues to implement the joint Anti-Poverty Strategy.

Previous cost of living survey reports can be found on Wokingham Borough Council’s Engage site:

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Cartoon poppy image

Armistice Day 11 November 2023

Woodley Town Council’s Armistice Day event

We will be hosting our annual Armistice Day event on Saturday 11th November 2023, at 11am, at the War Memorial in Woodford Park.

Everyone is welcome to join us. Please arrive in time for a prompt 11am start.

If you would like to take part in the ceremony by laying a wreath at the War Memorial, please email by 3rd November. 

Wreaths can be purchased from the Royal British Legion, and should be ordered before the end of the third week in October to ensure delivery before Armistice Day.

Community event

A separate, non-Council community-led event is being held by local residents on Sunday 12th November at the War Memorial in Woodford Park.

Please email for more information as this event is not run by the Council.

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Woodley Roadworks from 6th October


Barrier replacement works on A3290

The barriers on the A3290 between the A4 Suttons Seeds roundabout flyover and Thames Valley Park in both directions are being replaced. The work will take plaace throughout October until mid-November and temporary closures will be in place.

27 September to 7 November – A3290 southeast towards Wokingham

  • Lane one will be closed 24 hours a day from Thames Valley Park to the flyover.
  • Lane two will remain open to traffic.
  • Pedestrians will be diverted through safe areas alongside the work site.

2 October to 11 November – A3290 slip road southeast towards Wokingham

  • Lane one of the slip road will be closed 24 hours a day.
  • Lane two will remain open to traffic.

30 October to 13 November – A3290 northwest towards Thames Valley Park

  • Lane one will be closed 24 hours a day from the flyover to Thames Valley Park.
  • Lane two will remain open to traffic.
  • The slip road toward Thames Valley Park will be closed 24 hours a day. A diversion will be in place for those wanting to access Thames Valley Park, via the A3290 towards Wokingham to the Winnersh Triangle interchange then via the A3290 to Thames Valley Park.
  • Pedestrians will be diverted through safe areas alongside the work site.
  • Bus services will be affected and we share more information nearer the time.


6 to 9 October – Road Closure – The Bader Way Woodley  

This closure will be in place between A3290 and Mohawk Way on 6 to 9 October, 8pm to 5am to allow The Electricity Network Company Ltd to carry out removal of scaffolding on bridge for cabling works.  

9 to 11 October – Road Closure – Sandford Lane Woodley  

This closure will be in place at the jct of Mohawk Way on 9 to 11 October, 8am to 6pm to allow CityFibre to carry out excavation works for fibre optic cable installation.  

Please contact Wokingham Borough Council for updates and visit the One Network website for all listed roadworks.

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Kevin Murray Town Clerk

Woodley Town Council appoints new Town Clerk

Following the retirement of Deborah Mander in June 2023, Woodley Town Council welcomes Kevin Murray as the new Town Clerk. 

Kevin joined the council in 2008, and has served in the roles of Service Support Manager, Deputy Town Clerk and more recently Acting Town Clerk.

Kevin Murray, Woodley Town Council’s Town Clerk

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to continue serving the people of Woodley and delivering our services to the community, in the role of Town Clerk. We have a strong, dynamic Council, a fantastic, dedicated staff team and I’m very excited to be taking the Council forwards in meeting the challenges and opportunities ahead,” said Kevin.

Woodley Town Council Leader, Cllr Keith Baker is looking forward to working further with Kevin in his new role. 

“Kevin joined Woodley Town Council many years ago and progressed to the post of Deputy Town Clerk quite rapidly. He did his job exceptionally well but there was much more to come. A couple of years ago the previous Town Clerk became ill and had to take a couple of long periods of absence. During these lengthy periods Kevin, not only carried out his own duties, but took on the responsibilities and work of the Town Clerk which was a tremendous ask of him. He did this extremely well to which I am really grateful. 

“When the Town Clerk retired it was not a foregone conclusion that Kevin would automatically be promoted. For the first time in my experience a highly professional recruitment process was put in place to appoint a new Town Clerk. There was a good number of applicants which were eventually whittled down to four well qualified people and the final part of this process was completed. Kevin was up against extremely stiff competition but the selection panel decided that he was the best candidate. As leader of the Town Council I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future,” said Keith.

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Wokingham Borough Council's budget consultation

Wokingham Borough Council’s Budget Engagement Consultation

With the borough council needing to make difficult budget decisions and ensure a safe financial future, it is seeking residents’ views on how best to balance books and protect services.

The combination of consistently low funding from central government, high inflation and increasing resident needs means Wokingham Borough Council’s financial situation is as difficult as it has ever been – with savings needed this year and into the future.

This challenge will require difficult decisions in the short term and innovative solutions to safeguard the council and its services in the long-term. And the council is seeking views on how to meet that long-term challenge.

Take the survey

The Budget Engagement survey launched this week asks residents views on the principles by which the council will make its financial decisions, about long-term changes that could be made and about ways in which the community could help save taxpayers money. 

If you need help filling in the survey, you can complete the survey over the phone by calling its Customer Services Team on (0118) 974 6000. You can also request a paper copy of the survey by completing a contact form on its website.

Planning ahead

Executive member for finance Cllr Imogen Shepherd-DuBey said: “The number of local councils getting into serious financial difficulties – including becoming effectively bankrupt is frightening. We are not in the worst situation here in the borough but cannot afford to be complacent and do need to make savings and increase income to pay for services.

“When we come to set our budget for the year ahead, we want to do so with some sound principles to guide the difficult decisions we will have to make. We have proposed principles and are asking what people think of them before they are set. Once agreed, these principles, along with our corporate priorities will guide our budget setting.”

A key aspect of the council’s long-term plan is to significantly increase and improve the way it works with partners in order to pool resources and expertise, maximise assets and impact of work by closer collaboration.

Leader of the council Stephen Conway said: “We must think and act differently if we are to thrive in a future when finances are going to remain tough for local authorities. We can realistically expect inflation to fall but would be foolish to assume that government funding will improve dramatically no matter who is in power nationally or that the needs of our residents will suddenly decrease. Therefore, the answer must be to modernise and innovative.

“I passionately believe that people and organisations are stronger and better when they work together, that is why we are creating a community vision for the borough with partners and why we are asking the community about our budget setting principles through this consultation.”

The survey closes on 3 November 2023.

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Wokingham Borough Council financial position

Wokingham Borough Council explains its financial position

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) is facing an extremely challenging financial position, caused by high inflation, increasing resident needs and years of low funding from Government.

The number of councils that have effectively gone bankrupt, or are close to that state, is increasing and, although Wokingham Borough is not facing this at this stage, it is important that residents understand the true picture.

In order to set a balanced budget next year, WBC must find savings or generate extra income of more than £15million.

These savings need to be made from its regular running costs and will be ongoing; they cannot be made just by cancelling or postponing one-off projects.

The causes – Inflation

Although the rate of inflation has reduced in recent months, prices are still rising and have been doing so at rates not seen for 30 years.

This high inflation has caused real cost increases of about £10.8million this year. The inflation rate is expected to come down, but costs will not reduce and so this is an ongoing impact to the borough.

The causes – Increasing needs

An increasing number of people in the borough have care needs that the council must meet.

These include children with Special Educational Needs, children in care, adults with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

The needs residents have are also becoming more complex. The additional cost of providing these services this year is about £9.7million.

The causes – Continuous low Government funding

WBC receives approximately £30million a year less from the Government than the average council – that works out at about £400 less per household each year.

This is due to the formula the Government uses to slice up the overall funding pie it allocates to councils.

These formulas do not factor in vital issues such as the number and complexity of children with Special Educational Needs; they are about ten years out of date and bear no resemblance to reality of local needs or costs.

Find out more

The Council has issued statements setting out its financial position:…

New hub

WBC has also launched a new online hub to explain its finances, how your Council Tax is used and what the council is doing to improve the situation.

Access it here:

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Woodley Town Council logo

Improvements to services and facilities

Woodley Town Council approves new capital projects to improve its services and facilities in Woodley 

Eleven new projects were approved at the recent Strategy & Resources Committee meeting, to replace or improve certain services and facilities maintained or owned by Woodley Town Council. 

The projects will be funded from earmarked reserves, which the Council has set aside for capital investment projects.

Christmas Lighting

This project will upgrade and improve Christmas lighting in the town centre, enhancing the always-popular Christmas events and encouraging visitors to the town centre to see the lights and Christmas tree, improving footfall. The new lighting will also be energy efficient, reducing carbon impact. 

Replacement kitchens at Coronation and Chapel Halls

Coronation and Chapel Halls are popular community amenities and the installation of new kitchen units, cupboards, worktops and flooring will provide enhanced facilities for hirers, increasing income, attracting new hirers. 

Line marking in our car parks

To improve safety and reduce any potential hazards by marking out all car park spaces, pedestrian walkway markings, traffic flow markings, pedestrian crossing markings with durable markings, which will last longer, at the following locations: 

  • Woodford Park main car park 
  • Woodford Park overflow car park 
  • Driveway to WPC from Haddon Drive 
  • Coronation Hall car park 
  • Chapel Hall car park 
  • Oakwood Centre car park. 

Grass reinforcement on the Memorial Ground path

The desire line path across the Memorial Ground has, over many years, created a shallow trench, which becomes muddy in wet weather and creates uneven ground. This is a very busy pedestrian route and the Council will reinforce it with an appropriate matting tile. The tiles will allow grass to grow through, maintaining the grass finish, while eliminating the wear and tear on the ground and providing a safer pathway for the public. 

Replacement of public noticeboards

Our noticeboards are an excellent way to share local, community and Council news and the replacement of our existing noticeboards for more durable ones with increased accessibility will help to continue to provide this service.

We have noticeboards at the following locations:

  • Brecon Road
  • Butts Hill Road
  • Headley Road
  • Woodlands Avenue
  • Colemansmoor Road
  • Hurricane Way
  • Woodley Town Centre
  • Reading Road / Howth Drive
  • Woodford Park (3)
  • Kingfisher Drive.

Boiler replacement at the Oakwood Centre

The existing boilers have been in situ since the building opened in 2004 and have exceeded their expected lifespan. The Council is investing in energy efficient gas boilers that will improve the energy efficiency of the building and provide more effective space heating, providing more comfort for users of the Centre. 

Refurbishment of toilets at the Oakwood Centre

This project will completely refurbish the public toilets in the Oakwood Centre to a high standard in order to continue to drive business, attract more customers and provide better and more accessible facilities for the public and hirers, while also adhering to new Building Regulations and our commitment to climate change.  

Oakwood Centre front

Replacement of flatbed pickup

To purchase a used flatbed pickup to replace the current vehicle which, at 22 years old, now requires significant repair and will likely continue to need further repairs. A large flatbed vehicle is essential for moving large items around the Council’s facilities and parks. 

Replacement of safety surfacing at Malone Park

Some of the existing surface around the play equipment at Malone Park has deteriorated and can no longer be effectively repaired. The new surfacing will be fully compliant with ROSPA requirements and will provide a safer surface for children to use.

malone park Woodley

An external water refill station at Woodford Park Leisure Centre

The Council will install a mains fed water bottle refill station on an exterior wall of Woodford Park Leisure Centre for use by the public. This is to encourage increased water consumption and the use of refillable water bottles, reducing the use of single use plastic bottles. 

Replacement of the heating system at Woodford Park Leisure Centre

To replace the 30-year-old heating system at the Leisure Centre with a new, more energy efficient radiant heating system, as recommended by Sports England as the most cost-effective option and most suitable for the building and its purpose.

woodford park leisure centre

Full details of all of these projects can be found in the Strategy & Resources Agenda Pack, dated 12th September 2023, which is available on our website:

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Woodley Town Council

Notice of the Conclusion of Audit 2022/23 

Notice of the Conclusion of Audit for the financial year 2022/23 is now available on our website HERE

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A329 improvements

A329 Reading Road (Wokingham town) cycle and pedestrian improvements

In order to improve cycling, walking and wheeling provision, as part of Wokingham Borough Council’s efforts to tackle climate emergency, reduce air pollution and congestion and improve residents’ health, the Council is planning to improve part of the A329 Reading Road between Wokingham town centre and neighbourhoods to the west near Winnersh.

The scheme has been designed to help people who don’t usually cycle and will help everyone feel safer by keeping pedestrians, cyclists and motor traffic separate from each other.

This is one of the key routes that were identified in the Council’s borough-wide Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), which it consulted on before adopting, and the proposal reflects concerns highlighted by residents who commented on the Plan.

Resident feedback

You can view the plans for the proposed changes to the A329 Reading Road on the Council’s Engage Platform HERE.

There is also the opportunity to complete a short survey. The deadline to do this and have your say is Sunday 22nd October.

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