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Community Information  

 

BANK HOLIDAY WASTE COLLECTIONS

West Berkshire Council will be collecting rubbish and recycling on the bank holiday (Monday, 3rd May).

 

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL LATEST COVID-19 NEWS

West Berkshire Council's latest Covid-19 News bulletin at 16th April 2021 is available here:   Covid-19 News - 16 April 2021 (govdelivery.com) 

 

ACTIVE STREETS

West Berkshire Council is running a public consultation to encourage more cycling and walking called Active Streets. WBC is looking for roads or pavements that need improving to help the public add more walking or cycling to their daily routines.

All the information is at:

https://westberksactivestreets.commonplace.is/

To add your idea or views, you just click on the map in the spot you are interested in improving and answer a couple of simple questions, adding your own comments if you wish.

It is particularly interesting to see the suggestions other people have made. It is gratifying to see that quite a few people have already put in their views regarding a safe cycleway and footpath between Mortimer and Burghfield. The Parish Council is actively working on this project and it will be helpful if as many people as possible support it. Do go and add your views on this and any other improvements you think we need.

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL RESIDENTS’ NEWS

West Berkshire Council's latest Resident's News bulletin at 14th April 2021 is available here: Residents' News Bulletin - 14 April 2021 (govdelivery.com)

 

Rapid Testing and Vaccinations Update

No Covid symptoms? Book a rapid test now

Rapid Covid-19 tests (lateral flow tests) are now available for all. Using this method for regular testing in the months ahead can help us all get back to normal. Here are the four main ways of getting tested:

Method 1 – Through our community testing sites (16 years and over).

Method 2 – Home testing options (for all ages). These options include picking home testing kits from our community testing sites, or from the West Berkshire Community Collect Mobile van, which has a designated daily route. Alternatively, home tests can be ordered by phone or online for those who are eligible.

Method 3 – Through your employer if they are participating in the testing workplace programme.

Method 4 – Through secondary schools, colleges and universities (for students and staff).

For more detailed information about accessing rapid Covid-19 tests, please visit West Berkshire Council’s lateral flow testing webpage:

https://info.westberks.gov.uk/article/37815/Community-Testing-in-West-Berkshire-Lateral-Flow-Testing

If you're eligible, book your COVID-19 vaccination

If you are aged 45 or over you can book your COVID-19 vaccination now. You can also book now if you are in one of the other categories listed below:

You can get the vaccine if:

· You are aged 45 or over

· You are at high risk from COVID-19

· You are an eligible frontline health or social care worker

· You have a condition that puts you at higher risk

· You have a learning disability

· You are a main carer for someone at high right from COVID-19

If you are in one of these groups and have not had your first dose, you can book your vaccination now. Call 119 or book online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/.

Three reasons to book your vaccination

· The vaccine is safe and it works

· The vaccine is how we will get things back to normal

· The vaccine will protect you, your friends and your family

 

 

Have your say on public rights of way

Work as started on an improvement plan for public rights of way across West Berkshire - and West Berkshire Council want your views.

WBC is responsible for around 740 miles of free public footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways. There are public rights of way across the whole of West Berkshire, in both urban and rural areas that form an important network for enjoying and exploring the countryside and travelling to work or school, as well as supporting tourism and good health.

The rights of way improvement plan helps WBC make sure the public rights of way network meets the needs of the public, now and in the future. The current Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) was adopted on the 27 May 2010 and now needs updating.

To make sure the new ROWIP reflects the needs of residents, West Berkshire would like to know about your experience of using our public rights of way, how important the network is to your health and wellbeing and to know if you've encountered any problems using them.

An online survey has been set to gather people's views - take part before 30 May 2021.

A public right of way is a path that anyone has the legal right to walk on. Some public rights of way can also be used by cyclists, horse riders or motorists. You can use:

  • Footpaths for walking, running, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  • Bridleways for walking, horse riding, bicycles, mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs
  • Restricted byways for any transport without a motor, except mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Byways open to all traffic for any kind of transport, including cars (but they're mainly used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders)
You can explore public rights of way on the West Berkshire Online Map.

 

TESTING KITS:  WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL COMMUNITY COLLECT – MOBILE OFFER

As part of the Government’s plan to target asymptomatic people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, home testing kits are now available to people who live in households with children, are part of childcare bubbles, or interact with children on a regular basis (school staff, scout leaders, school bus drivers). These are available to be ordered online through gov.uk but also from West Berkshire Council’s 4 asymptomatic testing sites in Hungerford, Burghfield, Newbury and Thatcham. However, in an effort to reach a wider number of people and encourage the use of home testing, West Berkshire Council is launching a Community Collect mobile offer visiting areas across the District at the same time each week in order that residents can collect a box of 7 testing kits to be done at home. This will launch on Monday 12th April and the schedule and location is shown below for information.

If you have a child aged 18 or under, work with children or interact with children on a regular basis, you are entitled to collect a box of test kits. Please be advised that due to supply issues we will be limiting this to one box per adult (possibly 2) until we know the demand and national supplies are fully operational. This new mobile channel is intended to supplement the other channels open to you for testing which are currently;

· For asymptomatic testing (not displaying symptoms) at one of our four testing sites – bookings can be made using, https://www.westberks.gov.uk/lft although a booking is not essential and you can walk in. This is now open to all residents. Please check the website for opening times and days of these sites, particularly over Easter.

· Home test kits for those in a household with children or a childcare bubble can order online from gov.uk to have a box delivered to your home address, or collect from one of our four testing sites or now from this mobile trial option.

· Remember if you are displaying symptoms, you need to book a test through the PCR testing site here https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

It is important to note that even if you have been vaccinated, you may still catch Coronavirus (although your symptoms are likely be reduced) and indeed, still spread it to your loved ones so please take advantage of this free offer and make twice weekly testing part of your normal routines.

For more information on eligibility, please go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff

ROUTE 3 – WEDNESDAYS

Route Summary

Location

Start

End

Stop 1 – Brimpton Village Hall (RG7 4TD)

9.30 am

10.15 am

Stop 2 – Woolhampton Village Hall (RG7 5RG)

10.30 am

11.30 am

Stop 3 – Rosebourne Garden Centre, Aldermaston (RG7 4LD)

12.00 pm

1.00 pm

Stop 4 – Padworth Village Hall (RG7 4HS)

2.15 pm

3.15 pm

Stop 5 – St John’s Mortimer Church of England Car Park (RG7 3SY)

3.45 pm

4.30 pm

 

 

Mortimer Library reopening

West Berkshire Council is pleased to confirm that Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap for lifting the current lockdown restrictions will allow you to visit West Berkshire libraries in person again.

Although the date for this is subject to a final Government review, it is hoped that Step 2 will be implemented on Monday 12 April as planned.

In order to meet current guidelines and keep everyone safe, the library will need to limit the number of people within the building and not all of the usual services will be immediately available.

 

 

Bank Holiday Collections

As you may have read in the recent recycling newsletter delivered to households (attached), West Berkshire Council are in a change to past years and will be collecting rubbish and recycling bins on the Bank Holiday.

Residents will need to put their bins out by 6am on the Bank Holiday, ready for collection.

 

 

Increasing Plastic Recycling for West Berkshire

West Berkshire Council, in partnership with Veolia, are trialling four new recycling banks to increase collection of plastic waste. The banks will be for the collection of plastic pots, tubs and trays and will be available to use from Monday 29 March 2021.

Residents will be able to recycle a wider range of plastics in the new recycling banks including: yoghurt pots, margarine/butter tubs, biscuit trays, chocolate/sweet tubs, ice cream tubs, fruit punnets, meat trays and cosmetic pots.

The new plastic recycling banks will be tested at the following locations:

  • Padworth and Newbury Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Residents will need to book an appointment online as usual before visiting the sites and carry their HWRC permit.
  • Station Road car park in Hungerford
  • Kingsland Centre car park in Thatcham.

Please make sure your plastics pots, tubs and trays are clean and all lids/films are removed before recycling. Unfortunately, we cannot accept black plastic trays, plastic film, wrapping or plastic bags. To check what you can recycle and for more information on recycling plastics visit: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/waste.

Currently West Berkshire residents are able to recycle plastic bottles in their green bags at the kerbside, as the materials used in making plastic bottles are easily recycled in UK markets. The plastic recycling banks will initially be installed on a trial basis to help the Council assess how well the public engage with this scheme and to look into the continued availability of markets for these materials going forward.

New HWRC Live Webcams

Alongside this positive development, the Council is also pleased to announce that residents can view the recycling centres through our new live site webcams. These webcams will give residents the opportunity to have a look at real-time site conditions before they set off on their visits. View them online: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/recyclingcentres.

 

 

Business reopening grants available from 1 April 2021

Businesses in West Berkshire will be able to access ‘Restart’ grants from Government funding of up to £18,000 which will be distributed by West Berkshire Council.

The grants, available to businesses in the retail, hospitality, leisure, accommodation, personal care and gym industries which have had to close, replace the previous Local Restrictions Support Grants and will be distributed by the Council from 1 April. The grants aim to assist businesses with the costs and adaptations relating to reopening in line with the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap.

Grants will be distributed automatically, so businesses will not be required to reapply unless they have not received grant funding from the Council under previous schemes. As the grants apply to the period from 1 April, no funds will be released until after this date.

The grants will be distributed in two strands as follows:

Strand One - non-essential retail:

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive a payment of £2,667
  • Businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a payment of £4,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over will receive a payment of £6,000

Strand Two - hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses

  • Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under will receive a payment of £8,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a payment of £12,000
  • Businesses with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or over will receive a payment of £18,000

Issuing the grants is one of a number of ways in which West Berkshire Council will be assisting businesses with their economic recovery. Others include access to twice-weekly rapid testing for employees, downloadable resources for display in premises, and 1:1 advice through the Public Protection Partnership. More information is available on the council’s website at: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus-business

 

 

West Berkshire Elections

6 May 2021


West Berkshire Elections for the Thames Valley Police Crime Commissioner and four By-Elections are to be held on 6 May 2021.

West Berkshire does not have a full District Council election this year, but the ones below will be going ahead:

  • Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Parish by-elections requested and delayed due to Covid-19:
    • Lambourn Parish Council (1 seat in the Lambourn Ward)
    • Lambourn Parish Council (1 seat in the Upper Lambourn Ward)
    • Stratfield Mortimer Parish Council (3 seats)
    • Newbury Town Council Clay Hill Ward (1 seat)

Polling Stations will be in place on 6 May, and will be subject to stringent Government Covid safety measures to ensure people can vote safely.

However, the Council is aware that many people will prefer to vote by post, particularly if they are vulnerable or shielding. Applications for postal votes must be received at West Berkshire Council's Market Street office in Newbury by 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

Residents need to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote if they haven't already done so, or if they have recently moved to the district, so that they are able to vote.

Residents can ensure that their electoral details are up to date by emailing vote@westberks.gov.uk

 

Have your say on our ‘Active Travel’ schemes in West Berkshire

West Berkshire Council is committed to encouraging active travel by introducing more walking and cycling opportunities throughout the district.

The council is taking action to help the public safely make walking or cycling trips part of their daily travel choices. Please select any of the identified schemes at Have Your Say Today – West Berks AT Schemes – Commonplace, to learn more about the scheme and provide feedback on the measures put in place. Some schemes are not yet defined so a great opportunity to make your feelings known at the early planning stages.

If you have any questions regarding the Active Travel schemes please visit the West Berkshire Council website, contact the team via email at activetravel@westberks.gov.uk or by phone on 01635 551111.

https://westberksatschemes.commonplace.is/

 

West Berkshire Council to provide for Free School Meals over Easter Holiday period

West Berkshire Council will provide Free School Meal (FSM) vouchers to all eligible children during the Easter school holiday period (1 - 16 April 2021). The voucher scheme is being funded primarily through the COVID winter grant allowance provided by the government’s Department for Work and Pensions.

Details on how the vouchers will be implemented are being issued to schools and early year settings. Children in school not currently receiving Free School Meals but considered by the school as vulnerable will be included. Consideration will also be given to children aged between 16 and 18 years, and children in cross border education settings.

 

West Berkshire Council to host free online Budget Briefing and surgery for businesses on 12 March

West Berkshire Council is inviting local businesses to attend a free 30-minute online Budget Briefing session at 10am on Friday, 12 March 2021 as part of the Council’s ongoing support for the local business community. This webinar will be followed by an online surgery with free private sessions for business owners or managers to discuss budget-related issues.

Both events are designed to provide useful tips and advice on financial support available and ways to benefit from the planned investments for the district’s economic recovery in 2021/22.

The Budget Briefing will outline the key benefits for the business community contained within the recently announced 2021/22 national and local budgets from the Government and West Berkshire Council respectively. The webinar will also discuss the additional support that eligible businesses can expect to receive or apply for following the Government’s funding announcements.

Cllr Lynne Doherty, Leader of the Council; Joseph Holmes, Executive Director; and Gabrielle Mancini, Economic Development Manager, will host the Budget Briefing webinar via Zoom.

Event details
Date: Friday 12 March 2021

Budget Briefing Webinar (Free)
10am to 10.30am
Registration: https://westberks-gov-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NMRmSMnYT-K3BcZoxyvH3g

Following on from the webinar, members from the Economic Development and Business Rates teams will host an online surgery from 10.30am to 11.30am. Individuals can book a 10 minute private appointment to discuss business rates and grants or other budget-related issues that may affect their own business.

Online surgery
10.30am to 11.30am
To book a private 10 minute slot email: Gabrielle.Mancini@westberks.gov.uk

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL RESIDENTS NEWS

West Berkshire Council's latest Resident's News bulletin at 3rd March 2021 is available here:  Resident's News Bulletin - 3 March 2021 (govdelivery.com)   

 

WEST BERKSHIRE COUNCIL LIBRARIES

The government’s roadmap for lifting the current restrictions offers public libraries the opportunity to re-open on 12th April but this date is subject to the Government's satisfaction that transmission rates continue to fall nationwide this month.

As always, please continue to check West Berkshire Libraries social media for the most up to date news.

 

West Berkshire Council invites YOU to help shape Active Travel plans for enhanced walking and cycling infrastructure

West Berkshire Council has launched a set of draft proposals of measures to help the public safely make walking or cycling trips part of their daily travel choices, and is inviting feedback from the community to help shape these plans. The public consultations can be viewed and commented upon via the Council’s new Active Travel consultation platform:
https://westberksatschemes.commonplace.is/

Designed to encourage 'active travel' by introducing more walking and cycling opportunities throughout the district, the draft proposals include:

  • West Berks Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). This emerging draft transport policy is about making streets work for everyone, thus helping to make West Berkshire a better place to live, work and visit.
  • Crown Mead Cycleways. The emerging LCWIP has identified the A4 as a primary route with high potential for increased cycle trips if appropriate infrastructure were to be provided.
  • Western Avenue Cycleways. The A4 Western Avenue in Speen, Newbury has been identified as a high priority corridor for cycling and walking routes. The plan proposes permanent measures to create and improve travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • West Berks Active Streets. These are various smaller scheme draft plans to help improve facilities and grow walking and cycling opportunities in West Berkshire including proposals for restricted access on Lawrence's Lane and Deadman's Lane in Thatcham and Theale respectively. In addition, if any resident would like to submit a specific walking and cycling proposal of their own, or comment on a location which falls outside of the currently identified schemes, they can do so via the Active Travel Heat Map within the West Berks Active Streets section of consultation portal.
  • Calcot Schools Streets. This pilot School Zone/School Street Scheme is designed to make the streets around the schools safer and suitable for more walking and cycling, as well as improve the air quality.

The Active Travel consultation platform enables the general public to read and comment upon detailed concept plans and various information related to the schemes, including maps. Some of the consultations feature visual sliders to demonstrate a "before and after" scenario to help residents understand any changes being proposed. Several opinion surveys will be held within the platform throughout the course of the consultations to gauge further feedback from the community.

The Crown Mead Cycleways and Western Avenue Cycleways proposals are each open for consultation until on Friday, 9 April. The remainder are eight-week consultations that will finish on Friday, 23 April.

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL COVID-19 NEWS – 23 FEBRUARY 2021

West Berkshire Council's latest Covid-19 bulletin at 23rd February 2021 is available here:  Covid-19 News - 23 February 2021 (govdelivery.com) 

 

 

'Surviving to Thriving’ - £200,000 West Berks COVID-19 Mental Health Fund

West Berkshire Council and Greenham Trust have jointly set up a £200,000 ‘Surviving to Thriving’ fund to enable voluntary, community sector organisations and not-for-profit organisations in West Berkshire to apply for grants to fund projects aimed at helping to mitigate and improve the mental health and wellbeing of local residents impacted by COVID-19. Grants of £500 to £30,000 will be awarded for successful applications. It also means that smaller organisations will also have the opportunity to apply for funds to carry out their activities (possibly online), one-off purchases or new initiatives.

Requests for grants made via The Good Exchange (Greenham Trust’s online funding and fundraising platform) will reviewed weekly so organisations are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

An expert panel will review and approve submissions periodically throughout the application period. More details about the fund can be viewed on: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/survivingtothriving.

The application process begins on The Good Exchange page: Start Your Registration.

Charities or community groups already registered on The Good Exchange will need to create a new project. Visit the How to Create a New Project page for further information on how to get started.

Additional information on how to use The Good Exchange is provided on the Help & Support Page which is full of useful information including FAQs, hints and tips, video training and user guides.

The deadline for applications is 30 September 2021.

 

 

MOBILE BREAST SCREENING SERVICE

West Berkshire Breast Screening Programme has now resumed, and the mobile screening unit will be in Mortimer from next week. The Parish Council is happy to support this community resource and the mobile screening unit will be located at the car park on the Fairground from Monday, 15th February for several weeks. Please note that this will reduce the number of parking spaces available to the public.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SCREENINGS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

For more information: Breast Screening (royalberkshire.nhs.uk)

 

 

Register your business for rapid lateral flow tests


Rapid widespread testing – also known as lateral flow testing or community testing - is a key tool in the fight against Coronavirus. Lateral flow testing can identify people who don't have any Covid-19 symptoms (referred to as asymptomatic) and may be spreading the virus without knowing it.

This testing now can be carried out within businesses to help protect your workforce and reduce the spread of the virus between work and homes.

The Government is providing rapid lateral flow tests to businesses registered in England who have more than 50 employees who cannot work from home.

West Berkshire Council want to encourage as many businesses as possible to utilise this offer and obtain your own test for yourself and your employees. It will give much needed relief to our local community test centres, keep your workforce safe and help you identify employees who are asymptomatic.

The lateral flow tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. Those who test positive must immediately self-isolate.

In order to obtain the tests you will need to register directly with the Government and provide a few details about your business. Please note these tests are only for use with people who are not showing Covid-19 symptoms.

Register for rapid lateral flow tests

(https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae)

 

 

A LEVEL 3 COLD WEATHER ALERT

A level 3 cold weather alert has been issued from 0900 on Saturday, 6 February and 0900 on Monday 15 February in parts of England. This means that temperatures are likely to drop to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable people, including those with long term conditions and those living in cold homes.

How to stay well in winter - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet

Cold Weather Messages and Support leaflet 

 

Covid Marshalls coming to the streets of West Berkshire

West Berkshire Council is introducing a Covid Marshall Scheme for an initial period of three months. At the outset, eight Covid Marshalls will begin working across the district. They are part of the Public Protection Service, helping people to stay informed about the latest government guidance and providing advice on Covid-19 restrictions. The aim is to help keep everyone safe by ensuring people aren’t inadvertently breaking any rules.

It is expected that the Covid Marshalls - who will be highly visible when out on the streets of West Berkshire - will be in post by the middle of February. They will work shifts to cover seven days a week. The cost will be met by Covid-19 funding provided to the Council by central government. This new service will continue to provide support up to and beyond the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Covid Marshalls will have local knowledge and travel across the district. Priority areas will be Covid testing sites, supermarkets and places where local residents shop, markets, parks and open spaces. They will engage with the public and businesses about any concerns they may have. They will also hand out face coverings when necessary.

The officers will also support local businesses by ensuring that they are avoiding bottle-necks by operating effective one-way systems.

Covid Marshalls will not have any enforcement powers but, instead, will work closely with public protection staff and Thames Valley Police, who will pick up any enforcement related matters.

They will also provide regular activity reports back to the Council’s Covid response management team in order to help prioritise future efforts to protect the community.

 

 

Garden and food waste collections will be restarting on Monday 1 February.

West Berkshire Council is pleased to say all collections will be running as normal from Monday 1 February.

Subscribers to the garden waste service may put out an additional 3 bags of garden waste (per subscription) on their next collection day.

Please note:

  • All additional bags of garden waste must be untied and open. Unfortunately, they cannot collect from bags which have been tied.
  • A maximum of 3 additional bags (per subscription) will be collected; please note the empty bags will be left.
  • WBC contractors will only collect additional bags on your first garden waste collection after the service has restarted on Monday 1 February.
See online for more information on WBC garden waste service and FAQs.

 

 

stay warm and well this winter

With the added pressures of Covid-19 this year and the fact we are all staying indoors a lot more, it is extremely important that those who are more vulnerable stay warm and well during periods of extreme cold weather. West Berkshire Council’s Public Health and Wellbeing team have put together the attached leaflet which details financial support that is available this winter and also offers advice on how to stay warm and well.

The leaflet can also be found here: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=49960&p=0

 

 

Community Champion Awards 2020 - The results are in!

West Berkshire Council have announced the winners of the 2020 Community Champion Awards and details are available at: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/awardwinners

The Community Champion Award categories were:

The Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year

Volunteer of the Year – supported by Volunteer Centre West Berkshire

Community Group of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award (non Covid response)

Covid Response Pat Eastop MBE Junior Citizen of the Year Award

Covid Response Volunteer of the Year

Covid Response Community Group of the Year - supported by Greenham Trust

The 'Big Thank You' Award - created to recognise those people who may not meet the criteria of one of the awards above or who would appreciate more low key recognition.

 

 

LATEST WBC COMMUNITY HUB NEWSLETTER

Here is West Berkshire Council’s first Hub Bulletin for 2021 which contains links to government updates and other information for community group leaders, volunteers and residents.

You can sign up to receive copies of relevant WBC news directly be clicking here: West Berkshire Council (govdelivery.com)

 

 

ANOTHER LEVEL 2 COLD WEATHER ALERT

A level 2 cold weather alert has been issued from 0900 on Thursday 21 Jan and 0900 on Monday 25 Jan. This means that temperatures are likely to drop to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable people, including those with long term conditions and those living in cold homes.

How to stay well in winter - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

 

WBC announces additional financial support for local businesses impacted by national restrictions

West Berkshire Council is administering a further series of grant schemes to support local businesses that have been affected by the national coronavirus restrictions.

The new Closed Business Lockdown (National Lockdown) payment came into effect on 5 January 2021. This one-off Lockdown grant will be paid to qualifying businesses in addition to the Local Restrictions Support Grant payments that eligible businesses were entitled to from 19 December 2020.

A further £11m of government support is being distributed to West Berkshire businesses, with the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) being extended to cover the new national lockdown. This means that rate-paying businesses will receive a grant for this additional period of enforced closure. This round of funding replicates the previous scheme that ran from 5 November to 2 December 2020.

Both of the new grant schemes will be paid automatically to businesses who have received them before; there is no need to reapply. Any businesses that have not applied previously should check the criteria to see if they are eligible.

Information about eligibility, and how businesses who have not received support previously can apply, can be found on: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/coronavirus-business.

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL COVID-19 NEWS – 15TH JANUARY 2021

West Berkshire Council's latest Covid-19 bulletin at 15th January 2021 is available here: Covid-19 News - 15 January 2021 (govdelivery.com)

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL’s BUSINESS NEWSLETTER GRANTS UPDATE

News on West Berkshire Council's financial support for businesses covering the Local Restrictions Support Grant, New National Lockdown Payment, Christmas Support Payment (closing 31st January) and Additional Restrictions Grant: Business newsletter grants update (govdelivery.com)

 

COLD WEATHER ALERT LEVEL 2

A level 2 cold weather alert has been issued from 0900 today, Friday 15 January, to 0900 on Monday 18 January. This means that temperatures are likely to drop to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable people, including those with long term conditions and those living in cold homes.

Keep Warm Keep Well.

We are still in seasonal Flu season so it is important for those eligible to get the flu vaccination to help people stay well during the winter period.

This leaflet outlines who should have the flu jab

 

Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans

Heritage Recovery and Resilience Loans of £50,000 to £250,000 are designed to help fund activities and costs that will develop and restart your organisation’s income generating potential.

This funding is well suited to organisations who have already been working on resilience, and are currently operating with a mixed income model of enterprise and grant funding, who require support to meet operating costs or adjust their operating model as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

· fixed 0% interest rate

· no fees for arrangement or early repayment

· optional 12-month repayment holiday

· repayment period is up to 5 years

· applications open until 14 February 2021

Follow the link for the criteria/details: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/heritage-recovery-resilience-loans#who-can-apply

 

Garden and Food Waste Collections Temporarily Suspended

West Berkshire Council’s garden waste collection service will be suspended from Monday 18 to Friday 29 January 2021. We are asking residents whose garden waste is due for collection on or after 18 January 2021 to not put their green garden waste bin out until service can be resumed again from 1 February 2021. This change will also affect food waste collections because they are collected at the same time as garden waste.

At the close of play on Tuesday 12 January, about 5,300 recycling collections (equivalent to just under 8% of households) remained outstanding. The collection of other waste types including general refuse is being completed without any significant disruptions at this time.

If your rubbish (black bin) or recycling (boxes and bags) is not collected as expected, please continue to leave it out and WBC will collect it as soon as possible.

WBC ask residents to kindly avoid calling Customer Services colleagues, unless necessary, because they are very busy with other urgent queries at this time.

You can find out more information on the garden waste service from Council’s website. Household waste recycling centres are still open for essential visits but you need to book an appointment.

 

 

Study into the future uses of Newbury town centre

Online survey deadline extended to 31 January 2021

In December 2020, West Berkshire Council announced the appointment of a multi-disciplinary team to undertake a major new study into the future uses of Newbury Town Centre.

The study started with an online survey (details below) to engage with the local community and enable them to give their views on how Newbury town centre could be improved to make it a better place for residents, businesses and over stakeholders. Around 2,500 people have already completed the 10 minute survey and the Council is keen to hear more views of younger people, so that the town can be shaped to incorporate their needs – now and for the future.

Following the results of the survey, the study will be developed over nine months to outline a vision for Newbury’s future and a proposed masterplan of how the town centre can evolve to meet this aim. This study forms a key part of the Council's response to the pandemic and will have a role to play for businesses, residents and other stakeholders.

The Newbury town centre masterplan survey will be open until 23:59 on 31 January. The team will then review the feedback and report back and outline next steps in this process.

The Newbury town centre survey can be found at https://info.westberks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=37751

 

 

Primary/Secondary Schools and critical workers statement

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021, only children of critical workers and vulnerable children and young people should attend primary/secondary school or college. All other pupils and students will receive remote education.

The demand for children to attend school during this lockdown is higher than the previous lockdown in March last year. Schools are doing their best but the level of demand is now stretching schools capacity and, due to safety reasons, some schools are having to ration places. Special schools, alternative provision and nursery schools are still expected to provide places for all children.

Last Friday evening (8 Jan 2021) the Department for Education updated the 'critical workers' section of the guidance to clarify that parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can, to help manage demand.

The definition of a ‘critical worker’ has been described as: Parents or carers whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response including those who work in:

  • health and social care
  • education and childcare
  • key public services
  • local and national government
  • food and necessary goods
  • public safety and national security
  • transport and border, and
  • utilities, communications and financial services.

Further guidance and a breakdown on the above critical workers list can be found on the gov.uk website.

 

 

Resident's News Bulletin - 11 January

Latest news and updates from West Berkshire Council for residents is available at:

Resident's News Bulletin - 11 January (govdelivery.com)

Includes information on library services, support for young people and their emotional health, a new housing allocation website, current consultations on Newbury town centre and the Local Plan Review for 2020-2037.

 

Alert - Coronavirus Vaccination Scams

As of 7 January 2021, Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.

In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment.

The NHS will never: 

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

 

Newbury Town Centre Masterplan survey extended to 31 January

West Berkshire Council has extended extend the closing date for the online survey until 31 January, in order to capture as many voices as possible.

Newbury Town Centre Masterplan survey extended (govdelivery.com)

 

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL COVID-19 NEWS – 8TH JANUARY 2021

West Berkshire Council latest bulletin at Friday, 8th January 2021 is available here:  Covid-19 News - 08 January 2021 (govdelivery.com) 

 

Consultation Opens on Future of Front Counter Provision

Thames Valley Police are currently seeking your views on the future of their front counter provision across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

TVP have launched a public consultation to hear what you think about plans which have been developed to adapt to the different ways in which people contact the police, to meet the changing needs of the diverse communities served and make necessary savings.

The consultation seeks views on a proposed reduction in the number of front counters from 16 to 11, which would save approximately £1.4m.

Since March 2020, TVP has operated with just five of its 16 front counter sites open. Seven re-opened in October 2020.

The proposal does not affect police officer numbers nor the number of police bases so the public will not experience any difference in officer visibility in the communities.

Under the plans, the force will retain its front counters at Milton Keynes, Oxford, Reading, Slough, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Abingdon, Banbury, Newbury, Loddon Valley and Maidenhead. The hours of their opening are also being reviewed.

TVP has 79 police bases force wide, which are not affected, nor being consulted upon.

The consultation is hosted on the digital platform Snap, and will run until 31st January. Further details and a link to the consultation are available on our website (Proposed front counter provision | Thames Valley Police)

If you would prefer to obtain a paper copy of the consultation, please call 01865 542895 to leave your address for a copy of the consultation to be sent to you.

 

 

LEVEL 3 COLD WEATHER ALERT – Friday, 8th January

A level 3 cold weather alert has been issued from 9.00am on Friday, 8 January and 9.00am on Monday, 11 January. This means that temperatures are likely to drop to levels that increase the risk of ill health among vulnerable people, including those with long term conditions and those living in cold homes.

Make sure that you stay warm. If going outside, make sure you dress appropriately. If indoors, make sure that you keep your heating to the right temperature; heating your home to at least 18°C in winter poses minimal risk to your health when you are wearing suitable clothing. If there is anyone you know who might be at special risk, for example, an older person living on their own, make sure they know what to do to stay warm and are well stocked with food and medications. If you are worried about your health or that of somebody you know, ring NHS 111

More information is available on the winter health pages at NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk

KEEP WARM KEEP WELL Leaflet

 

SUPPORT AVAILABLE THIS WINTER

Public Health and Wellbeing at West Berkshire Council have produced a leaflet (here) listing support that is available this winter i.e. grants/schemes.

 

 

 

WEST BERKSHRE COUNCIL NEWS – 5th JANUARY 2021

West Berkshire Council latest bulletin at 5th January 2021 is available here:  Covid-19 News - 05 January 2021 (govdelivery.com)


  

West Berkshire Libraries continue with a limited service during national restrictions

West Berkshire Libraries will continue to offer a limited service during the national lockdown restrictions in place from 5 January 2021.

Library buildings will be open for book collections only, and public use of computers in libraries has been suspended. Library members will still be able to reserve books via the online library catalogue.

Libraries will also continue to offer the popular Order & Collect service, whereby members who are not sure which books they would like to read can request that library staff select up to five books for them. Library members can telephone 01635 519813 or contact their local library to let staff know what sort of books they enjoy, or visit the library catalogue online to place their order: https://westberks.spydus.co.uk.

Library members are advised to please check library opening times before making a trip to collect the books they have ordered. Details of opening hours can be found on the website: www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries.

Members can return books at any time of day or night via the bookdrops/letterboxes outside each library. There is a West Berkshire Libraries fines amnesty in place until the end of January 2021, which will be regularly reviewed.

The ‘At Home’ service will still continue to deliver books and audiobooks to people who are self-isolating or unable to collect books from the library. To find out more about this service, members can call 01635 519827 or email library@westberks.gov.uk.

The easiest way to borrow titles is via the apps, BorrowBox and Libby, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play store. Customers who have a Kindle tablet (such as Kindle Fire) can download the apps from Amazon.

Customers who are not already members of the library can join online to get free, instant access to the e-library by visiting www.westberks.gov.uk/libraries to register.

Library members can reset their library PIN on the website: https://westberks.spydus.co.uk/pin.

Residents are encouraged to check out the extensive programme of activities for children and adults, which will continue online. Just follow the library Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages for more information @WBerksLibraries.

 

 

WBC WASTE SERVICES UPDATE

Unfortunately, WBC are having some issues with rubbish and recycling collections, due to volume of waste after Christmas and a number of collection staff isolating.

If your rubbish or recycling has not been collected as expected this week, please leave your bin or containers out and they will collect as soon as possible.

We will keep our website and social media accounts updated.

Waste Management, West Berkshire Council              http://www.facebook.com/recyclewestberkshire

 

 

Severe Cold Winter Weather - Level 2 - Alert and Readiness

There is a 70% probability of severe cold weather / icy conditions between 0900 on Monday 04 January and 0900 on Friday 08 January in South East, becoming very cold later in the week. Cold, frosty nights are expected along with showers, bringing a significant risk of icy conditions. Showers are likely to be wintry at times, though mainly over high ground.

Severe cold weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease. Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be