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Residents’ survey – still time to have your say

If you’ve been invited to take part in our residents’ survey please remember to have your say about the services we provide.

So far, more than 500 residents have responded – enough for us to be confident that the results are representative of views across the district. However, we are keen to hear from everyone who received a survey through the post and will soon be sending reminders to people still to have their say.

The survey is being conducted to understand residents’ views about the local area and the services we provide. We’ll be using the information gathered through the survey to help us make decisions about the services we provide.

Five thousand households have been randomly chosen to take part in the survey and have received a copy of the survey through the post. It will take around 10-15 minutes to complete – and we’re asking residents to complete it as fully as possible to ensure views from a diverse range of residents are reflected in the results.

We’ll tell you more about the results of the survey once it has closed and the responses have been analysed.


Highlights from COP26 last week

COP26 is well underway in Glasgow and so far world leaders have come together to discuss global action. Some of the highlights so far include:

Our actions in West Berkshire align with the work so far at COP26, from investing in tree planting for the district, to plans for a solar farm near Grazeley. 


Small changes you can make in your home

Did you know that there a lots of simple swaps you can make at home to help our beautiful planet?

Every little effort helps to fight climate change and reach carbon neutrality.

We have put together a poster that demonstrates some affordable ways to change your behaviour, which will benefit both the environment and your wallet. This is just a small selection of helpful hints and tips but have you got any that you want to shout about and share with your neighbours? Tell us about it on our social media channels by showcasing your small change for a greener West Berkshire – don’t forget to tag us in!


Road Safety Week

Every year, millions of people around the UK get involved to take action for safer roads.  Road Safety Week inspires thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and shout out for our right to make safe and healthy journeys every day. It also provides a great opportunity for anyone working in road safety to get more people involved in their work.

We all use roads and most of us have experienced road danger. Our lifestyles are often heavily influenced by our travel choices and local road safety is fundamental to how we make our journeys. Ditch the car if you can and utilise active travel such as bus, train, walking and cycling which is good for your health and good for the planet.

We want to thank all the Road Safety Heroes across West Berkshire who are working to make roads safer for everyone – from designing safer roads to caring for people after a crash. However, we all have to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of others. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Think about who you share the road with and always drive at speeds appropriate to the road conditions.
  • Choose routes that use the safest roads and avoid places where people live.
  • Park sensibly on roads – remember pavements are for people. Park with consideration by not blocking and driving over pavements. You MUST NOT drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency.
  • As it’s getting colder and darker, make sure you can be seen while out walking or riding on the roads. Wearing brighter colours, reflectors, a helmet and having lights on your bike can help save your life. Be a road hero and be seen.


Adult Social Care Strategy Consultation Launches

We are inviting local people to take part in a consultation on a new strategy for Adult Social Care, to share their thoughts on what the priorities should be over the coming years.

The Adult Social Care service delivers a wide range of specialist support and activities to help people who are living with disability or physical or mental illness to ensure their needs are met and they can live life as independently as possible and stay safe and well.

The strategy sets out the principles and standards which everyone should expect from the service.

Encouraging local people to get involved, Councillor Joanne Stewart, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care said,

The recent announcements by the government regarding the proposed reforms to the social care system as part of their ‘Build Back Better’ plans mean it is perfect timing for us to set in our minds what our social care priorities should be in the coming years.

“Our Adult Social Care teams do great work across the region every day looking after our residents. As we emerge from the pandemic and start to understand the long term effects of Covid-19 and ‘Long Covid’ on our health and social care needs, it will undoubtedly be a changed landscape to what we might have predicted 12 months ago.

“The strategy document is intended to give West Berkshire Council guiding principles and areas of particular focus, aligning to our Council Strategy. It will also ensure our teams and care service providers will keep those residents who need our care support, safe and well looked after, now and in future years

To take part you can complete the short survey online or you can request hard copies by contacting the team. The full strategy, survey and further information are available here https://info.westberks.gov.uk/draftascstrategy

The survey will be open until 5.00pm on Monday 3 January 2022.


Annual Canvass is almost done…

Every year, we check the electoral register is up to date and we’re almost done for this year. We may have contacted you by email or letter already so please take a look to see if you need to respond or not.

A member of our team may call to ask for these details if you haven’t responded to our forms. Please help them by giving them the information they need or by following the instructions in your letter so we know we have the correct details for you.

It’s a legal requirement to make sure these records are up to date.  Being on the electoral roll will allow you to vote and help keep your credit history up to date.

Any new eligible residents aged 16 or over at your property will still need to register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you need any help, contact the elections team on 01635 519464.


Celebrating Occupational Therapy week with West Berkshire OTs

Last week it was Occupational Therapy week and we celebrated the difference Occupational Therapists make to residents across West Berkshire.

They work in a number of our teams at the Council, helping local people to find ways they can remain independent and carry on doing things that are important to them.

We are always keen to hear from Occupational Therapists who would like to join our dedicated teams, and there are currently vacancies in our Adult Social Care team.


Top Up Your Immunity This Winter

This winter, if you’re eligible, there are two essential vaccines you’ll need to protect yourself and your loved ones – The flu jab and the COVID-19 booster.

How do I get my vaccines?
You will be invited for the COVID-19 booster jab when it’s your turn. 

If you have not heard yet and it is 5 months since your second dose of the vaccine, you can call 119 or book online here to booker your Booster jab.

If you’re eligible for the free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment through your GP surgery or local pharmacy.


Christmas Lights Switch-On, Newbury

We love Christmas!  So we’re delighted to be supporting Newbury town centre traders by advancing Welcome Back Funding to assist Newbury BID with their Christmas Events programme. 

Make sure you pop along to the Christmas Lights Switch-On Festival on Saturday 20 November. Click here for more Information on Visit Newbury at Christmas


Surviving to Thriving COVID-19 mental health fund increased

Surviving to Thriving, a joint initiative between Greenham Trust and West Berkshire Council, is aimed at all not-for-profit organisations in West Berkshire providing support to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing.

The charitable appeal has exceeded its £300,000 target following a £50,000 boost from West Berkshire Council, which has been matched by Greenham Trust. With £109,000 in funding available, Surviving to Thriving is calling on all local charitable organisations, voluntary groups, sports clubs and non-profits (including schools and other educational facilities) delivering vital services aimed at supporting mental health issues related to the pandemic, to apply for funding today.


And finally…

  • BBOWT have also created a guide giving 8 top tips on simple things that each of us can do to help tackle climate change, from changing the food we buy to writing to our MP. Take a look at the webpage and start action now!
  • A new report into climate change by BBOWT has warned that mammals, birds, insects, trees and plants across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are already being seriously impacted by our changing climate. Numbers of dormice recorded at nature reserves in all three counties have decreased since 2010 in a change linked to warmer winters; hotter summers could see beech trees disappear from some local areas, and there is strong evidence that caterpillars are emerging at different times of year, impacting breeding birds. Read more here.

Image from: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), Dartford warbler by Richard Steel.


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