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Take part in our Council Tax Reduction scheme consultation


We are consulting until Friday 2 December on our Council Tax Reduction scheme for working-age applicants in 2023/24.


Council Tax Reduction is a means-tested benefit that helps people on low incomes by reducing the amount of Council Tax they pay. Councils must decide each year on whether to make any changes to the scheme.


In the Royal Borough, it is proposed that the scheme essentially remains the same, maintaining the maximum level of discount for working-age recipients at 80% of their Council Tax bills. 


The council is consulting on five proposed changes, focussed on simplifying administration of the scheme and aligning with national changes to Housing Benefit. Three changes affect working-age applicants in receipt of both Council Tax Reduction and Universal Credit. The remaining two affect all working-age applicants.


For full details and to take part, please visit our consultations webpage or use the public-access computers available at all local libraries, where staff are happy to help if needed. A hard copy of the consultation may be obtained by emailing council.tax@rbwm.gov.uk or by calling 01628 683850.


Learn more in our press release.

Last chance to share your views on our draft tall buildings planning document


Thank you to everyone who has so far commented on the draft of a planning document which will help to ensure the suitable location, height, and design of future tall buildings within the Royal Borough.


You have until next Tuesday (11 October) to take part in our public consultation on the draft Building Height and Tall Buildings Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).


Last week, we held an online consultation event. Thank you to those who attended and took part in the Q&A session. If you couldn’t make it, you can watch a recording on our YouTube channel.


You can also read the draft SPD and submit your comments on our website. Read our press release to learn more.

There's still time to comment on the draft Datchet Neighbourhood Plan


You are invited to take part in a public consultation on an important planning document helping to shape future development and growth within the Datchet Parish.


The draft Datchet Neighbourhood Plan has been produced by local people on the Datchet Neighbourhood Plan group, on behalf of the parish council, following a process of community and stakeholder engagement and consultation.


Neighbourhood plans allow communities to develop a shared vision for their specific areas, giving more control over the type, location, size and design of development. Adding detail to planning policies already set in the Borough Local Plan, neighbourhood plans are used to help decide planning applications. 


This consultation closes on Monday 17 October. Read more and find out how to take part in our press release.

Upcoming jobs fair to support local job seekers and employers


We are working with JobCentre Plus to hold a jobs fair at Maidenhead Library next Wednesday (12 October) from 10.30am to 2pm.


Local jobseekers will have the opportunity to connect with employers looking for staff to fill their vacancies. Employers across a variety of sectors will be attending so this is an ideal forum for candidates to understand the local jobs market and the skills required to be successful in their applications.


Those interested can just turn up on the day to the library in St Ives Road, and employers wishing to attend should email maidenhead.library@rbwm.gov.uk.


See our press release for more details.

Connected Communities: Let's make the most of online


Our Connected Communities campaign gets underway today, highlighting the range of helpful online services and resources you’re able to access in a quick and easy way.


It’s Libraries Week and we’re focussing on our Library Service first, looking at how to make the most of your membership and enjoy everything that’s on offer.


There’s far more than just books available, with online resources helping you with employment skills and career opportunities, including careers advice and digital skills courses.


You can also access a range of newspapers and magazines from around the world with your membership, stream thousands of films and listen to more than two million songs.


If you’re not already a member, join and start making the most of your membershipYou can enjoy the benefits on your own devices or by using one of the public-access computers at any of our libraries and our helpful staff are on hand to help should you need it.


Make sure to follow the campaign on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

New stop smoking service in the Royal Borough


As stubbing out smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, we’ve launched a new service in partnership with Smokefreelife Berkshire to coincide with Stoptober.


It offers a range of options to help people stop smoking including behavioural support, nicotine replacement therapy, and useful self-help digital tools. It’s free if you live in the borough and are aged 12+.


Stopping smoking increases your chances of living a longer and healthier life, whatever age you stub it out. It also puts more money in your pocket and boosts your mental wellbeing.


To find out more, visit the Smoke Free Life Berkshire website, call 0800 622 6360, 0118 449 2026, or text QUIT to 66777.

Our community engagement project scoops national award


Empowering Our Communities, a collaboration between the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and NHS Frimley, has scooped a top prize in the prestigious PEN National Awards.


Our project, which won runner-up in the award’s Engaging and Championing the Public category, is a new approach to community engagement to ensure our residents' voices are heard and strengthened to improve the health and wellbeing in their communities and address inequalities. It’s all about, ‘you said, we did.’


The project has three methods of engagement: our World Cafes, our Community Information Champions, and the Innovation Funding Project.


The PEN National Awards celebrate the delivery of outstanding patient experience by those involved in the health and social care industry. The awards ceremony was held in Birmingham on Wednesday 28 September

Do you test your smoke alarms regularly?


Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) is reminding you to test your smoke alarms regularly as part of October’s Fire Kills campaign.


There were 208 fire-related deaths in the home in the year ending March 2022, and in 2020/21, fire statistics show that 28% of smoke alarms failed to operate during a fire. The Fire Kills campaign hopes that by encouraging everyone to test their smoke alarms, more deaths could be prevented. 


To help keep you and your loved ones safe:


  • Test the batteries in your smoke alarm once a week
  • Test the smoke alarms of those who are unable to test their own
  • Make sure you fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home
  • Whatever happens, never remove the batteries in your smoke alarms unless you are replacing them. Check which type of smoke alarm you have and replace it when needed - this could be every 10 years or even every year.


For more information, visit the RBFRS website.

Journey into the Night Forest at Braywick Nature Centre


Visit Braywick Nature Centre for an enchanting after-dark experience for the whole family on Thursday 27, Friday 28, and Saturday 29 October from 5.30pm to 7pm.


Carve a pumpkin lantern, join in a storytelling session by the campfire and spot your pumpkin on a spooky walk through the nature reserve woods.


Bring a pumpkin, a carving tool, a torch, and a bike light to illuminate your pumpkin. Book your place and learn more on the Eventbrite page.

Royal Borough community spotlight


Here are just some of the upcoming community events in the Royal Borough:


  • Piano recital by Lara Melda (Sunday 9 October, 3pm) – St Michaels’ Church, Bray. An inaugural recital on the new piano will be given by renowned pianist Lara Melda, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2010, who will perform pieces from Chopin and Beethoven. Admission is free with a retiring collection. Please visit the St Michael’s website for more information


  • St Mary’s Catholic Primary School open morning (Thursday 13 October, 9.30am) All parents looking for a reception place commencing September 2023 are welcome to attend. The morning starts with a welcome from the headteacher which will be followed by tours of the school. Visit the St Mary’s website for more information


  • Cantorum Choir performance (Saturday 15 October, 7.30pm) – St Michael’s Church, Bray. Cantorum Choir will be performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, a piece which piece encompasses an array of human emotions in its music, much like Rossini’s operas. The choir are delighted to be joined by four professional opera singers, who have all been mentored through the prestigious Young Artist programme at the Royal Opera House. Tickets are available on the Little Box Office website or by calling 07939 157530


  • Help children to readABC To Read, a local award-winning charity, is looking for new volunteers to help local children that are struggling with their reading. If you'd like to find out more about how ABC To Read can support both primary and secondary schools or would like to join their community of reading mentors as a volunteer, please get in touch at info@abctoread.org.uk. Training for volunteers will also be taking place on Tuesday 18 October


  • Shine Bright Party (Monday 31 October, 5.30pm to 7.30pm) – Kerith Church, Windsor. A fast-paced night of family fun. There will be a bouncy castle, disco, lots of fun craft activities, games, food, and prizes. Tickets are £2 per family, this event is for children aged between five and 11. This covers the cost of the hotdogs, drinks, bouncy castle etc... Book your tickets on the Kerith Church website. If finances are an issue for you, please email to book for free at info@kerith.church


  • Join Ascot Speakers - Build your communication skills and confidence by joining your local speakers club. Ascot Speakers meet on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings of the month from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Come along to a meeting as a guest and experience what they do to help their members ace those speeches, presentations and interviews. Contact info@ascotspeakers.org.uk or visit the Ascot Speakers website


If you have an upcoming not-for-profit community event or activity you’d like to promote in this newsletter, simply send basic information about your event to communications@rbwm.gov.uk and it could be shared with over 20,000 local residents.


You just need to include a brief description, when and where it takes place, and a link to a website/social media page/contact where people can find out more.

Have your say


We regularly hold consultations and surveys to get your views on proposals within the Royal Borough.


Participating, sharing ideas and giving your feedback is the best way to ensure your views are heard.


Our current consultations are:

Local travel updates


Trade unions have announced industrial action at a number of train companies tomorrow (Saturday 8 October).


To stay up to date with the latest local rail strike updates, please check the Twitter accounts for Great Western Railway and South Western Railway.


The M4 is also due to be closed eastbound between Junctions 11 (Reading) and 10 (Wokingham) from 10pm on Saturday 8 October to 6am on Monday 10 October. Traffic will be diverted onto the B3270, A3290 and the A329M. For more information, please visit the National Highways website.


For details of council works on highways, visit our website. For full local

roadwork details, including work by utility firms, please visit the One Network

website.

Keep in touch


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