Leisure facilities across the Borough will reopen from 6am on Wednesday 2 December, as the national
lockdown comes to an end and new Tier 2 (High) restrictions come into force. This includes Loddon
Valley Leisure Centre, Bulmershe Leisure Centre, St Crispin’s Leisure Centre, Ryeish Green Sports Hub
and Arborfield Green Leisure Centre.
The Council is continuing to work closely with Places Leisure to ensure its centres offer a Covid-secure
environment that is safe for both colleagues and customers, and build upon positive feedback that was
received following the re-opening in August. Key measures include signage to encourage social
distancing, a requirement to wear facemasks when moving around the buildings, reduced activity
capacities, improved ventilation and pre-booking for all centre activities on the Places Locker app or via
its website. There are also enhanced cleaning regimes in place, as well as hand sanitising and cleaning
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure said: “We know how important leisure
activities are to our physical and mental health and we’re very happy to be re-opening our facilities
following the end of lockdown. Employees and customers have been incredibly understanding and we
appreciate everyone’s patience and adherence to the lockdown rules. Going forward, it is very
important that we continue to stick to social distancing guidance. This includes washing our hands
regularly, wearing a face covering where we are required to do so, making space between ourselves and
others, self-isolating when we are asked to and getting a test when we have symptoms. Maintaining
these behaviours is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus across the borough.”
Tony Penge, Contract Manager at Places Leisure, adds: “We are delighted that our leisure facilities will
be re-opening again on the 2 December, and judging by the feedback, our customers are incredibly
eager to return to their centre. We’ve already begun communicating our opening with them and cannot
wait to see everyone soon.”

Please note, the Loddon Valley Leisure Centre sports hall is currently closed due to the floor being
relayed – it will re-open on Monday 28 December. The St Crispin’s Leisure Centre studio will be open for
group exercise sessions and activities between 2 and 12 December; sessions will then move to the
sports hall from Monday 14 December while a new floor is installed. The studio will re-open on Saturday
2 January 2021. For more information, please visit the Places Leisure website.
In addition to the leisure centres, the following settings will also reopen as of 2 December: grass pitches,
3G pitches, the tennis courts at Cantley Park and Woosehill, and archery at Cantley Park.
– ENDS –
Further information:
1. More from Cllr Parry Batth on parry.batth@wokingham.gov.uk


Shoppers in Wokingham Borough will get an early Christmas present with free parking in the council’s
car parks on Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. Council-owned car parks in towns and village centres
across the area will offer this on 5, 12 and 19 December.
The move has proved popular in recent years with traders and shoppers as the council works to support
local town centres and encourage residents to shop locally during the festive season. It’s especially
important for communities across the borough to support their local high streets this year, with many
independent businesses dealing with disruption due to Covid-19.
Car parks included in this festive offer are:
• Polehampton Close, Twyford
• School Lane, Wargrave
• Shute End, Wokingham
• Denmark Street, Wokingham
• Easthampstead Road (East and West), Wokingham
• Cockpit Path, Wokingham
• Headley Road, Woodley
• Crockhamwell Road, Woodley
• Lytham Road (East and West), Woodley
• Former M&S car park/Rose Street car park, Wokingham
• Carnival Pool Multi Storey car park, Wokingham
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, said: “We’re pleased to be able to
offer free Saturday parking again this year in the run up to Christmas, with it being especially important
to support local shops and traders this year. We know our residents want to support businesses in the
borough in the run up to Christmas and make the most of the fantastic shops we have to offer,
providing parking on these days free of charge helps them to do this.”
Date: 25 November 2020
Issued by: Connor McLoughlin
Issue No: 247/20
Version: 1.0
Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk
Although parking will be free on the three Saturdays before Christmas, maximum stay limits and
disabled parking bays will still be enforced and any vehicles breaching these regulations will be subject
to the usual Penalty Charge Notices being issued. It should also be noted that the free parking offer
applies only to council car parks, and does not apply to privately managed car parks.
– ENDS –
Further information:
1. More from Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways and transport, via
2. Alternatively contact the council’s communications, engagement and marketing team via
3. More information on car parking in the borough, via www.wokingham.gov.uk/parking-andtransport/parking-and-permits/find-a-car-park/


Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk

Exciting times as the borough mayor opens a major new road in Arborfield to traffic for the first time.
Construction of Observer Way, the new Arborfield relief road, began last summer. Now open, the road connects the A327 Reading Road to the A327 Eversley Road, taking traffic around the villages of Arborfield and Arborfield Cross. Final landscaping works will take place over the next couple of months due to supply chain issues, which may result in periodic traffic management being required in this period.
The new 2.3km road is part of the council’s major highways project which will see over £100million investment and has been funded through developer contributions and a grant for the council’s major new roads programme from the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. It is part of the new community in Arborfield, on the site of the former garrison. The relief road will reduce congestion and create opportunities for more sustainable travel, providing traffic relief in Arborfield and Arborfield Cross and the surrounding rural lanes.
The council’s 2010 local plan included a relief road for Arborfield to support the new 3,500 home development at the Arborfield Garrison, which was then scheduled for decommissioning, and the nearby major development in Shinfield Parish. The council considered four potential routes for the new road and recommended Option A as the preferred route in a consultation. Residents preferred Option B, with an overwhelming 70 per cent. The council
listened to residents and Option B is the route the road takes today.
Cllr Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement said: “The opening of this road is an
incredible milestone for the borough. This road has been over 10 years in the planning and building, and has been
a success for the council and residents all the way along. This is very much a case of ‘You said, we listened’. When
we consulted in 2013 on four options, with a clear preference from us for technical reasons, residents strongly
came back and told us that wasn’t what they wanted. We listened and the road we have today reflects that.”

Chairman of Arborfield & Newland Parish Council Mark Picken said: “The Parish Council is pleased to see the relief
road opening as scheduled. We have been very much included from the beginning and are pleased to have worked with all involved, especially regarding the naming of the road and bridge and honouring those who served in the Royal Observer Corps (ROC). Arborfield has changed dramatically over the past few years and the relief road is a real bonus for the village.”
Alison Webster, chief executive of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP added: “This scheme is the single largest Local Growth Fund project that the LEP is delivering for Berkshire. We have worked closely with Wokingham Borough Council to help provide relief to the existing A327 through the village of Arborfield and reduce the traffic impacts of the strategic development at Arborfield Garrison and South of the M4 (Shinfield and Spencer’s Wood), which will enable the development of 3,500 new homes.”
Key features of the road Multi-use path: The new road is not just for vehicles to navigate the borough, there is also a shared pathway alongside but separated from the road for cyclists and pedestrians. This is part of the council’s Greenways Project, an ongoing programme to create a network of safe paths connecting the major growth areas with established centres across the borough for cyclists and pedestrians to encourage more sustainable travel.
Observer Bridge: In May this year a wildlife friendly green bridge across the road opened, following the route of
an existing public right of way, linking Arborfield Court Woodland and Spring Copse, which lie on either side of the
new relief road. The green bridge offers a safe route across Observer Way for ramblers, cyclists, horse riders and
wildlife, specifically badgers and bats. Hedgerow planting, trees and grassland will help to ‘signpost’ badgers and
bats safely over the road, using the bridge to navigate through the countryside. Tunnels and fencing will also
encourage wildlife to use specially designed crossing points along the road.
Memorial stone: The council worked closely with the Arborfield Local History Society to install a memorial stone
as a fitting tribute to the brave members of the Arborfield Royal Observer Corps who manned the above-ground
observation post from 1936 that was sited nearby, which was also later used as an underground monitoring post
from 1961 until its closure in 1968. The memorial stone is located near Observer Bridge.
Village improvements: The project has also provided an opportunity to maximise the benefits the relief road can
bring the local community – through improvements to the local roads around Arborfield and Arborfield Cross
villages. The proposed improvements will reduce through traffic from the village centre and result in traffic flows
more appropriate for the village streets. The latest local consultation with residents took place over the summer.
The results of the consultation are available on the council’s website (insert link). The changes are currently
planned to be in place by September 2022.
– MORE –
Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk
Cllr Pauline Jorgensen, executive member for highways said: “The road opening is such an achievement and I
would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making this happen. This project finished on budget
and on schedule, despite having the major disruption of a global pandemic halfway through.
“It has been a long journey from the abstract early strategic plans, collaboration with our residents, to the
construction of the road, pathways and the green bridge over the last year.
“There has been a lot of change in the borough over recent years, through development of new communities and
we are committed to ensuring the infrastructure we need is built at the right time and in the right places. The
council is investing £1billion in a wide range of infrastructure including new schools, open spaces and leisure
facilities, community facilities and roads to ensure our new communities have what they need to thrive.”
To find out more about Observer Way (formerly called the Arborfield Cross Relief Road), visit the council website
and search Arborfield Relief Road.
– ENDS –
Further information:
1. More from Cllr Pauline Jorgensen at pauline.jorgensen@wokingham.gov.uk


Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk
Wokingham Borough Council’s Shute End offices will be one of several locations residents can get waste
and recycling items if they’re running out during lockdown. Woodley and Earley libraries will also reopen
this week to provide these essential items to residents.
Shute End will be open under restricted days and hours, Tuesday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and with
Covid-19 safe restrictions to allow residents to access essentials for these services only. The libraries in
those areas will open on different weekdays (further information below) and this is only to provide
waste items – library services will not be available.
This opening began this week and is to help distribute items relating to our waste and recycling
collection services only. It includes collecting pre-ordered blue bags and garden waste sacks, as well as
picking up food waste caddies (indoor and outdoor) and food waste caddy liners only. Those purchasing
blue bags or garden sacks will need to pay in advance on our website and then bring the receipt with
The only entry point for residents will be via the main entrance off Biscoe Way. It will be on a one in one
out basis. Distancing signage will be in place to ensure residents and staff can be kept safe.
If you do not live or work near one of our open locations, residents are now also able to order a delivery
of blue bags via our website. These will be paid for online and then delivered within 10 working days.
This process also applies for any residents wanting to purchase brown garden waste sacks. Residents are
encouraged to use Shute End or other locations above if they can.
Other locations are currently open for collection of waste and recycling items only with distancing
measures in place. These locations include:
• Lower Earley library (RG6 5HZ) – open Monday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am to 5pm
Date: 16 November 2020
Issued by: Connor McLoughlin
Issue No: 233/20
Version: 1.0
Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk
• Woodley library (RG5 4JA) – open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – 9:30am to 5pm (7pm on
• Ryeish Green Sports Hub, Hyde End Road, Ryeish Green RG7 1ER – open Monday to Friday 9am
to 3pm (term time only)
• Rogers Hardware, 25 Greenwood Rd, Crowthorne RG45 6QX (blue bags and garden waste sacks
Cllr Parry Batth, executive member for environment and leisure, including waste and recycling, said: “If
you’re out of blue bags or urgently require any garden sacks please remember to pay in advance and
bring your receipt for collection. Only visit the office if you are out of bags or these items are essential
for you to continue to use our waste and recycling service, otherwise residents should avoid visiting.
Remember we are in a national lockdown so only visit Shute End if it’s essential.”
We encourage residents to use the food waste service, and residents who wish to start this who do not
live near any of the locations listed above, should email customerservice@wokingham.gov.uk providing
their full address. They should make clear whether they would like a black outdoor container and/or an
indoor food waste caddy. Then delivery will be arranged within 10 working days.
Cllr Batth added: “Providing the ability to pay online and have blue bags or garden sacks delivered will
allow us to support residents who are vulnerable or choosing to stay at home during this time. We know
this is a time of year when some people will need more blue bags, so we are continuing to adapt our
services to serve our residents safely.”
– ENDS –
Further information:
1. More from Cllr Parry Batth via parry.batth@wokingham.gov.uk
2. Alternatively, contact the council’s communications, engagement and marketing team on


Wokingham Borough Council is encouraging you to invest in your future self this Self Care Week (16 – 22
November) by making small changes that can make a big difference. We want all of our residents to live
a healthier and happier life and to have access to help and healthcare when required.
“We want to empower you to make healthier lifestyle choices daily. That’s why we’re encouraging you
to invest in yourself and think about your health and wellbeing long term. There are a variety of online
and in-person resources that can help you do just that,” said Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member
for health, wellbeing and adult services
“I also know that many of you may have been cautious about seeking medical help and advice since the
coronavirus pandemic started. I want to reassure you that help is available. The NHS is open and your
local doctors are here to support you with any physical or mental wellbeing concerns.”
If you need help to better manage mental illness such as anxiety and depression, Wokingham Council’s
Recovery College could be for you. If you’re a Wokingham resident, you can simply enrol and join
courses online, from the comfort of your own home.
The courses are suitable for those over the age of 18 and provide recovery-focused mental health
education that can help you to; grow beyond what has happened to you, discover a new sense of self
and explore possibilities to rebuild a better life. You can find out more and register online here:
In addition, Talking Therapies is a friendly and approachable NHS service that offers support if you’re
coping with challenges like depression, stress, anxiety or phobias. If you’re aged 17 and over and living
in Berkshire, they can help you overcome the mental health challenges you’re facing.
– MORE –
Date: Monday 16 November 2020
Issued by: Clodagh Pickavance
Issue No: 234/20
Version: 0.1
Wokingham Borough Council, Shute End, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG40 1BN
Tel: (0118) 974 6000 Email: CEM@wokingham.gov.uk
They are available, 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 5pm on Friday. Email:
talkingtherapies@berkshire.nhs.uk or telephone: 0300 365 2000. If you or a loved one is facing a mental
health emergency, use the NHS 111 online service, or simply call 111.
Mental Health support is available for the children of Wokingham too. Kooth offer free online
counselling and emotional well-being support for our younger residents. For more information visit
Arc Wokingham also provide a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space for children aged 11 and
over to explore their thoughts and feelings. To find out more visit www.arcweb.org.uk
Our Public Health team have also pulled together a range of tips and resources to help you in invest in
yourself – supporting your physical and mental wellbeing in the process.
Some tips for self-care:
 Plan practical things: structure and plan your day. Getting into a new routine can help you feel
better and more in control
 Keep in touch: stay connected with family, friends and work colleagues through phone or video
calls and social media
 Talk about your feelings: talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying
around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less
alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same
 Keep active and eat well: just like the other organs in your body your brain needs a mix of
nutrients to stay healthy and function well. Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your
brain that make you feel good, boosting your self-esteem and helping you concentrate and feel
better. Resources are available on the Better Health website
 Take time to relax: this can help with difficult emotions and worries, and improve wellbeing
 Connect with nature: where possible, try to connect with the outdoors, even if it’s simply by
watching through a window, looking at trees or watching birds flying past
– ENDS –
Further information:
1. More from Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, at:
2. Find physical health resources on the Better Health website: https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/

B3349 Basingstoke Road – Emergency Highway Surfacing 12th & 13th Nov 8pm-6am

B3349 Basingstoke Road – Emergency Highway Surfacing


Wokingham Borough Council, as Highway Authority, is advising you that we will be carrying out emergency highway surfacing on B3349 Basingstoke Road (sections between Back/Lambs Lane and Swallowfield Street including junctions).


B3349 Basingstoke Road (Back/Lambs Lane to Swallowfield Street including junctions) works are scheduled to be carried out on the nights of 12th and 13th  November 2020 between the hours of 20:00 and 06:00.


These emergency works are being undertaken by Wokingham Borough Council to keep the network to a maintained and safe condition.


This scheme was programmed for later in the year (December 2020), however this section of road has rapidly deteriorated and therefore the work has been brought forward. The road has become uneven and there are issues with loose stone which is dangerous for all types of motorists.


Due to the nature of the surfacing material at this location, we are carrying out works as quickly as we can as it will continue to get worse and present further danger to highway users.


Delivery dates may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. However, you will be updated should this be the case.


To allow the works to be carried out safely, a hard road closure will be in place between (and including junctions) Back Lane/Lambs Lane and Swallowfield Street between the hours of 20:00 and 06:00.


The diversion route for these works will be B3349 Basingstoke Road (Riseley) to A33, A33 Swallowfield Bypass (northbound), Basingstoke Road or this route in reverse.


We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience, should you have any queries or require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact the Highway assets team.