We’re working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents – and in particular those who most need our help.
On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we’ve had to make to services.
You can also keep in touch with us online, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Support for town centre businesses
Our town centres are important and we are supporting our town centre businesses to help them to reopen safely. As part of that, we’ve put lots of useful information in one place, on this new webpage.
Maintaining a strong local economy is one of our main priorities and we know that the past few months have taken their toll on the district’s businesses. We want to ensure that we are doing all we can to ease this burden where possible. As part of this, we recently hosted a webinar to support businesses re-opening which is available on the new webpage or via our youtube channel.
if you are a West Berkshire business looking for help, advice or support please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly Update from Leader and Chief Executive
During the Covid-19 pandemic Council Leader Lynne Doherty and Chief Executive Nick Carter have been writing a blog about the Council’s response to it.
In this week’s edition, Nick and Lynne discuss the local arrangements for the new test and trace scheme and the work being done to help our high streets. They also take the time to reflect on the contribution of carers throughout the district. You can read this week’s blog, and previous posts, here.
Manage your health and wellbeing at home
To maintain social distancing and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, you’re advised to stay at home as much as possible. While you’re at home, it’s still easy to get NHS help and support using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
The Health at Home webpage has information letting you know how to:
● contact your GP
● order repeat prescriptions
● manage long-term conditions
● maintain your mental and physical wellbeing
You should still go to hospital in a serious or life-threatening emergency, or if you feel very unwell. You should also continue to attend appointments for ongoing treatment, unless you have been told not to. Otherwise, speak to the GP, hospital or other NHS care provider. They will tell you if you need to go in person.
£124k for cycling and walking schemes
The money has been allocated from the Department for Transport’s national Emergency Active Travel Fund to help us to produce more cycling and walking facilities.
We’ll receive the funding in 2 phases. Under phase 1, we’ll focus our efforts on measures that encourage active travel and can be implemented quickly to provide additional road-space for walking and cycling.
- additional cycle parking in a number of our towns and villages
- temporary road closures and parking suspensions to enable social distancing in town centres
- temporary exemption for cyclists in one way streets
- widening of footpaths at busy bus stops
- permanent conversions of temporary cycle ways
Phase 2 will be released later in the summer to enable us to secure funding of £495,000 towards more permanent measures to encourage active travel.
More information on the Active Travel Funding.
Refund for school transport
We want to assist parents and carers during this time by offering the option to apply for a refund on fares paid for school transport for terms 5 and 6.
This is in response to the current directive from the Government to close schools and only open for certain year groups during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
A refund will be given to those who have bought a farepayer seat on home to school transport. Separate applications for each term will be accepted, if your child is returning for all or part of term 6, please indicate when your child started to use school transport.
Find more information here.
Celebrating our wonderful Carers
It’s National Carers Week and we’re looking to recognise the great work of Carers, not just during the pandemic, but each and every day.
Caring is not a ‘cookie cutter’ role. People of all ages care for people in all types of situations and circumstances.
This can be a tough job at the best of times, but the current situation has brought additional challenges.
For example, we have many young people (under 18) who provide regular and ongoing care for a parent or family member which means they often miss out on social activities.
During lockdown, some of our young people have literally been unable to leave their homes as they have been shielding vulnerable family members. This can be very difficult for them as they have no opportunity for downtime or respite from their caring responsibilities.
Watch Joe, our Young Carers Project Worker speaking to some of our young carers about what it’s like to be a carer in lockdown and why they’re looking forward to taking part in their new Virtual Youth Club.
Connect minibus service to resume
We’ll be resuming some of our Connect minibus services from Monday 15 June 2020.
5a, 5c, 41, H1 services will operate their normal timetables. Route 44 will operate a normal timetable except that the 15:50 Thursday journey Beenham to Thatcham will not run.
The 47 will operate on Monday to Friday to a revised timetable.The 5 school service remains suspended.
Passengers must have a face covering in order to travel and the exact fare as change cannot be given.
Please note that the National Off-Peak Bus Pass will not be accepted in West Berkshire before 0930 Monday to Friday from 15 June.