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Covid Plan B to help control the spread of Omicron

The government has activated Plan B in response to the worrying rates of Omicron's community transmission. With cases now doubling every few days, there are fears about how this will affect the NHS already impacted by winter care and Covid backlogs.

Here’s a quick reminder of the new measures:

  • From today (10 December), wear your face covering in most indoor public places and on public transport. However, hospitality, night-time venues, and gyms are exempt
  • From next Monday (13 December), work from home if you can
  • From next Wednesday (15 December), use the NHS Covid vaccination pass (app), or show a negative LFT result (if you’re not vaccinated), for nightclubs and other indoor and outside venues

Please also remember:

  • Open a window if you’re meeting others indoors
  • Test yourself regularly with a LFT, especially if you’re going out to socialise or visit vulnerable family/friends, and self-isolate if you’re positive and take a PCR
  • If you haven’t already, get your jabs or booster

Christmas and New Year arrangements for the Royal Borough

As we look forward to Christmas and New Year, you can find the opening hours for our libraries and customer contact services on our website.

You can also access information about revised bin collection days, Covid test collection and Christmas parking arrangements.
Let’s take a stand together

We’re joining with the Dash Charity and other partners to support the national White Ribbon initiative, calling on everyone to take a stand against male violence, abuse, and harassment towards women.

As part of 16 days of national activism following White Ribbon Day, we’ve been raising awareness of the valuable work in the Royal Borough to help keep everyone safe, the support available to victims, and the ways people can report and get help if they’re scared, threatened, or abused: whether in a domestic setting or on a night out.

It’s clear we all have a role in bringing positive change in our society, including those in our community who always treat others with equality and respect: to make a collective stand and be part of the solution.

As our communications campaign draws to a close, we’ve been focussing this week on the ways everyone can play their part: to make the White Ribbon Promise, continue to lead by example, call out sexism and question abusive attitudes and behaviours in others. If you are on social media, please check out and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Further support for vulnerable families and households

Disadvantaged and vulnerable households will be further supported by the Royal Borough thanks to a grant to help cover essential costs, and a free Christmas school holiday activity and food programme for children eligible for free school meals.

The council has been allocated almost £590,000 from the government’s Household Support Fund to assist those who meet the criteria with the costs of food, rent, council tax relief and deposits to secure tenancies.

The Household Support Fund will be used to provide:

  • A £40 food voucher per child, for families eligible for free school meals or low income free early years childcare over the Christmas school break and Easter holiday. A £20 voucher will be provided over the winter half-term via schools
  • Support to low income social housing tenants who are at risk of losing their home, in order to prevent homelessness.
  • Deposit provision to secure tenancy arrangements for residents who would otherwise be unable to take up the housing offer and become homeless
  • Provision of a contribution to council tax relief for recipients assessed eligible for council tax support due to low income

Separate to this, bookings are now open for the Royal Borough’s Feed Ur Everyday Lives (FUEL) programme for children eligible for free school meals, providing additional support to vulnerable youngsters this Christmas. Young people and families will be able to access free activity groups and nutritious meals.

Learn more in our press release.
Maidenhead’s first car club launched to support sustainable transport

Countryside, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, and Enterprise have launched Maidenhead’s first car club.

Based at Watermark, Countryside's and the Royal Borough’s £94 million regeneration scheme on the banks of Maidenhead Waterways, the Enterprise Car Club offers Maidonians an easy and affordable way to access personal transport without the hassles of car insurance, tax and basic maintenance.

The car club is part of the measures being implemented to encourage sustainable transport at Watermark, with 16 electric car charging spaces and 171 cycle storage spaces being delivered across the development.

Learn more in our press release.
Bench in Windsor town centre decorated as part of campaign to combat loneliness

A bench in Windsor town centre has been decorated with a colourful new design and wording as part of a campaign to combat loneliness.

The Royal Borough is part of this year’s 1 Million Minutes campaign, run annually by ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

The ‘listening bench’, in Peascod Street, uses the concept of a rainbow pattern with the wording ‘Love to Talk!’ and has been designed by actress Maisie Smith. The makeover was unveiled live on Good Morning Britain earlier this week.

Read our press release to learn more.
Don't be like Elf: Remember to drive safely this winter

The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is joining forces with Travel Safe Bucks, Thames Valley Policy and Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service to promote a winter safety driving campaign.

You might recognise Elf on the Shelf from his previous naughty festive antics in the lead up to Christmas. However, this campaign showcases Elf on the Shelf as you’ve never seen him before, getting up to no good and finding himself in compromising situations with the police, and even worse – Father Christmas.

Make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see the Elf’s antics, which run until Friday 24 December.

Fancy being a vaccine volunteer?

The Primary Care Network vaccination centres in Windsor (Windsor Yards) and Maidenhead (Desborough Suite in the Town Hall) are seeking additional volunteers.

You can volunteer on the hours or days that suit you.

You must be over 18, be able to stay on your feet for a few hours, friendly and welcoming, a team player, and happy to be flexible and proactive in your approach.

You’ll be trained and supported, must sign a confidentiality agreement, be professional in your interactions, and be supportive of the vaccine programme and local NHS initiatives. 

Many of the existing volunteers say they’ve made good friends with other centre volunteers, enjoy the client interaction, and love doing something worthwhile for their community. It really is very rewarding.

For further details email Adele Kidby for Windsor, or John Clegg for Maidenhead.
Respect your local countryside

If you’re out enjoying a winter walk in some of the beautiful rural areas the Royal Borough has to offer, please remember to:

  • Always keep dogs under control and on a lead around livestock
  • Be considerate to those living and working in the countryside
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Follow local signs and keep to marked paths unless wider access is available
  • Take your litter home

Read the Countryside Code for more information.
Royal Borough community spotlight

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

  • Carols on the Hill – (6.15pm Friday 10 December) - Castle Hill, Windsor. Featuring the Band of the Household Cavalry, one of Windsor's oldest Christmas traditions returns to Castle Hill. Assembling around the Castle Hill Christmas tree. A traditional community carol service will be held on the doorstep of Windsor’s most iconic landmark. Learn more on the Visit Windsor website 
  • Carols at Christmas - (3.3pm Saturday 11 December) - St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead. A wonderful musical start to the festive season by the New Maidenhead Choir. Visit their website to learn more and book tickets 
  • Charity Christmas concert - (4 and 8pm Saturday 11 December) - Holy Trinity Church, Cookham. Join the Cantorum Choir for a matinee (4pm) or evening (8pm) performance of Christmas songs and audience carols in support of the Help Musicians charity. Tickets are available from the Cantorum Choir website 
  • Old Windsor Christmas Fayre - (4-6pm Sunday 12 December) - St Luke's Road, Windsor. Live music, community stalls, street entertainers, Santa’s grotto, food and crafts. A great way to celebrate Christmas lights in Old Windsor Parish Council. Learn more on the Visit Windsor website 
  • Bray Christmas concert - (3pm Sunday 12 December) – St Michael’s Church, Bray. In support of Duchenne UK, a charity helping children and young people suffering from muscular dystrophy, the concert will include the usual mix of popular carols, classical snippets, and a reading or two. Learn more on the St Michael’s Church website   
  • Maidenhead charity concert - (7.45pm Wednesday 15 December) – Norden Farm Arts Centre. The Maidenhead Concert band will be playing a mix of seasonal pieces alongside other popular favourites all the family will love. Proceeds will be donated to Norden Farm’s Ark Appeal, learn more on the Norden Farm website   
  • St Mary’s Church Christmas services – (Sunday 12 – Saturday 25 December) - St Mary’s Church, Maidenhead. St Mary’s are hosting several services over the Christmas period including a carol service suitable for all ages and two Christingle services. For information, visit the St Mary’s website 
  • Local exercises for older men - Men's Matters are offering older men the opportunity to join a chair exercise class via Zoom. The programme starts on Friday 4 February 2022 from 10am to 11am for six weeks. Contact Paul Samuels if you would like to join
  • Maidenhead & District Stroke Club - if you, or someone you know, have suffered a stroke and need support, consider attending this group's fortnightly Friday meetings at the Ivy Leaf Club in Maidenhead. For more information, read the poster or visit the Maidenhead Stroke Club 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 and it could be shared with over 19,000 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 to get your views on proposals within the Royal Borough.

Responding to our consultations and giving your feedback is the best way to ensure your views are heard.

Our current consultations are:

More information can be found on the consultations pages of our website. 
M4 closures

The M4 is due to be closed in both directions between Junctions 5 (Langley) and 6 (Slough). The closure will start after 8pm today and the motorway will reopen by 6am on Monday 13 December.

The M4 is also due to be closed in both directions between Junctions 5 (Langley) and 6 (Slough-Windsor) from Friday 17 to Monday 13 December. The closures will start after 8pm each evening and the motorway will reopen by 6am the following morning.

Visit the Highways England website for more details on the M4 smart motorway scheme.

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.
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