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Could you provide a safe home for Ukrainian refugees?

The Government is today (Friday 18 March) opening the visa application process for its ‘Homes for Ukraine’ refugee support scheme, which allows residents, charities, community groups and businesses to request to sponsor and offer accommodation to a named Ukrainian individual or family seeking safe refuge in the UK.

Cllr Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said: “In the Royal Borough, we stand together with the people of Ukraine, whose lives are being so brutally affected by this terrible war. We know there are many compassionate people within our community who will be both willing and able to provide suitable accommodation, whether that be a spare room in your own home or an unoccupied self-contained residential unit.

"As a council, we are working with national and local partners to ensure comprehensive support is in place for local sponsors and the Ukrainian refugees they’ll be welcoming to the Royal Borough. Funding and further guidance is expected from the Government in due course.

“If you know a refugee individual or family you wish to sponsor, and are able to provide suitable accommodation for at least six months, then please visit the Government website for more information about ‘Homes for Ukraine’ and to apply. Any generous offers will be most welcomed. People wanting to be sponsors but do not personally know anyone fleeing Ukraine can also record their interest to be a sponsor and be matched to people from Ukraine.”
Community invited to help inform next stage of planning for South West Maidenhead

We're inviting the community to help inform plans for a major development area, South West Maidenhead, which will bring forward new homes, community facilities, infrastructure, employment space and improved public access to green space.

Covering parcels of land in multiple ownerships, the development area is allocated for around 2,600 homes, with 30% being affordable, along with new primary and secondary schools, a local centre, and employment space. The vision is also to open-up areas of green space for public access and improve walking and cycling connectivity for residents.
With the Borough Local Plan independently assessed as sound and adopted at Full Council, the next step for South West Maidenhead is producing a site-specific Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), building upon the Local Plan policies to provide more detailed advice to guide decisions on future planning applications.
This initial stage of preparing the SPD involves exploring with the community key considerations and sharing some early thinking on different elements of what might be included in the document. Feedback will be assessed, along with the thoughts of technical and statutory stakeholders, to inform a draft SPD document scheduled for public consultation in the summer. 
To get involved and find out more, people are invited to attend one or more of three themed online events, where they will also be able to submit live questions:

  • Community Needs – Wednesday 30 March 2022, 6.30pm
  • Connectivity – Wednesday 6 April 2022, 6.30pm
  • Sustainability and the Environment – Wednesday 13 April 2022, 7.15pm

Learn more in our press release.
Temporary pavement widening measures to be removed

Temporary measures put in place in the borough to support social distancing by reallocating road space for pedestrians and cyclists during the early stages of the Covid pandemic are set to be removed.

They were put in place at the end of the first lockdown in Spring 2020 as increasing numbers of pedestrians and cyclists returned to town centres to give them more space.

These have been reviewed as restrictions have now been lifted and measures that are no longer deemed required will be removed.

Measures that were for social distancing purposes, including pavement widening on Queen Street, Broadway and York Road in Maidenhead and Thames Street, High Street, Datchet Road, River Street and Thames Avenue in Windsor, will be removed in the coming weeks. 

Those being retained include changes to the speed limits in both Windsor and Maidenhead from 30mph to 20mph, which will become permanent. Significant cycle parking in both Maidenhead and Windsor town centres will also retained, along with cycle lanes in Maidenhead High Street.

Find out more in our press release.
Changes to signing e-petitions
If you have previously signed an e-petition hosted on the council website, you may have noticed a small change in the way you can add your support.
Previously people indicated they wished to sign a petition by providing details, including a unique email address. They would then receive an email asking them to validate the petition signature to confirm it was not a fraudulent use of their email address. Only at that point would their name appear as a valid signatory on the e-petition webpage.
The new system asks people to validate their email address upfront by registering as a user (if not already registered). Once they have done this they can sign the e-petition, and their name will immediately appear on the e-petition webpage.
The process has changed, but amounts to the same requirements to enable the council to validate e-petition signatories.
Registering as a user has additional benefits for residents. For example, the option to receive email alerts when meeting dates are amended or agenda documentation is published. 
Reminder - join our Resident Parking Discount Scheme
With just over two weeks to go until our new resident parking discount scheme gets underway, there's still time to apply.
It offers one hour’s free parking in six popular car parks. Residents of the Royal Borough can apply for the virtual permits required, free-of-charge, ready to start using their discounted sessions from Monday 4 April.
You will first need to set up an online account with the RingGo cashless parking system. There is then a simple application process for the virtual permits to get the discounts in the car parks you wish to use. As the scheme is based on a virtual permit system, it is necessary to apply for each car parking zone you wish for the discount to be applied in.
The application only needs to be submitted once and will last for up to two years. Applicants do not need to have a smart phone to apply for permits or use the discounts.
Drop-in sessions
We’ve been running a number of drop-in sessions at libraries, offering extra help to those who need it with setting up their RingGo accounts and applying for their free, virtual parking permits.

There is one session remaining at Ascot Library on Thursday 24 March 3pm-4pm.

Please bring the following supporting documents, vehicle ownership details and proof of residency, along with your mobile phone so library staff can assist you. 
Further guidance on the application process and a full FAQ, can be found on our parking discount page.
Parents and carers: Complete our school travel survey

The Royal Borough is working hard to support travel by healthier, more sustainable means.

As part of this, we would like to gain a better understanding of pupil and parent travel patterns on the school run, to help us properly manage travel demand in the area.

To do this, we have created a school travel survey for parents and carers, which seeks to understand current travel habits, the barriers people face when travelling, and what could be done to improve the local area for walking and cycling.

Your comments, suggestions and ideas are important to us, and will help us understand how best to support schools with sustainable travel initiatives.

Have your say by responding to our online survey.
Campaign highlights range of council services

In recent weeks, our Spotlight on Services communications campaign has been helping raise public awareness of the wide range of services the council provides.
The campaign has now come to an end, but over the past weeks we've been highlighting the important work of our Public Rights of Way Team and Winter Services Team through two special animations on social media. Find out more about our Public Rights of Way Team by watching our video on Facebook and Twitter. You can also view the winter services animation on our Facebook and Twitter channels to find out more about this vital work.
More recently, we've been telling people more about our Deputyship and Appointeeship Team. They provide support to some of our most vulnerable residents by helping them to manage their finances and benefits. Watch our videos on Facebook and Twitter to find out more.
We've also highlighted the work of our Registration Services Team who usually conduct about 730 civil weddings and civil partnership ceremonies a year. But that's just one part of their job. They register all births deaths, civil weddings and partnerships that take place within the Royal Borough. Watch our videos on Facebook and Twitter to discover how else they help residents.
Spring hanging baskets brighten up town centres

Maidenhead and Windsor town centres will see a spring like pop of colour with the arrival of hanging baskets this week.
The hanging baskets, which feature seasonal flowers, ivies and evergreen plants, are being installed by Window Flowers and have been made possible with thanks to the European Regional Development (ERDF) ‘Welcome Back’ Fund.
The Welcome Back Fund has already supported the Don't Let Your Guard Down campaign, Hello Lamp Post, improvements to the Visit Windsor website and digital reach, the Lunar New Year celebrations and Christmas events and promotions in the Borough since the award was made in March 2020.
Photography exhibition on NHS research comes to Windsor Library

A photo exhibition showcasing ground-breaking NHS medical research taking place across Berkshire and the surrounding region has come to Windsor Library.

‘The Body Unlocked: How Research is Changing Lives’ features 11 life-sized images of people who have taken part in studies, researchers at work and microscopic images of cells and bacteria. 

The exhibition - at the library until Friday 29 April - has been produced by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to encourage people to take part in NHS public health and social care studies. Research studies are an integral part of improving treatments in the NHS and would not be possible without the involvement of ordinary people.
Is it urgent or an emergency? Know where to go when you are feeling unwell
It’s important that we all know where to turn when we or someone we care for needs help.

As demand for NHS services increases, particularly when services are under considerable pressure, it is important that you are seen and supported by the appropriate service for your health concern.

Frimley Health and Care have produced a flow chart which can help you determine which service you need. By following this simple flow chart, you can feel confident you are choosing the right service for your health concern whether it’s during working hours, in the evening or at weekends. 

If you are unsure where to turn, call 111 or visit 111 online to find the right service for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Visit Frimley Health and Care's website to see the chart and for more information on local health services.
Silence to mark National Day of Reflection
People are invited to observe a one-minute silence at noon on Wednesday 23 March as part of the National Day of Reflection, which marks the anniversary of the first Covid lockdown.

Led by the charity Marie Curie, it is a day to pause, reflect and remember the family, friends, neighbours and colleagues we've lost over the last two years. Find out more on the Marie Curie Day of Reflection website.
Have your say on Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service's proposed equality, diversity, and inclusion objectives

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to hear your views on its proposed equality, diversity and inclusion objectives, as part of a public consultation, which closes at 9am on Monday, 4 April.

The information and feedback gathered will be used to finalise the service's objectives for 2022-2026. These will be published on its website and a report to summarise the findings of the consultation and explain how the feedback has been used will be made publicly available.

Please complete the online survey to have your say.
Royal Borough community spotlight

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

  • Women and Girls' Day at Maidenhead United Football Club - (from midday Sunday). The day will be supporting The Dash Charity, which supports victims of domestic abuse, and will include free taster sessions including women's walking football from 12.15pm to 12.45pm. There will also be a football skills session for eight to 12-year-olds from 1pm to 1.30pm and another session for 12 to 16-year-olds from 1.30pm to 2pm. Free admission.

  • Wihan Quartet concert (7.30pm Thursday 24 March) – Baylis Theatre, Braywick Leisure. Maidenhead Music Society presents the international string quartet who will perform the Dvorak "American" which they have recorded and won "Recording of the Year" from Music Web international. The tickets are available from the Maidenhead Music Society website or by ringing 01628 621162

  • Double Act: An Evening of One-Act Plays  - (Wednesday 30 March to Saturday 2 April) – The Old Court, Windsor. Maidenhead Drama Guild presents an evening of two one-act plays, featuring Blood on Canvas and Anger Management. Learn more and book tickets on the Old Court website.

  • Royal Free Singers with Marches Baroque Orchestra – (7.30pm Saturday 9 April) – Windsor Parish Church. The Royal Free Singers are delighted to be joined by professional soloists to perform the classic oratorio St John Passion by J.S. Bach. Tickets are available on the Royal Free Singers website, from the Windsor Tourist Information Office, or on the door.

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 eastbound only between junctions 6 (Slough-Windsor) and 8/9 (Maidenhead) from 4am on Saturday 26 March until 6am on Monday 28 March.

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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