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Level 4 Heat – Health Alert for the South East

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has increased its heat health warning from Level 3 to Level 4, from midnight this coming Sunday to midnight next Tuesday, across parts of England including the South East.

With the Met Office forecasting temperatures of 40°C (104F), there is a threat to life and illness among the fit and healthy – not just vulnerable groups. This is the first time that a Level 4 extreme weather alert has been issued in the UK.
Many of the Level 3 safety behaviours remain the same such as drinking ample water, staying in the shade during the hottest part of the day, wearing suitable clothing, not exerting yourself, and checking on vulnerable friends and family.
Remember, these extreme temperatures may also impact services and infrastructure. These include:

  • Your working practices and daily routines
  • Heat-sensitive systems and equipment failing, potentially leading to localised loss of power and other essential services such as water or mobile phones
  • Significantly more people visiting coastal areas, lakes, and rivers, leading to an increased risk of water safety incidents
  • Delays on roads and road closures, along with delays and cancellations to rail and air travel, with significant welfare issues for those who experience even moderate delays

Look out for yourself and others. See Berkshire Public Health’s online guide on staying cool and safe in hot weather.

Schools have been asked to assess their own situations and consider any adjustments needed to support children, including those who may be more vulnerable. Please contact your child's school if you have any questions or concerns. School closures or early closures that have been notified to the council are available on our website.
Please stay safe around water and remember the risks

Together with the Environment Agency and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, we are reminding everyone not to take unnecessary risks while trying to cool off, and to always make sure family and friends stay safe.

Rivers can contain sharp objects hidden below the surface, like those pictured which were removed from the Thames by the fire service. The shock of jumping into unexpectedly cold water can sadly be fatal, and strong currents or deep water can catch even capable swimmers off guard.

Rivers are great places to have fun, get close to nature and spend time with friends and family, but vigilance can save lives and water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing how to stay safe.
The key safety points are:

  • If you get into trouble in the water, remember Float to Live
  • Lean back and use your arms and legs to help you float, then get control of your breathing before calling for help or swimming to safety
  • If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast, ask for the coastguard, if you are inland, ask for the fire service.

Remember, drowning can occur very quickly even in shallow water and the key to keeping safe is to take all necessary precautions to avoid getting into difficulty in the first place.

To learn more, read the Environment Agency press release or see water safety advice on the fire service website.
Changes to waste collections and recycling site opening hours

Due to the heatwave, our bin crews are starting their collections earlier, from 5am on Monday and Tuesday and from 6am for the rest of next week. Our crews do a very active outdoor role so starting one hour earlier means they finish before the worst of the heat.

Our Household Waste & Recycling Centre in Stafferton Way, Maidenhead will also close slightly earlier from Sunday 17 to Tuesday 19 July, opening from 8am to 2pm on Sunday and 8am to 10am on Monday and Tuesday.

This is also due to the especially high temperatures forecast on those days and helps protect the health of our staff/visitors. The sites are currently planned to open at the usual times from Wednesday.

If you visit a local park over the weekend for a picnic, please continue to dispose of your waste responsibly and take litter home if the bin is full. Please remember that barbeques are not allowed in any of our parks and open spaces.
Gearing up for final phase of our Missing Links cycle scheme

The final phase of a major project improving cycle access around Maidenhead is “gearing up” to start in earnest from Tuesday 2 August, bringing upgraded paths and a new bridge to the Town Moor area.

Maidenhead Missing Links is a cycle route that connects current and future residential areas in the north with the town centre and railway station, making active travel across Maidenhead safer and more convenient in support of our Environment and Climate Strategy.
The scheme by the Royal Borough is part of a £2.8m investment, mostly funded by the Local Enterprise Partnership. It has included improvements at a number of key locations to help people transition to cycling or walking for shorter journeys.

To ensure these significant works can happen safely and efficiently, the bridge and paths crossing the northern part of Town Moor will be closed temporarily, from Tuesday 2 August into winter 2022/23. Before that, from next week, closure will be required of a smaller part of the moor and one path crossing it. Signed diversions will be in place for both phases of work.

Learn more in our press release.
Take part in our South West Maidenhead consultation

We are holding a consultation on a key planning document for South West Maidenhead, a major development area bringing forward much-needed new homes, community facilities, employment space and improved public access to green space.

To get involved and find out more, you are invited to attend one of the two remaining drop-in sessions below, or visit our website to view the draft Supplementary Planning Document and supporting documents, complete the feedback form and discover more about South West Maidenhead.
  • Wednesday 20 July, 12.30pm to 5pm – Maidenhead Library drop-in session
  • Tuesday 26 July, 2pm to 7pm – Braywick Leisure Centre drop-in session

An online consultation event will be also held via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 27 July, from 7pm to 9pm. The link for joining will be added to our website during w/c Monday 25 July.

Learn more in our press release.
Watermark shortlisted in British Homes Awards 2022

The £94m Watermark regeneration scheme in Maidenhead, a partnership project with Countryside and the Royal Borough, has been shortlisted in this year’s British Homes Awards in the Mixed-use Development of the year category.

Learn more on the Countryside website
New chapter for Library Service in two village communities thanks to partnership with parish councils

A celebration was held recently to mark an exciting new chapter for the Library Service at Sunningdale, which is now operating from a fitting new community base at The Pavilion, in Broomhall Lane. Meanwhile, the Container Library at Wraysbury is operating under extended opening hours.

We are working closely with parish councils, community groups, trusts and volunteers to continue to deliver an accessible Library Service in a more resilient and viable way, retaining a strong physical library provision.

Thanks to partnership funding from Sunningdale Parish Council, the library is now open at The Pavilion on Fridays from 4pm to 7pm, Saturdays from 10am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm, and Sundays from 11am to 2pm. A public-access computer is also available during those times.

The new arrangement at Sunningdale is in place of the Container Library, which used to visit the nearby car park. The Container Library now stays at Wraysbury Village Hall car park, The Green, under extended opening hours funded by Wraysbury Parish Council: Wednesdays from 2.30pm to 7pm, Fridays from 2.30 to 5.30pm and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm.

For more information, please read our press release.
Regaining your independence at home

Our four-week Caring Communities campaign, which started this week on our Facebook and Twitter channels, celebrates the invaluable role of carers in our neighbourhoods, how they make a positive difference to people’s lives, and the support available for those providing unpaid care for family or friends.
We’re running it in partnership with our social services partners Optalis and Achieving for Children.

So far, we’ve highlighted how prevention, no matter your age, such as diet, exercise and friendship groups can make a real difference to maintain independence for longer. Next week, we’ll be looking at services for all ages including assisted technology and aids at home, as well as reablement support.

The final weeks of our campaign will showcase the work of carers as well as highlight the range of additional help available if you’re caring for family/friends, as well as bolster current recruitment efforts for support workers and foster carers.

Mina's story

Mina is a great example of how Optalis’ Short Term Assessment and Reablement Team help residents return to independent living following injury or illness, empowering her to quickly regain her independence and confidence in six weeks. Following a serious fall incurring multiple leg fractures, surgery, and a skin graft, she was discharged from hospital with a medical boot.

Optalis’ team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists devised a personalised plan for Mina which included assistive aids installed in her home and bespoke exercises. Working with her at her own pace, Mina was able to tackle cooking and her personal care, use the shower, carry things about her home, and get in and out of a car to go out with family.
Covid-19 is still here!
Schools are breaking up, the barbeque is ready for action and life feels a little freer. Covid-19, however, is still with us and sadly cases are rising.
The latest estimate (this week) from the Office of National Statistics says 1 in 25 people in the South East are now infected. Figures for the Royal Borough are in the monthly Covid-19 Briefing on the Berkshire Public Health website but remember these will be a snapshot from a few weeks ago. More recent data show cases are now predominantly among working age adults, not teenagers or children.

The current rise is due to a shift in the dominant Covid variant to Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 which now account for more than half of new Covid cases in the UK. The case rises, so far, haven’t led to an increase in Covid-related deaths in Berkshire hospitals although hospitalisations are going up again. People are being admitted with Covid alongside other conditions, not solely because of Covid.

How to protect yourself and loved ones

  • Being vaccinated helps protect against Covid’s extreme effects
  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • Meet outdoors when you can and let fresh air in if meeting others indoors
  • Wash your hands often with soapy water
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your surroundings frequently.

For more information visit the Berkshire Public Health website.
Calling all artists! Apply for Windsor and Eton painting competition

The En Plein Air (Open Air) Windsor and Eton painting competition will take place on Saturday 30 July inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Artists are invited to come and create their own masterpieces within a six-hour timeframe at various locations around the world’s most famous castle. 

Following this, an exhibition of their work will be mounted outside on Castle Hill where their work is judged, and the public will get to choose their favourite piece.

The first prize is £1,000 and £500 of art materials. The winning piece will also be presented to Her Majesty The Queen to become part of her collection.

The competition is open to all artists, whether they are professional or amateur. Make sure to register online before the deadline on Friday 22 July.
How many single-use plastics do you use?

It's Plastic Free July! This global movement encourages everyone to use less or no plastic during July.

It aims to help everyone be more mindful of the amount of plastic they are using day to day and make permanent changes to their habits.

We have added some interesting and helpful information surrounding single-use plastics to RBWM Together, including an interview with the zero waste shops in the borough, and tips on how to reduce your use of single-use plastics.
Would you like to learn more about rosé wine or Prosecco?

The Windsor Guildhall is hosting a series of wine tasting workshops with local wine experts BerksFizz.

They are fun and informal sessions held in the regal splendour of the Council Chamber at the Guildhall. No previous wine tasting experience is needed. 

On Thursday 28 July from 7pm to 9pm you can attend a summery celebration of pink wines and taste your way through six incredibly different rosé wines, both still and sparkling.

If you can’t make the workshop in July then you might want to attend one of the events in August, September or October featuring Prosecco, ‘Big Reds’ and ‘Cheap vs Steep’.

Previous events have been popular, so make sure you book early to avoid missing out. You can see all the event details and book via the BerksFizz website.
Royal Borough community spotlight

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

  • Summer Concert at St George's Chapel – (Saturday 16 July). The UK Japan Choir and Consort of young professional musicians from Japan and the UK are presenting a Summer Concert at Windsor Castle to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the 30th Anniversary of the UK-Japan Music Society. To book tickets and learn more, visit the Windsor website

  • Windsor Street Angels Open Evening (Thursday 21 July, 7pm to 9pm). Windsor Baptist Church, Victoria Street. The Windsor Street Angels are volunteers who patrol the streets of Windsor to help anyone in need. They are looking for more volunteers and invite you to attend their open evening to meet the team and learn more about their work. More information is available on their Facebook page

  • Maidenhead Festival (Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July, 10am to 10.30pm). Kidwells Park, Maidenhead. Maidenhead Festival is back! After a two-year break, they can't wait to welcome everyone back. Music, stalls, street food, the beach, a secret garden, the fun fair, an inflatable fun zone and of course the massive fireworks display on Saturday night. And all completely free. For more information visit the Maidenhead Festival website

  • Sunday Summer Teas (Sunday 24 July to Sunday 28 August, 3pm to 5pm) St Michael’s Church, Bray. Tea and homemade cakes will be served every Sunday in aid of various charities over the 6-week holiday period. More information is available on the Bray St Michael website

  • Celebrate the life and music of Julian Bell – (Sunday 4 September, 7pm to 11pm). New Windsor Community Association. Julian Turner Bell - known by almost everybody as 'Ju' - was a musician who lived his whole life in Windsor. His friends and family were shocked by his sudden death, and sadly Covid prevented them from celebrating his life properly. Now the time has come to do it in style, in the form of an indoor mini-festival - 'JuFest' - on what would have been his 65th birthday. Many of the bands he played with will be re-forming for the event. All profits will be donated to Cancer Research. To book tickets and learn more, visit the Eventbrite page

  • Queen Alexandra: Loyalty and Love (Thursday 29 September, 8pm). An Evening talk by author Frances Dimond on her new book which looks at Queen Alexandra, a trailblazer in her era who could be considered an environmentalist before her time. The event is in aid of the new church hall project in Eton Wick. Tickets are available from the Ticket Source 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 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 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:
Local travel updates

The M4 will close overnight today (Friday 15 July) between junctions 8/9 (Maidenhead) and 6 (Slough-Windsor) eastbound. Clearly signed diversions will be in place utilising the A355, A332, A308 and the A308M.

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

There are also planned rail strikes by the RMT union on Wednesday 27 July and by the Aslef union on Saturday 30 July. Please visit the Great Western Railway website and the South Western Railway website for the latest local rail travel updates.

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
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