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Full council approves 2023/24 budget and council tax

Our budget for 2023/24 has been approved at Full Council, setting council tax and the council’s investment priorities for the next financial year.

All local authorities are legally obliged to produce a balanced budget, and the approved budget delivers financial stability while providing support for its most vulnerable residents, and maintaining high-quality council services for all. 

Our key investments include:

•   £41.3 million in Adults and Housing Services

•   £27.8 million in Children’s Services

•   Four additional police officers to support neighbourhood policing across the borough

•   Four environmental enforcement officers

•   Improvements to town centres

•   Extending the Resident Parking Discount Scheme

In 2023/24, the portion of Council Tax which supports our services will increase by 4.99 per cent.

This comprises of a 2.99 per cent increase in the general charge and 2 per cent increase in the social care precept.

For a Band D charge, this equates to a rise of £58.12 across the year, or £1.11 a week.

Council Tax is a crucial source of funding making up 83 per cent of the council’s funding for services.

We also collect precepts on behalf of parishes, Thames Valley Police and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

Read more about it in our budget article.

Flying the flag for Ukraine

Today we continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine, a year since the country was invaded.

We are flying the Ukrainian flag at the Town Hall in Maidenhead and

a minute’s silence was held to remember those who have sacrificed their lives in the conflict, and the families who are living in a disrupted and war-torn country.

Since the Homes for Ukraine scheme was launched shortly after the invasion in February 2022, 316 people have settled in the Royal Borough with the help of our generous hosts. 

Last chance to apply for Coronation Concert tickets 

There are just a few days left to put your name into the ballot for one of up to 500 pairs of free tickets to attend the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.

The tickets have been specially reserved just for our residents to attend the event on Sunday 7 May, the day after King Charles III's coronation.

The concert will be on the East Lawn within the walls of the castle and will see a world-class orchestra play interpretations of musical favourites fronted by entertainers, alongside performers from the world of dance and the arts.

If you have a residential address in the Royal Borough, simply register via the link below by 11.59pm on Tuesday 28 February

The lucky recipients will be chosen at random from the ballot entrants. It will not be on a first come, first served basis.

What are you waiting for? Enter now.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure approved by Cabinet


A plan for hundreds more charging points for electric vehicles has been given the green light by Cabinet.

Our Electric Vehicle Chargepoint Implementation Plan received overwhelming support during a five-week public consultation, with almost 80 per cent of respondents agreeing, or strongly agreeing, the plan would give them the confidence an electric vehicle would meet their daily needs.

The 10-year plan sets out how we will ensure charging provision for electric vehicles keeps pace with demand and contains a number of policies on the delivery and operation of chargepoints in the borough, as well as general principles on where they should be located. Work is due to begin in the next financial year to identify preferred commercial partners to carry out the on-street and car park chargepoint rollout programmes.

Read more about the plan in our news article.

Exciting Vision for Windsor is agreed by Cabinet


A vibrant vision for how the community would like Windsor town centre to evolve over the next 20 or more years has been approved by Cabinet.

Shaped through a major programme of engagement led by The Prince’s Foundation charity, a shared view has been created of where Windsor should be heading as a high-quality, distinctive and sustainable place to live, work, spend leisure time and do business.


The vision for “A Vibrant Future for Windsor – An attractive, thriving and welcoming town for the local and global community” is supported by five vision statements, alongside potential strategies and actions for their delivery.


The key themes and vision statements are:

  • The Local Community – Create a thriving local economy of business and community partnerships which benefit from Windsor’s global brand
  • The Global Community – Deliver a world class visitor experience supported by a strong, diverse and resilient hospitality sector 
  • Transport and Movement - Develop sustainable, convenient and affordable travel options to travel into Windsor town centre for both residents and visitors
  • The Built Environment - Protect and enhance the heritage, character and identity of Windsor
  • The Natural Environment – Promote, activate and improve access to natural assets and resources. 

Read more about the vision in our news article.

Have your say on planned A308 junction upgrade

To improve safety at the A308 mini roundabout junction with Holyport Road, traffic lights with sequencing, crossings for pedestrians and cyclists, and shared paths are all being proposed.

Now you can have your say on the plans which could help better manage traffic flows and reduce the possibility of collisions or conflict at a junction.

The consultation was launched this week and will run for comment until Wednesday 22 March. All feedback will be considered as part of finalising the design, and before any decisions are made. If the development is supported, work is anticipated to start this summer.

Respond to the consultation on our website.

Help shape our new Local Transport Plan

The first step in shaping a long-term transport plan in the borough is for you to share views on key areas.

The plan will be an overarching document covering all forms of transport and pulling together the progress made in recent years as well as building on recently adopted new strategies, including cycling and walking infrastructure plan.

To start this process we want to know your views on key areas. They are health and wellbeing, economic growth, environment, and connectivity with several ambitions within each area.

A four-week consultation has been launched this week on this first phase, and you have until Wednesday 22 March to give your views.

Based on the feedback received, further work will be undertaken to develop a long list of ideas and options for what could be achieved in the proposed plan period, from 2024 to 2039.


Respond to the consultation on our website.

World Café is coming to Boyn Hill


Our next World Cafe will be in Boyn Hill ward on Saturday 4 March, from 11am to 1pm.


Simply pop along to All Saints Church, Church Close, Boyn Hill, Maidenhead. SL6 4HE. No need to book and refreshments are free.


Our informal Royal Borough World Cafés allow you to chat with our representatives, as well as those from community organisations, about what matters most in your neighbourhood. The aim is to find solutions to local issues, as well as discover relevant support and meet fellow residents.


For more details visit the RBWM Together website.


And don’t forget our online World Cafe survey, which runs until Monday 6 March. We’re keen to hear your feedback, whether you’ve attended a cafe or not, to check if their format is right or needs changing. 

Upcoming National Education Union strikes

The National Education Union has announced industrial action with strike days

planned in the south east region on Thursday 2 March and again on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March.

Individual schools are responsible for assessing if and how they will be

affected and managing their response, which includes taking decisions to stay

open, restrict attendance, or close, and communicating this with parents.

To assist, we have shared with all local schools the Department for Education

guidance, which says schools should try to remain open where possible.

We encourage parents to check arrangements with their children’s school if the school itself hasn’t already been in touch with parents directly to confirm

arrangements or placed a notice on their website.

We will shortly be asking all schools to confirm their plans for 2 March, and if a school notifies us of a planned closure, we will add this to our dedicated webpage.

Have you registered to vote?

There are just seven weeks left to register to vote for the Local Elections in May.

Moving house in the Royal Borough, into the council area, turning 18, or never registered to vote before, could be reasons why you are not on the electoral register.

If you want to have your say and cast a vote in the local and parish elections on Thursday 4 May, then you will need to register before 11.59pm Monday 17 April.

The borough operates by a system of whole council elections every four years, meaning all 41 seats across all 19 wards will be available. All 14 parish

councils will also have all-out elections this year.

Register here and don't forget this year is the first where photo ID will need to be shown by voters in the polling stations. Visit The Electoral Commission or call 0800 328 0280 to find out more. 

Thinking of standing as a candidate?

We're holding an information session for prospective borough and parish candidates at Maidenhead Town Hall on Wednesday 1 March at 6pm which can be attended in person or virtually.

Book a place and learn more here.

Unlock Your Potential – Support for local businesses

Our skills and employment campaign, Unlock Your Potential, continues this week with a focus on the opportunities and support available to help local entrepreneurs set up and grow their businesses.

Help for established businesses to flourish

Learning never stops. And Paula Barbenza thought going back to school six years into running her artisan Argentinian food business could be beneficial.

And it was.

The owner of Como en Casa bakes savoury delicacies and sweet treats and currently trades at markets in the Royal Borough. She already had a good dose of business acumen but she also picked up valuable information during the council-funded Rebel Business School course.

As a result, Paula is now using her own website as a marketing tool and has plans to open a shop in her hometown of Maidenhead.

Como en Casa, which means eat like at home, was inspired by Paula’s childhood in Buenos Aires. She bakes dishes which are traditionally fried, like empanadas, to make them healthier.

She takes food made in her certified home kitchen to the market stall at Cookham Dean Village Hall every Friday.

Paula spotted the course advertised on Make Maidenhead and decided she had the time and was open to any help.

Most attendees were new to the business world with Paula among the quarter who were already running their own businesses.

She said: “It was free and there’s always something new you can learn. I thought if I don’t find it useful then I can leave."

Instead, she stayed, learning new sales skills and getting a reminder to focus on profit margin rather than sales. “Before I wanted to say yes to every request, but the course reminded me it’s ok to say no to requests which won’t work for me and don’t value the time and care it takes to make my products.”

She also launched her online shop during the course. The website has helped increase the number of people who come to her market stall and takes private orders.

Support for businesses to flourish

Did you know established businesses can get advice on how to take the steps to continue to build for the future?

There are 9,495 registered businesses in the borough, and each could sign up for, and benefit from, free advice and courses from Berkshire Growth Hub part funded by the Royal Borough through the LEP.

There are several masterclasses for existing businesses to help with digital marketing, leadership, sales and marketing, funding growth and help to grow all scheduled this spring.

Those businesses looking to expand can benefit from 1-1 sessions and receive up to 12 hours specialist support.

The Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, Business in Berkshire 2021/22 report released this year, reveals almost 58 per cent of businesses survive for three years after setting up and 41.6 per cent for five years. The national average after five years is 39.5 per cent.

The sectors with the highest numbers of businesses in our local authority area are information and communications, construction, business admin support and arts, entertainment and recreation.

There are also more high-growth and potential high-growth companies than in any other local authority area in Berkshire.

Get support by visiting Berkshire Growth Hub website.

Companies at the heart of our communities


Businesses can play a significant part in our communities by employing and offering work experience to people with learning disabilities or additional complex needs.


Companies and their customers can help Royal Borough residents achieve their personal life goals and potential by working with our adult social care partner Optalis.


The Supported Employment Service provides specialist support, job coaching, and work experience to give residents employability skills and experience. Residents can then progress to volunteering or paid work.


Take a look at the number of employers in the county which have worked with Optalis here, and find out more about supported employment in adult social care.

If you are a business owner and could offer a role, or want to find out more, call 01628 685 777 or email

You can help Royal Borough businesses

My Royal Borough has a directory of independent businesses which can be searched by customers and businesses can join.

Also, shoppers can use their Advantage Card to benefit from discounts offered by businesses, and to support businesses within our borough including restaurants, health and beauty businesses, motoring and days out.

Apply for an Advantage Card and check out the discounts and businesses involved.

How do you use the web?

The Berkshire Digital Infrastructure Group (DIG), comprising all six Berkshire local authorities, is carrying out a survey of residents to better understand how people use and access the internet.

By understanding what online services are used most often, and what, if any are the barriers preventing some people accessing digital services, it will help us understand where and how we need to focus resources to improve services and provide solutions.

The deadline to complete this survey, which also includes a question about whether the pandemic had any effect on your internet use, has been extended to Sunday March 12.

Book your tickets for the Mayor’s Charity Spring Dinner

The Mayor, Councillor Christine Bateson, will host a charity spring dinner in aid of the British Heart Foundation on Saturday 25 March at 7pm.

The dress code is black tie and tickets are £65 each, which include a drinks reception, three-course meal, and entertainment.

Tickets are available on a first come first served basis, so please visit our website to learn more and book your place before the Monday 13 March deadline.

A dance festival fit for a king


Nearly 800 pupils, aged between five and 11, took part in this year’s Ascot and Maidenhead School Sport Partnership’s Primary Dance Festival earlier this month.

The young dancers, representing 20 Maidenhead primary schools, performed in the Baylis Theatre at our Braywick Leisure Centre under the theme of kings and queens inspired by King Charles III’s upcoming Coronation in May.

Whole classes performed together for the event, with creative input from the children themselves, which also showcased the quality of dance that can be achieved in the curriculum.

Emma Fitzgerald, Partnership Development Manager from the School Sport partnership, said: “We’re really proud to be able to create special memories in an inspirational venue for our children.

“Our schools put in months of hard work to prepare for this, and I’m really pleased the Partnership is still able to provide this special opportunity and positive experience for them to feel part of something bigger.”

Royal Borough Community Spotlight

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

  • World Day of Prayer 2023 (Friday 3 March, 2.15pm to 3pm, and 7pm) – Two ecumenical services will be offered. Pupils from St Peter’s Church of England Middle School, Crimp Hill, Old Windsor will be leading the afternoon service. An evening service will also be held at The Church of St Andrew, Clewer, Mill Lane, Windsor. Everyone is warmly invited to the celebrations which will be followed by refreshments. For further information please email,, or visit the World Day of Prayer website

  • Quiz night (Saturday 11 March, 7pm) – Woodlands Park Village Centre. Tables of six or individual entries are accepted, and a raffle will be organised during the evening. Please bring your own food, drinks, glasses etc. Tickets are £7.50 per person and can be booked at or call 01628 623263. All funds raised go to the St Mark’s Crescent Methodist Church Fund

  • Theatre production (Thursday 11 until Saturday 13 May and Thursday 18 to Saturday 20 May) - Amateur dramatic society The Quince Players is performing Murder Weapon by Brian Clemens at Cordes Hall, Sunninghill. For the opening night they will be selling tickets at half price of £7 with £5 of every ticket sold going to their nominated charity Thames Hospice. Tickets and more at

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 more than 21,000 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 and surveys to get your views on proposals within the Royal Borough.

Participating, sharing ideas, and giving your feedback is the best way to ensure your views are heard.

Our current consultations are:

Other local consultations

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) are running a consultation on their Corporate Plan and Community Risk Management Plan feedback which closes on Monday 27 March.

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is also asking for views on options for a redeveloped or relocated Royal Berkshire Hospital. Take part in their online survey or visit the Building Berkshire Together website to learn more.

Local Travel Updates

Planned engineering works are taking place on the South Western Railway network tomorrow (Saturday 25) and Sunday 26 February which will impact local rail services, particularly between Windsor and Staines. Please visit the South Western Railway website for more information.

Overnight closures of the A404M are running until Thursday 23 March. During this time, National Highways will be resurfacing between junction 9b to the M4 Holyport Interchange. For exact dates information, please visit the National Highways website.

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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