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Cost of living funding will continue to help residents in severe financial hardship

We're continuing to use a targeted fund to help residents in severe financial hardship and at risk of problems escalating due to the rising cost of living.

We've been given £1,175,810 in the latest round of the government’s Household Support Fund to help vulnerable households most in need through to April 2024. This will again be allocated through two distinct schemes. People who were supported under the previous round of the fund can reapply.


Payments for those in need

Following successful allocation of the previous tranche of funding, which helped support more than 1,100 families, we're re-opening the first scheme to continue to help vulnerable residents having to make very difficult choices around household expenditure.

This complements wider cost of living support we're promoting with partners through our ‘Here to Help’ campaign. See the dedicated 'Here to Help' webpage.

To target the limited national funding, 13 frontline distribution partners will continue to identify those residents in greatest need to receive a one-off cash payment of £145. Residents will also be supported to explore further cost of living help that might be available to them. See our website for more.


Citizens Advice East Berkshire will again play an overarching role, and should be a first port of call for residents who would like to put themselves forward for support. Residents are not able to apply to the council directly.

Food vouchers

The second scheme enables the council to continue to provide £20 food vouchers per child, for each week of the school holidays, for families in receipt of free school meals.

Read more in our press release.

Funding awarded to shape Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Berkshire

Planning will soon get underway to prioritise areas where nature can be expanded and protected in Berkshire after we received a share of £14million of government money.

The Royal Borough has been designated as Berkshire’s responsible authority for the Local Nature Recovery Strategy. Over the next two years, we will lead work with the county’s five other unitary authorities and their communities.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has awarded us £238,000 which will be used to create a strategy to protect and improve natural habitats across Berkshire.

The work will inform where resources are needed to improve, protect, or enlarge habitats, create corridors between them, or create new ones on land or around watercourses.

Through consultation with residents, community groups, the farming community, and businesses, a nature map of opportunities will be created, as well as a list of priorities.

Read more in our press release.

Ascot community to help shape High Street improvements and town’s future development

The Ascot community will be invited to shape the town’s rejuvenation, by getting involved in preparing an important new planning document that will support improvements to the High Street and guide future development.

Over the coming months, we will speak with local residents, community groups, businesses and other partners to produce a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), complementing the vision already set in planning policy.

The Borough Local Plan includes a high-level vision to rejuvenate Ascot as a vibrant place for the community, with an improved High Street and high-quality new development that is well integrated into Ascot and protects its green and leafy character. New development in Ascot will be focused on the High Street.

The next step is working with the community to prepare the SPD, which will provide more detailed advice to guide developers in shaping planning applications and the council in deciding them, and will set out proposals to improve the High Street.

Community engagement will happen in phases during summer and autumn 2023. This will start initially with conversations with a representative group of key local stakeholders, who will help to shape ideas and High Street concepts, prior to conversations with businesses and workshops for the wider community in early autumn. Details of how to get involved in the community workshops will be announced in the coming weeks.

Read more in our press release.

Be Water Aware this summer

World Drowning Prevention Day is on Tuesday 25 July this year and we are highlighting the dangers of open bodies in our water safety and education campaign - Be Water Aware this summer.


Although we are landlocked, there is the River Thames, the Jubilee River running through our borough as well as private lakes and smaller bodies of water. Nationally these are the locations where 60 percent of all accidental drownings occur, and sadly we have seen tragic incidents in our borough in recent years.


Over four weeks, we are highlighting the dangers of getting into open bodies of water, what we are doing with our partners to make waterways safer, and how parents can help educate your children on water safety in our borough and on holiday.

We are keen to share this information with young people, particularly young men aged between 15 to 24 years old, who are the group most at risk, with men accounting for 83 percent of all fatalities.

If you have children, please help by having a conversation with them about the risks of open water and encourage them to use local leisure centres if they wish to go for a swim.

What lies beneath?

You never know what dangers lie beneath the surface of any river or open body of water.

These are just some of the dangerous items which have been found in the River Thames, all of which can cause serious injury and illustrate the risks to anyone tempted to jump or swim in open bodies of water on a hot day.

This was all pulled from the River Thames by Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service in a magnet fishing operation.

Mangled trollies, upright poles, glass from broken bottles, lumps of concrete, and bikes could all be below the surface.

Coming into accidental contact with one of the items could leave you seriously injured and unable to move or nursing a nasty wound. In addition, such wounds can get infected by the bacteria in the water.

How deep is the water?

Riverbeds and the bottom of open bodies of water are very uneven. If jumping off bridges, or tombstoning, you cannot see the bottom or know what depth is needed to be safe.

For example, a person stepping off a three-metre dive board in a swimming pool plunges to a depth of more than three metres. The higher the jump the more depth that's needed.

In other areas, the water could be so deep it has an undercurrent which could drag you under and downstream.


Rivers and open bodies of water are not clean. Swimming pool water is chemically treated and filtered to kill germs.

In outside bodies of water, this is not the case with water containing animal faeces, run-off from surrounding areas, and potentially chemicals used on the land.

This and natural bacteria in open bodies of water can cause sickness and diarrhoea. 

Know the facts about drowning

Question: What has a mug of tea, a can of fizzy drink, and half a pint of beer got in common?

Answer: They all have enough fluid in them to start the process of drowning.

It can take as little as half a pint of water, the equivalent of 285ml, or just 10 fluid ounces, getting into the lungs to start the drowning process.

There are variables such as how much someone weighs, and whether it is a child, but such a small amount of water in the lungs can have devastating consequences.

A person who is experiencing cold water shock will suddenly gasp for air and breathe rapidly. This in turn causes further anxiety or panic and the inhalation of water.

Hyperventilating can lead to inhaling more water which can quickly turn into litres overwhelming the lungs and depriving the heart and brain of life-giving oxygen, and cardiac arrest.

On many occasions, there isn’t even a chance for someone in trouble to shout out for help.

If you see someone in trouble, try and find a floatation device they can hold onto, or encourage them to tip their head back and float to live. Call the emergency services and report where you are.

Reminder: Have your say on proposals to help tackle anti-social behaviour related to street-drinking and barbecues in our parks


We are consulting on two proposed Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs). PSPOs create legal powers to help authorities address specific anti-social behaviour issues in an area that are having a detrimental effect on the quality of life for those in the local community.

Barbecues and fires in our parks and open spaces

One of the proposed PSPOs is intended to reduce fire risk and environmental harm caused by barbecues and fires in parks and other open spaces owned and maintained by the Royal Borough.

Lighting barbecues or fires is already not permitted in our parks, because it causes fire risk and environmental harm. The proposal is to introduce a PSPO which will allow this rule to be enforced.

Alcohol-related anti-social behaviour

The other proposed PSPO is to continue legal powers to help us and the police with tackling anti-social behaviour related to the drinking of alcohol in public spaces.

If approved, this PSPO will allow police or other authorised officers to continue to be able to ask someone causing anti-social behaviour to stop drinking or hand over their alcohol, and issue a £100 fixed penalty notice if that person does not comply.

Consultation: How to have your say

This consultation process started on 14 June - and you can still take part on our RBWM Together website until Wednesday 19 July.

We encourage you to say whether you agree or disagree with the proposals, to offer any further comments or suggestions, and share experiences of any other anti-social behaviour issues in public spaces.

There's still time to give your view on proposed extension of 20mph speed limit and upgraded crossing


There's still time to give your views in two consultations we're running for Windsor - one on a proposal to extend the 20mph speed limit for several streets in the town, and another for a proposed upgraded crossing.


Following a request from residents, we're keen to hear views on the proposal to extend the 20mph speed limit in Stovell Road, Vansittart Road, Duke Street and part of Barry Avenue, to include Riverway up to the Arches. 


For more information and to respond, visit the RBWM Together webpage.


The second consultation is about a proposal to upgrade the crossing in St Leonards Road, near Bolton Road, from a zebra crossing to one with pedestrian controlled traffic lights.


Further details and to how to respond can also be found on the RBWM Together website.


You can also share your views by writing to us at Traffic Safety Manager, Town Hall, St Ives Road, SL6 1RF. Both consultations close on Sunday (16 July).

Get ready for celebrations next week to mark Maidenhead Library's 50th anniversary


Maidenhead Library is 50 years old this month - and our Library Service is inviting the whole community to join in marking this golden anniversary in style next week.


The service has lined up a packed week of free events, celebrating the Grade II-listed landmark and community hub, including exhibitions, author talks, live music, the Wombles and even a 1970s silent disco!


The main day of celebrations will be Friday 21 July. But during the week, there will be a range of activities for different ages. All events are free but most need to be booked on our website or by calling the library on 01628 796969 as spaces are limited. Please note: the Murder Mystery Evening, Vinyl Frontier and silent disco are now fully booked.

Then and now

These fascinating photos from the Local Studies Archive show the library under construction and how it looked when it first opened in 1973.

One of the free exhibitions in the library next week will explore the building’s history through old photos, facts and ephemera.

Windsor and Maidenhead Community Lottery gets off to a great start


There's just two weeks to go until the first weekly draw of our Community Lottery on Saturday 29 July.

A jackpot of £25,000 is up for grabs, along with prizes of £2,000, £250, and £25. To celebrate our first draw, one lucky Royal Borough resident has the chance to win an additional prize: a luxury afternoon tea and indulgent spa at the five-star Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel, for them and their guest.


Since the launch of the lottery, less than two weeks ago, you’ve bought more than 550 tickets. Sixty-four local good causes are now signed up to benefit. Remember, you choose which local good cause up to 60% of your £1 ticket goes to.

To play the lottery, or to sign up as a good cause, visit our community lottery website

Look out for the World Cafes in Belmont and Oldfield


Just a reminder about the special active travel World Cafe in Belmont ward next Thursday 20 July, specifically for residents living in Norfolk Road, Cordwallis Road and the St Luke’s Road area. This also includes Australia Avenue, Bailey Close, Denmark Street, Fairford Road, Norfolk Park Cottages, Risborough Road, Russell Court, and Vicarage Road.


Pop along to St Joseph’s Church, in Cookham Road, between 2 and 4pm. To make sure we’ve enough free refreshments, please RSVP to the highways section on our RBWM Together website. This event is being led by our highways team to share your ideas on walking and cycling more. We’ve plans to improve your neighbourhood streets but want to make sure these are right for you.

Oldfield ward, on Wednesday 26 July, is our next cost of living World Café, at Larchfield Community Centre, Desborough Crescent, from 5 to 7pm. It’s also a chance to talk to community organisations and, as always, there’ll be free refreshments and goodies. Plus, there’s no need to book for this one.

For more details about our World Cafes, including what’s been achieved following recent ones, visit the World Café section on RBWM Together.

Royal Borough Community Spotlight

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

  • Monthly bazaar & coffee morning (15 July, 10am to 11.30am) at St Mark's Crescent Methodist Church, Allenby Road, SL6 5BQ. Delicious home baked cakes, stationery, books, CDs, DVDS, handmade crafts and a bric-a-brac stall. This is a lovely friendly morning, come and enjoy coffee in our new colourful hub. Free entry - we welcome all. All proceeds go to St Marks Crescent Methodist Church Fund. Email

  • Age Concern Windsor Summer Fayre (15 July, 10am to 1pm) at the Spencer Denney Centre, Park Corner, SL4 4EB to raise money to support our services for older people in and around Windsor. It should be a fun packed morning with fayre games, local stalls, face painting and outdoor café. Everyone welcome. For more information call 01753 860685 Tuesday to Friday.

  • Charters School Summer Festival (15 July, 11am to 3pm) - The festival will celebrate the school's 65th birthday and will be a great opportunity for the wider community to come together. There will be music throughout the day, with performances from current and past students, games, street food, a bouncy castle, football and tennis tournament and much, much more. Local charities and non-profit organisations will be part of the event, and the school has sourced a range of artisan products to feature in our Festival Marketplace.

  • Claremont Singers Summer Concert (16 July at 3pm) - Holy Trinity and Garrison Parish Church, Claremont Road, Windsor SL43AX. The choir would love you to join them for a mixed programme of music to raise money for Thames Hospice and Holy Trinity Church. Tickets are £5 and available on the door. Accompanying carers and children go free. Complimentary tea and cake will be served after the concert. 

  • Come & Sing ‘The Musicals’ (18 July, 7.30pm to 9.30pm) – Norden Farm Centre for the Arts. Release your inner show star and have a blast singing a brilliant musical theatre hit or two. Experience how good it feels to open your mouth, smile and sing in harmony with others. A totally inclusive singing session, all welcome. Event booking page.

  • The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon by Don Zoldis (20 to 22 July, 7.30 pm) at The Old Court Windsor. Fairy tales, but for grown-ups! Join our narrators on this fast-paced, rollicking ride through all 209 of the Grimm's stories. There's magic, mayhem, death, and even crab people! You know the classics like Snow White, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel, but how about some not-so-classics like The Girl Without Hands and The Devil's Grandmother? Book tickets at or 01753 911333.

  • Holyport Whist Club (Alternate Tuesdays, 2pm to 4pm) – Holyport Memorial Hall. New members and beginners are welcome. Call Jeanette Sperling on 01628 624442 or email to learn more.

  • Bray Church Teas (every Sunday from 2 July to 27 August - except 23 July, 2.30pm to 5pm). St Michael’s Hall, behind St Michael’s Church, High Street, Bray SL6 2AB. Come and enjoy tea and homemade cakes. In aid of various charities. For more information visit

If you have an upcoming not-for-profit community event or appeal for volunteers 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.

Local Travel Updates

The RMT union has announced nationwide strike action involving 14 train operators, including South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Railway (GWR), on Thursday 20, Saturday 22, and Saturday 29 July.

In addition, members of the ASLEF union have been instructed not to work any overtime or volunteer on rest days, between Monday 17 and Wednesday 19 July, then again on Friday 21 July. A reduced timetable will operate and some cancellations are possible

For updates, visit the GWR website and SWR 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 website.


  • Heathrow Airport Noise Action Plan - The closing date for responses is Monday (17 July). For full details and to take part, visit the airport's website.

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