‘Branch Out’ funding available
29 September 2023

Tree council branching out photo

The Tree Council’s ‘Branching Out Fund’ is now accepting applications! You can apply for funding to support planting projects (trees and hedgerows) up until Sunday 3 December 2023. Applications for amounts ranging from £250 through to £2,500 will be welcomed. You will find everything you need to know on the Tree Council’s website, from the types of trees that qualify, to recommendations around protection. There are also some success stories highlighting planting projects that have benefitted from ‘Branching Out’ funding in the past….these may give you some ideas!

The fund is specifically for community groups, schools, charities and town and parish councils.

Council Tax Single Person Discount Review
29 September 2023

council tax review

West Berkshire regularly review all taxpayers receiving discounts, with the latest review looking at the single person discount for Council Tax, using information from a National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. Some of you may have received a letter from us about this.

Local Authorities are required to take reasonable steps to confirm whether a discount is still applicable, which is why this letter has been sent out. If you have recently received a letter, we'd like to reassure you that this is standard procedure.

It is often the case that there has been no change of circumstance, however issues arise when the local authority is not advised of any changes of occupancy in the household. This is why their staff encourage all who have received this letter to complete the form, sign the declaration and return it to West Berkshire Council by email or by post within 14 days so that the records can be updated.

For further information, please email revenuesreviews@westberks.gov.uk

Rights of Way Improvement Plan - Have your say!
29 September 2023

public right of way

West Berkshire Council are responsible for around 1,190 kilometres (740 miles) of public footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways. These paths are important for West Berkshire residents to access and enjoy the outstanding countryside and natural areas of the district. They are also important for health, mental wellbeing, travel and the economy. West Berkshire want public rights of way to be available for everyone.

The new Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) sets out how they will look after public rights of way and make sure they meet the needs of the public, now and in the future.

You can read the new draft ROWIP and have your say here.

Make sure you let them know your thoughts by 5pm on Thursday, 23 November 2023. It should take about 10 minutes.

Cycle to School Week is back!
29 September 2023

c2swNext week, 3–7 October, is National Cycle to School Week and we’re encouraging you to get out on your bike and pedal off! We’ve got lots of cycle routes across the district, which you can find here, to make it easy to get about.

Need help improving your cycling? We run frequent cycle training session for children, adults and families. 85% of West Berkshire schools are involved in Bikeability training which has led to 3,188 young people being trained this year alone. Find out more and sign up here.

Let's make our school journeys greener, healthier, and more enjoyable! There are also free resources and prizes to be won at bikeability.org.uk/cycletoschoolweek

Draft Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy Consultation
22 September 2023

sendWest Berkshire District Council consultation on their draft Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy went live on Monday the 18th September. Please help them to support children with SEND by taking part.

Children with SEND come from a variety of backgrounds, have a huge range of different needs and require different types and kinds of provision to maximise their potential.

The Strategy is a plan for the next five years, to make sure they are giving children with SEND the support, adjustments and interventions they need. They’d like to hear from as many people as possible so they know they’re taking the right action or to highlight anything they’ve missed.

The consultation is open until Sunday 29 October. You can find out more here and take part in the consultation here. An Easy Read version of the consultation is also available.

Q&A session via Zoom on Wednesday 18 October, from 6-7.30pm to discuss how West Berkshire can best support SEND children and young people and they’d like as many people as possible to take part.

If you'd like to attend, please click here to register by 5pm on Tuesday, 17 October 2023.

If you have any questions for the Q&A, please submit them by 5pm on Wednesday, 11 October by email to SENConsultations@westberks.gov.uk or when you register.