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Revealed: The most expensive places in Berkshire to dispose of garden waste




Every council in Berkshire bar one charge more than the national average for green bin collections, it has been revealed.

In Berkshire, every council apart from Slough Borough Council charges an annual fee for the service – and those that do charge more than the UK average of £41.22 per year. This usually involves fortnightly collections throughout the year. Extra charges usually apply if the customer requires a bin delivery.

Windsor and Maidenhead Royal Borough Council is the most expensive as an annual fee, charging £65 a year for the service follow by Reading Borough Council and Wokingham District Council with £60

West Berkshire and Bracknell Forest Councils both charge £50 a year.

Slough Borough do not charge an annual fee for the service.

Collection of garden waste is not currently a statutory service, and it is up to each local authority to decide.

Reading gardeners are increasingly being punished with a quiet green-garden tax which seems to go against every other positive environmental initiative that the council is trying to promote.


New rules for Royal Berkshire Hospital visitors




Royal Berkshire Hospital announced a number of new rules designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the stricter lockdown measures against the virus are eased and the UK’s death rate declines, the hospital said they were easing earlier restrictions on visitors and face-to-face appointments.

The new rules were announced in their website as follows:

“In line with government guidance, all staff must wear a face mask when on site and all patients and visitors should wear either a face mask/covering for the duration of their visit. If you are able to, please bring a mask/covering with you or ask a member of staff who will be happy to assist. Thank you for helping us reduce the spread of the virus.

We are doing all we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our patients, staff and volunteers.

The latest visitor guidance for staff, family and friends (updated 10 June 2020) is as follows:

What to expect when visiting a patient at the Royal Berkshire Hospital:

  • Only ONE visitor per patient at any one time.
  • We encourage only essential visits, e.g. for patients at the end of life or those with dementia or a learning disability.
  • Please arrange this visit with the ward manager or nurse in charge.
  • In order to maintain social distancing rules, you may not be able to visit every day
  • Familiar carer/supporter/personal assistants will not be counted as an additional visitor.
  • If possible, please stay in touch with the patient by iPad/mobile

PLEASE DO NOT VISIT if you have any symptoms of the virus (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste and smell).

All visitors must wear a face covering/mask inside the hospital buildings – please bring your own if you have one. Do not bring any other unnecessary belongings with you.

We understand that this is difficult for lots of people, but it’s very important that we follow the guidelines.

Please follow social distancing rules and wash your hands before entering and leaving the building, and use the alcohol hand gel frequently inside the building.

Further information about visiting, please click here.

What to expect when supporting a woman during Induction of Labour, and Elective Caesarean Section (C-Section)

  • Only one birth partner can support a woman during, Induction of Labour, labour or a Caesarean section. The birth partner must be well, without symptoms of Coronavirus and not tested positive for Coronavirus in the last seven days.
  • It is safest to travel to hospital by private car or taxi. You can use public transport if you have no Coronavirus symptoms. If you need help with arranging transport to the hospital, please telephone our Patient Relations Team for advice on 0118 322 8338.
  • Do not bring any unnecessary belongings into hospital with you.
  • You must wear a face covering/mask, use hand sanitiser when you arrive and leave the ward. Please wash your hands with soap and water regularly during your stay.
  • Only leave the Induction of labour room, birthing room or recovery area if essential. Please bring plenty of food and drink for the duration of your stay.
  • Please work with the healthcare staff to maintain social distancing whenever possible.
  • After birth, it may be necessary for some women to stay on the postnatal ward. Birthing partners will need to return home when the times comes for the women to move to the postnatal ward.
  • There is no visiting on the antenatal or postnatal wards.
  • The healthcare staff will be wearing protective equipment, such as face masks, aprons, gloves and visors.
For a copy of the Covid visiting charter for Maternity please click here.

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Reading Pride 2020 cancelled




The ongoing restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in Reading Pride being cancelled.

The colourful occasion which was due to take place this year on September 5 has been rearranged for September 4 2021.

The Pride team acknowledged this was not the news they were hoping to share this year, but are committed to keeping people safe.

In a statement released on their website they spoke of their sadness at being unable to bring the event to the city once again:

“The Chair and Trustees of Reading Pride have taken the decision not to proceed with the Love Unites festival hosted by Reading Pride, in its normal form in Kings Meadow, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, 5th September 2020.

The safety of our attendees and volunteers is our primary concern. Running a large festival and implementing social distancing measures in an open space was not considered safe nor feasible.

Discussions are ongoing to assess the feasibility for different types of events, to take place this year, and based on the outcome of these assessments, further information will be shared in due course.

We understand that this will be disappointing to many people, but we ask for your understanding in the current circumstances and hope that everyone is looking after themselves and staying safe.”

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Cyclist mocks new narrow bicycle lane saying ‘my shoulders are wider’




Several cyclist have slammed the new cycle lane painted on Reading Bridge which is barely wide enough to fit in. The freshly-marked lane at Reading Bridge, has prompted ridicule & accusations of wasting taxpayer’s money from the local cycling community.

One angry man offered a ‘handy tip’ to those who re-painted the lines, blasting: ‘If you can’t fit the bike picture in the lane, it’s not wide enough.

Twitter user Oli said: ‘’Cycle lanes’ painted onto Reading bridge. Very narrow (handlebar width 50cm). How anyone could think this makes people on bicycles feel safer is baffling. Total waste of money and effort. To enable people to cycle we need protected infrastructure’

‘It is so terrible that it actively encourages drivers to closely pass as drivers wil assume that is all the space people on bikes need. ’

An investigation by Reading West can reveal that the hastily installed lanes measure are just 1.12 metre wide from the boundary line of the lane to the gutter of the sidewalk, well short of national recommended guidelines which is 2 metres by the Department for Transport, Institution of Highways and Transportation, CTC, DoT, etc.

1.12 meters

In an statement Reading Borough council said “In an ideal world there would be enough road space to make them mandatory, but that is not the case at Reading Bridge. The change of layout makes the best use of the limited road space available within the regulations, and it is worth noting a traffic lane has been removed to accommodate the new cycle lanes.”

“The Council considered reducing pavement widths, but this would have reduced space for pedestrians trying to socially distance at this time. It would also have taken much longer to implement. Installing kerbs or posts would have further reduced the width of lanes for cyclists.”

A council member that didn’t want to be named told us that, “Legally it’s not a bike lane as per National guidelines, It’s really an interim measure given the widths available on that bridge.” said the council member.

Aidan a Reading cyclist told us this morning, “It’s not the standard of what we expect for bike lanes” said Aidan. “I don’t really think there’s a place for painted bike lanes that are a metre wide.”

Whether it’s a legal bike lane or simply a “space for cyclists,” Aidan says the council should never have painted lanes that are below standard. 

In reality, this bike lane is too narrow to be considered a bike lane at all. It is putting bikers in danger. This puts cyclists just inches away from fast moving vehicles, causing cars to frequently veer into the median to avoid hitting cyclists using the marked lanes.

Recommended cycle lane widths from published guidance

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