Town Hall Image

Wokingham Town Council has been unable to hold its Annual Town Meeting for its residents this year due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
As an alternative we wanted to share with you, some of the year’s highlights for your information.

May 2019 began with a newly elected group of 25 Town Councillors, 17 of whom were new to local government.
The Council has agreed a new Strategic Plan for the next four years with the revised aims of
 Inclusivity
 Sustainability
 Distinctiveness
 Service

As part of a new initiative the Council also welcomed secondary school students at regular meetings
and they are now offering valuable input into discussions from a student perspective. Here are a few highlights
of what our committees have achieved over the last year:

Finance and Personnel

 Welcomed Cllr Maria Gee to the role of Chairman for F&P in May and inducted new Councillors to the Committee
 External Audit – successful conclusion of the external audit for year ending 31 March 2019
 Early repayment in full of the PWLB loan for Market Place in February 2020
 Budget – A balanced budget was set with a cost of £1.10 per week for each equivalent Band D properties in Wokingham Town 
 Grants were distributed to local organisations who aligned to the Town Council Vision
 Recruitment of Amenities Officer following the flexible retirement of previous postholder into a new part time Allotment Officer role
 Recruitment of Information Centre Manager following retirement of previous postholder.

Amenities

 Welcomed back Cllr Nick Campbell-White as Chairman
 Joel Park play area – a significant refurbishment was undertaken
 Ormonde Road car park was resurfaced and expanded
 CCTV cameras – five external cameras were installed on the Town Hall and an upgrade was made to 4 existing internal cameras
 New boilers – two new boilers were installed in the Town Hall
 Christmas lights in Peach Place were added
 Market Place pavement cleaning was introduced on a regular basis following a deep clean
 A New allotment site was set-up at Mulberry Grove
 Graffiti removal has been ongoing and substantial around town
 Elms Field – an agreement was established for WTC to take over the management of Elms Field from July 2020
 A WTC van was brought into use for regular duties
 Extensive repairs were made to the Town Hall Tower clock faces

 Joel Park – Improvements were made to the footpath bridges
 Access to Viking Field was improved for physically impaired persons
 Woosehill Community Hall has been redecorated internally

Future work this year includes the clock tower redecoration and continuing negotiations about two additional allotment sites.

Planning and Transport

 Welcomed Cllr Imogen Shepherd-Dubey as Chairman
 Planning Applications (56) – more were discussed in this Council year than the Committee had for the 4 previous Council years
 Training – all Committee members were trained on the Planning process. To be fully inclusive this training was video recorded for those that couldn’t attend and for
future reference.
 Virtual Meetings – The Planning & Transport Committee successfully held the first Wokingham Town Council Committee meeting online in May (due to Coronavirus)
and shared good practice with others.

Arts and Culture

 Welcomed Cllr Gurney as Chairman
 Fun Day 2019 -free balloons were switched to free windmills to start moving towards
a more sustainable event, alongside the usual fantastic provision. 
 International Street Concert – Another excellent concert in June 2019, outsourced in
full to Yes Events
 Theatre in the Park – this event returned with 2 performances of Shakespeare’s
Villains and Hooray for Mr Toad
 Children’s Book Festival – this took place for a 2nd year with record attendance and
outreach work to schools
 Town Hall Tabletop Takeover- this brand new event took place in February this year
where we ran an event playing and introducing residents to Board Games (sold out
in advance)
 Additional Mosaics were laid in Peach Place and Elms Field; Electric Theatre, Play, Reflection and Fish

Civic

 Welcomed back Cllr David Lee as Chairman
 Honorary Townsperson – Robert John Wyatt was formally recognised by the town
for his long standing achievements with the title Honorary Freeman. Bob, as he was
known by many, was nominated by organisations he had helped and served over the
years 
 Heritage Open Day (Medieval Market Day) -this themed event for the 800th
anniversary of the market, was a very successful and enjoyable day
 Remembrance – This important annual Parade and Church Service was once again
very well attended and appreciated by many
 Civic Awards – In January this year, the Town Council was delighted to present
awards to six very deserving individuals for their outstanding achievements and
support to others in Wokingham.  A huge well done to all our wonderful volunteers for
the amazing work you do and to the many other people within our community who
give freely of their time to help others. Our voluntary sector is playing a crucial part in
supporting our community right now so a big thank you to everyone out there who is
helping others
 Addition of name on Town Hall War Memorial – A resident brought to the Council’s
attention that a local man who died in WW2 does not feature on the Town Hall
memorial. It was agreed that his name will be added as soon as possible.

Looking forward

Whilst planning ahead is a little more difficult at the moment due to the current restrictions
owing to the health situation the Council is committed to fulfilling its aims and continuing to
best serve its residents.
Some further maintenance work has already started on the Town Hall which includes
pointing and repainting of the clock tower. The Council is carefully considering projects to
improve sustainability such as tree planting and increasing pollinators in our parks and open
spaces. We are also working hard to develop our own working practices to be more
sustainable.
The health and wellbeing of our residents, visitors, staff and Councillors is a priority and as it
is looking likely that social distancing measures may need to remain in place until the
Autumn and beyond, the Council may need to make some further decisions about scheduled
events and activities, following government advice.
Any changes that are made will be communicated here on the newspage of this website and
on social media so please check this regularly for updates.