Message from your RBWM Borough Councillors
Updated: 5 days ago
Maureen Hunt Andrew Johnson Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What a difference a couple of years has made to us all. We went through the Pandemic which many of us survived but sadly many didn’t. Now there is the Ukraine war which is affecting countries worldwide with rises in pretty much everything and now we have mortgage interest rises.
There is talk of a recession coming but many shop owners will tell you it’s already here.
In the Borough Council, we are all aware of the national situation and how it will affect our residents. We are conscious many of our residents will be struggling and we have put in place ways to help.
‘Here to Help’ gives help to residents struggling with the rising cost of living, including the valuable support available from our community partners.
As winter approaches, bringing extra financial pressures and worries around heating costs, we are expanding the campaign to include promotion of an emerging network of safe, warm spaces within our borough where people in need can go this winter for advice and support. Here to Help brings together a range of cost of living support from the council and our various partners onto one dedicated webpage – www.rbwm.gov.uk/here-to-help – covering energy and water bills, rent, council tax, food, childcare, school meals, benefits and more. With a focus on building personal financial resilience to help people cope the campaign encourages residents facing difficult decisions around food, rent or heating to seek assistance before they reach crisis point. If you are struggling financially then please check the webpage as soon as possible, contact the council, your landlord and energy supplier, to see what help might be available.
If no internet available at home, public-access computers are available in the library and you can speak with a librarian for advice around cost of living support and/or getting online. For those in need who don’t have online access and would prefer to phone - call 01628 683800.
Safe, warm spaces for those in need
As the days grow colder, the Royal Borough is reminding people in need that all local libraries are safe places for the community. During opening hours, people are welcome to use library facilities, explore the ‘Here to Help’ website on the public-access computers and speak with a librarian for advice around cost of living support and/or getting online.
A growing number of partner organisations are offering safe, warm spaces, along with advice and support, at venues within the Royal Borough. Visit https://rbwmtogether.rbwm.gov.uk/warm-safe-spaces-map for a map of locations and further details. Again, the library will be able to help or phone the above number.
Royal Borough consults on Council Tax Reduction scheme
The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead is consulting until Friday 2 December on its Council Tax Reduction scheme for working-age applicants in 2023/24. Council Tax Reduction is a means-tested benefit that helps people on low incomes by reducing the amount of Council Tax they pay. Councils must decide each year on whether to make any changes to the scheme. In the Royal Borough, it is proposed that the scheme essentially remains the same, maintaining the maximum level of discount for working-age recipients at 80 per cent of their Council Tax bills.
The council is consulting on five proposed changes, focussed on simplifying administration of the scheme and aligning with national changes to Housing Benefit. Three changes affect working-age applicants in receipt of both Council Tax Reduction and Universal Credit. The remaining two affect all working-age applicants. For full details and to take part, please visit www.rbwm.gov.uk/consultations or use the public-access computers available at all local libraries, where staff are happy to help if needed. A hard copy of the consultation may be obtained by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01628 683850.
Most of our Council Tax Reduction scheme is proposed to remain the same, including maintaining the same level of maximum support, which we know will be welcomed in these challenging times. While we have one of the lowest Council Tax rates in England, and the lowest in Berkshire, which certainly helps to keep down household bills, we’re very alive to the fact that the cost of living is rising for everyone. Please let the council know as soon as possible if you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax before you enter arrears, to discuss what support may be available, such as flexible payment plans or your eligibility for Council Tax discounts or exemptions.
Maidenhead’s Christmas lights switch-on takes place Saturday 26 November, where the exciting countdown will begin outside the Town Hall just before 6pm, followed by a fireworks display, subject to weather conditions. The stars of Braywick Theatre’s Jack and the Beanstalk, Maidenhead Drama Guild’s Beauty and the Beast and Norden Farm’s One Snowy Night will be part of the celebrations. Joining them will be the winner of Norden Farm’s One Snowy Night competition who will have the honour of turning on the lights.
Ahead of the switch-on there will be a performance from Stagecoach Maidenhead and Dance Inspired, followed by Big Easy, Tuneless Choir and local band The Bottle Kids. From lunchtime Traylen’s funfair will be open on St Ives Road for all the family to enjoy.
We hope all our residents will keep safe and warm over the winter period and please make use of the above information. We wish you all our very best wishes and a Very Happy safe and warm Christmas.
Please remember we are here to help you, so do get in touch.
Andrew and Maureen