[Skip to content]

How Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting our services

How Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting our services

We will keep this page updated with information about council services that may be affected by COVID-19.

Following the latest government advice on social distancing, we are taking the sensible precaution to protect the public by reducing some non-essential council services.

This page is a work in progress. We will update it as soon as we get new information.

Last updated - 1 July, 4pm

As always, we are here to protect and support our vulnerable adults.

We are helping to support the NHS by moving to a seven-days a week hospital discharge system, which has been instrumental in supporting safe discharges throughout the week.

We are in regular contact with all our care providers (about 150) to offer support and guidance. 

There have been about 1,500 calls to the Community Response team and more than 2,000 free food parcels, costs covered by the council, have been delivered. This will be an ongoing service to those who cannot get food any other way.

During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been:

  • Keeping our critical social care functions running
  • We have contacted almost 1,850 residents known to our adult social care teams in the last six weeks, with many receiving regular welfare calls
  • We have contacted more than 700 carers to ensure that they can plan in an emergency
  • We have contacted 3,900 vulnerable residents in Wokingham Borough, with those who require ongoing support receiving fortnightly calls from the charity The Link to ensure they are safe
  • Guidance is in place to ensure hospital discharges happen as quickly as possible every day of the week
  • A task force has been set up to plan and risk assess safe discharges for every person coming out of hospital to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community
  • Helping free up the NHS staff and facilities to tackle COVID-19 and reduce the risk of vulnerable people picking up the virus
  • We have increased the number of spaces we have available with care and support providers    to help us with increased hospital discharge
  • We are supporting and working closely with the voluntary sector to provide a response across the borough for elderly and vulnerable people
  • We have set up a helpline for residents in need of our support and signed up 600 volunteers, it will help to distribute essential supplies to all our vulnerable people as we understand need.

Wokingham CLASP (Caring, listening and supporting partnership) has some new virtual ways of keeping in touch to keep us healthy and happy. Take a look at the poster below to find out more.

For further information on the help available to our most vulnerable please visit our community support page

Our public meetings will take place using digital technology. If you would like to listen in please contact democratic.services@wokingham.gov.uk for details.

The Government have announced that all elections scheduled for 7 May 2020 will be postponed for 12 months.

We will keep you updated as soon as we have further information.

Following government advice to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we have closed the Shute End civic offices to the public, but will continue to run essential frontline services. You can use the contact us page to find out how to get in touch.  

If you need to contact us please use our online forms or email us in the first instance. It is vital that we keep our phone line (0118 974 6000) free for those who really need it.

Register Office

During the current pandemic all deaths should be registered over the telephone. Fill in our online form (button below) with the necessary details for us to contact you by telephone to register the death:

Pre-register a death


Birth registration appointments are about to start again. If your baby was born in the Wokingham Borough you can now make an appointment to register him/her.

Phone 0118 974 6000 (select option 3 and then 3 again) to book. Appointments start 8 June 2020.

Please do not book or attend an appointment if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.

Birth declaration appointments (Wokingham residents whose baby was born outside of the Borough, for example Royal Berkshire Hospital) will start in a few weeks’ time – more information to follow soon.  

The copy certificate printing service is still continuing. Express (next day) replacement certificate service has stopped, but standard 14 day service is still available.

Weddings and civil partnerships at the Register Office are suspended until further notice. We are getting in touch with all current bookings to arrange for alternative dates or to put them on hold until the situation improves. 

Appointment for notice of marriage or civil partnerships have also stopped until further notice.

Citizenship ceremonies are also cancelled until further notice. The current three month time limit on attending a ceremony has just been extended to six months.  

EUSS appointments are cancelled but applicants can get help on the Gov UK website page  


All cemeteries in Wokingham are currently open for family members to visit graves and memorials.  


Post can still be sent or delivered to Shute End but please note there will be a delay in dealing with postal correspondence. If you need to send us any documents or information, please do this by using our online forms or via email. This will allow us to continue to provide a service without reliance on the post.


You can make online payments on our website. We are unable to accept cash or cheques at this time.

We appreciate your patience as we deal with enquiries at this busy time. We will prioritise those in most urgent need of our help, and we will respond to everyone as soon as is possible.

Beware of scams

Be vigilant against coronavirus scams – staff working for the council do not visit people at home and ask for council tax and/or housing rent to be paid by cash.

If anyone visits you at home and asks for your council tax and/or rent to be paid in cash, then this is a scam.

From June 2020, staff working for the housing rent team are visiting residents at home. Staff working for the council tax team are not currently completing home visits. 

For further government advice about scams, please visit its webpages. If you have any concerns please contact us on (0118) 974 6000.

Council tax

We know this is an extremely difficult time for people and are seeking to provide relief and support wherever necessary.

The Government has confirmed a £500 million hardship fund will provide Council Tax relief for vulnerable people and households to help those affected most by coronavirus.

Working age residents supported through our Council Tax Reduction Scheme will receive up to an additional £150 reduction to their bill. These changes will be automatically applied – you do not need to do anything further.

If you are finding it difficult to meet your instalments please contact us at ctax@wokingham.gov.ukso we can work with you on a more manageable repayment plan.

Housing, revenue and benefits front desk

The Housing, Revenue and Benefits counter service at our Shute End offices is closed until further notice.

Residents needing to get in touch can phone 0118 974 6000 or use our contact us form online. If you can use our online services, please do to keep the phone lines open for those most in need.


Some of our housing services have changed due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. Please see guidance below for the different areas.

Repairs - housing

Please continue to report all repairs as follows:    

  • To report a repair, please call 0800 515 287
  • To report any heating or gas servicing issue, please call 0800 389 8789

Due to the coronavirus pandemic we are however, only undertaking repairs that are assessed as essential in accordance with government guidelines. These will include health and safety and urgent repairs. You will be notified if a repair is assessed as essential at the point that you report it.

  • If the repair is assessed as essential, you will be asked a standard series of questions concerning the health and vulnerabilities of yourself and any family you have living with you.
  • In order to comply with the social distancing guidelines, you may be asked to move to another room or remain at least 2m from the operative or surveyor.


Gas servicing - housing

Gas servicing will continue as usual. Robert Heath Heating will contact tenants when their annual gas service is due. This is a legal requirement and must be completed.

  • Engineers will use the correct personal protective equipment when completing the service however we ask that residents move to an unoccupied room during the service.
  • If you have any question regarding the gas service then please call Robert Heath Heating directly on 0800 389 8789

Paying your rent for council owned homes

The council have put a hold (from 27 March 2020) on applying to the County Court for Possession Orders and in applying for a bailiff. Any existing possession hearings and bailiff warrants have been suspended that will expire after 23 August 2020.

If you're in a situation where you're worried about paying your rent, please get in touch with us immediately. We understand this is a difficult time for you. You’re thinking about your health and your family.

On top of this, you may be worrying about money and paying the bills. We’re here to help you. Our rental income team can talk through your rent account, and payment options, so please speak to them if you need to.

  • The rental income team are continuing with their customer focused collection and support service which recognises rent is a priority payment over other debts. This includes visiting residents at home.
  • This includes offering early tenancy sustainment support from both the rent officers and specialist tenancy sustainment officers.
  • In March 2020, we have contacted all residents who are receiving support from the specialist tenancy sustainment officers to check on their welfare, and to identify if further support is required. 
  • We are providing a Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm telephone only service with our contact details shown below. Please check the top left of the letter about your rent changes sent in late February 2020 to see who your rent officer is.
  • Please contact rent officers Ade Okeowo (07595 057512) or Beverley Patrice-Farrell (07885 983791). All other enquiries can be by phone on (0118) 974 6238, then select option 4, or email  rents@wokingham.gov.uk– we read all emails every working day.

The team are continuing to encourage and support residents of working age to apply for Housing Costs to be paid through a Universal Credit application, and residents of pensionable age to apply for Housing Benefit. This includes providing residents with advice and support in managing their online Universal Credit account called their ‘journal’.

  • If you are a resident who is struggling, then the service will continue with our ongoing approach of rent being a priority payment and seeking to negotiate a sustainable repayment. 
  • If you want support from a specialist tenancy sustainment officer contact us on (0118) 974 6238 – option 4.
  • If you have been asked to stay at home for twelve weeks and pay your rent by cash (and can’t pay by another payment method, and there are no family members or friends to provide support for making payments), please speak to your Rent Officer who is there to help.

If you need more information read our Housing Coronavirus FAQ (PDF document).

Paying your rent for residents living in the private rented sector

The government have instructed private landlords to put a hold (from 27 March 2020) in applying to the County Court for a Possession Order, and for applying for a bailiff. Any existing possession hearings and bailiff warrants have been suspended that will expire after 23 August 2020. For more information, visit the UK Government website.

The government also announced in March 2020 that your landlord now needs to adhere to the pre-action protocol for possession claims by social landlords. 

For example, this means your landlord should offer to assist in any claim that you have made for housing benefit, discretionary housing payments or universal credit (housing element). 

  • Bearing in mind that rent arrears may be part of a general debt problem (that could be made worse by the impact of coronavirus), the landlord should advise you to seek assistance from citizen’s advice, debt advice agencies or other appropriate agencies as soon as possible.
  • Where you are having difficulties with your rent, contact your landlord to discuss and use advice services, such as Citizens Advice for help and support.  
  • Up until 23 August 2020, residents renting privately shouldn’t be at risk of homelessness, but if any advice is needed in communicating with landlords, you can contact the homeless service in the usual way for advice.    

You can email housing.needs@wokingham.gov.uk or call 0118 974 6756 or 0118 974 6752 during office hours or 01344 786 543 outside of office hours in an emergency.

Vulnerable tenants - housing

We have completed 245 resident assessments within our eight sheltered schemes. The assessments are to ensure we fully understand a tenant's personal situation. 

We continue to maintain a daily staff presence on the schemes, to ensure that those who are most vulnerable are contacted. We are also:

  • Undertaking calls to our tenants who are over the age of 70 (585 people in total). These calls are to ensure that they are ok and are aware of the voluntary sector support available.   
  • Where we would normally have open community facilities, such as community houses to offer face to face support, the contact details are available for all members of the community engagement team on the outside of the buildings as well as details of the voluntary sector support available. 
  • Where we would normally have the Residents Resource Centre in Winnersh available to offer face to face support, the contact details for the tenancy involvement team and how to access other housing and Wokingham Borough Council services are also on the outside of the buildings.    
  • In March 2020, our tenancy sustainment officers contacted all residents they are helping, to check on their welfare, and to identify if further support is required.
  • Your welfare and safeguarding remains our first concern, should you have any concerns please let us know. 

Planned visits - housing

Housing officer planned visits have been reduced to urgent only, but we are offering the housing management service over the telephone where needed.

  • If a planned visit is essential then they will go ahead, however before visiting we will contact the person to check if they are self-isolating and they have any symptoms. 
  • If the visit does go ahead, then we will also check before starting the visit if anyone in the household has any symptoms.  If the visit takes place, then social distancing will be maintained. 
  • We will continue to undertake gas boiler servicing. As with repairs, prior to the gas engineer attending you will be asked a series of questions concerning the health and vulnerability of the homeowner. In addition, to conform with the social distancing requirements the engineer may ask you to go into another room or keep 2m away.
  • We will keep our other planned programmes such as window and door replacements and external decorations under review. Currently we are planning to continue with this work but be aware that the pandemic might force us to postpone the programme.

The Rental Income Team are providing a Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, telephone service. The team are currently following government guidance and, in the future, will provide face-to-face meetings at the Shute End office and home visits.

Leaseholders and Shared Owners - housing

Insurance for Leaseholders of ‘Right to Buy’ Flats and Shared Ownership Properties, from 1 April 2020 the insurance of your property has been moved to Avid Insurance Services.

  • If you need to make a claim please phone the claims administrator, Questgates Limited, on 01204 860427. 
  • The policy number is 2020CP000177.

Planning applications

We are continuing to determine planning applications and it is business as usual for the planning service. Where officers are unable to carry out site visits due to social distancing requirements we are asking for photographs to be emailed to us.

Planning committee meeting are currently taking place virtually.

Planning permissions and appeals

While planning permission usually expires after three years if work has not started on site, sites with consent that have an expiry date between the start of lockdown and the end of this year will now see their consent extended to 1 April 2021.

New measures will also permanently grant the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) the ability to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen much faster.

Read the government announcement by the Housing Secretary for more information.

Local Plan

We are continuing to progress the Local Plan Update (LPU).

The draft local plan consultation closed Friday 3 April 2020. Any consultation responses sent by post during this time will be still be considered, however there will be a delay in processing while staff are working remotely.

All enquiries at this time should be made by email to LPU@wokingham.gov.uk. You can take a look at more information on the Local Plan Update.

Construction work

Residents will have noticed that work has continued so far on our construction sites around the borough.

The decision to continue is consistent with government advice to date that it is acceptable to go to work if that work cannot be undertaken from home. We are facilitating working from home for as many as possible, but some workers continue to work onsite to continue our key construction works.
It has been noted that a few of our workers have been the subject of verbal abuse from the general public. We take very seriously the personal security of those employed by us and by our contractors and are supplying body-cameras to help with their personal safety.

Further information about work in the UK’s construction sector can be found on the UK Government website.

Government statement on increased working hours on development sites

As you may be aware, the Government has recently issued a written ministerial statement that instructs Local Planning Authorities to take a positive approach when dealing with requests to allow the extension of working hours on building sites, to operate safely in line with COVID-19 guidelines. The statement states that Local Planning Authorities should not refuse requests to extend working hours up to 9pm, Monday to Saturday, without very compelling reasons. Sundays and back holidays are not included.

Following the issue of this ministerial statement concerning construction work hours, it is expected that developers will seek to take advantage of the greater flexibility the ministerial statement calls for in order to facilitate the safe working environment and expedited construction process. Whilst the Local Planning Authority recognises the need for such flexibility and will support development wherever possible, this needs to be balanced against the interests of protecting local resident’s amenities and the environment.

As such, we are seeking a number of conditions are imposed in relation to the relaxation of working hours. It should be noted that any requests for extended working hours will need to be considered on a site per site basis. Given the number of residents now at home, we would respectfully seek that construction hours on a Saturday are managed to operate between 08:00 - 18:00 hrs wherever possible, to afford some respite to neighbouring residents at weekends. Exceptions for a small number of individuals to be on site and working on less intrusive jobs can be considered if managed. Where more significant increases in working hours for extended periods are being sought, developers will need to apply to the Local Planning Authority formally to request that the relevant conditions a) restricting working hours and b) revisions to the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) are amended as necessary. The request will need to specify the extended hours and the period for which this is requested. This period should not be longer than 3 months in the first instance. It would need to be reviewed at the end of the initial period should the need for extended hours continue to exist, up to the date specified in the ministerial statement (13th May 2021 or different, if the government subsequently revises this date).

Any requests will need to show that consideration has been given to the range of activities which are intended to be carried out during the extended hours. It would be expected that works which could result in disturbance, for example generating significant levels of noise, vibration and/or dust through the movement of materials, operation of machinery or piling, will be limited to the approved “core” construction hours. Work during the extended hours would need to be planned and supervised to ensure minimal disruption or nuisance results to the local area. 

It is expected that where works are planned that the Parish Council, Local Members and neighbours will be notified with an explanation of why this is happening and for how long. This should include a letter drop to the residents of immediately adjoining properties, or those that will be directly affected by the work. This notification will need to provide contact details for e.g. Site Manager, Construction Liaison Officer or another person for queries from residents/members. These details will need ensure that a timely response is possible, i.e. that the person making contact is able to speak to someone.

These measures are essential to maintain a good relationship with residents and the Council during this period in order to reduce complaints and the potential for formal action being undertaken against developers.

Planning permission - pubs and restaurants operating as takeaways

Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak, the Communities Secretary has confirmed. 

Currently, planning permission is required for businesses to carry out a change of use to a hot food takeaway. The government has confirmed regulations will be relaxed to enable businesses to deliver this service without a planning application.

For more information visit the UK Government website

In line with government guidelines, all our libraries, swimming pools and leisure centres are now closed until further notice. For more information  on leisure centres visit Places Leisure website.


To access e-Books, e-Audio and e-Comics, login to the RB Digital service website. Use your library card number to create a free account with a username and password. For more information visit the library page.

Books can be renewed online but overdue fines have been suspended at this time.

We are developing digital and virtual library services and working with Public Health on safe ways to continue home deliveries.

Take a look at the Libraries blog frequently asked questions for the most up to date information on the borough libraries. 

Country Parks

Wokingham Borough Council re-opened its country park car parks on 13 May, with limited spaces at Dinton Pastures and California Country Parks. 

At Dinton Pastures, the main Dinton car park, along with the Activity Centre and Aviation car parks are now open, providing 200 car parking spaces. 

To ensure visitor numbers remain manageable and aid social distancing, the overflow car parks will not open at this stage. 

The two main car parks will also open at California Country Park, providing 100 parking spaces. The overflow car parks will also remain closed at this site. Cafes, toilets and play areas will remain closed at both sites. 

Cantley Park’s car park has also reopened today (May 13) and the smaller Countryside Service car parks at Rook’s Nest Woods and Keephatch Meadows will also re-open to the public. Heathlake is currently undergoing resurfacing work and will open at a later date. 

Social distancing marshals will be present at both country parks to encourage visitors to keep a safe 2 metre distance from one another. If the car parks are full, marshals will be waving cars to pass and not stop. Visitors are reminded to respect the marshals and to not park on nearby roads or side streets but to return at a quieter time to use the country park.

There are plenty of green spaces in the borough beyond the country parks – visit our countryside services website page for some other options. We are urging visitors to work with us to keep these parks open.

Other activities at our country

Other activities that will open include day fishing which will start again at both sites. In addition, Disc Golf will also re-start on Lea Heath, and will be open to individuals and same family groups. 

Play areas

In order to support social distancing to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have decided to close all of our play areas from 23 March.

Many of the town and parish council’s within the borough also operate play areas.  We are asking them to close these as well and offering to install signage for them.

Public Rights of Way

The restrictions announced by the government now apply to Public Rights of Way along with the countryside access network. 

We request that you adhere to the below rules:

  • Please only use your local Public Rights of Way network for lawful access which is to exercise once a day and for routes to food shops or when essential travel to and from work is required.
  • Please ensure that you keep the 2 metres (6 feet) distance between your household group and other individuals you come across.
  • Please do not arrange to meet other families or form groups larger than two when out exercising, walking or riding.   
  • Please ensure that you take tissues or any other health products that you use home with you.
  • Where paths use canal towpaths and river banks please respect residents who have limited space and may be in self-isolation due to illness and other vulnerabilities. Please do consider using other routes.
  • Although at present there is no evidence of human-animal transference of Coronavirus (Covid-19), it is essential that you limit contact with other families’ animals as well as farm livestock as part of social distancing.

In relation to inspections of public rights of way, due to present restrictions on movement, we are giving a priority only to matters on the public rights of way network which present a safety hazard for the public. In some cases, work will be done which is deemed to be reducing the risk of a potential hazard.

Site inspections by staff will only take place where necessary to ascertain the priority of the request.  It would assist if all requests from the public were accompanied by as much information as possible.

For more information on public rights of way visit our public rights of way website page.

Sports and health activities

The SHINE programme, run by our sports team to provide activities for those 60 and older, will therefore not be running until further notice. For more information visit the SHINE website page.     

Tennis courts will remain open at Cantley Park. In line with Public Health England advice, appropriate hygiene measures, including social distancing, will be in place to reduce/stop any spread and therefore only every other court will be in use. We would ask those who fall into the vulnerable categories to continue to self-isolate and avoid using these facilities.

All Ramblers Walking for Health Walks, supported by the council’s Sports team, are suspended - See the Ramblers.org.uk website. This includes group walks, social activities and other meetings.  All these activities have stopped until further notice or at least until the 31 May, subject to further developments.

All Wokingham Borough Council football pitches, both grass and 3G, are closed until further notice.

Public toilets

Public toilets are currently closed. We are carrying out a risk assessment and will look to re-open when we can do so safely.

School closures

All schools are closed until further notice, except for children of  key workers and the most vulnerable

Further information about schools and other educational settings can be found of the  UK Government website, including details about: 

  • GCSE and A Level exam cancellations
  • Free school meals

Primary and infant to junior school placements will be announced on Thursday, 16 April. If you made an application via the online portal, you should receive an email with your offer. If you made an application via a paper form you will receive your offer letter through the post a few days after offer day. All offers must be accepted by Monday 4 May.

The council recognises the Government announcement regarding schools re-opening at the earliest from June 1, and are working to support schools in their planning for the return of children to their settings.  We wholly support the benefits of children re-engaging with learning, and are also minded to the safety and wellbeing of all of our Wokingham learners.

The council is working with all Schools and Academies in the Borough, and will support each Governing Body or Trust to make decisions that are appropriate to their school and school community to ensure the safe return of children, young people and teaching staff.    This may mean that for some schools children will not return on the 1st June, but will return when the schools risk assessments and plans determine it is right and safe for them to do so.

This will not affect the eligible children that have been continuing to attend schools since school closures on the March 20.  

Children's centres

Our children’s centres are no longer open to the public, but some of our key health services are continuing. Our one to one targeted early help support continues to be delivered virtually. All our services are under constantly under review in this fast changing situation. We will update this page when we have further information.

Explaining COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to children

We have collated expert advice for parents and carers to help explain COVID-19 to children and young people. You can get more information on the advice webpage.

There is also a dedicated webpage for parents and carers of children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). The webpage covers the latest Government advice, resources for learning and advice for coping during these unprecedented times.


Public Transport

The reduced timetables will mean fewer journeys available to our residents on most service compared to a normal week day service.

Operators will continue to monitor the situation. Further short notice changes may be made services to reflect demand, available resources and operational costs.More information will be available directly from operators on their services, including:

Winnersh Triangle Park and Ride

Reading Buses have suspended their Winnersh Triangle park and ride buses for the foreseeable future due to an extremely low level of customers usage.

The car park will remain open and the lion bus is still running which may be a suitable alternative for those still needing the service. For more information please visit the Reading Buses website.

Civil parking enforcement

The council took the decision to suspend enforcement of car parking regulations, except in exceptional circumstances, when the lockdown began to protect those in difficult circumstances.

As our borough attempts to open, with some children returning to school and more businesses up and running, it is time to return to full enforcement in a managed way.

From Saturday 30 May civil parking enforcement is being reintroduced across the borough to keep roads safe and to restore income for services.

Car parking charges at our country parks and town centres ensure better access for all residents, by preventing valuable car parking spaces from being used all day.

Permits for NHS staff, health and social care workers and NHS volunteers 

The government has introduced a coronavirus Covid-19 Parking Pass for NHS staff, health and social care workers and NHS volunteers. This is to enable them to access parking concessions whilst on duty, in local authority owned off street car parks and in a number of on street locations, during the Covid-19 emergency response period.

Passes will be made available through your employer. They will be issued by the local trust. For NHS volunteers they will be issued by the Royal Voluntary Service and for health and social care workers this will be the employing local council health and social care team or care provider. These passes are not issued by Wokingham Borough Council.

You can find more details on how to obtain a coronavirus Covid-19 Parking Pass on GOV.UK.

NHS staff, health and social care workers and NHS volunteers can find free parking locations by visiting the NHS free parking search service.

Highway defects

Our highways contractor VolkerHighways continues to carry out essential safety defects to keep our network safe for keyworkers and others who are still driving on our roads.

They will adhere with the latest advice from Public Health England and the Government when working on site.

They will follow the latest industry advice from the Construction Leadership Council, including working with required social distancing, as well as following guidance on site access, handwashing, cleaning and avoiding close working.

For more information on the site operating procedures which will be being followed and have been supported by Government, visit the Construction Leadership Council website

Highway projects

We have identified some roads in our borough where works can take place earlier than we had planned.

Doing this now means there will be reduced disruption to our residents due to measures put in place by the Government in responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are seeing fewer vehicles are being used on our roads and roadworks by utility companies have also dropped off by about a third year-on-year due to the pandemic.

Therefore we are carrying out essential road improvement projects, to keep our roads safe now and in the future, at a time when we are causing reduced disruption with people only leaving home to buy food, for health reasons or for work if they cannot work from home.

Work on our major new roads projects (Arborfield Cross relief road, Barkham Bridge replacement, South and North Wokingham distributor roads) is also continuing, with our contractors Balfour Beatty adhering to Government guidelines issued on 24 March 2020 for the construction industry.

Waste and recycling collections

All our services are currently operating as normal. We are assessing our collection service on a daily basis and will reconsider our decisions depending on the availability of our collection staff.

Our priority is keeping our services running. If you have put in a request with us, please be patient. We are doing the best we can with high demand and following government guidelines to work from home, so requests will take longer than usual.

If you need to contact us, please do so online if at all possible, leaving our phone lines open for those who most need us.

Recycling centres reopen with new safety measures

Residents are able to visit our recycling centres at Longshot Lane, Bracknell, or Smallmead, Reading, from 8am on Monday, 18 May. These will then be open every day between 8am and 6pm.

  • It is only a limited opening – if waste can be stored safety at home it should be
  • You must book – and will not be allowed access without booking
  • Social distancing rules will be in place and must be followed

You won’t be allowed in unless you have booked a slot online.

Read more about the new temporary booking system on the re3 waste and recycling centres website.

Booking slots     

We apologise for any issues you may have experienced in booking a slot for the recycling centres. These have now been resolved via a new booking system and slots can be reserved again. Existing bookings will still stand. Thank you for your patience.

There's no need to login to the booking system. Just choose your slot and type your details:

Book a visit to Longshot Lane Recycling Centre 
Book a visit to Smallmead Recycling Centre

Due to high demand, please only make one booking a week.

Make sure your email address is typed correctly as this is how you will receive your booking confirmation. (If you can't see your email confirmation, check your junk folder.) You should also get a reminder 24 hours before your visit.

Using the recycling centres

  • Don’t visit the centres if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Only make a booking if your visit is essential and you are no longer able to safely store your waste
  • Do not visit without making a booking. Access will be denied if your vehicle isn’t on our list.
  • Whilst we recommend that you bring a copy of your booking confirmation with you, you do not need to print the confirmation email to access the site. Your vehicle registration plate will be checked against our data.
  • Follow staff advice at all times.

Follow these safety measures when visiting

  • Social distancing rules – please keep a 2m distance while at the site.
  • A limited number of vehicles will be allowed on site at any one time.
  • Limited interaction - staff are unable to assist you in unloading your waste.
  • Contact free visits – please display your proof of address through closed windows and use contactless payments.
  • Wash your hands before and after your visit – there are no hand washing facilities at the centres.
  • Double bag contaminated waste.
  • Sort your waste before leaving home to make your trip more efficient.
  • Travel alone, if you are able to handle your waste yourself.

More information about the new rules at site are available on the
re3 website.

Where to get blue bags, food waste bags and garden waste sacks

Advice on blue bags:

  • If you run out of blue bags, please see if you can borrow some from a neighbour.       
  • If you run out and cannot borrow from a neighbour, contact us and we will try to schedule a delivery. 
  • Recycle as much as possible to conserve your supply of blue bags. 
  • For properties missed in the round of deliveries that received vouchers for bags to collect will have bags delivered instead within the next couple of weeks.

Advice on missed collections:

  • If we miss a collection and you can hold onto it until the following week, please do as this will help us keep the service up and running.   
  • If that is not possible, we will try to arrange to come back, but please bear with us as it will take longer than normal.

Advice on recycling:

  • Continue to use your recycling boxes even if they are cracked. 
  • We will not be able to replace bins currently as our priority is to keep the service running.

Advice on food waste:   

  • Availability of food waste bags is temporarily suspended. 
  • Once you run out of food waste bags, please leave unlined or use any plastic bags you have, newspaper or kitchen paper to line the caddy. 
  • If you need a food waste caddy, we are able to deliver the outdoor caddies only at this time. You would need to use an alternative counter top indoor caddy for now.

Advice on garden waste: 

  • First, see if you can share a neighbour’s garden waste bin. 
  • Due to the closure of the recycling centres we’re seeing an unprecedented demand to enlist on the garden waste bin collection service which is being exacerbated by keeping up with bin supplies. Any requests placed from 7 May 2020 are unlikely to be met by mid June so we recommend that you enlist on or after the 1st July when the price for the service this year will drop to £45 for the service through to the 30th April 2021.
  • If you have already ordered a bin, please understand that delivery will take longer than it normally would.  Due to the increased orders and delay in getting the bins delivered from Europe during the Covid-19 crisis, we are seeing a delay in getting brown garden waste bins to people. To compensate for any service losses we’re extending the 2020/21 year from 1st April to 30th April. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
  • In the meantime we would encourage the ordering of garden waste compostable sacks to see you through to this time and they can be ordered by calling 0118 974 6000.

Clothing banks

Our clothing and textiles recycling banks are now closed. Residents will need to keep their clothing/textile recycling until our collections resume.


We urge residents to not light bonfires - Coronavirus can cause serious breathing problems which could be made much worse if a sufferer is exposed to bonfire smoke. 

Compost garden waste where possible, and remember that you are not allowed to burn household waste at any time, so stack or bag up excess rubbish for disposal when the current emergency is over.

For further information and regulations on bonfires visit the UK Government website.

Was this page useful?
Was this page useful?
Back to top