Since the last Council meeting the Mayor had attended nine online Citizenship Ceremonies.
The High Sheriffs of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire had delivered a multi-faith service in Remembrance Reflection and Hope in partnership with the Lord Lieutenants at Dorney Lake.
The Mayor had been pleased to meet the winner of the footprint competition and the Bracknell Forest Giants. The Bracknell Forest Giants came to the Lexicon to celebrate the Borough’s forests which make up almost 40% of the landscape and the successful event had been achieved through the collaboration between the Lexicon and Bracknell Forest Council. There was also a story telling show with some of the proceeds being donated to the Mayor’s two military charities.
The Mayor reported that the new Elsey Building had been opened at Edgbarrow School. The building which was named after former headmaster Robert Elsey had replaced and upgraded the Maths, English Languages and Art block. The Mayor had enjoyed a full tour of the learning resource with Councillors Mrs Mattick and Wade.
The Mayor was proud to see over 600 participants running in the 36th Bracknell Half marathon, hosted by the Lexicon and organised by Everyone Active and Bracknell Forest Council. She noted that the event raised funds for excellent good causes and congratulated Richard King who completed the course in 1 hour 16 minutes, Claire Welch who was the first woman home in 1 hour 36 minutes, Councillor Ankur Bhandari for raising funds for Diabetes UK and Damian James, Assistant Director Contracts for also taking part. The Mayor was pleased to note that this year edible and biodegradable seaweed-based water capsules were used to refresh the runners.
The Mayor had attended the Annual Memorial Service at Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium and reflected that it was a moving yet uplifting service ably assisted by the scouts which was appreciated by residents.
The Mayor advised that she had recently attended the High Sheriff’s Summer Evening Reception.
The Mayor had joined the Bracknell library celebrations of its 50th anniversary and advised there was a lovely pictorial display of the library through the ages.
The Mayor thanked Dave Donaldson, the Easthampstead Rotary Club and all the volunteers who made the Three Counties Cycle Ride event such a success. More than 250 riders took part to raise funds for good causes including Councillor Dale Birch who was cycling for the Sandhurst Day Centre.
Councillor Brunel-Walker, Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration
Councillor Brunel-Walker reiterated the success of the Bracknell Forest Giants event at the Lexicon which demonstrated the partnership with the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership.
Councillor Dr Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning
Councillor Dr Barnard updated the meeting on the progress of the Imagination Library scheme with 175 children signed up to receive one book each month and over 70 library cards had been issued. He explained that to make the scheme sustainable and expand the number of children this was available to, the Council was looking for business sponsorship in future years.
Councillor Dr Barnard was pleased to report that over the summer 400 eligible children took part in the holiday activities and food programme. These activities took place across 16 sites with 3,000 hours of free activities and food was provided. The free school meals voucher scheme was extended over the holiday and the Council managed to reach out to 2,500 children including some under-fives in that scheme. He thanked the team that pulled the schemes together at short notice and achieved so much for the children of the borough.
Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE, Executive Member for the Environment
Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE encouraged councillors to come along to recycling events taking place during Big Green Week starting on Saturday 25 September from 9.30am at Bracknell Leisure Centre with partners Suez and the Clothing Warehouse. The event encouraged residents to bring their unwanted small electricals and clothing. Residents would receive 500 recycling points for attending which in turn could be donated to local charities.
Councillor Bettison OBE, Leader of the Council
Councillor Bettison OBE, announced that a memorial service was being held to remember late Councillor Jim Finnie, Freeman of the Borough on Saturday 30 October at 2pm. The service at St John the Baptist Church, Crowthorne would be followed by the formal naming of the square in the high street as Jim Finnie Square. He advised that members of the public would be welcome at both events.