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Wed 18 August 2021:
Your regular update from Reading Borough Council on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can help
A message from Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock
The latest good news on COVID-19 vaccinations is that all young people aged 16 and over are now able to get their first dose of a vaccine. This will allow them to protect themselves and others before returning to college or sixth form next month.
If you know a 16 or 17 year old please encourage them to come along to the walk-up vaccination sessions this week at Reading’s Broad Street Mall from 9.30am – 7pm until Sunday 22 August. No appointment is necessary, they can just turn up.

Teenagers within three months of turning 18 can book their vaccine appointment on the NHS website or by calling 119.
 
Children aged 12 to 15 who are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus are also being contacted by the NHS and invited for their vaccine by 23 August, ahead of the new school year.
 
For anyone who has not yet had the vaccine, please don’t delay - get your jabs as soon as you can so we can continue to safely live with this virus and enjoy our freedoms by giving yourself, your family and your community the protection they need.
 
This week has also seen changes to guidance on self-isolation. Close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases will no longer need to self- isolate if they are either double jabbed or under 18. Instead they should take a free PCR test by booking online. There is more information on the Government website.
 
Green waste collections remain paused
The pandemic continues to have an effect on our waste collection services, with green waste remaining paused, with the decision reviewed again towards the end of August. In line with many other councils, this was necessary to ensure priority collections of residual waste, recycling and food waste continue uninterrupted. Residents who subscribe to the green waste collection service will have their subscription extended to cover any weeks lost through the pause in service. In the meantime, we ask that residents store their green waste at home or book a slot at the re3 centre on Island Road to dispose of it. Visits must be booked in advance.
 
Reading Festival returns
Reading Festival is back next week after being cancelled last year, and residents are being reminded to plan ahead as shops, public transport and roads will be a lot busier than usual. From Friday 27 August through to Sunday 29 August, more than 100,000 people are expected to attend the three day event. You can find out all you need to know about the event, including a dedicated residents’ phoneline and contact details if you have concerns, on our website.
 
Library consultation
Last week we launched a six-week consultation on our vision for Reading’s library service. You are invited to have your say via an online survey and at consultation events taking place locally. We are developing a draft library strategy for the next 3 years to guide the service to further supporting our communities, being innovative and providing an excellent experience for everyone. You can find out more about this below.
 
Tell us what you think about Reading!
We are working with Reading UK, the Council’s economic development and place marketing partner, and The University of Reading to help celebrate and promote the best of Reading, build civic pride, community and confidence, market the area to attract inward investment, create jobs, and support existing business in the area. As a local resident, your thoughts and are vital in helping to shape this. Please complete this short survey to provide your views on local issues and priorities as well as ideas you may have for the future of Reading. It should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous.
 
 
Finally, I was deeply saddened by the tragic events in Plymouth last week. We paid our respects to the victims and the families of the Plymouth attack in a one minute silence on Monday, and Plymouth City Council have also organised an online book of condolence if you would like to leave a message.
YOUR VIEW MATTERS:
HELP US SHAPE LIBRARY SERVICES IN READING




Last week we launched a six-week consultation on our vision for Reading’s library service. You are invited to have your say via an online survey and at consultation events taking place locally.
 
We are developing a draft library strategy for the next 3 years to guide the service in further supporting our communities, being innovative and providing an excellent experience for everyone.
 
Unlike many local authority areas where libraries have been permanently shut due to budget pressures, Reading Council has retained all of its seven library branches and is fully committed to maintaining this approach by making the best possible use of its limited resources.
 
Our vision for Reading Libraries is that they are innovative, accessible to all, at the heart of all of our communities and enhancing the lives of Reading people. They inspire learning and enjoyment, provide books, content and activities and help everyone to navigate the digital world.
 
Our vision is underpinned by five key focus areas:
  • Supporting our communities as we recover from the pandemic
  • Helping Children and Young People
  • Improving access to online services
  • Supporting improvements in Health, Wellbeing and Literacy
  • Bringing arts, culture and heritage to library spaces
We are now inviting you to feedback on these priorities. You are also asked to share how you use the library service, what is most important to you and what you would be most interested in using in future. You are invited to comment on Reading Central Library and the Library’s Home Service.
 
An online consultation is available on our website. 
 
You are also invited to a consultation event at Central Library on Tuesday 24 August between 11am and 4pm. This will offer an opportunity for you to feedback in person and the chance to ask questions about the library service.
 
Alongside the online survey and the library event, we are also hosting several focus groups during the six-week period, with key groups in Reading.
 
The consultation runs until 17 September and we will make the results of the consultation available in the final Library Strategy Report going to the Council’s Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure Committee on 10 November 2021.
KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST COVID-19 RESPONSE NEWS FROM READING BOROUGH COUNCIL

With the latest advice and service information changing regularly, you can keep up to date by following our dedicated page to the Covid-19 response here: https://www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (links below) for regular updates.
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