I would like to start this week by saying a big thank you to all our staff and contractors who have been working tirelessly throughout the recent extreme heat. The welfare of our staff is extremely important, as is providing key services, especially to our most vulnerable residents – whom our social workers have been making additional checks on.

A special thanks must go to the bin men who did a fantastic job and managed to complete all collections during the heatwave. It was also wonderful to see the support the crews were getting from residents, not only from the grateful comments expressed on social media, but also from those offering them water while they worked. I would like to express our thanks to our residents for their understanding and support.

As well as our bin men, the street cleansing teams were out keeping the borough clean, emptying bins etc. while our Parks and Countryside rangers were out maintaining our parks. Our Highways teams were out and about to ensure roads were safe and some may have been surprised to see that our gritting teams were mobilised and ready to protect the roads from extreme heat.

Whilst the support for our bin men during the heatwave was wonderful to see, we ask that this continues, especially when it comes to what you put in your bins. Please do not put batteries or small electricals in your bins. Our crews had to deal with yet another fire in one of our collection vehicles recently, due to some residents putting batteries in their green bin. Thank you to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service for helping put out the blaze.

Batteries and small electricals can be recycled at our recycling centres and batteries can also be recycled at many supermarkets.

I am pleased to share that children’s services at Bracknell Forest Council has been rated outstanding in the recent Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors praised the team’s continued progress and hard work in a report published last week, which gave an overall grade of outstanding. Inspectors found that ‘children who need help and protection in Bracknell Forest receive a consistently high-quality service.’ The report also stated that there was ‘a healthy culture of child-focused support and challenge across the organisation that is evident at all service levels.’

The report is evidence of the team’s hard work and continued commitment to children and families in the borough.