I want to highlight the help available from the council if you’re struggling this winter. 

If you are having difficulty paying your utility bills, speak to your provider as soon as possible. A full range of available help can be found at: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/cost-living-support/help-energy-costs

If you are struggling financially, you may be able to get one-off food support through Bracknell Foodbank. You will need a referral from the council or other local organisation such as citizen’s advice or your housing association.

SHARE is a food sharing charity that distributes surplus fresh food from supermarkets and catering firms. No referral is needed, but a contribution of £1 is requested. SHARE currently runs from St Andrews Church, Priestwood, and The Zone, Great Hollands. A full list of sites can be found at: www.sharewokingham.co.uk.

If you are unable to meet the cost of an essential item such as a washing machine or fridge, the council’s local welfare scheme may be able to assist you.

You must be in receipt of certain benefits or on a low income and provide evidence of exceptional hardship to access this support. Applications can be made at: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/benefits-and-support.

If you are struggling with unaffordable debt, the council’s website has lots of advice and information that can help: www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/debt-advice.

The council’s new priorities for the next four years have been agreed. Our agreed Council Plan sets out three main priorities for the council to focus its time and resources on until 2027: engaged and healthy communities, a thriving and connected economy and a green and sustainable environment.

It also details how the council will monitor its progress in achieving its goals. The council will now work with other organisations such as the NHS, community groups, residents and businesses on relevant priorities and projects to achieve its ambitions.