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Update from council leader - 17 March

Time Square council offices

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

As we continue through the first step of the Government’s roadmap to lift restrictions, I’m delighted that businesses of all sizes can now register to obtain free lateral flow tests for their employees.

This is a fantastic step in keeping our borough safe as restrictions begin to lift. Around one in three people with coronavirus don’t have symptoms but could be spreading the virus in workplaces without knowing. Rapid testing helps to identify those who have the virus without symptoms, meaning positive cases can isolate immediately, and we can stop the spread.

Regular testing is a helpful way in making sure a workplace can stay open and be operational, rather than needing to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak. These tests are simple to carry out and results are delivered within 30 minutes.

To access this free workplace testing for your business, please register your interest by Wednesday, 31 March. The testing will then be available until the end of June 2021. If you are able to work from home, please continue to do so. You can register to order free rapid lateral flow coronavirus tests for your employees on GOV.UK.

In other news, I am proud that our local Warfield CE Primary School is becoming the first primary school in the borough to partner in the Eco Reward Scheme, which encourages walking and cycling.

Eco Rewards is a way for people to report green journeys around Bracknell Forest using a smart tag and dedicated ‘reader devices’, which are situated around the area. Warfield CE Primary School will be joining Easthampstead Park Community School and Garth Hill College as early adopters of the scheme.

At the start of the month Bracknell Forest residents experienced their first food waste collection, as part of the council’s initiative to help tackle climate change and increase recycling rates. From January to March 2021, over 41,000 food waste caddies were delivered to houses across the borough and in the first week, Dame Foodie Dench and her crew collected 111.3 tonnes of food waste.

Thanks to residents, this waste has been diverted from landfill and instead it will be used to generate electricity to power homes and fertiliser to help crops grow.

I hope you all have a good week, and stay safe.