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Staying fire safe in the great outdoors
With most of the country experiencing unusually warm weather for March, the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Partnership is reminding people to take extra care to avoid the risk of fire outdoors. Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats, some of which are started deliberately but many are caused by carelessness. Reduce the risk of a fire starting with these simple tips: always extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly ; never throw lit cigarette ends out of car windows; avoid open fires in the countryside. Only use barbecues in safe, designated areas and never leave them unattended; don’t leave bottles or glass lying around. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire; if you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. If you plan to make the most of the warm weather by having a barbecue, keep yourself and your friends and family safe by following these precautions: never leave a lit barbecue unattended; make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste; keep children and pets away from the cooking area; if you have a gas barbecue, always store cylinders outside ; use only approved lighter fuels – never petrol or paraffin – and only use on cold coals; keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies after cooking, make sure the barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents; empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot they can melt the plastic and start a fire. Cllr Iain McCracken, Bracknell Forest Council’s executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection said: “Please take special care to minimise the risk of fires in these dry conditions. We all enjoy being out and about, but it’s also important that everyone thinks about fire safety in our parks and woodlands. “We hope everyone will make the most of the fantastic spring weather, especially as the school holidays are now starting.” Insp John Goosey, deputy local police commander for Bracknell, said: "Like our partner agencies in Bracknell Forest, we want people to enjoy the warm weather but to also be responsible. “We will take positive enforcement action against anyone caught starting a fire deliberately, causing damage to property or life." Paul Jacques, group manager for prevention at RBFRS, said: “It’s great to make the most of this unexpectedly warm weather by spending time outdoors but it’s also important to remember that fire safety doesn’t stop when you leave the house. “By taking just a few simple steps, you can help to protect the countryside and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire.”
Road closure - advance warning
Drivers are advised that there will be closures in place on the London Road side of the Met Office roundabout for two weeks starting Sunday, April 1. Traffic driving around the roundabout will be diverted along the London Road (eastbound) to the Eastern Road roundabout and then back along the London Road (westbound). The closure is to allow contractors to carry out emergency repair works to the electricity cables running from Bracknell to Ascot. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.
Council's new look website offers easy access to online services
Click on www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk from Monday, April 2, and the new look Bracknell Forest Council website will be unveiled. Some of the key improvements visitors will notice include: * rapid access to the most popular services; * information is easier to find and understand; * a greatly improved search facility; * more images to make the site more inviting and accessible. There is a host of online services which visitors can use: from ordering blue recycling bins and renewing library books to making payments to the council and booking badminton courts. It's all there on the home page. The new website has also been tested by The Shaw Trust for its accessibility to disabled users. A spokesperson for the Shaw Trust said: "Our accreditation process makes sure websites are accessible for users who have different needs in accessing, navigating or reading information online. "Disabled people won't return to a website that they can't access, meaning that through no fault of their own they could be missing out on vital information about services. "Councils do a huge amount of work to make sure the information they publish is accessible,and we're pleased that disabled people in Bracknell Forest will have improved access to important information as a result of this process." Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection said: "The redevelopment will make the new website more user-friendly for everyone, and more efficient and cost effective for the council to run. "In challenging economic times our website is becoming increasingly important in providing information, delivering more online services and interacting with our community as a first point of contact - all of which can help to reduce costs. "We would urge online visitors to try out the new site for themselves."
Spaces still available for 50+ conference
Spaces are still available for a conference for residents who want to know more about future planning for their future. The conference is free of charge for residents of Bracknell Forest. The conference, titled 'Opportunities and choices in later life', will be held on Friday, March 30, at Easthampstead Baptist Church from 10am until 4pm. The aim of the conference is to inform residents aged 50+ of the opportunities available and how to plan for and think positively about later life. There will be a variety of speakers on health and wellbeing, housing, learning, leisure activities and money matters. There will also be a range of information and stands at the conference so attendees can leave feeling well informed and confident in the advice they have received. Mira Haynes, chief officer: older people and long term conditions at Bracknell Forest Council, said: "This conference will be a great opportunity for those nearing retirement age to find out about the choices they plan for later life, as well as information on support and opportunities available in the borough. "The conference will also give attendees a chance to share their own positive and personal experiences and ideas for the future." Places are limited, so book your space by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call Chris on 01344 304404. The 'Opportunities and choices in later life' conference is a joint venture between Bracknell Forest Council, Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action and Bracknell Forest Partnership.
And the winners were...
Last autumn, The Look Out Discovery Centre ran a competition on their Facebook page for a school class to win a free trip to the site. Details of the competition were sent to hundreds of schools in and around Berkshire, giving them the chance for a class of 30 to visit the centre. Lina Haines from Mytchett Primary School, Surrey, was the proud winner. Miss Haines said: “We were thrilled to have won a free trip to The Look Out Discovery Centre. We love experimenting and exploring in science and we really enjoyed our visit, including the Light and Sound show. We will be back!” The Year 3 and 4 pupils from Mytchett Primary School visited The Look Out on Monday, March 12. The children enjoyed over 90 hands-on science and nature activities, linked into the national curriculum. Cllr Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “I am delighted the children enjoyed their visit, there is plenty to keep them entertained at The Look Out. I would recommend residents to visit The Look Out’s Facebook page as there are always special discounts and competitions on offer.” The Look Out is set in 1,000 hectares of Swinley Forest and is open daily between 10am and 5pm.
Making business better in Bracknell Forest
Sustaining economic prosperity in the borough was at the top of the agenda at last week’s meeting of the Bracknell Forest Economic and Skills Development Partnership (ESDP). The partnership – which comprises of representatives from local firms including 3M, Waitrose, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership and Bracknell Forest Council – met on Tuesday, March 13. Led by recently appointed chairman David Cook, the partnership discussed ways to sustain economic prosperity for the borough’s residents and businesses. David said: "I am delighted to chair the Bracknell Forest ESDP. "We have a good combination of business, local authority, education and the community sector represented on the committee, and our initial focus is skills appropriate to local employability, business retention and additional inward investment. "Bracknell Forest is a great location in the UK for employers and employees to work and live and we must build on, what is, a fantastic economic platform." Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, added: “Bracknell Forest is one of the most successful economies in the country. “The borough has been seen as an economically prosperous area for a long time, maintaining a good standard of living for residents and attracting high profile businesses. “Not only does the ESDP help residents and businesses, it also helps to support partnership work with business and organisational partners, as well as with surrounding local authorities.”