The Annual Town Meeting was held at the Oakwood Centre on Thursday 26th May, with a focus on climate change across the borough and on a global scale.
The meeting was opened by Woodley Town Mayor, Cllr Janet Sartorel, who welcomed the members of the public in attendance and watching the live feed via YouTube, as well as the speakers who had been invited.
Gregor Murray, former executive member for climate at Wokingham Borough Council, was the first speaker, leading his presentation with – “behaviour change is the single most important thing we can do for climate change”.
Gregor discussed the various projects that the Borough Council have been doing, including its innovative Trees Project, which includes the opportunity for every school child to plant a tree; the fact that Woodley library is the first Council-owned building to achieve net zero carbon status; and that there is approximately one metre of green space per Wokingham Borough resident.
Steve Cook, who runs the Bee Scheme at Woodley Town Council’s Allotments, outlined the project, which has grown since its inception in 2020 to 18 bee hives and eight bee keepers. Steve informed the audience of the importance of growing certain flowers and plants for the bee community, including crocuses, snow drops, dandelions, bluebells, pussy willow and daisies.
The final speaker was Woodley Town Council’s Deputy Town Clerk, Kevin Murray, who summarised what the Town Council had done so far and what it plans to do in order to achieve carbon neutral status by 2030. “It’s important that we get it right and set the right example for the community and get that message out,” he said. Kevin encouraged local residents to get in touch with ideas on what the Town Council can do, adding that the first step will be to update the website with climate change information to help local residents make the right choices.
The latter part of the meeting was open to resident questions.
Most of the questions were directed to Wokingham Borough Council, including what types of trees were available in its Tree Project, how accurate are the climate statistics the council uses, will cycleways be improved and how the Borough Council is working with central government on climate change.
The Town Mayor closed the evening, thanking everyone for attending.
“Thank you to our speakers for providing us with such useful information, which I’m sure has given us all food for thought. Thank you also to those residents who attended in person and who joined us via our YouTube channel,” said Janet.
Residents in attendance had the opportunity to take a plantable seeded earth card to encourage planting in the community. These will also be available at our stand at Woodley Carnival on 11th June in Woodford Park.
Minutes of the meeting will be available on our website soon.
The meeting can be viewed on our YouTube channel. Please search for Woodley Town Council.