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Update from council leader - 12 May

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

As we approach step three of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown from Monday, 17 May, I hope residents are keeping safe and well.

Please remember that until Monday, we all must remain vigilant and follow the current rules which can be found on GOV.UK.

Last week we saw extra government funding become available, meaning that food vouchers will be provided to eligible children during the May 2021 half term holiday. This is wonderful news, as the provision of free school meals has been an important consideration throughout the pandemic. Even as we continue through the roadmap out of the coronavirus lockdown, and towards what is hopefully a much brighter future, we understand that the financial burden caused by the virus will remain for many people.

We recognise the pressures families in Bracknell Forest are still under and are committed to continuing to provide them with essential support where needed. The council had already committed to funding school children in most need, so they do not go hungry during the May half term holidays. I am proud of the support we have provided to vulnerable residents, and of the amazing teamwork required to accomplish this.

As restrictions start to ease and community groups prepare to meet again, community centres are starting to open their doors to welcome regular groups and events to take place. This does however mean that a number of rapid testing centres will be closing over the next couple of weeks. These include the Morgan Centre, New Priestwood Community Centre, Brownlow Hall and Sandhurst Community Centre. You can find more details on our test centres page.

Regular asymptomatic testing remains a key element in protecting the borough and stopping the spread of COVID-19, and all adults are still encouraged to do twice weekly testing.

Alongside vaccination, asymptomatic testing plays a crucial part in our move back to normality. The rapid testing sites have provided an excellent start to the testing programme in the borough and will continue to provide this service at Great Hollands Pavilion and One Lexicon.

As always, stay safe and have a good week.