Review of the Year - March 2010
December 30, 2010
As 2011 approaches we take a look back at the biggest stories in Wokingham from March this year.
The number of council staff earning more than £50,000 in Wokingham had increased by 22 per cent in two years, it was revealed.
The number of staff at Wokingham Borough Council, excluding employees at schools, earning between £50,000 and £160,000 increased from 44 in 2007/08 to 54 in 2009/10.
The total number had jumped to 69 during 2008/09, however loss of staff and redundancies, including deputy chief executive Paul Turrell, caused the number to fall.
The news came just a few weeks after the council announced it will cut 150 jobs over the next three years as part of plans to save £9.5 million.
Chief executive Susan Law’s £157,000 salary had remained the same as last year, when it was revealed following a request by The Wokingham Times.
Two town centre pubs were in need of new landlords after their licensees left the watering holes.
Punters who frequent The Dukes Head and The Crispin, which are both in Denmark Street, were having to drink elsewhere after the departure of their landlords resulted in the closure of the venues.
The heaviest snowfall for 30 years had cost the taxpayer an additional £180,000, it was revealed.
The cost of deploying extra resources to keep routes clear, schools open and rubbish lorries on the road was totted up by Wokingham Borough Council in a report on the spate of extreme weather.
The council had feared it would cost £272,000, however negotiations with contractors who provided extra manpower to keep roads clear reduced this figure.
The £180,000 includes £100,000 in costs for staffing and £80,000 in lost revenue from leisure centres and car parks that were underused by the public in the cold snap earlier in the year.
Despite the extra resources, the council still received dozens of complaints during the cold snap about roads that were not cleared while gritters were focusing their efforts on primary routes and unemptied bins.
During December 2009 and January 2010 the council used 3,000 tonnes of salt on its roads and pavements. In a normal winter it would use 1,500 tonnes of salt.
Young T-birds and Pink Ladies sang the songs of Danny, Sandy and the Rydell High gang when they took to the stage.
Wokingham Borough Council’s youth service organised a four-day performing arts workshop at Arborfield Village Hall for teenagers to learn dances, songs and scenes from the 1970s movie Grease.
The workshop ended with a special performance for friends and families of the teenagers, who also received a certificate of achievement.