Council Christmas information

13 December 2018


Reading Borough Council will be closed for all non-essential Council services this year for the Christmas and New Year period. Here is a list of when assorted services will be available over the holidays.

Green Party councillor Josh Williams said: "I know that Christmas is a positive time of year for many, but others struggle at this time of year. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

"On behalf of the Green Party I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year."

Civic Offices

The Civic Offices on Bridge Street will be shut to the public from 5pm on Friday December 21st and will re-open again to the public at 9am on Wednesday January 2nd. The Call Centre will similarly be closed during the same period.

If members of the public need to contact the Council outside of opening days, they can call Reading Borough Council’s out of hours number for any emergencies on 0118 937 3737.

Adult Social Care

The Adult Social Care department will be running a reduced service over the Christmas period. This will be to support individuals who require urgent assistance on the, 24th, 27th, 28th and 31st of December, with normal services in place again from 2nd of January 2019. There will be no service on the 25th and 26th December and the 1st January.

The out of hours service will be running as normal, which covers outside normal office hours, weekends and bank holidays. People can call 01344 786 543.

Brighter Futures for Children

Brighter Futures for Children (the new Council-owned company created to provide Children’s Services for Reading) will be running a reduced service over the Christmas period. In order to support individuals who require urgent assistance, the service will be running on the 24th, 27th, 28th and 31st of December. Normal services will be in place again from January 2nd.

The out of hours service will be running as normal, which covers outside normal office hours, weekends and bank holidays. People can call 0118 937 3641.

Leisure Centres

Opening and closing times of Reading Sport and Leisure run services over the Christmas period are as follows. Please check with individual centres for details of available sessions or go to 

South Reading Leisure Centre:

  • Dec 24 to Dec 28: Closed
  • Dec 29 and Dec 30: 8am – 4pm
  • Dec 31 and Jan 1: Closed

Meadway Sports Centre:

  • Dec 24: 8am – 2pm
  • Dec 25 and Dec 26: Closed
  • Dec 27 and 28: 8am – 2pm
  • Dec 29 and 30: Closed
  • Dec 31: 8am – 2pm
  • Jan 1: Closed

Palmer Park

  • Dec 24 to Dec 26: Closed
  • Dec 27 to Dec 31: 8am – 3pm
  • Jan 1: Closed

Rivermead (operated by GLL)

  • Dec 23: 7.30am – 6pm
  • Dec 24: 6.30am – 2pm
  • Dec 25 and Dec 26: Closed
  • Dec 27 and Dec 28: 6.30am – 6pm
  • Dec 29 and Dec 30: 7.30am – 6pm
  • Dec 31: 6.30am – 2pm
  • Jan 1: Closed

Normal opening hours apply after these dates.


Reading’s libraries will be open as normal until Christmas Eve, and all libraries will be open on Saturday December 22nd.

Reading Central and Tilehurst libraries will be open until 1pm on Christmas Eve. All other libraries will be closed on Christmas Eve.

All libraries will then be closed until Thursday January 3rd, when usual opening times apply, except Palmer Park which will reopen on Wednesday January 2nd.

No items will be due back during this time. Reading Libraries’ ebook and emagazine service will remain available at

See for more detail on usual individual branch opening hours.

Museum, Town Hall, Hexagon and South Street

The Museum and Town Hall will be closed from 23 December to New Year’s Day.  The Museum’s last opening day will be Saturday December 22 and it will re-open on Wednesday January 2nd. See for up to date opening hours.

The Hexagon Theatre will be open for performances as usual. See for more information. It will be shut on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

South Street will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day. More information at

The Register Office

The Register office, now based at the Civic offices on Bridge Street, will be open by appointment only on Monday December 24th,  as well as on the 27, 28 and 31 of December 2018. It will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.  Appointments can be made anytime online on

If you need to arrange a funeral quickly and it is for religious reason, the funeral director or a council approved Licensee will normally liaise with the Register Office and Henley Road Cemetery outside of normal working hours.

Bins, Recycling and Christmas Trees

The Recycling Centre on Island Road is open during the holiday period, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Opening times are 8am to 6pm, except for Christmas Eve, when the centre closes at 4pm. As usual, bin collection days will change over the Christmas and New Year period. People can check their collection calendar or visit

On the first collection after Christmas people can leave out an extra bag of rubbish next to their grey bin, and any extra recycling can be left in a cardboard box next to their red bin or box. Garden waste collections will finish as usual for the festive season on December 21st and begin again on January 7th.

Over the Christmas period, we generate an additional 30% more waste and 70% of this can be recycled. People are being urged to recycle as much of it as possible.

This year, you can recycle even more… Christmas cards, wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, clean foil and foil trays, tetra paks, plastic tubs and trays in addition to plastic bottles can go in your red bins. Please put your recycling in your bin or box loose, and not in plastic bags. Please take your glass bottles and jars to the many bottle banks around Reading to be recycled into glass products, and in some cases house insulation or astro turf. Residents can download the free re3cyclopedia app to check for recyclable items or to find their nearest glass banks, and can view their collection days.

Make room for your new presents including clothes and toys by donating old gifts to your local charity shop, extend their life, it could be just the thing that someone else is looking for. Please remember that all textiles and clothes that don’t make it to charity should be put in the textile banks at your nearest textile recycling bank and NOT in your grey or red bins. A full list of items you can and can’t recycle – and where you can do it – can be found at

Christmas Tree recycling sites open on January 4th and stay open until  January 18th. They will be in car parks at the following locations:

  • Mapledurham Playing Fields
  • Clayfield Copse
  • Hills Meadow
  • Rivermead Leisure Complex
  • Kensington Road Recreation Ground
  • Prospect Park
  • Meadway Recreation Ground
  • Tilehurst allotments, Armour Hill
  • Palmer Park Sports Stadium
  • Whitley Wood Recreation Ground
  • South Reading Leisure Centre (Academy Sport) Northumberland Avenue

The trees will be chipped by the Council and used in a range of landscaping schemes across the Borough. Residents are being advised not to be alarmed if they see piles of trees as it takes a few days to get round to each location.

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