Windsor & Maidenhead launches community 'pledge' scheme

Cleaning graffiti Image copyright Elvis
Image caption Cleaning graffiti is one of the council's pledge suggestions

People in part of Berkshire are being encouraged to make pledges to help their community.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is one of the first councils in England to launch a PledgeBank.

The pledges, from cleaning graffiti to organising a street party, can only be undertaken if other residents commit to the idea.

The Conservative council said the scheme helps it save money but also "results in a better social outcome".

Once a pledge is made, the council will check it fits the set criteria and then publish it online.

It comes after a failed Big Society scheme to get residents to donate savings in their council tax, which the council has cut for the past four years.

George Bathurst, cabinet member for policy and performance, said other schemes such as Green Redeem recycling rewards were a success.

He said: "No one wants to just hand over a cheque but everybody would like to do something for their community."

Mr Bathurst will make the first pledge to donate five Christmas food items to FoodBank if 10 other local people will do the same by 18 December.

Fiona Dent, Windsor's Labour candidate, said: "Volunteering creates strong bonds between people, reinforces their ideals and can provide the help people need in difficult times.

"However, we are living through difficult times now. Most people in the middle and lower incomes are a lot worse off than they were five years ago and they may well have more than one job to help pay the bills, leaving less time for volunteer activities."

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