Welcome to the "end of term" Community Report that has been published by the Conservative Group of Bracknell Forest Council. To keep resident informed of the work of your Councillors, we publish an annual report which is delivered to every home in the Borough. At the end of every Council period - every 4 years -we produce a "Community Report" that gives a summary of all our achievements since the last election
As a Conservative led Council we are proud of our achievements in delivering for our residents. This report gives just a summary of the many accomplishments that we have delivered on your behalf. Bracknell Forest Council has one of the lowest Council tax levels of any unitary authority in England. And although we have faced cuts to our core budget from central government of more than £25m, we have made no cuts to essential service, and we have invested millions in our libraries, leisure, our town centre - and most importantly in frontline services that you use day after day.
Thank you for taking the time to check out some of the facts that underpin a very strong Conservative-controlled council that has delivered the facilities and services that you have come to expect from one of the most successful councils in the country. We have nationally recognised awards to prove it. Our track record on handling your money is second to none and we have been able to adjust to “life on less” without cuts to essential services, in fact we are now doing more with less.
The highlights of our achievements are set out in our Community Report which I commend to you as I am sure you will find it an amazing “end-of-term” report.
I could not list our most significant successes without mentioning the opening of The Lexicon. Our fantastic new town centre allowed the community to welcome The Queen, which was a huge privilege for us all. But there is more to come as we bring forward the next phases of the town centre regeneration.
There are those who seek to misinform residents about the success your council has achieved. To combat these people, who often use social media to scare residents with negative stories about cuts and poor service, I draw your attention to the facts contained within this site.
What we have done is to totally transform how we deliver the services you need. This has allowed us to redirect resources and to get our local partners to work together to deliver what is needed. It has allowed us to deliver to a growing number of people, particularly our residents in most need, a wider range of services whilst at the same time reduce the cost of the service. I can say very clearly that no one who is assessed as needing social care, of whatever age, gets anything less than they are entitled to.
Our schools get the money the government passes to us according to a formula and indeed we have supported our schools with additional money, £1million in the coming year and excellent support through our school improvement team. Since 2015 we have delivered the King’s Academy school in Binfield which will see children able to stay at the same school from reception to 6th form.
We have a very successful housing operation which manages the difficult task of allocating the right property to those in need of a home. In the last year alone, our housing options team have helped 229 families avoid being made homeless. We have reduced the number of people in bed and breakfast accommodation outside the borough by buying our own homes to put them in.
When we are out meeting residents on our regular walkabouts you tell us that “it’s great round here.” You like it because you are never far from one of our award-winning parks or open spaces or our amazing leisure facilities like the unique Coral Reef Waterworld, The Look Out or Downshire Golf course.
One of the most important areas you engage with us on is development and “why do we need more houses?”. The answer is the cold hard fact that there are more people who want a home especially our younger residents who do not want to move too far away from Mum and Dad. To ensure we had control of what development went where we delivered a strong Local Plan.
Bracknell Forest has remained one of the healthiest places in the country to live for a number of reasons, one being how closely your council works with health and care providers and how we have concentrated on keeping the borough clean and green.
There is a lot of misinformation and fake news around so I am pleased to be able to direct you to the facts contained in this site so that you can see that the Conservatives really have delivered you a great place to live, work and play.
Councillor Paul Bettison OBE
Leader of the Council