Saturday, 23 January 2010

Local Blog: Bracknell Forest Council's Budget

Bracknell Forest Council annual budget public consultation exercise ends on 26 January 2010. This can be viewed at

The council's income for the leisure services it provides has reduced and of course there is a vast amount of money still tied up in the Icelandic bank (around £5million). This means that the council will have to become more prudent in 2010.

It appears that a number of cuts to services have been proposed amounting too £3,243k. These among others include (taken from the document);

Efficiency Savings

Homeless Families -Reduction in families living in bed and breakfast accommodation by providing rent deposits for accommodation in the private sector. £125k

Better Commissioning - Offer home care providers a common Bracknell Forest rate. £110k

Service Efficiencies -Speedier collection of debts, rationalisation of the printer estate, processing of benefits, increased income and efficiencies within Forestcare and the restructuring and consolidation of internal postal services. £100k

Day Care Services - The council proposes to consult on the reprovision of services delivered at the Downside Day Care Centre. This saving is subject to the outcome of that consultation process. £75k

Collaborative Procurement - Based on the delivery of additional corporate contracts and the realisation of further collaborative procurement opportunities with neighbouring authorities. £70k

CCTV - Monitoring of the CCTV cameras will be undertaken locally rather than contracted to a neighbouring authority. £61k

Reduction in Back Office Costs

Finance - Reduction in insurance premiums and claims, together with a reorganisation of the accountancy service. Reduction in the provision of finance support within departments. £115k

Information Technology - Savings in licence costs and the loss of one post providing desk top services. £100k

Print Unit - Improved productivity of the in house print and graphic design team. £70k

Cultural Services - Restructure resulting in reduction of one post. £50k

Policy and Performance - Reduction of one post within Environmental Health and Trading Standards. £49k

Human Resources

Reduction in learning and development support and health and safety advice. £34k

Reduced Demand/Additional Services

Looked After Children - Reduction in placements with Independent Fostering Agencies and a reduction in the number of disabled children placements. £360

Planning - The economic impact of the recession has resulted in a reduction in major planning applications. This, together with more streamlined processes means the loss of two posts. £91k

Cemetery and Crematorium Fees - An increase in charges above the inflation rate £80k

Student Finance - Reduced workload as function transfers to the Student Loans Company £20k

Reduction in Services

Highway Maintenance - Surface dressing, which involves the spraying and addition of chippings to an existing road service will no longer be undertaken. This should have a limited short term impact. £315k

Libraries - A reduction in the budget for the purchase of books and audio visual materials, together with a reduction in the opening hours of the main library in Bracknell £70.

Look In - Either close the facility or transfer to the voluntary sector to run as a community facility. £60k

Parks, Open Spaces & Countryside - Reduce maintenance and change the Ranger service from seven days a week to five days a week £55k

Coral Reef - Withdraw the 6.30am to 9.30am Monday to Friday ‘early bird’ session. £25k

Dog Control - The Council will no longer collect stray dogs or undertake patrols to minimise the level of dog fouling. £23k

I do not want to see a reduction in services myself. I personally would prefer a reduction in the use of consultants and some of the higher paid staff within the council (thoses earning over £50k say).

I also do not want to see an increase in council tax. I would prefer some of the services to be saved using the reserves of the council (say £120k) as well as an increase in the charges for say early morning swimming (after all this is better than not having the service) or collecting books at later hours from the library.

You can email any comments to the Borough Treasurer at or sent to the Borough Treasurer, Bracknell Forest Council, Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, RG12 1AQ.

I have emailed my concerns to the Treasurer, Please do the same.

Alternatively the budget is being discussed as item 9 on the agenda at the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on Thursday, 28 January 2010 7.30 pm. This meeting is open to the public.

To see the BFC document click on this link


  1. Thanks for the summary. Also to say the council tax going up again:
    • cutting out three men and a pick-up teams that move leaves around each autumn,
    • cutting out painting lines all over the roads,
    • cutting out signage – ‘blooming diversity’,
    • cutting out any more street furniture,
    • cutting the officious staff at the dump,
    • cutting out on the BFC propaganda sheet ,
    • cutting out anything to do with AGW.
    There, it’s easy really, I’ve just worked that out and I am not even the Chief Person at the Council on £Mega1000’s. So he can be cut as well.

  2. I hope you sent those in Realaler

  3. great blog for Forest Council..
    accommodation in bracknell - The council's earnings for the enjoyment solutions it provides has decreased and of course there is a number of cash still linked up in the Icelandic financial institution (around £5million).