Council tax is a property based tax collected by Bracknell Forest Council. The money collected in council tax goes towards funding council services such as:
It is also spent on services provided by:
It is not a direct payment for services and you need to pay whether you use these services or not.
Introduction from Timothy Wheadon, Chief Executive
Preparations for the council’s 2020 to 2021 budget started last summer against a backdrop of unprecedented levels of demand for services and uncertainty around government funding.
In the current year we have seen the costs of providing social care services to vulnerable children and adults increase to £6 million above the budgeted levels. Such increases are not unknown in local authorities and reflect both the rising number of people requiring support and the high costs of providing complex care needs.
We have sought in-year savings across all services to make sure that the budget is not overspent. However, this set the scene for the 2020 to 2021 budget, with service pressures of £8 million overall requiring a much harder examination of all areas of expenditure than ever before. Savings totalling almost £5 million have been identified and we will look to work closely with the small number of service users potentially affected to make sure any impact on them is minimised.
Looking ahead, the government has committed to introducing significant changes to the local government funding system in 2021 to 2022. Much of the detail is still unknown, however Bracknell Forest is set to lose the benefit of a significant growth in business rates income it has seen in recent years, which is helping fund the council’s current revenue budget.
Given the current funding gap and our expectation that this will increase in 2021 as a result of the new system, next year’s budget is based on a council tax increase of 3.99%. Of this, 2% is to fund additional social care costs and the remainder helps support the overall budget. This represents an additional £1 per week for an average Band D property and will contribute an extra £2.4 million of on-going funding.
Even with this increase and the additional one-off government grant, we will still need to use £0.4 million from the council’s reserves to balance the budget and maintain services. The council understands that no increase in council tax is welcome. We will, of course, continue to review and wherever possible transform all our services for residents in order to both reduce their cost and secure a sustainable future for them.
For residents, the new directorate will result in improved services focused on delivering the right support for all residents of Bracknell Forest, when they need it, and empowering them to get the best out of life. It aims to provide the best possible opportunities for our young people by providing effective support and challenge to our schools and to keep everyone, whatever their age, connected to their community, family and friends and able to access the right opportunities they need to thrive. Another key outcome is to keep more families safely together and, by providing the right support at the right time, enable people to live as independently and well as possible, for as long as possible.
Has responsibility for major contracts covering areas such as waste management and the provision of leisure facilities with our partner Everyone Active. Also provides services directly to the public including customer and electoral services, libraries and the cemetery and crematorium. Provides legal, property management and ICT support services.
Responsible for providing strategic financial, organisational development, transformation and HR leadership to the council and support and advice to other directorates. Leads on the place shaping of the borough dealing with both day-to-day and long-term planning, open space provision, highways maintenance, transport planning and the ongoing regeneration of Bracknell town centre. Aims to create a borough where the economy can thrive and sustainable growth is positively planned for.
When managing such a large budget we need to make sure we have enough money to cover any unexpected emergencies.
The amount of money we are using this year from balances which we already have “in the bank” to support the cost of our services.
This is the amount of money your local parish or town council requires to run services in that area. Each individual parish precept for an average band D home is outlined in the leaflet below.
Your parish council is the first tier of local government. It is closest to the people it represents. The elected members in each of Bracknell Forest’s 6 parishes work closely with community groups and Bracknell Forest Council to provide services relevant to each area. They vary in size and population but each tailors its services and spending to its community. Some are predominantly urban, and others more rural.
Their work often includes local environmental work in parks and play areas, provision of sports pitches and open spaces, play equipment and allotments. Some run community halls and services for young people and all give grants to help local groups. All of them have staff who can help you with information on local groups and parish and borough-wide services.
Contact your parish council to learn more, by telephone or by visiting its website. It is there to serve you and your local needs. Your input helps it provide the right services for your parish.