How your money is spent 2022 to 2023

Buildings and trees in Bracknell Town Centre

Council tax is a property based tax collected by Bracknell Forest Council. The money goes towards funding council services such as:

  • education
  • libraries
  • highways
  • street lighting
  • refuse collection

Council tax 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.


Preparations for the council’s 2022 to 2023 budget started last September.

Once again, over the course of the autumn there was uncertainty around the on-going impact of Covid-19, the level of government financial support for local authorities to respond to this and other pre-pandemic challenges.

The Spending Review announcement on 27 October provided some clarity around how local government funding would work out over the next 3 years.

Funding for individual councils was only announced for a single year, with a promise of significant changes from 2023 to 2024 to grant distribution.

Man emptying blue bin into a waste collection vehicle

With the government’s Levelling Up agenda aiming to bolster the struggling economies in less prosperous areas, authorities like Bracknell Forest in the south-east are looking at these future changes with some unease.

This, coupled with pressures on our service spending totalling £12 million from rising demand and inflation, has meant we have had to work particularly hard to deliver a balanced and sustainable budget this year.

As always, in proposing savings of almost £2.5 million, we have focused on minimising any impact on important, front-line services. We are drawing over £1 million from our reserves to help achieve that.

After being able to limit the council tax last year to well below the level permitted, we are having to raise it by 4.49% this year, which is £1.21 per week for a typical Band D property.

This increase allows us to continue to provide enough support to the most vulnerable people in our community.

We recognise that any increase is unwelcome and for some households may be unaffordable. For this reason, working age households in receipt of Council Tax Support will see a £100 reduction in their tax bill from 2022 to 2023.

This is being funded by Bracknell Forest Council and is in addition to other measures being taken by the government in relation to energy costs.

Any households who are struggling to keep up with their payments should contact Revenue Services who will be able to provide advice and support.

Your council tax bill

Your council tax bill is made up of 4 charges:

  1. The cost of the services provided by Bracknell Forest Council (including the levy made by the Environment Agency).
  2. The cost of  services provided by your parish or town council.
  3. The cost of services provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner of the Thames Valley (£241.28 for Band D).
  4. The cost of services provided by the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (£73.95 for Band D).

Full details are given in the leaflet below.

Table showing the amount that will be charged for an average band D home, depending on the parish area in the coming year.


Bracknell Forest Council (£)

Parish precept (£)

Other precepting bodies (£)

Total Band D charge (£)































Based on a tax base of 48,249 band D properties. These figures exclude any council tax relief you may be entitled to.

Environment agency

The Council Tax (Demand Notices) (England) Regulations 2011

The Environment Agency, as a levying body for its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Functions under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and the Environment Agency (Levies) (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, provides the following information:

The Environment Agency has powers in respect of flood and coastal erosion risk management for 5,200 kilometres of main river and along tidal and sea defences in the area of the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee. Money is spent on the construction of new flood defence schemes, the maintenance of the river system and existing flood defences together with the operation of a flood warning system and management of the risk of coastal erosion.

Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee financial details

2022 to 2023 (£'000)

2021 to 2022 (£'000)

Gross expenditure



Levies raised



Total council tax base



The majority of funding for flood defence comes directly from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). However, under the new Partnership Funding rule not all schemes will attract full central funding.

To provide local funding for local priorities and contributions for partnership funding the Committee recommends through the Environment Agency a Local Levy.

Changes in the gross budgeted expenditure between years reflect the programme of works for both capital and revenue. The total Local Levy raised has increased by 1.99% from £12.04 million in 2021 to 2022 to £12.28 million for 2022 to 2023.

Spending on your services

Every year the council delivers a wide range of services for people who live, work and study in the borough.

A revised organisational structure was introduced in September 2018 with the council now split into 3 main functional areas.

People directorate

Specific areas include:

  • Adult Social Care
  • Children and Families Social Care
  • Mental Health and Out of Hours
  • Schools
  • Commissioning
  • Learning and Achievement
  • Early Help and Communities
  • Public Health
Man using large hose to suck up leaves on the pavement

The directorate's services are 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.

Delivery directorate

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.

Central directorates

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.

General balances

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.

Parish precepts

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.

Parish councils

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.

Breakdown of spending

To view a breakdown of spending for 2022 to 2023 compared to 2020 to 2021, download the leaflet below.

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Major works and improvements

As well as the council’s spending on day-to-day services and how this is paid for, we also need to spend money called capital on maintaining our buildings (including schools, leisure centres and libraries), construction works such as major road and school improvements and buying equipment.

The council’s programme of capital works has been developed to be affordable, sustainable and prudent, with projects being carefully prioritised to help achieve the 6 strategic themes included in the Council Plan.

The council has developed a wide range of capital proposals. Spending for next year is planned to be approximately £12 million, of which just over £7 million will be funded directly by the council.

Aerial view of a crossroads junction

Some of the major projects in our programme include:

£2.7 million on major works at primary and secondary schools

£6.4 million on highways infrastructure maintenance and improvement 

£2.8 million on maintaining and investing in council buildings