Tax freeze part of council's budget

Published: 19 Feb 2013 12:000 comments

COUNCILLORS are set to rubber stamp the Bracknell Forest budget next week - including another freeze in council tax.

Subject to approval by the full council, the authority's share of the tax will not change for 2013/14, with the annual bill for a band D property staying at £1,093.95.

The council will receive less money from central government and says there will be efficiencies, though no major cuts in services or staff.

Bracknell Forest's total revenue budget is set to be £73.7m.

Speaking after last Wednesday's executive meeting, which recommended the proposed budget, Cllr Alan Ward, executive member for finance, was not anticipating any problems with councillors adopting the budget.

"Various members might want to debate individual issues within it, but I think we've got a good budget," he said. "We will have some challenges next year, but hopefully we can resolve them, we'll just have to make some careful decisions."

The council is also outlining a capital spending programme of £24m for 2013-14, including £5m on creating new school places and £3m on remodelling its offices at Time Square in Market Street, Bracknell, to cope with the transfer of staff from Seymour House. The latter is to be demolished along with other premises in Broadway to make way for the new town centre development.

Cllr Ward said: "I think it's worth noting that this is a very substantial capital programme and a lot of work will be done within the spending."

The council's balances at the beginning of 2013/14 is expected to be £9.9m.

The full council will meet in public in the council chamber of Easthampstead House next Wednesday, February 27, at 7.30pm - not Wednesday this week as was incorrectly stated in the Bracknell and Wokingham Midweek.

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