Bracknell Forest Council is a unitary authority will all the seats up for election on Thursday. At present the Council has 39 Conservatives and three Labour councillors. A large majority of the wards have no candidates from the Lib Dems although Labour have put up a full tickets and hope to increase their modest number of councillors.
The Council leader Cllr Paul Bettison is an influential figure in local government. Bracknell Forest has one of the lowest council tax rates outside London. The parish precept varies but the Band D figure is around £1,350.
The Council has introduced “My Homebuy” a shared equity home buy scheme, that will see 13 people into their own home in 2011. They have reduced the cost of running the housing benefits system, and improved sanctions against benefits cheats. In terms of homelessness provision they have achieved a 20% reduction in the waiting list and have no families in long term bed and breakfast accommodation.
It is a green council which has reduced the amount of waste going to landfill and encouraged energy efficiency.
Future priorities include helping old people to stay in their own homes for longer through working together with the NHS.