13 July 2022

7.30 - 8.45 pm



Councillors Bhandari (Mayor), Mrs L Gibson (Deputy Mayor), Allen, Atkinson, Dr Barnard, Bettison OBE, D Birch, Mrs Birch, Brossard, Brown, Finch, Ms Gaw, Gbadebo, MJ Gibson, Green, Harrison, Mrs Hayes MBE, Heydon, Kennedy, Kirke, Leake, Mrs Mattick, McLean, Ms Merry, Neil, Porter, Temperton, Turrell and Virgo


Present Virtually:

Councillors Angell, Bidwell, Dudley, Mrs Hamilton, Ms Hayes, Mrs McKenzie-Boyle, Skinner and Wade

Apologies for absence were received from:

Councillors Brunel-Walker, Mrs Ingham, Mrs McKenzie, Mossom and Parker



12.          Minutes of Previous Meetings

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 20 April, 18 May and 22 June 2022 be approved, and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.



13.          Declarations of Interest

Councillor Heydon declared an Affected Interest in agenda item 5, Executive report in relation to the decision regarding the Settled Site Development Plan for Coopers Hill as he a member of the Joint Venture Board.


Councillor Mrs Mattick declared a personal interest in agenda item 5, Executive report in relation to the decision regarding the Settled Site Development Plan for Coopers Hill.


Councillor Ms Merry declared a personal interest in agenda item 5, Executive report in relation to the decision regarding the Settled Site Development Plan for Coopers Hill.



14.          Mayor's Announcements

Supporting Ukrainian Arrivals


Councillor Bettison OBE, Leader of the Council reported that to date 154 individuals had registered to come to Bracknell Forest through the homes for Ukraine scheme and 86 guests were known to have arrived. He expanded that 50 DBS checks had been completed and 69 accommodation checks, 57 school places had been processed (28 homes for Ukraine and 29 family visa). 85 guests had been visited by the family link worker and 393 people were on the expressions of interest list and the council had plans and ability to re-match guests to new hosts. A supporting Ukraine event had been held at the Community Hub in Time Square which was attended by approximately 100 people from both. The event was attended by Department for Work and Pensions, the Open Learning Centre, Education, Housing, Community Safety Partnership, Engagement Team, social prescribers, NHS, Involve, Vsi Razom community group. Individual community contacts were being maintained through the Community Engagement Officer. Ongoing fortnightly engagement meetings were being organised with voluntary, community and faith groups to share information, address issues, problem solve and collaborate. Officers from the Chief Executive’s office were working with VSI Razom community group to support a 3-day community festival in Bracknell. Lexicon landlords (Schroders) had approved a licence for 21A-B Princess Square to set up a Community Hub for supporting Ukrainian families. This would be operated by the community group Vsi Razom and the Kerith Church had agreed to sign the agreement until such a time that Vsi Razom was able to do so themselves. Razom were being supported by the Involve, Kerith Centre, the council and other partners to launch the hub for an initial six-month period.


Binfield Health and Community Hub


The Mayor advised that the new Binfield Health and Community Centre had reached a key milestone in its construction on Monday 11 July, as the project team celebrated its topping out ceremony. The metal deck had been completed on top of the building which was made up of a double height hall, multi-use meeting and activity space, GP consultation and examination rooms and minor procedures room in the Blue Mountain site in Binfield.


Pineapple Awards


Timothy Wheadon, Chief Executive advised the meeting that the Bracknell Forest Giants event programme had won a prestigious placemaking award. Industry experts had agreed that the Bracknell Forest Giants, which captured the hearts and imaginations of Bracknell town visitors the previous August, were the worthy winners. He was pleased to confirm that the Giants would return to the town centre this summer as part of the Bracknell Forest Festival.


Energy Efficiency Awards.


Councillor Mrs Hayes, MBE, Executive Member for the Environment was pleased to report that Bracknell Forest Council had won the Regional Council or Local Authority Body of the Year award at the South East Regional Energy Efficiency Awards. Hazel Hill, Sustainable Energy Officer explained to the meeting that the Local Authority of the Year award recognised all the work achieved over the previous year, including:

·         conducting improvement work to the borough’s most fuel inefficient homes, almost 700 households in the past year

·         consulting with new developments in the borough to ensure they meet renewable energy requirements

·         bidding for government grants to fund future improvement work, such as insulation and cavity walls to make homes in the borough more energy efficient

·         identifying homes still using electric storage heaters and connecting them to the mains gas network

She stated that Bracknell Forest had been named as having the 5th lowest number of people in fuel poverty in the UK and the borough also had an average of a band C Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating across all its homes.


Bracknell Forest obesity project


Councillor Birch, Executive Member for Adult Social, Health and Housing announced to the meeting that the Public Health team were working with the University of Southampton on a project to reduce obesity levels. A Bullbrook resident, Kiran Meka, who is a senior research fellow at the University was leading the project bringing together a diverse team to create a whole system approach towards obesity in Bracknell Forest.


Local Fundraising


The Mayor advised the meeting that he had attended a local fundraising event to raise funds for Tara Cunningham Harris, an officer from the Council, who was battling bowel cancer. The Mayor reported that it was heart-warming to see so many people in the community supporting her cause and joining in the event which included an auction, live music and a raffle.  



15.          Executive Report

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bettison OBE, presented his report on the work of the Executive since that reported at the Council meeting on 28 April 2022. The Executive had met four times on 24 May, 1 June, 21 June and 7 July 2022.


The Leader highlighted the following matters that had been considered:


The Climate Change Strategy, first published in January 2021, included the requirement to provide annual updates to Council. The action plan consists of 46 projects and key projects delivered in 2021/22 included:

          Energy efficiency improvements

          Implementation of kerbside food waste collection and residual waste change

          Various highways initiatives improving active travel

          CO2 emissions reduced from 6,178 tonnes in 2019 to 5,028 tonnes in 2021

The Climate Change Annual Progress Report was recommended to Council.


The Executive had been updated on the Greening Waste Collection which was an important part of Climate Change Strategy. Food recycling was first introduced 1 March 2021 with residual refuse collection frequency extended to 3 weeks. Over 6,000 tonnes of food waste had been collected. Overall recycling rate increased from 43% to 56% with landfill rate reducing from 16% to 7%. This has resulted in Bracknell Forest Council now being in the top 40 authorities for recycling.


The Health & Wellbeing Strategy produced by the Health & Wellbeing Board as a strategy for the whole Borough was endorsed by the Executive. The strategy included six priorities:

          Give all children the best start in life

          Provide mental health

          Community connections

          Safety from infectious diseases

          Improve years lived in good health/happiness

          Secure funds for Health & Wellbeing Board priorities

These were underpinned by cross cutting themes of:

          Reducing health inequalities

          Creating healthy environment

          Enhancing seamless care

          Community development for wellness

The strategy dovetailed with the Frimley Integrated Care System strategic ambitions and Council Plan.


The two storey, four x five-bedroom building to support adults with learning disabilities would be built for Bridgewell Supported Living and was an important step in modernising residential care services. The procurement of landlord and care/support provider and strategic procurement for design and build agreed


A Household Support Fund of £185k had been provided by Department for Work and Pensions but local schemes were needed within guidance framework

          Supermarket vouchers  of £15/child/week to cover Summer/October holiday to children qualifying for free school meals

          Qualifying pension age household (in receipt of housing benefit/Council Tax reduction): one off £100 supermarket voucher in June

          Low income working age disabled and carer households: £50 supermarket voucher

          Care Leavers: £50 supermarket voucher


A local extension to mandatory Council Tax Energy Rebate was agreed with a focus on care leavers and support to working age and pensioner households in Council Tax Band E – H who received Income Tax Council Tax support.


The Special Education Needs and Disability Written Statement of Action (WSOA) was submitted to Department for Education/Ofsted following the Special Executive meeting on 6 June 2022. The action plan was co-produced with partner organisations, schools and parents. The WSOA was signed off as ‘fit for purpose’ without modifications by DfE/Ofsted.


A one year extension to Look Ahead was awarded for accommodation based housing related support.


Design and construction support procurement plans were agreed.


Community Hub operator for Bucklers Park plan was agreed.


Coopers Hill Settled Development Plan would be developed by Bracknell Forest Cambian Partnership which is a joint venture between Bracknell Forest Council & Countryside. The settled plan allowed for 52 new homes including 25% affordable homes. This was recommended to Council.


The report contained recommendations that the Council was asked to resolve in respect of the following matter:

·         Climate Change Action Plan Annual Progress Report

·         Coopers Hill Settled Development Plan


Councillor Temperton asked when the first set of measurable SEND outcomes would be would be reported to Council to see the progress that had been made. Councillor Dr Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning responded that these would be available from September onwards and that the SEND Performance Board was currently scoping out what that would look like. Education, Health and Care Plan were now being delivered in a timely manner. He reported that it had been feedback that the plan had been co-produced. He stated that he was keen that performance measures related to tangible outcomes for the borough’s young people, that the Overview and Scrutiny review recommendations would be responded to in terms of what could be taken forward.


Councillor Temperton was disappointed that only 5% of the local borough’s businesses had set deadlines for their climate change commitment. She asked when the progress of discussions to encourage them would be reported. Councillor Bettison OBE, Leader confirmed that it would be reported as and when it was possible to do so and would not wait for the next annual report. He confirmed that he and Councillor Mrs Hayes would discuss with Councillor Brunel-Walker and James Sunderland, MP how they could promote engagement through their business contacts and in particular the MPs’ business breakfasts. 


Councillor Bidwell asked when the SEND action plan referred to would be shared. Councillor Dr Barnard explained that the action plan appended to the Written Statement of Action (WSOA) at the Executive meeting in June was available on the Council’s website as part of the papers, but that as new activities became available it would evolve and be updated.


Climate Change Action Plan Annual Progress Report


On the proposition of Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE, Executive Member for the Environment, seconded by Councillor Virgo it was


RESOLVED that the Climate Change Action Plan Annual Progress Report, as circulated with the supplementary report, be noted and approved.


Coopers Hill Settled Development Plan


Having declared an interest Councillors Heydon, Mrs Mattick and Ms Merry left the meeting before the item began.


On the proposition of Councillor Bettison OBE, Leader of the Council, seconded by Councillor Birch it was


RESOLVED that the Settled Site Development Plan for Coopers Hill as proposed by the Bracknell Forest Cambian Partnership as set out in Annex A (of the Executive Report), land drawdown when conditions have been met and the Council’s equal share of funding approved to undertake this development up to a peak requirement of £4.79m be approved.



16.          Annual Standards Report

Council considered the report advising Council of activity within its Standards framework from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.
























For further information contact: Kirsty Hunt