Agenda item

Executive Report

To receive the Leader’s report on the work of the Executive since the Council meeting held on 24 May 2023.


Council is asked to resolve a recommendation in respect of:


·        Part Refurbishment of Bracknell Leisure Centre




The Leader of the Council, Councillor Temperton, presented the report on the work

of the Executive since that reported at the Council meeting on 19 April 2023. The

Executive had met once on the 20 June 2023.

The Leader highlighted the following matters that had been considered:

Culture, Delivery and Public Protection | Part Refurbishment of Bracknell Leisure Centre

·   Additional investment into Bracknell Leisure Centre, combining borrowing and the release of section 106 funding as outlined in option 2 of the paper was agreed.

·   Bracknell Leisure Centre was a strategic council asset and was at the core of providing sporting and leisure opportunities for the borough’s residents and visitors delivered by Everyone Active.

·   Investment into the service offer was critical if it was to remain relevant, up-to-date and attractive to existing and potential visitors.


Councillor Harrison asked what the plans were regarding consulting the Bracknell Forest residents on spending money on the leisure facilities. Councillor Jefferies, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public, responded that the first stage of the process would focus on the existing structure, but a Sport and Leisure Strategy would be brought forward to look at a replacement of the current leisure centre.

Children, Young People & Learning | SEND Strategy 2023-2025

·   Progress made on implementing the SEND written statement of action to improve services to children and families had been noted.

·   The council had secured £1m through the Government’s Delivering Better Value in SEND programme and secured DfE commitment to build a new specialist Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) special school in the borough.

·   The release of £350,000 from the council’s corporate contingency, included in the 2023/24 budget, had been approved to fund additional short-term staffing capacity within the SEND team.


Councillor Barnard asked about the welcome investment of the £350,000 from the council’s corporate contingency for short term recruitment in SEN and whether recruitment of the right people for these roles would be possible, as he had recently attended a conference where there had been issues raised about recruitment of specialists in these areas. Councillor Temperton, Leader of the Council, responded that the Council were already out to recruit in these areas, and it was looking positive.

The Executive Director: People, Grainne Siggins, would provide a detailed response on the recruitment outside of the meeting.

Councillor Temperton also confirmed that progress would be reported in the quarterly reports, which would now be going to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission ahead of Executive for the first time ever.

Council Strategy and Climate Change | Financial Hardship Action Plan Update

·   Initiatives to address the local cost of living challenges to be delivered over the next 100 days had been endorsed and accelerated.

·   The existing Financial Hardship Action Plan would be reviewed with a report back to Executive in autumn ahead of winter 2023.

·   There continues to be significant financial pressures facing many households in the borough, addressing this was a priority for the new administration.

·   The recommendations provided continued and enhanced support to those most in need.


Council Strategy and Climate Change | Council Plan Overview Report

·   The performance of the council over the period from January to March 2023 highlighted in the Overview Report had been noted.

·   At the end of the quarter, 98 actions (83%) were rated as green (68 complete, 30 in progress) and 17 actions (14%) were amber and 3 actions (3%) were red.

·   Progress against key performance indicators across the council was also very positive with 29 (45%) green, 4 (6%) were amber and 10 (15%) were red. 21 (32%) further indicators had no set target or data is currently unavailable and one indicator had been removed as this data was not recorded as part of the Children’s Social Care scorecard.


Adult Services, Health and Housing | Strategic Procurement Plan Opladen Way Development

·   The Strategic Procurement Plan for the Opladen Way development was approved. This would tender the appointment of a main contractor, under a traditional building contract, to create up to seven new temporary homes.

·   The award of the works contract would be delegated to the Executive Member for Finance and Business Change in consultation with the Executive Director Delivery.

·   In February 2023, the Executive had approved the capital expenditure for the implementation of a temporary homes facility. This would be a council-led development to provide up to seven new temporary homes for homeless households and would include a mix of single person and family homes, which would be provided at affordable rents.


The report contained recommendations that the Council was asked to resolve in

respect of the following matters:

·   Part Refurbishment of Bracknell Leisure Centre


Part Refurbishment of Bracknell Leisure Centre

On the proposition of Councillor Jefferies, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection seconded by Councillor Bidwell it was RESOLVED that Council approve a Supplementary Capital Approval with the associated borrowing costs already accounted for within the option 2 figures.


Councillor Temperton, Leader of the Council, provided an update on the Council Plan and highlighted some achievements of the new administration since May.


Council Plan

·   Work was underway to develop the new Council Plan.

·   The Council Plan sets the vision and strategy for the next four years and the refresh ensures that it reflected commitments to residents.

·   It would incorporate the insights from council staff and local data. 

·   There were a number of key changes that would be made to the plan, reflecting priorities as a new administration and were likely to be incorporated under the broad themes of Communities, Economy and the Environment. 

·   Protecting our planet and reducing carbon emissions were hugely important, and actions to address and monitor this would be one part of the new plan. 

·   Being out in the community, bringing the council to citizens and making sure that residents are at the heart of every decision would also all be key parts of the new plan.

·   It had already been detailed how residents would be supported through the cost of living crisis over the next 100 days, taking services out into the community where they would have the best effect.

·   There was a lot of good work already happening so this would continue to feature in the new plan. 

·   The aim was to finalise the plan in the autumn where it would be presented back to full Council.


Over the past few months, there had been lots to celebrate, including:

The launch of Craft Coop in Princess Square

A community interest company that sells arts and crafts made by local people, supported artists with their businesses and offered craft activities and events to local people. 

The Neurodiversity Umbrella Project 

Celebrating the strength and abilities of neurodivergent people. The art was installed in Braccan Walk South in May and aimed to raise awareness and understanding of our cognitive and learning differences.

Bracknell Forest Pride 

The borough’s first pride event was held on 10 June with thousands of people enjoying the pride event. The event, which was co-designed with the LGBTQIA+ community, was all about acceptance, equality and celebration.

Transformed the Bagshot Road underpass (Sainsbury’s roundabout)

New artwork, hand painted by artist Lynne Hollingsworth and her team, had breathed new life into the area, making it a more welcoming space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Armed Forces Week

We said thank you to our armed forces personnel, their families and veterans in June. We were able to join a special flag raising ceremony, organised by Sandhurst Town Council, to give thanks as well as raising the flag outside Time Square.

Launched the Summer Walks for Wellbeing programme 

This enabled residents to achieve a healthier body and mind through a series of guided walks around our beautiful borough. 

Launched Solar Together

This enabled residents to invest in renewable energy through a group-buying scheme. It offered solar power installations so residents could afford cleaner and greener energy.

Bracknell Forest Community Day 

A reimagined version of this event was held on 8 July, having been codesigned with various community representatives. It offered music, dance, food and activities from a variety of cultures and communities from across Bracknell Forest.

Extending Frost Folly 

The public open space in Warfield had been extended. The natural open space had doubled in size so more people could enjoy activities like walking and watching the wildlife.

Good Ofsted for Bracknell Forest Community Learning 

The service based at the Bracknell Open Learning Centre had been praised by inspectors for helping learners enjoy courses, find new skills and grow in confidence.


Supporting documents: