Polls open for the 2019 local elections in less than a week.

This week Bracknell News will be bringing you statements from candidates standing in all 18 wards.

Scroll down and you'll find out a bit about who your candidates are, why they want to be elected and who they're standing for. 

In Binfield with Warfield ward, voters will be asked to choose three councillors from the list on their ballot paper. 

You can find your nearest polling station at the bottom of this story.

Residents can vote from 7am - 10pm on Thursday, May 2. 

Ankur Bhandari (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Ankur BhandariAnkur Bhandari

“Ankur became a resident of Bracknell Forest Borough Council in 2005, with his wife and their 2-month-old son, and they have called Bracknell home ever since. In 2009 their daughter was born here and they started their business locally. He has been a very proud resident of the town and has seen its development and challenges over the years

"Ankur has experience in the Consumer Goods & Services sector and has worked in more than 40 countries which has given him the opportunity to work with multiple nationalities and perspectives.

"Ankur uses his experience for wider community benefit by:

"1. Being a Guest Lecturer at the University of London

"2. Being a Mentor to Marketing Professionals through his membership of the Livery company of The Worshipful Company of Marketors.

"3. Supporting skill development by providing pro bono work through his business.

"Ankur feels that it is time for him to give back to the town that has given him some of the happiest moments in life. He wants to work towards making our Borough the happiest place to live for individuals and families that is supported through good education, employment, sustainable environment and by being the safest place to live.”

Lorraine Copley (Labour)

Bracknell News: Lorraine CopleyLorraine Copley

“I have always been an advocate of fairness and justice, my involvement in trade union activities saw me lobbying MPs in my early 20s. Currently working in retail, I have experience in telecommunications, customer service and the funeral industry. Having lived within the Bracknell Forest borough most of my life, I see this election as a real opportunity to use my local knowledge and experiences to help create a fairer community; For the many, not the few.”

Richard Francis (Liberal Democrat)

Bracknell News: Richard FrancisRichard Francis

"My name is Richard Francis, and I have been working in business since 1992 and specialise in finance. I have 2 daughters and have been living in Bracknell since 2006 but my association with the town dates back to 1999 when I started working here.

"My motivation for getting involved in local politics was a result of attending full council meetings where it became clear that the vast majority of council decisions are taken behind closed doors with very little scrutiny as result of the fact that there is only one opposition councillor. This is allowing decisions impacting the welfare of all of our residents to go unchallenged with the result of some very poor examples of value for tax payers money whether it be the LED lighting debacle, the mishandling of the Sports Centre and Coral Reef redevelopment or the fact that Downshire Way has been dug up at least three times in the last five years.

"If elected I plan to put my many years of experience in business to use and provide some real scrutiny to the decisions impacting local residents’ lives."

John Harrison (Conservative)

Bracknell News: John HarrisonJohn Harrison

“I have lived in Binfield for 25 years. Like many people in the ward, I work hard to earn a living but I also value our area as a great place to live so I am active in our supporting our community. I have represented the ward of Binfield, then Binfield with Warfield on Bracknell Forest Council since 1997.

“In our ward we have gained new open spaces for recreation and I will continue to press for safer routes to school for local children that allow for walking and cycling to be safer options. 

“I have been pleased to be able to help many individuals and families with issues and ensure you have representation when you need it most. 

“On the council I am chairman of the adult social care and housing scrutiny panel, working to ensure that most older people who need help get the quality of service they deserve and that we help people with housing needs in innovative ways. I also work with Healthwatch to hold the local NHS to account. 

“As part of the Conservative team, I know the council has no money of its own. I will always be mindful that it is your hard-earned money that the council spends and work to make sure that council tax is no higher than it has to be.”

Ian Leake (Conservative)

Bracknell News: Ian LeakeIan Leake

“I am asking for your vote on 2nd May not just because I have lived in Binfield for almost 30 years and having played an active part in our community by serving as both a Borough and Parish Councillor.

“I am seeking your support because I really care about our local area and have a record of standing up for it.

“Whether it be the time I spent on the church PCC or supporting my grandson at Binfield FC, I know our village and will safeguard our valued green spaces whilst campaigning for more (e.g. Cabbage Hill) and ensuring any development is as sympathetic as possible to our environment. These are my key priorities in achieving the difficult balance of housing and protecting the village identity.

“Important infrastructure, GP services, maintaining and improving roads to ease traffic flow and fixing potholes are vital to our daily lives. So too are improving utilities, drainage capacity and better broadband; all necessary to improve the lives of local people. I will work tirelessly to achieve these.

“Working with you, there is much we can achieve together; resisting speculative over-development and delivering community facilities that will both enhance and sustain our community.”

Eric Pilmoor (Labour)

Bracknell News: Eric PilmoorEric Pilmoor

“I grew up in Binfield and have spent the last 30 years here.

“I have a MSC in Environmental Science, Legislation and Management and an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. I have worked in multinational engineering and IT companies. I have also worked for Reading Borough Council. For the last three years, I have supported the local community helping with toddler groups, elderly people’s group, and homeless shelter and support groups. I am fully aware of what must be done to improve and sustain the wellbeing of the local environment. We need to encourage growth and development but without causing overcrowding, traffic problems and air/sound pollution. I want Binfield to be the safest and greenest area in Bracknell forest.”

Andrew Walker (Labour)

Bracknell News: Andrew WalkerAndrew Walker

“I have lived in Wykery Copse for the last 5 years, the part of Binfield on the other side of the A329M. Many people like me are attracted to the area by new investment in housing, businesses and infrastructure. I would support opportunities for residents old and new to come together, to discuss local issues and concerns, for the benefit of everyone in our village.

“I will ensure Binfield’s new community facilities are run effectively and efficiently for all of us. Together, I trust we can meet the needs of residents in an expanding area of Bracknell.

“I have four children and am a Transport Engineering Compliance Manager of thirty years experience.”

Nearest polling stations

Binfield Memorial Hall, Terrace Road South, Binfield, Bracknell RG42 4DJ

Farley Wood Centre, Turnpike Road, Binfield, Bracknell RG42 1FW

Newbold College, St Mark's Rd, Bracknell RG42 4AN

Jennett’s Park Community Centre, (Meeting Rooms 1 and 2), 1 Tawny Owl Square, Bracknell RG12 8EB

Brownlow Memorial Hall, Newell Green, Warfield, Bracknell RG42 6AB