CHILDREN'S services and voluntary groups across Bracknell could face dramatic cuts in funding if Bracknell Forest Council's latest proposals to make budget savings go ahead. 

Outlined in an online consultation paper, the council are proposing to chop £217,000 from the budget which pays for youth workers, arts groups and family information services and a further £75,000 from the budget for the Alders and Chestnuts Children's Centre area. 

A further £50,000 could be slashed from the community safety budget, with £23,000 being saved from removing all council-run CCTV cameras from the town centre.

The cuts are not set in stone, and council leader Paul Bettison has urged residents to take some time to read over the proposals. 

Speaking to the News, he said: "It's very important that people look at the proposals because when we go out to consult we want really to hear from people what services they value and what things they don't need so much because we have to make savings, we would rather choose the things they don't need as much than the things people do need.

"Please, please take five minutes to give us your views.

"Some of the things in the consultation will have to be cut, no question about it. It's very sad because none of us wants to have to cut things but we have to balance the books."

Services at risk include arts based sessions for children at South Hill Park, the KIDS service for young carers and the Every Child a Talker programme as well as family support charity Home-Start.

The cuts come as Bracknell Forest was left with a funding gap of £11.6m in 2016/17 after being told the grant they receive from central government will reduce by 80 per cent over the next four years.

The gap has been plugged by scrapping some larger projects such as the revamp of Harmans Water Community Centre along with a 3.99 per cent increase in council tax.

Proposals to make further savings aim to replenish the £5.1m of funds used by the council to balance the 2016/17 budget, approved by the council on February 24.

The council's first round of consultations ended on April 5, with the second consultation open for all residents to comment on until May 17.

Cllr Mary Temperton, the sole Labour member of Bracknell Forest Council, responded to the first round of consultations and said: "I have had difficulty constraining my response to the further proposals now being consulted on and not straying into the other consultation that will end in May. I am sure I am not alone."

Visit the council consultation portal to make your views known.