LABOUR’S only representative on Bracknell Forest Council was the only member of the council to object to the council’s budget, and gave a speech to explain why.

Councillor Mary Temperton explained that she cannot support a council tax increase of 5.99 per cent, instead proposing that an increase of 3.99 per cent be implemented.

She explained: “The reduction in government funding for Bracknell forest means that £20 million must be saved in the next two years .

“So as elsewhere, things have had to change. I acknowledge and salute the work that all officers and each department has done to revisit the way it works, including the move from two council buildings to one, and crucially, saving millions.

“In my consultation response, I supported an increase of 4.99 per cent, having seen the balances of £17 million, I would now suggest this should be 3.99 per cent, requiring a use of £3.6 million from the balances.”

“The balances at the start of 2018/19 are £8.5 million. This still leaves well over the prudential balance of £4.5 million."

She stated that she believes that this increase will cover the money needed, and that any other increase would not be necessary.

“Even a rise of 3.99 per cent is far more than most residents’ pay increases in the last year, and many are struggling. I cannot support the huge increase proposed but I do urge that the council tax discount package will be better publicised to help all those eligible.”

Staggeringly, only two councillors responded to the budget proposal for 2018/19, one of those was Councillor Peter Heydon, the man who drafted together and put out the budget, the second was Cllr Temperton.

“Lessons must be learnt.” Cllr Temperton stated.