85 per cent of people satisfied with life in BracknellBy Becky Barnes
March 19, 2013
Parking fees at The Look Out, brown bin charges and bad bus services are some of the complaints families have about the borough.
The issues were raised in responses to Bracknell Forest Council’s residents’ survey sent to all homes at the end of last year.
Results presented to the executive committee at its meeting on Tuesday revealed 85 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the area as a place to live and seven per cent were dissatisfied.
Satisfaction was highest in Crowthorne and Sandhurst and lowest in Great Hollands, Wildridings and Bullbrook.
Parks and open spaces, access to nature and the low level of crime were the top three reasons people liked Bracknell Forest.
But 40 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with road maintenance and 30 per cent dissatisfied with planning.
Regeneration of the town centre was one of the areas 20 per cent of people felt the council could do differently and needed to focus on.
One response said: “Bracknell has the worst town centre in a very wide area and it’s about time the council did something about it.”
Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, insisted it was working on it.
Other highlights included 87 per cent of people believed those from different backgrounds got on well together, 60 per cent were satisfied with the way the council runs things and 55 per cent believed the council offered value for money compared to 35 per cent in 2009.
Councillor Iain McCracken, executive member for culture, corporate services and public protection, said: “It is encouraging the work has been done so residents recognise the low crime rate.
“It is also nice to see we tend to treat each other rather well irrespective of our background.
“I am glad our residents have seen this council has a strong fiscal management and we pick up on what our residents want.”
More than 47,000 questionnaires were delivered and the survey received an 11 per cent response, compared to a national average of three to five per cent for similar surveys.
Abby Thomas, head of community engagement at the council, acknowledged the survey was ‘skewed towards older and female residents’ as 36 per cent were over 65 and 55 per cent were female.
Cllr Brunel-Walker said responses from 16- to 25-year-olds were ‘substantially down’ as they made up just one per cent, despite 11 per cent of the borough’s population being that age in the 2011 census.
However, executive vice-chairman Cllr Alan Ward said: “I hope it stays that way. I hope they don’t get interested in politics.”
He explained: “I like young people to have their youth, not worrying themselves about what the council is doing.”
Councillors voted in favour of an action plan as a result of the survey.