COUNCILLORS approved measures to limit their representation as decision-makers at Bracknell charities at a full council meeting last night (Wednesday, November 28.)

The decision came after months of discussions regarding what relationships members should have with voluntary organisations, after reports claimed there could be conflicts of interest between the authority and charities if a funding decision was set to be made by the council which affected trusts.

Councillor Nick Allen, who chairs the council’s governance and audit committee, said: “This decision is an overdue change to our constitution in that it is important to review the position of people who have a conflict of interest having been appointed to a trustee position (at local charities).”

Councillors also voted to approve changes to the wording of their constitution regarding directors’ responsibilities to match the structure of the top branch, which has been changed after 18 months of transformation.

A Children & Young People’s Partnership Plan was approved after executive member for children, young people and learning Cllr Gareth Barnard said “this plan takes us to the next level and will transform lives of children across the borough.”

Before this, council leader Cllr Paul Bettison told the council about the decisions the executive had made since the full council last met.

He gave an update on the Bracknell Forest Lottery, which is set to begin early next year, adding that lottery “funding for the voluntary sector will be additional to Bracknell Forest Council funding. It will in no way take over from our sources.”

The leader notified councillors about the sale of a council owned building for more than a million pounds, as well as giving an update on the council’s application to the government for a greater share of business rates income as part of a joint bid with the five other Berkshire local unitary authorities.

He said: “We work incredibly well together. We do believe we have a chance but we are being realistic with expectations.”

Labour councillor Mary Temperton asked the leader three questions after his presentation to the council, including questions about the need for key worker housing and the measures involved in the Children & Young People’s Partnership Plan.

Cllr Temperton also asked about the refuse collection arrangements for schools and libraries, institutions in the borough which are set to have to arrange their own refuse collections.

A tense interaction between councillor Temperton and councillor Hayes followed, with the latter seemingly annoyed at her question.

She answered saying: “Nothing comes free, especially when you consider this climate and environment and we are encouraging schools to be doing more with what they putting in their bins.

“Schools and libraries are responsible for their waste.”

The meeting started with positive announcements from the executive members of the council, who told councillors about more funding from the government for schools, roadworks and social care.

Cllr Hayes also told the council of her pride at having Lapland UK in Bracknell, as the attraction is expected to have more than 70,000 people walk through its doors before Christmas.