“Millions of extra pounds could be coming to Slough from developers. This could be the result of Slough Council voting to accept the motion I proposed at the Council meeting on 25 January 2024”, said Lib Dem Councillor Asim Naveed (Elliman Ward) - see right.
Cllr Asim Naveed continued: “As I explained at the meeting, Slough should investigate the possibility of introducing the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). Many other councils have used this levy for years to bring in extra funding. This is a way of ensuring developers make a larger contribution to new schools, health and care facilities and other infrastructure in the communities where they operate. The Community Infrastructure Levy usually runs alongside the older scheme called Section 106 payments.”
Cllr Naveed added; “I was pleased that the Leader of the Council, Conservative Councillor Dexter Smith (Colnbrook Ward) seconded my motion, and it was supported by the entire Conservative group on Slough Council.”
The chair of Slough Lib Dems, Councillor Frank O’Kelly (Cippenham Village Ward), said: “In my speech supporting Cllr Naveed’s motion I drew on expert analysis by Matthew Taylor, my predecessor as chair of Slough Lib Dems. Matthew, an architect, has shown that some councils in Berkshire have raised up to 16 times more than Slough for their communities, per head of population, by using the Community Infrastructure Levy, in conjunction with the Section 106 scheme.”
Cllr O’Kelly continued: “Slough has had a lot of major developments recently, and so as newly elected councillors, the Lib Dems are surprised to learn Slough’s previous Council failed to bring in more money than it did. But, of course, the important thing is to look forward, especially with all the development that’s likely to be happening.”
Cllr O’Kelly added: “Now that our motion has been accepted by the Council, the officers can get on with the detailed work of investigating exactly how a Community Infrastructure Levy might work in Slough.
We shall continue to press for it to be introduced as rapidly as possible. We are confident that, as has happened in many other places, it will bring great benefits to the town by funding the infrastructure and facilities needed to support Slough residents, now and in the future.”
"Slough Council has gone 'downhill' since the successful multi-party coalition administration Richard Stokes led from 2004-2008 was replaced by a single party administration consisting entirely of Slough Labour councillors." This was a key message Mathew Taylor, chair of Slough Lib Dems, highlighted in letters published on 13 Jan in the Slough Express and Slough Observer.
Matthew congratulated Richard Stokes, who had recently celebrated his 100th birthday, and focused on this key point from the articles in both papers the previous week that had featured Richard's career and successes.
Matthew explained the Lib Dems "were happy to be part of the successful coalition that Richard led. Now, we are calling for a new coalition to tackle the current appalling financial crisis that Slough's Labour Party councillors have inflicted on the Council and our town.
Surely, working together and using the best ideas and talents of all parties is the only sensible approach for Slough Council to find a way out of the crisis and put residents first?"
Matthew also said that in 2004 a coalition including Labour would have been impossible. Not only were the Labour councillors unpopular for the way they had mismanaged Slough Council, "but also Labour were extremely unpopular nationally because of Prime Minister Tony Blair's mistaken decision to support and join the US invasion of Iraq. Nationally, it was the Lib Dems, led by Charles Kennedy (see photo), who had the courage to stand up and say at the time that Tony Blair was wrong.
But now, Slough Lib Dems say after the election of a new Council in May 2023, the best way to tackle Slough's immense crisis is for all parties (and independents) on Slough Council to agree, however challenging that will be, to form a joint administration."
For Matthew's letter to the Slough Observer, click here: Successful coalitions
For Matthew's letter to the Slough Express, click here: New coalition needed to tackle council crisis