“SLOUGH SHOULD GET MILLIONS MORE FROM DEVELOPERS” – Slough Lib Dems

“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.”

Asim Naveed, Lib Dem councillor for Elliman ward

Help us Save the NHS & Social Care in Slough

29 Mar 2023
Lib Dem Frank O'Kelly & Mathew Taylor at Upton Hospital

"Every vote for a local Lib Dem candidate is a vote for better funding for the NHS. Lib Dem plans to tackle the social care crisis and give a better deal for carers (paid and voluntary) will greatly help the NHS".

These are some of the key messages from the Slough Lib Dems' manifesto for the Slough Council elections on May 4th.

Slough Liberal Democrats' Chair, Matthew Taylor, photographed with Frank O'Kelly, his fellow candidate for the two seats up for election in the new Cippenham Village Ward, said:

"Both nationally and locally the Lib Dems are committed to providing a better deal for our health and care services. Please let us know urgently if you would like to be considered as a Lib Dem candidate in the elections to bring change on Slough Council. Email me on info@sloughlibdems.org.uk "

The full Lib Dem manifesto will be published on our website shortly, but below we include extracts from our draft section on Health, Social Care and Wellbeing."

HEALTH, SOCIAL CARE & WELLBEING

Background:

The health and social care systems are facing a massive crisis across the country which, despite the fantastic work by many staff, has been made much worse by:

a) Tories underfunding the NHS & social care staff & facilities for years;

b) Tories failing to introduce the widely supported reforms to social care; and

c) Tories promoting a Brexit policy that has added to the staff shortages.

Social services & public health are the areas most directly controlled by local councils. Slough is facing many additional problems because of the failures and debts of the Labour-run Council. The big cuts in staffing and services are being made by Labour councillors to pay for their financial mismanagement of Slough Council. Problems in the social care system are not only bad for the residents concerned, but also cause problems for local hospitals by reducing the beds available for those who need them.

More broadly, Councils can play a positive role in helping to facilitate the actions of groups that boost cultural life, as very widely defined, and thereby improving wellbeing. The many cultural, community & sporting activities in Slough provide opportunities for people to primarily get together and build connections through a range of activities.

Slough Lib Dems demands and action to improve health, social care and wellbeing:

A) Tackle the NHS crisis:

Lib Dems demand additional Government funding for the NHS. Every vote for a local Lib Dem candidate is a vote for better funding for the NHS and especially for services such as mental health, dentistry, ambulances and others that face particularly acute problems. Greater involvement of patients in their treatments, and relevant communications with them. Lib Dem plans to tackle the social care crisis and give a better deal for carers (paid and voluntary) will greatly help the NHS: see below

B) Tackle the social care crisis & give carers a better deal - the Lib Dem plan:

1. Increase pay for carers to boost staff recruitment & retention & tackle staff shortages;

2. Provide more support & recognition for voluntary carers, including respite care & an increased allowance;

3. Reduce the number of people going into care homes & accelerate discharge from hospitals by:

i) Free Personal Care in England along the lines Lib Dems got introduced in Scotland;

ii) increasing the number of paid & voluntary carers in the community through the increased pay, allowances & respite care; &

iii) expanding services that help people retain or regain their skills and confidence so they can learn to manage again after a period of illness (called reablement);

4. Encourage EU citizens working in our vital services to remain in the UK, & campaign for the UK to rejoin the single market as soon as possible which would further ease the staff shortages in the health and social care services.

C) Specific policies in Slough

A rapid inquiry into the effects of cuts already introduced in social services for vulnerable residents by Slough's Labour councillors. These cuts are reported to have seriously reduced the support received by some residents, and questions have been raised about the way in which options were put to residents in the consultation about the cuts.

The results of our proposed inquiry into Slough Council's cuts in social services to be used as a way of informing and improving any future consultations on services: did the previous consultations mislead some residents about the consequences of proposed money-saving reforms?

Greater action by Slough Council to press for better public consultation and communications by the local health services, e.g. many residents in Cippenham faced months of uncertainty over the future of the Weekes Drive GP surgery.

No more creeping privatisation of local services: NHS nurses and health visitors based at Upton Hospital learnt in July 2017 that Slough's Labour-run Council had given the contract to run the services they provided for young people to a private company. This took the services out of our NHS.

Better coordination of health and leisure services in Slough, including further action by Slough Council to support & work with the efforts of local sports clubs & charities to encourage higher rates of physical activity in Slough. For example, the Council should always attempt to work cooperatively with local community sports clubs where possible rather than using the resources available to promote their own new initiatives. In recent years Slough Council has often had a poor record in supporting local sporting clubs, and the town has a significantly lower than average physical activity levels compared to other English local authorities, including in recently available figures.

The council could also sometimes do more to support groups and individuals who want to initiate cultural, community & sports groups for others.