“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.”
MEPs are set to endorse today a new EU law obliging Member states to have measures penalising employers of illegal immigrants. But the UK government intends to invoke its 'opt-out' and therefore the legislation will have no effect in the UK.
Penalties would include fines, being forced to pay wages in arrears at legal levels, and bans for up to five years from bidding for public sector contracts or receiving state aid. Repeat offenders could attract criminal sanctions. There are also provisions for unpaid taxes to be recovered, for liability of sub-contractors and effective inspections by Member State authorities.
Sarah Ludford MEP, Liberal Democrat Justice and Human Rights Spokeswoman, said:
"It is imperative to crack down on rogue employers. They commit a triple whammy: encouraging the traffickers who bring in illegal migrants; exploiting vulnerable people with pitifully low wages and atrocious conditions; and cheating legal workers and the tax system by undercutting the legitimate labour market.
"The UK government's refusal to sign up to this law, on a skimpy pretext, calls into question their credibility in vowing to tackle illegal immigration. It is like Gordon Brown's two-faced pledge of 'British jobs for British workers' while lauding globalisation. The Labour party's credibility on fair working practices is being shot to pieces."