“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

Slough Lib Dems aim to gain seats from Labour in May 2023

14 Apr 2023
Lib Dem Frank O'Kelly & Mathew Taylor at Upton Hospital

"Slough Lib Dems are campaigning vigorously to gain at least 4 councillors, including in Elliman and Cippenam Village wards in May 2023.

These would all be gains from the failing ruling Labour group who have bankrupt Slough Council."

This was the key aim set out by Matthew Taylor, chair of Slough Lib Dems, in launching the Slough Lib Dem manifesto for the May 2023 elections: "It's time for change and cooperation on Slough Council".

Matthew explained: "gaining at least 4 seats on Slough Council is essential to be able to implement the Lib Dem manifesto, but it is a realistic target.

In May 2022 following the failures of Slough's current councillors, the Lib Dems picked up votes and came second to Labour last time in Elliman and Cippenham wards. That was even before many electors realised the full extent of the dire implications of Slough Council's financial mess.

Many more residents are supporting the Lib Dem candidates now they have seen the 10% rise in Council Tax and the range of cuts made by Labour councillors.

Residents are concerned about the increased charges and the cuts to services such as education, social care, street cleaning, and the further ones planned, including cutting the weekly bin collections from June 2023, cutting libraries and most of Slough's children's centres."

According to Matthew, even with just 4 seats the Lib Dems would aim to be able to implement the crucial element of the manifesto:

"Slough Lib Dems say the crises facing Slough Council, and the threats to the vital services it provides, are so great that after the elections in May 2023 a new level of cooperation will be required between councillors of all parties & independents.

Councillors from all parties elected to Slough Council in May 2023 should work together in a joint administration to get through the crisis, restore proper financial management and use the best ideas from each party and any independents."

Matthew continued, "Slough Lib Dems have identified a series of priorities that we would propose as part of any joint administration running Slough Council after the elections:

  1. restore proper financial management to Slough Council - this should then mean an end to the massive increases in charges and damaging cuts to Slough's vital services made by Labour councillors, and an end to selling-off of vital assets such as land that Cllr James Swindlehurst told residents was intended for housing - but not anymore;
  2. in education focus especially on boosting early years support;
  3. improve health, social care & wellbeing across Slough through ending Slough Council's cuts in services and staffing and working more effectively in partnership with sports and other groups to promote health and well-being;
  4. improve safety through policies that work to reduce knife crime; secure more police resources for Slough by working together & encouraging residents to report crimes;
  5. tackle the housing crisis: insist new developments meet Slough's needs for social and affordable housing and sufficient parking spaces; make developers pay millions of pounds more towards new facilities through getting Slough Council to finally adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy that has already been widely adopted elsewhere;
  6. replace Labour's failing bus lane scheme and improve air quality effectively: move Trading Estate A4 bus lanes back to the parallel service roads as in the 2016-18 Labour scheme with the roads remaining open to all for access; remove the remaining bus lanes (unless proven to be effective in improving air quality on the A4 and adjoining roads); make proper use of the government grant for a cycle highway near to the A4; and give a higher priority to repairing potholes.
  7. stop another possible Labour Council/Tory Government 10% Council Tax rise in 2024/25 - the 10% rise this year was only possible with Tory Government permission; refuse to sell-off Slough's multi-faith cemetery or the crematorium."

Matthew highlighted that Slough Lib Dems are also promoting the central theme of the Lib Dem's national manifesto for the local elections:

"The Lib Dems demand better resourcing of the NHS, including for the ambulance service and mental health, and want to see 8,000 extra GPs recruited. Lib Dems also recognise that until the crisis in social care is tackled there will always be problems for the NHS with some patients being unable to be discharged from hospital when they are fit enough to leave. Carers (paid and unpaid) deserve a better deal."

Mr Taylor explained why the Lib Dems are so hopeful of gaining at least 4 councillors this time.

"The areas in the Elliman and Cippenham wards where Lib Dems were second to Labour last time have now become our target wards of Elliman and Cippenham Village. We hope to gain two seats in each of these two wards given the failure of Slough's Labour councillors, and also because the Tories are unpopular nationally as a result of the damage they are inflicting on both people's living standards and our vital public services."

Matthew, an architect, concluded: "Slough Lib Dems hopes of success in these 2 wards is not just based on the unpopularity of the Labour and Tory parties. It is also based on our positive manifesto. It shows how Lib Dem councillors will promote new approaches. For example it shows how Slough's cash-strapped Council could, in fact, gain millions of extra pounds through better policies such as adopting the Community Infrastructure Levy which would result in additional resources for facilities and infrastucture linked to new developments"

Slough Lib Dems' full manifesto can be accessed here: Slough Liberal Democrats manifesto 2023