“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 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:
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