“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 proposal for all parties to work together to solve the severe financial crisis facing the Council has been widely covered in the local papers.
The heading above was posted in the on-line version of The Slough Express on Friday 12 May.
On May 11, The Slough Observer reported how Slough Lib Dems had called a meeting of leaders of the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem groups on the Council "to form a joint administration at Slough Borough Council."
Both papers reported the Lib Dem's success in gaining three seats on Slough Council. Amjad Abbasi and Asim Naveed were elected in Elliman, and Frank O'Kelly was elected in Cippenham Village Ward.
The Express reported how Matthew Taylor, Chair of Slough Lib Dems (see photo), explained that the Lib Dems' attempt to get all the parties together to agree a joint administration was following through on pledges in the Lib Dem election manifesto to try to get all parties to work together because of the extreme crisis.
The Express quoted Matthew Taylor: "Bit by bit we should find some common ground between the parties and agree...Rather than find criticism with each other, try to find a constructive route out of the problem."
Both papers also reported the Lib Dem approach of suggesting that the parties start by identifying areas where they agree. The Lib Dems set out a series of what they called consensus measures that all parties on Slough Council could agree: