“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.”
"New approaches will be required" to solve Slough's financial crisis, Josephine Hanney told residents in a letter to the Slough Express published on 28 April 2023.
Josephine, Lib Dem candidate for Langley Marish, said that after the elections on May 4th the approach should be: "Cooperation and using the best ideas from each party and any independents."
She said that sadly, "leaflets from the two parties currently represented on Slough Council, the ruling Labour Group and the opposition Conservatives, illustrate how the Council got into its current mess.
The Labour leaflet fails to acknowledge mistakes made by Labour councillors, let alone apologise.
This leaflet tries to link Slough Council's 10% Council Tax rise to national factors such as pay deals. People are aware, however, that Slough is one of only three councils across the country that had a Council Tax rise above 5%."
Josephine also contrasted the laudable promise that Labour councillors would prioritise the supply of more social and affordable housing, with the reality of what the Labour councillors had recently done. They sold-off the former ICI/AkzoNobel site to become a data centre with no housing, instead of the over 400 social and affordable homes those Labour councillors had promised in 2021.
The leaflet from Slough Tories took a "deeply irresponsible, headline-grabbing approach", Josephine claimed, because it included Slough Crematorium on a list of assets that, it said, "Slough Labour will be selling." This was even though the Council's director for property had told a council meeting on 19 Jan 2023 that it was "very unlikely" that the Council would sell-off the crematorium.
Josephine pointed out that such a headline-grabbing approach "was often seen from Slough Tories during the years when things were going so wrong under Labour, but there was insufficient detailed scrutiny from the Tories of the type that is required from opposition and backbench councillors."
Josephine described how the Lib Dems were proposing a better approach to solve Slough's financial crisis. A joint administration should be formed after the elections on May 4th to use the best ideas from all parties and independents.
She gave an example of one idea Slough Lib Dems would bring to this. Slough Council should adopt "a scheme called the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is widely used elsewhere, to bring in millions more from developers to pay for facilities around new developments."
Josephine finished with a rallying call: "Getting through Slough Council's crisis will be tough, but surely working together is the best option"
Josephine's full letter can be read here: New approach needed to solve financial crisis