11:30AM, Friday 15 March 2019
A Slough Borough Council (SBC) service hub scheme designed to make residents’ lives easier has been slammed by Colnbrook and Haymill and Lynch Hill councillors who say their wards have been neglected.
Last month, the council’s cabinet approved a Localities Strategy which will include six new buildings where council services will be provided.
The hubs will be in Chalvey, Britwell, Langley, Bath Road, Cippenham and Wexham, some of which
are expected to include medical facilities.
But Conservative councillors from Haymill and Lynch Hill and Colnbrook have questioned why hubs have not been included in their wards, considering they are both on the outskirts of the borough.
Slough Conservative Group leader Cllr Wayne Strutton (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) said he thought his ward is ‘the worse served in the town by the council’ and said his area could do with more council investment due to parts of the ward suffering from higher levels of deprivation and health issues.
“It seems to be that nothing happens in the area,” said fellow party member and ward representative Cllr Anna Wright, who says the only place in Haymill people can use as a community space is the cafe Tummies.
Cllr Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) said many people in his ward ‘do feel a bit left out’ when comparing community facilities in other wards.
He added: “Our situation in Colnbrook currently is made worse by the fact that we had a doctor’s surgery close just over a year ago.
“They [SBC] were fully aware with the problems that we have with lack of health facilities.
“If we can’t have facilities then we need to have improved public transport.”
SBC leader Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) said: “I accept that Colnbrook can feel a little isolated but if Cllr Smith had read the strategy he would have seen that SBC is working with the parish council to deliver a number of extra services in Colnbrook and surely he cannot have failed to notice the major investment in the old school house which has provided the area with a library and children’s centre.”
He mentioned SBC’s plans to extend the building’s opening hours for longer than the children’s centre is open for community use.
He said Haymill residents to the north of the railway can easily access the Britwell hub and those to the south will be ‘well served’ by the future hub in Cippenham, which is likely to be in Elmshott Lane.
“Given the recent comments by the chair of the local Conservatives calling the hubs a waste of money and questioning ‘why do we need these at all,' I think most residents will be confused as just what it is they want,” he added.
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