Express Viewpoint: 'Blood-curdling' reports on Slough council

Email Viewpoint letters to jamesp@baylismedia.co.uk or write to Viewpoint, Newspaper House, 48 Bell Street, Maidenhead, SL6 1HX.


Blood-curdling news about our council

At this time of year I pay my half yearly council tax bill and it is always the moment I start to think about how my money is being used.

The news I read each week in our local newspaper coming from the town hall is blood-curdling.

We are told the council’s chief executive cannot be located.

If you follow what goes on in our town hall you will know that they have a history with missing chief executives.

Last week it was that the council are contemplating the idea of selling their new offices, which cost £40 million+ just a year or so ago.

Jim Taylor’s report was damning. It said ‘corporate governance was inadequate and poorly understood by officers’.

He was also not too impressed with the way the new, costly offices had been fitted out.

Then was the hint dropped that they were thinking of closing libraries.

Just a few years ago we built a huge new library in the town, the Curve, at vast expense.

It was just across the road from the town’s old library which did not need replacing.

It all started with the report from the council’s auditors telling us how unhappy they were with the council’s finances and the follow-on declaration of bankruptcy.

Our council owes hundreds of millions.

Their only hope of getting out of the mire is to sell off the town’s assets.

We are also told that the council are owed millions by developers, some of this money was due for payment apparently years go.

There was even some talk of them receiving a part payment but nobody at the council offices could confirm whether this was true or not. How pathetic is that?

If a commercial organisation behaved in such a manner heads would roll but those responsible are still there telling us they are capable of righting the ship.

This is a council who moved into grand offices (£40million +) at a time they knew they were struggling financially.

This is a council which has been speculating buying property around the country when they knew money was scarce.

My guess is that if these assets are sold we will probably be lucky to get half our money back.

This is a council who do not appear to put major developments in the town out to tender. Can that be correct?

This is a council who bought the freehold of a building that it knew would saddle them with a huge financial burden to pay for the cost of replacing faulty cladding.

And in all this mayhem we read each week of huge developments planned for the town. None of them seem to have adequate parking and where are the additional medical facilities and school places?

Last week we were told that the council has the ambition to become a ‘world class organisation’.

The very people who have led us into this abyss are telling us this.

Until we have a real clear out at the town hall things are not going to get any better.

This is a council that also seems to be happy not to do the basic good housekeeping needed around the town.

A couple of things that I cannot complain about. Our rubbish is collected weekly and the town is blessed with lovely parks although they probably do not get the care they need.

MALCOLM HELLINGS

Slough


Time to improve the gateway to town

I have just paid £3.40:

  • For the privilege of parking on the Alexandra Gardens car park
  • For the privilege of walking into the town along a path at times impassable by the over grown hedges and uneven paving ( but with a lovely view of the ‘ice rink’ work in progress) and
  • For the privilege of walking over a decrepit footbridge where the paint is peeling and old graffiti is rife.

The experience left me feeling quite ashamed to be a local resident.

This is the first contact that many visitors have of our area and if we need to attract tourists to help with the regeneration of the town it needs to be welcoming, clean and smart.

Perhaps a little of the funds being used to regenerate Maidenhead town centre could be diverted to improve this gateway to our town.

If any councillors would like to get acquainted with the area, I am quite willing to meet them in the car park and accompany them on a guided tour.

Now where did I hear talk about a Windsor Town Council?

What a good idea.

MARIAN TROUGHTON

St Andrews Close

Old Windsor


Something whiffy this way comes

In the House there is a stench.

And it’s on the front bench.

It is called corruption.

And causing much disruption.

Some MPs want personal gain.

They should be ashamed.

All are not the same.

The good should not be blamed.

But the PM is the worst offender.

How can he be the mender?

He is encouraging this sleaze.

Himself to please.

Those with safe seats.

Are very hard to beat.

Some can abuse their position.

After elections they won’t be missing.

The system is First Past the Post.

In a safe seat your vote is toast.

Not only wrong, but is not fair.

Democracy means decisions we share.

There must be a better way.

For people to have their say.

ROY REEVES

Windsor

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