10:17AM, Thursday 05 April 2018
‘Effective opposition and scrutiny’ has been promised by the Slough Liberal Democrats, who took a swipe at the town’s Labour leadership in its manifesto launch ahead of the upcoming borough council elections on May 3.
The party promises to ease the town’s housing pressures with plans for rent-to-own schemes and alternative ‘garden cities’ on the edges of the borough to the ones planned by Slough Borough Council (SBC).
The Liberal Democrats have pledged to reduce spending on ‘unwanted traffic schemes and overly generous payouts to staff when they leave’, in reference to several costly severance packages paid by SBC in recent years.
The manifesto also promises to lower charges for sports pitches, which were raised by SBC significantly in 2015, and to oppose privatisation of some services run by Upton Hospital.
In October private provider Solutions4Health won the contract for the hospital’s health visiting and school nursing service, taking over from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The party vows to scrutinise the ‘mismanagement’ of the council, criticising delays in completing the Heart of Slough Project, which it argues may have contributed to the decline of Slough High Street, which has lost several big name retailers in recent years.
Slough Liberal Democrat chairman and former Slough Borough councillor Robert Plimmer said: “Effective opposition and scrutiny is needed because Slough’s Labour-run Council ran some services so badly that central government had to step in and take over, as with the childrens’ services.
“The Labour Council also needs to be held to account when it wastes money on things like unwanted traffic schemes, and at the same time makes cuts to valued services such as youth clubs, concessionary fares and pushes up charges for healthy activities like hiring sports pitches.
“Slough needs some Lib Dem councillors to bring effective opposition and new thinking on key issues facing residents following the repeated chaos of the changes in the Labour leadership of Slough Council.”
The party also wants to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour including fly-tipping, and to introduce easier, electronic payment methods for leaseholder service charges and rental invoices.
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