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Parish councils successful in judicial review bid

Two parish councils which were due to be abolished next week have been successful in their applications for judicial reviews to be heard by the High Court.

Earlier this month, the Express reported that both Wexham Court and Britwell parish councils had applied for reviews after a decision to scrap them was approved by Slough Borough Council (SBC) in December.

Following a cross-party community governance review, SBC’s full council had recommended the abolition over concerns of governance and delivery of services.

SBC had set a date of Monday, April 1 to take over the assets of the parish councils, but it was revealed this week that judicial reviews will be heard by the High Court following a hearing on Wednesday.

This has halted the closure date, allowing elections to take place in the parishes on May 2.

Britwell parish chairman John Finn said: “Britwell Parish Council will continue working for the people of Britwell and Northborough.

“We support our local community and confirm our intention to host the annual carnival if Labour do not close us down.

“I appeal to everyone to support our fight to retain the parish.”

SBC said in a statement: “The council continues to be confident the community governance review was conducted in accordance with the statutory guidance and the reasons for the council’s decision to abolish Wexham Court and Britwell Parish Councils are sound.

“The council’s decision, following the recommendations of the community governance review group,  took account of the findings of that group relating to the parish councils’ poor financial and general management and lack of improvement following the previous community governance review in 2013.

“The decision was taken for the purposes of benefitting residents and relieving them of the requirement to contribute towards the costs of what the council considered to be ineffectual bodies who were failing to observe the highest standards of governance and probity.

“The council are now awaiting the hearing of the applications for judicial review.

“In the meanwhile, pending the outcome of the proceedings, the council will continue to plan to hold elections in these parishes, as required by law, on May 2.”

A date has not yet been set for the judicial review.

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