Slough Borough Council leader intends to 'stay in post' despite petition calling for resignation

Shay Bottomley

A petition has been set up calling for the resignation of council leader James Swindlehurst and chief executive Josie Wragg.

The petition has received more than 700 signatures since it was created in the wake of Slough Borough Council’s (SBC) Section 114 Notice.

The petition states: “The CEO and leader have been in charge and allowed the finances to get so bad that a Section 114 is now necessary.

“We believe they are responsible and should be held to account.

“We do not have confidence in them to correct the situation.”

The petition says if resignations are not forthcoming a vote of no confidence should be held.

It also calls for an inquiry into the ‘financial mess’ and what will be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In response, Cllr Swindlehurst said that he had offered to resign to his Labour group but it declined to accept his resignation.

“As soon as I realised, and discovered through conversations with the new section 151 officer and the new finance team, that it became clear that our position was serious enough that we would likely to have to declare a Section 114 notice, I offered my resignation to my political group as part of taking responsibility for that situation,” said Cllr Swindlehurst.

“My group said in our last meeting in response that they did not wish to accept my resignation, and felt that the way we should take responsibility as an administration is by trying to sort the situation out, and that’s the responsibility they wanted me to take.

“We were also concerned that by adding to a financial crisis by creating a political crisis would be an irresponsible act for the authority, so they directed me to stay in post and continue to work to try and get a new financial plan in place.

“I did offer my resignation, but having not had it pursued by the group, I’m staying in post and carrying on to try and resolve the situation that we find ourselves in.”

Josie Wragg declined to comment on calls to resign in an interview on Friday. She has been contacted for comment with regards to the latest petition.

Visit SBC’s website under ‘epetitions’ to view it. The petition runs until July 22.

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