Mon, 18
8 °C
Tue, 19
7 °C
Wed, 20
11 °C

New leader of Slough Borough Council chosen after Sohail Munawar resigns

A new leader of Slough Borough Council (SBC) was elected last night (Tuesday) after former leader Cllr Sohail Munawar resigned before a vote of no confidence could be held.

The motion to remove Cllr Munawar (Elliman) accused him of failing to conduct a transparent recruitment process to secure a permanent chief executive and adopting ‘authoritarian control’.

Cllr Munawar is currently suspended from the Labour Party during an investigation into allegations of bullying and sexual harassment but has been cleared in a council investigation.

Before councillors at The Curve in William Street could hold a vote of no confidence, Cllr Munawar announced his resignation.

Cllr Munawar said allegations that he sent an explicit video to colleagues, friends and family over WhatsApp took him to a ‘very dark place’ and said the damage caused would make it difficult to continue serving as leader.

“That really tore my whole life apart, not only myself but my family,” he added.

“I want to thank all my colleagues for giving me this chance, 18 months ago, to become the leader of this wonderful town.”

Councillors then chose Cllr James Swindlehurst (Lab, Cippenham Green) as their new leader.

He said: “To be elected council leader of a town I have called my home for the past 16 years is a truly humbling experience and I am extremely proud to have been given this responsibility.

“Slough is going through an enormous period of transformation. There is a lot of work to do and some difficult decisions ahead.

“I will be working day and night to ensure every Slough resident benefits from the amazing opportunities coming to our town.”

He joked about his ‘Marmite’ reputation among colleagues and the view he was the 'attack dog' of former SBC leader Cllr Rob Anderson (Britwell and Northborough).

Cllr Swindlehurst, who is now SBC’s third leader in 18 months, was first elected as a councillor in 2002 and served as deputy leader under Cllr Anderson until June last year.

Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) said: “I know that some members in this room may have political differences with Cllr Swindlehurst and may have even been privy to some political sparring with him.

“However, I do not believe that anyone in this room can deny James’ commitment to this town, the many hours of hard work he puts in week in week out, his understanding and knowledge of local government or the fact that he has a clear vision and will ensure that this is delivered to the benefit of our residents.”

Cllr Swindlehurst dismissed SBC’s cabinet and will carry out a complete reshuffle.

He has appointed Cllr Sabia Hussain (Lab, Central) as his deputy leader.

Councillors at Tuesday’s meeting also approved a motion to adhere to ‘actions speak louder’ values, calling for open and transparent handing of bullying and abuse complaints, inspired by a recent training session in which councillors examined their conduct in meetings.

Cllr Swindlehurst said: “Where my behaviour has fallen short I want to apologise now and draw a line under that.”

He said he wants to ‘put to bed’ behavioural issues the council faces and suggested cross-party involvement with the motion.

Comments

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

comment

  • LAM11

    23:11, 02 December 2017

    Well he has done his re suffle another bunch of people with probably same opinions as himself. If anyone really cared about local residents why are they not listening or helping them.

    Reply

    Report

  • LAM11

    22:10, 29 November 2017

    This is a joke, this Man made sure all those long standing local residents on the old housing list were totally back stabbed and are and will never be eligible for Housing in there own town. How the he'll did this happen

    Reply

    Report

  • Sophie Wright

    18:06, 29 November 2017

    Let's hope Councillor Swindlehurst has the courage and support he needs to deal with the council's problems. There are far too many people whose interests are best served by things remaining as they are and more still who are too intimidated by bullies to go against the grain. It is no secret that the council has a track record of destroying anyone foolish enough to try to confront the shenanigans going on inside its walls. Councillor Swindlehurst has a tough task ahead of him as I am sure he already knows. He is already proven to be capable and he doesn't mind treading on toes if he has to. It will have to be a bit of a blood bath though, because the council is full of people they can definitely do without. I certainly wish him all the luck in the world, because I suspect he will need it.

    Reply

    Report

    • Honestjim

      22:10, 29 November 2017

      Sophie, are you mad? The man is a bully and has no interest in anyone but his career progression within our party. I would write to my MP but i also believe is unavailable at the moment due to his investigation into election voting fraud.

      Reply

      Report

      • Sophie Wright

        11:11, 30 November 2017

        Thank you for your concern Honestjim. Please be assured that I am completely sane, but even if I were 'mad' as you so indelicately put it, I am entitled to my opinion. My opinion is that a self-interested bully has been replaced by a man with principles. Change always causes worry and uncertainty and inevitably a few people will lose out. That does not mean change is wrong. Councillor Swindlehurst is a highly intelligent man and has the best interests of our town at heart, unlike his predecessor who was more interested in promoting himself and his cronies. Unfortunately, you paint a particularly ugly picture of your party. Perhaps that is deliberate.

        Reply

        Report

        • LAM11

          16:04, 01 December 2017

          This councillor does not give a shit about the local people of Slough I can assure you he is going to ruin more lives he is nothing but a rude arrogant person. We all have our opinions but it will be nothing good to come

          Reply

          Report

    • LAM11

      22:10, 29 November 2017

      How the he'll did this happen, this councillor does nothing for local residents after all he was the person that cut list by basically back stabbing locals biggest joke ever slough homes for locals Let's see how many lives are ruined by this man again

      Reply

      Report

Most Shared

Most Commented

Top Ten Articles

Snow forces school closures

Snow forces school closures

Several schools have confirmed they will close tomorrow following today’s snow and warnings of more wintery weather to come.