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Express Viewpoint (April 5)

More sparring from Slough Conservatives and Slough Labour, while an independent election candidate outlines her pledges. Scroll down for all of this week's letters.

Staff reporter

Staff reporter

Express Viewpoint (April 5)

Sharon O'Reilly

Residents are not feeling neglected in my ward

I would like to take issue with the comments of Meena Sharma (Viewpoint, March 22). I would like first to deal with the comments about our Labour MP. I first moved to Slough in 1987 and we had the curse of a Tory MP. Some of the stuff he came out with had me fall off my seat laughing. Then in 1997 Fiona Mactaggart won Slough for Labour and brought great representation. In 2017 Tan Dhesi was elected.

I have been to many events with him and he is a great MP for Slough.

He is now standing down as a [Kent county] councillor. The election for his successor will happen at the same time as other elections. He has chosen a good time to stand down.

As for school safety, yes I did organise the bollards and raised kerbs outside Ryvers School. It was an election promise in 2018 to try and preserve grass verges.

I also raised the kerb in Blandford Road South to stop vehicles driving on the grass verge. It slows down traffic so much better!

As for borrowing £40million for a new headquarters, it is part of Labour’s masterplan to revive the High Street. There will now be council workers shopping in the High Street. St Martin’s Place will be used to house people.

The old BHS building is being redeveloped. The shopping centres will soon be redeveloped.

As for residents feeling neglected in Kedermister I have yet to find any. I do my best with the other councillors to deal with any problems.

I would also ask if the Tories have any policies other than saying Labour is not doing a good job. This assertion is not backed by the facts.

In South Bucks they do not need road humps due to all the potholes in the roads. Slough has a lower rate increase than its neighbours.

Slough’s bins are still emptied every week.

Cllr PRESTON BROOKER

Labour, Langley Kedermister


Labour has promised same things repeatedly

James Swindlehurst has yet again missed the point and thinks by belittling our manifesto and budget amendments he somehow justifies Labour’s constant failures.

The Labour manifestos over the last 10 years have been promising the same things repeatedly – the High Street regeneration being one of those. It took Labour two years to set up a team to regenerate the High Street, introducing limited free parking, only to take it away, allowing the town centre to decline.

As recently as 2018, Labour promised to implement a Conservative idea, the Slough Card, to give residents access to priority and cheaper services – and not only has this promise not been costed, but it also doesn’t have a proper release date.

Its failures are even more heart-breaking when we learn that Slough Labour has allowed our High Street to fall into decay and be reduced by more than a staggering 130 places to 190th in the best shopping destinations in the UK.

Slough Labour promised us in 2018 ‘to invest wisely and drive out efficiencies’, and recently Slough Labour and their supporters have attempted to lay blame for their failings on the Government. One supporter recently pointed that cuts in funding could have provided us with 41 children centres (despite them having Children’s Services removed from them by government in 2015) or over 1,200 care workers. In which case, why did the council spend over £40m on a new council office and install nearly 40 green gyms costing over £1m?

Most bizarrely of all, Labour are now embarking on a risky business venture in its environmental services department which is going to prove the biggest policy failure in the council’s history.

Labour is doing this against advice, using £3m of tax paying residents’ money, in a venture that will also risk local businesses going out of business as it attempts to compete with them on things like gardening services.

The policy of spending other people’s money until there is nothing left is only too true of Slough Labour, and over the past 10 years they have been doing just that, trying to pretend they were spending our money wisely and responsibly. Residents now know that it is time for change in Slough. Lie after lie, Labour has failed our town. We need to put residents first.

CHARLIE OLSEN

Conservative candidate for Cippenham Meadows


Local election a chance to empower normal people

I voted LEAVE like thousands of Slough’s residents did, but we were failed on March 29.

Are we to waste our votes on inadequate political parties or are we better off voting for everyday people in our town who have decided to stand up and be counted? Send your message loud and clear to Parliament in the local elections – we won’t be ignored. We put you there and we can replace you, along with the majority of councillors in Slough who have not accepted OUR Brexit vote.

Local elections are a chance to empower normal people, a chance to bring CHANGE to your area. In the 16 years I’ve lived in Langley Kedermister, I have seen the area decline badly. That is why I am standing – councillors who live in your area understand the problems you face.

I will give you the chance to say where your money is spent. Some of the areas I believe need more investment are street cleaning; flowers along Trelawney bloom all summer long while residents negotiate the fouled footpaths.

The roads are gridlocked during school runs. I intend to work with schools to find a solution.

I will donate £5,000 from my councillor allowance every year, as well as securing donations, to provide a youth club. I also intend to work with local companies to provide internship opportunities for Slough’s youth.

I promise to fight for blue badge holders to return to their original exemption from paying for parking at Wexham Park Hospital.

I will push for the council to bring community care back in-house, rather than it spending thousands of pounds on inadequate agencies.

As for Heathrow’s third runway, I will push for a vote for the people of Slough. We hear it will bring more work but I think the impact will be devastating to the people of Slough and those people deserve to have their voices heard.

Mental health needs a bigger helping hand from this council. I feel it’s an area that is neglected and more needs to be done.

Homelessness in Slough is another area that needs more focus and support.

This year, rent on council-owned accommodation as well as council tax has increased, due in part to the adult social care precept. I will push for community inspectors to monitor spending and to ensure it is working for the good of this town’s people.

And finally, no more large pay-offs to people who leave high-ranking posts within the council. This can go on no more.

I am standing as an independent candidate to represent you in Langley Kedermister and these are my first priorities. Being elected as a local councillor is a step up I would be honoured to take. I look forward to fighting for the people of Slough and holding this council to account.

SHARON TERESA BERNADETTE O’REILLY

Independent candidate, Langley Kedermister

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