Council leader responds to damning report on Slough's finances

Shay Bottomley
Council leader responds to damning report on Slough's finances

The leader of Slough Borough Council, James Swindlehurst

The leader of the council has responded to a report by Slough Borough Council’s commissioners which reported the ‘magnitude of the scale of financial disaster’ at the local authority.

As well as laying out the circumstances which led to the council’s financial challenges, the report – produced six months following the appointment of the commissioners – requests further powers for the commissioners.

This includes the power to recruit to the top three tiers of the council without following the usual council procedures in an attempt to get the right people in place, quickly, so the council can continue to recover.

Councillor James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “The mistakes which brought us to this position are laid out clearly, but what is also clearer as we move forward is what we need to do to help put things right.”

“We have always accepted the seriousness of our situation and the difficult decisions we have to make in the coming years.

“If the processes and arrangements to recruit a strong officer team can be streamlined or simplified, so we can more forward and restore staff capabilities more swiftly until the council is further stabilised, then we accept this will also assist the council’s recovery.”

He added: “Our financial position remains extremely serious. But everyone, officers, commissioners and members, is committed to Slough, our town and its residents.”

To read a detailed breakdown of the commissioners’ findings, click here.

The Government has responded to the report, and added that it will be inviting representations on a new Direction to give commissioners more power at the struggling council. Click here to see a response from Ministers.

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