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Lib Dems Demand Change: Better Health, Housing, Environmental and other services for Slough

April 11, 2019 10:13 PM

"Things need to change in Slough. Lib Dems demand better health, housing, environmental, police and other services than residents are currently getting from the combination of the Tory Government, and a Labour-run Council." This is the message from Matthew Taylor, Lib Dem candidate for Cippenham Meadows as he launched the Liberal Democrats' campaign document for the May 2019 local elections to Slough Borough Council.

Matthew continued:

"The deliberate choice of the Tory Government to underfund key services like public health, social care and policing has a very damaging impact on local services in Slough. Faced with these cuts by the Tory Government, it becomes even more important that Slough Council should follow new, sensible policies. The Slough Lib Dem policies would make a real difference for the full range of services, including for the environment, health, homes, safer communities and education."

On the environment Matthew Taylor said:

"Slough Lib Dems demand the Council should join the increasing number of councils across the UK that are declaring a 'Climate Emergency' in their area, and taking urgent measures to improve air quality." Cippenham Lib Dem Litter-Pick_Nov 18 (2): Jo Hanney; Matthew Taylor (and son); Robert Plimmer

Matthew Taylor also highlighted the importance of valuing the environment in which we live, including by preserving Slough's iconic industrial heritage, and keeping the general environment as clean and as attractive as possible. Matthew said:

"As an architect, I'm acutely aware of Slough's iconic industrial heritage, and campaigned for preservation of the facade of the Horlicks factory. I am also pleased that my son joined me, Robert Plimmer and Josephine Hanney when we led a community litter pick in Cippenham in November to do what we could to reduce the curse of litter, especially plastic."(See photo)

The full Lib Dem manifesto is available here: Slough Liberal Democrats 2019 Principles and Priorities

Below is a summary of the range of policies Lib Dem councillors would promote if elected, along with an outline of the principles of providing scrutiny and an effective opposition, listening first, spending sensibly and cooperating where possible:

  • Better Health: The longstanding Lib Dem demand for better funding and joined-up NHS & Social Care policies includes public health services. Lib Dems oppose Tory cuts and the privatisation by Slough's Labour Council of some services. To reverse the decline in activity rates, the Labour-run Council must reverse their big rise in charges for hiring sports pitches.
  • Better Homes and Town Centre: Lib Dems demand better thinking to tackle Slough's housing crisis. The Council needs to: use every opportunity to force developers to include social and key-worker housing; restrict the loss of homes to 'airbnb'; do more for tenants, leaseholders, and the homeless. Replacing business rates would help save high streets.
  • Declaring a Climate Emergency & Protecting Slough's heritage: Slough Council should join others in immediately declaring a Climate Emergency in Slough, and identifying measures necessary for Slough to be carbon neutral by 2030. A key element in protecting the environment is adoption of a public health approach that emphasises the importance of improving air quality. Lib Dems supported preservation of the Horlicks factory facade.
  • Building safer communities: The Lib Dems demand better resourcing of local police. Tory cuts should be reversed. The Council should help build safer communities, e.g. by working with communities, and reversing the Labour Council's cuts to youth clubs.
  • Boosting education: Lib Dems helped Slough schools by introducing the Pupil Premium policy while in Government. This is giving millions of extra pounds to schools and improves pupil performance, as does the Lib Dems free school meals for over 5,000 Slough pupils.
  • Brexit: Lib Dems oppose Brexit and recognise the contribution of the many EU citizens who work in Slough (eg 16% of Wexham staff). Lib Dems consistently supported a People's Vote, with an option to remain in the EU, and demand better protection for EU citizens in the UK.
  • Effective opposition & Scrutiny: The Labour-run Council needs effective opposition and scrutiny to hold it to account for its appalling mismanagement, e.g. the many delays with the Heart of Slough/bus station project; the declining High Street; the Children's Services which Labour ran so badly that central Government had to step in and take them over.
  • Listening first: Liberal Democrats have a good record of listening to thousands of Slough residents ignored by the Labour Council e.g. on traffic schemes and anti-social behaviour. We are committed to listening to young people through the work of the Youth Parliament.
  • Spending sensibly: Slough needs Lib Dem councillors who will fight against waste (eg on unwanted traffic schemes) and fight to boost funding in areas cut by Labour or that need more funding e.g. youth services and measures to fight fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.
  • Working together on the Council: Based on this mini-manifesto, Lib Dem Councillors will provide effective opposition where necessary, but where possible cooperate with others.