Sunday, 21 April 2019
The Castleview Mystery : Part 1
An everyday tale of suspected corruption at Slough Borough
- In 1997 a land-locked agricultural field, in the Castleview area of Slough,
was purchased for an extravagant £8 million by a Ireland domiciled Irish
citizen called Michael Daly. Mr Daly has since gone bankrupt, but that is a story
for Part 2.
- To make the farmer's field a commercially viable and profit-making housing
site, the new Irish owner needed a proper road access from Upton Court Road,
through the publicly owned Upton Court Park.
- During the 4 years from June 2004 to May 2008, when a Liberal, Independent and
Conservative coalition ran Slough Council, the Irish owner offered Slough Council
£10.2 million if the Council would sell-off part of Upton Court Park as an
access road. The non-Labour councillors refused despite massive pressure on them
from senior council officials.
- On Monday 19 November 2007, despite the non-Labour council coalition agreeing
not to sell-off any part of Upton Court Park, Slough Council officials took all
the council's official files on the Castleview affair to the offices of very
expensive Estate Agents known as Drivers Jonas Real Estate Property Advisers.
- Incompetently or deliberately Slough Council
officials retained no copies of the important council files - not even a list of
documents was made.
- The Slough Times thinks the taking of all Castleview records to an Estate
Agent, employed by council staff, where all those official records mysteriously
lost is highly questionable because:-
There was, in the Slough Times opinion, no lawful reason for the entire
collection of Slough Borough Council's records to disappear without trace from the
- the elected councillors running Slough Council had decided not
to sell-off part of Upton Court Park for an access road into the Castleview field;
- the Castleview field was privately owned (not council owned),
- For what legitimate purpose would an expensive firm of Estate Agents, employed
at the public's expense by unaccountable and unelected council staff, require
the council's entire collection of the Castleview files ?
- The Castleview happenings make worrying reading which suggests the possibility
of a secret, and therefore unauthorised by the councillors running Slough Borough
Council, plot by council staff to deliberately undermine the official and well-known
policy of the elected councillors not to sell public park land to a property
- If there was a secret plot, who was involved in it and what did the plotters
hope to gain? The obvious gain, in the opinion of the Slough Times, was
money - loads of it.
- Some police officers instantly say, without a moment's hesitation,
Corruption is endemic in local government but Thames Valley Police
generally prefer to be the 'buddies' and social acquaintances of senior council
officials rather than to behave at all times as detached professional upholders
of the law for all persons regardless of personal friendships.
- The Slough Times concerns are:-
- All the council's files were taken out of the council's premise by council
- Surprisingly the council staff kept no copies
- Astonishingly the council staff did not make even a simple list of the
- Who gave full lawful authority for all the council's records to be
removed from the council's premises?
- Why are there no records about any aspect of the documents disappearance from
the council's official and lawful collection of public records?
- For what purpose were all the documents removed from the council?
- Who at Drivers Jonas Real Estate Property Advisers had lawful custody and
control of the council's only copy of official council records?
- Why did Drivers Jonas Real Estate Property Advisers permit the entire collection
of official Slough Borough Council documents to become 'lost' ?
- Slough Council staff have never ever provided any understandable explanation
about the strange affair. It seems to the Slough Times a concealment of
important facts happened deliberately.
- In the public interest the Slough Times would welcome a robust police
investigation in to this continuously worrying matter.
- In 2008, in less than 3 weeks after Labour won the local elections in Slough,
Labour had delegated to Drivers Jonas, apparently without any substantive
documentation and without any council involvement, the task of selling-off, or
leasing, part of Upton Court park to the property speculator/developer.