Following a recent Freedom of Information request to Slough Borough Council, I was informed that from May 2008 - October 2010, over £58,000 has been spent on marketing the Heart of Slough project.
Readers will no doubt have noticed that there are banners and posters cluttering up the town as well as advertising on buses and in newspapers, all proudly proclaiming that the Heart of Slough is beating.
In the current economic climate, I question the wisdom of spending money in this way, amidst council staff redundancies and cutbacks on foster carer payments.
However, it becomes particularly pertinent when one considers what exactly there is about the Heart of Slough scheme that warrants marketing or advertising?
To my knowledge, there is currently no residential developer interested in building the 1,598 flats on the Thames Valley University site. There is also no prospect of the offices that were planned for the Brunel site being built and, thus far, not a single brick has been laid on the site of the new Learning Curve.
Instead of beating but it would seem that the reality is very different indeed with the Heart of Slough scheme having gone into cardiac arrest and being in need of urgent resuscitation with a defibrillator!
I regard over £58,000 on advertising the scheme to be disgraceful and unnecessary waste of public money. If the scheme were a success it would speak for itself but to spend this amount of money on something when there is, in fact, no product to market or advertise is a scandal.
Cllr. James Swindlehurst is in charge of the Heart of Slough scheme and should apologise to the public for this misuse of funds. Slough council badly needs to exercise more care and diligence with the public's money, particularly given the economic situation. Slough cannot afford the tax and spend policies of Labour a moment longer.