Slough is possibly one of the worst run councils in England, as confirmed by its recent appearance in Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs for giving planning consent for flats unfit for permanent human habitation on a site owned by a member of Slough Labour party. However, the adjoining Tory run authorities are certainly not areas of excellence.
A case in point is the resurfacing of the Windsor Relief Road by the Tory controlled Royal Borough. This work, which commenced in July 2010 and has only just finished, caused interference to the public's journeys for far too long. I was also very disappointed to see that the no provision for a cycle track has been included in the plans, despite the spacious verge. What a wasted opportunity!
Considering that the M1 motorway was built at a rate of one mile in eight days, the work should have been completed in just over two weeks. Have we really progressed so little since 1959? Or is the extra time to justify the enormous payments to the council's consultants, Atkins Ltd?
This work was overseen by Cllr. Colin Rayner. His reward for this poor effort was to be elected as mayor during the Olympic year. Maybe he might be better suited to cutting the ribbons at Dorney Lake? I also invite Cllr. Rayner to explain why Windsor residents will not be able to have fibre optic broadband until after the Olympics?
On the other side of Slough, South Bucks District Council is continuing the dismal local government record. Former Council Chairman Dev Dhillon proudly stated in his recent election literature that he 'has been very pro-active in protecting the Green Belt'. However the reality is very different, when one considers that the new Sikh sports facilities currently under construction on Stoke Poges Lane was given planning consent on Green Belt land by South Bucks District Council, which has Cllr. Dhillon on its planning committee. What are the reasons for this outrageous departure from policy?
Personally, I do not see why the Sikh only facilities are needed at all. There are already a number of other community facilities in the Slough area such as Montem and the under used Farnham Road Community Centre. Labour's policy of encouraging racial segregation has already been proved a failure and I am appalled that Tory controlled South Bucks District Council is now embracing this failed policy at the same time as breaching its own Green Belt policy. Unlike many places with ethnic minority populations, Slough has a very good race relations record. It would seem that this is now being jeopardised.
Looking eastwards, the Tory controlled London Borough of Hillingdon is seemingly incapable of cleaning the graffiti off its signpost at the end of the Colnbrook By-pass, which has been in that state for as long as I can remember.
No matter who is running the local council, it would seem that local government in this country is in a parlous state.