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3 February 2010
The Truth About 'People Last'

Last week's Slough Express letter by Slough Council's assistant director (housing) Neil Aves failed to tell the whole story about Slough's housing nightmare 'People Last'. What was Mr Aves' motive in concealing from the public an essential part of the truth ?

In order to get government cash to modernise bathrooms and kitchens, People Last had to prove their competency, efficiency and satisfy the government it would not waste public money.

People First failed those vitally important tests. Re-inspections were repeated delayed because the council knew People Last would fail the tests. Eventually after a year of delays and much behind the scenes efforts People Last got an average 2 star rating. The government then released some money.

2 years after Labour took control of Slough Council, People Last is in deep trouble again. In the last week the Audit Commission stated:-

Slough housing service - improving but not yet good enough to qualify for extra funding.

Because of People Last's low standards the government will never release the extra cash needed to complete the kitchens and bath rooms modernisations.

Knowing how difficult it will be to improve People Last, Slough's Labour councillors have decided to scrap it at the end of the year and save large amounts of scarce public money. Officially they will consult tenants but the scrapping decision has already been made.

Council housing belongs with the council not with expensive poor-performing companies that seem to put people last.

Paul Janik
The Slough Party.