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7 April 2010
Slough High Street is dying

One pound an item shops, admittedly useful for some things, are increasing but quality shops and long established brand names have abandoned Slough's once famous golden mile.

Two years of pedestrian disruption in the High Street including many tripping accidents caused by poor council designs and Slough Council's refusal to remove snow and ice from High Street pavements has significantly contributed to the High Street's regrettable decline.

The demise of Slough High Street began several years ago when Labour councillors James Swindlehurst (Cippenham Green - seeking re-election next month) and May Dodds (Cippenham Meadows) in the middle of a council planning meeting pressurised Labour councillor Joginder Bal (Farnham) to reverse his personal decision to oppose Tesco's gigantic superstore.

Cllr Bal, currently Slough's mayor, eventually succumbed to vigorous and consistent pressure from Cllrs Swindlehurst and Dodds and voted for Tesco's aircraft hanger in Wellington Street.

Despite then living near ASDA in Cippenham, Cllr Swindlehurst told the planning committee that at 1 a.m. in the morning the old Tesco store suffered from "shopping trolley congestion in the aisles" and that was why he believed Slough needed this gigantic Tesco superstore.

The often neglected state of the Tesco footbridge and Tesco's physical remoteness from the High Street forced shoppers to choose between the High Street or Tesco. Parking was easier and free at Tesco, so shoppers began to leave the High Street.

Local people wanting to quickly pop-in to a High Street store and buy a few items are being persecuted by Labour's anti-motorist policies, which allow traffic wardens to park on double yellow lines whilst they hand out tickets to local motorists parked on single yellow lines.

From 22 April the council's new parking contractor Vinci will have 15 ticket-issuing staff patrolling local streets from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Staff will get bonuses for the tickets they issue.

Shoppers in nearby Farnham Common can park free for 30 minutes in their council's car park. This has created a flourishing shopping centre for Farnham Common residents.

Its sad that Labour controlled Slough Council prefers to persecute local motorists and force them away to shopping centres in Staines, Uxbridge, High Wycombe and Reading. This is bad for our whole town.

A vote for Labour locally means wanting more misery, more neglect, more destruction of landmark buildings, more potholes, more overcrowding and more dumbing-down of our once great town.

Paul Janik
The Slough Party.