Shop keepers at Britwell's rundown and neglected Wentworth Avenue shopping parade were astonished to receive letters last week from Slough Council's "Customer & Transactional Services A.R. & Social Care Charges Manager" announcing Slough Council increased their rents in 2004 but accidentally forgot to ask for the extra money.
Was this a late April Fool's joke shop keepers wondered. No one had heard of Labour's latest Mumbo-Jumbo nonsense and only a handful of council employees were willing to try to guess what "Customer & Transactional Services A.R. & Social Care Charges Manager" actually means.
Critics sigh and blame Slough Council boss Cllr Rob Anderson who, they say, is famous for inventing nonsense jargon to confuse everyone. If Cllr Anderson wants to email us and explain what this time-wasting confusion actually means in plain English, we will share his explanation with readers.
Slough Council's letter insists shop keepers agree within a week to pay the back-dated rent increase, as well as their normal rent, or the council will demand all 6 years rent increase is paid in full in just 30 days.
Slough Council seems disappointed that the law states it can not demand the rent increase for whole of the 8 year period. The council woefully states the Statute of Limitations imposes a 6 year deadline for retrospective claims. There is no law called the Statute of Limitations. We think Slough Council should be more accurate and refer to the Limitation Act 1980 c.58 s.5
Shop keepers are not pleased. Slough Council has, for at least the last 10 years, deliberately neglected the Wentworth Shopping Parade, a well-known landmark regarded by many as The Heart of Britwell, and refused to maintain the parade in a good, clean and safe condition.
In these run-down conditions Wentworth shop keepers often find it difficult to run thriving businesses. At the present moment trade has decreased because of the national recession. Now Slough's repeatedly failing Labour-run council has launched a devastating financial attack on struggling local businesses. One wonders if this is an attempt by Labour to force some Britwell businesses to close down.
The Council's letters went out immediately after the local elections. Cynics suggest that was because Labour's Britwell election candidate, Cllr Rob Anderson, did not want to lose votes through adverse publicity.
As usual, no one at Slough Borough Council was prepared to give the council's version of events. Perhaps they are too embarrassed to admit that once again their slid-shod conduct, evidenced by lack of managerial oversight and due diligence, has been exposed to their customers, the people of Slough. How can the enormously high council salaries continue to be paid for mediocre performance ?
How nice it would be to have a well-run council actually supporting and serving local people and local businesses instead of regularly making their lives a misery.