lividabout £40+ million new HQ leak
very open and constructive debate
A council leader's
very open and constructive debate about the
£40+ million St James Palace was denounced as
a lie after some councillors were banned from attending the meeting.
Slough's most notorious councillor is complaining his
very open and
constructive debate was leaked to the Slough Times.
openwhy the big cover-up ?
Cllr James Swindlehurst (Labour, Cippenham Green), who stopped pensioners and disabled residents using their bus passes before 09:30, and who created the open-air Slug bus station, has threatened councillors not to tell the public.
In a meeting held at the council's Curve building, William Street, on Monday evening, 21 May, Cllr Rob Anderson (Labour, Britwell) told invited councillors that James Swindlehurst was about to make:-
The biggest decision taken by the council in 80 years.
Resembling a Communist-style
democracy and certainly not
even a tiny bit
transparent, Cllr Swindlehurst & his poodles banned the
public and the press from attending. They also banned every opposition councillor
James Swindlehurst's ban on opposition councillors is surprising as three senior council officials were present and participated in Labour's secret meeting. Sources say they were:-
No wonder the public were locked-out. A council mole told the Slough Times that Cllr James Swindlehurst revealed to astonished Labour councillors the cost of the council buying St James' Palace in Windsor Road was a staggering
£39+ million plus VAT = £46.8+ million.
Plus another £5 million could be spent adopting the building for the council's use. The total cost could be £51.8 million.
When some councillors became uneasy about spending a massive amount of the public's cash, especially with Council Tax increases because the council has no money, Deputy Council Leader Sabia Hussain (Labour, Central) is said to have shouted loudly at Cllr Mohammed Sharif that St James' Palace was the best option. A colleague later explained Cllr Sharif could not hear properly.
Some claim Cllr Hussain never provided written details of alternative office blocks and their acquisition costs. One person said:-
We are being pushed into agreeing. With all the money recently
spent improving St Martin's Place, we can't understand why we must move.
Why we have this big rush now ?
A pro-Swindlehurst source claimed the £39+ million plus VAT was a cheap price and was £10 million below the current market value for the building.
The Slough Times invited Cllr Swindlehurst's comments but he has not responded.
A Slough Times investigation revealed the building's current owner is Observatory House (Jersey) Limited, a Jersey based tax-free company.
On 6 June 2014 it brought the office block and a lease on parts of the council's Herschel car park, from another Jersey based tax-free company Forthright Property Investments (Slough) Limited.
Forthright Property Investments (Slough) Ltd was created as a Jersey tax-free company, number 88546, on 17 September 2004 and closed-down, without trace, on 10 June 2016.
The price paid by the current owner was £10,575,000 and was financed by a loan from suspected tax-dodging Greenoak UK Secured Lending SARL, a company based in tax-avoidance Luxembourg at 51 Avenue John F. Kennedy. source: Land Registry BK274896.
A source says the building's current owner, Observatory House (Jersey) Ltd., is owned by a tax-free company in the Cayman Islands and that company is owned by people living in Morocco, North Africa – another source says the people actually live in Monaco, the secretive tax-free principality, 38km (24 miles) from Cannes and 49 minutes on the train.
The owner paid £10.5 million. Sources say £2.5 million was spent on a face-lift comprising external cladding (hope it is fireproof), new windows and cosmetic internal changes. That makes a total cost of £13 million.
If Slough Unitary Authority pays £39 million + VAT, it means . . . .
the seller's profit is £26 million on an investment of £13 million..
The seller doubles his money with the generous help of Slough's Labour councillors.
With so many expensive property
experts at the council, and external
property consultants instantly available, one inevitably wonders:-
workingat home ?
Observatory House tax-free companies have recently popped-up
in Jersey, Channel Islands. The current bunch of companies are:-
This happened after Slough Council showed an interest in buying the building's freehold.
Wednesday, 23 May 2018.
I just want to thank you for taking part in what was a very open and constructive debate about the re-location of SBC's HQ.
As Cllr Anderson said, it probably is the biggest decision taken by the council in 80 years and one that will have a highly positive impact on our town centre.
It's right we have these frank internal debates and come to an agreed decision - which we have with the vast majority of Group members and more than half of the Council voting for the proposed move.
We know that our investment in the bus station £13 million and The Curve £24 million has brought investors to Slough - Catalyst Capital - the representatives of the owners of the shopping centres, have said as much - they wouldn't be here without the investment we have made into our town centre. I fully expect our office move to have the same impact.
However, I must remind all members that group meetings are confidential and information shared is for councillors only - it is clear that information from this meeting has been leaked by individual(s) in the room. This is unacceptable and will limit the kind of information that can be shared with the Group in the future.
I have asked the Chief Whip to look into this.
Cllr J C R Swindlehurst, Esq.,
Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors,
Leader of Slough Borough Council.
Aspirant Member of Parliament.