The government will expand its intervention in Labour run Slough Borough Council after persistent failure to deliver best value for local taxpayers, Minister Scully has confirmed today (1 September 2022).

A report from the Commissioners submitted in June of this year revealed the Council was facing an “unprecedented” scale of challenge, following years of financial mismanagement, piling debt and poor accounting practices.

The Council was also plagued by governance issues, and despite the best efforts of Commissioners, insufficient progress had been made to deliver proper value for money for Slough’s taxpayers.

Earlier this month Slough Conservatives said:

“If the council’s Labour leadership are not up to the job, they should step down now rather than block the changes that are needed.”

To ensure Council staff have the best support possible in place, commissioners are now being granted further powers to oversee the recruitment of the Council’s most senior members of staff.

Local Government Minister, Paul Scully, said:

The people of Slough deserve a council that can deliver for their needs and drive long-lasting improvements and a brighter future.

Given the scale of the challenges set out in the Commissioners report, I am granting further powers to Commissioners to help implement much-needed changes.

I am confident that these expanded powers will support the Council so they can drive forward long-term change and protect hardworking taxpayers.

In July this year, the Levelling Up Secretary confirmed he was minded-to expand the intervention in Slough. Having considered the representations made after this announcement, the decision to expand the intervention has now been confirmed.

Lead Commissioner Max Caller CBE said:

I am grateful to the Levelling Up Minister for confirming the expansion of the Directions and his support for Commissioners’ work at Slough Borough Council.

There is much to do and no easy answers. Getting the right officer team in place quickly is an important step in the Council’s recovery and in delivering best value for Slough’s taxpayers.

Last month the Government announced it would take effective full control of another Labour run council, Liverpool City Council after a report warned the authority faced a “stark” financial future including debts of almost £100 million by 2025.

See all documents on the intervention at Slough Borough Council.

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