The Conservatives in control of Slough have been blasted for passing a ‘budget of broken promises’.

The budget for Slough Borough Council was recently set covering the 2024/25 financial year, which begins in April.

It was the first budget devised by the council’s Conservative administration, after the party swept to power in the last council elections.

However, the administration has been blasted by councillor Pavitar K Mann, the Labour leader of the opposition for breaking promises it made to voters in 2023.

Cllr Mann (Labour, Britwell) said “The Tories true colours have come out – they shamelessly lied to Slough residents to get elected and are now breaking every single promise they made.

“It appears that Slough Tories are taking inspiration from their national government.

“Just as the national Tories are presiding over the largest tax burden since the Second World War – whilst delivering the biggest fall in living standards, Slough Tories are proposing the largest ever increase in the tax take from Slough residents over the term of this budget at 38 per cent whilst reducing services and overseeing the decline of what scant services they have left.

“They will no doubt try and blame Labour, but it is time they took ownership of their decisions.

“Labour didn’t make them promise to freeze council tax only to increase it by 8.5 per cent.

READ MORE: The amount of Council Tax YOU will pay in Slough this year

“Labour didn’t make them promise the Slough electorate not to close 70 per cent of children centres, only to make that the first decision of a new Tory administration.

“This is a budget of Tory priorities, not the priorities of Slough residents. Simply put, it is a budget of broken promises.”

Slough Observer: Councillor Pavitar K Mann (Labour, Britwell) leader of the opposition on Slough Borough Council. Credit: Slough LabourCouncillor Pavitar K Mann (Labour, Britwell) leader of the opposition on Slough Borough Council. Credit: Slough Labour

While the Conservative administration was planning on a 4.5 per cent council tax increase, they performed a u-turn by proposing an 8.5 per cent increase instead.

The draft budget was revised earlier this year.

At the time, cllr Dexter Smith (Conservative, Colnbrook & Poyle) argued ‘examples of Labour’s financial incompetence’ had come to light’ after financial audits meant council tax would have to be increased.

The council’s budget was agreed at a full council meeting on Thursday, March 7.

Taking a jab at the opposition, cllr Wal Chalal (Conservative, Langley Marish), lead member for finance, said: “Understanding finances is paramount, is key because it wasn’t understood by the previous Labour administration.”

Labour councillors attempted to amend the budget, but failed, with 16 councillors voting for the amendment and 22 voting against it, with mayor cllr Amjad Abbasi (Liberal Democrats, Elliman) abstaining.

Measures Labour proposed included stopping the planned closure of The Curve with the £175,000 saving in 2024/25, and instead conduct a feasibility study into new management options, with an aim to deliver savings in 2025/26.

For its part, the Conservatives are exploring leasing out The Curve as it costs more than £1 million a year to operate.