• A-level results day for Slough students Our A-level pupils received their results earlier today in schools across the borough. Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “I continue to be inspired by the hard work and dedication shown by our A-level students who have received their results today. The past two years have presented unique challenges whilst studying through Covid and our students have risen to the challenge and focused on their exams. “We in Slough have fantastic school staff and support services, who continue to guide, teach and help our children achieve their very best. This is always an opportunity to thank them for their hard work, dedication, and skills. Over the past two years they have worked through a difficult time during the pandemic whilst always aiming for the very best for their students.” “Whatever our young people go on to do as their next step, be it further education, or starting out at work, we as a council wish them every success for their futures.”
  • Don’t let some bright spark ruin your park! After a spate of fires in the last few weeks across our local parks, residents and visitors to the borough are being urged to remember that barbecues and fires are not permitted in any of our parks. Three parks have suffered damage from fires recently, Hawker Hill, Upton Court Park, and another small fire at Bloom Park. Barbecues and fires are not allowed in any of Slough’s parks, woodlands, and open spaces. The recent extremely dry conditions make lighting any fires outdoors dangerous. If you see anyone lighting fires in any of Slough’s parks and open spaces, please report this to the police. As well as Barbeques and fires, discarded cigarettes and glass bottles (these can act like a magnifying glass) can also cause dangerous fires to break out. A glass bottle was believed to have caused the recent Hawker Hill fire. On 9 August the fire service attended a fire at Upton Court Park. The crew were from Ascot as both appliances from Slough and the one from Langley were attending incidents elsewhere. John Knight, highways operative at the council, who was driving a water tanker at the time, also arrived at the scene and was able to unlock the gates and bollards for the neighbouring fire service and assist with extra water, around 4,000 litres from his tanker, saving valuable time and stopping the fire spreading further to nearby trees. Richie Sage, Watch Manager, Green Watch, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Maybe it was luck that John was there at the time of the incident, but his knowledge, professionalism and support benefitted both of our organisations for this incident, and enabled us to give a prompt and effective response which reduced damage to the grass and trees and in turn reducing the impact to the environment.” Please help to save resources, time, the environment and potentially lives by being responsible in our parks and open spaces. Cllr Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, said: “We are experiencing such a long dry spell at the moment, and the ground is more vulnerable than ever to fires breaking out, by even a tiny spark. Please respect our valuable parks and open spaces by obeying the park byelaws and not using barbecues or fires in our parks. Please be vigilant when disposing of cigarettes and glass bottles and dispose of all waste responsibly.”
  • Changes to library opening hours Libraries throughout Slough will have altered opening hours or self-serve provision only throughout August and beyond. Some libraries will be shut completely on certain days. The tough decision to provide a short-term reduced service is a result of a high number of staff vacancies and some staff sickness. Up until now, the existing library team, with support from others in the council, have managed to operate as normal, but this cannot continue. The full list of ad-hoc August changes is below. A September rota is currently in progress. • Wednesday 17 August – Britwell staffed 1.30-5pm and self-serve from 9am-1.30pm. Langley closed. Curve and Cippenham open. • Thursday 18 August – Britwell self-serve only, 9am-5pm. Curve, Cippenham and Langley open. • Friday 19 August- Britwell self-serve only, 9am-5pm. Cippenham closed. Curve and Langley open. • Monday 22 August – Britwell staffed 1.30-5pm and self-serve from 9am-1.30pm. Langley closed. Curve and Cippenham open. • Thursday 25 August – Britwell self-serve only, 9am-5pm. Langley closed. Curve and Cippenham open. • Friday 26 August – Britwell self-serve only, 9am-5pm. Cippenham closed. Langley closed. Curve open • Wednesday 31 August – Langley open 12noon-5pm, Britwell staffed 1.30-5pm and self-serve from 9am-1.30pm. Curve and Cippenham open. On the days when it is self-serve only in Britwell, residents will be able to borrow, return and renew books through the self-serve kiosks. They can still book and use the public computers and print from them and use WiFi. Instruction notices will be put up, which will also offer the contact numbers for other libraries open that day. Liz McMillan, Locality Hubs and Library Services Manager, said: “We are really disappointed to have to make these changes, but the pressure on existing staff is too much. We have to make some temporary changes to the opening times and which libraries can remain open each day. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.” Residents who had made appointments to see a customer adviser, on a day when the library will now be closed, will be contacted so other arrangements can be made.
  • E-scooter survey and trial extended A survey to gather residents’ and users’ views about the e-scooter rental trial scheme has been extended until the end of August. Slough introduced the e-scooter rental trial scheme in October 2020, with Neuron Mobility operating 300 dockless e-scooters. The bright orange scooters can be used on the road, and in cycle and bus lanes; they have a maximum speed of 15mph and can be used by registered scheme members aged over 18 with a driving licence. Councillor Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, is urging everyone to have their say. He said: “We’ve heard various opinions from residents during the period the e-scooters have been in Slough. We want to get a better understanding of residents' and users’ views on rental e-scooters, as well as the benefits people experience when they use them. “We need these views to be made official so they can be taken into consideration for the future of the scheme.” The invitation to run a trial e-scooter rental scheme, alongside other towns and cities, came from the Government, to gather data to help inform the future legal status of, and associated regulations for, e-scooters. It also enables them to understand the impacts and benefits of e-scooters and usage data and travel patterns. The national e-scooter rental trial scheme began in July 2020 and was set to end this November. However, the Government has since confirmed the existing e-scooter rental trial schemes can now run until May 2024. A recommendation will be made in a report to Slough Borough Council’s Cabinet in November 2022 that the council continues with the e-scooter rental trial scheme until May 2024, and, if e-scooters are made fully legal by the Government, that the e-scooter rental scheme is kept. This extension of the trial will allow the council to obtain further data to analyse the impact of the e-scooters. At the end of the trial schemes in May 2024, the Government will make a formal decision on whether to fully legalise the use of e-scooters. To help the council and the Government understand the impacts and benefits of e-scooters, please fill in the online survey at https://slough.citizenspace.com/transport/slough-e-scooter-rental-trial-scheme/ This is open until 11.59pm on Wednesday 31 August 2022. It is currently illegal for privately owned e-scooters to be used on public roads and footways. Neuron Mobility funded the infrastructure for the e-scooter rental trial in Slough and the scheme was brought in with no capital cost to the council. Visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/parking-roads-travel/e-scooter-trial to find out more.
  • Active travel award given to Penn Wood Primary Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School has been awarded a Bronze active travel accreditation. Slough Borough Council’s places & community team has been engaging with Slough schools on the Modeshift STARS travel plan tool and active travel activities. Modeshift STARS is a comprehensive travel plan tool that assists schools in: creating, developing, and implementing travel plans monitoring and evaluating travel plans and the initiatives contained within them recognising and rewarding excellence in the promotion of sustainable and active travel schools are then awarded Green, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum accreditation. Active travel is making journeys by physically active means, like walking or cycling/scooting, instead of using the car. Schools have been taking part in a series of active travel initiatives and have taken snap shots of various activities as evidence of their participation. Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School has been pro-active in creating a working group with teachers, staff, and pupils. They facilitated and uploaded two consultations, 10 travel initiatives and five supporting initiatives. Jane Girle, Headteacher, Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School said: “Penn Wood School is committed to being an active school and are looking forward to working towards our silver accreditation in the autumn term.” Councillor Christine Hulme, cabinet member for children’s services, lifelong learning & skills, said: “It is great to hear that one of our schools has been awarded this accreditation, as well as benefiting our school children’s health, it is of huge benefit to the environment also. Well done Penn Wood Primary for all your hard work on this award.” We are working with a further twenty-seven schools in Slough to reach at least Bronze level accreditation by December 2022. If your school is interested in taking part in Modeshift STARS email BetterBy@slough.gov.uk
  • Community centres for hire We have 10 community centres and other venues located in various wards across Slough to ensure everyone has access to a community centre near them. These centres have provided a service to the general and business community for more than 25 years. Our community centres and venues are affordable and versatile with easy access to the M4, M25 & M40 and to rail links to central London and close proximity to Heathrow Airport. Our facilities can be hired for a host of activities and events, whether you are planning a wedding, party, conference, business or corporate event, our team can help you find a suitable venue that will be perfect for you. We understand the importance of every event and can offer flexible options to meet your needs for every occasion. • Find out more about our centres at https://www.slough.gov.uk/community-centres • Fill out the online form at https://www.slough.gov.uk/xfp/form/172 • Email communitycentres@slough.gov.uk • Telephone 01753 875762 / 01753 875401 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.30pm). Feedback If you have hired one of our community halls or other venues, we would like to hear from you. The feedback will be used to enable us to better understand how we can potentially improve the service we provide. Please complete the survey at https://eu.surveymonkey.com/r/97NG97F
  • Housing fraudster convicted A man has been found guilty of fraud after he tried to get on the council’s housing register for his own financial gain. Asif Iqbal, of Bader Gardens, Slough, was charged with two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 of dishonestly making false representations on application forms that he submitted to the council in order to be included on the housing register, intending to mislead the council and make a gain for himself or cause a loss to the council. The case was heard at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 12 July where Mr Iqbal was found guilty on two offences of fraud. In December 2019 and January 2020, respectively, Mr Iqbal, 39, submitted two housing applications on which he failed to mention he had previously held a tenancy for a property in Purfleet, Essex, between August 2018 and December 2018. In order to qualify for inclusion on the housing register, a person must have been continuously resident within the Slough borough for at least five years immediately preceding their application. When he was challenged by a member of the housing allocations team, Mr Iqbal claimed he had been using the Purfleet address as a correspondence address only, because he had been hoping to obtain employment in that area and eventually move there. He claimed his friend lived at the address, while he continued to live in Slough. The subsequent investigation showed that not only was Mr Iqbal the tenant who paid the rent, but he was also paying all the bills, including council tax, water and electric. He had also insured a vehicle at the address during the period of the tenancy. Mr Iqbal had taken a job in Leyton in May 2018, after which he had agreed to rent the Purfleet flat. He admitted he had taken the tenancy and was paying all the associated bills but maintained that his best friend was actually living there instead, while he continued to rent a room in Slough and commute to his job in Leyton. He claimed that although he paid all the bills, his friend repaid him all the expenses in cash. Further enquiries were made in an attempt to corroborate Mr Iqbal’s story, but this failed and he was convicted on 12 July on both counts by a District Judge following a trial at Reading Magistrates’ Court. On finding Mr Iqbal guilty, the Judge stated that in her opinion, the matter should never have gone to trial, but did give Mr Iqbal credit for being of previous good character. She made reference to the housing crisis and the difficulties councils face juggling finances to meet the needs of residents. Mr Iqbal was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order of 180 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs in full of £5,532.84, along with a £95 victim surcharge. Councillor Pavitar K Mann, lead member for housing and planning, said: “We have a high demand on our housing service with people in genuine need and fraudsters who seek to exploit that do very real harm to our residents who do need a secure home. It delays the process for everyone else and causes real hardship. “I’m glad he was convicted and will be punished and hope it will deter anyone else from falsely applying. We will never apologise for taking action against those who seek to make fraudulent claims and prioritising our residents in real need.”
  • Sign off celebration for community plan A mini ceremony was held to officially sign off the Baylis & Stoke Stronger Healthier Attractive Neighbourhood (SHAN) plan. When SHAN was launched by Slough Borough Council in the Baylis & Stoke ward, the Ujala Foundation stepped forward to say they would like to be involved and would like to lead with other partners. Working with the council’s community development officer, Aqeel Akram, the Ujala Foundation supported the survey roll out, collection, and promotion. The Ujala Foundation has been serving the community of Slough, especially the Manor Park community, for several years through various initiatives, programs and projects. They hosted a celebration on 29 June to adopt the plan formally. In future, the Ujala Foundation would like to bring together key stakeholders, partners, residents and organisations/groups to form a steering group that will lead on delivering on the actions highlighted in the plan. Baylis & Stoke ward councillors, Cllr Fiza Matloob and Cllr Mohammed Nazir, attended the ceremony, along with representatives from key partners, stakeholders and organisations. Councillor Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, said: “It is brilliant to see the launch of another SHAN plan. We have already implemented these in Colnbrook and Britwell and the communities there are doing a great job. “I look forward to seeing the action plan come into place. Ujala are a very resourceful and committed group and they will work with the local residents to make SHAN a great success.” Councillor Fiza Matloob, said: “This is a great initiative and to a see a local community group, who do some amazing work in the community, have a great reputation and are well established, step forward and adopt the plan, and take the lead is very satisfying. “I personally know the work Ujala do and I am sure they will do an amazing job at delivering on the SHAN plan. This is also a great opportunity for community groups/organisations to come together to do collaboration work, and for residents and communities to come together for the betterment of society. “We encourage everyone in the Baylis and Stoke ward to get involved, volunteer, contact Ujala and support this great plan. We will be here to support both our residents and community groups.” Residents who were present at the ceremony had the opportunity to put forward their concerns and questions about the plan. If you’d like to see the plan or would like further information, please contact the Ujala Foundation Vice Chair Arshad Mehmood on ujalaslough@mail.com
  • Summer Reading Challenge Children can let their imaginations run wild in this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which launches on Saturday 2 July. This summer, children aged 4-11 can visit Slough Libraries to get involved in a science and innovation themed challenge, titled Gadgeteers. To take part, they need to read six books over the summer. Through taking part in the challenge, with free materials from Slough Libraries and online via the challenge website, children will be supported and encouraged to use their curiosity and wonder to understand the science behind a whole range of interests, from fashion and technology to cooking and music. The challenge features six Gadgeteers characters brought to life by children’s writer and illustrator Julian Beresford. Through the libraries’ book collections and accompanying themed activities, the challenge will help to spark children’s curiosity about the world around them and encourage them to feed their imagination over the summer holiday. Children will be rewarded with free goodies as they read their own choice of books to progress through the challenge and are awarded a medal and certificate on completion. Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “Every year it is wonderful to see how many children embrace the Summer Reading Challenge. “There are so many amazing books to choose from and the little prizes along the way is a great incentive. I hope many more children will take the chance and embrace the theme this year.” Joining the challenge is free. It runs until 17 September. Children need to be a member of the library to take part. The official challenge website hosts digital rewards, author videos, games and more for children to enjoy all summer. Visit www.summerreadingchallenge.org.uk Sign up to the challenge and discover a world of imagination, inspiration and innovation inside your local Slough library. To see what else is on offer at Slough’s libraries or to become a library member, visit www.slough.gov.uk/libraries
  • Final day to have your say on three proposed transport schemes We’re bidding for some funding under the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund and our consultation closes today (Thursday). Our bid focuses on three transport schemes, and we’re running a consultation on each. 1. Farnham Road Public Realm 2. Salt Hill Park and Western Gateway 3. Farnham Road Bus Accessibility For more information and to give your views, please visit the consultation website - https://slough.citizenspace.com/transport/levelling-up-fund/
  • High Street shop fined for possessing illegal tobacco A company which was caught selling illegal tobacco must pay more than £61,000 in fines. J.S.G. UK Ltd, trading as SL Wines in Slough High Street, the director, Surgit Singh and the company secretary Jasmeet Singh, both from Hounslow, were fined and ordered to pay proceeds of crime at Reading Crown Court on 27 June. During an investigation in 2019, using tobacco detection dogs, £12,000 worth of illegal tobacco products were discovered in a van, registered to the business, outside the back of the shop. The products were seized by Slough’s Trading Standards officers. The products, including cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco and shisha were both counterfeit and breached labelling requirements that referred to the dangers of tobacco. The company was fined a total of £1,120 for both the counterfeit and mislabelled goods and the director and company secretary were fined the same amount each. Costs of £11,200 were awarded against the company. In addition, a proceeds of crime order was made against the company, the director and the company secretary totalling £47,111.43. The total judgement means the amount attributed to the offence was in excess of £61,000. Councillor Beni Bains, lead member for public protection, regulation and enforcement, said: “Illegal tobacco is potentially dangerous above and beyond the dangers normally associated with tobacco, as the ingredients are unknown, quality control is reduced and warnings on the packaging is not in an understandable language for the majority of the people of Slough. “I hope this will serve as a warning to those who sell illegal tobacco that Slough Borough Council will seek out this kind of product and take a robust stance against such sales. “My thanks also go to the council’s Financial Investigators who were able to uncover the profit made from this illegal activity.”
  • Home to school travel assistance consultation launches The council’s Cabinet has approved a consultation into the future of home to school transport services. There are significant areas of inefficiency in the delivery of current arrangements, so on 20 June, Cabinet agreed the council could review its travel assistance policies. This is so the council can continue delivering its statutory responsibilities, improve outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and control costs. The consultation, which covers home to school transport and post 16 transport for children and young people with SEND, launches on 23 June for 28 days. Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “We want to run a service which supports the integration and independence of children and young people with SEND, promote environmental sustainability and secure the most efficient use of public resources. “We want to get service users’ views on the current service and which options they would prefer in future. Please complete the consultation when you can.” In the current system, many young people will travel long distances on their own in a taxi, which does not promote independence. A policy review could mean moving away from the traditional arranged transport for all as a door-to-door service and looking into alternative provisions, on an individual needs basis. The council spent approximately £3.4m on transporting children to school and post 16 establishments in 2021/22. The council currently provides assistance for 710 individuals, of which 520 are SEN. The cost on average is £5,769 per annum per passenger for SEN travel. The current service covers approximately 134 routes. Proposals planned for inclusion in the consultation include: • independent travel training • a new travel bursary option so families can make their own travel arrangements • the use of collection points for transport arrangements which have historically collected and dropped off at a child’s home address • ceasing provision of travel assistance to faith schools or same sex establishments, where there are closer ones to meet educational needs • introduction of a contribution charge from those in receipt of assistance where the council does not have a statutory obligation to provide free assistance to eligible individuals. The consultation will explore how any contribution fee should be structured and the level of any fee. Options could include a flat fee, tiered contribution and subsidised fee for low-income families. During the consultation, there will be engagement sessions with educational settings, community groups, stakeholders and service users, as well as public meetings in person and online. These will enable parents and young people to share their experiences of travel and transport to educational settings. Date Venue Time 27 June The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY 10am-12noon 27 June The Curve, William Street, Slough, SL1 1XY 12.30-2.30pm 4 July Romsey Close Children’s Centre, Marish Primary School, Romsey Close, Langley, SL3 8PE 12.30– 2.30pm 7 July Chalvey Hub, Ladbrooke Road, Chalvey, SL1 2SP 11am-1pm 7 July Chalvey Hub, Ladbrooke Road, Chalvey, SL1 2SP 7-9pm The consultation will end on 21 July. Have your say by visiting the consultation webpage - https://slough.citizenspace.com/transport/travel-assistance-policy/ Cabinet will receive an update on the policies in September, before a new policy is published and implemented in October. Operational changes will begin during the 22/23 academic year, with full adoption of the new policies in time for the 23/24 academic year.
  • Kitemark accreditations awarded to more early year’s settings Slough’s early year’s Health & Wellbeing accreditation is now in its second year of rollout. On Thursday 16 June two more providers received their award at a presentation event at their respective settings. Dar-ul-Madinah Nursery in Chalvey received a silver award and Adventure Learning Day Nursery in Langley received a bronze. Councillor Christine Hulme, cabinet member for children’s services, lifelong learning & skills, officiated at the event. The initiative was created to support the improvement of the health and wellbeing of children and their families. Thirty-six settings are currently signed up for the accreditation and are progressing with its implementation. By signing up for the accreditation, settings can showcase the great work they are doing, which includes assessments in the four areas of: health and wellbeing, nutrition and oral health, physical activity, and emotional and mental wellbeing. It also recognises how providers implement the necessary changes to ensure they are supporting children and families and it becomes embedded practice. Settings are required to provide evidence that shows how they are helping to tackle health inequalities and enabling families to have a better health outcome. A panel of health professionals evaluate submitted evidence, and the setting is graded with their achieved level of accreditation. Levels of accreditation range from bronze to platinum, with the setting receiving a framed certificate of award, and finally an engraved plaque for achieving platinum. Currently, three early year’s settings hold gold awards for attaining this level of the accreditation. Councillor Christine Hulme, cabinet member for children’s services, lifelong learning & skills, said: “It has made me very happy to be here today with some of our wonderful early year’s workforce, celebrating their achievement in receiving these awards. It’s been so interesting to hear what a difference implementing the work needed for these awards, has made for the children and families. Thank you very much for your continued hard work and dedication.” Sofia Nasir, nursery manager at Dar-ul-Madinah Nursery, said: “Staff, students, and families have all had a great time today receiving this award. This has allowed us to grow as individuals as well as educate and train our team and the families we work with. This is an excellent programme, and I would encourage all nurseries to participate. Parents are inspired and supportive of this campaign as their children are making better choices independently and are becoming more active. We are excited to continue applying this concept and raising awareness in our community.” Manjit Sandhu, nursery manager at Adventure Learning Day Nursery, said: We decided that completing the accreditation was a really good opportunity for us. The kite mark accreditation helps us to review our own practice in relation to the health and wellbeing of our children and young people. In addition to this, it allows us to consider new working strategies which we can implement in order to further help our children and their families.” If you are a parent/carer and would like to know more about the accreditation, please speak to you child’s early year’s setting. If you are an early year’s provider and would like more information on this opportunity, please contact Jacqui Shadrache, Senior Health improvement Officer on 07889304302 or email Jacqui.shadrache@slough.gov.uk Photo 1 - Dar-ul-Madinah Nursery: (L-R) Zainulhassan, Aaizah, Jacqui Shadrache – Senior Health Improvement Officer, Slough Borough Council, Cllr Christine Hulme, Yusuf, and Ayah. Photo 2 - Adventure Learning Day Nursery: (L-R) Front row is Manjit Sandhu, with Cllr Christine Hulme, and at the back is Rebecca Nicholls, Inderjit Bhara, Halima Khan and Rusha Chatterjee.
  • £150 rebate update – apply now! Residents eligible for the £150 council tax rebate can apply now. Thousands of direct debit payers have already received their money, but now those who pay in other ways can also apply. Letters are being sent out to those eligible, but they can apply online before it arrives. They will need: • their council tax account number • their bank sort code and account number • an email address. On the online form, residents will be asked to verify their account to confirm they are an eligible household. This is through the government’s Spotlight system. If the system rejects the claim, for reasons such as the bank not sharing data with the system, the bank account being a business account or the bank account being less than three months’ old, the council may need to credit the £150 to the individual’s council tax account. If the name, address or bank details are incorrect, it will delay the application being processed, so please double check all entries. Save the form progress as you go along. Applications close on 20 July. If residents haven’t applied by this date and are eligible, the money will be credited to their council tax account. To apply, visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/council-tax/energy-bill-rebates/2 and click the form link. Payment will be made within four weeks, though it is expected to be a lot quicker than that.
  • The Low Carbon Workspaces (LCW) grant scheme helps businesses make energy cost savings and reduce carbon emissions. One of the most effective and long-term ways to reduce your climate impact, and to mitigate against energy price rises, is to reduce energy consumed, through efficiency upgrades. Such improvements include; LED lighting, solar PV, heating system upgrades, and insulation/glazing to improve heat retention. The main barrier to these may well be the initial cost. However, a Low Carbon Workspaces’ grant from £1,000 - £5,000 can help fund a third of the cost of such projects at commercial premises. These interventions are a great way to save money on energy bills, and reduce your carbon emissions; helping to achieve net zero goals. Grants cannot be paid retrospectively so it is essential to apply before undertaking work or appointing suppliers. For full details visit lowcarbonworkspaces.co.uk or email the team at info@lowcarbonworkspaces.co.uk
  • Transport consultation launches – have your say The council will be submitting a bid for funding for different transport projects and a consultation has been launched to gather residents’ views. The bid through the Levelling Up Fund is for three complementary projects which will promote active and sustainable modes of transport, enhancing accessibility to economic, social and cultural opportunities in Slough for local communities and visitors. The following proposals will enable wider multi-user access to employment, housing, leisure and culture. 1. Farnham Road public realm – We want to improve the public realm of Farnham Road (between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road), including introducing safer pedestrian areas, and to improve cycling infrastructure, improve access to local shops and businesses for users of all modes of transport. 2. Salt Hill Park and Western Gateway – Innovative design to create a coherent, connected space that marks out a Western Gateway experience leading into the Heart of Slough. Improving the Three Tuns junction, west of the park, connecting the green space, and seeing the spaces working together could help establish a sense of place. 3. Farnham Road Bus Accessibility - We want to improve the reliability and accessibility of buses on Farnham Road by upgrading and revising the phasing of the traffic signals along the full length of Farnham Road within the Borough. We also want to improve access to the bus stops by adjusting their locations where needed, and by improving footways and removing clutter. Councillor Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, said: “If we were to be successful in winning this bid, it would enable many improvements to be made in the town which would benefit cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. I would encourage residents to complete the survey and to share their views, so we can make any changes to our proposals before submitting the bid in July.” The community and stakeholder consultation, which runs until 30 June, is about gathering insight into what local improvements residents would like to see and to get their views on the proposals. It is not about scheme designs, as this will come later if the bid is successful. To have your say, visit the consultation webpage https://slough.citizenspace.com/transport/levelling-up-fund
  • £150 rebate update Of the 2,800 direct debit cases that failed the initial checks, we have reviewed these and are able to make a further 1,529 payments. These payments will hit bank accounts next week. The remaining 1,271 cases will now be included in those that need to make a claim. The reasons for these cases not being paid are a result of them not meeting the criteria laid out in the guidance, such as the bank account name and council tax name not matching or payment from a business account. Final tests are being completed on the claim form and we hope to go live in the next 5 to 10 days. All remaining households will receive a letter over the coming weeks to invite them to complete the online claim form. Once the form is published, guidance on how to complete the form will be added to the website. We will do another update once the form is live and letters start going out.
  • £150 rebate payments * We cannot look into individual cases until the following process is complete. There is no need to contact us about this, we will continue to provide updates as things progress. Thank you for your patience. * Following our update on 27 May about releasing 23,078 rebate payments to direct debit payers, some 2,800 of these have not gone through. We are now in the process of going through cases where the software has not been able to match details and identifying those where we are confident it is appropriate to pay without an application. This is a manual check and will begin today (Tuesday). Once we have done that, all accounts where we are able to verify, will receive a payment in due course. Where we cannot match or there is a clear mis-match – i.e. Council Tax paid by a third party or surnames do not match and cannot be matched from records - council tax payers will receive a letter in due course inviting them to make an application through our claim form. Applicants will be able to request a payment or have the money credited to their council tax account. Those who do not pay by direct debit will also receive an invite to claim in the same way at the same time. Once an application is made, payments will be made where all details match and pass the verification checks within four weeks. For those accounts that fail this, a payment will be made direct to the council tax payer's council tax account. We will notify residents via the website once this process is complete.
  • Cycle hire scheme changes Slough’s bicycle hire scheme is coming to an end while a new provider is sought. Slough Cycle Hire launched in 2013 and grew to include 17 cycle hire stations throughout the town. For just £1, pay as you go members could cycle for up to an hour, or cyclists could choose a daily pass or have a monthly membership. It meant people were able to dock the bikes across Slough, including at Slough and Burnham train stations, on the Slough trading estate and in popular shopping areas in Langley. The current scheme will close on 1 July, as the council can no longer subsidise it. However, the council is issuing a new tender for a new supplier who can run a modernised scheme at no cost to the council and one which could potentially include e-bikes and newer, lighter bikes. Cllr Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported and enjoyed the Slough Cycle Hire scheme. While it has served us well up until this point, the council can no longer subsidise it. “We remain committed to sustainable travel, and we are currently looking into alternative schemes. We are optimistic we can find a new provider who can bring a revitalised scheme to the town and encourage people to get on a bike to make their journeys, rather than always hopping in the car. If we reduce the number of short car journeys we make, the local environment will be cleaner and safer.” Any users who bought a subscription that is valid after the closing date will be refunded on a pro-rata basis. Daily passes will continue to be available until 30 June. Once out of action, the team will be working with community groups to see if they can make use of the bikes and others will be repurposed and given away to a charity who will issue them to low-income individuals. The transport team will review responses to the tender to help relaunch a cycle hire scheme in Slough. The council was recently awarded £10.4m to create a cycle highway route, so retaining a bike share scheme is important to encourage more people of all ages to try out cycling and be confident on Slough’s roads. For future updates on the scheme, please visit the council’s website at https://www.slough.gov.uk/cycling/cycle-hire-slough If you have any questions, email betterby@slough.gov.uk
  • Household Support Fund (HSF) applications open Applications for support through the Household Support Fund (HSF) can now be made until 30 September. The council has been awarded another £1,177,691.53 from the Department for Work and Pensions to help families, pensioners and individuals who may struggle to pay for basic living costs, such as food, energy and water bills and essentials linked to these, such as sanitary products, warm clothing, soap and blankets (but not white goods). The majority of the council’s funding will go to families with children in receipt of Free School Meals, those in receipt of Early Years pupil premium and to care leavers. A third will go to pensioners and there will be some allocated for discretionary applications. Currently, around 6,000 children are receiving free school meals, whose families will receive £15 per week per child for May half term and summer holidays from their schools. Funding will be given as food vouchers, vouchers for essential goods and assistance with fuel payments. Councillor Rob Anderson, lead member for financial oversight and council assets, said: “We are pleased to have received at least the same amount of money as we did in the previous scheme which ran until the end of March. Last time we made 38,000 individual payments which shows the scale of the cost of living crisis for Slough residents. The money will go to help those who really need it the most.” The council will be making direct contact with those identified as being eligible for these payments. For people most in need, who don’t fall into the categories listed, they can apply to the discretionary scheme, even if they applied for the previous HSF money. Criteria for the discretionary scheme includes being over 16, having a settled residence in Slough, having a reduction in income and not having savings they could use. It is one application per household. There is an application form to complete for those who won’t automatically be eligible. Please submit all the information requested to speed up the application process. The discretionary funding will be issued on a first come, first served basis to those who are eligible and submit all the information required. Applications close on 30 September or when the funding is all allocated. To see the full eligibility criteria, please visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/benefits-support/household-support-fund
  • Today we have released 23,078 energy rebate payments for £3.4m. If you pay by direct debit, this should hit your bank account by Tuesday. For non DD payers, we will write to you from 6 June, inviting you to claim. There is no need to contact us, please wait for the letter. If your direct debit was not set up before the qualifying date, or the info did not match the liable tax payer, you will receive a letter too.
  • A4 east/west cycle highway route – funding announcement Slough Borough Council’s transport planning team has secured grant funding to develop a major cycle route across the borough. A total of £10.4m has been awarded from the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Active Travel Fund, representing full funding for the scheme. The promotion of Active Travel is one of the core elements of the council’s delivery of a sustainable, safe and integrated transport solution. This scheme is one of the priorities in the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) and is in line with the council’s Local Transport policies, and wider council policies, including the Low Emission Strategy and emerging Carbon Strategy. The benefits of the scheme will be extensive, contributing towards: • improved public health • improved air quality • reduced traffic congestion and associated carbon emissions • increased connectivity and mobility • greater social inclusion. Misha Byrne, the council’s transport lead, said: “The team is currently developing preliminary designs for the scheme, which is expected to cover the A4 from the western boundary to the Uxbridge Road junction. “There are a number of pinch-points along the route, and innovative engineering solutions will be necessary in order to deliver a continuous and successful route. The team is looking forward to this challenge and to providing a high quality, safe and practical cycle highway.” The designs are expected to include: • segregation/part-segregation from mainstream traffic • junction redesign and improved crossing provision • prominent, enhanced signage and markings. Councillor Pavitar K. Mann, lead member for transport, planning and place, said: “It’s fantastic news to hear we’ve been awarded this money which will enable us to reclaim the road space for all road users, in a sustainable and progressive way. “Local areas have suffered from increased levels of traffic and increased speeds. The council has already introduced measures to make local roads better for walking and cycling, such as our rollout of School Streets. “With this new scheme, we want to help people make travel choices that are cleaner and greener which will contribute towards Slough being a safer, healthier and more attractive place to live and work.” Highways schemes of this kind go hand in hand with the council’s ongoing educational programme which promotes behavioural change through travel planning and engagement with wide-ranging organisations and the community. The plans will be released for consultation in the summer. Dates for the construction of the scheme are yet to be determined.
  • Are you taking care of your smile? National Smile month is from 16 May to 16 June and gives us all an opportunity to understand why oral health is such an important part of our overall health. Maintaining good oral health habits at home reduces our risks of oral disease such as cavities, gum disease, tooth sensitivity and bad breath. Many of these are largely preventable when we address the common factors such as smoking, poor diet, high sugar intake and alcohol misuse. During the pandemic, access to dental services was reduced leaving many children, families, adults, and older adults at risk of poor oral health. Prolonged untreated oral disease can lead to pain, days lost from work and school, sleepless nights and can reduce a person’s quality of life. Now that things are returning more to normal, it’s important to get those check-ups booked in at the dentist and keep on top of your oral health care. We should all visit a dentist regularly (every six months, or as often as recommended by your dentist). To find a local dentist call 0300 311 22 33 or visit the NHS website. https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist It is recommended that parents and carers support good oral health habits in children from the earliest age. Children and that they see a dentist once their first tooth comes through and by the age of one, so children can get used to the experience. This is an opportunity to check teeth for decay, gums, and general mouth health. For helpful tips on keeping children’s teeth healthy, please visit the Slough Oral Health webpage. https://www.slough.gov.uk/leisure-wellbeing-health/oral-health Cleaning at the gum level is especially important for those who have experienced tooth loss due to gum disease. Those wearing dentures must pay particular attention to their oral hygiene. Vulnerable adults (and children) with reduced dexterity and mental capacity may require additional support with toothbrushing. NICE guidelines advise carers at home and care staff within a care home to consider: • providing daily oral care for full or partial dentures (such as brushing, removing food debris, and removing dentures overnight) • using their choice of cleaning products for dentures if possible • using their choice of toothbrush, either manual or powered • daily use of mouth care products prescribed by dental clinicians (for example, this may include a high fluoride toothpaste or a prescribed mouthwash or rinse). For the rest of us, healthy eating and general good oral hygiene are the most important actions we can take, as well as regular dentist visits. Teeth frequently exposed to sugar is the main cause for dental decay. The best way to reduce this is to ensure consumption of sugary drinks and foods is kept to a minimum. This can be achieved by eating a healthy balanced diet to support healthy teeth. It is important to clean all tooth surfaces and gum line twice a day. Using a fluoride-containing toothpaste helps to prevent dental caries. Creating an early habit of toothbrushing is important. Children should be supervised to brush their teeth for the first 8-9 years with encouraged prompting and motivation from parents. The Slough Healthy Smiles project run by Oxford Health which has been running since 2018 continues to aim to coordinate, facilitate, support and provide a range of evidence-based interventions to improve oral health and reduce oral health inequalities in Slough, by working particularly with early years and primary school aged children and vulnerable adults. This includes improving oral health promotion and collaborating with partners to improve patient awareness of NHS dental services available. https://healthandwellbeingslough.co.uk/services/oral-health/ Councillor Natasa Pantelic, lead member for social care and public health, said: “Over the pandemic access to dentists wasn’t easy and it’s important now to book that check-up that may be overdue. It’s really important to regularly brush teeth, reduce sugar and start little ones off early at the dentist. We are so pleased of the positive impact that our Slough Healthy Smiles project continues to make on our residents’ oral health, particularly on our youngest residents and those who are more elderly or vulnerable.”
  • Anti-social behaviour curbs could go borough wide The entire borough could be subject to a new legal order which will give the council and police greater powers to curb anti-social behaviour in public places. A borough wide Public Space Protection Order, PSPO, will prohibit street drinking and refusing to surrender the alcohol, if requested. The order will give Thames Valley Police officers the discretion to issue on-the-spot fines of up to £100 or take rule-breakers to court where fines of up to £1,000 could be handed out for repeated or serious breaches. An order has been in place in nine areas of the borough since October 2017 to combat anti-social behaviour. An eight-week consultation is live from today, Friday 13 May, for the proposal to expand and come into force across the whole borough. The proposed order will prohibit the following activities: • continuing to drink alcohol or consume intoxicating substances when required to stop doing so by a police officer or police community support officer • not surrendering any alcohol or intoxicating substances in his or her possession when required to do so by a police officer or police community support officer. Once the consultation period is over the council will look at feedback and take it into consideration for the final proposal of the order. Approval will then be sought from cabinet after the consultation ends. The council has been working closely with Thames Valley Police who will be the main authority to enforce the order. Councillor Beni Bains, lead member for regulation and public protection, said: “The order has made it easier to target anti-social behaviour in the locations where it is currently in place. “However, expanding it to cover the whole borough makes it easier to enforce and for people to understand. “It will be part of a toolkit to tackle lower level behaviour which has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents.” The council intends for the proposed order to last for three years from the date it is made. Residents who want to participate in the consultation are encouraged to have a look at the online documents at https://www.slough.gov.uk/consultations Views can be submitted by: • emailing reportASB@slough.gov.uk with the subject ‘Borough wide PSPO consultation’. • writing to “Borough wide PSPO consultation”, Place and Regulation, Observatory House, Windsor Road, Slough, SL1 2EL. The consultation ends on Friday 8 July.
  • 12 May 2022 Schools in Slough get walking! Schools in Slough are getting active by walking to school next week. The annual Living Streets campaign encourages children and parents to leave their cars at home and get active by walking. Power Up! is this year’s theme for Walk to School Week, which runs from 16-20 May. #PowerUp is a campaign that engages pupils through video game-inspired design and encouraging them to travel sustainably to school every day of the week. Each day will see a level unlocked and a new mission to complete, through which pupils will discover the incredible benefits of walking for individuals, communities, and the planet. Each pupil will be challenged to walk, cycle, scoot or park and stride to school every day for one week. To find out more, visit the campaign page on the Living Streets website. Parents and carers at Wexham Court Primary School are enjoying safer drop offs and pick ups outside the school gate as their School Street was made permanent on 29 April. Navroop Mehat, Headteacher at Wexham Court Primary School, said: “The School Street closure has meant our children can safely and comfortably travel to and from school. Pupils come running in to school, they love it. Their parents let them walk part way to school because they know they are safe. After school, the pupils walk home with their friends and chat. We all chat after school without worrying about a car whizzing past. It is really very beautiful. “Prior to the School Street, we had cars speeding past all the time. They parked-on driveways and blocked the view of pupils crossing. The whole experience was terrifying, which meant pupils did not walk to school as it was just too unsafe.” School Streets limit motor vehicle access during drop-off and pick-up times, supporting active travel by making it safer for children and their families to walk, cycle and scoot to school. Wexham Court Primary School Street is operational from 8am to 9am and 3pm to 4pm term time only. Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “We are so pleased to hear the fantastic impact making the Wexham Court Primary School Street permanent has made. To get feedback that the children are getting more exercise when travelling to and from school and enjoying walking with their friends and families is priceless, all in a much safer environment.” Residents and businesses who live and work on the School Street, as well as Blue Badge holders are exempt.
  • Slough in Bloom returns for its 28th year This year’s Slough in Bloom competition has launched! Entries are open until 2 July, with judging taking place from 11 July. Anyone can enter and there are 10 different categories to choose from: • Residential front garden • Residential hanging baskets, window boxes and containers (front of property) • Community project • Business/ commercial/hospital • Student project • Public house/restaurant/hotel • Sponsored roundabouts and roadside planting • Best allotment plot • Best allotment newcomer • Environmental project. Bruce Hicks, senior parks improvement officer, said: “We have been working in partnership with Slough in Bloom for 28 years, and have been pleased to be able to support this great competition which helps to lift the spirits of people who live in and visit Slough, by encouraging everyone to brighten the town with flowers.” Margaret Inniss, Chairman of Slough in Bloom, said: “The Slough in Bloom Committee were delighted by the number and quantity of the competition entries last year in spite of the Covid lockdowns. We are looking forward to even more gardens being entered into this year’s competition and seeing how last year’s gardens have developed.” The online entry form is available to complete at: https://sloughinbloom.org/ along with a downloadable version which can be posted to the address on the form. You can also email to enter with all your contact details to: sloughinbloom@gmail.com Entries close on 2 July, and the winners will be announced in August.
  • Platinum Jubilee with Slough Libraries Libraries in Slough will be buzzing with activities to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A programme of events has been designed, with something for all ages, to mark this historic occasion. Events are free to attend and are supported by Arts Council England. They run from 27 May until 21 June in different Slough libraries. Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “We are so excited to welcome people into our libraries for these special events. There is a great variety of things to do, including making your own crown, storytime sessions, building a Royal palace with Lego and a musical celebration to conclude it all. Please come along and join in the fun.” See the full list of events at https://www.slough.gov.uk/libraries-culture-events/platinum-jubilee-events
  • Tent-dwellers to be evicted from churchyard People who have been living in tents in the churchyard at St Mary’s Church in Slough town centre have been served notice to leave or have their belongings removed. The action by the council, with the support of the church and Slough police, follows complaints and evidence of: • the pitching of tents on graves, memorial plaques and monuments leaving residents unable to visit deceased relatives • human fouling and urination in the churchyard, on graves and even on the church itself • public drug taking and alcohol consumption including within the church itself, disrupting services • drug and alcohol waste • littering • uncontrolled fires which have caused damage • as well as, attracting and encouraging other antisocial behaviour in the area. The notice was served on the tent-dwellers on Wednesday 27 April, giving them until Tuesday 3 May to remove all tents and associated materials. Any tents and materials still on site on Tuesday 3 May at 9am will be removed and destroyed. Greg Edmond, principal enforcement officer, said: “The church has been patient for a very long time but the behaviour by the people living in these tents, the tents themselves and the behaviour of the outside visitors they attract, are having a severe and detrimental effect on the area and on the relatives of those buried at St. Mary’s. “Intensive work by the council’s outreach team has meant numerous people who were living within the graveyard have engaged with services and been helped to find suitable accommodation. The church too has been tireless in their support for those people and their visitors. “Unfortunately, those who are left have been unwilling to change their behaviour or access any of the services who can help and support them. “And, worst of all, their behaviour is now directed at the church itself and not just in the grounds. “Now we are saying ‘enough is enough, this anti-social behaviour and the other behaviour it encourages in the area cannot continue’ and we are taking action.” Garry Tallett, group manager for community safety, housing regulation and enforcement said: “The plight of genuinely homeless residents and the circumstances that drive people to camp is something we can all sympathise with. “However, there are multiple organisations who are there to help, who have offered to help, but nothing has changed. “Churchyards and churches are hallowed ground and do not deserve to be disrespected in this way. We need to take action to protect the resting places of those who have come before us.” The formal notice also gives the tent-dwellers the names and addresses of organisations where they can get help with homelessness and health and addiction issues.
  • Product recall: Certain Kinder products have been recalled due to a potential salmonella risk. All shops, but particularly smaller and independent retailers, are urged to double check their stock. Email consumers.uk@ferrero.com for a full refund if you've purchased these products
  • Water safety video to be launched in schools The harrowing final moments of a young man who drowned in the Jubilee River are recounted by a friend in an educational video being launched in schools to prevent another life being lost. Jade Spilsbury was among a group of friends who went to the banks of the river with 20-year-old Michael Scaife. She dialled 999 as Michael’s head went below the surface for a final time and she didn’t see him resurface. The moving account is just part of the educational video which also features Michael’s mum Sonia. Sonia takes a walk across the bridge of the Jubilee River where she sat for hours above Michael’s body waiting for specialist divers to pull him out. In the video, produced by the Safer Slough Partnership and the Environment Agency, she explains the bridge has become a memorial for her family. Both women warn others not to go into any body of water on hot days due to the water being freezing cold and the risk of cold-water shock, which Michael suffered from rendering him unable to surface. Jade said: “Just don’t go in. Don’t leave the people who love you behind.” The video which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/y4njOkRBK4Q will be shared with secondary schools to use in their PHE lessons. It will serve as a real-life warning of the dangers of jumping or swimming in waterways as well as leaving lifebuoys and lines situated along rivers alone for when there is an emergency. SBC’s joint chair of the Safer Slough Partnership board, Alan Sinclair, said: “This is a really sad and salient story of a young man from Langley with his whole life in front of him, who was out on a summer’s day and having fun. “It quickly turned to tragedy when another young man got into trouble and Michael helped get him to the edge before getting into trouble himself. “The Safer Slough Partnership has done a lot of work to try and educate and warn people not to go in the Jubilee River and we are widening this to reach all the secondary school pupils.” Lee Barnham, joint chair and local area commander for Thames Valley Police, said: “I am very grateful to the Scaife family and Jade for sharing their tragic experiences and for being so generous with their time in a bid to prevent this happening to anyone else. “Over the past three years the Partnership has worked well together with services patrolling the riverbanks in hot weather, talking to individuals and families seen in the water and telling them of the unseen dangers. “We want to reach out to young people early to warn them of the life-threatening danger of going into bodies of water in good weather. The video powerfully highlights what can happen when tempted by water on a hot day.” The Environment Agency is responsible for the Jubilee River and the lifebuoys and lines on the banks. There have been physical barriers made to stop people going in the river, warning signs, and the buoys are regularly checked. However, these have to be replaced with disappointing frequency due to vandalism. They literally could be the only thing between life and death for someone in trouble in the water, and people are asked to remind their children to respect them and not vandalise them. Michael Scaife was a trainee shop manager who was about to become a mentor with The Prince’s Trust when he died in the Jubilee River in August 2015. Three years after Michael’s death two young men died within just weeks of each other in the Jubilee River, 17-year-old Dajarn Daly, of Wexham, and 22-year-old Nayeeb Ullah Naizai. The inquests ruled all three men’s death were accidental. Read more water safety information on the RBFRS website. https://www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/out-and-about/water-safety/
  • The M4 eastbound will be closed overnight (approx 9pm-6am) between j6 and 5 on Mon 25 April. The M4 westbound and associated slip roads will be closed between j4b (M25) and j5, including the clock wise and anti-clockwise link roads from the M25 to the M4, on Mon 25 April. The M4 in both directions will be closed between j4b (M25) and j5, including all associated slip and M25 linking roads, on Tues 26 April. The M4 j5 westbound entry slip road will be closed overnight on Wed 27 April. The M4 j6 eastbound exit slip road will be closed overnight on Thurs 28 April.
  • There are volunteer governor positions for many Slough schools, visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/schools-slough/governors to find out more. There are also roles available at the council, Slough Children First and Osborne Property Services Ltd. Visit www.slough.gov.uk/council-jobs
  • Are you interested in helping the council to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by its Members and Co-opted Members? Volunteer opportunities are available to become Independent Members of the Audit & Corporate Governance Committee and Standards Committee, as well and an Independent Person. Find out more about what each role entails at https://www.slough.gov.uk/general-vacancies/standards-co-opted-member-x2 https://www.slough.gov.uk/general-vacancies/audit-corporate-finance-co-opted-members-x4 https://www.slough.gov.uk/general-vacancies/independent-person
  • We will not call and ask for bank details in connection with the £150 energy bill rebates. If you get a call, you should report this to Action Fraud -www.actionfraud.police.uk. We will be writing to residents, who we do not already hold bank details, inviting you to make a claim. We have not yet set a date for this as we are still awaiting the software. Future updates will be on www.slough.gov.uk/council-tax/energy-bill-rebates
  • Conviction for man who dumped waste A man who dumped a transit van’s worth of waste into a cul-de-sac, blocking a fire hydrant when there was an active fire in the road, has appeared in court. CCTV caught the moment Daniel Morris, of Shakespeare Avenue, Feltham, Middlesex, decided to empty the contents of his Ford Transit flat-bed tipper onto Willow Road in Poyle. During the incident on 29 June 2021, he fly-tipped green waste and some wooden wardrobes which covered the end of the road. After an investigation by the council’s Resilience and Enforcement Team, and assistance from Thames Valley Police, Mr Morris’s vehicle was identified from local ANPR cameras and was active in the area at the time. Mr Morris attended Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 8 April and pleaded guilty to fly-tipping under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The court sentenced him to a three-year conditional discharge, and he was ordered to pay £250 in costs and £22 Victim Surcharge. Greg Edmond, from the resilience and enforcement team, said: “What was particularly hazardous about this incident was that it covered access to a fire hydrant, preventing access to the fire service who were dealing with a building fire on the same road in a neighbouring building. “The fire service were able to access another hydrant, however with a fire in close proximity and green combustible waste yards away, the potential for the fire to spread was high and the council had to act quickly to remove the waste.”
  • Counterfeit number plate holders lead to prosecution A Slough based business is hundreds of thousands of pounds out of pocket after being prosecuted for selling illegal number plate holders. The investigation into Sola Sales Ltd began in June 2017, after a test purchase of a set of number plate holders bearing the BMW/Mini logos was made at the business premises on Farnham Road, by the council’s Trading Standards officers. Once these items were confirmed as being counterfeit, a search of the premises was carried out in November 2017, when a total of 3,466 surrounds were seized bearing the trademarks of 22 different car manufacturers. A business computer was seized as well. Although the two directors claimed they purchased the number plate holders from a reputable EU based company in good faith and were unaware the holders were an unlicensed product, a forensic analysis of the seized computer revealed that a large consignment of counterfeit number plate holders destined for Sola Sales, from their supplier, had been seized and destroyed by Customs Officers in Calais in March 2016. The confiscation hearing was held at Reading Crown Court on 1 April 2022. Judge HHJ Nott stated she accepted the company was set up with a legitimate purpose and would sentence on the basis of recklessness and carelessness, rather than specific intent to commit financial crime. The judge granted a confiscation order for the sum of £333,955.62, to Sola Sales Ltd and its two directors Marcin Wdowiak and Kazimiera Swiniarska. This includes the council’s prosecution costs and fines totalling £20,000. Jaspal Singh, Principal Enforcement Officer for the council’s Trading Standards service and lead officer in the case, said: “I’m pleased the directors had previously pleaded guilty to the offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and now have to pay prosecution costs to SBC, as well as a significant amount in Proceeds of Crime money, received during the period of April 2014 to April 2018, when the sales of this product took place through Amazon and eBay marketplaces.”
  • Easter Holiday Activity and Food programme launches This Easter, Slough Borough Council is continuing the Holiday Activity and Food programme. Eligible children across the borough can access four-hour sessions, for four days over the Easter break at no cost to parents/guardians (children are eligible if they receive benefits related free school meal). This programme is funded by the Department for Education. The holiday clubs are also available to any children not eligible for free school meals, who can pay to attend. Slough Borough Council is working with a range of providers (private, voluntary, independent, and charities) to offer places where children will be able to eat healthy nutritious meals over the school holidays; be more active and be safe and have fun. Our providers for the Easter programme are: Get Active, Art Classes, Slough Music Service, Antz Kidz, Kidz Enterprise Ltd, Scrumys, Monksfield and Chalvey Grove CC, Sport 4 Kids, Tree Tops Clubs, Sports Collective, Computer Xplorers, Sports Inc, Little Musketeers, Aik Saath, Britwell Youth and Community Project and Fit for Sports. See our webpage for activities offered by each provider as this information is being updated daily: https://www.slough.gov.uk/HAF Dayo Williams, HAF programme manager, Children and Families, said: “The Easter HAF programme is free for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. Letters have gone out with a unique code to enable each child to book a place with a club of their choice. If you feel your child is eligible, please register for Free School meal (FSM) on the SBC website. Eligible children can choose to attend a range of activities in different venues across the town and places are also available for paying parents too. We can’t wait to see the borough’s children joining in the exciting activities offered, with the bonus of cost not being a barrier to fun and nutrition during the school holidays.” For more information visit: https://www.slough.gov.uk/HAF or please call Slough Family Information Service on 01753 476589.
  • Raising awareness of the importance of the MMR jab If your child is of eligible age, have they had their MMR vaccination yet? If you answered ‘no’ – why not? The council’s Public Health team is launching an awareness campaign about the importance of the MMR vaccine. Slough has the lowest number of children vaccinated in Berkshire and it’s extremely important that the borough’s children are protected, especially against Measles, which can be a deadly disease. Rubella is also extremely dangerous for pregnant women causing profound birth defects and baby loss. For the first vaccination children must be one year old and this dose is available through your GP or Health Visitor. The second dose is from 3 years 4 months, and available through schools and catch-up clinics held at various locations in East Berkshire. Parents and carers can have their children vaccinated if they missed out on the vaccination when their child was younger by contacting their GP surgery. In 2020/21 only 88.78% of parents of children aged 24 months, who were offered the MMR vaccination, took up the opportunity for their children in Slough. As the diseases are easily spread, the vaccination coverage needs to be at 95% minimum. The Slough Borough Council Public Health team is raising awareness of the importance of getting your children vaccinated by sharing information and advice on MMR with Children’s Centres, Nurseries and Schools, and the local community and voluntary sector. Vanita Dutta, public health programme manager, said: “Slough’s vaccination rates are low for the MMR vaccine, and this leads to increased pressure on local GPs and hospitals, lost working days and unnecessary illness. “Even very healthy children can become seriously ill from measles or even sadly die.” “It takes just a few minutes of your time to get your little ones vaccinated, so please get them vaccinated and protect your loved ones from Measles, Mumps and Rubella. If you would like more information about the vaccine, please talk to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist.” The council is working harder than ever to help raise awareness and encourage people to get their children vaccinated. For more information, please contact the Public Health team on publichealthslough@slough.gov.uk
  • The call centre is experiencing a high volume of calls, particularly around council tax and bins. Wait times are at least 45 minutes. Please consider trying another time. Thank you for your patience. You can find lots of useful information and online forms to report issues on our website at www.slough.gov.uk
  • Households on low incomes can apply for funding for energy efficiency works in their home to reduce their energy bills - apply by 31 March. Read more at https://www.slough.gov.uk/news/article/159/apply-now-for-help-to-reduce-energy-bills
  • All death registrations in Slough must be made face to face and can no longer be registered over the phone. To find out more about the process, please visit https://www.slough.gov.uk/births-deaths-ceremonies/register-death. Our registrars are based at The Curve.
  • Up-and-coming athletes in Slough are being given the chance to become ‘Sporting Champions’ and gain much-needed support as part of a sports talent development scheme. Everyone Active’s Sporting Champions Scheme, now heading into its sixth year, has helped thousands of athletes to achieve their sporting potential by providing free access to Everyone Active’s 200+ leisure facilities across the country, including Salt Hill Activity Centre, Slough Ice Arena, Langley Leisure Centre and The Centre. Aspiring athletes will be able to apply for the scheme through the Everyone Active Sporting Champions website from the beginning of April - https://www.easportingchampions.com/apply-now/ This year will see the official relaunch of the scheme, welcoming on board several Elite athletes whose identity will be revealed next month on the Sporting Champions Instagram page (@easportingchamps). The talented line-up includes Olympians and Paralympians, whose experience and expertise will help to mentor and support those accepted onto the scheme. Sporting Champions will also receive free unlimited access to the Everyone on Demand app, providing them with more than 500,000 at-home workouts from leading fitness brands, including WithU, Flex and Les Mills on Demand. Olympic silver medalist Colin Jackson will continue to support the scheme through his role as an Ambassador, working alongside the newly appointed Elite athletes to make sport more accessible within local communities. Luke Routhorn, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to support stars from Slough on their journey to success. “As a leisure provider working in partnership with Slough Borough Council we feel it is important to cater for all sections of the community. “The Sporting Champions scheme has already supported a huge number of athletes and I’m proud that we are continuing this again in 2022. “We hope to continue making a real difference to our athletes’ success and are excited to see what the relaunch of the scheme will bring this year.” Applicants should follow the Sporting Champions Instagram page (@easportingchamps) for further updates on how to apply. The online application form will be open from Friday 1 April to Saturday 30 April.
  • Residents are set to receive a £150 cash payment from the government in response to rising energy bills, if they are in council tax bands A to D. If you pay by direct debit, you'll get an automatic payment to your bank account. This payment will be made after we have successfully received a cleared Direct Debit payment during April. It is likely that this will mean the first payments will be released in early May. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, we will contact you to ask for your bank details or provide you with the option to have the money paid directly onto your Council Tax account. We will contact you if necessary, you do not need to contact us. Further information about the £150 payment and timing of it will be available soon, together with details of the discretionary scheme that will apply for the same purpose. Read more about eligibility on the council’s website - www.slough.gov.uk/council-tax/energy-bill-rebates
  • SloughBC @SloughBC Slough - updated 5mo
    Green bin collections resume Slough Borough Council is reminding residents that the green bin collections will be resuming the week beginning Monday 21 March. Around 50% of collection days have changed so residents are asked to check the “find bin collection days directory” on our website to recheck their collection day. Visit: https://www.slough.gov.uk/directory/15/find-bin-collection-days Your green bin is for your garden waste only. No carrier bags or bin liners. Green waste is waste produced from your garden for example grass cuttings, hedge and shrub trimmings, small branches and twigs, flowers, small plants, and weeds. If you don’t already have a green bin, they are available free of charge and collected fortnightly. Contact the Environmental Services team https://www.slough.gov.uk/directory-record/104/environmental-services to register for the scheme and receive your green garden waste recycling bin - please ensure you include the full address of the property. A green bin will then be delivered to your property. You will receive only one green bin per household. The garden waste is taken to the household waste recycling centre where it is transferred to composting facilities in Bracknell, to produce high-quality compost products.
  • Top of the class The council’s community learning service has passed an internationally recognised assessment which recognises the standard of adult guidance on offer. The Community Learning and Skills Service (CLASS) is provided by the council to adults in Slough and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. This week they have passed the assessment for continuing to provide Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) to the Matrix standard. This is the Department for Education’s standard for ensuring the quality of the delivery of information, advice and guidance given to adults. CLASS provides qualifications to adults and the adult guidance is given to support them to progress into work or further education. This positive news comes after a ‘Good’ rating of the CLASS service, following an Ofsted inspection at the end of last year. Councillor Christine Hulme, cabinet member for children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “This is another brilliant achievement for the CLASS service which really shows the quality of learning on offer. One of the really good parts of the assessment feedback was the positive message from learners about the information and guidance they receive. Another was the praise for the ‘passion’ that staff have for supporting their learners. “Residents can find all sorts of courses to suit their needs and interests, so I would encourage them to find out more. As the council moves to more online and digital communications with residents, I urge those residents that are not confident in computer/digital skills to sign up to one of our IT courses.” To find out more about the CLASS service, visit the council’s website - http://www.slough.gov.uk/communitylearning
  • Slough announces its new Youth Parliament, award winner and Make Your Mark Results! This year has seen the first combined Youth Parliament elections and Make Your Mark vote take place across the UK. This has streamlined how all partners of the UK Youth Parliament hear the voices of young people. Across Slough during February, the youth voice team from Slough Borough Council supported schools, colleges, and youth groups to take part. This year for the Make Your Mark vote instead of the usual 10 topics, five local and five national, there were only seven broader themes to choose from. They were: Covid-19 recovery, education and learning, environment, health and wellbeing, jobs - money - homes and opportunities, our rights and democracy, and poverty. According to this year’s ballot, the top issue young people face is health and wellbeing with 93,023 votes cast across the UK. Slough showed that the top issue locally facing young people is education and learning, with the most votes (1,093) being cast for this issue alone. Overall, 434,492 young people voted in this year’s Make Your Mark ballot from more than 780 schools, colleges and youth groups across the UK. This means that 7.06% of eligible young voters aged 11-18 years old took part, compared with a lower 3.13% last year on UK wide topics. Locally Slough had the fourth highest percentage turnout of the 19 local authorities in the South East, but just narrowly missed out on a top 20 place nationally. In 2019 49.10% of our youth population voted, then during lockdown this fell to 8.5% in 2020. This year the youth voice team has worked hard to increase participation to 26.29% of all 17,279 voters, with 4,543 votes cast last month. This reflects the difficulties in engagement over the last two years with additional pressures due to Covid-19 and reduced finances and resources. Also there has been a reduced number of schools and colleges able to take place in Make Your Mark and Elections, meaning fewer young people were supported to vote in both. Slough Youth Parliament Election Results The successful candidates are: 1. Baylis Court – Maha Khan & Haddy Bojang 2. Beechwood – Dorothy Doku & Zak Savage 3. Churchmead – Dohissa Bentil & Samir Hussain 4. Ditton Park Academy – Basant Kaur & Srinidhi Vuppala 5. Eden Girls – Hiba Ali Kaunain & Yasmeen Amod 6. Grove Academy – Maya Shabir & Shaheem Hussein 7. Haybrook College – Casey Lynch & Vikram Jaswal 8. Herschel – Musa Sheikh & Ibrahim Zafar 9. Langley Grammar – Arjan Dhillon & Talha Bilal 10. Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy – Mellesa Marie MacCow & Hassan Yousaf 11. St Bernard’s – Georgi Karanayev & Sheen Philip 12. St Joseph’s – Adrian Fernandes & Hannah Crow 13. Westgate - Ahsan Iqbal & Blossom Odio 14. Yes Consortium – - Resource Productions - Riley Dyer, Aik Saath – Ananya. Raha Izzadeen, current Slough Youth Parliament Member said: "I've become so confident and learned so much about issues that impact our lives. I'm a better leader when it comes to leading groups. I don't want to say goodbye as I want to keep doing this." The Youth Voice Star Awards These awards recognise young people and projects across the country who promote young people’s voices in a variety of ways. The ceremony was an online on Thursday 10 March by the British Youth Council in a joint Make Your Mark announcement and awards event live. Future Ikilo Aghedo, who has served on the Slough Youth Parliament for three years has won the award for Personal Development this year. He has served as mental health lead, trained as a mental health first aider and taken part in focus groups and consultation to help local services. Future also developed and conducted his own research gaining 335 responses from students and teachers at Wexham School. He is passionate about highlighting injustice and inequality and believes every young person should have the right access to healthcare when they need it in a way that is accessible for them. Councillor Christine Hulme, cabinet member for children and schools, said: “I never fail to be impressed by the commitment, resilience, passion and hard work of Slough’s young people. This has been a difficult few years for everyone and their motivation to improve their community has never faltered. “They continue to be an inspiration to us all and our youth voice team at the council does excellent work in supporting our young people’s growth and development.” For more information contact: Nadine Barrett, Youth Work Team Leader - Youth Voice, Slough Borough Council by emailing: sloughforyouth@slough.gov.uk Ends Photo 1: Raha Izzadeen, current Slough Youth Parliament Member Photo 2: Future Ikilo Aghedo, current Slough Youth Parliament Member and Youth Voice Star Awards - Personal Development Award winner.
  • Queen’s Green Canopy trees planted by Mayor As part of a tree planting initiative to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, Slough Mayor Cllr Mohammed Nazir planted a Cherry tree on Friday 11 March at Langley Memorial Recreation Ground joined by Cllr Satpal Parmar. The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) has invited people across the whole of the UK to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.” The Cherry tree planted on Friday is part of two rows of Cherries that are forming an avenue alongside the existing path. They are a non-fruiting variety so will not produce any debris on the path but were chosen for their colour in the spring when they blossom. There is also a line of Lime trees being planted by the park edge. The Lime trees will take 20-30 years to reach maturity but could live for more than 100 years, fitting for celebrating reign as long as our Queen’s. The Cherries are quicker growing but shorter lived and will take about 10 years to reach maturity but will probably only live for about 50 years. Slough Mayor Councillor Mohammed Nazir said: “It’s my absolute pleasure to be here today to plant this tree in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. “The avenue of Cherry trees planted here will create a lovely physical environment and as they blossom in the spring, a beautiful splash of colour commemorating the long reign of our Queen.” Ends Photo 1: L-R - Cllr Satpal Parmar, Gerald Pleace - Senior Parks Improvements Officer, Slough Mayor Cllr Mohammed Nazir and Bruce Hicks - Senior Parks Improvements Officer. Photo 2: L-R - Cllr Satpal Parmar and Slough Mayor Cllr Mohammed Nazir. Photo 3: Slough Mayor Cllr Mohammed Nazir.
  • Homeowner fined for renting out illegal side extension A homeowner who built a side and rear extension without planning permission, was refused planning permission, and then failed to demolish the extension which was being rented out as an independent self-contained unit has been ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds by Reading Crown Court. On 26 October 2018, Saghir Malik, 53, of Mortimer Road, Slough was served with a planning enforcement notice under section 171a of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The proprietor was required to cease the unauthorised use of the land as 2 separate dwellings and demolish the unauthorised extension. Mr Malik appealed to the Secretary of State, but his appeal was dismissed meaning the enforcement notice had to be complied with. A site inspection was conducted and it was noted that the requirements of the planning enforcement notice had not been complied with and therefore a criminal offence had occurred (namely, failure to comply with a statutory notice). On 12 March 2021, Mr Malik pleaded guilty at Reading Magistrates’ Court to an offence under S.179(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, having failed to comply with the requirements of the Planning Enforcement Notice. Mr Malik had subsequently derived a criminal benefit through renting out the unauthorised extension (self-contained unit). Following a thorough investigation, Saghir Malik was sentenced on Friday 4 March 2022 by HHJ Burgess QC at Reading Crown Court as follows; Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 of £31,914.35 (given three months to pay or face 12 months imprisonment if he fails to do so), issued a fine of £6,000 and ordered to pay £4,000 costs (given six months to pay or face three months imprisonment). Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for transport, planning & place, said: “This resident has not only ignored the planning permission process and enforcement notice, he has also illegally rented out the annexe that he was required to demolish. “This has cost him tens of thousands of pounds and council staff will continue to monitor what is being developed in the borough.”
  • Tobacco detection operation Two tobacco detection dogs were involved in a trading standards operation to check if shops were stocking/supplying illegal tobacco products. Cooper and Yo-Yo, along with Stuart Phillips of BWY Canine, a Detection Dog handler, visited several Slough premises on 22 February to make checks. The businesses had been included on the list of shops to visit for the operation after intelligence had been received that the shops were selling illegal tobacco. During the exercise, eight premises were visited, and two seizures of illegal tobacco were made. Both from retail premises, and one aided by Yo-Yo. Overall more than 400 illegal tobacco products were found and removed from the market. With potential offences for: (i) Non-English health warnings (ii) Non-statutory health warnings (iii) Non-plain packaging (iv) Counterfeit tobacco products (v) Lack of pictorial health warnings (vi) The sale of single cigarettes (vii) Possession for sale of packs of 10 cigarettes (which were banned in the UK from May 2017). Some of the seized items were sent off to trademark holders, to see if they were also counterfeit. Councillor Beni Bains, lead member for regulation and public protection, said “Trading standards operations like this ensure the public are buying goods that comply with British law, which ultimately guarantees they are safe, good quality and come from reputable suppliers. “I hope these operations send out a warning to those retailers looking to cut corners and costs by buying and selling tobacco that is not fit for the British market.”
  • Man given indefinite ban on keeping animals A man who kept his dog in unsuitable conditions in an overgrown garden has been convicted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. A search of a property in Upton Court Road was made on 22 May 2019 after concerns for the welfare of a Mastiff type dog were raised. The council’s Resilience and Enforcement Officers, accompanied by Thames Valley Police, entered the property and found the conditions the dog was being kept in breached Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which was the duty of care to ensure welfare. The male dog named Skrappa was seized by the council who sought permanent possession via Reading Magistrates’ Court. This was granted on 28 June 2019 and the dog is now in a loving home with someone who can meet his needs. Due to Covid related delays, on 23 December 2021 Mr Arshad Khaliq of Martin Road, Slough attended Reading Magistrates’ Court where he was found guilty of the charges. He was sentenced at the same court on Tuesday 8 March, where he was banned indefinitely from keeping, owning, or dealing in animals. He cannot appeal for the ban to be lifted for 10 years. Mr Khaliq was sentenced to a community order where he must undertake 250 hours of unpaid work and have 10 days of rehabilitation. The council was awarded full costs. Councillor Beni Bains, lead member for regulation and public protection, said: “Residents will rightly be disgusted with the treatment of this dog as pets are usually seen as part of the family. If you cannot keep an animal in the conditions it deserves, then you shouldn’t get one as a pet. “I’m pleased the court has given this ban and hope other owners will take note and ensure their animals are being properly looked after, with adequate shelter, warmth, food and water.”

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