The Slough Liberal Democrats are calling on the ruling Labour council to recognise its ‘unprecedented failure’ in handling its finances and engage in a new era of co-operation.
The Lib Dems currently have no elected representatives on the council but will be contesting wards in Cippenham Meadows, Elliman, Upton and Haymill and Lynch Hill.
The party has accused Labour councillors of ‘recklessness’ in allowing the local authority to engage in uncontrolled borrowing and spending which has seen the council’s debts rise to more than £750million.
It now wants to see improved consultation, cooperation and counting from the ruling Labour group.
A Slough Lib Dems spokesman said: “Slough is facing some major longstanding challenges, many of which have been made worse during the coronavirus pandemic and now by the Labour-run council’s financial crisis.
“Challenges for recovery include funding and staff shortages in health and wellbeing services, knife crime and anti-social behaviour, environmental threats and poor air quality.”
The party also pointed to a shortage of affordable housing and said it wants to address the decline of Slough town centre.
The Liberal Democrats want to see more consultation with the community and pointed to the council’s decision to introduce a bus lane on the A4 Bath Road before talking to residents as an example of poor communication.
More honesty is needed from the ruling-Labour group about the scale of the council’s financial position, the Liberal Democrats added.
The local authority estimates it will need to make £20million of savings per year until 2028/29.
The opposition group has hit out at the ‘long-standing failures’ of Labour’s leadership.