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SBC Councillor has much to say

Britwell Councillor puts up smoke screen
by Paul on 21/09/2003

News on the rumours and speculation surrounding the proposed move to Kennedy Park.

Britwell Councillor puts up smoke-screen
Ever since the news broke that Kennedy Park was being considered as a possible location for a new ground for the Rebels, the Slough Community Forum and the Slough Town General Forum have been filled with rumour and speculation about the scheme.

Independent Britwell Councillor, Paul Janik, has been the source of much of this and has been filling both forums with lots of comments and suggestions - some sensible, some not.

Councillor Janik is of the opinion that building anything on the land currently occupied by Kennedy Park is unacceptable and seems to feel that the proposed football stadium is enough of a reason for the whole Britwell/Northborough regeneration scheme not to proceed.

He is specifically against the building of a hotel and shops on the land (as has been suggested might be the case), despite the fact that Kennedy Park is a somewhat unloved and uncared for wasteland in dire need of some TLC.

He is also under the impression that the reason Kennedy Park was selected is somehow political and uses every conceivable opportunity to take a swipe at the Labour Party.

The fact remains that the provision of services, both commercial and community based on a small part of Kennedy Park would provide a considerable amount of employment opportunities, both during its construction and once the businesses are up-and-running.  

It is also worth noting that, with Kennedy Park being basically a scrubland at present, pretty much any well-planned and considerately landscaped development may be seen as an improvement.  It would also enable the remaining majority of the park to be properly thought out with designated areas for childrens' play activities and residents' leisure activities.  This would also enable the park to be landscaped to turn a large, under utilised and unattractive "dead" area into an attractive focal point for the community.

Councillor Janik also believes that the Club would be able to use the old stadium in Belfast Avenue, just off the Farnham Road.  This was where the Club played as Slough United during their brief amalgamation with the now-defunct Slough Centre.

However, it is not publicly known who owns this land and it certainly does not appear to have been offered to Slough Town as a site for a new stadium.  In any case, the land at Belfast Avenue is definitely not large enough to build a ground suitable for a club of the size of Slough Town.  There would be no room to build any form of clubhouse or car park and no possibility of expanding the ground should the Rebels progress up the leagues.  He does, however, point out that the site is in the Baylis-Stoke ward which is something of a Labour stronghold.

He said “It has excellent transport links, is 60 seconds walk from Farnham Road (A355) has free parking in The Centre car park and across the Farnham Road is a McDonalds.”

Slough Town Supporters’ Association secretary, Chris Sliski (left), has said that none of the Rebels' fans should take any of Councillor Janik's comments to heart. “The land that Cllr Janik is talking about is far too small for our needs, it’s only about four or five acres. I think the football club is being used as a pawn for Cllr Janik’s political gain and we are not taking what he says seriously.”

“These days football stadiums can be beautiful things and we can plant trees around it to make it look even better. But it must be a community stadium and the residents of Britwell must realise that without it there will be no regeneration – and they are in desperate need of that.”

Until the feasibility study gets underway, there appears to be nothing in the way of concrete facts about the plans and it is just plain foolish to rise to speculation about the final proposals.

Certainly, Councillor Janik and the Britwell residents need to be aware that we are not talking about building a new Wembley on Kennedy Park, nor are Slough Town a team with a huge support that will bring many problems to the area. 

Whilst any development of Kennedy Park will, obviously, reduce the availability of open green spaces in the immediate area, it is quite possible that the development will bring significant benefits that may well far outweigh the loss of a small area of uninspiring green space.

RebelsOnline hopes that, should the feasibility study show this, that Mr Janik can see through his political preconceptions to support a scheme that is not only good for Slough Town FC, but also for Britwell and Slough as a whole.

RebelsOnline did approach Councillor Janik to ask him for an interview on the matter, but he declined.

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