Slough confirms appointment of new section 151 officer
Slough Borough Council has announced that Adele Taylor has been appointed Executive Director of Finance and Commercial Services and Section 151 Officer.
Taylor, who has been executive director for resources at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) for the last three years, will take up the post at the ailing authority on March 20.
Slough is currently under government intervention following the issuance of a Section 114 notice by Interim Chief Financial Officer Steven Mair in July 2021. The company has £760m in debt and is looking to sell £600m in assets.
Taylor told Room151 that the role of Slough Section 151 is “one of the most interesting jobs in local government finance right now.” She praised Mair for his achievements over the past two years, saying he has “created the right framework” to build on.
“The magnitude of the financial challenge cannot be underestimated, and as I need to act quickly and under a very visible spotlight, it’s the kind of challenge I’m happy to take part in,” added Taylor.
Ultimately, it is about doing justice to Slough residents and businesses and ensuring that the council operates within its financial means, but also that it does so for the benefit of those who depend on the council and its services.
Stephen Brown, CEO of Slough said: “We are delighted to have Adele join us at Slough Borough Council and help continue the great work started on our road to improvement.”
Tony Reeves, RBWM’s interim CEO, suggested that Taylor is leaving the agency in a “much healthier place than she found it.”
He added: “The Council is in a more stable financial position than it has been in many years, is heading towards optimal reserve levels and investing in priority areas. The partnership between the finance team and frontline services along with the greatly improved management information has been critical.”
One of the key challenges at Slough, Taylor said, will be retaining the right finance talent to build on the progress made.
“There are tough financial targets that need to be met year after year, a combination of selling assets (at the right price) and meeting savings targets that have been set and need to be set. There is also a need to rebuild reserves and the overall balance sheet to hedge against future financial risks,” she said.
“Ultimately, it is about vindicating the rights of Slough residents and businesses and ensuring that the council operates within its financial means, but also that it does so for the benefit of those who depend on the council and its services.”
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