10:46AM, Friday 08 March 2019
MP for Slough Tan Dhesi has faced fresh criticism for not permanently living in the borough and for continuing to serve as a Kent County Councillor.
The Labour MP has bought a house in the town, which says he moved in to around the end of September 2017, after winning the June general election.
A retrospective planning application to demolish the building and build a new one in its place was submitted in September 2018 and approved the following month.
Mr Dhesi says the building had to be knocked down because, having successfully gain planning permission for an extension in April 2018, the foundations were discovered to be unsafe.
“We didn’t go for anything what wasn’t in keeping with the area or wasn’t in keeping with the views of the neighbours,” he said.
The MP, who is still serving as a Kent County Councillor for Northfleet and Gravesend West says he frequently moves between London, Slough and Kent.
Members of his family on his father’s side live in Slough and members of his mother’s side live in Kent.
“While the refurbishment work goes on, while I’m in Slough, I’m living with one of our aunties,” he added.
Mr Dhesi says he does not claim parliamentary expenses for his Slough home and will not stand in the next Kent County Council election in 2021.
Slough Conservatives chairman and Slough Borough Council electoral candidate for Cippenham Green Lee Pettman,said Mr Dhesi was ‘sending out a bad message’ by not moving permanently to Slough.
He added: “Once elected as the MP for Slough he should have stepped down immediately from his councillor role in Kent and committed 100 per cent to Slough.
“His actions show a complete lack of respect to Slough residents and the town he claims to represent.”
He accused him of causing ‘discomfort and distress’ to neighbours on his road and failing to inform them of his construction plans.
The Express has chosen not to name his road for safety reasons.
Mr Dhesi said works followed ‘several months of due process’ including consultation with neighbours.
He added: “I think what is causing considerable discomfort and distress to Slough Tories is the level of dedication, hard work and effective representation I’ve given to my constituents.
He referred to ‘considerable and constant activity’ in Parliament, in the media and on social media, at Slough events and at his five constituency surgeries per-month.
He said Slough Conservatives were resorting to 'their usual dirty tricks of clutching at straws and trying to mislead people'.
“The good people of Slough can rest assured I’ll continue to serve them with the energy and enthusiasm that they rightly deserve," he added.
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