'A few months ago, leaders of Labour-controlled Slough Borough Council added their signatures to a 'Breaking Point' campaign of councillors fighting against 'breathtaking levels of cuts that austerity has made to budgets'.
Their angry calls for an end to the cruelty of austerity were led by council leader James Swindlehurst, who was joined by all his Labour colleagues in signing the national petition in protest at pressures on social-care spending.
Mr Swindlehurst has often hit out at the financial challenges faced by his council.
So when hiring a new chief executive, he blogged that the recruit must handle a tough fiscal climate: 'The council continues to feel the squeeze of Government austerity and it's now more important than ever to be focused on the right priorities.'
Yet it is hard not to question some of the council's own priorities. For the TaxPayers' Alliance lobby group has revealed that this unfashionable Berkshire town handed its interim chief executive an astonishing £595,077, topping its annual Town Hall Rich List. Roger Parkin was given a basic annual salary of £112,159 topped up by early pension payments of £339,903 plus a severance bung of £142,215 when he left the job at the end of 2017.
Perhaps this helps explain why the 150,000 Slough residents are being squeezed hard by Mr Swindlehurst and his council pals, who have just raised council tax bills by almost three per cent.
Read more: How dare fat cat council bosses bleat on about cuts with their six-figure salaries
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