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.
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
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.”
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
“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
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.