ANGRY exchanges between rival parties are already erupting in Slough – after the ruling Labour group was slammed for having a ‘promotional’ council magazine published close to the May 3 elections.

The decision to mass distribute the Slough Borough Council magazine Citizen for the first time in four years has outraged members of the opposition Conservative party, who claim it is being used as blatant propaganda by Labour whilst breaching electoral rules.

Conservative leader Wayne Strutton highlighted the front page picture of Labour’s deputy, Sabia Hussain, whilst leader Cllr James Swindlehurst was pictured on page three.

He said: “You only need to look at the articles - the article about women getting the vote quotes four Labour councillors. It is the whole way it is put together.”

Meanwhile, the official opening of the long awaited ice rink in Montem Lane, Slough, which takes place on Monday at 10.45am, will now be a low key affair – with the ribbon being cut by the council’s chief executive Nigel Pallace. He is believed to have laid down the law with a ‘purdah’ warning that councillors must not make high profile appearances at the event. A family fun day on Saturday, April 28 , will still go ahead.

Cllr Strutton additionally questioned whether all the magazines had been delivered before the official ‘purdah’ period when councils’ ruling parties are not supposed to use public resources to promote their achievements.

He questioned the use of council funds to produce the magazine, saying: “As it is being used as propaganda should it not be added to Labour’s election campaign expenses?”

But Cllr Swindlehurst hit back, saying he had decided to revive the Citizen to celebrate 80 years since Slough became a borough and to find out what the public wanted from the authority.

He said: “Their feigned mock outrage is somewhat tedious – but I guess it is to be expected as they look for something to try and generate some press coverage for themselves now we are in the local election communication period.”