Parishing – the end of local democracy?

The following is a copy of my submission to the Council’s so called “Community Governance Review”. The Council’s proposals run rough-shod over any idea of local democracy. Ironically one of their claims is that it will *increase* local democracy, though they refuse to let us vote on it. I share […]

On standing for the Council…

The Government’s austerity agenda, supported by our Council leaders, is having a devastating effect on local Council services. They have made a choice: handing out tax cuts to top earners while cutting benefits to the disabled and the working poor and slashing local government grants. I grew up in a […]

Swindon Greens Campaign For Better Housing

The housing situation in Swindon is something that affects us all. Whether we are looking for somewhere to buy or rent, or simply affected by the additional strain on local infrastructure and lack of parking from more people being crammed in to existing housing stock. I believe that the council […]

Most vulnerable hit as Children’s Centres set to close

Against all the advice from experts, and despite evidence that says they provide a cost-effective service, it looks like the Council will press ahead with plans to close the remaining children’s centres in Swindon. The Council’s consultation suggests that ‘there has been no obvious impact on social care from the […]

Parishes: Power to the People?

Council leaders look set to wash their hands of the provision of some services to residents in many parts of the town as they press ahead with costly plans to introduce Parish Councils across the whole of Swindon. As cuts continue in vital services they plan to spend thousands to […]

Saving Lydiard: we need a pause for thought

I welcomed the recent Council decision to listen to calls made by the Friends of Lydiard Park for a three month pause in deciding the fate of Lydiard House & Park. It is a shame that there was no real pause. While they say they are talking, the Council are […]

Swindon’s social cleansing

Swindon Borough Council is quietly consulting on an ASBO-like crackdown on certain behaviour in the town centre. It’s the first of a number of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) planned across Swindon. I’m less than impressed. At best it wastes money on unnecessary additional red tape, at worst it criminalises some […]