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 add another layer of bureaucracy and introduce another charge, the Parish Council “precept” to pay for it.

Some people see Parishes as a good idea that brings control of local services nearer to local people, but this move is seen by many as a way for the Council to raise taxes on the sly and let others take responsibility for the cuts they are making. It’s a big change to the way that Swindon would be governed, that wasn’t mentioned during the last council elections. The Council have no mandate from voters and they think they don’t need one.

The Green Party in Swindon thinks every voter should get a say in whether their own area becomes a Parish, and we support calls for a referendum to be held alongside May’s local Council elections. The proper way for the Council to give power to
the people is to give them the vote.