Eastcott March 2017 Update

Councillor Paul Dixon

Kinsghill Parking Changes
Following on from the Council’s recent consultation with residents of Sunnyside Avenue, Dunsford Close, Hillside Avenue and Bowood Road, I can report that the Council has considered people’s responses and produced plans for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), which residents in these areas should be aware of.  
The Council received a number of objections to the proposed TRO and they are now in the process of obtaining a decision from the Cabinet Member responsible for Parking so that council officers know how they need to proceed. I am keen to ensure residents’ voices are heard so do get in touch with me if you have views on the Council’s proposals.

Old Town Library
After Swindon Council had proposed to close Swindon’s community libraries, including the one in Old Town, as part of its library closures programme, I am pleased to report that together with other councillors, I have managed to secure funding to keep the Old Town library open.  

The Old Town Library is located in the Arts Centre and is a popular library for residents who live in and around the Old Town area. I hope the library continues to thrive for the residents of Eastcott and OId Town.

Old Town Development Planning Applications
There has recently been a spate of planning applications in the Eastcott Road and Kingshill area which have proposed new housing development or converting existing buildings in to housing. The common problem with these applications are that they do not offer the necessary parking provision.
With huge demand for residents parking permits in the Old Town and the Town Centre area, it is crucial that all new housing in these areas provides adequate parking provision and at the moment many applications aren’t fulfilling this requirement. As a consequence I have joined residents in successfully opposing a number of planning applications, including on Eastcott Road, Shelley Street and Groundwell Road. I would urge developers to give due consideration to parking when proposing new developments in the Old Town and Town Centre area.

Prospect Hill Improvements
The council has recently introduced new measures to address ongoing issues of large vehicles driving from the Regents Circus development, up Prospect Hill and through the side streets to reach Victoria Road. These measures seek to address large heavy goods vehicles driving through narrow roads on and off Prospect Hill and damaging parked cars in the process.

At the time of writing this article, the council had planned to introduce road narrowing points and new signs to block large vehicles driving through these areas. I am pleased the council has listened to residents and in getting this problem addressed.

Newhall Street Clean Up
In March I was joined by local residents in completing a successful clean-up in the back alleys of Newhall Street and Crombey Street. After hours of clearing up fly tipping and litter from the back alleys, we ended up taking over 20 bags of rubbish and taking 3 dumped sofas, a television, an ironing board, a book case and a Christmas tree to the waste and recycling centre.
Thank you to everybody who helped make this a very successful day. If residents would like to organise their own clean-ups they are welcome to get in touch with me to help organise it.

Milton Road Baths
Last year plans were revealed that proposed converting parts of the Milton Road Baths into flats. This was met with large public opposition and a petition was initiated to prevent any conversion of the baths in to residential properties.

At the recent Full Council Meeting I, along with other councillors, called on the Council to reinstate the small swimming pool at Milton Road Baths that was closed by GLL.

We also succeeded in getting the Cabinet to commit to looking at having an independent options appraisal for the Milton Road Baths, as well as getting a commitment to work toward a two-pool solution at the baths, which would enable the reopening of the small pool.

I will be keeping an eye on any proposals so that we don't lose this valuable community facility and that we keep our heritage assets accessible for all Swindon residents