Labour Call for Termination of Muse Development Agreement

Swindon Council Civic Offices

After years of failed promises and delays, the Labour Group has called on Swindon Council to terminate their development agreement with Muse on the Kimmerfields site.

The Kimmerfields development was due to provide a substantially sized public open square and a series of new streets surrounded by retail and leisure space, a hotel, a new bus interchange, office space and new homes (including affordable units), delivered over a number of phases. The Council said overall investment in the site from Muse would be in the region of £300m.

The Muse developers were granted initial planning permission to develop the Kimmerfields site back in 2012 however to date they have provided no private investment in to developing the site. Muse and the Council also agreed delays to targets set in the original Development Agreement which enabled MUSE to avoid lapsing on their original commitments.

Shadow Parish Council Refuses Town Centre Costs

Swindon Town Hall at Regent Circus

Labour councillors on the Central Swindon South Shadow Parish Council have opposed plans by the council to impose additional costs of over £400,000 on to the new parish council for the cleaning of the Town Centre. We will keep fighting to get the best deal for local residents in Eastcott.

New Parish Councils in North-Central, West and South-Central Swindon will be having to pay a combined cost of £600,000 in extra bureaucracy as a result of Tory- run Swindon Council imposing new parishes on these areas. This spending will be money that won’t fund local services, but instead will be levied to pay for the new bureaucracy in the new parishes.

Swindon UTC Gets Inadequate Ofsted Judgement

UTC Swindon Watertower

Swindon’s University Technical College has been judged as inadequate following an Ofsted inspection.

Last November the Labour Spokesperson for Education, Cllr Carol Shelley, wrote to Ofsted calling on them to inspect the Swindon UTC and Ofsted confirmed would be inspecting the Swindon UTC during the 2016/17 school year.

Last year it was reported that Swindon UTC had only filled 25% of its student places and their 2016 results “well below the national average”.

The University Technical College’s 2016 Key Stage 4 results were deemed “well below the national average”, with only 36% of students achieving at least a C Grade in English and Maths.

It was also learnt last year that the Principal of Swindon UTC, Angela Barker-Dench was not in the school on and had taken extended leave.

The Labour Group Spokesperson for Education, Cllr Carol Shelley, said:

“I am disappointed but not at all surprised by this judgement. The poor performance and outcomes at the Swindon UTC has been known for some time.

Postcode Checker Now Online To Help Residents Identify Their Parish Area

Swindon Council Civic Offices

Households in Swindon can now check what parish council area they will live in, thanks to a new postcode checker on the Council’s website.

Last month, the Council decided to create four new parish councils in Swindon, which will mean that 64,000 additional properties will be incorporated within a parished area for the first time.

Residents can find out which parished area they live in by using the postcode checker at: www.swindon.gov.uk/parishes

Ofsted Confirm Swindon UTC Inspection

UTC Swindon Watertower

Following Labour Spokesperson for Education, Cllr Carol Shelley, writing to Ofsted calling on them to inspect the Swindon UTC, Ofsted has confirmed they will be inspecting Swindon UTC during this school year. Please find the Ofsted inspector’s letter to Cllr Carol Shelley attached.

Last week Councillor Carol Shelley wrote to Ofsted urging them to inspect Swindon UTC after it was found that only 25% of student places were filled at the college and their 2016 results “well below the national average”.

Following a Freedom of Information request, it was discovered the number of students enrolled in each year group as of October 28th were:

  • Year 10 – 78
  • Year 11 – 24
  • Year 12 – 28
  • Year 13 – 26

Each year group’s capacity is 150.

The University Technical College’s 2016 Key Stage 4 results have also been released and are deemed “well below the national average”, with only 36% of students achieving at least a C Grade in English and Maths. Click on the below link for further information:

Tory Council Continues with Introducing New Parish Councils

Swindon Council Civic Offices

Tory-run Swindon Council has confirmed its plans to introduce new parish councils across Swindon, which will lead to residents being charged at least an extra £100 to their Council-tax bill.

The Conservative Cabinet on Swindon Council have proposed 3 new parishes and one dramatically enlarged parish, which will encompass the current non-parished areas of Swindon. These proposals are their final recommendations to the Full Council Meeting on 10th November, where all councillors will decide whether new parishes will be introduced.

Swindon’s Labour Councillors have opposed these new parish councils on the grounds that it will be a large backdoor council-tax increase for residents and has not received the consent of residents through a local referendum.

Newburn Sidings Wildlife threatened again

Central Ward Councillors

For over 40 years the Newburn Sidings had been a wildlife habitat. It remained undisturbed until instructions were given by the Housing and Communities Agencies (HCA) to strip acres of land of flora and fauna. This was done on the basis of exploring the land for the possibility of building “Affordable Housing” on a site which was found twice before as not being viable. This unnecessary removal of habitat went far beyond the agreed permissions and understanding of council officers.

Since the land strip HCA has ordered a further five further strips of land five metres wide to be cleared from the railway embankment. This contains five Badger setts and is home to Reptiles, Deer and Owls. It is also now nesting season and Tree felling and coppicing normally stops in this period to avoid disturbing nesting birds for low or high nesting. It is an offence under the Town & Countryside act to disturb or destroy nests in the nesting season.

Central Swindon Parishing Meetings: 4th & 5th March

Central Ward Councillors are holding public meetings on the creation of new Parishes in Central Swindon

Your Ward Councillors are holding public meetings on:

  • Friday 4th March 7.00pm at Broadgreen Community Centre
  • Saturday 5th March 1.30pm at Central Community Centre

Swindon Borough Council's Conservative Administration plan to off-load council services to Parish Councils and if you live in an area without a Parish Council they will seek to create one.

Off-loading services to a Parish Council will result in you paying more local taxes for less local services. You already pay the Council for these potentially off-loaded services. On top of the increase next year of approximately 4% for existing local taxes you will be looking at a further £120 for any new parish.  Central could also be made responsible for the town centre area which all Swindon residents use.

Labour is fighting for all local voters to decide on perishing via a local referendum.

Petition: Save Swindon's Libraries

Jane Milner-Barry, Labour candidate for Old Town and East Wichel, is urging people all over Swindon to sign the “Save Swindon’s Libraries” change.org petition.

Launch of Swindon Housing Action Group

Swindon Housing Action Campaign (SHAC) will be holding its launch meeting on 18th February 2016 at Broadgreen Community Centre at 7pm.

SHAC is a campaign for development which provides for licensing of landlords & more rigorous inspection of properties, more secure tenancies, lower rents, an end to rip-off fees from letting agencies, etc. There seems to be a gap between people's income and affordability to either rent or buy decent accommodation & as I strongly believe that all individuals deserve decent, secure and affordable accommodation, I am offering my support to this much needed campaign.


Subscribe to Central