Lydiard and Freshbrook

Lydiard Park carparking petition

Lydiard Park Swindon

After Tory-run Swindon Council introduced car parking charges at Lydiard Park, they have done nothing to tackle those Lydiard Park users who are avoiding the parking charges by parking in neighbouring streets near to the park. During peak times at Lydiard, this has led to some streets in Grange Park crammed full of cars because people want to avoid the parking charges.

Your local Labour Team is calling on Tory-run Swindon Borough Council to tackle this problem on behalf of Grange Park residents.

Sign Labour's petition to call on Swindon Council to take action at the following link:



Labour Candidates Demand Parish Council Focus on Freshbrook and Grange Park

Neil Hopkins, Les Laidler and Matthew Courtliff

Over recent years cutbacks to local services from Tory-run Swindon Borough Council has caused Freshbrook & Grange Park to look increasingly untidy with the grass becoming overgrown and litter and fly-tipping not being picked up by the Council.

With local Conservative Councillors unwilling to agree that this has become a problem it is now only Labour who have shown the determination to make West Swindon a more pleasant environment to live in.

Labour has consistently opposed the creation of new Parish Councils due to it being used as a way to increase your Council Taxes by more than the 5% government limit.

However this Parish Council does present West Swindon with an opportunity to get improved local services like grass cutting and street cleaning.

If you vote for us, the Labour Candidates, we pledge to:

Labour Group Welcome Council Lydiard Park Decision

Lydiard Park Swindon

The Labour Group has welcomed the decision of Swindon Council not to transfer the running of Lydiard to a private sector company, with the Cabinet announcing the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust as its preferred bidder to run Lydiard Park and House.

The registered trust scored highest out of five bids received by the Council and, if the Council’s Cabinet endorse the trust as the preferred bidder at next week’s Cabinet meeting (16th March), further due diligence will take place before a Business Transfer Agreement and Lease is agreed over the next six months.

Last year the Conservative Group refused to rule out a private company running Lydiard for profit, after Lydiard & Freshbrook’s Labour Councillor, Matthew Courtliff, had called on the Council to rule out private sector involvement in the park at a Council Meeting.  

Recently Lydiard Park has had car parking charges introduced to its visitors that, together with parking charges at Coate Water, has generated an income for the Council of £400K.

Labour Councillor Calls For Greater Road Investment After Council Cuts

Councillor Matthew Courtliff at Wat Tyler House

Following a question asked by Lydiard & Freshbrook Councillor, Matthew Courtliff, regarding the level of funding Swindon Council has spent on road maintenance, it has been discovered that Swindon Council cut its road maintenance revenue budget by £357K- a cut of nearly 30%.

This information was released following a question asked by Councillor Matthew Courtliff at the last Full Council Meeting on the 26th January, and the response from Swindon Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Keith Williams.

In 2015/16 Tory-run Swindon Council spent £1.29m on road & pavement maintenance. In 2016/17 only £937K was spent by the Council, which is a cut of nearly £400K compared to the year previous.

Councillor Courtliff says the continued cutbacks to road maintenance has had a material impact on his ward and despite the Council’s financial challenges, this area of spending was a high priority for residents. He said:

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:

Visit to Freshbrook Church Open House Lunch Club

Councillor Matthew Courtliff with residents at Freshbrook Church

I had the privilege of being invited to Freshbrook Church recently, where I met local residents at the Open House lunch club. This happens on the first Tuesday of every month and provides retired people with a chance to eat a freshly cooked meal together for just £2.50, and it was great to hear how much it means to people.

Following this, I had a tour of the church's fantastic facilities and finished off by helping to pack boxes for the food bank.

Thanks to John and the team at Freshbrook Church.

If there are any community events you would like me to publicise, please get in touch and I will offer my support.

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.

Parking at Junctions in Grange Park

Councillor Matthew Courtliff at Wat Tyler House

This weekend, I spent time talking with residents in Grange Park about issues they have in their neighbourhoods with dangerous parking around junctions.

This was an issue raised to me in the run up to the local elections, which I pledged to follow up if you elected me, and I am duly carrying out that pledge.

It's clear from our conversations, and a survey my team and I conducted, that further action needs to be taken.

Following on from this, I will be taking steps to consult the appropriate council officers to put double yellow lines at the Carey Close junction, Ascham Road, on their agenda.

I will keep fighting on this issue, and for any further issues you wish me to take up, because I am here for you all year round, not just election time.

Cllr Matthew Courtliff Welcomes Gainsborough Way “Buildout”

Councillor Matthew Courtliff

Lydiard and Freshbrook Councillor, Matthew Courtliff, has welcomed Swindon Council’s agreement to extend the “buildout” on Gainsborough Way to make the crossing across Gainsborough Way safer for pupils and parents of Millbrook Primary School.

Over the course of July a trial was undertaken to make the crossing safer. The design centred around the creation of a second ‘buildout’ on the side of the road which does not currently have one i.e. on the side of the houses. This created a single running lane between the two ‘buildouts’ which would only be wide enough for one vehicle, with the aim of vehicles having to slow and wait either side of this narrow section for an opportunity to travel through.

The trial was done using cones and since they were inserted we have found the ‘buildout’ worked well and appeared to slow traffic and make it easier for pedestrians to cross. One issue that was raised was parked cars causing line of sight issues and this issue has been taken in to account by the council in their final design.

Labour Group Say Lydiard should not be run for profit, as Council receives five bids to run the Park and House

Lydiard House and Park

Five organisations have submitted proposals to take over the running of Lydiard House and Park.

The deadline for submitting bids to run Lydiard was last Friday (8 July) and they will now be scored against a set of criteria. The Council will interview bidders next week before further clarifications relating to the bids are sought.

The Labour Group has welcomed a bid being submitted from the staff of Lydiard to run the Park and House and argue it is crucial that Lydiard isn’t run for profit.

The Labour Group’s Shadow Lead for Lydiard, Councillor Jim Robbins, said:

“The Labour Group’s position remains that we do not want Lydiard run for profit and we want Lydiard to remain under public control. With the recent introduction of car parking charges at our country parks projected to raise £400K, this easily covers the cost of running Lydiard.


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