Forward Swindon Needs to Deliver

Along with Swindon’s other political group leaders, the Mayor and around 50 other invited guests, I attended the formal opening of Swindon’s new Registry Office in Swindon borough Council’s Civic Offices. The moving of Swindon’s Registry Office from Aspen House to the Civic Offices will save Swindon Council-taxpayers’ £60,000 each year.

To me, this is the kind of saving that Swindon borough Council needs to do more of,  and, if the Labour Party were elected as Swindon’s majority group next year, we would be expressing our will on officers to find more savings like this.

As well as the opening of Swindon’s new Registry Office, one of the main news stories this week was the fact that Swindon’s arms-length Regeneration Company, Forward Swindon, has either failed or is failing to meet half of its targets within its one-year delivery plan.

At a time when Swindon borough Council has been inflicted with £21 million worth of funding cuts from the Tory-led Government in just the space of a year, it is right that Councillors have asked Council staff to have more challenging targets and deliver all of them. The same rules should apply to all organisations who receive funding from Swindon borough Council. That is why I was flabbergasted to read the Conservative’s Deputy Leader of the Council defend Forward Swindon (who receive more than a million pounds of Council-tax payers money each year) in their failing to meet more than half their first year targets, while advertising this month for another set of external media consultants – costing at least £30,000.   Councillor Perkins, himself a member of the Forward Swindon board, should be demanding more from Forward Swindon, not less and the fact that he hasn’t brings in to question whether there is one rule for Swindon borough Council staff and another for Swindon Council-tax payer funded outside bodies.

Finally, I would like to give my thanks to all those have written to me expressing their views on how Swindon borough Council needs to change. For all those who haven’t contacted me and do have ideas on how the Council can change for the better, please do get in touch through