South Swindon Parish is coming up to the first anniversary of its first full election. Although many of us objected to how the Parish was created it has given residents in Swindon an opportunity to take control of local issues and improve on services previously supplied by Swindon Borough Council.
Within less than a year the Parish has begun to save local amenities from closure. It has taken over the running of Old Town Library, which had been under the threat of closure for many years while run by the Tory-controlled Borough Council, ensuring that it will continue to be there for the community for years to come. The Parish has also taken over Broadgreen Community Centre, which was rescued and kept open after the Borough Council threatened to close it late in 2016.
The Parish has also taken on much of the day to day maintenance of our community by taking over the “StreetSmart” services from the Borough, covering everything from bin collection to looking after our public spaces. The Parish has already been able to make a difference, increasing grass cutting and street cleaning back to levels that residents expect.
But the Parish’s work is only just beginning.
In the coming months the Parish will take over the running of much more. Taking over our formal parks like Queen’s Park and the Town Gardens, taking on the many playgrounds and open spaces, and supporting many more community centres; the Parish will have a huge influence on what our local services will look like.
The Parish has already set aside money ready to take on these responsibilities, but there is still a huge amount of work to do to make sure the right arrangements are made and to make sure these services are run successfully for the community.
We need a team on the Parish Council who understands the hard work still to be done and will put the needs of local residents first.