Labour Launches A Green New Deal to Get Swindon Working

These are serious economic times for Swindon. The percentage of young people (18-24) out of work in Swindon has more than trebled since the Tories gained control of Swindon Council from 2.5% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2011.  Since January there has been a 77 per cent rise in young people on the dole for more than six months in Swindon. Unemployment is now 2.6 million – and youth unemployment has risen above 1 million  businesses are struggling, families are finding times are hard, and people are worried about their jobs.


Unfortunately it appears that nationally and here in Swindon the Conservatives have no clear strategy to get our economy growing again. The Future Jobs Fund, EMA’s and the Connexions Service have been cut and tuition Fees trebled.  And In Swindon we see the same story.  The Core Strategy was widely criticised for lacking an economic vision for the Town.  A recent business leader said:  “What if another Honda or Intel decided to move to Swindon? They would look at this strategy, decide the town is closed for business and go somewhere else. In some ways the council isn’t just adopting a low growth’ strategy, it’s no growth”.  It is alarming to learn that the Tories have no in house team to market Swindon or promote inward investment, and have failed to build on the legacy of Honda, bMW and Motorola to attract new businesses to our town.Under the Tories there is no plan, there’s no strategy, there’s no vision.

business leaders, workers and families are saying the same as us.  This town needs a plan for growth.   This is why we have launched our own economic strategy.  Our Green New Deal will ‘get Swindon working’ and build the new businesses, the new jobs and the new economy that our town needs. We will place Swindon at the heart of the hydrogen highway and at the forefront of creating new green collar jobs. Employment in the environmental sector has been growing at seven per cent since the year 2000. The European Union has already committed to three million green collar jobs by 2020.   We should seize the opportunities that will arrive as a result of the need to tackle climate change and become a centre for renewable energy, energy efficiency; and low carbon industries.  Just as Roosevelt did in the 1930s we should pledge ourselves to a new deal – a Green New Deal.

In the 1980’s the inward investment from Honda, bMW, Motorola and Nationwide among others made Swindon into a powerhouse of economic growth and zero unemployment. Using the 1980’s model – we will establish a new inward investment team to market Swindon and build relationships with businesses.  We will establish a dedicated planning officer to provide a key point of contact for developers and businesses wishing to relocate to Swindon.  This will create the opportunity for a new economic transformation of the town.

We are proud of Swindon successful businesses.  We will work in partnership with Swindon’s Successful businesses to help them grow and encourage their expansion.  As a first step we will establish mini enterprise zones by reorganising the Council’s land holdings to attract supply chain businesses of Swindon’s major manufacturers.  And using the extra funds from the localization of business rates we will help small businesses by creating a Small business Loans Scheme.

Alongside new jobs we need to increase local opportunity for education and skills.  We will build a long term plan for a University for Swindon to unlock the talents of local people and to drive economic regeneration.

And we will support the bid for a University Technical College to extend skills and training provision in Swindon .  A University for Swindon would transform people’s lives, and transform the future of our town.

Finally we will create a new master plan for the regeneration of Swindon Town Centre.  The Tories have failed to regenerate Swindon.  Our Town Centre is still scarred by wasteland, derelict buildings, and concrete eyesores.

The masterplan is the key measure that the experts say will provide prospective developers with clear guidance and certainty to invest. We will end degeneration and kick start regeneration.

With a strong economic strategy Swindon can once again become an economic powerhouse for jobs and prosperity


This is Labour’s Economic Plan:

>> Grow the green economy: by placing Swindon at the heart of the hydrogen highway and creating new green collar jobs

>> Get Swindon Working: by enable the creation of 1000 new jobs, boosting apprenticeships and launching a Getting Swindon Working programme

>> New Jobs through New Inward Investment by establishing a new inward investment team to market Swindon and build relationships with businesses.

>> Retaining and Growing Swindon’s Successful businesses by working in partnership with existing large employers encourage their expansion and using the Council’s land assets to create mini enterprise zones to encourage their suppliers to locate in Swindon.

>> A Clear Plan for the Regeneration of Swindon: to deliver a Town Centre which is attractive for shopping, leisure and culture reflecting the railway history of Swindon.

>> Help for Small businesses: by using extra funds from the localization of business rates to help small businesses.

>> Towards a University for Swindon; by bidding for a University Technical College and establishing a specialist University project team to drive forward a long term plan for a University.

>> A kick start for the construction sector by a first time buyers scheme, by growing Swindon by 1000 houses a year and securing 40% as affordable homes.

>> A Fair Deal for Swindon by supporting a Living Wage.


Economy and Jobs VnNovember