Tory Council Continues with Introducing New Parish Councils

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.

Other key concerns that have been raised about these new parish councils is that there will be a loss of economies of scale due to the breaking up of the services Swindon Council currently provides together, the confusion for residents over who provides their local services and who will fund the maintenance of town-wide assets like the Town Centre, the Town Gardens and the Lawns.

Click here to see the the Cabinet proposals as part of the Council’s Community Governance Review. Residents can ask questions on these proposals at the Cabinet Meeting at 6pm on the 19th October, at the Scrutiny Committee Meeting at 6pm on the 24th October and at the Full Council Meeting on the 10th November at 7pm.

The new parish councils the Conservatives have proposed for the non-parished areas of Swindon are:

South Swindon Parish

This includes Central Ward, Eastcott Ward, Old Town Ward, Park North and Walcot Ward, Park South, Chiseldon and Badbury Park.

North Central Parish

This includes Gorse Hill & Pinehurst Ward, Rodbourne Cheney Ward, Rodbourne and Penhill

West Swindon Parish

This includes Shaw Ward, Lydiard & Freshbrook Ward, as well as Toothill and Westlea

Eldene and Liden will also be joining the Nythe Parish to form the Nythe, Liden and Eldene Parish.

The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Jim Grant, said:

“Labour is opposed to the Conservative Group’s plans to introduce parish councils across all of Swindon.

Their plans will force on people new parish councils they haven’t asked for. We think these plans would lead to less efficient services as parish councils are smaller organisations that don’t have the same purchasing power as the Borough Council. We know the Conservatives are looking to offload services to new parish councils because they want to save money for the Council.

However this will cost residents a lot more as the Council are expecting new parishes, together with general council-tax increases, to charge residents an extra £100 in their Council-tax through a new parish precept”