Every household in Swindon will receive details of a consultation, launched on 23 August, which asks residents for their views on proposals to create four new parishes in areas of Swindon not already in a parish council, and on changes to existing parish council boundaries.
The eight-page leaflet – which also gives information on the consultation regarding the future of Swindon libraries – will be delivered to 91,000 homes across the Borough by Royal Mail over a two week period from Monday 5 September. Among the information it includes are two maps showing existing and proposed parish boundaries.
Residents can also find information on the council’s website The online information features an interactive map where current and proposed parish boundaries can be viewed at street level, and a postcode search facility to show which parish area properties currently sit in, and where they might sit in future.
Five public meetings will be held during September where councillors and council officers will be available to answer questions. The parishing proposals are being made because in future the Borough Council will no longer fund some local services such as grass cutting and street cleaning.
Instead, existing parish councils, and any new ones created, will need to decide with their local communities how these services are provided. At present, 41 per cent of Swindon households are within one of 16 parished areas. In these areas parish councils, also known as town or community councils, already provide a variety of important local services which may include allotments, leisure facilities, bin emptying, parks and open spaces, and grounds maintenance.
The current consultation is the third stage of a Community Governance Review process, and follows feedback received from previous stages carried out earlier this year which gathered views from residents, community organisations and existing parishes. It ends on Friday 30 September, after which the Council will consider the feedback and agree the final recommendations in November.
Cllr Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council Cabinet member for Communities, said: “This is a potentially huge change to local government in Swindon, and will affect how residents receive some services and from who. It is vital as many people know about this as possible, and then have opportunities to learn more and give their opinions.
“I urge everyone to look out for the leaflet, read it, and let us know what they think.”
The council’s proposals for the future of Swindon’s libraries are also discussed in the leaflet which has cost £8,300 to produce and deliver, or 9p per household.
Consultation information will also be available in four libraries: The Central Library, North Swindon Library, West Swindon Library, and Park Library. Click for the online version
The five public meetings in September will take place at:
Broadgreen Community Centre, Tuesday 20th September, between 6 – 7pm;
West Swindon Library, Wednesday 21st September, between 6 – 7pm;
Pinetrees Community Centre, Monday 26th September, between 6 – 7pm;
Lawn Community Centre, Tuesday 27th September, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm;
Eldene Community Centre, Wednesday 28th September, between 6 – 7pm.
Below, a map showing the new and modified parishes (created by Swindon Link from council sources)