Political confusion reigns with Tories and Labour at loggerheads over Coate Water funding

By Jamie Hill - 29 January 2019


Tories at Swindon Borough Council refute claims by Labour that they are making £30,000 of cuts to Coate Water Country Park and in fact say that they will be investing £1 million of S106 money and want the public's help in how the money should be spent.

Labour claims that the Conservative administration are set to axe the splash park and Pitch and Putt mini golf at the park this year. And Labour's Parliamentary Candidate for South Swindon Sarah Church has even set up a petition with local residents to say no to the closure.

Sarah Church said, "Having spoken with dozens of residents from the Parks area, it's clear that they, and so many others across Swindon, do not want to see the popular splash park and mini golf disappear because the Tories are struggling to budget. These attractions mean a lot to families across Swindon, but particularly those on low incomes, as they are accessible and affordable. I take my children in the summer and I stand with all the families out there that say 'No' to yet another proposed closure from the Council."

The petition was started alongside the Parks and East Walcot Community Forum and already has 100s of signatures. Paper copies are available at The Shop at Cavendish Square, at Park Library, as well as on the noticeboard at PIPS. 

A spokesman, on behalf of the Tories at the council, said "The Labour party have launched their latest negative campaign to play on fears about Coate Water Country Park.

"They have made a series of outrageous claims in the last few days that  include the Country Park being downgraded and that staff had been through a statutory redundancy process. None of it is true.

"They carried out the same kind of scaremongering about Lydiard, and look what we as a Conservative Administration have done with this award winning park. Lydiard now boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities. Our vision for Coate is just as ambitious.

"The Labour Group have never apologised for misleading residents on Lydiard. We will not let them talk down Coate. We have never seen any plans or suggestions from them for improvements to the Park, once again it is just a political football to be kicked around on a whim! I am particularly disappointed in the deliberate attempt by them to mislead the public.

There no proposals for any cuts at Coate Water within the Conservatives fair and affordable budget for 19/20. Instead we are continuing to ask interested residents and local people what they would like to see at Coate Water Country Park using the £1 million worth of S106 money.” 

The Conservatibves are asking for any suggestions or ideas, to be emailed to coatewater@swindonconservatives.com 

There is now also an online version of the petition available at: https://www.change.org/p/swindon-borough-council-save-coate-water-splash-park-and-pitch-and-putt-course?recruiter=166351364&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

Further copies of the paper petition can be obtained by emailing sarah@sarahchurch.org.


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