A column from Conservative Group leader Cllr Gary Sumner.
I am now the Leader of the Opposition on Swindon Borough Council.
It will be a difficult few years ahead, but the Conservatives will hold Labour councillors to deliver on the promises they made during the election.
As Deputy Leader of the council, I spent several years holding public meetings with residents about how Swindon grows over the next 15 years.
I insisted on infrastructure before housing, and I have not always been popular because of this.
I headed up the delivery of £200m of road upgrades and left Swindon in a better place to accommodate new homes and businesses.
I supported Amazon, £400m of investment and 2,000 jobs.
I championed the redevelopment of the Honda site which will bring 12,000 jobs to Swindon, more than when Honda was open. A £700m investment and a £1.2bn boost to Swindon over 10 years.
We had many make or break meetings, but the Conservatives got it over the line.
The town centre has £100 million in projects to lift the value of the town centre and unlock sites for redevelopment.
This has been successful, with residential sites agreed at Kimmerfields, First Investments spending £7.5m on the former Tricentre to create new Grade A offices, and the new Zurich headquarters - a £38m office building which is statement of support in our town, and an income investment for SBC, bringing in much needed profit to the council’s budget.
I will always be positive - always promoting Swindon - always with an open door.
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