A column from Swindon Labour leader Jim Robbins
For too long, Swindon has been stuck. Stuck in the past, stuck between bigger towns and cities reimagining themselves, stuck in traffic and stuck with austerity. Stuck with a wasteful and failing Conservative administration for the last 20 years who have overseen the slow decline of the town.
It is clear that the Conservative administration are all out of ideas. They have racked up a massive debt of over £350m which is crippling our finances with costly repayments, whilst their Government crashed the economy, slashed our funding and they have broken public services across the country. Meanwhile, demand for the essential council services keeps going up.
It is clear that things need to change. It is clear the council needs to change, in order to be able to change Swindon.
Labour has a plan. We want to change the way the council works, making it much more responsive to you and your needs. We want to stop the feeling that the council does things to you, and make it start doing things in partnership with you. We’ll stop wasteful council spending and keep Council Tax as low as possible to help you through the Government’s cost of living crisis.
We want you to be guiding us to the best way forward for you and your family, and we’ll make sure that the council listens to you. A recent review of the council criticised the poor levels of engagement from the council. This needs to change.
We’ve been listening to residents all year round, as we carry out thousands of conversations on the doorstep. This is what you have told us to focus on so far:
Your Roads – We’ll get Swindon moving by stopping excessive roadworks
Your Parks – We’ll protect Swindon’s green open spaces from development
Your Economy – We’ll put Swindon businesses, jobs, and people first
Your Community – We’ll build a greener, healthier, safer and fairer Swindon
Your Money – We’ll relentlessly focus on making sure we spend money wisely
We’ll keep listening and keep building our offer for the town as we continue to have conversations with residents in the lead-up to and after the election. We know Swindon Deserves Better, and we are determined to be that change.