Council Leader pledges a better Swindon open to fresh ideas

By Swindon Link - 22 May 2023

Opinion and FeaturesPolitics
  • Jim Robbins

    Jim Robbins

A column from Swindon Borough Council leader Jim Robbins.

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported Labour in the recent local elections.

It was humbling to receive such incredible support and we achieved one of the most decisive results in Swindon’s history, winning 16 of the 19 seats up for grabs.

We know that we have a huge job to do to overcome the mess left by the last administration and build the better Swindon that we promised, and we are determined to do so.

I’m overwhelmed by the amazing messages of support and congratulations, and certainly noticed a theme in them – ‘You’ve got your work cut out!’

We know that we won’t be able to do everything that we want to do straight away, but we are keen to make some early changes that we hope will improve the town and demonstrate the direction we want to travel in.

The first change we have made is to some of the internal committees in the council. We have got rid of some overview committees which appeared to be talking shops and replaced them with three delivery committees focused on developing policy in three key areas.

These are Combating Inequality, Building a Better Swindon and Achieving Net Zero, our three over arching missions which are the three areas we want to really focus on.

We want to make sure that everyone in Swindon reaches their potential, make sure that we have the buildings and infrastructure necessary for the next 30 years and ensure that Swindon more than plays its part in fighting climate change and ensuring we have a sustainable future.

We know that, whilst the Labour team have plenty of big ideas to transform the town, we don’t have the monopoly on good ideas, and we invite all residents to feed into these groups.

Finally, the Labour group were stunned and very sad to hear the news of the death of one of our councillors, Pam Adams of St Margaret & South Marston ward.

Her death was very sudden, and I had been speaking to her in the days beforehand planning her role in the new administration.

We all send our best wishes to her family and friends. She was a big figure in the Labour group, as well as being a much-loved former teacher in the town. I know that many pupils from Churchfields, now Lawn Manor Academy, used to stop her to let her know how they were getting on and introducing her to their children and grandchildren.

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