A column from Chair of South Swindon Parish Council, Cllr Chris Watts.
I hope this edition of the Swindon Link Magazine finds you in good health and you have had a happy Christmas and New Year.
2022 has been another very busy year for the Parish Council. We have progressed with the development of our green spaces and expanded the range of events we host within the parish.
We started the year with the launch of the South Swindon Green Trail, an eight mile circular trail that follows the boundary of the parish. The trail gives people a chance to explore areas of South Swindon you wouldn’t normally see. The development of our green spaces has continued with our tree planting initiatives at Westcott and Buckhurst.
We planted the second Tiny Forest in Swindon at Buckhurst Field in collaboration with Earthwatch, Nationwide and Vaillant UK. We also worked with The Friends of Shaftesbury Lake to run a Wildlife Discovery Day at the lake, which was well attended by residents and saw lots of children learn about the local wildlife and fauna around the lake. We hope to run the Wildlife Discovery Day again in 2023.
The council has invested a lot in our parks over the past 12 months. I am pleased to see GWR Park receive £130,000 worth of funding from the National Trust and Historic England to transform the eastern side of the park with a new blossom circle and formal gardens.
I can’t wait to see these improvements rolled out over the next few months. We will celebrate the new additions with a Blossom Festival in April, run in collaboration with the National Trust and local community groups.
It was fantastic to see our investment in partnership with local residents and organisations recognised with South Swindon being awarded the best town in the South-West in the Pennant Class of Britain in Bloom.
The parish events team have worked incredibly hard this year to deliver a programme of events across the Parish. We enjoyed a wide range of performances from classic Shakespeare to a fantastic Abba tribute performance, and this was topped off with the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail in December. Thank you to all the staff and vendors who made the Light Trail so great this year!
Elsewhere our Parish Youth Service reopened the Buckhurst Youth Club in September, which has been very well attended. The reopening of the Youth Club followed the Youth Service’s Easter Fun Day in Queen’s Park and the Buckhurst Family Fun Day in the summer.
I am delighted to say that the widescale refurbishment of Broadgreen Community Centre is nearly completed, and the Harbour Project will be moving in soon. The centre once reopened will look fantastic with more than £150,000 invested into it.
Looking ahead in to 2023, it looks set to be an equally busy year, with the Parish Council in the process of creating a new community centre in Badbury Park, the Quarry Road Tennis Courts will be refurbished thanks to funding from the Lawn Tennis Association and our Parish Green Spaces will be further improved.
I can’t wait to tell you more about these projects as the year goes on.
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