Public to have their say on Swindon’s priorities over next decade

By Anita Jaynes on 28 December, 2023


Local people will be at the heart of a Borough-wide engagement exercise next month, which will help set the Council’s long-term priorities.

Doing more to involve and engage residents in the Council’s work is a key priority of the administration elected in May, reinforced by the results of a resident survey conducted earlier this year.

A new draft Council plan, called the Swindon Plan, was approved by the Council’s Cabinet earlier this month and aims to deliver on the administration’s new three priority missions for the Borough.

Through a series of community events and an online engagement hub, the Council is inviting residents to kick the tyres on the draft plan, telling the Council what elements they value most and anything they feel is missing.

The missions to Combat Inequality, Build a Better Swindon and Achieve Net Zero will underpin the work of the Council and drive everything that it does. The draft Plan proposes initial activity over the next three years to progress each of the missions. 

To progress the Combat Inequality mission, the Council has committed to improving areas like educational outcomes, reducing falls in older people, tackling obesity and children’s oral health, improving public transport and active travel, as well as working with partners to make Swindon a safer place for adults and young people.

The Build a Better Swindon mission includes a focus on protecting the Borough’s heritage, improving civic engagement and residents’ pride, supporting the growth of businesses and meeting the housing and infrastructure needs of the local population.

To inform the Achieve Net Zero mission, the Council plans to produce a road map as well as a monitoring and reporting process to inform its organisational target to reach net zero emissions by 2030. The Council also plans to develop Swindon’s on-street electric vehicle charging infrastructure, as part of efforts to support the Borough to reach net zero by the UK-wide target date of 2050. 

Throughout January, the ‘Let’s Talk Swindon’ engagement exercise will feature a number of events held across the Borough.

The feedback received will inform a final version of the Swindon Plan due to be reviewed by the Council’s Cabinet in March.

The events will be running through January at the following venues:

  • Foundation Park, County Ground Lane, SN1 2FD, on Tuesday 16th January between 6pm and 9pm
  • Haydon Centre, Thames Avenue, SN25 1QQ, on Monday 22nd January between 6pm and 9pm
  • Pinetrees Community Centre, The Circle, Pinehurst, SN2 1RF, on Tuesday 23rd January between 6pm and 9pm
  • Toothill Community Centre, Dunwich Drive, Toothill, SN5 8DH, on Thursday 25th January between 6pm and 9pm
  • St John’s Church Hall, 103 Whitbourne Avenue, SN3 2LG, on Saturday 27th January between 2pm and 5pm

Councillor Emma Bushell, Deputy Leader of the Council, said, “Over 3,000 residents responded to our resident survey earlier this year and there was a very clear message that the Council needs to do more to engage communities in its work. 

“That’s why we are running this ‘Let’s talk Swindon’ engagement exercise, to give everyone the chance to find out more and provide feedback on the Council’s future priorities, working alongside communities. 

“Despite the challenging financial constraints on all local authorities, we must still be ambitious for Swindon and tap into external funding opportunities where needed. 

“It is really important to us that local residents feed into the new Swindon Plan so that it delivers on the priorities that matter most to them.

“We also want to be challenged on the items that are already in the draft plan so we get a good understanding of whether they resonate with local people.”

Details of the engagement events and how residents can book a place are available at www.swindon.gov.uk/letstalkswindon. More information will also be shared on this web page in the coming weeks of how residents can give their views via an online engagement hub.