Residents want canal back in town centre masterplan

Swindon Advertiser: Launch of Swindon town centre masterplan exhibition at Swindon central library last year. From left, Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh, Ian Piper (CEO of Forward Swindon ) and Councillor Garry Perkins Launch of Swindon town centre masterplan exhibition at Swindon central library last year. From left, Swindon Council leader Rod Bluh, Ian Piper (CEO of Forward Swindon ) and Councillor Garry Perkins

THE GRAND plan for an overhaul of Swindon town centre could be set to get its own makeover – after consulted residents said they wanted the idea of a canal reinstated.

The majority of about 100 respondents to Forward Swindon’s Masterplan consultation claimed they wanted to see the canal running through the pedestrianised town centre area, while much of the rest of the plan remains unchanged.

The firm have been charged by Swindon Council with regenerating the town, and unveiled its view of the shape of things to come in around 10 to 15 years time, back in September at the Central Library, for public scrutiny.

It enlisted the help of town planners Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, the architects behind the much-lauded Olympic Park, in Stratford, London, and the proposals include a new performing arts centre, art gallery and a two-way Commercial Road.

The masterplan includes bringing the canal back into the town through North Star as far as a basin adjacent to Station Road but the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust said, crucially, it omits linking this section to the restored canal at Westleaze.

Forward Swindon’s chief executive Ian Piper said all responses from the public had now been analysed and a revised draft was going to be put before the cross-party group of councillors before it goes to full council, potentially in April.

He said: “What is happening at the moment is we have reviewed the consultation responses, which took a little bit longer that we anticipated, and are putting them together to show councillors.

“There was quite a lot of detail in some of the responses, including one that went through the proposal almost line by line, and so we wanted to make sure we considered all of them.

“The level of responses for a consultation of this type was good and the majority of it was positive.

“We had about 80 respondents to the questionnaire and another 15 to 20 letters from organisations.

“We have pencilled in for full council in April and will show councillors the changed draft plan.

“We will also put it to them about what they would like to do about the canal.

“We had a lot of comments on the canal, many supporting it being reinstated on the plans. We will need to talk to members about that as it was not shown on the draft plan.”

Comments (59)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:47pm Fri 15 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

This is a patently ridiculous claim to be making: An unsubstantiated number of residents out of a tiny 100 people who were consulted say that they would like the canal reinstated - out of a total population of 210,000 - and that equates to unequivocal support reinstate the crazy canal plan?! Since when did such a poorly mandated result justify a press release or this level of coverage, let alone the false conclusions drawn? The proposed canal, as discussed to to death here and elsewhere is percieved by many Swindonians as unimaginative (given that nearby towns like Bath and Reading already have them), of little historical relevence (given that this is a town with a heritage based around the railways and a local history in which the canal played little part) will create MASSIVE traffic disruptions and will inevitably end up delivered years late and millions over budget (just see recent council projects for precedent). Unlike other towns, our pointless canal will not be a restoration of something, but an almost complete reinvention, will cut across existing services such as gas, sewerage and electrical lines and, to top it all, won't even create a linked together route (meaning boats will be unlikely to use it). Oh, and for the cherry on top of the BS icing, its management and delivery is being entrusted to people who's other recent projects seem to have been high on hyperbole and very very low on successful delivery. On the face of it, its a nice idea, but think about it for any length of time and you soon realise its a completely daft proposal, promoted by short-sighted people who think that Swindon's best attempt to pull itself from the mire is to simply ape what other towns do, rather than try to develop (or preserve) a character of our own.

Voters need to ask themselves why so much background council support is being given to promoting this project. Someone told me that the Canal Trust shop by the library has been given to them rent free by SBC for the last few years. Is that true? If so, why? Has anyone in the upper echelons of Swindon council had/have a connection with any of the interested parties? If so, does it reflect an unfair and non objective bias? Given this article's obviously one-sided and preposterous conclusions, I think its a question which ought to be addressed.
This is a patently ridiculous claim to be making: An unsubstantiated number of residents out of a tiny 100 people who were consulted say that they would like the canal reinstated - out of a total population of 210,000 - and that equates to unequivocal support reinstate the crazy canal plan?! Since when did such a poorly mandated result justify a press release or this level of coverage, let alone the false conclusions drawn? The proposed canal, as discussed to to death here and elsewhere is percieved by many Swindonians as unimaginative (given that nearby towns like Bath and Reading already have them), of little historical relevence (given that this is a town with a heritage based around the railways and a local history in which the canal played little part) will create MASSIVE traffic disruptions and will inevitably end up delivered years late and millions over budget (just see recent council projects for precedent). Unlike other towns, our pointless canal will not be a restoration of something, but an almost complete reinvention, will cut across existing services such as gas, sewerage and electrical lines and, to top it all, won't even create a linked together route (meaning boats will be unlikely to use it). Oh, and for the cherry on top of the BS icing, its management and delivery is being entrusted to people who's other recent projects seem to have been high on hyperbole and very very low on successful delivery. On the face of it, its a nice idea, but think about it for any length of time and you soon realise its a completely daft proposal, promoted by short-sighted people who think that Swindon's best attempt to pull itself from the mire is to simply ape what other towns do, rather than try to develop (or preserve) a character of our own. Voters need to ask themselves why so much background council support is being given to promoting this project. Someone told me that the Canal Trust shop by the library has been given to them rent free by SBC for the last few years. Is that true? If so, why? Has anyone in the upper echelons of Swindon council had/have a connection with any of the interested parties? If so, does it reflect an unfair and non objective bias? Given this article's obviously one-sided and preposterous conclusions, I think its a question which ought to be addressed. whaddahey?!

9:12pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

“There was quite a lot of detail in some of the responses, including one that went through the proposal almost line by line, and so we wanted to make sure we considered all of them.

Which councillor was that then?

...the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust said, crucially, it omits linking this section to the restored canal at Westleaze.

So just another wasteful project then

Lets see how Oliver defends his wife's fellow cabinet members over this one
[quote] “There was quite a lot of detail in some of the responses, including one that went through the proposal almost line by line, and so we wanted to make sure we considered all of them. [/quote] Which councillor was that then? [quote] ...the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust said, crucially, it omits linking this section to the restored canal at Westleaze. [/quote] So just another wasteful project then Lets see how Oliver defends his wife's fellow cabinet members over this one Empty Car Park

9:17pm Fri 15 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

Everything you say is TRUE, but you wont get any answers. Not from this council.

How can anyone consent to an open sewer running through the town.

NOONE at this corupt council will be resonsible for anything not even the 45k spent and lost on this folly so far.

Waste of time, money and effort.
Everything you say is TRUE, but you wont get any answers. Not from this council. How can anyone consent to an open sewer running through the town. NOONE at this corupt council will be resonsible for anything not even the 45k spent and lost on this folly so far. Waste of time, money and effort. anotherimigrant

9:22pm Fri 15 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

Residents want canal back in town centre masterplan.

NO THEY DONT. LETS HAVE A VOTE ON IT, BY THOSE WHO LIVE NEAR WHERE THIS CORRUPT COUNCIL AND IT,S CHUMS THINK THEY WILL IMPOSE THIS OPEN SEWER
Residents want canal back in town centre masterplan. NO THEY DONT. LETS HAVE A VOTE ON IT, BY THOSE WHO LIVE NEAR WHERE THIS CORRUPT COUNCIL AND IT,S CHUMS THINK THEY WILL IMPOSE THIS OPEN SEWER anotherimigrant

9:22pm Fri 15 Feb 13

MrAngry says...

If the plans are revised to include the canal, surely a new consultation will be needed.

Anyone opposed to the canal would have been happy with the original plans and would have no need to respond.
If the plans are revised to include the canal, surely a new consultation will be needed. Anyone opposed to the canal would have been happy with the original plans and would have no need to respond. MrAngry

9:42pm Fri 15 Feb 13

dukeofM4 says...

Personally I love the idea.

However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre.

Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon?
Personally I love the idea. However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre. Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon? dukeofM4

9:42pm Fri 15 Feb 13

RICHARDPIKE says...

Dont want it waste of money
Dont want it waste of money RICHARDPIKE

10:00pm Fri 15 Feb 13

faatmaan says...

as with everything, a vocal minority are trying to dictate the future expenditure of the silent but necessary council charge payers, whom are effectively already subsidising this waste water plan with the free shop in town, how about the council providing same type premises for start up businesses, pop-up businesses etc, this only goes to prove there is hidden backing from the council, but lets see how many of them are prepared to openly support this scheme and your future increased council charge to acheive this plan destined to fail.
as with everything, a vocal minority are trying to dictate the future expenditure of the silent but necessary council charge payers, whom are effectively already subsidising this waste water plan with the free shop in town, how about the council providing same type premises for start up businesses, pop-up businesses etc, this only goes to prove there is hidden backing from the council, but lets see how many of them are prepared to openly support this scheme and your future increased council charge to acheive this plan destined to fail. faatmaan

10:25pm Fri 15 Feb 13

umpcah says...

Let`s assume that someone somewhere is serious about this project. How many millions are likely to be spent from start to the distant finish ? Or is there a cunning plan for Central Government to secretly foot the bill ? PMSL ! !
Let`s assume that someone somewhere is serious about this project. How many millions are likely to be spent from start to the distant finish ? Or is there a cunning plan for Central Government to secretly foot the bill ? PMSL ! ! umpcah

10:46pm Fri 15 Feb 13

darrey80 says...

anotherimigrant wrote:
Residents want canal back in town centre masterplan.

NO THEY DONT. LETS HAVE A VOTE ON IT, BY THOSE WHO LIVE NEAR WHERE THIS CORRUPT COUNCIL AND IT,S CHUMS THINK THEY WILL IMPOSE THIS OPEN SEWER
You fail to see the irony of your post - you complain that the statement is speaking for you but you are speaking for everyone saying 'NO WE DON'T.

You don't I do.
[quote][p][bold]anotherimigrant[/bold] wrote: Residents want canal back in town centre masterplan. NO THEY DONT. LETS HAVE A VOTE ON IT, BY THOSE WHO LIVE NEAR WHERE THIS CORRUPT COUNCIL AND IT,S CHUMS THINK THEY WILL IMPOSE THIS OPEN SEWER[/p][/quote]You fail to see the irony of your post - you complain that the statement is speaking for you but you are speaking for everyone saying 'NO WE DON'T. You don't I do. darrey80

10:51pm Fri 15 Feb 13

darrey80 says...

The canal in the right location would be the ideal - but the key is where is goes. Farringdon Road is not the right location - not unless an alternative road route is established to take that traffic. Station Road may well be better bet given its quiet in terms of traffic use and a better setting.
The canal in the right location would be the ideal - but the key is where is goes. Farringdon Road is not the right location - not unless an alternative road route is established to take that traffic. Station Road may well be better bet given its quiet in terms of traffic use and a better setting. darrey80

10:58pm Fri 15 Feb 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Seems like a bad idea to me.

There are far better things the money could be spent on.
Seems like a bad idea to me. There are far better things the money could be spent on. LordAshOfTheBrake

12:21am Sat 16 Feb 13

Phantom Poster says...

dukeofM4 wrote:
Personally I love the idea.

However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre.

Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon?
Why do you have such disrespect for the people of Swindon? There is a canal through Reading centre and I don't see those problems there.

I don't even think that the proposed canal is necessarily a good idea, but the people of Reading are no better than those in Swindon and it's pretty depressing how posters on here seem to do nothing else than complain about Swindon and its people!

If it's so, so bad then don't live here! In the end it says something about you, doesn't it? By the way, I'm not a Swindonian.
[quote][p][bold]dukeofM4[/bold] wrote: Personally I love the idea. However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre. Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon?[/p][/quote]Why do you have such disrespect for the people of Swindon? There is a canal through Reading centre and I don't see those problems there. I don't even think that the proposed canal is necessarily a good idea, but the people of Reading are no better than those in Swindon and it's pretty depressing how posters on here seem to do nothing else than complain about Swindon and its people! If it's so, so bad then don't live here! In the end it says something about you, doesn't it? By the way, I'm not a Swindonian. Phantom Poster

8:42am Sat 16 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one

Can you not see how that is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"?

The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful
So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one Can you not see how [bold] that [/bold] is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"? The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful Empty Car Park

8:52am Sat 16 Feb 13

SockPuppet says...

I would love to see a canal in Swindon but the case has not been made in a meaningful and understandable way.
Currently it is an idea being kicked about and needs more substance.
On a side note does Gary Perkins creep anyone else out?
I would love to see a canal in Swindon but the case has not been made in a meaningful and understandable way. Currently it is an idea being kicked about and needs more substance. On a side note does Gary Perkins creep anyone else out? SockPuppet

8:59am Sat 16 Feb 13

house on the hill says...

Phantom poster, comments like why live here are really pretty stupid. Most are here because they have homes and or jobs and or family and or friends and in the depth of a recession moving work or job is nigh on impossible. Secondly most of us aren't so shallow as to just run from a problem, we try and deal with it. Thirdly we have every right to expect our tax money to be spent in the right way, for the benefit if all, without corruption and incompetence and those elected to be be responsible for their actions instead of always hiring others they can blame when it goes wrong. Like you I am not a swindonian and have lived in a lot of places and I can see why Swindon is the butt of so many jokes, it is very different to most, not hoped by an inept and corrupt council.
Phantom poster, comments like why live here are really pretty stupid. Most are here because they have homes and or jobs and or family and or friends and in the depth of a recession moving work or job is nigh on impossible. Secondly most of us aren't so shallow as to just run from a problem, we try and deal with it. Thirdly we have every right to expect our tax money to be spent in the right way, for the benefit if all, without corruption and incompetence and those elected to be be responsible for their actions instead of always hiring others they can blame when it goes wrong. Like you I am not a swindonian and have lived in a lot of places and I can see why Swindon is the butt of so many jokes, it is very different to most, not hoped by an inept and corrupt council. house on the hill

8:59am Sat 16 Feb 13

Always Grumpy says...

Now, if they could get the canal to have a decent slope, it would be great for surfers and complement the proposed snow dome.
Failing that, with the constant wind blowing through the Brunel Centre it would be great for yacht racing and certainly bring the crowds back into Swindon town centre.
Now, if they could get the canal to have a decent slope, it would be great for surfers and complement the proposed snow dome. Failing that, with the constant wind blowing through the Brunel Centre it would be great for yacht racing and certainly bring the crowds back into Swindon town centre. Always Grumpy

9:33am Sat 16 Feb 13

Meldrews Dad says...

As I said in a comment on bringing a market to the town centre:

Great to know that Swindon recognize their technique of asking a small group of friends what they think skews the result of a "consulation".

What about an annual referendum of thorny issues at the same time as the may elections? Nice idea but it wont happen as the senior council officers would hate any genuine input by the public.

Yes we need vibrancy of street traders in the town and the arguments used against them are snobbish and weak.

Councillors should abandon all attempts to take the town "upmarket" and concentrate on making the place a good place to shop.

The town is dieing rapidly with shops closing in all streets. Popularity of the town is waning as was shown this morning when I drove in to the central library and had a choice of street parking slots.”
As I said in a comment on bringing a market to the town centre: Great to know that Swindon recognize their technique of asking a small group of friends what they think skews the result of a "consulation". What about an annual referendum of thorny issues at the same time as the may elections? Nice idea but it wont happen as the senior council officers would hate any genuine input by the public. Yes we need vibrancy of street traders in the town and the arguments used against them are snobbish and weak. Councillors should abandon all attempts to take the town "upmarket" and concentrate on making the place a good place to shop. The town is dieing rapidly with shops closing in all streets. Popularity of the town is waning as was shown this morning when I drove in to the central library and had a choice of street parking slots.” Meldrews Dad

9:48am Sat 16 Feb 13

anotherimigrant says...

So two people out of the whole forum debate think it,s a good idea. Hmm.

Thats about right for Swindon.

Now what about some comments on how your going to get across the bottom of Kingshill?

How do you propose getting the cars out were the canal was filled in and the little humpback bridge was removed??

I,m interested because I use that piece of road regularly and dont fancy another single lane traffic light controlled cockup that this council has made us the laughing stock of the country for.

Comments quickly please as this thred will no doubt be quickly closed due to the Adver changing stories quickly so we dont get boged down iiin meaningfull debate which no one reads and the council dont give a toss about
So two people out of the whole forum debate think it,s a good idea. Hmm. Thats about right for Swindon. Now what about some comments on how your going to get across the bottom of Kingshill? How do you propose getting the cars out were the canal was filled in and the little humpback bridge was removed?? I,m interested because I use that piece of road regularly and dont fancy another single lane traffic light controlled cockup that this council has made us the laughing stock of the country for. Comments quickly please as this thred will no doubt be quickly closed due to the Adver changing stories quickly so we dont get boged down iiin meaningfull debate which no one reads and the council dont give a toss about anotherimigrant

11:03am Sat 16 Feb 13

darrey80 says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one

Can you not see how that is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"?

The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful
How on earth is it hand picked? Every Swindon resident could have responded to the draft masterplan. The vast majority of comments backed the scheme - not all but the majority was very positive.

Why assume its poorly designed - the route is not even yet agreed let alone designed!
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one Can you not see how [bold] that [/bold] is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"? The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful[/p][/quote]How on earth is it hand picked? Every Swindon resident could have responded to the draft masterplan. The vast majority of comments backed the scheme - not all but the majority was very positive. Why assume its poorly designed - the route is not even yet agreed let alone designed! darrey80

2:21pm Sat 16 Feb 13

malctg says...

Should never have got rid of the canal in the first place! Is 'The Mechanics Institute' in the plans? If there's all this money about. Or will that have been demolished by then like all the old buildings in this now bland and boring town! The Foureyed Poet.
Should never have got rid of the canal in the first place! Is 'The Mechanics Institute' in the plans? If there's all this money about. Or will that have been demolished by then like all the old buildings in this now bland and boring town! The Foureyed Poet. malctg

2:29pm Sat 16 Feb 13

David Renard says...

anotherimigrant wrote:
Everything you say is TRUE, but you wont get any answers. Not from this council.

How can anyone consent to an open sewer running through the town.

NOONE at this corupt council will be resonsible for anything not even the 45k spent and lost on this folly so far.

Waste of time, money and effort.
More unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. Put up or shut up.
[quote][p][bold]anotherimigrant[/bold] wrote: Everything you say is TRUE, but you wont get any answers. Not from this council. How can anyone consent to an open sewer running through the town. NOONE at this corupt council will be resonsible for anything not even the 45k spent and lost on this folly so far. Waste of time, money and effort.[/p][/quote]More unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. Put up or shut up. David Renard

2:32pm Sat 16 Feb 13

candid friend says...

If the canal cannot be connected through from East to West ,then there is no point in disrupting the Town Centre to introduce a stagnant patch of water.
The cost would be colossal just to get access to the Town Centre.
The consultation? has obviously been high-jacked by the Canal Lobby.
The Tories are on the way out and are trying to create problems for their successors.
It's called a "scorched earth policy" in warfare.
If the canal cannot be connected through from East to West ,then there is no point in disrupting the Town Centre to introduce a stagnant patch of water. The cost would be colossal just to get access to the Town Centre. The consultation? has obviously been high-jacked by the Canal Lobby. The Tories are on the way out and are trying to create problems for their successors. It's called a "scorched earth policy" in warfare. candid friend

2:34pm Sat 16 Feb 13

umpcah says...

Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter.
Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter. umpcah

2:56pm Sat 16 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

Every Swindon resident COULD have responded, as long as they were aware, which in this case means reading obscure articles in a local paper which isn't bought by the vast majority of residents and of ignoring that most people assumed that the canal was OFF the plan anyway.

Set that against the cabinet's obvious support for the project.

Set that against this article receiving the full press-release treatment after drawing its false conclusion that 'the people' support the inclusion of the canal.

Set it against the Canal Trust having their property opposite the library (for free? Given to them by the council? And what are they promoting there, eh?)

This is yet another example of our local policiticans ignoring democrasy and assuming that they can dupe the populace into believing that there's widespread support for what is essentially the obsession of just a handful of people. Our opinions, as usual count for nothing in the face of those who believe that they know best. Claiming that the view of a minority of a mere 100 people represents the views of most people in this town is utterly and obviously absurd.

Funny isn't it that when a handful of people apparently support something the council wants to do, they think its significant - but when many hundreds sign petitions against things the council wants to do, they're dismissed as un-representative?

They're utter hypocrites.
Every Swindon resident COULD have responded, as long as they were aware, which in this case means reading obscure articles in a local paper which isn't bought by the vast majority of residents and of ignoring that most people assumed that the canal was OFF the plan anyway. Set that against the cabinet's obvious support for the project. Set that against this article receiving the full press-release treatment after drawing its false conclusion that 'the people' support the inclusion of the canal. Set it against the Canal Trust having their property opposite the library (for free? Given to them by the council? And what are they promoting there, eh?) This is yet another example of our local policiticans ignoring democrasy and assuming that they can dupe the populace into believing that there's widespread support for what is essentially the obsession of just a handful of people. Our opinions, as usual count for nothing in the face of those who believe that they know best. Claiming that the view of a minority of a mere 100 people represents the views of most people in this town is utterly and obviously absurd. Funny isn't it that when a handful of people apparently support something the council wants to do, they think its significant - but when many hundreds sign petitions against things the council wants to do, they're dismissed as un-representative? They're utter hypocrites. whaddahey?!

3:03pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

darrey80 wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one

Can you not see how that is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"?

The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful
How on earth is it hand picked? Every Swindon resident could have responded to the draft masterplan. The vast majority of comments backed the scheme - not all but the majority was very positive.

Why assume its poorly designed - the route is not even yet agreed let alone designed!
Careful, Empty Car Park / I Could Do That will start calling you 'Olive' soon.

He thinks everyone, and it is most people, who disagrees with him and points out his errors must be called 'Bob', or 'Olive'.

No one really knows why he constantly and automatically makes up lies to denigrate the council, but I fear it may have something to do with an attempt to ingratiate himself with people who don't even appear to like him over at his favourite local forum website.
[quote][p][bold]darrey80[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: So we pay for a (poorly designed,non functioning) canal because Reading has (an established functioning) one Can you not see how [bold] that [/bold] is "such disrespect for the people of Swindon"? The method of consultation, from a no doubt hand picked 100, people is even more disrespectful[/p][/quote]How on earth is it hand picked? Every Swindon resident could have responded to the draft masterplan. The vast majority of comments backed the scheme - not all but the majority was very positive. Why assume its poorly designed - the route is not even yet agreed let alone designed![/p][/quote]Careful, Empty Car Park / I Could Do That will start calling you 'Olive' soon. [p] He thinks everyone, and it is most people, who disagrees with him and points out his errors must be called 'Bob', or 'Olive'. [p] No one really knows why he constantly and automatically makes up lies to denigrate the council, but I fear it may have something to do with an attempt to ingratiate himself with people who don't even appear to like him over at his favourite local forum website. Tim Newroman

3:07pm Sat 16 Feb 13

dukeofM4 says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
dukeofM4 wrote:
Personally I love the idea.

However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre.

Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon?
Why do you have such disrespect for the people of Swindon? There is a canal through Reading centre and I don't see those problems there.

I don't even think that the proposed canal is necessarily a good idea, but the people of Reading are no better than those in Swindon and it's pretty depressing how posters on here seem to do nothing else than complain about Swindon and its people!

If it's so, so bad then don't live here! In the end it says something about you, doesn't it? By the way, I'm not a Swindonian.
Join the club I'm not a Swindonian as well. I'm only being honest and ultimately it's the responsibility of the Swindonians themselves what kind of town they want to live in.

Perhaps the Council should take into consideration the views of people who have gotten around a bit. It's probably true most non-Swindonians wish the best for the town, however, this town regeneration potentially could be another lost opportunity. Swindon has been there before when they 'regenerated' the town centre in the 1970s.

Towns that spring to mind are Basingstoke and Bristol that now have nicer town centres.

But we live in 2013 and 1990s urban planning won't work. The town centre needs to turn into an attractive place to work, live, and play and not the current situation where it's a ghost town by 18.00 with only pubs selling pushing their 'drink of the month' promotions.

If Swindon was in mainland Europe, it would probably have much better transport links (a tram system) connecting the town together than our overpriced bus service that is cutting back service because subsidiaries are being cut with disrespectful fellow passengers putting their muddy shoes on the seats. Swindon is a town of 200,000 with all the outlaying areas included - and we won't even discuss the bargain £7750 annual pass to London. If we had high speed rail Paddington could only be 30 mins away! Swindon is definitely restrained by Central Gov't policies.

Being on the GWR, and the M4 is not enough along with a few big name companies like Honda. The decision for the Univ of Bath to pull out for me was a real lost. Swindon needs to become some sort of centre for IT, Education or Medical services to keep money in the town than always getting into a panic when Honda makes redundant 800 staff. I guess I mean diversification is the way to go. Someone has to get the ball rolling but it's difficult in the early years.
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dukeofM4[/bold] wrote: Personally I love the idea. However it's not really viable. Unlike in Germany where these type of things get respected, in Swindon it would just turn into a place for drunks to urinate in, and others to throw litter. We're unable to stop the chewing gum problem throughout the centre. Would a canal with floating pieces of paper, torn up bookie slips, empty cans, and dog ends, with the slight aroma of urine really add to Swindon?[/p][/quote]Why do you have such disrespect for the people of Swindon? There is a canal through Reading centre and I don't see those problems there. I don't even think that the proposed canal is necessarily a good idea, but the people of Reading are no better than those in Swindon and it's pretty depressing how posters on here seem to do nothing else than complain about Swindon and its people! If it's so, so bad then don't live here! In the end it says something about you, doesn't it? By the way, I'm not a Swindonian.[/p][/quote]Join the club I'm not a Swindonian as well. I'm only being honest and ultimately it's the responsibility of the Swindonians themselves what kind of town they want to live in. Perhaps the Council should take into consideration the views of people who have gotten around a bit. It's probably true most non-Swindonians wish the best for the town, however, this town regeneration potentially could be another lost opportunity. Swindon has been there before when they 'regenerated' the town centre in the 1970s. Towns that spring to mind are Basingstoke and Bristol that now have nicer town centres. But we live in 2013 and 1990s urban planning won't work. The town centre needs to turn into an attractive place to work, live, and play and not the current situation where it's a ghost town by 18.00 with only pubs selling pushing their 'drink of the month' promotions. If Swindon was in mainland Europe, it would probably have much better transport links (a tram system) connecting the town together than our overpriced bus service that is cutting back service because subsidiaries are being cut with disrespectful fellow passengers putting their muddy shoes on the seats. Swindon is a town of 200,000 with all the outlaying areas included - and we won't even discuss the bargain £7750 annual pass to London. If we had high speed rail Paddington could only be 30 mins away! Swindon is definitely restrained by Central Gov't policies. Being on the GWR, and the M4 is not enough along with a few big name companies like Honda. The decision for the Univ of Bath to pull out for me was a real lost. Swindon needs to become some sort of centre for IT, Education or Medical services to keep money in the town than always getting into a panic when Honda makes redundant 800 staff. I guess I mean diversification is the way to go. Someone has to get the ball rolling but it's difficult in the early years. dukeofM4

3:20pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

@dukeofM4 - good post, you've summed up the current state of play very nicely.

With regards to the canal, experience tends to suggest the council would make a pig's ear of it, but, in essence, I quite like the idea of creating something in the town centre that makes it different to what it is now. It's healthy to float these ideas, regardless of whether they end up a reality or not.
@dukeofM4 - good post, you've summed up the current state of play very nicely. [p] With regards to the canal, experience tends to suggest the council would make a pig's ear of it, but, in essence, I quite like the idea of creating something in the town centre that makes it different to what it is now. It's healthy to float these ideas, regardless of whether they end up a reality or not. Tim Newroman

3:29pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

How ironic that the council who are destroying public services and letting our roads crumble want to have a canal. Good grief, it's so bloody stupid its almost funny. Vote those Tory cretins out asap.
How ironic that the council who are destroying public services and letting our roads crumble want to have a canal. Good grief, it's so bloody stupid its almost funny. Vote those Tory cretins out asap. Davey Gravey

5:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

Mr Gravey you do come across as extremely misinformed.

The Conservative party has done exactly the opposite of destroying public service. I do not expect you to take my word for this so would refer you to the entirely independent audit commission:

http://swindonlabour
check.com/index.php/
labour/

It is a fact that during the last time Labour ran the council it was not mathematically possible for it to be rated any worse:

http://swindonlabour
check.com/index.php/
42-2/

Since then it has been independently audited to rate as either "good" or "excellent" depending on the department.

By all means dislike a party for what it represents but flying in the face of a public audit smacks of a desperate argument.
Mr Gravey you do come across as extremely misinformed. The Conservative party has done exactly the opposite of destroying public service. I do not expect you to take my word for this so would refer you to the entirely independent audit commission: http://swindonlabour check.com/index.php/ labour/ It is a fact that during the last time Labour ran the council it was not mathematically possible for it to be rated any worse: http://swindonlabour check.com/index.php/ 42-2/ Since then it has been independently audited to rate as either "good" or "excellent" depending on the department. By all means dislike a party for what it represents but flying in the face of a public audit smacks of a desperate argument. Oliver_Donachie

5:19pm Sat 16 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

Mr Donachie, what about addressing the subject of this thread?

Why does this council, and specifically the cabinet, ignore the views of far larger petitions voicing opposition to council endorsed plans and yet a percentage of just 100 people is held here to be significant enough to see the redrafting of the town centre plan?
Mr Donachie, what about addressing the subject of this thread? Why does this council, and specifically the cabinet, ignore the views of far larger petitions voicing opposition to council endorsed plans and yet a percentage of just 100 people is held here to be significant enough to see the redrafting of the town centre plan? whaddahey?!

6:00pm Sat 16 Feb 13

female resident says...

It's worked in other towns but is pointless unless it is a part of an established and well-used canal network which attracts tourism. A poll of 100 people in a town this size is a bit of a joke. Sadly a canal alone won't add a bit of class to the town.
It's worked in other towns but is pointless unless it is a part of an established and well-used canal network which attracts tourism. A poll of 100 people in a town this size is a bit of a joke. Sadly a canal alone won't add a bit of class to the town. female resident

6:02pm Sat 16 Feb 13

darrey80 says...

umpcah wrote:
Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter.
For the last time - no one was chosen. Every Swindon resident could have replied to the draft masterplan so those writing here in compliant why not respond to the consultation originally?

And how exactly are you qualified to comment? A town planner or civil engineer are you?
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter.[/p][/quote]For the last time - no one was chosen. Every Swindon resident could have replied to the draft masterplan so those writing here in compliant why not respond to the consultation originally? And how exactly are you qualified to comment? A town planner or civil engineer are you? darrey80

6:38pm Sat 16 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

Any local politician worth the title or a vote could clearly come online and answer the objections openly. But as you well know, 'consultation' in Swindon is a selective process in which opinion is ignored if it's against a grand vision - but eagerly snapped up and reported via press release if it suits a political agenda.

The farcical claims in this article are a classic example of why nobody bothers. Politicians are to blame for this apathy - NOT residents.

As for someone being qualified to offer an opinion on this project - if you're so arrogant as to dismiss anyones objections out of hand, why bother with a consultation in the first place? It appears we mere proles don't know whats good for us - and only planners or politicans have the answers, eh? Well, I have an example of why thats obviously not true - Swindon. Take a long hard look at the place. Planners and politicians made it into the mess we see around us.

There are lots of questions which need to be answered if this project is to retain even a shred of credibility:

Was Rod Bluh previously involved as a high ranking member of the Canal Trust?

Have the Canal Trust received free accomodation in the shop accross from the Library for the last three years, or not? If so, I think voters are entitled to conclude that it means its presence was provided at tax payers expense and is in itself an implied endorsement by the council.

(Canal shop opposite the library - interestingly enough to a cynic, where the 'consultation' was housed. Possible link there to the unexpected refreshed 'residents' interest in the canal...?!)

Is less than 100 people a significant cross section of a population of nearly a quarter of a million - and is their *apparent* endorsement of a canal grounds in itself to include a canal in a redrafted town centre plan with all the associated cost to tax payers that will involve?
Any local politician worth the title or a vote could clearly come online and answer the objections openly. But as you well know, 'consultation' in Swindon is a selective process in which opinion is ignored if it's against a grand vision - but eagerly snapped up and reported via press release if it suits a political agenda. The farcical claims in this article are a classic example of why nobody bothers. Politicians are to blame for this apathy - NOT residents. As for someone being qualified to offer an opinion on this project - if you're so arrogant as to dismiss anyones objections out of hand, why bother with a consultation in the first place? It appears we mere proles don't know whats good for us - and only planners or politicans have the answers, eh? Well, I have an example of why thats obviously not true - Swindon. Take a long hard look at the place. Planners and politicians made it into the mess we see around us. There are lots of questions which need to be answered if this project is to retain even a shred of credibility: Was Rod Bluh previously involved as a high ranking member of the Canal Trust? Have the Canal Trust received free accomodation in the shop accross from the Library for the last three years, or not? If so, I think voters are entitled to conclude that it means its presence was provided at tax payers expense and is in itself an implied endorsement by the council. (Canal shop opposite the library - interestingly enough to a cynic, where the 'consultation' was housed. Possible link there to the unexpected refreshed 'residents' interest in the canal...?!) Is less than 100 people a significant cross section of a population of nearly a quarter of a million - and is their *apparent* endorsement of a canal grounds in itself to include a canal in a redrafted town centre plan with all the associated cost to tax payers that will involve? whaddahey?!

7:13pm Sat 16 Feb 13

EVERETTP9 says...

AFTER READING THE LATEST PLANS FOR A CANAL, I AM NO LONGER SURPRISED AT THE TWINNING WITH DISNEYLAND
AFTER READING THE LATEST PLANS FOR A CANAL, I AM NO LONGER SURPRISED AT THE TWINNING WITH DISNEYLAND EVERETTP9

7:23pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

whaddahey?! wrote:
Mr Donachie, what about addressing the subject of this thread?

Why does this council, and specifically the cabinet, ignore the views of far larger petitions voicing opposition to council endorsed plans and yet a percentage of just 100 people is held here to be significant enough to see the redrafting of the town centre plan?
Whaddahey,

I agree with you, 100 people is not enough of a data set to make a conclusive conclusion, however in the defense of the process:

1: They put out a consultation.
2: Anyone was free to respond but "only" 100 did.
3: Of those 100 the majority seem to be in favor.

So within the framework of the consultation it appears to conclude that people are in favor. This leaves the real question on the table, "how can the council engage with people to get more meaningful data around these kinds of studies".

As an aside, I personally would welcome the regeneration of the canal as it helps frame our history as a logistical centre via train, land and barge and is a welcome link to the past. Not at any costs however.
[quote][p][bold]whaddahey?![/bold] wrote: Mr Donachie, what about addressing the subject of this thread? Why does this council, and specifically the cabinet, ignore the views of far larger petitions voicing opposition to council endorsed plans and yet a percentage of just 100 people is held here to be significant enough to see the redrafting of the town centre plan?[/p][/quote]Whaddahey, I agree with you, 100 people is not enough of a data set to make a conclusive conclusion, however in the defense of the process: 1: They put out a consultation. 2: Anyone was free to respond but "only" 100 did. 3: Of those 100 the majority seem to be in favor. So within the framework of the consultation it appears to conclude that people are in favor. This leaves the real question on the table, "how can the council engage with people to get more meaningful data around these kinds of studies". As an aside, I personally would welcome the regeneration of the canal as it helps frame our history as a logistical centre via train, land and barge and is a welcome link to the past. Not at any costs however. Oliver_Donachie

7:38pm Sat 16 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

But Mr Donachie, if you acknowledge that 100 people does not allow such a conclusion to be drawn, why does the title of this piece (which I'd happily bet was the title of an official press release from either FS or SBC) apparently seek to give entirely that impression?

Can I also correct you on something? This is not a 'regeneration' of the canal. That would suggest that there was something to regenerate, whereas there's NOTHING left of the old canal in town. Given that a huge chunk of the proposed canal will be dug through a new route, it would be much better described a s 'reinvention'. Its fair to say its almost entirely new and has no historical precedent. Neither (unlike the old canal) will it actually link to anywhere. As planned, its essentially cul-de-sac of stagnant water.

Given the massive disruption digging a new canal will cause to existing roads and services, and the lack of purpose or realistic draw for tourists, what viable purpose does it serve?
But Mr Donachie, if you acknowledge that 100 people does not allow such a conclusion to be drawn, why does the title of this piece (which I'd happily bet was the title of an official press release from either FS or SBC) apparently seek to give entirely that impression? Can I also correct you on something? This is not a 'regeneration' of the canal. That would suggest that there was something to regenerate, whereas there's NOTHING left of the old canal in town. Given that a huge chunk of the proposed canal will be dug through a new route, it would be much better described a s 'reinvention'. Its fair to say its almost entirely new and has no historical precedent. Neither (unlike the old canal) will it actually link to anywhere. As planned, its essentially cul-de-sac of stagnant water. Given the massive disruption digging a new canal will cause to existing roads and services, and the lack of purpose or realistic draw for tourists, what viable purpose does it serve? whaddahey?!

7:42pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Davey Gravey says...

I'd like a canal. I'd also like to not have to work, would like numerous holiday homes and B eyonce in my bed.Not realistic though in all counts.
I'd like a canal. I'd also like to not have to work, would like numerous holiday homes and B eyonce in my bed.Not realistic though in all counts. Davey Gravey

7:53pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

whaddahey, I agree that a better title may be "Survey indicates some residents welcome canal" but with such a banal feeling you can see why I don't work as a newspaper editor :)

The point you make about regeneration is noted and its clear you have a deeper understanding of the plan than I do, and I agree if its a land locked system then it does not have the same degree of attraction for me.

That said...I find water aesthetically pleasing, I think it work very well in Bristol and other areas. I also find that Swindon does downplay its history in terms of logistics and its deep roots with water transport, specifically its influence on the siting of the Great Western Railway's Works.

Again, my desire to try and capture and preserve the history of the Brunel spirit is pragmatic, I would welcome an operational canal especially as a joined up "theme" that links to wider town centre regeneration but stress not at any costs.
whaddahey, I agree that a better title may be "Survey indicates some residents welcome canal" but with such a banal feeling you can see why I don't work as a newspaper editor :) The point you make about regeneration is noted and its clear you have a deeper understanding of the plan than I do, and I agree if its a land locked system then it does not have the same degree of attraction for me. That said...I find water aesthetically pleasing, I think it work very well in Bristol and other areas. I also find that Swindon does downplay its history in terms of logistics and its deep roots with water transport, specifically its influence on the siting of the Great Western Railway's Works. Again, my desire to try and capture and preserve the history of the Brunel spirit is pragmatic, I would welcome an operational canal especially as a joined up "theme" that links to wider town centre regeneration but stress not at any costs. Oliver_Donachie

8:07pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

The best result of all your postings Mr Donachie, is that Tim Newroman has now become very quiet.

I still feel that the main objective of your sudden surge of input is that your wife is a conservative cabinet member on the council.

This is poorly thought out idea

This will ultimately be very expensive

This will ultimately be disruptive to traffic and businesses

The (re invented) deadend canal will be meaningless, a liability, and something else for Swindon to be laughed at
The best result of all your postings Mr Donachie, is that Tim Newroman has now become very quiet. I still feel that the main objective of your sudden surge of input is that your [bold] wife is a conservative cabinet member on the council. [/bold] This is poorly thought out idea This will ultimately be very expensive This will ultimately be disruptive to traffic and businesses The (re invented) deadend canal will be meaningless, a liability, and something else for Swindon to be laughed at Empty Car Park

8:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Oliver_Donachie says...

"Empty"

I am not entirely sure what my partner having being anything to do with politics has on a discussion about waterways within Swindon, but as you seem so energetic I am happy to point out how silly you are, a few facts:

1: In my house my entire family was raised to think independently of each other meaning we are more than welcome to talk about anything we wish in any manner we wish, I appreciate this may be different in your home and differ from how you were raised.

2: I do not have a wife. I am not married.

3: My partner is not on the Council.

Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now?
"Empty" I am not entirely sure what my partner having being anything to do with politics has on a discussion about waterways within Swindon, but as you seem so energetic I am happy to point out how silly you are, a few facts: 1: In my house my entire family was raised to think independently of each other meaning we are more than welcome to talk about anything we wish in any manner we wish, I appreciate this may be different in your home and differ from how you were raised. 2: I do not have a wife. I am not married. 3: My partner is not on the Council. Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now? Oliver_Donachie

8:25pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Peter Mallinson says...

I come from a town in the North of England where there is a canal running through it.

It is clean and well used by both barge traffic and locals (fishing).

There are many cafes, pubs etc along the banks and during the summer months it is like a magnet to the local people.

Why is it that whenever something is suggested in Swindon some people immediately react negatively.

Is that why we have never had good historical buildings in this town.

A quick look at almost any town in the North would show what this attitude has left us with.

A few rows of red brick houses.
I come from a town in the North of England where there is a canal running through it. It is clean and well used by both barge traffic and locals (fishing). There are many cafes, pubs etc along the banks and during the summer months it is like a magnet to the local people. Why is it that whenever something is suggested in Swindon some people immediately react negatively. Is that why we have never had good historical buildings in this town. A quick look at almost any town in the North would show what this attitude has left us with. A few rows of red brick houses. Peter Mallinson

8:27pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Jeremy Hilary Boob says...

So a self-interest group gets its members to bang the drum for their stupid canal and the council jumps to their tune? Unbelievable

There's no money for this sort of nonsense and there won't be for at least 10-15 years. Are we going to put any redevelopment on hold until the country can afford such luxuries as a pointless canal coming into Swindon town centre and stopping there?

I responded to this "masterplan" with a detailed reponse that was against the canal (and a lot of the other ideas). Nice to see that view has been ignored and a single interest group which has constantly used the Adver to promote itself gets its view taken onboard. And SBC wonder why
So a self-interest group gets its members to bang the drum for their stupid canal and the council jumps to their tune? Unbelievable There's no money for this sort of nonsense and there won't be for at least 10-15 years. Are we going to put any redevelopment on hold until the country can afford such luxuries as a pointless canal coming into Swindon town centre and stopping there? I responded to this "masterplan" with a detailed reponse that was against the canal (and a lot of the other ideas). Nice to see that view has been ignored and a single interest group which has constantly used the Adver to promote itself gets its view taken onboard. And SBC wonder why Jeremy Hilary Boob

8:52pm Sat 16 Feb 13

dukeofM4 says...

The previous posts about it being a dead end canal are correct. "The Canal to Nowhere" will not attract tourists or anything else. It's got to be hooked up to the canal system and be a working canal. Otherwise it's a bit like the Cricklade Railway for the kids.

We need to focus on re-balancing the local economy towards wealth creating future industries along with improved local transport links. The rest doesn't matter.

If the SBC wants to be bold, why not do a white paper on a tram system that would give Swindon more character than a dead end canal.
The previous posts about it being a dead end canal are correct. "The Canal to Nowhere" will not attract tourists or anything else. It's got to be hooked up to the canal system and be a working canal. Otherwise it's a bit like the Cricklade Railway for the kids. We need to focus on re-balancing the local economy towards wealth creating future industries along with improved local transport links. The rest doesn't matter. If the SBC wants to be bold, why not do a white paper on a tram system that would give Swindon more character than a dead end canal. dukeofM4

10:07pm Sat 16 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

Oliver_Donachie wrote:
"Empty"

I am not entirely sure what my partner having being anything to do with politics has on a discussion about waterways within Swindon, but as you seem so energetic I am happy to point out how silly you are, a few facts:

1: In my house my entire family was raised to think independently of each other meaning we are more than welcome to talk about anything we wish in any manner we wish, I appreciate this may be different in your home and differ from how you were raised.

2: I do not have a wife. I am not married.

3: My partner is not on the Council.

Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now?
Oliver_Donachie says...
8:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13
3: My partner is not on the Council.

Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now?


Oliver_Donachie says...
8:48pm Sat 16 Feb 13
My partner is a Councillor

And a board member of Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership

As a grown up, I feel that issues should be discussed honestly.

As many other grown ups have expressed discontent with the consultation process of many issues, including this canal pRodject, it is important that anyone with a biased opinion is transparent
[quote][p][bold]Oliver_Donachie[/bold] wrote: "Empty" I am not entirely sure what my partner having being anything to do with politics has on a discussion about waterways within Swindon, but as you seem so energetic I am happy to point out how silly you are, a few facts: 1: In my house my entire family was raised to think independently of each other meaning we are more than welcome to talk about anything we wish in any manner we wish, I appreciate this may be different in your home and differ from how you were raised. 2: I do not have a wife. I am not married. 3: My partner is not on the Council. Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now?[/p][/quote]Oliver_Donachie says... 8:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13 [quote] 3: My partner is not on the Council. Can the grown ups continue to talk about canals now? [/quote] Oliver_Donachie says... 8:48pm Sat 16 Feb 13 [quote] My partner is a Councillor [/quote] And a board member of Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership As a grown up, I feel that issues should be discussed honestly. As many other grown ups have expressed discontent with the consultation process of many issues, including this canal pRodject, it is important that anyone with a biased opinion is transparent Empty Car Park

10:14pm Sat 16 Feb 13

whaddahey?! says...

Peter - with respect, do you even know the details of the plan which you are apparently endorsing? As a reminder: THE CANAL IS NOT A THROUGH ROUTE. IT DOES NO GO FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, DOES IT?

It means your analogy of a canal being used by tourist to pass through a town on their way from one place to another is spurious. Or do you think holiday makers are going to motor up this dead-ended stretch to enjoy the concrete and vomit strewn vistas of Fleet Street?

And its also disengenuous to try to portray serious and intelligent questions about its viablity, relevence or sustainability as an 'automatic negativity'. Sensible successful ideas are ones which have been scrutinised and thought through. This concept on the otherhand, smacks of the usual desperation of the current council to grab at any project and see it as salvation. I wish you and your collegues would use a little imagination and really engage with the people you're supposed to represent.

Please address the questions with some convincing answers, and maybe you'll supress the negativity, eh?
Peter - with respect, do you even know the details of the plan which you are apparently endorsing? As a reminder: THE CANAL IS NOT A THROUGH ROUTE. IT DOES NO GO FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER, DOES IT? It means your analogy of a canal being used by tourist to pass through a town on their way from one place to another is spurious. Or do you think holiday makers are going to motor up this dead-ended stretch to enjoy the concrete and vomit strewn vistas of Fleet Street? And its also disengenuous to try to portray serious and intelligent questions about its viablity, relevence or sustainability as an 'automatic negativity'. Sensible successful ideas are ones which have been scrutinised and thought through. This concept on the otherhand, smacks of the usual desperation of the current council to grab at any project and see it as salvation. I wish you and your collegues would use a little imagination and really engage with the people you're supposed to represent. Please address the questions with some convincing answers, and maybe you'll supress the negativity, eh? whaddahey?!

10:45pm Sat 16 Feb 13

timt1964 says...

a canal in 15 years,then a public vote to decide wether or not to bring back horse drawn buses?! only 100 people bothered to reply so that clearly does not represent the majority.why waste so much time and money on a canal?? swindon council really dont have a clue.
a canal in 15 years,then a public vote to decide wether or not to bring back horse drawn buses?! only 100 people bothered to reply so that clearly does not represent the majority.why waste so much time and money on a canal?? swindon council really dont have a clue. timt1964

8:24am Sun 17 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

I wish you and your collegues would use a little imagination and really engage with the people you're supposed to represent.

I don't think Peter is a councillor anymore.
There are however, a number of councillors (and their spouses) that post on here without declaring their "interest"

Previously a "David Renard" told somebody to "put up or shut up"
Was that Councillor David Renard?
[quote] I wish you and your collegues would use a little imagination and really engage with the people you're supposed to represent. [/quote] I don't think Peter is a councillor anymore. There are however, a number of councillors (and their spouses) that post on here without declaring their "interest" Previously a "David Renard" told somebody to "put up or shut up" Was that [bold] Councillor [/bold] David Renard? Empty Car Park

8:40am Sun 17 Feb 13

Jeremy Hilary Boob says...

Peter Mallinson wrote:
I come from a town in the North of England where there is a canal running through it.

It is clean and well used by both barge traffic and locals (fishing).

There are many cafes, pubs etc along the banks and during the summer months it is like a magnet to the local people.

Why is it that whenever something is suggested in Swindon some people immediately react negatively.

Is that why we have never had good historical buildings in this town.

A quick look at almost any town in the North would show what this attitude has left us with.

A few rows of red brick houses.
Do you honestly think that cafes and pubs will spring up alongside a narrow canal that comes into Swindon town centre and then does nothing? People are only going to open those if others are going to visit it and no-one's going to bother with a stretch of water that serves no purpose and offers nothing of interest

People don't immediately react negatively when something like this is suggested. Those against it have looked at the constant pro-canal PR in the Adver and concluded that doesn't seem to offer m/any of the benefits claimed, threatens years of disruption and would just be £50m+ of expense even if the council could manage the project properly. Ultimately, what is the point of this coming into the town centre? Pleasure trips from Westcott Place to Fleet Street? Other places must be bricking themselves as the thought of Swindon offering such a major attraction.

As for comment tieing in anti-canal posters with anti-anything, it's not true. I responded to the "masterplan" and was against the canal because I just don't see the point. However, I was in favour of restoring the Mechanics - a far better use of £50m - (although not in the way the Mechanics Trust want it restored). Does this still make me immediately negative?

The problem with this whole plan is that the council and "Forward" Swindon tell each other what they want to hear. No one comes in from outside and tells them the town is falling behind other towns, and that it's never going to be the tourist mecca that the council think it is/can be.

This just smacks of SBC desperately trying to show that something is being done here. Even they must realise that constantly trumpeting a 5-year-old library extension as the best thing ever can't go on forever, so they've latched on to this. It also gives them a handy get-out for nothing happening in the town centre: "We were waiting for the canal before we started on anything else, and the canal never happened."
[quote][p][bold]Peter Mallinson[/bold] wrote: I come from a town in the North of England where there is a canal running through it. It is clean and well used by both barge traffic and locals (fishing). There are many cafes, pubs etc along the banks and during the summer months it is like a magnet to the local people. Why is it that whenever something is suggested in Swindon some people immediately react negatively. Is that why we have never had good historical buildings in this town. A quick look at almost any town in the North would show what this attitude has left us with. A few rows of red brick houses.[/p][/quote]Do you honestly think that cafes and pubs will spring up alongside a narrow canal that comes into Swindon town centre and then does nothing? People are only going to open those if others are going to visit it and no-one's going to bother with a stretch of water that serves no purpose and offers nothing of interest People don't immediately react negatively when something like this is suggested. Those against it have looked at the constant pro-canal PR in the Adver and concluded that doesn't seem to offer m/any of the benefits claimed, threatens years of disruption and would just be £50m+ of expense even if the council could manage the project properly. Ultimately, what is the point of this coming into the town centre? Pleasure trips from Westcott Place to Fleet Street? Other places must be bricking themselves as the thought of Swindon offering such a major attraction. As for comment tieing in anti-canal posters with anti-anything, it's not true. I responded to the "masterplan" and was against the canal because I just don't see the point. However, I was in favour of restoring the Mechanics - a far better use of £50m - (although not in the way the Mechanics Trust want it restored). Does this still make me immediately negative? The problem with this whole plan is that the council and "Forward" Swindon tell each other what they want to hear. No one comes in from outside and tells them the town is falling behind other towns, and that it's never going to be the tourist mecca that the council think it is/can be. This just smacks of SBC desperately trying to show that something is being done here. Even they must realise that constantly trumpeting a 5-year-old library extension as the best thing ever can't go on forever, so they've latched on to this. It also gives them a handy get-out for nothing happening in the town centre: "We were waiting for the canal before we started on anything else, and the canal never happened." Jeremy Hilary Boob

11:47am Sun 17 Feb 13

MrAngry says...

darrey80 wrote:
umpcah wrote:
Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter.
For the last time - no one was chosen. Every Swindon resident could have replied to the draft masterplan so those writing here in compliant why not respond to the consultation originally?

And how exactly are you qualified to comment? A town planner or civil engineer are you?
Every Swindon resident COULD have commented on the content of the plan. Those who want a canal would understandly comment on its omission, but those against don't need to. Had the draft plan included a canal, the council would probably have had 100 responses against it.

You could argue that the 199,900 who didn't respond were happy with the plan as it is.
[quote][p][bold]darrey80[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: Were any of the chosen 100 told that their council taxes would leap to pay for this ridiculous project ? No doubt an expensive feasibility study will ensue when even someone with the i/q of a mentally handicapped hamster could work out that this project is a non-starter.[/p][/quote]For the last time - no one was chosen. Every Swindon resident could have replied to the draft masterplan so those writing here in compliant why not respond to the consultation originally? And how exactly are you qualified to comment? A town planner or civil engineer are you?[/p][/quote]Every Swindon resident COULD have commented on the content of the plan. Those who want a canal would understandly comment on its omission, but those against don't need to. Had the draft plan included a canal, the council would probably have had 100 responses against it. You could argue that the 199,900 who didn't respond were happy with the plan as it is. MrAngry

12:17pm Sun 17 Feb 13

Jeremy Hilary Boob says...

It's definitely out of order to change the masterplan and then not allow anyone to comment on the revised version. Especially as a canal in the town centre is more than just drawing a line on the map - what about all the knock-on effects of it?

As for the pathetic number of replies to the original perhaps people have just got to the stage where they think SBC will do what they want to do anyway so there's little or no point in bothering to comment? You only have to look at SBC's arrogance over things like Croft or the lack of acknowlegement that Bluh and Perkins wasted £450k of our money on a needless wi-fi scheme - and didn't even have the decency to resign over it, to see where people's cynicism and apathy comes from.
It's definitely out of order to change the masterplan and then not allow anyone to comment on the revised version. Especially as a canal in the town centre is more than just drawing a line on the map - what about all the knock-on effects of it? As for the pathetic number of replies to the original perhaps people have just got to the stage where they think SBC will do what they want to do anyway so there's little or no point in bothering to comment? You only have to look at SBC's arrogance over things like Croft or the lack of acknowlegement that Bluh and Perkins wasted £450k of our money on a needless wi-fi scheme - and didn't even have the decency to resign over it, to see where people's cynicism and apathy comes from. Jeremy Hilary Boob

9:29am Mon 18 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

The lack of response is because so few people have any interest. Those who do have an interest, and it's usually those who simply want to attack the council, make the mistake of thinking they speak for everyone.

They don't, and you can look at May's local election results for evidence of that. Not even the half a million quid wasted on Wi-Fi made a dent in the voting patterns.

I also believe that the Lefties actually play into the hands of the current council. It's blindingly obvious that the usual suspects will oppose any and all council suggestions, so they may as well be ignored. The likes of I Could Do That will forever moan on about Wi-Fi yet never state what they'd like money spent on, other than meaninglessly vague statements about 'heritage'.

Jeremy Hilary Boob is right when it comes to why people are cynical and apathetic. Most people simply do not care, they have more important and, frankly, better things to do than get wound up about the council every waking minute of their days.
The lack of response is because so few people have any interest. Those who do have an interest, and it's usually those who simply want to attack the council, make the mistake of thinking they speak for everyone. [p] They don't, and you can look at May's local election results for evidence of that. Not even the half a million quid wasted on Wi-Fi made a dent in the voting patterns. [p] I also believe that the Lefties actually play into the hands of the current council. It's blindingly obvious that the usual suspects will oppose any and all council suggestions, so they may as well be ignored. The likes of I Could Do That will forever moan on about Wi-Fi yet never state what they'd like money spent on, other than meaninglessly vague statements about 'heritage'. [p] Jeremy Hilary Boob is right when it comes to why people are cynical and apathetic. Most people simply do not care, they have more important and, frankly, better things to do than get wound up about the council every waking minute of their days. Tim Newroman

9:58am Mon 18 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend every stupid motion the council springs on us.

Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections
....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend [bold] every [/bold] stupid motion the council springs on us. Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections Empty Car Park

10:36am Mon 18 Feb 13

RMepstead says...

Along time ago I was involved with the Wilts and Berks Canal project who's intention was to reopen a 200 year old canal which originally ran from a connection with the Avon in the west and the Thames in the east as I recall. Bits of it have been restored such as a length on the outskirts of Wootton Bassett, and there have been extensive feasability studies carried out covering the whole length.
Along time ago I was involved with the Wilts and Berks Canal project who's intention was to reopen a 200 year old canal which originally ran from a connection with the Avon in the west and the Thames in the east as I recall. Bits of it have been restored such as a length on the outskirts of Wootton Bassett, and there have been extensive feasability studies carried out covering the whole length. RMepstead

11:33am Mon 18 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend every stupid motion the council springs on us.

Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections
Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind.

I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad.

There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark.

What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you?
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: ....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend [bold] every [/bold] stupid motion the council springs on us. Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections[/p][/quote]Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind. [p] I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad. [p] There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark. [p] What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you? Tim Newroman

12:51pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

Robfm did not get me sacked.

How would that even be possible?
Robfm did not get me sacked. How would that even be possible? Empty Car Park

12:54pm Mon 18 Feb 13

Empty Car Park says...

Tim Newroman wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend every stupid motion the council springs on us.

Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections
Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind.

I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad.

There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark.

What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you?
Where did I mention your name?
[quote][p][bold]Tim Newroman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: ....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend [bold] every [/bold] stupid motion the council springs on us. Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections[/p][/quote]Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind. [p] I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad. [p] There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark. [p] What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you?[/p][/quote]Where did I mention your name? Empty Car Park

8:58am Tue 19 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
Robfm did not get me sacked.

How would that even be possible?
Why do you have such a pathological hatred of him then? A retired barman from a small local pub... do he really control your life to the extent it appears he does?
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: Robfm did not get me sacked. How would that even be possible?[/p][/quote]Why do you have such a pathological hatred of him then? A retired barman from a small local pub... do he really control your life to the extent it appears he does? Tim Newroman

8:59am Tue 19 Feb 13

Tim Newroman says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
Tim Newroman wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend every stupid motion the council springs on us.

Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections
Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind.

I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad.

There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark.

What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you?
Where did I mention your name?
You didn't, but you frequently and repeatedly refer to me as 'Olive', as you well know.

It's hardly my fault that you always get things wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tim Newroman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: ....whilst others will thoughtlessly attempt (yet fail) to defend [bold] every [/bold] stupid motion the council springs on us. Usually for no other reason than political bias or family connections[/p][/quote]Entirely incorrect, as per usual. Your blind - and quite bizarre - hatred always clouds your mind. [p] I have no allegiance to the council, or any councillors. That you think I have reveals how badly your thinking has been corrupted. If I cared, I'd find it quite sad. [p] There are plenty of council decisions I do not support and openly oppose. As I have no politial bias and no family connection, blood or relationship wise, you are, as ever, widely off the mark. [p] What does intrigue me is why you have such a fixation on Oliver Donachie - a person who, I would imagine, has never done anything to you personally. I mean, we know BobFM managed to get you sacked, so I can see why you'd allow yourself to get eaten up about that for the rest of your life, but what has your beloved 'Olive' ever done to you?[/p][/quote]Where did I mention your name?[/p][/quote]You didn't, but you frequently and repeatedly refer to me as 'Olive', as you well know. [p] It's hardly my fault that you always get things wrong. Tim Newroman

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree