'Forward Swindon has run its course'

THE value of the organisation responsible for bringing in private investment to Swindon is being called into question.

The Labour Group believes that Forward Swindon cannot justify the money being spent on it and, with the creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships, it is redundant.

However, the Chief Executive of Forward Swindon disagrees and says there are plenty of examples of the work which it does to boost the town.

Forward Swindon was established by the council in 2010 with the aim of driving growth in the town largely through private investment.

The leader of the opposition, Coun Jim Grant (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney) says a lack of outside private money being brought in is why they would seek to abolish the company.

He said: “Over £1 million of public money is put into Forward Swindon every year to bring growth to Swindon and regenerate the town centre through private money.

“Unfortunately most of what has come in has been publicly sourced.

“I think Forward Swindon has run its course and is unsustainable so we will be looking to take much of what it does back in-house.”

Coun Grant believes the work done by Forward Swindon could be carried out by the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership. LEPs are a partnership between local authorities and businesses which were established in 2011 with the aim of leading economic growth and job creation within their local areas.

Coun Grant said: “Swindon is linked in with Wiltshire and we feel this is a more realistic and cost effective way of generating growth in the town.

“We would like to see a more efficient way of bringing economic development from the private sector and would enter talks with Wiltshire as a way of doing this.”

Forward Swindon dispute this, arguing Forward Swindon has comfortably achieved its annual target for private investment several months ahead of schedule.

Ian Piper, the chief executive, said: “We’ve already exceeded our target, of £30 million, this year in terms of achieving private sector investment.

“There are three months left of the financial year left and we have already helped to bring in £50 million. It was target agreed with the council and I would argue that people are very much getting value for money.

“People can see much of the development we have helped to bring in projects such as Regents Circus, which will make a big difference in the town centre.

“Some of the projects included here are the Mannington retail park and we are overseeing the refurbishment of the Oasis Leisure Centre on behalf of the council.”

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:41am Mon 20 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

As with all the "Partners" of public sector organisations, they dont really care about the town, just how much money they can screw out of them and eventually they get found out for not actually giving the service they have been very well paid for.
As with all the "Partners" of public sector organisations, they dont really care about the town, just how much money they can screw out of them and eventually they get found out for not actually giving the service they have been very well paid for. house on the hill

8:10am Mon 20 Jan 14

Empty Car Park says...

More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about.

Four-Word Swindon LOL :-)

Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.
More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about. Four-Word Swindon LOL :-) Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything. Empty Car Park

8:27am Mon 20 Jan 14

RichardR1 says...

If the Council actually employed specialist Directors they wouldn't need all these consultants and organisations.
If the Council actually employed specialist Directors they wouldn't need all these consultants and organisations. RichardR1

8:37am Mon 20 Jan 14

Al Smith says...

How can Forward Swindon claim any credit for the Regents Circus development? To quote Ashfield Land (the developers) website:

"We acquired the five acre former Swindon College town centre campus in an unconditional deal in 2006.

An outline planning permission was originally obtained in 2007."

Plans to develop the site began before Forward Swindon even existed, how can they claim to have helped bring it in?

If it was responsible for the Mannington redevelopment does it take responsibility for the loss of the proposed Lakeland store? When did John Lewis submit their planning application (store opened in 2010 so it could have been 2009 - so perhaps they can't claim credit for that either)?
How can Forward Swindon claim any credit for the Regents Circus development? To quote Ashfield Land (the developers) website: "We acquired the five acre former Swindon College town centre campus in an unconditional deal in 2006. An outline planning permission was originally obtained in 2007." Plans to develop the site began before Forward Swindon even existed, how can they claim to have helped bring it in? If it was responsible for the Mannington redevelopment does it take responsibility for the loss of the proposed Lakeland store? When did John Lewis submit their planning application (store opened in 2010 so it could have been 2009 - so perhaps they can't claim credit for that either)? Al Smith

9:55am Mon 20 Jan 14

Empty Car Park says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about.

Four-Word Swindon LOL :-)

Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.
Well said ChannelX
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about. Four-Word Swindon LOL :-) Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.[/p][/quote]Well said ChannelX Empty Car Park

10:22am Mon 20 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

So what has Forward Swindon actually achieved. I'd argue it hasn't "run its course" because it never really had a course in the first place!
So what has Forward Swindon actually achieved. I'd argue it hasn't "run its course" because it never really had a course in the first place! The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man

11:18am Mon 20 Jan 14

benzss says...

Empty Car Park wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about.

Four-Word Swindon LOL :-)

Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.
Well said ChannelX
What
[quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about. Four-Word Swindon LOL :-) Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.[/p][/quote]Well said ChannelX[/p][/quote]What benzss

11:36am Mon 20 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

benzss wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about.

Four-Word Swindon LOL :-)

Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.
Well said ChannelX
What
Empty Car Park has found a way of logging in using my usernames. Interestingly, he claimed only a few week ago that it 'wouldn't be possible' to do that.

He did it with my old Ringer name and now he's also doing it with my new name, ChannelX.

It looks as though he's tripped himself up above, as he's posted something under his Empty Car Park login and then tried to back himself up, thinking he'd done it under the ChannelX name that he's also cloned.

Tut, tut.
[quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about. Four-Word Swindon LOL :-) Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.[/p][/quote]Well said ChannelX[/p][/quote]What[/p][/quote]Empty Car Park has found a way of logging in using my usernames. Interestingly, he claimed only a few week ago that it 'wouldn't be possible' to do that. He did it with my old Ringer name and now he's also doing it with my new name, ChannelX. It looks as though he's tripped himself up above, as he's posted something under his Empty Car Park login and then tried to back himself up, thinking he'd done it under the ChannelX name that he's also cloned. Tut, tut. ChannelX

11:51am Mon 20 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

ChannelX wrote:
benzss wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
Empty Car Park wrote:
More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about.

Four-Word Swindon LOL :-)

Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.
Well said ChannelX
What
Empty Car Park has found a way of logging in using my usernames. Interestingly, he claimed only a few week ago that it 'wouldn't be possible' to do that.

He did it with my old Ringer name and now he's also doing it with my new name, ChannelX.

It looks as though he's tripped himself up above, as he's posted something under his Empty Car Park login and then tried to back himself up, thinking he'd done it under the ChannelX name that he's also cloned.

Tut, tut.
It's quite obvious that he quoted the post in his name but not made by him deliberately and attributed it to you. I suggest he reports it and gets the moderators to sort it out.
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Empty Car Park[/bold] wrote: More Plastic Westminster and politico game playing by Jim Grant about something else I made a really good pun about. Four-Word Swindon LOL :-) Visit Talk Swindon to see more about this topic. There are videos and everything.[/p][/quote]Well said ChannelX[/p][/quote]What[/p][/quote]Empty Car Park has found a way of logging in using my usernames. Interestingly, he claimed only a few week ago that it 'wouldn't be possible' to do that. He did it with my old Ringer name and now he's also doing it with my new name, ChannelX. It looks as though he's tripped himself up above, as he's posted something under his Empty Car Park login and then tried to back himself up, thinking he'd done it under the ChannelX name that he's also cloned. Tut, tut.[/p][/quote]It's quite obvious that he quoted the post in his name but not made by him deliberately and attributed it to you. I suggest he reports it and gets the moderators to sort it out. Davey Gravey

4:34pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Bimbosforjustice says...

Forward Swindon were responsible for Texas Homecare, Do It All and Liptons coming to the town in 1984. Well done
Forward Swindon were responsible for Texas Homecare, Do It All and Liptons coming to the town in 1984. Well done Bimbosforjustice

5:13pm Mon 20 Jan 14

candid friend says...

Just another way for the private sector to ingratiate themselves with gullible councillors and get funding for dubious projects. Wi-Fi springs to mind..
The major growth of Swindon was achieved without these wasteful satellite organisations.
Just another way for the private sector to ingratiate themselves with gullible councillors and get funding for dubious projects. Wi-Fi springs to mind.. The major growth of Swindon was achieved without these wasteful satellite organisations. candid friend

5:44pm Mon 20 Jan 14

supersaver says...

Well I think the new car needs a mention.

What else have the Romans done for us?
Well I think the new car needs a mention. What else have the Romans done for us? supersaver

5:51pm Mon 20 Jan 14

DLP OldTown says...

I'm always a bit doubtful of organisation and set ups such as these as its easy to waste other peoples money and very rare to get value for money.
Surely it would be better to take the advise from successful business people in the town.
I'm always a bit doubtful of organisation and set ups such as these as its easy to waste other peoples money and very rare to get value for money. Surely it would be better to take the advise from successful business people in the town. DLP OldTown

9:11pm Mon 20 Jan 14

Empty Car Park says...

So our councillors and participant of Forward Swindon are so afraid of the truth that they have to sabotage discussion on these threads by underhand means
So our councillors and participant of Forward Swindon are so afraid of the truth that they have to sabotage discussion on these threads by underhand means Empty Car Park

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