Election will be very close fight

Long-serving councillor Mike Bawden, who is to stand down at the elections this year

Long-serving councillor Mike Bawden, who is to stand down at the elections this year

First published in News by

THE candidates have been declared and the countdown to May 22 has begun as politicians step up their campaigning for your vote.

A total of 20 seats are up for election in 19 of the borough’s 20 wards and with the make up of Swindon Council finely balanced, with a Conservative majority of one seat, it is poised to be a crucial ballot.

Some of the key battlegrounds could include Old Town, where current Haydon Wick councillor Claire Ellis will move in an attempt to oust Labour’s Nadine Watts, and Covingham and Dorcan sees Labour’s Julian Price face opposition from ex-Tory councillor Kevin Parry and Covingham Parish Council chairman Brian Osbourn.

The council will lose some stalwarts this time around but not due to a lack of votes. Veteran Tory councillors Mike Bawden (Con, Chiseldon & Lawn) and Michael Dickinson (Con, Lydiard & Freshbrook) will be standing down.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have 15 candidates, the UK Independence Party has fielded one for each seat, and the Green Party has entered with their biggest Swindon ticket of 12 names.

There are also three independents, Nick Kearns, in Central ward, Richard Symonds, in Shaw and John Newman in Wroughton and Wichelstowe.

Pavlos Chatzinopoulos is the sole Social Democratic Party candidate.

Other wards that have seen moves are Gorse Hill and Pinehurst, with a replacement sought for the outgoing independent Rochelle Russell, and current Shaw councillor Garry Perkins will run for the Haydon Wick seat vacated by Claire Ellis.

Tory councillor David Renard, Swindon Council leader, said he hoped the party could make gains to increase their narrow majority.

“The ambition is to increase the majority after the all-out election last time produced some unexpected results,” the Haydon Wick councillor said.

“We have a clear vision for the future of Swindon and we want to continue to deliver on it as we have been doing for the last ten years since we gained majority control.”

Meanwhile, Labour Group leader Jim Grant said: “This election will be about which party is most standing up for the interests of local residents.

“The Labour Party has set out a clear list of policies seeking to address issues residents feel strongly about, whether that be reintroducing a free and universal green waste collection policy, investing more in resurfacing roads or protecting our open spaces.”

Stan Pajak, the Liberal Democrat leader and Eastcott ward councillor, said he had hoped to field more than the party’s 15 candidates, citing admin issues, but added the aim was a boost to the four seats they already hold.

He said: “It will be a very interesting election – we have four members and we want to increase that.

Admin got in the way of fielding more candidates but I think we are giving people enough opportunity to vote Lib Dem.”

John Short, the chairman of UKIP’s Swindon branch, said he was delighted the party were able to put forward a full roster.

“We have gone through a reorgainisng and reforming and we are over the moon to have 20 candidates,” he said.

“We want more effective front-line services and we would do away with the green waste charge, bedroom tax and freeze council tax for five years.”

Green Party press officer and Wroughton candidate Talis Kimberley said the party had a broad appeal locally.

She said: “We are a grass roots political party and have a common ground across the specturm – we would like to get a Green voice on Swindon Council and we want a local voice on development issues, as well as a rethink of the green waste charge.”

For a full list of candidates see www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk.

l Are you registered to vote in elections on May 22? The deadline is May 6 so if not call 01793 464601 or visit www.swindon.gov.uk and click on the council and democracy link

Comments (40)

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9:42am Sat 26 Apr 14

1 2 Could B says...

“We have a clear vision for the future of Swindon and we want to continue to deliver on it as we have been doing for the last ten years since we gained majority control.”

Ooh great! They've still got a "vision".
Is it vibrant, buoyant, and bucking the trend?

More hollow words.

Is Bawden really going this time? He has said he is retiring many times, but keeps coming back like a bad smell.

Good to see lots more UKIP and more independent candidates in the running.

The last thing Swindon needs is a stronger Tory majority so that "they can carry on with their (blinkered) vision as they have for the last ten years
[quote]“We have a clear vision for the future of Swindon and we want to continue to deliver on it as we have been doing for the last ten years since we gained majority control.”[/quote] Ooh great! They've still got a "vision". Is it vibrant, buoyant, and bucking the trend? More hollow words. Is Bawden really going this time? He has said he is retiring many times, but keeps coming back like a bad smell. Good to see lots more UKIP and more independent candidates in the running. The last thing Swindon needs is a stronger Tory majority so that "they can carry on with their (blinkered) vision as they have for the last ten years 1 2 Could B
  • Score: -3

10:01am Sat 26 Apr 14

Oliver_Donachie says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
“We have a clear vision for the future of Swindon and we want to continue to deliver on it as we have been doing for the last ten years since we gained majority control.”

Ooh great! They've still got a "vision".
Is it vibrant, buoyant, and bucking the trend?

More hollow words.

Is Bawden really going this time? He has said he is retiring many times, but keeps coming back like a bad smell.

Good to see lots more UKIP and more independent candidates in the running.

The last thing Swindon needs is a stronger Tory majority so that "they can carry on with their (blinkered) vision as they have for the last ten years
As has been reported in the Adver recently Mike Bawden is stepping down in part to the challenging regime of his leukemia treatment...
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: [quote]“We have a clear vision for the future of Swindon and we want to continue to deliver on it as we have been doing for the last ten years since we gained majority control.”[/quote] Ooh great! They've still got a "vision". Is it vibrant, buoyant, and bucking the trend? More hollow words. Is Bawden really going this time? He has said he is retiring many times, but keeps coming back like a bad smell. Good to see lots more UKIP and more independent candidates in the running. The last thing Swindon needs is a stronger Tory majority so that "they can carry on with their (blinkered) vision as they have for the last ten years[/p][/quote]As has been reported in the Adver recently Mike Bawden is stepping down in part to the challenging regime of his leukemia treatment... Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 12

10:35am Sat 26 Apr 14

1 2 Could B says...

We are all able to read.
So no need to be so patronising councillorX
We are all able to read. So no need to be so patronising councillorX 1 2 Could B
  • Score: -6

10:47am Sat 26 Apr 14

stratton man says...

This incompetent Tory Council has run up debts of 120 million and rising fast.They have combined this reckless spending spree with cuts to everyday services such as waste collection.As first step Cllr Renard should sack the hapless Cllr Holland who is leading this financial disaster and come up with a credible recovery plan.He wont of course.My advice is vote Independent or UKIP Whatever happens the Tory charge to ruin must be stopped.
This incompetent Tory Council has run up debts of 120 million and rising fast.They have combined this reckless spending spree with cuts to everyday services such as waste collection.As first step Cllr Renard should sack the hapless Cllr Holland who is leading this financial disaster and come up with a credible recovery plan.He wont of course.My advice is vote Independent or UKIP Whatever happens the Tory charge to ruin must be stopped. stratton man
  • Score: -3

10:49am Sat 26 Apr 14

Wildwestener says...

Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting.
My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.
Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting. My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor. Wildwestener
  • Score: -1

11:45am Sat 26 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

Looking forward to casting my vote. The awful Tories need booting out after their shameful antics.
Their vision is selling everything off and lining their pals pockets.
Looking forward to casting my vote. The awful Tories need booting out after their shameful antics. Their vision is selling everything off and lining their pals pockets. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 3

12:20pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Oliver_Donachie says...

1 2 Could B wrote:
We are all able to read.
So no need to be so patronising councillorX
If you are aware that Mr Bawden is undergoing anti cancer treatment then I find the question "will he be coming back like a bad smell" to be even more grotesque.

Whatever your political feelings I find your public attack on a person suffering from a disease that has blighted many lives in Swindon to be highly distasteful.
[quote][p][bold]1 2 Could B[/bold] wrote: We are all able to read. So no need to be so patronising councillorX[/p][/quote]If you are aware that Mr Bawden is undergoing anti cancer treatment then I find the question "will he be coming back like a bad smell" to be even more grotesque. Whatever your political feelings I find your public attack on a person suffering from a disease that has blighted many lives in Swindon to be highly distasteful. Oliver_Donachie
  • Score: 2

12:23pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Still About says...

Loving the thumb tally.
Evidence (as if it was needed) of the troll's identity
Loving the thumb tally. Evidence (as if it was needed) of the troll's identity Still About
  • Score: -1

12:33pm Sat 26 Apr 14

1 2 Could B says...

If you are aware that Mr Bawden is undergoing anti cancer treatment then I find the question "will he be coming back like a bad smell" to be even more grotesque.

You ought to be aware by now that I don't value your opinion councillorX.

My comment was not directed at "a person with an illness". It was responding to the article. As well you know
[quote]If you are aware that Mr Bawden is undergoing anti cancer treatment then I find the question "will he be coming back like a bad smell" to be even more grotesque.[/quote] You ought to be aware by now that I don't value your opinion councillorX. My comment was not directed at "a person with an illness". It was responding to the article. As well you know 1 2 Could B
  • Score: 1

1:00pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

Oh look how quick the thumbs dramatically changed. The Tory thumb fiddlers fool only yourselves. Roll on the election.
Oh look how quick the thumbs dramatically changed. The Tory thumb fiddlers fool only yourselves. Roll on the election. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 4

1:06pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Still About says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Oh look how quick the thumbs dramatically changed. The Tory thumb fiddlers fool only yourselves. Roll on the election.
Pretty obvious who it is on this particular thread too
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Oh look how quick the thumbs dramatically changed. The Tory thumb fiddlers fool only yourselves. Roll on the election.[/p][/quote]Pretty obvious who it is on this particular thread too Still About
  • Score: -1

2:35pm Sat 26 Apr 14

twasadawf says...

Ukip will upset a few
Ukip will upset a few twasadawf
  • Score: 7

3:53pm Sat 26 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

Will it really make a difference whoever gets in? They are al useless in the end that's why it keeps changing sides all the time
Will it really make a difference whoever gets in? They are al useless in the end that's why it keeps changing sides all the time house on the hill
  • Score: -8

3:54pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

The thumb fiddler just paid another visit. #toryfiddler
The thumb fiddler just paid another visit. #toryfiddler Davey Gravey
  • Score: 5

4:28pm Sat 26 Apr 14

beach1e says...

if some rotten tory can move from haydon wick to old town just to fight against a labour party candidate it shows they have way too much money , wonder where that all came from? no doubt hardworking tax paying people as per usual.
if some rotten tory can move from haydon wick to old town just to fight against a labour party candidate it shows they have way too much money , wonder where that all came from? no doubt hardworking tax paying people as per usual. beach1e
  • Score: 19

7:00pm Sat 26 Apr 14

mjey says...

It's time to say good bye and prosecute them after all.
It's time to say good bye and prosecute them after all. mjey
  • Score: 1

7:51pm Sat 26 Apr 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

In my ward, Mary Friend definitely won't be getting my vote. Completely useless councillor in my opinion.

Unfortunately there are no independents standing in my ward, so the choices are limited.
In my ward, Mary Friend definitely won't be getting my vote. Completely useless councillor in my opinion. Unfortunately there are no independents standing in my ward, so the choices are limited. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 1

8:03pm Sat 26 Apr 14

fuzzey says...

Doing away with the green waste charge gets my vote we have already paid for this in the council tax.Has any one else noticed the green sacks in their area as in northern rd and west brook road .been there a couple of weeks no one shifts them .is this called fly tipping now by these residents ???
Doing away with the green waste charge gets my vote we have already paid for this in the council tax.Has any one else noticed the green sacks in their area as in northern rd and west brook road .been there a couple of weeks no one shifts them .is this called fly tipping now by these residents ??? fuzzey
  • Score: 6

9:58pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Russell Holland says...

The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself.

When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi
ve.swindonlink.com/n
ews2003/01/sue_bates
.html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad
vertiser.co.uk/archi
ve/2000/05/17/740696
3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE
W_LIBRARY_Council_le
ader_s_pledge_on_imp
rovements/

The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes.

The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made.

Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut.

Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided.
The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself. When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi ve.swindonlink.com/n ews2003/01/sue_bates .html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad vertiser.co.uk/archi ve/2000/05/17/740696 3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE W_LIBRARY_Council_le ader_s_pledge_on_imp rovements/ The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes. The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made. Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut. Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided. Russell Holland
  • Score: 1

10:58pm Sat 26 Apr 14

fuzzey says...

We will do all this without raising council tax ?? No just take services away .
We will do all this without raising council tax ?? No just take services away . fuzzey
  • Score: 5

11:41pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

Russell Holland wrote:
The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself.

When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi

ve.swindonlink.com/n

ews2003/01/sue_bates

.html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad

vertiser.co.uk/archi

ve/2000/05/17/740696

3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE

W_LIBRARY_Council_le

ader_s_pledge_on_imp

rovements/

The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes.

The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made.

Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut.

Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided.
I wouldn't be so confident. People have seen the cuts made. For years the Tories stalled on the library for instance, And it is seeing cuts all the time. How on earth can Tories claim supermarkets are down to them? Look at the state of eldene centre now which is the councils responsibility though.
[quote][p][bold]Russell Holland[/bold] wrote: The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself. When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi ve.swindonlink.com/n ews2003/01/sue_bates .html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad vertiser.co.uk/archi ve/2000/05/17/740696 3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE W_LIBRARY_Council_le ader_s_pledge_on_imp rovements/ The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes. The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made. Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut. Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided.[/p][/quote]I wouldn't be so confident. People have seen the cuts made. For years the Tories stalled on the library for instance, And it is seeing cuts all the time. How on earth can Tories claim supermarkets are down to them? Look at the state of eldene centre now which is the councils responsibility though. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 12

8:17am Sun 27 Apr 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Russell Holland wrote:
The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself.

When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi

ve.swindonlink.com/n

ews2003/01/sue_bates

.html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad

vertiser.co.uk/archi

ve/2000/05/17/740696

3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE

W_LIBRARY_Council_le

ader_s_pledge_on_imp

rovements/

The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes.

The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made.

Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut.

Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided.
You are mixing up your national and local politics councillor.

Don't tell me I'm better off since the tax changes of the coalition government, as I and many others will tell you many are not. Those are the top and the bottom may be better off, but the majority sat in the middle are not.

Several policies are a failure including the green waste policy and if the councillors took some responsibility then perhaps the voters would have some respect for them.

No doubt the winners in each ward will be crowing about how great they and their parties are on winning, but the real truth will be shown in the attendance figures, which will almost certainly show complete apathy for local elections and councillors.

Its time a rule was brought in where any ward failing to get 60% attendance (including abstentions) loses the right to be represented. If people want to protest vote they should do so by spoiling a ballot paper not by claiming they did so by not bothering to vote.
[quote][p][bold]Russell Holland[/bold] wrote: The whole point of an election is for people to have the opportunity to choose who they think will best represent them. For me the history speaks for itself. When the Conservatives took over the Council back in 2004 Swindon had been judged one of the worse authorities in the entire country with children's services and social care in special measureshttp://archi ve.swindonlink.com/n ews2003/01/sue_bates .html The Central library was judged as one of the worse in the entire country. http://www.swindonad vertiser.co.uk/archi ve/2000/05/17/740696 3.WE_WILL_BUILD_A_NE W_LIBRARY_Council_le ader_s_pledge_on_imp rovements/ The Conservatives delivered an award winning central library, award winning social services, children's services now part of national best practice guidance, Council tax went from double digit inflation increases to being frozen for 4 years and under the Coalition unemployment is down, the economy is growing and the regeneration schemes in the town centre are progressing and just recently we have seen a new Morrisons and new Waitrose in Swindon. The Coalition has also delivered increases in the personal allowances which benefits everyone but especially people on lower incomes. The big challenge facing the Council today is deciding which services to prioritise while facing cuts to central government funding and increasing demand for children's and adults social care services. The Conservatives have made the difficult but necessary decisions to prioritise those statutory services for those most in need and this means that difficult decisions like charging for green waste have to be made. Labour may have put together some superficially popular ideas on their leaflets but they have done so safe in the knowledge it is most unlikely that they will be in control of the Council after May and it will continue to fall to a Conservative administration to make the difficult but necessary decisions. Labour are yet to explain how they plan on continuing to provide green waste services free of charge, year on year without raising Council tax or highlighting which services they will cut. Labour also criticise the debt - as part of improving services we have invested significantly in a lot of new schools, the RDF plant, central library, Marlowe Avenue, Pinetrees community centre to name just a few. Labour have never explained which investments they don't think should have been provided.[/p][/quote]You are mixing up your national and local politics councillor. Don't tell me I'm better off since the tax changes of the coalition government, as I and many others will tell you many are not. Those are the top and the bottom may be better off, but the majority sat in the middle are not. Several policies are a failure including the green waste policy and if the councillors took some responsibility then perhaps the voters would have some respect for them. No doubt the winners in each ward will be crowing about how great they and their parties are on winning, but the real truth will be shown in the attendance figures, which will almost certainly show complete apathy for local elections and councillors. Its time a rule was brought in where any ward failing to get 60% attendance (including abstentions) loses the right to be represented. If people want to protest vote they should do so by spoiling a ballot paper not by claiming they did so by not bothering to vote. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 9

9:31am Sun 27 Apr 14

stratton man says...

Holland you are a disgrace under your so called financial leadership the council has spiralled into 120 million pounds of debt and rising fast.UKIP will soon drive you and your fellow Toryboy incompetents out of power.
Holland you are a disgrace under your so called financial leadership the council has spiralled into 120 million pounds of debt and rising fast.UKIP will soon drive you and your fellow Toryboy incompetents out of power. stratton man
  • Score: 0

10:00am Sun 27 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

stratton man wrote:
Holland you are a disgrace under your so called financial leadership the council has spiralled into 120 million pounds of debt and rising fast.UKIP will soon drive you and your fellow Toryboy incompetents out of power.
Out of the frying pan into the fire. ukip are repulsive.
[quote][p][bold]stratton man[/bold] wrote: Holland you are a disgrace under your so called financial leadership the council has spiralled into 120 million pounds of debt and rising fast.UKIP will soon drive you and your fellow Toryboy incompetents out of power.[/p][/quote]Out of the frying pan into the fire. ukip are repulsive. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -11

11:32am Sun 27 Apr 14

MrAngry says...

Well done to Russell for submitting a sensible post under his real name.

Russell makes some good (albeit biased) points. Looks like we have a choice between Tory debt or Labour tax hikes.

Based on policy I might be tempted to vote Tory, but my biggest issue with them is the way that they treat the public. Certain tory councillors have a very arrogant way about them and treat the public with contempt.

Rod Bluh's reluctance to admit that he made a mistake over wi-fi. Nick Martin's consistently arrogant and aggressive behaviour. The pathetic and childish way that Dale Heenan acted over Twittergate. Mike Bawden's attitude that elected members are always right and the public are an inconvenient irritant. These are the reasons why I am reluctant to vote Tory.

I would be interested to know if Russell thinks the mayors behaviour will damage the Tories election. By standing by and protecting him for so long, the Tories have condoned his behaviour.
Well done to Russell for submitting a sensible post under his real name. Russell makes some good (albeit biased) points. Looks like we have a choice between Tory debt or Labour tax hikes. Based on policy I might be tempted to vote Tory, but my biggest issue with them is the way that they treat the public. Certain tory councillors have a very arrogant way about them and treat the public with contempt. Rod Bluh's reluctance to admit that he made a mistake over wi-fi. Nick Martin's consistently arrogant and aggressive behaviour. The pathetic and childish way that Dale Heenan acted over Twittergate. Mike Bawden's attitude that elected members are always right and the public are an inconvenient irritant. These are the reasons why I am reluctant to vote Tory. I would be interested to know if Russell thinks the mayors behaviour will damage the Tories election. By standing by and protecting him for so long, the Tories have condoned his behaviour. MrAngry
  • Score: 15

6:48pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Russell Holland says...

I am not saying that everything the Coalition has done has been perfect and I don't think everything the Council has done has been perfect but I am saying that Swindon Conservatives in 2004 inherited a mess and we are passing on a vastly improved Council and vastly improved services and yes we borrowed to invest in schools etc. I also think the Coalition inherited a mess and are making steady progress.

When it comes to debt keep in mind that when it came to housing Labour campaigned for the Council to take on £138.6million of debt to give to the Government. So they criticise the Council for borrowing to invest in Swindon but campaign for debt in housing which leads to no investment in Swindon.

In terms of balancing services and Council tax given the scale of the reductions in Central Government funding even with significant tax increases services have to be reduced. This is not easy but I believe that in order for public services to be sustainable we as a nation have to learn to live within our means.

Whatever the outcome of the elections the financial reality will be the same for either party - we have taken the difficult decisions (including green waste) and more difficult decisions will have to be made. I think Labour are quite happy not to have to make those decisions. Jim Grant has already stated he will not be able to change a number of things that have been done.
I am not saying that everything the Coalition has done has been perfect and I don't think everything the Council has done has been perfect but I am saying that Swindon Conservatives in 2004 inherited a mess and we are passing on a vastly improved Council and vastly improved services and yes we borrowed to invest in schools etc. I also think the Coalition inherited a mess and are making steady progress. When it comes to debt keep in mind that when it came to housing Labour campaigned for the Council to take on £138.6million of debt to give to the Government. So they criticise the Council for borrowing to invest in Swindon but campaign for debt in housing which leads to no investment in Swindon. In terms of balancing services and Council tax given the scale of the reductions in Central Government funding even with significant tax increases services have to be reduced. This is not easy but I believe that in order for public services to be sustainable we as a nation have to learn to live within our means. Whatever the outcome of the elections the financial reality will be the same for either party - we have taken the difficult decisions (including green waste) and more difficult decisions will have to be made. I think Labour are quite happy not to have to make those decisions. Jim Grant has already stated he will not be able to change a number of things that have been done. Russell Holland
  • Score: 6

7:18pm Sun 27 Apr 14

fuzzey says...

Maybe not .but Jim Grant says if elected to run the council in may labour will reintroduce a free green waste collection service .This should not have been taken away we have already paid for this in the council tax .
Maybe not .but Jim Grant says if elected to run the council in may labour will reintroduce a free green waste collection service .This should not have been taken away we have already paid for this in the council tax . fuzzey
  • Score: 7

7:30pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service.
Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen.
Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service. Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 6

7:33pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Still About says...

Based on policy I might be tempted to vote Tory, but my biggest issue with them is the way that they treat the public. Certain tory councillors have a very arrogant way about them and treat the public with contempt.

Rod Bluh's reluctance to admit that he made a mistake over wi-fi. Nick Martin's consistently arrogant and aggressive behaviour. The pathetic and childish way that Dale Heenan acted over Twittergate. Mike Bawden's attitude that elected members are always right and the public are an inconvenient irritant. These are the reasons why I am reluctant to vote Tory.


Not forgetting the tory councillor troll who tries to command these threads under various names
[quote]Based on policy I might be tempted to vote Tory, but my biggest issue with them is the way that they treat the public. Certain tory councillors have a very arrogant way about them and treat the public with contempt. Rod Bluh's reluctance to admit that he made a mistake over wi-fi. Nick Martin's consistently arrogant and aggressive behaviour. The pathetic and childish way that Dale Heenan acted over Twittergate. Mike Bawden's attitude that elected members are always right and the public are an inconvenient irritant. These are the reasons why I am reluctant to vote Tory.[/quote] Not forgetting the tory councillor troll who tries to command these threads under various names Still About
  • Score: 7

8:39pm Sun 27 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

Wildwestener wrote:
Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting.
My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.
Ukip, Greens and Independents, great choices....masses of experience clearing a £120million debt there I am sure. And people have the right not to vote if they dont feel any of them are any good. And please dont start quoting democracy. We dont live in one, ok so we get to vote for our MP's and Councillors from time to time, but once elected they can tear up their manifesto and do what they heck they want as happens time and again, how is that a democracy? Lets see if anything changes before we start with the expected opinions
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting. My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.[/p][/quote]Ukip, Greens and Independents, great choices....masses of experience clearing a £120million debt there I am sure. And people have the right not to vote if they dont feel any of them are any good. And please dont start quoting democracy. We dont live in one, ok so we get to vote for our MP's and Councillors from time to time, but once elected they can tear up their manifesto and do what they heck they want as happens time and again, how is that a democracy? Lets see if anything changes before we start with the expected opinions house on the hill
  • Score: -3

8:40pm Sun 27 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Looking forward to casting my vote. The awful Tories need booting out after their shameful antics.
Their vision is selling everything off and lining their pals pockets.
And the alternative is going to be better,? Seriously? Nothing more dangerous than an anti vote, voting for one because you hate the other. And short memory comes to mind
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Looking forward to casting my vote. The awful Tories need booting out after their shameful antics. Their vision is selling everything off and lining their pals pockets.[/p][/quote]And the alternative is going to be better,? Seriously? Nothing more dangerous than an anti vote, voting for one because you hate the other. And short memory comes to mind house on the hill
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Sun 27 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

fuzzey wrote:
Doing away with the green waste charge gets my vote we have already paid for this in the council tax.Has any one else noticed the green sacks in their area as in northern rd and west brook road .been there a couple of weeks no one shifts them .is this called fly tipping now by these residents ???
That's the danger of giving everyone the vote. Your entire vote for a town the size of Swindon is about green waste? Seriously? so you have based your vote on something that costs about 1% of the budget and we wonder why the town is in such a mess.
[quote][p][bold]fuzzey[/bold] wrote: Doing away with the green waste charge gets my vote we have already paid for this in the council tax.Has any one else noticed the green sacks in their area as in northern rd and west brook road .been there a couple of weeks no one shifts them .is this called fly tipping now by these residents ???[/p][/quote]That's the danger of giving everyone the vote. Your entire vote for a town the size of Swindon is about green waste? Seriously? so you have based your vote on something that costs about 1% of the budget and we wonder why the town is in such a mess. house on the hill
  • Score: -2

8:53pm Sun 27 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

fuzzey wrote:
We will do all this without raising council tax ?? No just take services away .
Well of course if we had any decent councillors, they could not raise taxes and not cut services, but because the council is so wasteful and cant organise a bun fight in a bakery, services will have to be cut. Anyone who has worked at this council and has also worked in the private sector knows just how inefficient it all is and how services could be improved, dead wood staff got rid of, new working practices introduced and performance related pay introduced with the money they now have. Endless meetings that dont have any outcome other than agreeing the time of the next meeting, manager paid to make decisions who couldnt if their lives depended on it. The usual blame and excuse culture and a large number of long serving staff who honestly believe they work hard and do a good job because they have never seen how the real world works!
They are wasting your money with their gross mismanagement and complacent mediocre last century attitudes. Swindon could be so much better but I bet this discussion will be exactly the same in 2 years time.
[quote][p][bold]fuzzey[/bold] wrote: We will do all this without raising council tax ?? No just take services away .[/p][/quote]Well of course if we had any decent councillors, they could not raise taxes and not cut services, but because the council is so wasteful and cant organise a bun fight in a bakery, services will have to be cut. Anyone who has worked at this council and has also worked in the private sector knows just how inefficient it all is and how services could be improved, dead wood staff got rid of, new working practices introduced and performance related pay introduced with the money they now have. Endless meetings that dont have any outcome other than agreeing the time of the next meeting, manager paid to make decisions who couldnt if their lives depended on it. The usual blame and excuse culture and a large number of long serving staff who honestly believe they work hard and do a good job because they have never seen how the real world works! They are wasting your money with their gross mismanagement and complacent mediocre last century attitudes. Swindon could be so much better but I bet this discussion will be exactly the same in 2 years time. house on the hill
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Sun 27 Apr 14

fuzzey says...

Sorry house on the hill .I agree the town is in a mess maybe because it's getting cluttered with green sacks ???
Sorry house on the hill .I agree the town is in a mess maybe because it's getting cluttered with green sacks ??? fuzzey
  • Score: 5

8:56pm Sun 27 Apr 14

house on the hill says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service.
Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen.
What with so many lazy people who cant be bothered to take it down the tip you mean, yes that was always going to happen. With all the problems around the world, bags of green waste are the problem? Need to look a bit wider, not sure many can do that though.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service. Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen.[/p][/quote]What with so many lazy people who cant be bothered to take it down the tip you mean, yes that was always going to happen. With all the problems around the world, bags of green waste are the problem? Need to look a bit wider, not sure many can do that though. house on the hill
  • Score: -3

9:25pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Still About says...

Wow!
Wow! Still About
  • Score: -1

9:57pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Davey Gravey says...

house on the hill wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service.
Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen.
What with so many lazy people who cant be bothered to take it down the tip you mean, yes that was always going to happen. With all the problems around the world, bags of green waste are the problem? Need to look a bit wider, not sure many can do that though.
With the issue of dumped green bags of course green bags are the problem. We're not talking world poverty etc but we are local issues due to a local election.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Plenty of green bags dumped on the streets already, less than a month into that cut in service. Not that it is of any surprise. Was always going to happen.[/p][/quote]What with so many lazy people who cant be bothered to take it down the tip you mean, yes that was always going to happen. With all the problems around the world, bags of green waste are the problem? Need to look a bit wider, not sure many can do that though.[/p][/quote]With the issue of dumped green bags of course green bags are the problem. We're not talking world poverty etc but we are local issues due to a local election. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 5

9:35am Mon 28 Apr 14

stratton man says...

Perhaps cllr holland would care to justify his vote against cutting his allowances .Based upon his performance he should be paying the Borough rather than the other way around.Still it must be fun to have your snout in the trough.
Perhaps cllr holland would care to justify his vote against cutting his allowances .Based upon his performance he should be paying the Borough rather than the other way around.Still it must be fun to have your snout in the trough. stratton man
  • Score: 5

12:25pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Wildwestener says...

Wildwestener wrote:
Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting.
My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.
Laughing at the thumbs down. Presume those are from Nick Martin apologists. Most Tories I know will no longer vote for the party locally because of the resignation issue. Still keep deluding yourselves.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting. My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.[/p][/quote]Laughing at the thumbs down. Presume those are from Nick Martin apologists. Most Tories I know will no longer vote for the party locally because of the resignation issue. Still keep deluding yourselves. Wildwestener
  • Score: 2

12:33pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Wildwestener says...

house on the hill wrote:
Wildwestener wrote:
Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting.
My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.
Ukip, Greens and Independents, great choices....masses of experience clearing a £120million debt there I am sure. And people have the right not to vote if they dont feel any of them are any good. And please dont start quoting democracy. We dont live in one, ok so we get to vote for our MP's and Councillors from time to time, but once elected they can tear up their manifesto and do what they heck they want as happens time and again, how is that a democracy? Lets see if anything changes before we start with the expected opinions
Yep because the experienced parties have done such a bang-up job of managing public money haven't they? My point was that there are more options for people instead of the usual two or three parties. Still I'm sorry if you don't think my opinion is valid, thankfully, despite what you think, we live in enough of a democracy that we can have those opinions.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: Glad to see some real choice in many wards including UKIP, Greens and Independents. No excuses for not voting. My only beef is that Nick Martin hasn't stood down in my ward or at least put himself up for re-election so he can be judged by the electorate to see if he is still fit to be a Councillor.[/p][/quote]Ukip, Greens and Independents, great choices....masses of experience clearing a £120million debt there I am sure. And people have the right not to vote if they dont feel any of them are any good. And please dont start quoting democracy. We dont live in one, ok so we get to vote for our MP's and Councillors from time to time, but once elected they can tear up their manifesto and do what they heck they want as happens time and again, how is that a democracy? Lets see if anything changes before we start with the expected opinions[/p][/quote]Yep because the experienced parties have done such a bang-up job of managing public money haven't they? My point was that there are more options for people instead of the usual two or three parties. Still I'm sorry if you don't think my opinion is valid, thankfully, despite what you think, we live in enough of a democracy that we can have those opinions. Wildwestener
  • Score: 14

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