ON THURSDAY, Swindon’s longest serving councillor, Mike Bawden, will be stepping down after more than 45 years service.

His departure means there will be a new face representing the ward of Chiseldon and Lawn after the local election.

Whoever does take over will not be faced with any major pressing issues but will need to spend their time ensuring the area is kept looking smart and support the community work which is carried out.

In Lawn, the community centre acts as the hub to the strong community spirit, from which the Lawn Community Church is based.

The Rev John Roe said: “First of all I would say it is a privilege to live in Lawn and we don’t have any major negative issues.

“What I would really like to see is for the councillors to support all the good community work which already goes on in Lawn. “I think they should also be ensuring the infrastructure is maintained and any problems which do occur are repaired quickly.

“A lot of great work is done by the Lawn Community Association so I think if any councillor is to be successful then they should support this work.

“We are lucky with the open space there is in Lawn so it is important that it is properly maintained as it is such a benefit to the community.

“There are a few issues with speed but we have a speedwatch scheme and a good relationship with the police.”

The other part of the ward is Chiseldon, which once again has no serious issues although the cleanliness of the area is something which is of increasing concern.

Dave Thomes, who is the clerk of Chiseldon Parish Council which is non-political, says there has been an increasing amount of litter which he would like to see something done about.

He said: “There is more and more dog mess about so I think people want something to be done about that.

“We don’t really have a problem with vandalism but litter is is becoming more and more of a problem so we would like the council to do something about it.

“There has been a speed reduction on the B4005 from 40 to 30 mph which has been a success but we have seen people speeding at weekends but we will keep an eye on it.”

There are only two seats overall in the Chiseldon and Lawn Ward which were both run by Conservative candidates at the last local election in 2012, both with relatively strong margins.