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New centre is at heart of area
9:20pm Monday 16th April 2012 in News
The ward comprises about half of Liden and the whole of Eldene and Park South, which are currently either in Dorcan or Parks wards.
In Eldene, one of the key issues is the £10m project to build a new a village centre with a large supermarket and petrol station on the former site of Dorcan House, in Dorcan Way.
Swindon Council has agreed to enter into a collaboration with a supermarket chain, thought to be Morrisons, and the current site owner to bring forward the development, subject to planning permission.
A decision over what would happen to the existing village centre, which is owned by Swindon Council, would be made at a later date, although council leader Rod Bluh has said the Eldene Community Centre facility would probably remain.
Resident John Byrnes, 69, who was the first person to move into Blackstone Avenue, Eldene, said: “It will brighten the area up a bit. Things have to change, we have to keep with the times. It’s a good thing. New shops, better shops, better conditions.”
Mr Byrnes said another issue was fly-tipping in the car park behind the Crumpled Horn pub. He said this was exacerbated because he had heard the centre’s security cameras did not work properly, and he would like the new councillors to look into this.
He said: “Last week there was a grandfather clock dumped there and a complete metal bed – it was leant against the recycling. If those cameras were working correctly, they would be able to catch those dumping rubbish.”
In Park South, Carol Brownlee, of the Swindon Walcot and Parks (SWAP) community group, said residents wanted the new councillors to fight for the Cavendish Square redevelopment to be completed.
She said a small shopping mall was originally planned to be built in part of the square, but this was left undeveloped, and later surfaced as a car park, due to the financial downturn.
“I doesn’t look inviting at the moment because we’ve got two car parks,” she said.
“In fact I would imagine the car parking space we have actually got at the moment is bigger than the actual floor space of the shop units.”
In other issues, she said she wanted the council to offer more support to extend youth facilities in the area to help reduce anti-social behaviour, and also to help with the integration of the local Gurkah population, particularly in relation to people learning English.
Some issues raised by voters in Liden include a lack of youth facilities and bus services at the evenings and weekends.