ALLOTMENTS, public artwork and a one-stop community hub are among the ideas put forward so far to improve Liden village centre.
Ward councillors for Liden, Eldene and Park South are consulting on some initial ideas on how to spend about £150,000 provisionally allocated by Swindon Council, to bring the centre into the 21st century.
They are also particularly interested to hear residents’ own ideas, and to find out what local businesses, groups and agencies could do themselves to get the best value from the council’s investment .
Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South) said: “I think what’s happening is most communities are looking at the quality of life and the environment they live in.
“And I think we have £150,000 being put in as investment. It’s a small sum in relation, but what we need to do before we go into it is say ‘what are the other agencies and groups prepared to put into it to make it look good?’
“I think there’s always room for improvement and it goes on what the public wants. People have always accused members of not doing enough to service local facilities.
“We have been able to take a battle to the council to establish funding for this and what we want to do is consult with the communities to see what they want.”
The council decided in February to allocate £900,000 over two years to improve centres at Eldene, Liden, Covingham Square, Freshbrook, Toothill and Guildford Avenue. Each centre was provisionally allocated £150,000, although they might get more or less depending on their needs.
Coun Montaut said the ward councillors for Liden had already asked officers to look into a few ideas, but stressed that they still wanted ideas from the community, which might range from cutting back some bushes, to changing the car park layout, to installing new street furniture.
He said some waste ground behind Tesco Express could become allotments, and another patch of ground to the left of the store could be put to better use, possibly as a community garden.
Coun Montaut said some boulders near Liden library, installed some years to stop children playing there, could be replaced with a piece of public art or a memorial.
He said the library could offer more services as a one-stop stop community hub, where police, councillors and neighbourhood wardens could hold drop-in sessions. He also claimed there could be some unused space in the library which could possibly host youth facilities.
A full consultation, including a public meeting, is due to be held once a proposed scheme is drawn up. To submit ideas, call Coun Montaut on 07711 556261, Coun Fay Howard on 07952 350656, or Coun Neil Heavens on 07900 561502.