AS a council, we face a huge challenge in making over £56m of savings over the next three years. In that same period we will still be spending about £350 million of taxpayers’ money. That is why at cabinet next week I am going to invite my colleagues to support a new Vision for Swindon that will set out four priority themes and 30 pledges that we intend to deliver over the coming years.

The purpose of the vision is to show you how this administration is committed to supporting wealth creation and economic growth, while still ensuring that those in greatest need receive the support they deserve. The Vision incorporates all our key existing strategies and our existing relationships with other private, public, and third sector bodies, and unites them more comprehensively.

It is my aim that by 2030, Swindon will have all of the positive characteristics of a British city with one of the UK’s most successful economies; a low-carbon environment with compelling cultural, retail and leisure opportunities and excellent infrastructure. We will be a model of well-managed housing growth which supports and improves new and existing communities.

Swindon will be physically transformed with existing heritage and landmarks complemented by new ones that people who live, work and visit here would recognise and admire. We will remain, at heart, a place of fairness and opportunity where people can aspire to and achieve prosperity, supported by strong civic and community leadership.

Underpinning the vision are the four priorities, which are the broad themes that summarise where the council will be focusing its attention.

The third element that will make the vision and the priorities a reality will be the accompanying pledges. These pledges will allow you to hold this council to account and measure our progress towards achieving our goals.

Most importantly, we will use this vision to build on existing partnerships to make it happen, as the council cannot do all this alone.

I recognise this is a bold Vision with challenging priorities and pledges, and there won’t be a shortage of cynics who will say none of this is achievable. If I hear this, I merely will suffer a sense of déjà vu – exactly the same comments were made about the 50 promises that we completed five years ago.

The vision, priorities and pledges cannot encompass the huge range of services that the council provides or commissions. Quite literally, we look after citizens from birth to death through our register office and crematorium and cemeteries. I can assure you that our statutory roles will not be adversely affected in any way by this vision. We will still look after the vulnerable elderly, those with learning difficulties, safeguard children and provide other essential services.