SWINDON could be set to extend its boundaries to the north and south of the town.

Swindon Council has outlined plans to try to take over land controlled by Wiltshire County Council, in return for agreeing to the county's bid to become a unitary authority.

Wiltshire County Council wants to abolish the four district councils, North Wiltshire, Kennet, West Wiltshire and Salisbury and take over full control of the whole area.

Swindon councillors have been ordered to an extraordinary meeting of Monday night to discuss their reaction to Wiltshire's plans to become the country's largest unitary council.

In papers sent to the borough's councillors ahead of the meeting, Swindon Council chief executive Gavin Jones said: "Swindon Council is, naturally, supportive of unitary authorities and the proposal for Wiltshire would facilitate collaborative working with those of our partners who are organised across Wiltshire and Swindon.

"The proposal should however be considered in the light of Swindon's growth status and the confine of the existing boundaries.

"Swindon is probably growing as fast as any town in the UK at the moment.

"Inevitably such a rate of growth is potentially limited by the physical borders in which the council operates.

"For Swindon the ideal situation is that Wiltshire's bid for unitary status is accepted with the proviso that an agreement can be reached to extend the existing boundaries where this would assist delivery of the council's strategic objectives."

Council leader Rod Bluh said the exact areas Swindon wanted to expand into had not been pin pointed. "First of all this is all still to be discussed at the meeting, he said.

"There is an issue with Swindon's boundaries and a particular issue with Swindon's growth that needs to be brought up at the point of discussing Wiltshire unitary status.

"We want to make sure we make a point of identifying the future need for more space in Swindon at the point where Wiltshire could become the country's largest unitary authority.

"There are no certain plans to expand into any specific areas at this stage, but obviously it would not be possible to expand to the east because of the boundary with Oxfordshire."

Swindon Council has previously said it would be up to the Government to decide whether Wootton Bassett should come under Swindon's control.

But the county council said Wootton Bassett could decide for itself if it wants to stay part of the Wiltshire authority area.

The Government invited councils to apply for the chance to become unitary authorities at the start of the year, and Wiltshire was one of 26 applications nationwide, and 16 went forward to the consultation stage.

If it succeeds, the district and county councils will be replaced by the new council by 2009.

That would mean a reduction from the current 244 district and county councillors to just 98. It would also mean cuts in the top management with the current five chief executives and management teams reduced to only one.

Swindon Council is expected to formalise its response to the county council's unitary bid on Monday night.