A PUBLIC meeting is to be held in a desperate attempt to find a solution to the problems currently plaguing Lydiard Park.

Since the breakdown of the deal between Swindon Borough Council and the Lydiard Park Heritage Trust in February, an agreement which would have seen the trust take over the running of the house and park, interested parties from all sides have struggled to find a way forward.

This Sunday’s meeting is being organised by Neil Hopkins, Labour’s ward candidate for Lydiard and Freshbrook

Mr Hopkins said: “More than two years have passed since the last public meeting on Lydiard and some residents are understandably confused about the current status and prospects of this much-loved asset.

“Since the council announced they were pulling out of the Lydiard Heritage Trust deal there has been an awful lot said through the media, but nobody has actually asked what residents want for Lydiard. It is their country park after all. That is why this meeting will be a great opportunity for residents to air their views and ask questions of the political parties.”

He added: “I have invited the cabinet member for Lydiard to attend this meeting or, if he is unavailable, nominate another Conservative councillor to attend. They will be able to explain the council’s position and take note of residents’ views. I sincerely hope that they attend.”

The deal between the council and the trust collapsed in February due to a disagreement over the costs needed to undertake maintenance costs to the house.

One of the aims of the meeting is explain to residents the latest news regarding Lydiard and, most importantly, to let people have their say over the future of the house and park.

Councillor Keith Williams, the cabinet member responsible for Lydiard Park and House, said: “I can confirm that the council is committed to ensuring that Lydiard House and Park remain in the council’s hands and are currently planning a programme of investment in both.

“I will be more than happy to meet and talk with my fellow West Swindon residents as these proposals take shape, but would question the logic in calling a meeting at 2pm on Mothering Sunday if others really want to connect with Swindon residents.”

He added that he hoped Lydiard would not be turned into a "political football".

The meeting will take place at 2pm on Sunday, March 11 at the Lydiard Park Academy Sports Hall, and everyone is welcome.