People power, and the popularity of Coate Water’s splash park and pitch and putt course might just have saved the two facilities.

Budget proposals put forward by Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for finance Coun Russell Holland in December suggested £30,000 could be saved by closing the children’s splash park for ever, and by “examining options” at the nearby pitch and putt course.

Updated proposals to be discussed by the Conservative cabinet on Wednesday include neither cost-cutting measure.

Whether that is a victory for a campaign and petition, or simply a political decision taken by the councillors in charge at Euclid Street is a matter of debate.

Coun Oliver Donachie, the cabinet member with responsibility for Coate Water said: “The first version of the council’s £140m budget is always published in November for transparency, and includes a set of possible savings to consider because we face a £10m reduction from government. With five months to go, things always change. Our ambition for Coate Water is investing £1m of S106 money obtained from house builders so closing the splash park to save £10k is the opposite of what we want to do. Good work by staff in children’s services meant that only £5m of the £7m extra money allocated last year was spent and therefore our ambitions for Coate can be realised.

“There are clear differences in approach on the budget. Labour want to talk up closing the splash park to save the council £10k because its suits their political agenda. The Conservatives have been more creative and are preparing to replace the corroded infrastructure underneath the splash pad itself, to get it up and running again for the summer. In the short term there will be some visible improvements made to secure these popular facilities but a medium term plan will look at creating a fantastic destination play experience with a more sustainable and environmental focus.”

Campaigners against the mooted closure certainly think they helped influence the decision.

Sarah Church, the Labour candidate for the South Swindon parliamentary constituency started an online petition which has already seen more than 1,000 people sign. She said: “If it has been definitely saved then I absolutely give the credit to the members of the public who signed the petition. When I suggested it, people were snatching it out of my hand to sign, and have one in their shops.

“It’s not a trivial thing - the park is crucial to many families, especially lower income families faced with a long summer holiday.

“I’ve been through the budget proposals and the closures don’t seem to be in, but I think we have to watch to make sure that they really are keeping the splash park and pitch and putt open. I wouldn’t say we’ve won quite yet.”

Coun Chris Watts, a Labour borough councillor and also chairman of South Swindon Parish Council said: “I certainly supported setting up the petition.

“It seems that strength of people’s feeling seems to be causing a lot of u-turns and reversed decisions - there were the protests about keeping green space at Oldham Walk, recently, and now this.

“To be fair, in the current climate this is what you have to do. You have to stand up and fight for what you want to keep - if you don’t they’ll just be gone.”

Another Labour councillor, Jane Milner-Barry said: “Following questions from Labour councillors and a public petition, plans to close the splash park at Coate Water and disband the ranger service and the option of closing the pitch and putt have all disappeared from the final version of Swindon Borough Council budget 2019-2020. Great news.”