Leaders of the Conservative administration at Swindon Borough Council have reacted angrily to accusations they are in doing more to help profit-making businesses rather than council tax-payers.

In an article in the Adver about how the borough council had saved £30m from its budgets over 30 months, Labour group leader Jim Grant said: “The cutting of the £30m has come at a devastating cost to the people of Swindon.

“And yet the council appears to have millions to spend supporting private sector schemes such as subsidising infrastructure for the benefit of developers and town centre leisure companies.”

This is a reference schemes such as the Snow Centre to be built at North Star where the council has allowed the developers more time to get the money together. And possibly to the redevelopment of Kimmerfields, where the council’s plan is to allow Zurich to build its new headquarters and then will buy it from the company and lease it back.

Coun Grant said: “Swindon really does deserve better than this. It’s time this Tory council started to focus spending on council taxpayers wishes.”

He then made a remark that sparked anger among the Conservative group.

The council’s leader David Renard and deputy leader and cabinet member for finance Russell Holland went so far to write to him and send a copy of the letter to the Adver for publication.

The wrote: “In the article you are quoted as the leader of the Labour party in Swindon making the outrageous accusation that the Conservative administration is 'using its money for the benefit of their friends in the private sector.'"

“This rhetoric used in Monday’s article is untrue, unsubstantiated and defamatory.

“This administration will not be intimidated or bullied by the opposition group at the council and we will continue to represent the interests of all Swindon residents and businesses.

“Assuming your comments are reported accurately, they are wholly unacceptable and you should retract them publicly at once.

"If you have been misreported, we insist that you state this to the Advertiser.”

Coun Grants comments were sent to the Adver by email and were reproduced accurately and in full.

He has been approached for his response to the letter.

The leaders of the two parties in the council chamber will clash again this evening at the full council meeting starting at 7pm.