Leader of the Labour group on Swindon Borough Council, Jim Grant has responded to angry criticism of his comments made by senior Conservatives.

Leader of the council David Renard and his deputy Russell Holland said Mr Grant's accusation the administration seems able to find money to support private businesses and developers while making cuts to jobs and services as "wholly unacceptable", "untrue" and "unsubstantiated".

Now Coun Grant has hit back and expanded on his criticism: "I am delighted the Conservative leadership are giving me the opportunity to highlight how they are using council land and money to benefit the private sector while saying there isn’t any money for important local services.

"In recent times the Conservatives have handed over to Seven Capital, for free, the North Star site, leaving them to generate millions in profits from building residential properties on our land. This should be profits going to Swindon taxpayers.

"The Conservatives also recently transferred £1.5m of council-taxpayer money to a leisure company operating out of the town centre. Millions are being spent by Swindon Council on new offices for Zurich and who can forget the £15m spent on a new town centre car park.

"And tens of millions of pounds of public money has been allocated to publicly subsidise the New Eastern Villages development, while housebuilders will cream off all of the profit from the extra houses.

"The Conservatives have spent all this money on the private sector, while saying they can’t fund important road safety schemes like at Hay Lane, potholes continue to be unfilled and our streets continue to be full of litter.

"It is a record of Swindon taxpayers subsidising private sector profits while they can’t get the services that matter to them delivered.”