Councillors – especially new ones – should consider how the local authority is trying to help young people in its care when residents speak to them, says cabinet member for children Mary Martin.

Coun Martin said one of the ways the council wanted to make sure children in care were placed with foster parents in Swindon was to buy or rent homes in residential areas where those families could then live.

She said: “We’re particularly doing this for older teenagers – we want to give them the support they need, but also allow them to experience as normal a family life as possible.”

Coun Martin said this wasn’t always popular with neighbours, but urged councillors: "Remember we are corporate parents for the children in our care.

"If residents complain about what’s happening in this road or that one, listen to them, of course – but please realise and understand why we’re doing this and the benefits it brings to the young people we look after.”