COUNCILLORS were involved in an angry exchange over whose party should take the credit for repairs to a key roundabout.

Labour's Will Stone started a petition in August to add resurfacing the lanes around the St Mary’s junction in Rodbourne Cheney to the highways department's work programme.

He collected more than 400 signatures – enough to spark a debate at Thursday’s full council meeting.

Two days before the meeting Swindon Borough Council announced it would start work on resurfacing Vicarage Road and the road around the island in October.

Mr Stone said: “I’m ecstatic the work will begin. I want to thank all those people that signed the petition and thank all the people that helped to get these signatures. It shows what we can do if we all work together.”

But not everything was sweetness and light.

Cabinet member for highways Coun Kevin Parry said he was pleased the work was to begin and said it had been agreed by the Conservative cabinet at its meeting back in July.

And recently elected Tory councillor for Rodbourne Cheney Sudha Sri Nukana said: “I raised this with the cabinet member at a meeting with him where I gave him a rundown of all the areas that need to be made safer and better.”

Labour councillors were outraged by the suggestion that nothing had been done about the roundabout before Coun Nukana’s meeting with Coun Parry and that the petition had not been the driver of getting the work prioritised.

Coun Peter Watts said: “It is not true that nothing was being done about this. 

"This goes back three years, we asked for the work on Akers Way to be extended to it, we’ve been asking to the roundabout an Vicarage Road to be repaired urgently for years.”

Labour leader Jim Grant asked why two reports on the petition in the Adver had not drawn a response if the work was already planned. 

He added: “I was at a meeting with officers with Coun Nukana where this came up and they didn’t say the work was going to be done.”

Coun Parry insisted the work was included in the report to cabinet and other meetings where Labour members were present.

The cabinet document says Vicarage Road will be repaired from the roundabout to Cheney Manor Road while the more detailed note says it will be done at Vicarage Road and St Mary’s roundabout.