SWINDON Borough Council said “a commitment to protecting and supporting the most vulnerable people” is its most important priority for 2022.

Talking to the Adver ahead of the first full council meeting of the year, leader David Renard has said other key areas of focus include Covid recovery, improving the roads, and building homes.

The Conservative administration has also committed to a list of “Vision Priorities and Pledges” to be monitored on a regular basis, with updates provided to cabinet.

Priority one is “build an economy that works for you”, which involves “creating more well paid jobs, attracting further investment in our town and making Swindon a great place to start and grow businesses.”

Under this, the pledges include ensuring that every home in the borough has access to a gigabit speed broadband connection by 2030, investing and encouraging investment in the town centre to “transform it into a vibrant commercial, retail and leisure destination,” and “supporting and influencing business and housing growth, availability of employment land and infrastructure investment in Swindon’s economy.”

Priority two states the council’s intention to protect and enhance the town’s heritage, cultural and leisure facilities.

This includes ensuring a sustainable future for its parks through a parks strategy, which will set out a four-year improvement plan for the larger sites, including Coate and Lydiard.

The council also pledges to safeguard Swindon’s heritage and make the best use of its historic assets, as well as to “work closely with local arts organisations and funding partners to secure funding for a new cultural quarter in the next decade.”

The third priority is to “deliver sustainable growth through high quality affordable homes alongside infrastructure to support our growing town.”

Pledges under this priority includes investment in the road network, which the council says it will do by improving Junction 15 of the M4, improving infrastructure to the New Eastern villages, a southern access into Wichelstowe, and the utilisation of Local Transport Fund grants.

It says it will continue its war on potholes and deliver “hundreds more quality homes”, including building its own via the Swindon Housing Company.

Equipping young people with the education and skills they need through additional and enhanced skills and higher education opportunities is the fourth priority.

To do this it says it will ensure every child and young person in Swindon has a place at a good or better early years provider, school, education placement or apprenticeship provision.

Five involves making Swindon greener and more sustainable by helping residents to reduce their environmental impact and becoming carbon neutral as a council by 2030.

The final priority is making the town “safer, fairer and healthier by helping people to help themselves while always protecting our children and adults, increasing health and wellbeing facilities and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour”.

Swindon Advertiser: Councillor David RenardCouncillor David Renard

Leader of Swindon Borough Council and Conservative councillor for Haydon Wick David Renard said: “The Conservative administration has laid out very clearly what our priorities are and what we intend to deliver for our residents in the year and years ahead.

“First and foremost, our commitment is to protect and support the most vulnerable people in Swindon. Beyond that, our key areas of focus will be COVID recovery, growing the economy, improving our roads and other infrastructure, building the much needed homes for our Town, ensuring we continue to improve employment opportunities and the skills needed for the future and improving our leisure, cultural and heritage facilities.”