MP BEN Bradshaw popped into town to meet Labour councillors and local election candidates.

The Minister For The South West and Health Minister also sought out the views of residents.

He visited Parks and Western wards where he was shown around by the deputy leader of the Labour group, Fay Howard.

Coun Howard said: "We went to Cavendish Square to see the regeneration scheme and, of course, he was interested in the health centre.

"Then we went to knock on some doors, despite the cold weather. The response we got from people was really positive.

"I think it's great that he's willing to visit Swindon and it shows that it's an important place."

Mr Bradshaw said: "I was delighted to see the work going on to regenerate Swindon.

"As Health Minister I was particularly pleased to see the new Priory Health Centre and listen to local residents' feedback about the health service.

"I told them Swindon would achieve an historic milestone this year - a maximum waiting time of just 18 weeks from GP referral to treatment.

"I also assured them the Government was working hard to encourage more GPs' surgeries to offer more convenient opening times."

Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Central) was pleased to have the opportunity to put forward local concerns to Westminster.

He said: "For me the most important thing to highlight was the issues that are facing people on low incomes and what can be done about them."

Coun Montaut believes it is important that politicians maintain close contact with the public.

"The idea was to find out from local people what they felt about local and central Government," he said.

"It's a good educational process for both ministers and local members."

The minister also met with prospective Labour candidates Sarah Bush (Eastcott), Carol Heavens (Walcot), Jim Grant (Western) and Labour party supporter Julie Wright.