LOCAL anger at plans to build 33 flats reflect wider concerns over disillusionment with politics, says a Swindon MP.

Anne Snelgrove, the representative for South Swindon, met members of the Radnor Street and Area Residents Association over proposals for a block of 21 flats in Shelley Street and a further 12 in nearby Radnor Street.

While the MP assured the residents that she was on their side in the fight against "unsympathetic" planning applications, she said she was concerned at comments about local politics.

George Brockbanks, of the Residents' Association, said: "People are sitting around talking about problems with parking and new developments.

"Ask any of them and they'll say what difference does it make talking to your councillor? It'll happen anyway."

The residents are opposed to plans by Ember Construction to build a block of 21 flats, with parking and landscaping, at the top of Shelley Street.

They say that the three-storey building will not be in keeping with the area, it will add pressure to the drainage system and exacerbate parking problems.

A previous proposal for 30 flats on the site was withdrawn, and one for 24 flats was refused.

A further application is to build a block of 12 flats in Radnor Street, on the site of the Radnor Stores.

Eastcott councillor and leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Stan Pajak, insisted residents' interests were well represented.

He said: "We are listening to them and we are acting for them.

"The Radnor Street and Area Residents' Association have been very vocal in their objection to this plan and there has been a meeting between developers and members of the association.

Mrs Snelgrove said: "I think it is really worrying that so soon after a local election, when only 29 per cent of those eligible went to the polls, there is this level of disillusionment with the work done by councillors."

She added: "Something has to be done to re-engage people with the democratic process."