Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

East Swindon | September 23, 2017

Scroll to top

Top

No Comments

Labour withdraw their support for a debate on “opposing on principle the development of green open space in Swindon”

Labour withdraw their support for a debate on “opposing on principle the development of green open space in Swindon”
Dale Heenan
  • On April 2, 2012
  • https://www.eastswindon.com

The Swindon Labour party appear to be running their local election campaign by trying to scare local residents into voting for them with non-existent threats that green open space in areas like Covingham and Dorcan are “at risk” of being built on.

This outrageous rhetoric by Labour is generating concern from local residents. Councillors are meant to be leaders in the local community, and with trust in politicians at at all time low, this kind of scaremongering should have no place in election campaigns. I can only imagine what claims are being made on the doors to local residents.

I can reassure local residents that there is absolutely no truth in Labour claims that the Conservatives are not protecting  green open space like Smittanbrook from developers. There are no plans to do anything of the sort, and I don’t think any developer would be silly enough to suggest building on these popular parks and open spaces.

If Swindon Labour really want to be taken seriously then they should swiftly apologise, confirm that green open space in areas like Covingham and Dorcan are under no threat and admit they took their rhetoric too far.

Labour withdraw support for “opposing on principle the development of green open space in Swindon”

Local residents should not be surprised that by these attempts to grab for votes in any way they can. At the Full Council meeting on the Thursday 29th March, the Leader of the Labour group withdrew his parties support for a debate on “opposing on principle the development of green open space in Swindon”. In refusing to debate this motion or consider any amendments, a clear message was given to local residents of where they stand.

I strongly suspect that this decision won’t be put in any of Labour’s election leaflets over the coming weeks!

Labour attempt to bamboozle residents with technical jargon

Labour also seem to be trying a new tactic of convincing residents they know what they are talking about by using technical arguments that superficially sound correct but simply don’t stand up to a “fact check”.For instance, the Leader of Swindon Labour claims that the local development plan expired in 2011 and that this opens the door for developers to build on green open space so they are “at risk”.The truth is that like many Councils  in 2009, Swindon Council asked the Labour Secretary of State to give them more time to develop their new local plan (Core Strategy). The Core Strategy being the plan that sets out how Swindon will grow over the next 20-30 years. The Labour Secretary of State said yes and confirmed Swindon’s Local Plan could stay in place until its replacement was ready.Instead of setting an artificial deadline like December 2011, all the important policies for Swindon were “saved”, including every policy on protecting green open space, remain in force until the new version is ready. The letter is available on the Swindon Council website and can also be found with a simple google search.The local Conservatives fundamentally disagreed with the Labour governments attempts to impose 36,000 new houses on Swindon, and sought time to have a robust new plan in place. Less than 12 months later, the Conservative government was elected in May 2010 and promptly scrapped the 36,000 home target. Overnight the Conservative Council cut the size of the Eastern Development Area by 40%.

In their wisdom, Swindon Labour fail to think the consequences. It is quite clear that if they Labour were in control of the Swindon then they would have:

  • agreed to the Labour Governments plan for 36,000 new houses to be built in Swindon
  • agreed to the attempts to build more than 12,000 houses to the East of the A419
  • refused to debate whether the Council should “oppose on principle development on green open space in Swindon”.

Submit a Comment