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East Swindon | November 24, 2017

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Tax payers money to be spent on a Christmas “Party in Parks” thanks to Labour Councillors

Tax payers money to be spent on a Christmas “Party in Parks” thanks to Labour Councillors
Dale Heenan
  • On November 7, 2013

Swindon Borough Council is paying £500 towards a Christmas “Party in Parks” and a further £1000 for two other parties after Labour Councillors forced through approval of three community grants in East Swindon. Yes, Tax payers money will pay for a Christmas party!

Cllr Dale Heenan, “The grant application form spelled out it was for Christmas and New Year celebrations for hall hire, musical instruments, printing invitations, decorations, flowers and food and drinks. Regardless of your politics, I don’t see how anyone can believe it is acceptable to give £1000 of tax payer money to pay for a Christmas party.

There can be no excuses of I didn’t know from the East Locality chairman Cllr Julian Price, Covingham & Dorcan who is working in Scotland, and Cllr Mark Dempsey, Parks & Walcot, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Swindon who said nothing. All East Swindon Councillors were twice notified in writing about the grants and I was the only one on the panel prepared to stand up and be counted. I objected in principle. The grant was cut to £500 but still approved.

To add insult to taxpayers they then insisted they should be invited to the party, so I hope Labour Councillors don’t enjoy their fill of tax payer funded Christmas Pudding too much. ”


In total, three £500 grants were approved for parties from groups based in Parks & Walcot ward and Liden, Eldene and Park South ward. Both areas are represented by three Labour Councillors

Swindon deserves better.



Background about the grant. 

All decisions about Community Grants in the East Swindon Locality are made by a group of three Councillors – 2 Labour Councillors and 1 Conservative Councillor to reflect the 7:2 numbers of Labour/Conservatives Councillors in the area.

The Grants panel met on Wednesday 23rd October to decide 7 grant applications totaling £5800, with £5600 available in the budget to allocate before the end of March 2014.

Cllr Dale Heenan stepped in for Cllr Richard Hurley who is the normal Conservative Councillor on the panel but was unable to attend.

A total of £3865 was awarded between the seven grant applications, with £1735 remaining for the January to March 2014 application round.


Facts about East Swindon

The “East Swindon” locality includes three Council wards. Covingham & Dorcan, Liden, Eldene & Park South, Parks & Walcot

Covingham & Dorcan has two Conservative Councillors, and one Labour Councillor.
Liden, Eldene & Park South has three Labour Councillors
Parks & Walcot has three Labour Councillors

The Chairman of the East Swindon Locality is the Labour Councillor for Covingham and Dorcan, Julian Price. He won by 20 votes in May 2012, and is due for re-election in May 2014

The Labour Parliamentary candidate for North Swindon, Mark Dempsey is one of the three Labour Councillors who represents Parks and Walcot


The Grants

Grant application two was to contribute to, “hall hire and associated costs; catering; entertainment – varied to appeal to community associated costs – publicity etc. The money will be used to fund a party based at the Walcot Dome for all sections of the Community in the targeted area. Match funding will come from the groups volunteers to help organise and run the event and provide the facility for the event.”

The two Labour Councillors approved the grant.

Grant two was for £1000 and awarded £500

Grant application four was to contribute to “hall hire for Christmas and new Year Celebrations £300; Hiring musical instruments £200; hiring PA system £150; travel for performers £25-; printing invitations £50; flowers £50; decorations £100; Prizes £100; food and drinks £2300. Match funding from members contributions.”

The two Labour Councillors approved the grant.

Grant four was for £1000 and awarded £500

Grant six was to contribute to “Hall hire and insurance – £240; projector and sound system £85; singer & musician £500; Chef/ cooker £350; Serving dishes £74; soft drinks £127 and food £745”

The two Labour Councillors approved the grant.

 Grant six was for £1000 and awarded £500