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East Swindon | November 23, 2017

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Labour found fibbing to residents by saying Tories have put Lydiard up for sale

Labour found fibbing to residents by saying Tories have put Lydiard up for sale
Dale Heenan
  • On February 24, 2014

Personal letters and party political leaflets from Labour party candidates have been delivered to thousands of families in Swindon making false claims that the Conservatives are “selling off” Lydiard House and Park.

A concerned resident emailed all Conservative Councillors on Sunday 23rd February saying “I am writing to express my concern and dismay that Swindon Borough Council is likely to sell off Lydiard House and Park, according to a Labour Party newsletter delivered to homes in Shaw this weekend.

Cllr Michael Dickinson (Lydiard and Freshbrook ward) quickly replied to the email and said “Having just confirmed this with the leader of the council, there are no plans from the current Conservative administration to dispose of Lydiard Park, I cannot speak for other party’s proposals”

Cllr Richard Hurley (Covingham and Dorcan) replied and said “I too am totally amazed that something like this is put in a leaflet that has no substance what so ever. Politics and scaremongering comes to mind. I hope that who ever compiled the leaflet has hard evidence of this.”

Cllr Dale Heenan (Covingham and Dorcan) thanked the resident for bringing this to everyone’s attention, and said “I hope that Cllr Dickinson’s swift response can provide you with reassurance that there are no plans to “sell off Lydiard Park and House”. I have had a look at this, and I can find no report of any Cabinet meeting or any Council Committee in the last 12 months which proposes or makes such a decision. There is also no reference anywhere online to the Lydiard Park and House being advertised for sale by GVA or any property company. The only recent reference to Lydiard is about it being included as an option when investigating the future location for Swindon’s Art Collection”

Cllr Oliver Donachie (Haydon Wick) replied saying, “I have this evening performed a systematic search of the councils online repository and other information outlets and have found absolutely no reference to the sale of Lydiard Park or its house whatsoever. I would suggest in light of this research you may wish to challenge the validity of the information you have been sent. I believe if the authors are prepared to document and disseminate such information they must be able to substantiate it and given the unnecessary alarm this allegation may raise they should be prepared to do so as a matter of urgency.”.

Cllr David Renard, (Haydon Wick), Leader of Swindon Borough Council said “It is shocking that such propaganda is being circulated. As Cllrs Martin, Dickinson, Heenan, Hurley and Donachie have said, there are no plans to sell Lydiard Park and House.”
Cllr Dale Heenan believes Labour Councillors should produce evidence of their claims, and if they can’t then they must apologise to every single family they misled.

“Residents in Lower Coleview, Covingham, Liden and Nythe should not be fooled. If lying in leaflets is acceptable to the Labour party then how can anyone trust a word they say.

I hope that Cllr David Renard challenges Cllr Jim Grant and Cllr Mark Dempsey, as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour group, to substantiate with evidence their claims that the Conservatives are “selling off Lydiard House and Park”. The claim is clearly made in a personal letter delivered to residents, repeated in a separate campaign leaflet endorsed by the Labour Parliamentary Candidate and on their website. Saying the Conservative are selling off Lydiard House and Park cannot be an innocent mistake but a calculated attempt to scare residents for their votes. Swindon deserves better”