First Elected – Thursday 10th June 2004
Re-Elected – Thursday 1st May 2008
Re-Elected – Thursday 4th May 2012
10 Swan Close, Swindon SN3 4QB
Dale Heenan lives in Coleview, and is a Councillor for Covingham and Dorcan on Swindon Borough Council. The Covingham and Dorcan ward includes Lower Coleview, Covingham, Dorcan, Nythe and Liden North of the shops.
My ward surgery is held on the second Saturday of most months. Local residents are welcome to attend, but if you have a problem please contact Dale by phone or email to discuss it. Often your issue can solved before the next surgery, which is why usually happens!
A bit about Dale
Dale is currently Cabinet member for Strategic Planning and Sustainability, which means he is responsible for the growth of Swindon and green issues ranging from Renewable energy to the planting of new woodland and protecting open space.
“I have been a Councillor for nearly 10 years and it is a tremendous privilege. I am very pleased to be the local Councillor for the area I represent because I believe living in the ward makes a big difference. I see the problems which need sorting every day, and I’m always happy to invite residents in for a coffee or chat outside the shops. However being a Councillor isn’t just about the local area, but also working hard in the Council Offices to make a difference in the way Swindon is run – unfortunately the Conservative Council tax freezes don’t just happen by themselves!
I am a proud Conservative but that doesn’t mean I always toe the “party line”. I have never been afraid to speak out on local issues, and I firmly believe if you want to see change you have to make it happen. Being a strong voice for local residents can ruffle some feathers, but my record of action for local residents, and for Swindon, demonstrates I can get things done regardless of the situation.
I setup this website to keep a record of some of the things we do in the area and I hope local residents find it interesting and informative.”
Current Local Campaigns
- A new parish Council for Coleview and Nythe by splitting from Stratton Parish Council, and save every household £70 a year.
- A reduction in the number of houses in the Eastern Villages area – a 50% cut achieved
- A new relief road in the Eastern villages to prevent traffic impact on Covingham and Liden.
- A weight restriction on Merlin Way to tackle lorries
- Restricted parking outsides local Schools at peak hours / introduction of School Safety Zones
- Protecting Green Open Spaces
- Enhance our libraries – Covingham and Liden Libraries now with extended opening hours
- Tackling aircraft noise from Redlands Airfield
- Keeping a local bus service for Coleview, Covingham, Nythe and Liden
- Encouraging enough low carbon and renewable schemes to power 100% of Swindon homes by 2020
Outside of Politics
Politics is not a full time job for me, I work as a Senior Project Manager during the day. My profession means I have to be super organised, always focused on delivering on objectives and outcomes and if something goes wrong, you do what you can to get things back on track! Certainly skills I have found very useful as a Councillor.
I believe being a Councillor is about putting something back into the Community, so I have done a lot of fundraising for Charities over the years. In 2004 and 2005, I ran in the 4 mile MultiTerrain run on the day of the Swindon Half Marathon, in 2006 and 2007 I ran in the main Half Marathon ! A 13.1 mile course starting from Nationwide, and going past CoateWater, up the hills near Badbury and goes as far as King Edwards Place before the return trip. In the summer of 2007, I switched from Running to Swimming. Starting with a 1.5mile swim in the English Channel for the British Heart Foundation and in 2010 and 2012 took part in the annual Swimathon.
I never set out to do anything in politics, and it all started in 2001 when I met Cllr Nick Martin and Justin Tomlinson (now MP for North Swindon)
I was first elected in 2004 and it was my election result which turned Swindon turned blue for the first time in a generation. Since then the Conservatives have held overall control of Swindon Borough Council.
One of my very first votes as a Borough Councillor was to approve the removal of the Speed Humps in Covingham Drive. In case you are wondering it was close! 4 Conservatives voted for the changes vs 3 Labour who voted against!! This Scrutiny Committee meeting is an easy example of the differences between the parties. Without this vote being won, the Speed Humps around Covingham could still be in place today.
During my first year as a Councillor, I was Swindon Borough Council’s eGovernment Champion because of my considerable experience within the IT Industry. It was this experience that helped me to identify savings, £40,000 of which directly led to the funding of the Graffiti Removal Van. A service provided free to local residents and continued to this day!
I also took an interest in every committee and stood in for other Councillors whenever I could, this was to ensure I had a good understanding of how the Council worked and to find an area I had an interest in. It always good to find jobs you like doing!
I have held a number of roles on Swindon Borough Council including four years as the Chairman of the Planning Committee – the most senior position outside of the Cabinet. In June 2011, I chaired the refusal of a planning application near Coate Water for the second time and in July 2011 oversaw the debate over Wind Turbines in South Marston.
I have had one of the best attendance records of any Councillor in Swindon and in 2010, I was one of just two people who scored a 100% attendance.
More historic background (previous biography updates)….
In my second year, I joined the Planning Commitee and was promoted to Chairman of the Footpaths & Rights of Way Committee.
In my 3rd year, I remained as Chairman of the Footpaths & Rights of Way Committee and acted as ViceChairman of the Community, Housing and Social Care Committee. 2006 was a controversial period, and I had to act as the Chairman following the resignation of the Labour Chairman and the subsequent sabaticial for 4 months by the Councillor who took over.
From my work on this Committee and my work on the Housing Advisory Forum, I was nominated by the Tenants of the Housing Advisory Forum to act as their Vice Chairman. Following the resignation halfway through the year of the Tenant who was Chairman (because of other Committments), I also stood in as Chairman for the remainder of the year.
The work programme for the Community, Housing and Social Care Committee was centred around 4 ‘themed evenings’. The topics discussed included AntiSocial Behaviour, Community & Youth Grants, Adult Learning and Affordable Housing. The AntiSocial Behaviour night enabled me to grill an Assistant Inspector for nearly 3 hours on the issues affected Covingham and Nythe residents, and the Swindon area.
Over the Christmas and New Year period, I personally researched and put together the Community Grassroots policy. A real opportunity for local community and volunteer groups to receive grants of up to £1000 and enable Councillors to proactive get out in the Community and talk with them. The Grassroot Grant scheme is held up as a stunning success, and all of the political parties continue to support it!
2006 was a busy year and I was also a member of the Licensing Committee. This Committee has been firm but fair with Pubs who have received complaints. We eventually revoked the License for Mbargo in the Town Centre, the first time it happened in Swindon!
In December 2006, I was nominated by the Council to act as one of the 4 Non-Executive Directors of Thamesdown Transport – the local bus company, and fulfilled this role for several years before being replaced by Cllr Colin Lovell, moredon ward.
In May 2007, at the start of my fourth year as a Councillor, I was promoted to the prestigious position of Chairman of the Planning Committee. One of the most senior roles a Councillor can have responsibility for outside of the Cabinet.
I have tried to have a visible effect in the Covingham & Nythe area, and this is demonstrated by the amount of Road and Footpath maintenance that has taken place in the last 4 years. Monthly walks around the entire ward, photos of areas that need attention are taken and following up with Council Officers. This has led to a 2 fold increase in the amount of work carried out and while not yet perfect, it is a big step forward from the years of neglect under the Labour administration.