The Swindon Area Green Party fully endorses the National Manifesto of the Green Party of England & Wales. We also want to see real change for the benefit of all those who call Swindon home.
As the 5th fastest-growing local authority in England, we recognise the need to regenerate the town to provide excellent facilities for residents and to encourage investment for further improvements.
We want to help form a council that develops an exciting and inspiring vision of Swindon; that celebrates and looks after the heritage that goes back to our very roots, while forging ahead into the future with buildings and plans that allow residents to thrive and enjoy the best that Swindon has to offer
We welcome the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery (SMAG) proposals and see it as a flagship project in the town centre that will set a high standard and draw in additional investment in the immediate area.
We want to help generate the same level of enthusiasm that has driven the bid to build SMAG to restore and look after the wonderful heritage which we have been inherited. We will work with the Mechanics Institution Trust to make the Mechanics Institute a national beacon for regeneration.
We believe that all regeneration should be done with an eye to the future, buildings that are well-designed and built to need as little energy input as possible both during construction and in long-term operation. All residential regeneration should be done to the highest standards so that homes are warm and comfortable for residents.
We believe that the critical issues of care for our youngest and most vulnerable members cannot be left to local authorities when the funding is so uncertain. We would communicate better with residents to understand their concerns and needs, and to explain exactly how the council budget is allocated and spent. We would push back strongly against government cuts to Council budgets that are part of an austerity narrative that has seen a decline in standards, and life-threatening reductions in services.
As the demographic of our population changes, with the over 65s age group being one of the fastest-growing, we will see ever more pressure placed on dwindling budgets. Lack of affordable care places extra pressure onto an already overstretched NHS.
Social cohesion and social mobility continue to suffer while we do not invest adequately in the very youngest most vulnerable people in our town. We will support and encourage a wide range of community and self-help services for children and their carers in Swindon, including Sure Start children’s centres.
We want to help build Swindon’s reputation into one of a pleasant environment with a thriving, sustainable and diverse economy. This will boost local trade, attract more business and make Swindon somewhere people want to live and work.
The current policy that drives small traders out of the town centre leaves a sterile environment unattractive to shoppers. We would instead encourage small traders to move into the town centre and offer lower rates for start-up businesses to give them the opportunity to contribute to our economy in the future
Supporting small, local business will keep more of our money circulating within our community. We will encourage the development of Community Banks to encourage local people to invest in local economic activity, promote Credit Unions and consider the benefits of local currencies.
We will encourage universities to follow the lead of Oxford Brookes University and the University of Wales by setting up campuses in Swindon. This will help to retain our brightest young people and in time can form the nucleus of our own University.
Air pollution is the world’s single biggest environmental health risk. We want to help end this public health crisis by increasing incentives to take fossil-fuelled vehicles off the roads and encourage the transition to hybrid and fully electric vehicles.
For its size, Swindon should have a much better public transport system. We will build an integrated and reliable transport network, providing commuters and shoppers a range of travel options, including better public transport, walking and cycling routes. Our policy to increase public investment in Swindon’s bus and railway services will help ease the strain on our roads. This will benefit all employers, including our many large companies and their related supply chains.
We support residential development through refurbishing and improving existing housing and building affordable and accessible new homes. We encourage our town planners to design low-traffic neighbourhoods with safe, convenient networks of walking and cycling routes, so people of all ages and those with disabilities can choose to make local trips on foot, by bike or mobility scooter. It should be easy to choose to leave the car at home – or not have one at all. We will ensure there is no trade-off between sports fields, parks and other green spaces with large developments like the ‘Snow Dome’ that are dependent on car use.
Our policy is to take a holistic approach to planning that includes nature and green spaces, to enhance leisure, health and wellbeing, and revolves around a fully accessible and step-free public transport system.