Swindon Conservatives have announced their support for a local "City of Swindon" bid, and pledge not to use any expensive consultants or tax payers money in the submission. The competition for towns to become cities has been launched to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
Two previous bids for city status failed in 1999, to mark the Millennium, and in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Both bids were led and written by the Council, with more than £30,000 was spent on them.
The Conservatives took control of Swindon Borough Council in 2005, and didn't bid in 2012 when the last opportunity arose. This is changing with the 2021 competition.
To reassure local residents, the Conservatives are making a commitment that no expensive consultants will be used to write the bid, and there is no intention of seeing a penny of taxpayer's money being spent on preparing, and writing the competition application. It will be Councillors, residents, businesses and community groups who will prepare, and write the bid.
Cllr Dale Heenan, Cabinet member for Regeneration, Culture and Heritage, "We should all be ambitious for our town, be proud of where we live and a "City of Swindon" bid will be great for raising Swindon's profile and help to tackle any negative perceptions. We are serious about this bid and are determined to make Swindon's case in a way never done before. The Conservatives believe that our best chance of success is to work with local businesses, local community groups and local residents. We have to be honest no-one is going to think differently about Swindon because we are a town one day, and a city the next. Yet there are so many ways that this competition can be used to promote and be positive about Swindon, and we intend to do our best to maximise these opportunities. We are all too familiar with a small minority who like to moan about Swindon and this bid can help tackle this issue head up. Let's all find ways to be positive about everything that Swindon has to offer "
Cllr Jenny Jefferies "Swindon is one of the UK's largest town's and we all know about the 1842 Great railway works but this scratches the surface of Swindon's history. It dates back more than 2000 years to Roman times, we were a village mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, we were a blueprint for the NHS, we had the UK's first lending library and we built Spitfires in WW2. I want local residents to come forward with their ideas, and say what should be included about Swindon's identity, and any interesting heritage, history and traditions"
Cllr Curtis Flux ""Our local City of Swindon Status bid will be different to anything that has happened before. Swindon is a vibrant and welcoming community, and we will passionately advocate bringing families, community, and business people together. It is a great opportunity for Swindon to be proud about where we live. We have an amazing record of innovation that we should all shout about and I hope this bid reminds potential investors that Swindon is open for business. As we bounce back from Covid, let's show our pride about Swindon!"
City Status entry requirements
The application form asks for a one page summary of the town, and no more than eight pages of supporting information covering:
• Distinct identity;
• Civic pride;
• Cultural infrastructure, interesting heritage, history and traditions
• Vibrant and welcoming community;
• Record of innovation;
• Sound governance and administration;
• Associations with Royalty; and
• Other particularly distinctive features, age, residents or communities who have made widely recognised significant contributions to society and cultural infrastructure.
A maximum 10 pages on a profile of the area, such as statistics, economic activity, green spaces etc .
And Up to 50 photos of permanent features of the town (rather than events or people) can be submitted.
The competition will close on December 8th and "all valid entries will receive individual consideration on their merits, before recommendations are made to the Queen by ministers."