TRANSPORT is likely to be a key talking point around Mannington and Western for the coming years.

With traffic problems around the Mannington roundabout and the roll-out of the trialled part-time traffic lights, residents are concerned about the transport links to the town centre.

A new councillor will also have to tap into pockets of tight-knit communities in Toothill and Westlea, with their own issues and identities.

Matthew Pearce, chairman of the Toothill Community Cafe, said being an active presence in the community would be vital to whoever wins the seat on Thursday.

“What is interesting at the moment is that councillors will pop into the cafe and meet with our client base and talk with them about the issues relevant to them,” he said.

“That sort of community activity is what we want.

“We just want people to represent our community. I think a lot of issues are surrounding bus transport and affected services into Swindon town centre.”

Anti-social behaviour is also a priority of local policing teams in the area, and money is ready to be pumped into Toothill from the £1m lottery grant which is now being paid out to community programmes.

“There are also issues around graffiti and an element of anti-social behaviour,” added Matthew.

“I think what people want is not to see a blame culture but we want to see people rolling up their sleeves and really getting to grips with the issues.

“One of the advantages of the area is that in Toothill we have won this £1m from the lottery. That is bringing a lot of community cohesion.

“It is a really lovely place to live, and it is difficult to find faults.There is a great community spirit, and our representatives need to tap into that.”

Work due on the Toothill Village Centre and the release of the lottery grant have developed positive prospects for the area.

Tina Mackie, wife of former community stalwart Denis Mackie, said: “It’s is an absolutely lovely place to live.

“People do talk about some work being done around the village centre and the car park there, but everyone has got their own point of view so they will have to accommodate for that.

“The money for the Toothill £1m is there as well, and it is available for everybody to use. There will be nothing standing in the way of anybody who wants to make changes in the area.”

In 2012 the brand new Mannington and Western ward was claimed by three Labour councillors, each receiving more than 1,000 votes a piece.

Geoffrey KING (Liberal Democrat)
James ROBBINS (Labour)
Caryl Ann SYDNEY-SMITH (Conservative)
Lincoln WILLIAMS (UK Independence Party)
Turnout in 2012 election: 26.33 per cent (5,125)