Councillors sign open letter refuting Lydiard Park sell-off claim

This Is Wiltshire: Lydiard Park Lydiard Park

COUNCIL leaders have hit back at claims from Labour that they are planning to sell off Lydiard Park.

Every Conservative councillor and prospective councillor has signed an open letter saying there are no plans to sell off the historic site.

The letter confirms they are looking at ways of making more money from the site, such as weddings hires and the cafe, but it will remain in council control.

In recent weeks Labour rivals have said there are plans to sell off Lydiard Park and launched petition calling for it to remain in council hands. However, this has been dismissed by the Conservatives.

The letter can be read below: 

Dear resident,

You may have recently heard from someone knocking at your door, or seen a letter, claiming that Lydiard Park is up for sale. We can state categorically that Lydiard Park is NOT being offered for sale and NO such proposal has been discussed. Residents should treat these claims with the contempt they deserve because they are only designed to mislead.

Swindon Conservatives are proud of Lydiard Park which includes the Palladian House, the Church and Walled Garden which is set in 260 acres of parkland. So proud are we, that we secured £5M of investment in order to restore it all to its former glory. We have invested in the children's play area, Cafe and tea rooms and a series of events and education programmes which make Lydiard a great destination for a family day out or a short visit.

We are determined to secure the long term future of Lydiard Park so it can prosper and be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Many commercial and charitable activities already take place in the park such as venue hire for receptions and weddings, the hire of bbqs, the sale of plants outside the Walled Garden, a cafe, the adventure JungleParc and charity fundraising runs. Our ambition is for there to be more of these activities to increase both visitor numbers and income meaning the park is much less reliant on public subsidy.

Sadly, Senior Labour Party Councillors, Council Candidates and the two Labour Party Parliamentary Candidates have decided to misrepresent our position to start one of the most dishonest and negative political campaigns that Swindon has ever seen. Their claims that Lydiard park is being "sold off" as part of an "asset stripping" campaign are shocking and bring politics into disrepute to gain a few extra votes. It is also deeply disturbing that, in these financially challenging times, they have no vision for the future of Swindon.

Senior Labour councillors are actively involved on the council's working party which is discussing the difficult questions of how to come up with sustainable futures of the town's parks and heritage facilities. They cannot plead ignorance and this tactic has destroyed any credibility the Labour Party may have had so do not believe their claims.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Bawden, Andrew Bennett, Alan Bishop, Roderick Bluh, Michael Bray, Wayne Crabbe, Michael Dickinson, Oliver Donachie, Mark Edwards, Toby Elliott, Claire Ellis, Emma Faramarzi, Fionuala Foley, Brian Ford, Mary Friend, John Haines, Peter Heaton-Jones, Dale Heenan, Russell Holland, Richard Hurley, Colin Lovell, Mary Martin, Nick Martin, Brian Mattock, Kevin Parry, Maureen Penny, Garry Perkins, David Renard, Tim Swinyard, Vera Tomlinson, Steve Weisinger, Keith Williams

Comments (15)

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11:18am Mon 3 Mar 14

stratton man says...

Don't believe a word they say.They will deny any plans to sell Lydiard House until the elections are over in May then say the circumstances have changed and the park would serve the people of Swindon better if it were in the private sector.They have a history of this.
Don't believe a word they say.They will deny any plans to sell Lydiard House until the elections are over in May then say the circumstances have changed and the park would serve the people of Swindon better if it were in the private sector.They have a history of this. stratton man
  • Score: -1

12:04pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Al Smith says...

stratton man wrote:
Don't believe a word they say.They will deny any plans to sell Lydiard House until the elections are over in May then say the circumstances have changed and the park would serve the people of Swindon better if it were in the private sector.They have a history of this.
When a report was leaked about how the kimmerfields development was going to cost us £5.4million more, Coun Perkins said “This report was confidential due to the commercially sensitive information contained within it and was reviewed and accepted by a cross-party scrutiny committee,”.

Unfortunately such secrecy with OUR money, leaves the people of Swindon with little choice but to ask the following questions:
* Does the term "sale" also include leasing it out?
* Do they have no choice but to deny any sale because of commercial confidentiality?
* Are Labour councillors actually leaking information they know from secret council committees?
[quote][p][bold]stratton man[/bold] wrote: Don't believe a word they say.They will deny any plans to sell Lydiard House until the elections are over in May then say the circumstances have changed and the park would serve the people of Swindon better if it were in the private sector.They have a history of this.[/p][/quote]When a report was leaked about how the kimmerfields development was going to cost us £5.4million more, Coun Perkins said “This report was confidential due to the commercially sensitive information contained within it and was reviewed and accepted by a cross-party scrutiny committee,”. Unfortunately such secrecy with OUR money, leaves the people of Swindon with little choice but to ask the following questions: * Does the term "sale" also include leasing it out? * Do they have no choice but to deny any sale because of commercial confidentiality? * Are Labour councillors actually leaking information they know from secret council committees? Al Smith
  • Score: 11

12:12pm Mon 3 Mar 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving.

I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this.
Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving. I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 12

12:46pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving.

I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this.
Sadly this is the reality.

I do not want to see Lydiard sold, or leased, to a third party. I wouldn't vote for a party that would even consider it. I also wouldn't want to vote for a party that lied about another party doing it. I'm not voting Lim Dem because you can't believe them either (University fees anyone?). Who does that leave us with? Who can we trust. Maybe it's time for a town-wide stance by independents who are fed up to the back teeth of being lied to and mislead. People who aren't trying to prove a point or follow a doctrine, simply who believe that their job should be to use taxes raised and central government money used for the benefit of the people of the town and who never forget whose money it actually is.
[quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving. I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this.[/p][/quote]Sadly this is the reality. I do not want to see Lydiard sold, or leased, to a third party. I wouldn't vote for a party that would even consider it. I also wouldn't want to vote for a party that lied about another party doing it. I'm not voting Lim Dem because you can't believe them either (University fees anyone?). Who does that leave us with? Who can we trust. Maybe it's time for a town-wide stance by independents who are fed up to the back teeth of being lied to and mislead. People who aren't trying to prove a point or follow a doctrine, simply who believe that their job should be to use taxes raised and central government money used for the benefit of the people of the town and who never forget whose money it actually is. Wildwestener
  • Score: 6

12:46pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Friend of the People says...

Wonderful what an approaching election can do.

Make candidates say anything.
Wonderful what an approaching election can do. Make candidates say anything. Friend of the People
  • Score: 6

12:57pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Davey Gravey says...

What about broome manor golf course? Coate water? Numerous green spaces already gone? Etc etc? Cuts to recycling? Pot holes?
Never mind, at least we have a new car park to replace the now closed but perfectly useable ones replaced. Hooraa vote Tory, all in it together blaa blaa blaa
What about broome manor golf course? Coate water? Numerous green spaces already gone? Etc etc? Cuts to recycling? Pot holes? Never mind, at least we have a new car park to replace the now closed but perfectly useable ones replaced. Hooraa vote Tory, all in it together blaa blaa blaa Davey Gravey
  • Score: -3

1:20pm Mon 3 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Wildwestener wrote:
The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man wrote:
Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving.

I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this.
Sadly this is the reality.

I do not want to see Lydiard sold, or leased, to a third party. I wouldn't vote for a party that would even consider it. I also wouldn't want to vote for a party that lied about another party doing it. I'm not voting Lim Dem because you can't believe them either (University fees anyone?). Who does that leave us with? Who can we trust. Maybe it's time for a town-wide stance by independents who are fed up to the back teeth of being lied to and mislead. People who aren't trying to prove a point or follow a doctrine, simply who believe that their job should be to use taxes raised and central government money used for the benefit of the people of the town and who never forget whose money it actually is.
Probably a big factor in why so few actually bother to vote. What is the point when whoever is in power just do whatever they want and lie through their self serving teeth anyway? Waste of time the lot of them.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man[/bold] wrote: Q. How do you tell when a politician is lying? A. Their lips are moving. I wouldn't trust anything said by either side in this.[/p][/quote]Sadly this is the reality. I do not want to see Lydiard sold, or leased, to a third party. I wouldn't vote for a party that would even consider it. I also wouldn't want to vote for a party that lied about another party doing it. I'm not voting Lim Dem because you can't believe them either (University fees anyone?). Who does that leave us with? Who can we trust. Maybe it's time for a town-wide stance by independents who are fed up to the back teeth of being lied to and mislead. People who aren't trying to prove a point or follow a doctrine, simply who believe that their job should be to use taxes raised and central government money used for the benefit of the people of the town and who never forget whose money it actually is.[/p][/quote]Probably a big factor in why so few actually bother to vote. What is the point when whoever is in power just do whatever they want and lie through their self serving teeth anyway? Waste of time the lot of them. house on the hill
  • Score: 9

1:43pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Davey Gravey says...

And of course I forgot to mention the WiFi scandal. Hooraa
Fiddling with the thumbs won't change anything either. Hahaha
And of course I forgot to mention the WiFi scandal. Hooraa Fiddling with the thumbs won't change anything either. Hahaha Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Mon 3 Mar 14

CocoaClown says...

It's all a bit tit for tat. Conservative slated Labour for stating that they were to sell off Lydiard Park. But then go and write that letter where the first 3 paragraphs would have sufficed and put the story straight. I have to agree you can't trust anyone and rather than just keep back stabbing each other, just get on with their own campaigns.

If they want to increase numbers at Lydiard, they need to seriously sort out the car park surfaces and increase number of spaces somehow.
It's all a bit tit for tat. Conservative slated Labour for stating that they were to sell off Lydiard Park. But then go and write that letter where the first 3 paragraphs would have sufficed and put the story straight. I have to agree you can't trust anyone and rather than just keep back stabbing each other, just get on with their own campaigns. If they want to increase numbers at Lydiard, they need to seriously sort out the car park surfaces and increase number of spaces somehow. CocoaClown
  • Score: 6

2:23pm Mon 3 Mar 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

This would not be the first U turn we have seen in politics......
This would not be the first U turn we have seen in politics...... A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: 3

3:12pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

A.Baron-Cohen wrote:
This would not be the first U turn we have seen in politics......
so many U turns, most of them just spend all their time spinning.....
[quote][p][bold]A.Baron-Cohen[/bold] wrote: This would not be the first U turn we have seen in politics......[/p][/quote]so many U turns, most of them just spend all their time spinning..... Wildwestener
  • Score: 5

3:20pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Chrisg46 says...

However, if the tories really had no plans to sell off Lydiard, then they would say the exact same thing anyway, so damned if they do, damned if they dont. Clever trick by Labour?
Personally, i would prefer that the parties would spend their time promoting their own policies rather than rubbishing or attacking the other...
However, if the tories really had no plans to sell off Lydiard, then they would say the exact same thing anyway, so damned if they do, damned if they dont. Clever trick by Labour? Personally, i would prefer that the parties would spend their time promoting their own policies rather than rubbishing or attacking the other... Chrisg46
  • Score: 5

3:32pm Mon 3 Mar 14

swindondad says...

Chrisg46 wrote:
However, if the tories really had no plans to sell off Lydiard, then they would say the exact same thing anyway, so damned if they do, damned if they dont. Clever trick by Labour? Personally, i would prefer that the parties would spend their time promoting their own policies rather than rubbishing or attacking the other...
I have to agree with this.

Way too much negative campaigning for my liking.

Try and give the electorate reasons to vote "For" your party rather than "Against" someone else. I know I have been guilty of voting for whoever will keep out the party I like least but our "first past the post" system does encourage it.

On one occasion we had local, national and euro elections in quick succession and I voted for different parties (I know in theory we vote for candidates but at anything other than local elections you are unlikely to know much about the individuals) in each dependant on who was standing / what system was being used.
[quote][p][bold]Chrisg46[/bold] wrote: However, if the tories really had no plans to sell off Lydiard, then they would say the exact same thing anyway, so damned if they do, damned if they dont. Clever trick by Labour? Personally, i would prefer that the parties would spend their time promoting their own policies rather than rubbishing or attacking the other...[/p][/quote]I have to agree with this. Way too much negative campaigning for my liking. Try and give the electorate reasons to vote "For" your party rather than "Against" someone else. I know I have been guilty of voting for whoever will keep out the party I like least but our "first past the post" system does encourage it. On one occasion we had local, national and euro elections in quick succession and I voted for different parties (I know in theory we vote for candidates but at anything other than local elections you are unlikely to know much about the individuals) in each dependant on who was standing / what system was being used. swindondad
  • Score: 1

6:26pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Richard Symonds says...

They have told us what they are not going to do but fail to say what they are going to do!!

So does The Administration run by the Conservative Party intent to 'lease out' Lydiard Park?

A straight yes or no will suffice.
They have told us what they are not going to do but fail to say what they are going to do!! So does The Administration run by the Conservative Party intent to 'lease out' Lydiard Park? A straight yes or no will suffice. Richard Symonds
  • Score: 3

7:46pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Clippies says...

How can anyone believe anything any of the Councillors say. I wrote to both David Renard AND Richard Hurley about the costs of the new Green Waste Service. I asked David Renard the following Question in January this year; How much will it cost the Council to supply and run the new lorries that will collect the Green Waste? His response - We will use our existing fleet for the new green waste service so there is no additional cost from the change of service. In an email from Richard Hurley last month he stated ". As a Council, we have started the process of purchasing new vehicles and bins, so any change will cost the Council Tax payer over £800,000, which is a 1% rise in Council Tax for everyone." Clearly someone is lying. Added to which, David Renard stated, having a paid for Green Waste collection will save £635,000 a year. Yet using the figures he supplied it will cost the public a minimum £350,000 with no contingency plans (apart from the web cam so we can all plan our journey) to deal with the large influx of vehicles to the recycling centre or fly tipping. However, he has made available £147,000 as they expect landfill will increase by 10%. After consultation their results showed just 20% of households will sign up to the new paid for service...giving the message they don't give a **** about 80% of households in Swindon!
How can anyone believe anything any of the Councillors say. I wrote to both David Renard AND Richard Hurley about the costs of the new Green Waste Service. I asked David Renard the following Question in January this year; How much will it cost the Council to supply and run the new lorries that will collect the Green Waste? His response - We will use our existing fleet for the new green waste service so there is no additional cost from the change of service. In an email from Richard Hurley last month he stated ". As a Council, we have started the process of purchasing new vehicles and bins, so any change will cost the Council Tax payer over £800,000, which is a 1% rise in Council Tax for everyone." Clearly someone is lying. Added to which, David Renard stated, having a paid for Green Waste collection will save £635,000 a year. Yet using the figures he supplied it will cost the public a minimum £350,000 with no contingency plans (apart from the web cam so we can all plan our journey) to deal with the large influx of vehicles to the recycling centre or fly tipping. However, he has made available £147,000 as they expect landfill will increase by 10%. After consultation their results showed just 20% of households will sign up to the new paid for service...giving the message they don't give a **** about 80% of households in Swindon! Clippies
  • Score: 6

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