MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland has been accused of “making promises he can’t keep” and “getting everybody’s hopes up” over Cavendish Square.

Earlier this month the Conservative cabinet minister wrote to constituents in the area saying he was pleased “the council’s aim is to purchase the square within the next six months”.

But questions by his likely Labour opponent Sarah Church, and the party’s ward councillors Janine Howarth and Emma Bushell revealed the purchase isn’t as advanced as Mr Buckland seemed to suggest.

Coun Howarth said: “I was dismayed, as the ward councillor for Cavendish Square, to read that I had voted for us to buy back the square and that I had no memory of it at all.

“Has this authority agreed to buy Cavendish Square and is it going to do so within the next six months?”

Leader of the Conservative administration David Renard said: “The matter will be considered by the council’s Commercial Investment Board next week.

“That will make a recommendation to cabinet.”

A spokesman for the authority confirmed that the political leadership was in favour of making the purchase, but it would have to wait until the meeting of the investment board before making a final decision.

Coun Howarth said, after the meeting: “This isn’t open and transparent. We have been trying to get a meeting with Coun Renard about this for some time. We organised a protest and a petition, and then Robert Buckland comes out with his letter, and I don’t know why or how, saying it’s going ahead. I think we should be kept better informed.

Ms Church said, “The statements made by Mr Buckland have got everyone’s hopes up but he appears to be making promises he cannot guarantee. I’ve been supporting the campaigners raising the issue of the poor state of repair of Cavendish Square for years. It’s not fair to make misleading statements when they, have worked so hard.

"I’m pleased this issue is now being properly looked into, but it is only now after years of ignoring residents that our local elected representatives have taken an active interest.”

Mr Buckland said: “This information was based upon discussions I had with David Renard and Coun Dale Heenan. I felt that it was important for local residents to be kept informed. Rather than playing politics with the issue, people should push for Cavendish Square to be bought back by the council.”