Swindon is not likely to be one of the next towns granted city status by the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee next year.

A competition has been launched by the government with the prize being the creation of the first new cities in the UK for a decade. The last towns to be converted to cities by the granting of a royal charter were Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph in 2012 to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

But although Swindon is one of the biggest towns in the country – and bigger than many cities like Bath and Oxford and Gloucester – it is unlikely the borough council under the current Conservative administration will try and win the accolade.

And a poll held on the Adver website yesterday revealed 60 per cent of readers are against any such bid.

Council leader David Renard said: “The Conservative council is always looking at ways that we can improve Swindon and deliver even greater success for our borough.

"If there were tangible evidence to suggest applying for and gaining city status would benefit Swindon, we would consider it. However, we do not want it to act as a distraction from the many positive investments and developments that we have and are securing to make Swindon an even better place to live, work and thrive.”

Previously Coun Renard said it would make a difference if investors and businesses were saying they were put off from coming to Swindon by its lack of city status – but that wasn’t the case.

That represents a change for the council from its attempts under a Labour administration around the turn of the century.

The council applied for city status when competitions were announced in 1999, to mark the change of Millennium, and in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

In 1999 Brighton& Hove, Wolverhampton and Inverness became cities, while in 2002 Preston, Newport, Gwent, Stirling and Northern Ireland’s Lisburn and Newry were successful.

In this year’s competition towns can apply to be cities and existing cities can apply to have a Lord Mayor or in Scotland a Lord Provost.

Each competing local authority will have to make a bid explaining why it deserves to be elevated.

Minister of state for the constitution and devolution Chloe Smith said: “The Civic Honours competition is an opportunity to promote your hometown and win an honour for it that will last for all time. I encourage entries from local authorities in every part of the UK, from vibrant towns and cities with distinct identities, history, and sense of community. I have no doubt the competition will be fierce – but success will be a historic moment of celebration for the winners, which will take its place within Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.”