Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP

MP For North Swindon

Swinden Advertiser Weekly Article

By the time you read this, I hope to have made my maiden speech in the House of Commons.  I’ll be talking about quality of life, and how it too often plays second fiddle as North Swindon expands at such eye-watering speed.  The high density of development and the lack of thoughtful planning is storing up problems for the future.  Lack of open space means there’s nowhere for kids to let off steam, leading to obesity and anti-social behaviour.  Lack of parking means pavements are being lost to cars with obvious safety concerns.  And lack of infrastructure is simply a way for developers to build new estates on the cheap, not to mention the broken promises in their glossy brochures.  I want to be an advocate for a better quality of life in North Swindon, and if that means making enemies of developers, then so be it.


Last week I wrote of my disappointment that the World Cup won’t be shown on the big screen in the Town Centre. Policing issues appear to be at the heart of the problem, with money – as always – the sticking point.  So last Friday morning I met the Leader of Swindon Borough Council to find a way forward.  If the town centre isn’t an option, I’ve suggested instead that a big screen should be set up in Lydiard Park for the semi-finals and final.  Staging such an event at Lydiard Park will keep it separate from the Town Centre, in a secure space, and one where everyone can be swept up in the atmosphere.  I’m glad the Council has agreed to look at this possibility – I just hope England make it that far!


Last weekend, Robert Buckland and I were invited to the Valuing Volunteers Event.  It was an ideal opportunity to meet community groups and volunteers who perform such incredibly valuable work throughout the town.  Sometimes the term ‘the third sector’ is used, to mark the fact that these organisations fall outside the public/private realm, but I don’t think this kind of pigeon-holing is helpful.  The fact is that many of our communities have come to rely on voluntary groups to provide services which would otherwise fall between the cracks.  Where this happens, the so-called ‘third sector’ is arguably more important than the first and second combined!  And let’s not forget the thousands of people in Swindon who carry our this vital work – unpaid, in their own time, often making huge sacrifices to help others.  I’m delighted to support Voluntary Action Swindon and look forward to working with them closely in the future.

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