Civic Day 2019 Review

30th June 2019

Civic Day 2019 Review

Civic Day 2019 Review

On Saturday 22nd June we welcomed visitors to our annual Civic Day event. Here’s our Civic Day 2019 review.

We were also excited to launch our new photography competition. Entries are arriving via Find the rules and info on the photography competition here. 

As part of the event we ran a small opinion poll to gauge responses and comments. 

Below are the results.

Graph We provided five statements as follows. With these we encouraged our visitors to review and prioritise their agreement with the statements, and to supply comments if necessary.

  1. Empty Shops and offices in Swindon should be converted to flats
  2. Historic buildings in the town centre should be demolished
  3. The Civic Offices should be kept for public use
  4. We want more Eateries in Canal Walk.
  5. We like Swindon

It was no surprise Statement 2 drew a big, fat “zero” in support of destroying our heritage buildings.  The comments reflected their distaste. Although it would seem there was some support for reuse and retention in some way – even if not for the original purpose.  Some people suggested that we need more definition on what “historic” really means.

  1. Are all old buildings worthy of keeping? What makes them historical/heritage, age or provenance?

The big winner of the day was Statement 5.  Most people thought Swindon might have its flaws but in general we wouldn’t stay here if we didn’t have some affection for the old gal.  We have to admit though, the answer might have been self-fulfilling. We were after all targeting people who had an interest in Swindon’s history and potential for the future.

Swindon Civic Voice has a commitment to looking to the future. We want to help Swindon by challenging, supporting and consulting future planning decisions.

Next in level of support was Statement 3 – although the comments reflected a bit of conflict. Yes, we like this building but what should we do with it when it is empty?  The idea of flats wasn’t popular, so how can it used to benefit the town? Swindon Civic Voice would advocate getting it listed so there is some protection. But as we all know this has no guarantees.

Finally, Statements 1 and 4 both had some support but were well down the list. A reasonable reflection of the complexity of the inner town issues over recent years.

Statement 4 about further eateries provoked some diverse comments. Some thought we’ve got enough and more would cause others to close through lack of demand.  Conversely others thought this might work so long as they are diverse. And that there’s suitable addressing of night-time security.

One person spoke of this project in Bristol as something they’d like to see in Swindon:

What do you think?

Statement 1 likewise split opinions. Do we need more shops? Do we need more flats/population in town? The majority seemed to be saying a good mix would be best to energise the town centre.  Bring in new businesses by making it more cost effective for small operations to survive.

Other comments expressed in conversations ranged from having a good market restored to the centre to bringing back waterways into the town.

We welcome any further comments. We’ll collate them to influence our responses to Swindon Borough Council and other parties.

We appreciate you will have many strong views and we are keen to hear from you. But please – constructive comments only. What we don’t want is council-bashing and general moaning. That doesn’t get us anywhere. Send your contributions to:

Looking to the future, it’s our intention to be active in seeking involvement in consultations. We want to present well thought through challenges or, indeed support, as our town centre plans are released for consultation.

To that end we need to increase our membership and get out into the wider community to hear your views on Swindon.

If you think you can help then please become a member – information on how to do that here.

 And, if you want to help in a more hands on way then we’d love to hear from you!


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