Former Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard has written to the man who succeeded him in response to recent criticism of the Conservatives’ record in the town.
Mr Renard was unseated in Haydon Wick as Labour swept into power in May.
His letter to Coun Robbins, and the Labour leader’s response are published in full below:
DAVID RENARD’S LETTER
I have read in the Media that you are quoted as saying that the Conservative Administration left the Council ‘in a mess’. Given that you have not substantiated this with any details, I must assume this is ideological rhetoric.
However, I feel I must set the record straight on behalf of my former colleagues who still sit on the Conservative benches in the chamber and those who no longer do, but who have been an important part of delivering so much success for Swindon.
It is a matter of public record that the Council’s revenue budget has been in balance every year for the last 20 years through sensible budgeting and making difficult decisions when they needed to be made. The capital programme and borrowing levels are prudent for a Council of Swindon’s size and we have ensured that investment has been made in infrastructure, schools and the Council’s property portfolio. Whilst all local authority finances are challenging, the external auditors and the LGA peer challenge teams have repeatedly praised our management of the Council’s finances. Within local government circles, after a huge amount of work by members and officers over many years, Swindon Council is now highly regarded. This compares starkly with 2001 when Labour last ran the Council and the Audit