Tag: vision

Wishful thinking

2030 visionThe Swindon Strategic Partnership (which often seems so close as to be indistinguishable from Swindon Borough Council) has published the final version of its Community Strategy or 2030 vision. It reads slightly less like a socialist eutopia than the draft version did, but still remains fanciful. Perhaps it’s meant to be that way.

Rural areas will benefit as much as the urban areas with work undertaken to address issues like public transport, local jobs and affordable homes.

Presumably because they’ll have been subsumed into the urban sprawl that government development plans are imposing on the town.

The rural areas of the Borough will be made up of diverse, vibrant and economically sound communities.

Told you so: most people would think of rural areas as being made up of fields, woods and villages; for Swindon, it’s housing and communities all the way.

Swindon’s appeal will stem from having an attractive and well-equipped town that has successfully blended traditional architecture with high quality contemporary buildings that incorporate sustainable design and construction principles.

That is, every historic building will have been converted to flats, with only the original facade remaining.

The town centre will be a far more attractive place for everyone to visit in the evenings thanks to significant reductions in the amount of crime and anti-social behaviour.

So, the lollipops will work.

Not surprisingly, given his past record, Mr Bluh is ecstatic.

This important document is the ultimate vision of how local people want their borough to be. Thank you to everyone who gave their views which have helped shape this exciting, ambitious set of aspirations.

As the vision itself states,

This document has been produced with help from nearly a thousand local people.

That’s less than one percent of the population of the borough. Whilst clearly well intentioned, I suspect the vision owes more to the officials that drafted it than to the population of Swindon as a whole.

A socialist vision for Swindon

I have been reading the draft Community Strategy for Swindon which is currently open for consultation. It is produced by the Swindon Strategic Partnership (a government decreed body that oversees the strategy-document-heavy, consultation-rich, activities of the Swindon Local Area Agreement Partnership). It is called ‘A Shared Vision for Swindon 2008–2030’ but reads more like a socialist vision for Swindon.

These community leaders focus on the future and work in partnership to make decisions which deliver real benefits to the whole community. They don’t work in isolation, though: local people are passionate about the quality of their neighbourhoods and are involved in their development and improvement. Most importantly, those local people are happy to invest their time and energy to keep their neighbourhoods safe, clean and attractive….
This goal is achieved by public-sector organisations, voluntary groups and local people all working closely to promote healthy living and create caring, cohesive neighbourhoods….
By 2030, local communities are working with public organisations – like the police, the borough council and a wide range of voluntary groups, at neighbourhood level – to reduce crime, keep people safe and develop a sense of community and belonging.

Apparently, the private sector has no role in Swindon in 2030, except for providing jobs and paying taxes.