Today saw the Labour Party launch its local election campaign here in Swindon. As a local party we have been working closely with our local Co-operative Party to develop our campaigning on a number of local issues such as improving the local economy and tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

I’m proud to be a Labour & Co-operative Councillor and Leader of our Group on the Council. My representation of both parties informs the approach we take, and the change that we want to see if we win control of the council in May.

If elected we will take forward our version of the Preston model, which we have imaginatively called the Swindon Model. We have outlined our five key pledges, and one is for a Stronger Local Economy where local businesses are supported and we ensure that the wealth we create in Swindon is retained in Swindon for the benefit of residents.

The Conservative Government is making things hard for people in Swindon and for too long, the Conservative council in the town haven’t been listening to residents, haven’t taken their views on board and have paid lip service to consultation exercises. For too long, they have failed to invest in the town.

It is time for a change, time for a new approach for Swindon, and time for a Labour & Co-operative run Council. It is time because Swindon deserves better.