We making our Town a greener place.

Just a few of the projects from 2020:


There will always be change and any town that has substantial developments and highways proposals will have challenges, but we are doing our very best within current legislation to deliver developments that respect the countryside and enhance biodiversity where possible.


In Wichelstowe, we have amphibian and wildlife highways under new roads and substantial areas set aside as protected habitats. We have delivered additional sections of canal in addition to those already delivered in East Wichel and the first in Swindon in 100 years. These sections of canal are great wildlife habitats, with ambitions by the Canal Trust to connect to the sections in Wootton Bassett and beyond.


We are a leader in the Natural England District Newt Licensing Scheme with applications for new ponds and habitats in Mouldon Hill, Chiseldon and Bishopstone (on the farm belonging to the Chair of the Soil Association).


All major developments have to carry out detailed ecological surveys and provide management plans.


Our new roads are providing wild flower roundabouts, verges, and miles of new native hedgerow and tree planting. 


We have participated in the new ‘Trees for Climate’ Initiative and have ambitious plans to increase tree cover to 30% in the Borough. We have substantial funds for new tree planting in the New Eastern Villages.


We have our ‘Urban Meadows’ scheme which is now in its second year, working with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust increasing biodiversity by additional wildflower meadow planting and improving local watercourses such as Rivermead.


For the New Eastern Villages (NEV) we have already purchased land and planted 4000+ Trees and wild flower plugs. New paths and cycle routes will accompany the new roads. We have a major wildlife park within Lotmead to come forward and the NEV development will feature green corridors between the development islands as well as wetland areas and one of the greenest cycling/walking networks of any new development.


The above are a fraction of the measures under way in the Borough and we can be proud of our commitment to creating a greener Borough than the one we inherited and where we have the North Wessex Downs AONB and the Ridgeway Trail within our Borough Boundary.



What's going on at SBC - we are going Carbon Neutral!

Swindon Borough Council commits to carbon neutrality by 2030 and I'm proud that I was the Councillor who proposed this important motion.


Swindon Borough Council has committed to going carbon neutral by 2030 as councillors step up the fight against climate change



At a meeting of the Full Council on the 23rd January 2020, members unanimously agreed a motion committing the Council to reduce its corporate carbon emissions, with the aim of making the Council’s estate and activities carbon neutral by the end of the decade.

Members voted to ensure the Council’s strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

By taking a lead in the climate change movement, it is hoped that the Council can inspire local businesses, residents and other organisations to take a similar approach.

In a show of widespread unity, the motion was supported by the Council’s Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Groups.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “I am extremely pleased that this important motion, which demonstrates our commitment to protecting the environment, was passed unanimously by all members last night.

“Climate change is, justifiably, right at the top of the political agenda at the moment, and this Council recognises how important it is for everybody to do their bit for the benefit of present and future generations.

“We sincerely hope that this significant vote will inspire other businesses and organisations to work towards full carbon neutrality. We all have a long way to go but the will and commitment is there and the target has been set.”

The commitment to going carbon neutral by 2030 follows a number of actions the Council has taken in recent months to play its part in protecting the environment.

A special Climate Change Working Group was established last year and quickly began thinking of actions. New parking standards in Planning will require every new house built in the borough to include charging points for electric vehicles; further investments in solar energy have been made; the Council has bought electric vehicles for its corporate fleet; installed electric vehicle charging points on the Civic campus; is investing in LED street lighting to save energy and has introduced a food waste trial to ensure that discarded food is properly disposed of.

Important links with organisations such as the Woodland Trust and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have been forged with plans to increase tree cover across the borough over the next decade.

There is more to do and work has already started on assessing available options, but a carbon neutral Council will be a reality by 2030.

Gary Sumner – your Ridgeway Ward Councillor




Cllr Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward



Tel: 01793 790814


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