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NEW - Ward Councillor

meetings at

Wanborough Village Hall monthly

(dates below)



I will be holding monthly WARD COUNCILLOR meetings at the Village Hall in Wanborough 9-10.30 on a Saturday morning monthly (apart from August). Residents welcome from all parts of The Ridgeway Ward.


Diary dates if you want to call in for a chat or to discuss a concern will be:

14th July, 8th September, 13th October, 10th November and 8th December.


I am doing this on a Saturday, as I hope that will be more convenient for you and if bigger topics arrive the venue is suitable for a more ‘public meeting’ style event.


“Ridgeway Ward Councillor News - for July 2018" 




MY ROLE: The Council Leader re-shuffled the Cabinet in May and I was delighted to be asked to become the Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, with responsibility for among other things the New Eastern Villages, Wichesltowe, Tadpole Garden Village and all planning and related matters in the Borough. This also includes new strategic road schemes (Junction 15 improvements, Commonhead, Southern Connector Road, White Hart etc) plus the Landscape team at Swindon (Canals, Woodlands, green spaces, new sports facilities etc) – interesting challenges!


As your Ward Councillor I remain fully able to object, or indeed to support planning applications in the Ridgeway Ward. Having lived here for many years now I have a good sense of what might be acceptable or not, but looking to the future, planning applications will come forward in all villages and around Swindon and I would just say that the first answer should not always be no! We need to ask would it benefit our village in any way – this is a bigger conversation going forward, as few homes have been built here in recent years the numbers attending our school from outside are now nearly half of all pupils and if we want village events to continue to have support we need more families moving in!


MEETINGS RESIDENTS: I do not find Parish Council meetings in Wanborough a great way to interact with residents.


With this in mind I will be holding monthly WARD COUNCILLOR meetings at the Village Hall in Wanborough 9-10.30 on a Saturday morning monthly (apart from August).


Diary dates if you want to call in for a chat or to discuss a concern will be:

14th July, 8th September, 13th October, 10th November and 8th December.


I am doing this on a Saturday, as I hope that will be more convenient for you and if bigger topics arrive the venue is suitable for a more ‘public meeting’ style event.




LOTMEAD APPEAL REFUSED: The Secretary of State today (13/6) dismissed both of Ainscough Strategic Land’s appeals against their proposals for two applications at Lotmead – one for 200 homes (now) and one for 2600+ to follow. Both were poor applications and the Planning team at Swindon Borough Council took the brave step to refuse the applications. Full costs were awarded to Swindon Borough Council! The site remains part of the New Eastern Villages allocation in the Local Plan and if a new application comes forward that is much better it should be approved – subject to the infrastructure and other requirements being met.


If residents have any questions or need to reach me, please call me on 790814 or email: for the quickest response.

Ridgeway Ward issues are updated on my website

Thanks, Gary




Outline Planning Consent was granted tonight at Planning Committee for a development of 370 homes and a 2 form of entry Primary School and Convenience Store at Redlands in Wanborough.


The area was allocated for housing within the Local Plan and despite much opposition from both residents and the Parish Council (and myself) I found myself making the proposal to Grant permission at tonight's meeting.

I have secured some important concessions as the development will have automatic traffic counters to detect traffic coming from the development via Wanborough and in the event that the extremely low suggestion of vehicle movements is exceeded, then traffic measures including a permanent 'no left turn' to Wanborough from Redlands may be implemented.

It was also agreed that I (as Ward Councillor) will work with the Head of Planning & the Cabinet Member for Housing (as well as my fellow Covingham Councillors) on the drainage strategy to deal with the watercourses between development blocks in an effort to stop flooding.

Finally and again with the Head of Planning & Cabinet Member the Heads of Terms for the Section 106 contributions will include implementation of traffic calming measures within our village to further deter rat running.

The Wanborough Road will be traffic calmed and narrowed and a footway/cycle path to Covingham will be created (the Wanborough section before first occupation on site. All of the finer details will be decided in the Reserved Matters application later and the development will NOT proceed until Thames Water can deliver both a water supply and take away sewage - both of which are at least 2-3 years away.

What cannot be stopped should be welcomed! If the place-making and design are good enough (and there is a lot of work to do to make this better) and if the impact on Wanborough village is diminished then in a few years time this will become a new community in itself.


Packed Village Hall in Wanborough for the January 2018 Parish Council meeting following their decision to object to a footpath which residents showed had been used for 120 years being made 'definitive'. This was despite a detailed dossier presented by village residents to the Parish Council they still failed to support the residents. The matter will now be passed to the Secretary of State for a decision.


“Ridgeway Ward Councillor News - January 2018" 


I recently joined Liddington Parish Council’s Community Speed-watch Group and completed my training at police HQ in Devizes. I look forward to helping ensure that both residents and drivers passing through are mindful of the speed limits. More volunteers are always really helpful in sharing the load and the same applies to Wanborough.


I met with Thames Water to discuss water and sewage infrastructure for the New Eastern Villages (NEV) development and it was again disappointing to note that they still have modelling to do (for which they are awaiting contributions from the land-owners/developers) and once this is done they will commence plans. Again we are at least two years away from any new supplies and a massive amount of work would have to be undertaken to supply the Southern parts of the NEV November such as Redlands.


I am working with the delivery team at Swindon Borough Council on the £10m project to improve Junction 15 (M4) and whilst I am keen to see it happen I also want to make sure that Badbury and Liddington residents don’t see increased ‘rat running’ when cars queue on the Marlborough Road and decide to cut through Badbury. I have a plan to see this stopped whilst the work is carried out (later in 2018/2019).


SHELAA Housing & Employment sites: Swindon Borough Council requested that land owners / developers come forward with potential sites for housing and employment land – this was due to come to Parishes in November however the site assessments were not done and I asked SBC that the consultation be delayed until they are fully assessed – there I no point worrying residents with what ‘might’ happen near to their home or village when it may not even be a remote possibility.


Southern Connector Road: An indicative ‘preferred route’ is now published and SBC are looking for comments. This should be a positive benefit for residents as it will form a ‘bypass’ for traffic from the new 8-10,000 home development – HOWEVER – the road is currently planned as a single carriageway which I think is a mistake and it should be built as a dual carriageway. If the road does not have the capacity required then traffic will still ‘rat run’ through our villages. Please support me on this and send comments by email to – in West Swindon they regret daily that Thamesdown Drive just stops! 


RESIDENTS ISSUES: If residents have any village or Ward related issues please come to me directly – there is not a great opportunity to interact at Parish meetings and I’m always happy to take a call or your email and I will do my very best to help.


“Superfast Broadband is available in Wanborough & Liddington. Register at - speeds of min 24mbps guaranteed where service is provided.


Packed Village Hall in Liddington 4th October 2017 - a really positive meeting organised by the Parish Council - some lovely, constructive and well organised engagement where we discussed topics including Community Speedwatch, dog fouling, Neighbourhood Plans, highways 


“Pumphouse Lane - Badbury”


Residents contacted me as the drainage pipes had been broken, the narrow banks of teh lane were overgrown and the wrong types of vehicles were using it!


“Problem Solved - Pumphouse Lane in Badbury"


Following months of work we have had the lane widened thanks to the farmer who owns one side of the bank. Swindon Borough Council have installed new drainage pipes, new warning markers and new signage at the lane entrance. 



Gary Sumner

Ridgeway Ward



Tel: 01793 790814


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