TrustSTFC is calling on its members and Swindon Town fans generally to rally round to lobby councillors prior to Today`s council meeting.
The meeting will discuss two “blocking motions” designed to prevent further discussion of the club`s proposed new stadium plan, just days after the club unveiled significant modifications to the original proposals to meet objections encountered during the consultation period.
“Whatever the rights and wrongs of the club`s proposals, it is surely right that they be discussed in a proper democratic fashion, rather than any debate being simply stifled”, stated TrustSTFC Chairman Andy Ratcliffe. “That is what these motions aim to do – to prevent the people of Swindon being able to debate the proposed new stadium on it`s own merits. We believe these blocking motions represent a fundamentally undemocratic piece of short-term political opportunism, which, if passed, will bring disgrace on Swindon Borough Council. So far the debate on this issue has been entirely one-sided, it is time the fans` voice was heard!”, added Ratcliffe.
Therefore, TrustSTFC are urging their members and all Swindon Town fans to:
email or write to their councillors as a matter of urgency, urging them to reject these undemocratic motions
Attend the council offices from 6.30 on Thursday to take part in “lobbying” councillors on behalf of Town fans everywhere. All fans that do attend are asked to wear their Town shirts – lets make the council chamber a sea of red! NB we understand that spaces in the public gallery are limited, so fans are advised to get there early.
In addition, TrustSTFC is urgently attempting to contact council leader Mike Bawden, seeking to address the meeting on behalf of the many thousands of Town fans who, we should not forget, are also council taxpayers and voters!
More than £10,000 was raised at last weeks inaugural Jimmy Davis Memorial Cup, thanks in part to the many Swindon fans that made the journey to Redditch to support the cause.
In total £10,205.49p was raised, and organiser Tim Wilkes, was quick to pay tribute to the Town fans that turned out saying :”It was fantastic and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. I spoke to lots of Swindon fans who had travelled up for the day and they all spoke about how highly they had regarded Jimmy.”
The organisers hope that the match will become an annual event. The money raised will be used to help youth football and other charities in the Redditch area.
Swindon chairman Willie Carson has written to the Town`s councillors asking for more time to be allowed for the club and developers St Modwen to put forward their proposals for a new stadium on the former tip at Shaw.
Councillors are scheduled to vote on two motions this Thursday, both aimed at scuppering the club`s plans before a formal planning application can be made. In a letter to all councillors, Carson argues that the councillors should give the club a chance to submit their modified proposals before taking any such vote.
At a press conference at the County Ground today, it was also revealed that substantial changes have been made to the club`s plans which received a hostile reception from many local residents when first revealed in March. Changes include :-
Moving the stadium to the still active commercial tipping area of the site, furthest away from residential areas.
Providing access to the stadium by a new link road from Great Western Way
Retaining the existing community forest in its entirety and accelerating the growth of the forest by planting thousands more trees
The full text for the letter sent to Swindon councillors can be read on the official club web site by clicking on this link
Swindon Town`s plans for a new stadium were thrown into chaos last night after the local council voted to reaffirm their policy of turning the former landfill site at Shaw into a community forest.
Pleas from the club, the Trust, and fans generally for the vote to be deferred until councillors had at least given the clubs modified plans some consideration fell on deaf ears, and the motion was carried by a huge majority.
The vote will be a major blow to the club after putting considerable time and effort into the proposals, they will almost certainly now have to look for an alternative site, or resign themselves to continuing to eke out an existence at the County Ground.
Director Bob Holt told Radio Swindon, :”It is going to be a bitter disappointment for us all. I find I`m just a bit shocked really that we weren`t allowed to put in a proper proposal, but the council must do what they feel fit with the land.”
Swindon chairman Willie Carson and chief executive Mark Devlin have both called on the club`s fans to attend this Thursdays council meeting to show their support for the clubs plans for a new stadium at Shaw.
Two motions to be debated at the council meeting which, if successful, would torpedo the club`s revised plans before they have even had a chance to submit them to the planners. At a press conference yesterday, Carson made a plea for the modified proposals to at least receive a fair hearing, a plea that was echoed by TrustSTFC in an open letter to Swindon council.
Speaking to the club web site after the press conference, Carson called for the club`s supporters to turn out at the meeting to show the level of support for the plans. He said :`Maybe every Swindon Town fan should turn up to the meeting on Thursday and welcome all the Councillors in?`
Devlin also called for fans support saying :`I think that the forces of people have been against this have been well mobilized and perhaps some of our own fans could attend the public meeting on Thursday, to which they are entitled to go, and make their views known there. Clearly we are aware of the other side of the coin and now is the time for our fans to be heard.`
If you wish to show your support for the club`s plans there are things you can do :-
If you are a Swindonite, please lobby your local councillor:
Attend the meeting at the council offices in Euclid Street at 7:00pm this Thursday:
Email each of the party leaders stating your support for the new stadium
The email addresses for the local party leaders are :-
Mike Bawden (Conservatives) firstname.lastname@example.org
David Nash (Labour) email@example.com
Wendy Johnson (Lib Dems) firstname.lastname@example.org