Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Less is more in the great Lydiard sell-off

The latest twist in the tale of the fate of Lydiard House and Park has seen Swindon Borough Council caught out by their own figures.

£450,000 is the annual subsidy that's been given recently that is spent on Lydiard. It has since come to light that Lydiard and Steam's subsidy crosses over with regard to some of the staff, so the figure is not correct. The error appeared so glaring that even Councillor Garry Perkins has asked for clarification as to what makes up the £450,000 from the Lydiard and Steam parts of the pot.

And just yesterday, SBC Council Leader, David Renard has said Lydiard is not for sale.

But you can bet at the very long-term lease least that will result will be a lease. Swindon's recent experience of leases has seen control of what's provided at the Link Centre lost due to the operator running it being under no restrictions on what facilities they have to provide.

Could a similar situation at Lydiard see residents lose free access to the Park?

Meanwhile, it'd be interesting to find out how much Steam is subsidised and the cost of the failed bid for lottery money for the Old Town museum (which it seems, if a future bid were successful, SBC would continue to subsidise the museum, which no doubt would increase due to being in a new and bigger premises).

On the one hand, we have SBC committing to continuing subsidy for the museum and art gallery and to it at new premises (which would no doubt be an increased size of subsidy), but wanting to reduce and eliminate the subsidy for a current highly-regarded public attraction.

Cutting subsidy to what we currently have and at the same time committing subsidy to something we may never get.

That's orange-painted logic for Swindon.

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