What regeneration will Swindon get for £4.5M?

And how much direction to that regeneration will £150,000 buy? I ask those questions because £150,000 is roughly the size of the ‘package’ being offered for the chief executive of the replacement to the New Swindon Company.

  • £120,000 salary
  • £15,000 bonus
  • Removal and storage costs
  • Up to £4290 for temporary accommodation
  • 6 months weekly travel costs
  • Legal & estate agents fees plus stamp duty
  • £750 for ‘adaptations in the home’
  • Up to £8000 for relocation expenses

That’s roughly 10% of the new company’s budget of roughly £4.5M over 5 years going to its chief executive’s pay.

According to Mr Bluh

This is an exciting opportunity to lead and direct the regeneration and transition of Swindon, placing it on the national and international stage as a location open to inward investment.

Unfortunately Mr Bluh has been saying much the same thing for many years. There’s been far too much talk of visions, leadership and direction, but a woefully small amount of action, even allowing for the havoc wreaked upon the regeneration plans by the poor state of the economy.

We are seeking someone who has the appropriate leadership and entrepreneurial qualities and the ability to gain the support of public and private sector investors and the local community to deliver success.

‘Deliver success’? And whose version of success will that be? Surely it should be for this new company to support the public/local community and private sector investors to deliver success, not the other way round.

This is a pivotal time to shape the future of Swindon and in the process make your mark.

And that mark needs to be something considerably better than decorated hoardings around demolition sites, which is just about the only mark the New Swindon Company has left on the town.

This new company has a long list of things to do. It includes some such as a ‘University project’ that should be dead with the current state of government finance. Roughly £1.3M of our money is to be spent in the company’s first year, and a total of roughly £4.5M over five years, with a mission:

To deliver prosperity and a town everyone can be proud of.

Given the parlous state of public sector finances — both nationally and locally — we need to get considerably better value for our money than the regeneration has been so far.