Borough of Swindon
Shown within Wiltshire
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Region||South West England|
|o Type||Unitary authority|
|o Body||Swindon Borough Council|
|o Leadership||Leader & Cabinet (Conservative)|
|o MPs||Robert Buckland (C)|
Justin Tomlinson (C)
|o Total||88.84 sq mi (230.10 km2)|
|Area rank||152nd (of 309)|
|o Rank||80th (of 309)|
|o Density||2,500/sq mi (970/km2)|
|o Ethnicity||85.6% White British|
5.4% Other White
1.71% Black British
2.0% Mixed Race
|Time zone||UTC0 (GMT)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
|ONS code||00HX (ONS) E06000030 (GSS)|
|OS grid reference|
In 1974 the Thamesdown district of Wiltshire was created from the areas of the municipal borough of Swindon (created 1900) and Highworth Rural District (created 1894). On 1 April 1997 it was made administratively independent of Wiltshire County Council, and its council became a unitary authority. The council adopted the name Swindon on 24 April 1997. The former Thamesdown name and logo continued to be used by the municipal bus operator, Thamesdown Transport, until 2017 when it was sold and renamed to "Swindon's Bus Company".
The borough of Swindon occupies an area forming the north east corner of Wiltshire and is bordered by two other counties, Gloucestershire (to the north) and Oxfordshire (to the east). West Berkshire is also only a short distance from the borough's south eastern tip. The generally hilly landscape is sculpted by the upper Thames guiding the northern border, small tributaries draining into the Thames, and the Marlborough Downs rising toward the south.
The borough encompasses the Swindon urban area and surrounding countryside to the north, east and south, including the town of Highworth. It comprises the former Swindon Municipal Borough and a further 18 civil parishes:
Since 1 April 2017 the entire Borough has been parished, following the establishment of West Swindon parish and the creation of Central Swindon North and Central Swindon South (styled by its parish council as South Swindon). The two Central parishes fall within the boundaries of the town and former municipal borough, the Great Western Main Line railway forming the boundary between them.
At the same time:
The council follows a leader and cabinet model and has 56 elected members. Elections are held in three out of every four years, with one-third of the seats being elected at each election. From the first election in 1996 to the 2000 election, Labour had a majority on the council. Following a period where no party had a majority, the Conservatives gained a majority at the 2003 election and have held control since then. As of the 2021 elections, the council is composed of the following councillors:
The following are the electoral wards and elected members as of May 2021.
|Blunsdon & Highworth||3 Conservative|
|Central||2 Labour, 1 Conservative|
|Chiseldon & Lawn||2 Conservative|
|Covingham and Dorcan||3 Conservative|
|Gorse Hill and Pinehurst||3 Labour|
|Haydon Wick||3 Conservative|
|Liden, Eldene & Park South||2 Conservative, 1 Labour|
|Lydiard & Freshbrook||3 Conservative|
|Mannington & Western||3 Labour|
|Old Town||2 Labour, 1 Conservative|
|Penhill & Upper Stratton||2 Conservative, 1 Labour|
|Priory Vale||2 Conservative|
|Rodbourne Cheney||2 Labour, 1 Conservative|
|St Andrews||3 Conservative|
|St Margaret & South Marston||3 Conservative|
|Walcot & Park North||3 Labour|
|Wroughton and Wichelstowe||3 Conservative|
The borough is divided into two Parliamentary constituencies: North Swindon and South Swindon. Both are seen as key marginal seats at general elections, with both having been bellwether seats since 1997 when they were created. Currently both seats are held by the Conservative Party.
The borough was one of the first areas to declare in the 2016 European Union membership referendum. 61,745 (54.3%) voters supported leaving the European Union, whilst 51,220 (45.7%) wished to remain. Psephologist Chris Hanretty has estimated that 57.3% of voters in North Swindon supported leave, compared to 51.7% in South Swindon.