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Dealing in daylight

While walking my dog around one of Swindon’s big estates I observed at half past ten in the morning on the corner of a street and main road, quite clearly, a drug selling transaction taking place.

I challenged the person and asked ‘why do you do this?’ ‘What am I doing? came the reply.

I said I had I seen them just pass a packet to somebody in a car and the car drive off and it was clear to me they were selling drugs. At this point the person started to circle me with a bike and said ‘how dare you question me about what I do, I am an innocent person’. They then asked ‘what is your name?’

I replied ‘what’s yours?’ Neither were given.

After making sure I was not recording or taking photos the person looked at me and said ‘good job I don’t know where you live’, and cycled off into the estate talking on his phone.

I returned home by the quickest route and phoned 999. I am shocked, as probably most people are, at this happening. Questions must be asked, and I ask on behalf of my grandchildren ‘what next?’

Name and address supplied

Parents are to blame

I am always happy to challenge much of what Coun Renard says and does but I do have to agree with him when he takes issue with Coun Carol Shelley’s opinion that the return of children’s centres would help cut obesity levels in the town.

Coun Shelley attempts to make a causal connection between obesity and the closure of children’s centres for which she has no evidence.

Coun Renard will upset as many as he will please by his assertion that it is not the role of the State to act as ‘nanny’ to the family unit. Sadly, many people assume that legislation alone can make a difference and call for changes in the law to control labelling, advertising and even regulate what time an advertisement for sweets can appear on the television.

The Government has spent millions of pounds on schemes, the net effect is that in spite of incredible levels of spending, children in Swindon and elsewhere are designated obese. Surely, it is clear that spending money on ‘more education’ isn’t the answer; how educated do you have to be to realise that the more food your children eat the fatter they will get?

A survey, published in the BMJ, looked at thousands of boys and girls aged between four and 11. The first measurements were taken in 1974, then different children were measured in 1984, and more in 1994. While the proportion of overweight or obese children remained steady between 1974 and 1984, there followed a startling increase between 1984 and 1994. The study supported the view that while energy input (food eaten) had not dramatically increased, energy output (exercise) most certainly had decreased.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive

Not ducking the issue

This letter was prompted by a letter from a Mr Chidley. Had it been published on April 1 I might have been tempted to ignore it but, as President of the club which runs the event, I feel I must respond.

1. It is the Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town which must take responsibility for “polluting the river” not the Rotary Club of Swindon.

2. It is correct to say that the ducks were plastic not rubber as mentioned in some media sources.

3. Can I assure readers that to paraphrase the boast of the US army “not a duck is left behind”?

4. It is true that a considerable quantity of new ducks were purchased this year but this was due to the generosity of people, many of them your readers, who have bought tickets in unprecedented numbers meaning we have been able, with the help of Nationwide, to make donations totalling over £16,000 to charity.

5. Can I invite Mr Chedsey to our presentation evening where he will be able to see this money given out and verify all the points above?

6. Last but not least, can I assure your readers that the generosity of a local farmer in giving us his barn means the ducks are kept dry and out of the winter weather? It is here the time consuming process of ensuring all the ducks are properly accounted for takes place. They are sorted first into thousands and then into bags of 25 - a process absorbing many hours of members’ time.

It would be a tragedy if people, believing Mr Chedsey and understandably not wanting to add to plastic pollution, stopped buying tickets causing local charities to suffer.

Dick Mattick, Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town

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