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Reaping what you sow

What is it with our Government officials?

They are supposedly all for free trade and free enterprise, yet there are now moves to encourage councils to refuse fast food outlets to be established within 400 metres of schools and/or playgrounds.

No mention about the fact that they have allowed school playing fields to be sold off or the amount of physical education has been reduced within school timetables.

They never seemed to worry about the impact of allowing pubs and clubs to open longer and the impact that this may have had on a growing alcohol problem.

They are all for protecting the environment and trying to save money with their austerity measures, unless you are an MP of course who deserve a greater pay rise than those working in the public sector, yet have agreed to allow a third runway at Heathrow. Yet a second runway at Gatwick would achieve the same, put fewer properties at risk of demolition, have less impact on the environment and at current estimates will cost about half that to build the extra runway at Heathrow. And there are already existing rail links to London and the South West, including Swindon.

So surely if you could save best part of £10 billion, would it not be better spent on the NHS?

Derek Smith, The Brow, Swindon

What is the answer?

Health Chiefs are now considering restricting fast food outlets within 400 metres of a school to help combat the increasing number of obese children.

The past few years has seen the need for schools to provide breakfasts for the increasing number of undernourished pupils.

Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? I’m sure is not as simple as that. You Adver readers will no doubt have the answer or at least a take on it!

Malcolm Alexander, Swindon

Keep up with TV times

As a Virgin cable TV customer, I was recently happily engrossed in a fascinating Sky programme offering me life insurance, funeral plans, stairlifts, impossibly white teeth (just by brushing apparently ) impossibly glossy hair etc, when Sky, bless them, interrupted to show a few moments of actual news concerning something called “Brexit” which apparently is still ongoing from June 2016.

Its a funny old world.

Rodney J M Wirdnam, Whilestone Way, Swindon

Missed opportunity

I was pleased to see (Swindon Advertiser, June 28th) that half the retail spaces in the ‘Snowasis’ development at North Star have been taken up. However, as a member of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust I see that the canal line runs along the SE boundary of that site, and I understand that the proposed development encroaches on the canal line, despite the line being protected in Swindon’s Local Plan. I cannot understand how this can be so – indeed, why haven’t the developers made the canal the great feature of the development it could so easily be? There are plenty of examples around the country of this being done – Birmingham, Reading, Newbury, and indeed look no further than Swindon, where the Council actually built a section of canal at East Wichel as part of the infrastructure to attract development there, and is encouraging and participating in the developments around Middle Wichel, notably around Waitrose, where the canal is indeed a feature.

If anyone doubts the positive effects of canal restoration, in terms of green corridors, social, recreational, environmental and indeed economic benefits, Google ‘Water Adds Value’ for an eight minute YouTube clip. And please, Swindon Borough Council, take a consistent approach – you are, after all, a partner organisation with the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust!

Chris Barry, The Bramptons, Swindon

NHS is the best

I recently had minor surgery at Great Western Hospital. Unfortunately I developed some complications a few days later. Over the course of the next 5 days I received prompt, professional and caring support from the following people: GP surgery nurse; dressing nurses at GWH; 111 service nurse; out of hours GP; district nurse; plastic surgeon.

Please don’t criticise the NHS! All these people were there for me when I needed them! I would like to publicly thank them all.

Sue Fry, Swindon

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