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Clearing things up

I WELCOME T Reynolds’ contribution to the letters page of 7/3/17.

For clarity, Swindon North Central Shadow Parish did not state support for the sporting hub at Moredon, the matter was not on the formal agenda. Coun John Ballman wanted to know who pays for all of this.

My colleagues and I will review the results of the borough council’s consultations. Indeed, I will organise such consultations.

My colleagues and I regard the Gorse Hill shopping area as very important for this north part of the town.

We note Swindon borough’s irresponsible decision to close this public toilet and should the asset pass to this parish, we will recommend that the elected parish maintain it as a public resource.

In the meantime we will see to it that the fabric of the building is sorted.

Mr Reynolds’ solution of “let it close and blame the Tory Council” did not find favour with my colleagues or I.

DES MOFFATT Chair, Swindon North Central Shadow Parish Council Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon

Mean spirited letter

TERRY Reynolds takes the people of Swindon North Central parish area to task because only six of them turned up at a meeting. I expect a sizeable proportion of them are unaware of the shadow parish as of yet the parish has no funds to publicise their meetings. I didn’t attend for family reasons.

He goes on to criticise a councillor for putting a motion, as he hadn’t been at the last meeting. This councillor had sent his apologies to the last meeting as he had been working and the meeting being held at four in the afternoon was at a very awkward time for those who work.

Terry also wants the lavatories in Chapel Street shut in order to act tough on the borough council. Good idea this one (not!). Closing these lavatories would undoubtedly cause the desperate and the uncouth to use the alleyway behind these toilets. People and children to and from school would then have to walk through an open sewer.

He complains of not being able to ask questions outside of the time set aside for public questions. Can he tell us of any council that allows interruptions from the public during council debates?

He further complains of the public being told to leave the meeting during a discussion on staff employment. These matters are always held in private. How would he like his suitability for a job discussed in a public meeting?

I have found the shadow council open, honourable and although appointed, very conscious of not binding with contracts those who will be elected to the parish council in May. I thought his letter was very mean spirited.

STEVE THOMPSON Norman Road Swindon

Appalling vandalism

LIKE most people I was appalled at the wanton vandalism at a local football club and a local garage. These vandals have no thought for other people it seems.

Very many yeas ago the BBC put out a short film on the action of a group of vandals in a large city. This group decided to go to another district of the city where they wrecked telephone kiosks and stole the cash within. Overjoyed they made their way home.

One of the vandals entered his house to find his mother having a heart attack, so he rushed out of the house to telephone for help at the kiosk at the end of his street.

He opened the door to find the telephone completely smashed and totally useless. The cameraman scanned his face for many seconds before the film finished.

Let us hope that no members of the vandals’ families ever have to endure such a similar situation.

HIGHWORTH RESIDENT (name and address supplied)

It’s not just about love

PETER Smith really mustn’t make assertions which have no basis in fact.

In a letter (SA 7 March) he states “Des Morgan wrote to oppose gay marriage” - I challenge him to find any statement in either of my letters to justify that accusation. However, I will happily concede that I questioned the self indulgent demand of the gay lobby to have ‘their rights’’ supersede any others and defended the Church of England to impose their own rules.

Peter asks whether people outside of a particular institution should care about what that institution does with regard to equality. I stand with him on that matter, as I would be a hypocrite not to; as it is clear, I spend a lot of my life expressing an opinion on issues which many would say have nothing to do with me.

However, I hope I am also able to appreciate that the rights of a minority, however well intentioned and plausible, do not generally hold sway over those of the majority.

I also hold the view that as the law allows for two distinct forms of marriage, religious and civil, the intent of the gay lobby to attack the church is more to do with politics than the simple desire to have a same sex union recognised.

In my correspondence with regard to same sex marriage I have asked whether it is sufficient to change something simply because two people ‘love each other’. If that ever was the case would we accept first cousins marrying? Why not siblings and would we want to return to pre-1929 days when children as young as 14 and 12 could marry? Peter may say “don’t be absurd” to which I would reply “that’s exactly what my nan might have said about same sex marriage”.

In truth the issue is about breaking down social constructs developed over time and replacing them with so-called modern, pluralistic and progressive practices. The fact is that when the gay lobby gets its way for a church wedding to be as normal for them as it is for heterosexual couples, the fight will begin all over again - this time to make weddings all inclusive for the LGBTQIA community.

DES MORGAN Caraway Drive Swindon

I fear for businesses

AFTER a week visiting businesses across my constituency, it is clear that the substitution of hard-headed strategy by Brexit bravado is likely to do irreparable damage.

Of course, a fall in the value of the pound means it is cheaper for tourists to visit the UK and more expensive for UK residents to visit Europe, which will undoubtedly boost the South West’s vital hospitality businesses.

However, I also visited a company that imports food for wholesalers and hospitality outlets. They have seen the prices they pay increase by 10 per cent. The sudden change meant they were not able to pass the increase down the supply chain, leading to a substantial hit on their business.

My visits reinforced the large number of small but highly skilled manufacturing companies we have in the South West.

Contrary to popular myth, UK manufacturing is placed 11th in the global league table and accounts for 54 per cent of UK exports.

But UK manufacturing is highly vulnerable because so many companies are owned by foreign parent companies. Why would these companies accept the instabilities thrown up by Brexit rather than offshore jobs to Poland or Lithuania?

Brexit is the final nail in the coffin of the myth that the Conservatives are the party of business. The promises of rapidly increasing markets in Australia or China ring hollow because the reality for so many businesses is their compass is set firmly on European markets. Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol are the top three cities in the UK exporting to the EU.

Ex-Prime Minister John Major has put the Brexit shambles succinctly: “Obstacles are brushed aside as of no consequence, whilst opportunities are inflated beyond any reasonable expectation of delivery.”

MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP Green MEP, South West European Parliament, Brussels

The right is wrong

STEVE Halden concludes a rather strange letter (Tuesday 8th) like this, “left wing politics is all about spending.” Given the multi-billion pound advertising industry, profoundly capitalist, whose sole purpose is to encourage spending, this does seem a curious statement. In reality left wing politics is about wealth creation being in the interests of the working people who create it, through our labour, rather than it being in the interests of the rich who control wealth creation but produce nothing. The problem with (Steve’s) right wing politics is it is all about sucking up to the rich as they pump wealth out of the rest of us.

It is all about working people working harder and harder while getting a smaller and smaller share of what they produce.

PETER SMITH Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Brotherly love

LAST week we went to the Wyvern Theatre to see Blood Brothers.

It was superb performance, as good as any West End production.

Also attending were several groups of school pupils and I have to say they all behaved impeccably.

Credit is due to their teachers who were there and to their schools.

ANN WATKINS Kendal Toothill Swindon