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New stadium needed

I READ the letter about filling the Abbey Stadium and how well the team and manager Alun Rossiter are doing.

And, yes, I would be the first to agree they are all doing a brilliant job but to get the stadium filled you need a first class 21st century venue to attract the crowds.

A lot of people at the moment will go to the greyhound racing and the speedway for a good night out but when they get there they are greeted with a 1940s dump.

The toilets are gruesome, the roof is falling apart, the electric supply for the hare is not certain to run - the amount of times that fails is not worth thinking about.

On a lot of occasions I have overheard people saying, ‘It’s a dump we will not be coming back here for a night out.’

Get the new stadium built - if it ever gets built - and then the crowds will come.

The average human being on a night out wants a bit of comfort and clean surroundings to enjoy themselves. A happy visitor is a return visitor on lots more occasions.

Has anyone got a update on the flat pack stadium or is it still in storage or in the corner of a farmers field in Wales?

Has it even been made yet? All I ever see is more and more houses going up getting ever closer to the proposed site for the proposed stadium - is it to be built or is it not to be built?

Please someone, be open and honest are we to have a stadium? Yes or no?

JOHN L CROOK, Haydon Wick, Swindon

Reality of our jails

IN HIS letter (August 22) John Jones speaks as an authority about our “soft” prisons, based on his years as a Prison Visitor at Dartmoor.

He paints a picture of offenders enjoying a better standard of living inside than out. I think this is based on myth rather than reality.

The “three good meals a day” to which he refers, for instance, are drastically limited by a budget of under £2 a day to feed each inmate.

Similarly, “a warm bed” is no luxury; neither is being able to play snooker less frequently than once a week, nor watching TV without choice of programme.

If serving a prison sentence is so cosy, I wonder why the annual suicide rate has increased by 11 per cent in the 12 months to last March?

Last year there were more than 18,000 prisoner-on-prisoner assaults, up 28 per cent from the previous year.

Mr Jones also wants to see the reintroduction of hard labour and the birch.

The Chief Inspector Of Prisons says prisons have become “unacceptably violent and dangerous places.”

Surely, subjecting inmates, 90 per cent of whom are said to have at least one diagnosed mental health disorder, and 10 per cent who have a serious mental health issue, to further brutality with beatings or hard labour is misplaced.

Mr Jones has, I believe, adopted a position of authority which is not merited. He would do well to check his facts before publicising such opinions.

BAS JONES, Grosvenor Road, Old Town, Swindon

Road risks ahead

ARE the members of the Government totally off their rocker or are they simply floating daft ideas to distract us from asking what happened to the rich green pastures promised, by the now Foreign Secretary and others if we voted for Brexit?

The latest stupidity is single driver lorry ensembles on motorways and, even worse, off motorways presumably.

Why not link them together and put them on rails with just one motive power unit on the front? You could call it a railway and it wouldn’t then get in anyone’s way.

If this dangerous experiment proceeds I predict this news story some time soon:

ELDERLY MOTORIST KILLED ON M4: A car driver aged 80 died yesterday after attempting to fall back into the inside lane of the M4 between the second and third vehicle of the new experimental driverless truck ensemble, after a police vehicle speeding to a reported earlier accident, flashed him to get out of the middle lane. When interviewed. for the Swindon Advertiser, the lead driver of the convoy said “I don’t think these old retired civilians should be on the roads interfering with essential business traffic.”

Moreover, while we are on the subject of cars versus pedestrians, has anyone in Swindon Borough Council given any thought to the anomaly of putting up anti-car attack terrorist barriers across Westminster Bridge (after the event!) and the crazy “shared space” at Regent Circus?

TERRY FLINDERS, Upper Stratton, Swindon

Learn from Dutch teens

During a recent visit to Gouda, Holland, my wife and I were sitting outside a café enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by.

My wife (who is never wrong of course) said ‘Have you noticed something?’ Cue frantic thought process. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Well,’ said she, ‘none of the groups of youngsters (and there were very many) – are using mobile phones while walking together. They are actually conversing with one another.’

I wonder if that will catch on here eventually.

RODNEY J M WIRDNAM, Whilestone Way, Swindon

Force feeding fears

Most people would think that force feeding of patients in mental hospitals was abolished at the time women got the vote.

But a senior mental nurse said on national radio that is was still happening. She said she had experience of it being administered 100 times.

If this is so, how frequently is it used and what are the rules surrounding it? Are mental hospitals stricter than ordinary hospitals. It has been said mental hospitals don’t get featured on television.

MAX NOTTINGHAM, St Faiths Street, Lincoln