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Money well spent?

PONDERING the other day of how much our council tax has gone up recently I decided to check on a few figures. The amounts were quite a surprise to me.

If we take the top 26 positions within the council structure, from chief executive at the top to the lowest listed, the strategic commissioner, growth and regeneration we have a wildly divergent range of salaries.

Whichever way you look at it it is an awful lot of money even though we are a growing town.

For example the chief executive officer gets a much larger remuneration than the Prime Minister.

The lowest rate I could see was that of the whole list was that of the Strategic Commissioner Growth and Regeneration. Perhaps that is why our regeneration has stalled of late.

Or, of course, it could be due to the grandiose schemes for our proposed new museum and art gallery. What was is the salaries figure again £22m?

Whilst I agree the salaries are paltry against the sum of £22m we must all ask ourselves, does our town need a new and costly museum and art gallery?

Or do all the council officials get casual about money? Perhaps if I was on their income I would. But there is no chance of that.

Never mind folks, we just keep on paying our taxes because we know we are in safe hands, don’t we?

DAVID COLLINS, Blake Crescent, Swindon

Bring back smacking

My FAVOURITE subject cropped up again on Wednesday August 23.

I was watching the BBC News with Alastair Stewart. In the process of interviewing a mother about her son and daughter suffering from a milk allergy, the son was sitting quietly with his mother while the daughter seemed to be allowed to climb all over the newsdesk.

Alastair dealt with that with ultimate professionalism and, it was, in a way, a little amusing. I do question though, why this was allowed as, if the child slipped off of the desk and consequently bumped her head on the floor, or in fact broke a bone, then I am sure there would have been repercussions in some way.

The Daughter was old enough to understand a specific request, “You will have to sit still.”

Oh, I hear the cry, ‘Kids will be kids.’ Why is it we see so many children lacking the parental control that should be essential when growing up?

Bring back the days when a little smack made children behave. Now, they can tell the parents what to do, ring Childline or the police, tell their teacher etc, and subject the parents to some investigation.

I realise that there is a difference between a little smack and abuse, but to me, the lack of a little smack these days has benefitted no one.

I even hear children of seven, eight and nine years old playing in the street using language that would make any older person blush. Tell them off and all you get is abuse.

Just my views but I don’t expect everyone to agree with them and I won’t respond to those who tell me that I am wrong.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton

End suicide stigma

IN THE UK, suicide is the main cause of death of all young people under 35. Every year around 1,600 take their own lives.

National charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide is calling on the nation to join its annual HOPEWalk to smash suicide stigma and raise awareness of the support it provides to young people when they are struggling.

Since the first HOPEWalk challenge in 2012, thousands of people have walked with family, friends and colleagues in the week around World Mental Health Day on October 10. This year HOPEWalk will take place across the UK between October 7 and 15.

In past years walks have taken place around local town centres, country parks, along coastlines, up hills and down dales. No matter where you walk you will be helping your local community to start a conversation about suicide and raising vital funds to help the charity deliver its life-saving services up, down and across the UK.

PAPYRUS needs volunteers in your area. Will you rise to the challenge to help save young lives?

You will be supported by the PAPYRUS fundraising team. Call 01925 572 444 or email to register, or for more information.

PAPYRUS fundraising team

Future skills for all

BRITISH sixth formers achieving some of the best A-level results seen for several years on exam results day was fantastic news, and we should rightly be proud of these young people.

In The Boys’ Brigade, we believe every young person should have the opportunity to reach their full potential – whether this be in the school or another setting.

This year we are delighted that 50 BB young people took part in our flagship King George VI Youth Leadership Training (KGVI) course. Founded in the 1950’s in memory of the monarch, KGVI has provided over many young people throughout England and Wales with leadership skills.

The two-year KGVI course is aimed at installing key skills and developing and providing confidence and empowerment strategies while also covering keys aspects of the Boys’ Brigade training to equip young leaders to lead activities in their local BB groups.

The course provides a qualification in First Aid and Holiday Leadership. The course makes a significant impact, using their time, talent and enthusiasm to make a difference to the next generation of BB members.

Significantly, this learning experience also allows young people to show and develop their skills, regardless of academic ability, which they can transfer into the workplace or further education.

Through our programmes, we are committed to providing more opportunities for children and young people to excel, achieve and have fun.

NATALIE WHIPDAY, Director, The Boys’ Brigade