PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

Expense is not new

I HAVE just read in both an article and a column in the Adver that the £245,000 a year which SBC will be contributing to the running costs of the new museum and art gallery is a new expense.

The £245,000 is what SBC has been paying every year to support the existing museum and art gallery.

This museum is housed in a building which can only put on show a fraction of our wonderful collections.

It is inaccessible to disabled people. It has only one toilet. It cannot cope with school parties, and doesn’t have enough space for events that could make money. Its draughty old windows leak energy. It has a counter for a shop, and no cafe.

So, if the Heritage Lottery bid is successful, the £245,000 will go to the new museum instead and we will have an eye-popping - but very practical - building with room to display lots more of our treasures.

There will be school parties visiting every day to learn about the history and future possibilities of our town, and work spaces for them to use.

There will be a restaurant and a shop, visiting exhibitions, and lots going on. There will be spaces which can be booked out for events.

All this will enable the new museum to generate its own income. So, the £245,000 won’t be new, but what we get for it will be completely transformed.

JANE MILNER-BARRY, Old Town, Swindon

Sympathy for homeless

IN REPLY to Martin Webb, Adver October 19, regarding my use of the common term down and out I apologise if it upset you and may I commend you for your dedication as a volunteer to help the homeless.

However I beg to differ in the strongest terms possible regarding the common expression down and out being derogatory.

The general definition is someone having no luck. A person without means of support, destitute, homeless and penniless. The word derogatory means insulting, adversely critical or injurious.

In no way would I ever be anything but sympathetic to anyone down and out. It could happen to any one of us at any time, as you pointed out.

If my personal circumstances were not as they are I would be happy to join you in helping the homeless. No one has more sympathy for the homeless and in particular the ex-servicemen and women in that situation than I do.

Be it self-inflicted through alcohol or just the turn of the dice in life, there but for the grace of God, it could be any one of us.

BILL WILLIAMS, Merlin Way, Covingham, Swindon

Not worth a reply

ROGER Lack writes a letter 137 words long, 16 of which are insulting. He says the disasters we have experienced over the last few years are merely weather not climate.

He has lost any credibility by his use of insulting words and therefore is unworthy of detailed refutation.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon