Whilst I sympathise with the cancer patients who have to travel to Oxford for treatment, as I had to myself in 2004, surely it is better travelling than suffering with the cancer untreated.

I would like the people of Swindon and surrounding areas to know that the Swindon GWH is making a very concerted effort to acquire the appropriate funding to have the necessary equipment installed at the hospital. The case for this to happen was investigated by the members of the Swindon Borough Council Health and Overview Committee, of which I was a member. It is a very powerful committee and is highly respected by the senior members of the hospital hierarchy.

The installation costs of such equipment and the equipment itself are very high indeed, running into many millions of pounds, but I feel sure that every effort will be made to have it installed eventually. About some of the after-effects of radiation treatment; yes it can be very trying, as I know very well, such as permanent loss of saliva glands, eventual loss of teeth and, in my case, permanent problems with the jaw muscles.

Not every patient gets the same symptoms but I would sooner have the problems I have than be dead a long time ago. GWH will get there eventually. To all of you who have to do the Oxford trip daily, keep up the travelling, the final rewards are beyond any discomfort or costs or pain. I know, because I have been there.

WM Wroughton

Bandstand grand

On Sunday afternoon, my husband and I were able to enjoy a very good concert provided by Wroughton Silver Band in the Town Gardens. We were told about the upcoming concern by a friend a week earlier.

The Town Gardens is a very beautiful setting for such an occasion and although it was well attended I think if it had been advertised, it would have been even more so.

We see events advertised for the Bowl, please do not let us forget the Bandstand which we are indeed fortunate to have. One further comment, the ice cream is delicious.

M Marsh Avonmead

Natural reaction

Your printing of the letter Rethink Farming by Kelly Slade was offensive to the farming industry in the extreme.

There are very, very strong regulations regarding the use of chemicals and antibiotics within the industry itself. Only the fools break the rules. Without the production of daily fresh milk, there would be no chocolate industry.

Due to the fact there are now so many rules and regulations it is a wonder that there is any farming industry left. No wonder so many farming families actively dissuade their offspring from following the family tradition. There are now far fewer traditional family holdings left. The young generation who do wish to get on in the industry have very little chance of starting their own business.

Regarding the fact Kelly Slade mentions “filthy farming” – farming has always been dirty, smelly and dangerous. There has always been dust, mud, manure, in fact all the unmentionable things which offend the “town farmer” and those who move into the countryside and think they can live the town life there.

Where chemicals and antibiotics are concerned, it can be many decades before side effects show themselves. Nature itself is far cleverer than we humans realise. Left to itself, it devises its own defences against human intervention. Over the centuries farmers and producers have always lived and worked with nature.

Eileen Sealey Swanage Walk Moredon Swindon

All that glitters

Your correspondent M J Warner makes a number of interesting assertions in his letter of the July 26. He refers to gold as a commodity that cannot be invested; while correct in the strict sense of the word ‘invest’, he does appear to discount the fact that gold is itself an investment.

While the euro may well have risen some 25 per cent in value since Mr Brown sold 60 per cent of the nations’ gold reserves, it is also the case that gold has risen in value by over 500 per cent in the same period.

For many of us Mr Brown’s biggest faux pas was his declaration that he was going to sell gold and buy euros, ensuring he paid over the top for one commodity and sold at the lower end of the spectrum for the other.

With regard to Mr Brown’s decision not to allow tax credits on shareholdings held by pension funds; I think Mr Warner has missed the point by ignoring the fact that the shareholders he accuses of gaining from the tax credits were in fact the pension funds themselves and by default the people who depended on dividends to enhance their lifetime fund. Mr Warner also makes great play of the ‘pension holiday’ a quite absurd term and one which was abused by many employers. The essence of the suspension of employer contributions was predicated on an actuarial evaluation of the fund and its potential liabilities. The great shame of the scheme was that no government had the courage to force companies to fulfil their obligation to the pension fund when circumstances required them to do so. In fact, many companies simply walked away from their obligation.

Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon

Hunt for killers

The hunting season is fast approaching and over the coming months wild animals will be terrorised in the countryside to satisfy a small minority’s desire to chase and kill for sport.

In an ideal world, hunts would be preparing for a season of trail and drag hunting but we know the reality is very different. Sadly a number of hunts are continuing to hunt as they traditionally did before the Hunting Act was passed. However, with almost 200 convictions under the Act it’s only a matter of time before those who think they can ride rough shod over the law will be brought to justice.

Our professional observers will be out in force this season, monitoring the activities of hunts which are believed to be breaking the law. In order to be more efficient we need information as to where hunts are hunting, where they are meeting and when they are going out.

If you have information on your local hunts’ activities or meet cards we would urge you to pass this on to the League so we can assist the police in enforcing the law.

Joe Duckworth Chief executive, League Against Cruel Sports

Jump to petition

More support is still required to get the Harrier Jump Jets flying again. Readers with access to a computer, please view the petition to the Prime Minster by going to the website www.ipetitions.com, then in the search box type ‘britishharrier’. Readers without access to the internet, please write to 10 Downing Street, London.

We must not allow the Government to destroy the country’s defence.

Remember, it takes less time to destroy things than it takes to replace them.

F E Sharpe Plymstock Plymouth

Lights are on...

Reference Mr Bunce’s letter. So the council need to save £20,000. Can they tell me why the library lights are on 24 hours a day?

Also, why was a set of traffic lights installed some 15 years ago at the top of Marlowe Avenue for buses to turn right into Drakes Way when it has never been used? They cost a lot more than £20,000. And if SBC’s short of money, why spend £130,000 on a temporary park on the old post office site?

D Payne Frobisher Drive Swindon