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Snow dome problems

Your front page spread and page 2 article about the proposed snow dome at the Oasis filled me with disappointment.

Here is an area that is ripe for development as affordable housing or, better still, social housing to help the local housing crisis.

Instead, we are to be saddled with a snow dome so that the people of Swindon who, in the main, don’t ski, will have somewhere to ski.

This unwanted development will also use enormous amounts of energy, day and night 365 days of the year. It will be a carbon dioxide producing white elephant.

However, the matter I find most worrying is the following sentence taken from the article: “Limitations presented by Swindon’s road network - the suitability of which must be demonstrated for any planning application to succeed - means that it may feature as part of a latter stage of the project.”

This could mean that the bus gate on Ferndale Road could be removed. This would be disastrous for people, not only in Ferndale Road, but all those living in the southern part of North Swindon Parish.

It would be used as a cut through for drivers wanting to avoid traffic on the Great Western Way.

It would cause massive amounts of traffic in Ferndale Road and the roads off of it, all pumping out toxic emissions and diesel particulates to the detriment of our children’s health.

It would also become a race track at night, with youngsters speeding, keeping people awake and putting other road users’ lives at risk.

It would also mean the return of no parking along Ferndale Road.

None of this is implicit in the statement but if the removal of the bus gate were to be promised behind closed doors it would be very hard to change the cabinet’s mind.

Now is the time to let the leader of the council know that we will not stand for the removal of the bus gate. I will campaign to get it kept. Write, email and phone him to let him know Can Coun Renard give us a guarantee that the bus gate will remain?

STEVE THOMPSON, Prospective Green Party candidate for Gorsehill and Pinehurst

Red poppy’s message

I AGREE with Graham Philpot and his sentiment of lives being lost in wars and his message of ‘do not fail us again’ to our politicians.

But I do not agree that the red poppy is an anti-war symbol (Poppy has real power November 4).

Over the last 15 or 20 years the red poppy has lost its meaning of remembrance and has become more and more associated with the military and Britain’s involvement in never-ending wars in the Middle-East and beyond.

The real anti-war symbols are the ones used by the Peace Pledge Union, the Stop The War Coalition and the CND movement.

But surely the most powerful anti-war symbols are the conscientious objectors around the world whose refusal to don uniforms and carry arms to kill so-called enemies can see them sentenced to prison.

And who can forget Brian Haw? The veteran peace campaigner spent a decade in Parliament Square protesting about British support for UN sanctions in Iraq and then the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He became such a thorn in the side of the warmongers in Downing Street that there were several legal attempts to remove him before he died in a Berlin hospital in 2011.

There are many anti-war symbols, the red poppy is not one of them.

MARTIN WEBB, Swindon Road, Old Town, Swindon

War is man made

A WREATH of white poppies is laid on behalf of the Peace Pledge Union at the Swindon cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday after the main ceremony – as it has done for many years.

We remember everyone, men, women and children including military, killed, maimed and displaced due to military conflict worldwide – regardless of nationality; more than 200 million lost their lives last century due to armed conflict, 22 million of them since 1945.

In the last 10 years alone more than two million innocent children have been killed in wars – wars, as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, where 90 per cent of casualties are innocent civilians.

The white poppy is a symbol of peace; war is a man-made disease, so we must try to understand the social, political and economic conditions that create war and the Peace Pledge Union works for international conflict to be resolved without violence and with justice.

JOHN CARTER, Collett Avenue, Swindon

It wasn’t an insult

RE MY opinion of white poppy wearers and the fact that I stated in a previous letter; “If anyone writes in support of the White Poppy, then my response could be personal.”

How strange then, that W Thomas see that as a possible insult’ and quotes, “Bombs and bullets may break my bones but your personal insults won’t hurt me.”

Jumping the gun springs to mind. My response would be personal but not insulting, meaning, you have your opinion but I sincerely believe in the red poppy and you, yourself will not change that.

How is a response like that insulting? W Thomas seems to be the sort of person who would cause an argument out of nothing.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton

Trolley wait was fine

WE CONTINUALLY hear and read about the suffering of patients at A&E, being “left on trolleys in the corridors for hours.” I have recently encountered this myself at the Great Western in Swindon and it was nothing like the reports.

The “trolley” was a comfortable bed on wheels, the corridor was wide, light and airy and I was not “left alone.”

I felt I was really involved - all night long the doctors and nurses quietly went about their business and in the morning helpers and visitors arrived. There was activity all around me and I quite enjoyed it.

The medical staff was brilliant, always smiling and helpful - we have let them down by lack of foresight.

BRIAN FOSTER, Shrivenham

The old are to blame

EVERY day we are seeing our services reaching breaking point. Hospitals are closing wards due to staff shortages, doctors’ surgeries closing due to lack of GPs, school funding cut, council budgets cut, the list goes on and on.

A recent YouGov survey suggests that the Conservatives received most of their votes from the over 50s with the percentage of people voting Conservative increasing as the age groups get older.

As with the calamity of Brexit the older population must take the biggest proportion of blame for the current mess our services are in.

As figures also suggest that the elderly population are also the ones with the most wealth and disposable income it seems their attitude is “I’m all right Jack!”

Hopefully the polls will continue to see the Conservatives on the slide and one day we can look to a brighter, happier future for all, not just the few.

MR A COLLINS, Broome Manor Lane, Swindon

Foreign workers wanted

IN 2016 Britain voted to leave the EU. One of the issues that concerned voters was EU immigration into Britain.

At the present time immigration laws are made by the EU by unelected commissioners.

Brexiteers wanted the Government to have the power to control future immigration. There was no suggestion that people working in Britain should be asked to leave.

Brexiteers want EU citizens that are working in Britain to feel welcome and valued. We appreciate all the work they do. We acknowledge that they are making a valuable contribution to the British economy.

TERRY HAYWARD, Burnham Road, Swindon

Catch the drivers

Awesome news for all Swindon residents and visitors. The council is now going to send cars round our streets equipped with roof-mounted cameras to catch any car parked where there is a profit to be made...sorry I meant where the car isn’t supposed to be.

Apparently the council made a £3.3m profit from parking fines last year. That should buy some better biscuits for the Board Room.

So, next time you’re being mugged or burgled or assaulted and there isn’t an officer in sight due to cutbacks, feel assured that your attacker may have been fined for parking in the wrong place while carrying out the attack and learned a valuable lesson.

ROGER LACK, North Swindon

We must help young

Peter Smith (Nov 3) believes wanting to provide homes and jobs for the young generation is like supporting the spread of smallpox.

I notice he lives a nice area where house prices are far beyond the reach of young people.

I believe it is the role of people of my age to help the young generation make a good start in life. This is what nationalism means.

STEVE HALDEN, Beaufort Green, Swindon