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.

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Will it never end?

K. KANE, (Misleading account, S. A. 19th April), accuses me of “being selective with my national debt statistics”, but if he wants to talk about “the UK deficit” then I’m happy to do so. This is more commonly known as “the current account” and is the sum total of Government receipts from taxes and excise duties compared with the sum total of payments on services and on servicing the national debt.

In 1997, when Labour came to power after almost two decades of Conservative government, the Tories were running a deficit on current account. By the time of the Labour defeat in 2010 this had almost tripled. This was not surprising bearing in mind that by 2010 the world was in the grip of a financial crisis brought on by the unregulated and irresponsible actions of the banking industry. Running a current account deficit in such circumstances is standard Keynesian economic policy. What is less clear is why the Tories were running one in 1996-97.

Since then we’ve had more than a decade of austerity, police and armed forces numbers slashed, a ten-year backlog of highway maintenance, lengthening queues for medical treatment and Exchequer funding of local government almost halved, resulting in huge cutbacks in the provision of public arts and recreation services while care of the elderly is now in crisis. Yet the Government is still running a deficit. Moreover, the Tories claim that so many jobs have been created we are now close to full employment.

With near full employment this is really as good as it’s going to get. So the Government should be running a surplus and paying off debt (John Maynard Keynes again), not still racking up fresh borrowing. Clearly the Government’s financial plan is failing us all but particularly the most vulnerable in society. It’s a depressing thought but if things remain unchanged then we are in for a neverending future of cuts and deprivation.

Don Reeve, Horder Mews, Old Town, Swindon

On the right track

I HAVE read with interest your article about Swindon Conservatives confirming their priorities ahead of the council elections in May (Council Leader David Renard names regeneration and the economy as top priorities).

I think they are on the right track in placing a focus on regenerating the town centre and maintaining a responsible attitude to the council’s finances, having balanced the books for the past 14 years.

Local authorities need to think differently when it comes to town centres, given the evolution of the retail sector, and I welcome the plans to provide more residential, entertainment and cultural space to ensure Swindon’s future success.

The council has already secured £270 million worth of investment for the North Star leisure development and big steps have been taken towards the regeneration of Faringdon Road, the Carriage Works, Wellington Street and other sites.

The Conservative Group has made significant progress in delivering its Vision for Swindon, which includes 30 pledges for delivery by 2030, and I look forward to seeing achievements in housebuilding, education, jobs and other areas continued over the coming years.

Last year Swindon saw the third highest number of houses completed out of the leading 63 towns and cities in the UK, and the council has signed partnerships with Nationwide and Barratt Homes to build nearly 3000 more.

A second higher education facility for Swindon has been secured and our primary schools have outperformed the national average grades in reading, writing and maths.

It is also worth recording that over 80% of Swindon residents had a job last year – higher than the regional and national average.

This has all been achieved while keeping council tax as low as possible. On average, council tax is £200 a year lower in Swindon than in other top tier local authorities.

Labour, backed by the Momentum hard-left, have not offered any credible alternatives, and I think we should all be worried about what would happen to our economy and prosperity if they took control in Swindon. As demonstrated time and again, hard-left policies invariably lead to more debt, higher taxes, fewer jobs and worse services.

I hope the people of Swindon make the right choice on Thursday May 3 .

Charles Linfield, Bakers Road, Wroughton

Sheer hypocrisy

What a hypocrite Swindon South MP Robert Buckland is. He says in his Adver column (April 18) that is supported the recent UK military air strikes in Syria because he wants to alleviate humanitarian suffering in the country. Since being elected as an MP in 2010, Robert Buckland has constantly voted for the UK to take more military action not only in Syria but also in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.

If such action was taken this would increase the suffering of the people in these countries, his is also an advocate for the sale and supply of weaponry to Saudi Arabia which allows them to continue their barbaric attached on Yemen of which has helped to create the biggest humanitarian crisis the world has seen for many years.

Why does Robert Buckland want to alleviate suffering in Syria whilst his support for Saudi Arabia allows for appalling suffering for the Yemeni? Robert Buckland is not only a hypocrite, he is also a warmonger.

Martin Webb, Swindon Road, Old Town

Thanks for your help

On behalf of the members of Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club we would like to say a huge thank you to the folk who have supported us with our two very successful recent events. Firstly our afternoon/evening fusion of British and Indian cultures in both entertainment and foodstuffs.

Especial thanks to Pradeep Bhardwaj and Anish Channawar and the team at the Swindon Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre in Cheney Manor for their hard work in hosting our joint fundraiser to aid the Rotary Jaipur Limb Project; not forgetting the team of Temple Folk and Rotarians working together to set up the marquees, chairs tables etc as well as the entertainers, dancers, drummers, singers, bagpiper, and the wonderful Indian chefs who provided a scrummy dinner, followed by Rotarians and their partners who supplied the vast array of British puddings and cakes to finish with.

All money from this event will ensure limbless folk around the world will be given new limbs free of charge and prove to be totally life changing both for them and their families.

The second event was our successful Know Your Blood Pressure day held by Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club in collaboration with the Stroke Association due to the generosity of the Brunel Shopping Centre management team who welcomed us to give the citizens of Swindon free blood pressure tests on April 21.

This event saw over 300 people have their blood pressure tested and now brings the total number of folk given readings to around 1,600, who were each given written reports of the their blood pressure and where necessary advice on when to see their medical practitioners.

Thank you everyone for your support and participation, for without your involvement Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club would be unable to offer this help. The club now looks forward to a day of fun and entertainment at our annual dragon boat festival at Coate Water on June 24.

Racing will start at 10am but we still welcome race teams to enter as well as more lakeside stalls and entertainment. Full details on the website

Peter Goldsworthy, Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club


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