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Council must act

Headteacher, Mike Welsh, is proposing a sensible and pragmatic response to a serious problem, ‘Children’s safety must come first’ (SA November 5). Mr Welsh said, “As with many schools we have real concerns about children and parents’ safety, particularly on the road near the school. That safety is paramount to us”. He also said, “I think for many schools the double yellow lines are proving increasingly ineffective.”

Mr Welsh is fortunate to have the support of South Swindon Parish Council for the safety zone bid. Having witnessed the incompetence of Wroughton Parish Council, I can assure him that not all elected members are capable of recognising or supporting action on such serious matters.

Problem parking is a persistent and serious borough wide problem which has been neglected and allowed to escalate out of control. Elected representatives have failed to give it appropriate consideration and have failed to take the necessary action to resolve it.

I believe there are a number of simple solutions which could help to alleviate this persistent problem. The police and local authorities should be encouraged to work together. PCSOs represent the local community and could be given additional powers, similar to civil enforcement officers, which would allow them to issue parking tickets.

The borough council should give serious consideration to employing more civil enforcement officers. Any additional fines, which are issued as a consequence of their employment, could help to cover their recruitment costs.

Some time ago the Swindon Advertiser informed us Swindon Borough Council would be using a camera car, with a vehicle number plate recognition system, to identify and fine illegally parked vehicles. This camera car could be put into regular use around schools and if necessary another car could be acquired and deployed elsewhere. Additional operational costs could be covered by the fines collected.

Swindon Borough Council has used tax payers’ money to create a website for the implementation of residents’ accounts. It includes a section on parking services where vehicles which park illegally, on yellow lines can be reported. I suggest concerned residents, parents and teachers should make full use of this system. Presumably, the data is monitored by the council and should help them to verify demand for parking services.

Most people are sensible and can be guided by a “carrot”. Others are totally ignorant and need to feel the force of a “stick”.

K Kane, Wharf Road, Wroughton

Time to get tough

It’s appalling that five people died in one weekend in London as the result of stabbings and gang related activity.

No use all this namby pamby treatment of these delinquent’s, that’s no good and in my opinion the softly softly approach with its single cells and iPads and mobile phones and point scoring for privileges has had its chance and has proved to have limited results.

So let’s try a different approach.

Bring back the Borstal regime. Good tough strong prison warders who make sure if anyone misbehaves they get a good hiding and solitary confinement with just stale bread and no butter/jam. Let’s show these troublemakers and layabouts that bad behaviour and violence results in instant hard retribution

Steve Blanchard, Coleview, Swindon

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