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Careful what you wish

SOME of our colleges and universities are in danger of closing without EU grants, since the government have cut £30million pounds from the higher education budget. Also who will replace the EU grants to places of outstanding beauty, historical importance or deprived areas? Certainly not this government, they have only promised the farm subsidy for two years.

And what do our UK European employers, the likes of EON, NPower, EDF, Santander, TSB, Siemens and Schneider think of the British, sorry the English and Welsh, wanting to leave Europe?

Will Siemens and Schneider continue to manufacture all of their goods in the UK and pay tariffs to export to their own countries?

And what about the car industry? Will BMW and Vauxhall (Peugeot ) continue to manufacture cars in the UK for Europe and pay 10 per cent tariff to export them to their own countries? Likewise will the Japanese car makers Nissan and Toyota manufacture cars in the UK for Europe and pay 10 per cent tariffs when they can now export into Europe from Japan free of tariffs.

The 3,800 people made redundant at Honda could be like a drop in the ocean. The men who caused all of this are rich enough not to be affected, but I worry for the workers and the young seeking apprenticeships.

On a lighter note, I hope there will be enough people after Brexit in work and paying tax to keep my pension going!

David Boland, Thames Avenue, Swindon

Right to know

THE council’s decision to not disclose the reasons behind a food retailer being awarded a zero hygiene rating is fundamentally flawed for a number of reasons; not least the protection of the public.

Swindon Borough Council is not a partner to the businesses inspected by its environmental health officers and owes no duty to consider the commercial impact a negative inspection might have on a business.

That is a matter for the owners to have considered before taking the short cuts which invariably lead to a poor rating.

If a premises owner doesn’t comply with a legitimate instruction or advice offered by an officer, or hinders the officer in their work, or fails to be open and transparent, they should be penalised not protected by officers indulging in a warped sense of what their working relationship is. And to avoid doubt, an inspector is not a friend to the facilities owner!

The council’s supposed concern that making the report public could damage the business should never be allowed to trump the public right to know whether or not a restaurant is a fit and proper place to eat.

As for the almost inane comment that releasing reports would be detrimental to the business and inspection process – the question to be answered is simply one of in what way?

The restaurant is already marked out by being awarded a zero rating, which should give the public reason to reflect and question whether they should step over the threshold. And the inspection process is not, or should not be anything other than carried professionally without bias, but always with the interests of the consumer coming ahead of any reputational damage to the business.

This is yet another case of the council not being able to recognise its role as a policing authority. If The Banquet Chinese restaurant is experiencing issues in complying with legislation they need to employ a specialist company which will ensure they stay on the right side of the law.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

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