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Short changed

GLL who oversee the Oasis and Link Leisure Centres have made the inevitable move to an entirely cashless environment. This decision being to the detriment of 50 per cent of customers who currently pay by cash (from GLL website).

Having introduced cashless payment for all activity bookings, the demand has now been extended to cafe purchases. Many young people visit independently and don’t have access to a payment card (nor are they always responsible enough to carry one). Being denied the option to use cash for a snack means they are likely to go elsewhere where cash is accepted...GLL lose out financially. On our recent visit instead of inserting the usual 20p into the swimming locker we were informed we’d need to pay 30p to purchase a locker token from a machine situated in the swimming area, paying for the 30p token via a payment card!

Not wanting any further hassle, the children handed over their clothes from the pool area... again GLL lose out financially. Rather than installing expensive token machines, why couldn’t the swimming fee have been increased to include the cost of the token and a token handed out on arrival? Or is that far too simple an approach?

GLL’s website say their move to cashless is to keep pace with customer service trends (that’s 50 per cent of their customers) and reflects consumer preferences. These perceived preferences exist because organisations give the consumer no option other than to comply with their demands for supposed progressive change. This change always being to the detriment and inconvenience of a significant number of customers.

Sally Green, Shrivenham Road

Lack of foresight

Our current political leaders in Westminster seem unable to have a clear view of the future and ordinary people are at loggerheads. Perhaps I could offer a point of view on how we came to be here and a lessons for the future.

I had a Damascus Road moment the other day when I was reading about life-or lack of it-in our seaside towns. In a flash it intrigued me and gave me insight.

We must all share the responsibility for where we are today. Not simply how we voted in the advisory vote in June 2016, but for several decades before. Simplistically, using the seaside town as an analogy, I well remember the crowded steam trains taking hordes to the sea-sides, all over the country.

Following the increased affluence from the 1970s the same hordes flew off to sunnier climes, and who can blame them given our weather! Political parties watched this shift and left things to market forces in the now declining coastal towns, leaving it up to them how they managed the decreasing number of visitors on a downward spiral. So now we have large numbers of such towns in probably terminal decline. The people in such towns attribute their plight to no one having the foresight to predict, and to be bold enough, to re-invent their towns. Consequentially, when given an opportunity to express their concerns, they showed their desire to do their own thing and seek alliances with others that may support them and who might be adept enough to give them a future. Like all analogies, this is not 100 per cent true and shouldn’t be taken too literally, but in broad terms I believe it expresses the situation today. Perhaps a similar thought process could be applied to manufacturing and the High Street.

I am sure other readers could cite other examples too. The moral of the story that as a society we need to not rest on our laurels but to be always ready to invest in our people, towns and countryside. And a message to civic leaders: Don’t take your eye off the ball. Of course this takes money: so who is willing to pay now to stop tomorrow’s decline, the market has proved itself incapable.

Bob Pixton, Liden

Angry and ignored

The agreed date for Britain to leave the EU was 29th March 2019.

But that date has come and gone and we are still in the EU. Not only are we still in the EU but we don’t seem to be getting any nearer to leaving. The people who voted to leave the EU now feel that they have been betrayed and17.4 million people who voted to leave are now feeling very angry that their referendum vote has been ignored.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green

Plastic not so fantastic

As I walk my little Westie around Covingham - he was eleven last Thursday - I remember well a photograph of both us on the letters pages when he was a puppy. He has his health problems as most of us do, as youth slips away, before we even notice it. At least to reach a reasonable age with all its health problems is better than dying young. Or am I missing something common to the human races natural instinct of genetic survival?

I refer to the campaign against plastic threatening our planet. Perhaps some of the perpetrators of this abuse should remember one thing as they litter my area. There is one piece of plastic they won’t throw away, or be found in the streets, at the side of hedges and motorways. I refer to the plastic ten pound note.Point made with the readers, I will settle for that.

Bill Williams, Covingham

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