PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: Write: Swindon Advertiser, Unit 1 and 2 Richmond House, Edison Park, Swindon, SN3 3RB. Phone: 01793 501806.

Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

Landlords don’t care

Coun Dale Heenan can always be relied upon to revert to his party political, partisan and parochial roots; something he demonstrates when he attempts to ridicule Patrick Herring’s view that landlords should be charged a business rate premium for allowing retail units in the town centre to remain empty (SA, May 30).

It is clear many owner/investors have little interest in the performance of the high street or the environmental impact created by their empty buildings. And no one can possibly deny that the visual appearance of the town centre is negatively impacted by the lack of maintenance to the frontages of the empty units.

It is an indictment of the council’s property management policies that so many empty units owned by them remain empty. This suggests to me that they are part of the problem as opposed to being part of the solution. A few days ago one long term investor announced they were going to convert the old Burton’s menswear building into flats; this after the unit has been left empty for more years than I care to remember.

Coun Heenan suggests more tax is a Labour solution which conveniently ignores the number of taxes introduced and increased by the Conservatives such as the extra stamp duty paid by second home owners.

It is clear the change which occurred a decade ago whereby landlords/investors became liable for 100 per cent of business rate when their property remained unlet has had little effect. Even if a premium over the current amount was levied it might have little impact on the investor/owner, but it would bring in much needed funds to the council’s coffers.

Coun Heenan may trumpet the mantra “the high street is changing” but that is simply ignoring the issue, which is that landlords aren’t bothered about the ailing high street, only their increasingly valuable land asset.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive

Democracy not rhetoric

Interesting Dr Brian Mathew (SA, May 30) cited a quote from Obama delivered at Rutgers University.

The quote “Of the current strain of anti intellectualism in politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue.”

Sadly there is a lot of truth in this. For too long our politicians have been able to govern the country via sound bites instead of real honest debate.

Of course Dr Mathew being a prospective Liberal candidate ( Still makes me laugh that liberals insist on calling themselves democrats ) will know all about politics through intellectual debate with their bollocks to BREXIT leaflet. Why did the leaflet not just say bollocks to democracy.

Then we have that other favourite aspect of intellectual debate Dr Mathew is apparently keen on which is the personal attack on the individual where he cites MEPs with deeply unpleasant views.

Perhaps, seeing as how this kind of rhetoric has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of leaving the EU he would like to share his incites into which MEPs he is referring to and what these views are that displease him so much.

Does he mean views like the comment “Older BREXIT voters are being driven by nostalgia, when passports were blue faces were white and the map coloured imperial pink,” implying leave voters of a certain age range are somewhat racist, oh no wait that was Vince Cable. Then you have the no polices remark.

They had one Dr Mathew, defending democracy, something your perspective party sees as a joke.

Thankfully there are still some that believe in democracy and said bollocks to those who are trying to subvert it.

Craig Halliday, Mulberry Grove

Letters to the Editor: What do you think?

Do you have an opinion on our reader letters? Get in touch.

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.