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Logical location

I WAS a little bemused by the Advertiser article on school cuts entitled “Labour Activists at School’s gate”.

Up and down the country networks of parents, often along with teachers, have campaigned around schools against the continuing disastrous underfunding of schools. This campaigning has involved meetings in schools and leafleting of parents at schools, along with lobbies, demonstrations, headteacher statements and so on.

Last May saw a massive demonstration in Bristol where thousands of people mostly parents, many with their young children, took to the streets to protest the underfunding and cuts in schools.

The most effective place to take information to parents is where you find parents, at school run times around schools. I would suggest that the anonymous parent quoted should be more shocked at the cuts than at being informed about them.

I can understand a Tory MP objecting to this, after all it is their policies which are starving schools, but a parent, really?

Justin Tomlinson talks about extra money put into schools (any extra, largely recycled anyway, was forced by the kind of protests mentioned above), but doesn’t mention the extra costs which have to be funded.

He says the Schools Cuts website figures don’t reflect the funding formula. I would urge people to look the site up. It uses the latest schools’ funding block allocation, the impact on schools NFF for 2019/20 published on the DfE website, the latest school census figures and the Office Of Budget Responsibility’s estimate for inflation.

PETER SMITH, Woodside Avenue, Swindon

Fill up the shops

This week’s 999 programme on Channel 4 featured the heart-breaking epidemic of homelessness spreading across Swindon.

Also, this week on Radio 4’s Today programme was an interesting discussion with Greater Manchester’s council chiefs on how they are adapting their town centre to keep up with these changing times.

They have relaxed the laws on obtaining planning permission to convert empty shops into housing. The areas where this has happened have seen a reduction in crime and other shops close to these developments have seen an upturn in business.

There has been a mixture of private and social developments and there are more proposed due to its success.

It is time for the current regime in Swindon to step aside and pass the reins to somebody who can regenerate our town centre with the same common sense and vision.

With sharp rises in internet sales year on year we are seeing an end to high street shopping whether we like it or not.

Instead of flogging a dead horse will someone have the insight to rethink the current town centre strategy, starting with the abomination which is the Fleet Street area?

MISS K COLLINS, Lyndhurst Crescent, Swindon