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An odd decision

HOW very odd that SBC has announced the end of its relationship with Muse, the company charged with regenerating the town centre and, in particular, the Kimmerfield Development.

It hardly seems seven years ago that Coun Garry Perkins (Con, Shaw and Nine Elms), cabinet member for economics and deputy leader, said: “It’s great, the fact this development is going ahead in spite of the economic state of the country.

But, as ever with Coun Perkins, his verbosity knew no bounds and he continued: “It’s a lot bigger than Modus (the failed £250m development of Granville Street).

“That was purely a shopping development. This isn’t. This is an office regeneration. There will be shopping in it, but not to compete with the town centre.

Coun Perkins continued: “It will uplift the town centre completely. It’s the biggest development there’s ever been in Swindon. Seriously.”

Let me remind readers what Coun Perkins said in 2015: “Whalebridge was the end of the first phase of the Kimmerfield development and meant the rest of it could start.”

The truth of the matter is that 2011 claims that “up to 450 homes will be created in the area, 150,000sq ft of retail space, and 650,000sq ft of office space” have proven to be pie in the sky.

I can’t help but think the next announcement will be that Forward Swindon will take over the development.

If they do, the people of Swindon will remind Coun Perkins of the words of its former chief executive development director Chris Hitchings who was asked if there’s actually enough demand to warrant such a huge investment and said: “It’s like that film with Kevin Costner – build it and they will come.

“There is demand out there, but we’ve got to make the circumstances right for people to be in the town centre.”

Still, a new museum and art gallery will make all the difference.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Plea to the tailgaters

IS THERE anything worse on our roads than the tailgater, the idiot who doesn’t think any journey is complete until they’ve read the label on the back of your shirt collar?

No matter where you are at any time of day you’ll find them. I live next to Thamesdown Drive, one of the worst stretches of road in Wiltshire. It can be loosely described as two miles of traffic lights with an imbecile in every fifth car.

Even when the traffic is clearly heading towards yet another red light and most sensible people start slowing down, you’ll get the ridiculous moron who comes screaming up behind you and then overtakes or changes lanes with impatience.

Three seconds later you’re sitting right next to them and they’ve gained nothing. Brilliant.

You have the 4x4 drivers who aren’t satisfied until they’ve left their tyre tracks on your rear window (school run mums are by far the worst 4x4 drivers).

On fairly quiet country roads, like the Rockley road to Marlborough, you’ll have a clear road in front and behind as far as you can see. Suddenly a car will appear behind you as close as they can get and they just sit there.

They could easily drop back a bit but no, for some reason the herd instinct takes over and they will stay six feet behind you without overtaking for the whole journey.

I drove back from Chiseldon at night recently and a huge 4x4 came right up behind me in the dark with its ultra bright headlights beaming straight into my car.

I couldn’t see anything in any direction. Having a normal sized car (we don’t all need three-ton beasts to go to the supermarket) I was sitting at the level of their headlights because their vehicle was so much higher than mine. Deadly.

I’m not sure what these people expect when they get so close to another vehicle. No matter how close you get to a car you can’t levitate over it and you can’t make it evaporate.

You’re just putting lives at risk and making the driver that you’re tailgating either very nervous or very angry.

ROGER LACK, North Swindon

Humans are parasites

RE SATURDAY’S Swindon Advertiser, December 2. I agree with Mrs Giles about sentences given out to those who would harm animals and that they should be severe.

I will say that we hear of sadistic humans who perform cruelty on animals. I read once in a newspaper about someone who put a dog in a microwave and another in a washing machine. The sentences given were pitiful and not what I would have given if I had the power to do so.

The current trend is to say that animals have no feelings. The people who think this have no feelings themselves but would soon find they have if put to the same treatment.

All animals have feelings like human beings, even nasty ones.

The foxhunting class is a perfect sadistic clan, pursuing a defenceless fox with a pack of hounds. It would be good for them to be pursued by a pack of hounds and see how would it affect their feelings.

Or would they feel no pain, as they think the animals they chase do not experience the pain as they are torn to pieces.

As for human beings, my opinion is that we are parasites on the surface of the earth. We are the only species that kills for the sake of killing, not for food, just for sadistic pleasure. The only difference is animals kill for food.

On the subject of feelings, all animals have feelings, in fact all living things do.

Nasty people should consider animals are not there for their sadistic pleasures and sentences should be very harsh indeed.

FRANCIS REED, Pinehurst, Swindon

Do the crime, serve time

I KNOW we all make mistakes, some more serious than others. But I was taken back when I read that a family was going to appeal against a 10-month suspended prison sentence given to their daughter.

Their legal team said she was too intelligent to go to jail.

The 24-year-old Oxford University student was found guilty of stabbing her boyfriend in the leg with a knife while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

They said a prison sentence would ruin her chances of becoming a heart surgeon. To me, that’s equivalent to a young lady whose aspirations are to become a top super model, but first wanted to try her hand at boxing.

Surely overturning the sentence could set a dangerous precedent. No matter if you are rich, poor, super intelligent or intellectually challenged, you do the crime you serve the time.

WILLIAM ABRAHAM, Rodbourne, Swindon

This isn’t real Brexit

A SERIES of weak governments in Britain has seen Germany rise and Britain gradually get weaker, both economically and politically.

I was there after the Second World War. The 5th Royal Tank Regiment was stationed at Bergen-Belson Concentration Camp in Germany. I witnessed just how badly the people in Belson had been treated. The British occupying force was stationed in Germany to stop it rising again.

It was years of weak government in Britain that led to the terrible mistake of Britain joining the Common Market in 1973. Now in 2017 it seems that the Germans are the ones giving out the orders and telling us what to do.

Theresa May now wants Regulatory Alignment, which means that the EU will still be making the laws of Britain long after we officially leave the EU.

If Britain accepts Regulatory Alignment with all EU Laws this is not in any real sense a genuine leaving of the EU. This is not Brexit.

TERRY HAYWARD, Burnham Road, Swindon

Share out wealth

I READ that Bill Gates is worth £66.5bn. While it is commendable that he has donated £1bn to various projects around the world and vows to continue to do so, can it really be acceptable that one person can amass such a vast amount of wealth while at the same time millions of people around the world live in extreme poverty and many others are dying from preventable illness and disease?

MARTIN WEBB, Swindon Road, Old Town, Swindon

Shame on voters

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have published their latest report on poverty and it is grim reading for many.

Almost 400,000 children and 300,000 pensioners have been plunged into poverty over the last four years. These were the first sustained increases for 20 years.

This is down to the ruthless Conservatives and their savage austerity policy.

Alas, though, they are only representing the people who voted them in and it is those Conservative supporters who must take the blame for this.

What sort of society do we live in when we are happy for so many people to live in poverty and to see our services like the NHS and emergency services so underfunded they are at breaking point.

Sleep well voters. Shame on you all.

A COLLINS, Broome Manor Lane, Swindon

Crossing brings cheer

Bravo on the opening of The Crossing in the town centre. At last something to cheer about in our dreary and desolate town centre.

Knowing our council like we do, though, they will probably counter this excellent project by doing something stupid like increasing car park prices that will put even more people off visiting the town centre.

K COLLINS, Lyndhurst Crescent, Swindon

Bumpy ride ahead

Our so-called special relationship with America will continue in spite of Trump’s tantrums.

After all, previous American presidents have not exactly been unblemished specimens. If we tag along with the biggest boy in the world’s playground, it will on occasion be a bumpy ride. Fasten your seatbelts.

MAX NOTTINGHAM, St Faith’s Street, Lincoln