PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.

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The hole truth

Congratulations to Swindon Borough Council for dealing with 6,000 potholes in 2017. That’s 2,000 more than Blackburn, Lancashire!(Beatles - A Day in the Life, 1967). Do we know how many holes it takes to fill the Wyvern Theatre?

Mike Barrett, Springfield Road, Swindon

Collection in one place

Ed Vaizey, who Teresa May sacked as culture secretary, has joined the small band of zealots who don’t want the rather splendid new museum and art gallery.

Ex culture minister Vaizey wants our Lowry to be ripped from the wall of SMAG and displayed in the Brunel Centre.

Don’t make me laugh ex-minister. Our Lowry is 10 inches by 17 inches. It would need to have 10-foot day-glo arrows surrounding it for it to be noticed in the Brunel. I find myself in unprecedented sympathy with Teresa May.

Don’t get me wrong, Winter in Pendleton by Lowry is probably my favourite piece in our art collection. In fact I was at SMAG yesterday to see the Euston Road School exhibition - it’s absolutely smashing, by the way, go and see it - and was slightly disappointed that the Lowry had had to make way for it.

This idea of fragmenting our art collection is so stupid it is beyond my language skills to express its stupidity.

On a day out to see ones favourite paintings one would have to tour the Brunel Centre, the Outlet Village, the Bangladeshi Centre, Tesco Metro and probably the toilets in the bus station.

Surely the most sensible idea is to have a modern, environment-controlled building that has space enough for all our pictures and ceramics, and space for occasional exhibitions. Is a Picasso exhibition at the opening of the smashing new SMAG building too much to dream of?

It is my understanding that MPs have a convention of not interfering in other MPs constituencies, I hope Mssrs Buckland and Tomlinson will have a stiff word with Ed and tell him where to get off.

Steve Thompson, Norman Road, Swindon

Bigger financial issues

I HAVE limited knowledge of banking, however I picked up a clip in the Adver concerning my bank, Barclays, being prosecuted for ‘unlawful assistance’.

This arose from a loan they took from the state of Qatar as part of an emergency fundraising venture, to sidestep the need for a government rescue when other major banks were sliding into the arms of the taxpayer or going bust.

Barclays wanted to manage their own salvation and as a customer for more than 50 years, I felt proud that the executives overcame the banking contagion that was going on at the time, without relying on public support, even though it was a risky decision.

Compare this with Royal Bank of Scotland where you and I have shouldered so far a £58bn loss! (twice the total annual defence budget). Yes, £7bn just last year alone following nine consecutive years of loss. They have sacked hundreds of thousand people and thousands more are still at risk, with the slash and burn approach to bank branches. Then the reckless deal to acquire ABN Amro (described at the time as the worst business deal in living memory) and their Halifax business diving into commercial lending with no experience whatsoever.

The architect of all this, Sir Fred Goodwin, now tinkers with classic cars and plays golf, whilst taxpayers have already paid £6.5m for his personal defence and this is dwarfed by the overall taxpayer funded legal bill of £125m for RBS.

Add to this LIBOR, squeezing small family businesses out of existence for profit and huge fines for greedily entering the USA sub-prime market… and you have probably the biggest scandal in all of business history?

Whilst the executives of RBS enjoy their fat, inflation proof pensions paid for by the taxpayer, the country now sets about prosecuting Barclays! Disgraceful.

John Stooke, Haydon End

Letters

Readers letters to the editor. How to have your voice heard: PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. Phone: 01793 501806.
Anonymity is granted only at the discretion of the editor, who also reserves the right to edit letters.

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