You recently published a letter from me about the old allotment site next to Southbrook rec.

This old area is regenerating into woodland and contains some unusual species of wildlife including, so I have been told, great crested newts, besides which it is a wonderful amenity for local people for exercise and dog walking by dozens of people daily, despite the best efforts of council officers to prevent this.

This morning a dog walker told me that he considered it Gorse Hill's green lung.

This area is now under threat from development by Kevin McCloud, the chap on the television. Even worse, he and Swindon councillors plan to build on the adjacent woodland and a large section of the public parkland beyond, and use May Close as the access road.

It would be hard to put the case that housing is not needed but if green areas are constantly built upon, Swindon will become similar to London in the early 19th century, solely buildings with no green areas. In London, housing had to be knocked down to provide parks for the health of the population, starting with Finsbury Park in 1860 and continuing with Mile End Park at present.

As more and more building goes on to the north of Swindon, Gorse Hill and Pinehurst become further and further away from the countryside and we need these areas like never before.

Imagine if the parkland under threat was the Lawns, Queens Park or even Town Gardens – think how many houses Kevin McCloud could build on Faringdon Road Park.

I do not know if this is a ‘done deal’ like the Croft school fiasco but councillors have already been given a briefing by the putative developers and not a word to the public who would be so adversely effected by this regressive, vandalous and potentially illegal scheme.

Steve Thompson Norman Road Swindon

Foul on Di Canio

I feel duty bound to write to you regarding the letter published in Friday’s Advertiser from Rick Ravenscroft about our Swindon Town manager.

Mr Di Canio was always going to be passionate and forthright about his approach towards the job of managing the Swindon Town Team. It has been previously stated by many people that Mr Di Canio demands the same commitment and passion from his players, which has proved the team to be keen, alert and, most of all, wanting to play as a team. I think most people will agree some of the decisions given by the referees leave much to be desired. It is frustrating enough from a spectator’s point of view. Can you imagine how a manager must feel?

With respect to Rick Ravenscroft, if Mr Di Canio thought “it’s only a game of football”, Swindon Town Football Club would not be in the position they are today.

Please Mr Di Canio, don’t calm down, you are doing a great job not only for the team but for the supporters of Swindon Town Football Club.

John Fell Wroughton Swindon

RAF St Eval call

The RAF St Eval Friends Reunited Association 1939/1959 are trying to contact all ex RAF St Eval personnel and invite them to the next reunion which will be held at the Trebarwith Hotel, Newquay in September.

All members receive two newsletters each year and we can also do a search for your ex St Eval pals.

RAF St Eval (Cornwall) airfield opened in 1939 and closed in March 1959. It was one of the largest coastal command stations in the country, situated about seven miles from Newquay. So the airfield – could be built, a small Cornish hamlet – consisting of seven cottages and a public house, The Spry Arms, which was situated where the main runway was to be built – were demolished. It was strongly rumoured that the Norman church, which was situated on the periphery of the airfield, was to be demolished, but it survived to become the centre piece of the station badge authorised by King George VI in October 1949.

More than 1,000 personnel lost their lives while serving at RAF St Eval and in the churchyard is a poignant reminder of the past where many brave RAF St Eval personnel are buried.

For further information please contact Peter on 01271 814439, Bob on 01303 892559 or David on 01202 423292.

DPJ Lockyer Halebrose Court Seafield Road Bournemouth

Jazzy Jubilee

I read the article about the Nathan Jones Allstars Jazz Band, which will be performing at a Jubilee concert in July. I hope they have a great time but I think the first concert will be Saturday, February 4, timed to commemorate the date of the actual accession in February 1952.

The Swindon Recital Series is putting on a special concert at The Platform in Faringdon Road, using composers chosen for the Coronation itself. In addition a new piece has been commissioned to mark not only the accession, but also the decommissioning in the same month of GWR locomotive ‘Princess Elizabeth’ at the Swindon Works.

The Music of Renown Ensemble will be supported by the JTP Trust concert choir and tickets are £5 each, available on the door. The concert starts at 7.30pm. More details on

Please come along to celebrate not only the Jubilee but also the Queen’s links with Swindon’s railway history.

Julia Singleton Secretary, Swindon Recital Series

Same old story

I suppose we should not be surprised to read that the people who run Forward Swindon are going to embark on a rebranding exercise, which of course would be incomplete if it didn’t involve developing a new website. This is after all the stock retreat position adopted by many failing entities and after losing a chief executive and a marketing manager within the first 12 months of its life we should not be too surprised.

Indeed, only a short 12 months ago, the then director of economic development said “the town needs to reinforce its identity if it is to be a big draw for new business”.

For Mr Piper and Coun Perkins to present the need to ‘re-brand’ the town and improve its image is simply to indulge themselves in a nostalgia trip: They have known of the need to ‘do something’ for over a year.

Their inability to do anything other than suggest a new website might be useful, demonstrates an alarming paucity of ideas and a lack of forward thinking.

The reality of course is that Forward Swindon, a reincarnation of The New Swindon Company, is little more than the marketing arm of Swindon Borough Council and as such is very much moulded in the image of the Council – need I say more?

Des Morgan Caraway Drive Swindon

Spin cycle

Cabinet papers for 1981 have revealed that Margaret Thatcher was urged by her chancellor, Geoffrey Howe, to abandon Liverpool to “managed decline” status. So, what’s new? Managed decline status sounds an apt description for the country’s present policy, austerity being another word for it.

Manufacturing, that the Coalition claimed would help to rebalance the country’s economy, are losing 3,400 jobs a week, 700,000 since 2008. It looks like George Osborne’s march of the makers is more a march to the job centre.

I’ve just been reading Justin Tomlinson’s column (Adver, January 27) and it seems he does not know the difference between the structural deficit, the one the coalition are trying to eliminate, the National Debt, something we have had since the Napoleonic Wars and the £1 trillion, which is household debt (mortgages, credit cards etc), and company debt, which affects every business, whether financial, manufacturing, retail or whatever.

Labour is only responsible for the structural debt up to May 2010 of £156 billion, as I understand the Coalition’s borrowing up to 2015 will be £158 billion.

It’s not over yet Justin. It’s got a long way to go and all the spin one gets from your column is not going to help.

M J Warner Groundwell Road Swindon

Ed’s bedfellows

After the Blair and Brown era, which betrayed genuine socialists up and down our land, one would be forgiven for thinking that the Labour Party would have learnt its lesson after being rejected by the nation.

But when I look at Ed Miliband’s rejection and lack of support for public sector workers who were recently forced to stage a day of mass strikes, in an effort to protect their pensions against being eroded to pay for the ills of banking speculators, I begin to fear the worst yet again.

It would appear that in terms of socialism, the prospective Labour Prime Minister in waiting, is already in the pocket of the CBI and big business and has wasted no time in actively working against the party’s paymasters, namely the trade unions and the people of this country that have been expected to pay so very dearly for the ills of the bankers and speculators.

My next prediction is that if Ed Miliband happens to scrape through with a slender majority at the next general election, then he will follow the usual pattern that all newly elected Prime Ministers have followed in recent years – by hopping on the next aeroplane to America to receive his instructions on how our economy should be run, from the most anti-democratic, anti-society country on this planet.

G A Woodward Nelson Street Swindon