The recent controversy regarding the Swindon Mayor’s expenses and the editorial comment column (Adver July 23) emphasises the current need for all local authorities to reveal fiscal details that pertain to the management of council tax payers’ money.

It is also true that Councillor Mick Bray would be the last person to abuse the Mayor’s office and allowances that are required to successfully represent the Borough. Irrespective of party politics, as the editorial indicates, Mr Bray already had a decades long record of public service even before entering public office as councillor for Freshbrook.

Anyone who has dealt with Mick on a personal level will confirm that he is the epitome of competence and will surely make a success of his term as Mayor.

So it is unfair of the Taxpayers’ Alliance to single out the Mayor for criticism, when past occupants of the post, such as Councillor Ray Ballman, can confirm the importance of the ceremonial role when meeting delegations from other areas.

The answer does indeed lie with open and honest government, and that every penny is accounted for in the open forum of the public glare, so the pursuit of facts and figures shouldn’t require investigation through the Freedom of Information Act.

The current dispute between the council and the two trade union delegates who perform their duties representing union members also highlights the other end of the scale.

Let’s not forget the council staff who have lost their jobs through restructure. According to Ms Foley, Streetsmart leader, the council staff cuts have resulted in a reduction of around 3,000 to about 1,500. I’m sure that many of the unfortunate ones who are surplus to requirements also had a record of public service similar to Mick Bray’s. They couldn’t all have been leaning on shovels.

John Beale Wigmore Avenue Swindon

Weer not amused

How disappointed I am to see grown males urinating on the streets in the alleys of Swindon town centre. The covered passageway where I saw the latest pair skulking must stink to high heaven. I have no sympathy for males who are not toilet trained, perhaps with the exception of infants.

Then again drunks, drug addicts and louts are often like infants with corresponding emotional development. Hobbies include begging, thieving and myriad forms of anti-social behaviour. Most couldn’t organise the proverbial p*** up in a brewery.

I presume young males who foul the streets do the same when they get old. Male degenerates can count their blessings that they are not female. They could never imagine how difficult it can be for women, especially older women.

Pissoirs were once on the agenda. There is such a paucity of town centre facilities that I wonder if this option is still being considered? (See SA 6th June “Order on the drunks just won’t wash”).

Ms A Reeve Okus Road Swindon

Lead the way

I was shocked to read of the dog being killed in Lydiard Park recently and would like to remind people that when I was on the council I asked if the councillors would support my suggestion that dogs be kept on leads in Lydiard Park, except in the fenced off field designed for the dogs to run loose.

The council (Conservative) would not support it and the matter fell. If they had agreed to my idea the poor dog would still be alive. If it was a child that was attacked there would be people clamouring for action.

David Glaholm (former Councillor for Penhill) Bideford Devon

Milking suffering

I agree with Steve Halden in last week’s Adver that the £9bn spent on the Olympics is a waste of money, but cannot agree that some of this money should be used to subsidise livestock farmers to enable them to keep producing cheap milk.

He does not appear to have considered the harmful effects of dairy products on the human population ie known contributors to heart disease and cancer and the gross cruelty inflicted on the animals producing the milk.

Cows are forced to produce more and more calves over a six year period before they are slaughtered. Most of the calves, if lucky, are shot at two days old, the others are chucked in a skip and left to die but hey, why worry as long as people can get cheap milk.

Philip Beaven Merton Avenue Swindon