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Betrayal over library

I have received an attractive invitation to what is described as the ‘re-opening’ of Old Town Library on December 9.

The Old Town Public Library has not actually been closed since its foundation, just after World War II. What the parish is doing is to open a completely different, non-statutory, amenity that is focused on children. The already neglected adult reader in South Swindon, particularly the elderly or disabled, is to have an even smaller look-in.

I am cross that the council apparently handed the amenity over to the ‘parish’ unconditionally; and unhappy with the ‘parish’ for going ahead with plans that mean older children and adults will have a much reduced service. There was no consultation that I’m aware of but, as the parish is an unaccountable entity and the borough’s statutory library service has washed its hands of the matter, we are left with a fait accompli. I wish them well.

Old Town Library served us so well for so many decades! But those in central and local government with statutory responsibility have thoroughly betrayed us.

SHIRLEY BURNHAM, Arundel Close, Lawn, Swindon

Protection for animals

While GA Woodward is correct in his assertion that MPs voted down an amendment to the European Withdrawal on the issue of animal ‘rights’ he is wrong to suggest that Robert Buckland and the Government and declared that “animals are not sentient creatures” (Adver, Nov 29).

Indeed the Government could not have been clearer when it said there would not be a ‘gap’ in animal welfare provisions as a result of the vote, once the UK left the EU, because the UK would “ensure we have stronger protection written into law”.

Mr Gove, who incidentally has an acknowledged good track record on issues relating to animals, argued that the EU legislation was “poorly designed” and said there was “no way in which animal protection can be diminished in any way, in any shape, or in any form”. What more does he need to say?

Currently EU law allows bull fighting, donkey abuse and the movement across borders of puppies at the age of 11 weeks. The UK Government wants to tighten laws on animal movements and welfare but its hands are tied by the supremacy of EU law.

Finally, voting against an amendment or even choosing not to include a patently useless EU law into UK law is not the same as suggesting that animals are not sentient. I suppose it’s asking too much for GA Woodward to do as Ben Fogle did, and apologise for his error, or will he claim that ‘it’s simply semantics’.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Report is proved false

I see G A Woodward is among the hundreds of thousands who fell for the false report from an employee of the Independent newspaper regarding MPs voting against animals being sentient creatures.

The Independent has since published this apology: The Independent has retracted its story claiming that “the Tories have rejected all scientists and voted that animals don’t feel pain” and admitted that it circulated false information to potentially millions of people.

In clarification the Independent says its report “was not right” and put simply MPs did not vote that animals are not sentient creatures... we initially said that the Government had voted against recognising sentience but it became clear that this claim was not right.

My local MP (Justin Tomlinson) has on his Facebook page of 23rd November explained exactly what the vote entails and it exceeds way and above the inadequate EU rules as they currently stand.

IAN TITCOMBE, Coln Crescent

We are all Brexiteers

Steve Rouse gives nine reasons for staying in the EU (Nov 22) but he does not actually state that there any advantages to EU membership.

The truth is that Britain runs a trade deficit with the EU of a billion pounds a week! The EU is bad for trade and is suppressing our economy.

He talks about Britain standing alone in 1940 and Remembrance Sunday but the people that died in those wars were fighting to maintain Britain’s freedom and democracy. We must never forget or betray the sacrifice that they made for us in living memory.

We see the people of Zimbabwe dancing in the street at the knowledge that they are breaking free from Robert Mugabe.

Even a poor country like Zimbabwe takes great pride in celebrating its independence.

Steve must now understand that we are ALL now Brexiteers and he must also get behind our nation to help make this glorious opportunity a success.

MARTIN COSTELLO, Eldene, Swindon

No mention of exit fee

The EU is demanding an exit fee to let Britain leave the EU.

I can remember when we joined this organisation and at no time was an exit fee mentioned.

Edward Heath took Britain into the Common Market in 1973.

At that time he said that a referendum was not necessary because it was only a trading agreement and it would not affect sovereignty.

Edward Heath was defeated in the 1974 general election. Britain’s next Prime Minister Harold Wilson held a referendum on the issue in 1975.

At no time during any of the discussion was there any mention of an exit fee if in future we decided to leave the Common Market.

The imposition of an enormous exit fee shows that that it was a terrible mistake to ever join the EU in the first place.

TERRY HAYWARD, Burnham Road, Swindon