An Adver reader claims that it would be hard for Conservatives to criticise the council's new Labour leadership as the now-opposition party caused most of the town's current problems in the first place.

John Stooke, of Haydon End, wrote: "We should show a little compassion for the Conservative opposition at Swindon Borough Council.

"Finding political opportunities to attack the fledgling Labour administration can't be easy, especially after their 20 years of secretive, incompetent and authoritarian rule of our town.

"Initially we had pavement parking - as it turned out, an idea finding broad sympathy, which Jim Robbins rightly sent to the policy committee, to assess how it could be sensibly implemented.

"Then, Labour’s success at finally getting the Oasis sorted, at last to be up and running, caused Daniel Adams to state that we are "selling the crown jewels".

"Yes, true, and from the same Tory group who “gave away” all of our town’s recreational facilities on long leases, so ineptly written that it was impossible to break the leases, even when the lessee shut down the asset and walked away!

"Next a weird motion about not selling any farmland, and this from Conservatives who, in 2004, enthusiastically pocketed £200 million from the sale of ‘Swindon's Front Garden’ for housing.

"Then something on waste collection, a vague notion about extending fly tipping regulations. You would have thought was very fertile ground but even this proved to be an own goal.

"They overlooked that the colossally expensive and hugely complicated model they now criticise was conceived, designed, and specified by them, even to the point of buying the famous blue bags and the multi sectioned new vehicles (although not enough of either) and designed a job evaluation scheme leaving drivers and operatives with reduced take-home pay, utterly demotivated.

"Whilst it has not been great, I'm surprised anything is being collected!

"And now in a recent Adver, Messrs Adams and Manro want to ringfence bits of income, this time future planning fees, to be spent only how they determine. It has rightly been batted away.

"In a saner moment, it may have occurred to them that this money might be needed in children's services which were left as “a danger and requiring special measures”, or perhaps to save some of the 40 government enforced redundancies.

"Or they may have suddenly recalled that the council tax increase we all paid last May, didn't even cover the interest on the £450 million debt they left behind?

"Sensibly, at least they have avoided a critique on the progress of capital projects, given that everything they touched was either late or over vastly over budget, including their beloved bus interchange.

"And to top it all, they even managed to screw up an important new access road into the Eastern Villages development, when the judge had to tell them it was actually a private road.

"No, my advice would be they should follow that of Thomas Carlyle, who in 1831 said, “Speech is silver - but silence is golden”."