NEGOTIATIONS are still ongoing over the future of Swindon Armed Forces Day after its organiser Mike Buss stepped down following his arrest on suspicion of defrauding charity Help for Heroes.

Former soldier, Buss, 39, of Highworth, is on bail while Wiltshire Police continue their investigations.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland is discussing the prospect of the event joining forces with the Old Town Festival’s Family Day, taking place at The Lawn on Saturday, June 28, which is the date of Armed Forces Day.

Mr Buckland met with groups from the town who are interested in being part of the celebrations last Thursday.

He said: “The meeting was very useful, we’ve found that the Old Town Festival’s Family Day will probably have room for us and we are determined to ensure that Swindon has something to be proud of marking Armed Forces Day.

“It is still early days and I’ll know more in the next few days, but I’m fairly optimistic that we will be part of the Old Town Festival event.”

Orginally, Buss was planning on holding a golf day, beauty pageant and sponsored abseil with funds being split between Royal British Legion, The Rifles Care for Casualties and Brews And Wets.

All these events have been cancelled after Buss’ friends Lewis Barrett and Helen Wright took on his responsibilities last week.

Yesterday, a black tie dinner, due to be held at Blunsdon House Hotel, was cancelled. The future of Buss’ main event, a fun day scheduled to take place at Faringdon Road Park, on June 28, remains unclear as the Adver has been unable to contact Mr Barrett or Ms Wright.

Mr Buckland isn’t aware of whether the Farindon Road Park event will go ahead and is pressing forward with ensuring that there is some Armed Forces Day celebrations at the Old Town Festival.

Mr Buckland said: “I cannot really comment with regards to the events that Mike Buss and his associates have planned.

“It is really up to them how they wish to play it but I’m doing what I can as I don’t want to see a complete gap of Armed Forces Day events in Swindon as the town deserves better than that.”

Events will take place between June 27 and July 5 as part of the Old Town Festival.