I must confess I drew in my breath when I read that Swindon council was £92m in the red.

I nearly fell out of the chair when I read that didn’t include £138m borrowed. A total of £230m. An outrageous sum for a provincial council to be in debt.

Then, to my astonishment as I read on, I did fall out the chair as our council leader informs us, wthout a shred of embarrassment the Conservatives inherited no debt from Labour.

That is an about turn if ever there was one.

I, of course refer to the debt our country was left in after the last Labour administration.

Might as well keep up the good work at local level, eh Mr Bluh?

So, because of interest payments on extravagant borrowing under your watch, funding has been reduced for Swindon residents’ essential services?

After reading this, I turned to the letters page where J Adams and Bob Pixton both made an excellent point regarding the Government closing down the Remploy factories for the disabled.

This should never, ever have been allowed to happen in a civilised and caring society.

I have now came to the obvious conclusion that all three major political Parties, as well as Swindon Council, have not got the financial competence that would enable them to make a profit from a fresh airspray stall at a public flatulation contest held in a phone box.

Also, after the fate of the disabled at Remploy, I have come to the further conclusion that politicians have as much compassion for their fellow beings as Stalin, Hitler and Genghis Khan. I will add Pol Pot for good measure.

Bill Williams Merlin Way, Swindon

Fight for NHS

Andrew Lansley’s changes to the NHS have put responsibility for spending NHS money, and deciding what your local health service looks like, in the hands of groups run by local doctors. These groups are called Clinical Commissioning Groups.

The CCGs will be under pressure to cut services and hand contracts to private health companies.

We can work together, using people power to counteract that pressure, and persuade local CCGs to instead adopt policies that protect our local NHS.

People power will make all the difference when it comes to protecting the NHS locally. CCGs are required by law to pay some attention to local patients.

Many doctors involved were opposed to Lansley's changes. They are likely to be keen to hear ways they can protect services for their patients and block or slow down privatisation.

The CCG have to listen – lots of us are committed to protecting the NHS from being privatised E E Tucker High Street, Marshfield

US gun facts

I write this letter as someone who has campaigned and protested against the arms trade in this country and around the world and also to express my horror about the recent mass killings in America of the children and teachers.

Some facts about guns in America: 50 percent of the world’s guns are held in the USA; 11 years old and you are eligible for a firearms certificate in Minnesota; 300 million privately owned guns in the USA; 40 per cent of gun purchases do not require a background check; 94,388 people shot in the USA this year. 158 were shot on December 15; 231 mass shootings since May 2009.

How many know it is easier to transport arms around the world than it is bananas? Absolute madness, and guess what, one of the most powerful lobby groups in America is the National Rifle Association. Is it any wonder I’m not surprised at the shooting?

Martin Webb Swindon Road, Swindon

Thanks for panto

We would like to thank everyone at the Wyvern Theatre, for the panto. What an amazing evening, we all enjoyed ourselves, including the kids. Can’t wait for next year’s.

Michelle and Nicole Fillon-Payoux Cricklade Road, Swindon