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Opening floodgates

As reported, it is only an extra £1 a month from the council tax payers to stop further deterioration of Swindon policing services, the PCC Angus Macpherson has said. Not much you may think but look at it again. It sounds less acceptable if the suggestion were for a 7% increase!

And appealing directly to the public instead of making proper budgetary proposals could open the floodgates for other services to make a popular appeal.

What about the fire Service, finner ladies, binmen, managers of council run care homes and the like? Are they able to plead their case in the same way as the police?

Great Britain is reportedly the fourth or fifth largest economy in the world yet at all levels we appear to be stumbling to provide those services which this wealth should be expected to provide. From council public libraries to the NHS this malaise is evident and needs to be addressed in depth and soon. Angus Macpherson having a whip round to paper over the cracks is not the way to do it.

ARTHUR ROWLEY, Dorchester Road, Lawn, Swindon

We’ll have to pay

Your headline of 18 January asks “Would you pay extra to stop police cuts?” and quotes PCC Angus Macpherson who blames a lack of funding from central government for his decision to ‘take’ money from the pockets of Wiltshire taxpayers.

There is no democratic decision making process employed, simply one of Mr Macpherson raising the precept to the maximum level he is permitted to by government edict.

The question asked in your headline is meaningless as no formal electoral mandate to raise the precept is being sought by Mr Macpherson.

He believes he needs more money and in the absence of any coming from central government, he has chosen to take it from a source which cannot say ‘no’. His so called public consultation is simply a cleverly designed fig leaf designed to give some respectability to the matter.

It may surprise Swindon taxpayers to be told they are going to have to pay up whether or not they agree with the precept, whilst at the same time a Government which claims to be cash strapped is giving £45 million to France (a wealthy country) to help them deal with a policing issue on the other side of the channel.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Check mate

I HAVE never voted Conservative and a recent event made my mind up even further. Although he is not a current MP, Michael Portillo has cost me money.

I love watching his programme Great British Railway Journeys and I am amazed at his choice of attire by way of colourful jackets and trousers. I think it is great for men to wear colourful clothes.

Which brings me to my point. After watching some of his recent programmes, I had reason to call out a TV engineer because the picture on my TV was occasionally pixellated.

However, when my TV was checked, it was deemed to be fine and the problem was, that the ‘reddish coloured jacket of various squared patterns’ that Michael Portillo was wearing is not really the thing to wear for viewing on a digital TV!

Although lots of viewers will not have seen his latest programmes, or his attire, I thought it best to warn people about it.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton