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Cause for complaint

Could it be all local authorities are tarred with the same brush “One voice speaks up at crunch meeting” (SA May 10)?

When Highworth Town Council held its annual town meeting for residents to take over the council agenda and tell councillors what they think, just one resident turned up.

Town clerk David Lane said: “There are a lot of people in Highworth who seem to have strong ideas and opinions but don’t actually talk to a councillor, even though that’s what they are there for.”

I am not a Highworth resident so can’t comment on their councillors’ capabilities or integrity. They may be conscientious and effective.

I have noticed there is seldom smoke without fire. Most people don’t complain without being given a good reason to do so.

At their meeting the Highworth councillors discussed the difficulty people had experienced when trying to contact Swindon Borough Council. Coun Vardy added: “If you have a complaint, you want to speak to someone and it’s absolutely appalling that it’s so difficult to get a human voice. It’s very stressful for people who don’t use the internet - one woman was crying in the office the other day because of this.”

Having experienced this “appalling” service I sympathise fully with this poor woman. I only telephoned Swindon Borough Council because my online account was failing to record data. Despite reporting this on March 1 and a couple of times since I haven’t received a response. The level of incompetence is enough to bring tears to anyone’s eyes.

The Swindon Advertiser reported that borough councillors had been made aware of these serious communication problems. Obvious questions are: Why don’t they sort it out? Where is their sense of civic pride and public duty? Is there a deliberate policy to create frustration and prevent people from contacting the council?

K Kane, Wharf Road, Wroughton

I see confusion ahead

Although it’s early days, I see problems with the changes made to Junction 16 M4. One such area that concerns me is that one cannot make out the road markings for lane direction when the traffic is heavy and vehicles queue close to one another.

What will happen when the lane markings are erased by the constant traffic movement? Drivers will not know exactly where to go and that may cause conflict and possible collisions.

I see a need for the overhead gantry type of signage. That would cost a fortune and would add more problems around that junction whilst installation was taking place, so that may never happen. Sat-nav may help with lane choice if it is updated effectively.

That being said, I have not used it much, so it is just my initial thoughts. With the crematorium being built close by, I am wondering about the effect that will have on traffic movement eventually.

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

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