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We’ve been stuffed

I am always happy to be corrected by my fellow correspondents, in particular from an erudite writer such as Steve Rouse (SA, March 23).

However, my comment regarding Brexit having nothing to do with Honda’s reasons for leaving Swindon was simply quoting the Honda spokesman. I also added the caveat that Honda had been less than ‘honest’ in previous statements, the implied message being that I was less than 100 per cent confident they were telling the truth this time.

What I am confident of, is that there were a number of issues which persuaded Honda to close the Swindon plant and Brexit might have been one but Honda said it wasn’t. I have asked Honda to clarify how they reached the incredible figure of 60,000 separate import/export documents as this seemed a highly improbable figure.

Indeed Honda already completes thousands of such documents and the idea that leaving the EU will require the creation of tens of thousands more is highly unlikely.

What I do accept is that various boxes on existing forms which currently are left blank will now have to be filled in.

Moreover, Honda already completes this additional paperwork on vehicles and parts it produces in non-EU countries and sells into Europe.

Finally, Steve questions the validity of my comment regarding the economic impact of the 2008 financial crash and leaving the EU. Steve is correct that the 2008 crash had an average 1.5 per cent impact on GDP whereas government predictions suggest a minimum of two per cent if we leave the EU without a deal? But I’m sure Steve will agree that the impact on GDP is not the only economic measure.

Many who voted for Brexit cannot understand why the first part of the process – leaving – has proven impossible to achieve. Steve uses the term ‘divorce’ and we all know that when a relationship isn’t working it is often the case that one party has to walk away. The EU clearly doesn’t want to negotiate so the UK needs to walk away. The second stage is to negotiate a Trade Deal.

Sadly though I fear Steve is correct in his final assertion. Despite the most popular vote ever, the people – Remainers and Leavers have been well and truly ‘stuffed’ by an indulgent political elite – we have lost.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Tell us the true cost

You report (SA 23rd Mar) that the year’s trial period of closing the Sandalwood Court ‘place of safety’ at Stratton St Margaret for those undergoing a mental health crisis and sending them to Devizes is now over. Let us hope that the Swindon CCG and the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership will publish their findings BEFORE they make any final decision.

It would be interesting to know the following facts:

1. How many people were admitted to the Devizes unit during the year? 2. How many of these came from the Swindon area, and how many from other places? 3. How many staff (police, ambulance or other professional staff) accompanied the patients on their journey; and how long were they away from their other duties? 4. How many patients (that would have been admitted to Sandalwood Court) either refused to go to Devizes, or were dealt with elsewhere? 5. The ‘cost’ of items 3 and 4?

When making decisions about the closure of such units (especially one serving such a large population as Swindon), one must look beyond the basic financial figures. There are other (perhaps more important?) things to consider; notably, the proper, clinical care and welfare of the patient.

Malcolm Morrison (retired orthopaedic surgeon), Prospect Hill, Swindon

Quick Mc-turnaround

The contractors who have now completed the rebuilding of McDonald’s restaurant at Greenbridge are to be commended for their speed and efficiency; a good lesson to Swindon Borough Council of course which seems to think that about 30 years is an acceptable time target for any re-development.

One assumes that sufficient waste bins will be provided at the new facility to replace the existing one, formerly known as a bus shelter.

Rodney J M Wirdnam, Whilestone Way, Swindon

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