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Missed the target

I fear my friend and fellow correspondent Martin Web has missed the point with regard to Armed Forces Day (SA, June 13).

The men and women who serve in the armed forces are a vital link in the war against terror, a steadfast support to our allies against an enemy which aches to dominate and is only held at bay by the presence of personnel serving with NATO; and they undertake tasks which reflect the humane nature of their work.

Yes Martin, war is brutal and it does cause suffering. But having a body of men and women who are prepared to defend our long cherished freedoms in the face of an enemy is something for which I am very grateful.

Would I prefer that countries didn’t go to war? Of course I would.

Would I prefer that we didn’t have to spend millions of pounds on defence budgets? Definitely. But do I think there is an alternative beyond the utopian ideal expressed in John Lennon’s Imagine? No I don’t.

We must never celebrate war, but we are right to celebrate the role of our service personnel and I will happily wave a flag and cheer them on at Trowbridge Park.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

No more austerity please

Interestingly, since you kindly printed a recent letter of mine (We deserve better) a few days ago, several comments have been made to me along the lines of “But you missed out ….” and then their view on austerity locally.

Two of the most common have been to do with the reduction of one in six of the days that the tip is open and the lack of support for toilet facilities in the town centre.

However, my main reason in writing this letter is to draw parallels between locally Tory-applied austerity and nationally-applied Conservative austerity.

The national Government would like us to allow them to continue their programme. If this means even more cuts to the number of nurses trained, or recruitment problems that schools experience or cuts to the fire service then I for one will not sign up to this austere programme, a choice activity that the Tories chose to embark upon.

For well over 1,000 days this inept Government has done precious little other than fight amongst itself due to having elected a weak PM to lead them.

Our leaders’ seem unable to grasp that their hated Bedroom Tax, unjustly set Universal Credit and imposed VAT increase to 20 per cent are making life impossible for many, reinforcing the mantra that the Tories really are the nasty party.

In my opinion one of the biggest lost opportunities over the last nine years is to do with law and order.

Ever since Mrs May was Home Secretary she has persistently supported cuts to the number of police and renewed this policy when Prime Minister.

Instead of capitalising on any reduction in crime to push back the boundaries of acceptable behaviour by going into schools and communities, reducing the opportunities for misbehaviour by education and presence, they simply cut the strength of the presence that this country’s peaceful nature depends on.

So, to go back to the original title, no, I don’t want this Tory Government to continue to impose austerity. I want them to improve matters: we deserve better.

Bob Pixton, Abney Moor, Liden

Where do we plug in?

REF: New Parking rules (SA, June 13). Surely if the government is phasing out internal combustion engine vehicles then all new builds must have a parking space to charge the alternative vehicle (electric) and as most working age people have an average two vehicles per household, two spaces rather than none, should be the norm. Unfortunately as is usual the government passes down these edicts without looking at the consequences. There are very few public charging points in Swindon. Are we going to have extension leads everywhere? The infrastructure should have been started years ago. A similar situation is heading our way if hydrogen engines are perfected and production of the hydrogen becomes cheap enough to be cost effective.

Ken Parker, Grange Park

Cross about crossing

Now that the seemingly mammoth task of refurbishing a short stretch of road appears completed (presumably well over time and budget and yet another tribute to the great British road workmen), could the genius at Swindon Borough Council responsible possibly explain why a zebra crossing is needed when the council repeatedly refuses to provide a safe crossing in Oxford Road, opposite Whilestone Way from the bus stop, a well documented failure on their part.

Rodney J M Wirdnam, Whilestone Way

Wellington impressed

Congratulations to Swindon Borough Council or whoever arranged the work on the pavement from your railway station down towards the bus station and large square. It looks fantastic! All you need now is for Network Rail to have the station clock working and the whole area will be in the 21st century. Well done all of you. A frequent visitor to Swindon.

Ann Paterson, Didcot

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