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Government money could help town rise from the ashes

I thank you for publishing my letter on the same day as a Government Minister visited the town.

His brief, housing and communities, is overseeing the allocation of a small pot of our money (£25M) subject to towns bidding for this sum.

Acknowledging their cuts have caused problems for towns, the Government is giving town which want to bid, money recognising that town halls’ budgets are so strapped for cash none could afford to employ the expertise to bid!

The original announcement was made some three months ago, and it singled out 100 places in the country where growth was lagging behind the rest of the country.

Swindon is one of these places - do readers recognise their town as one of the bottom 100 in the country? It seems quite a slight against our town to me.

My contention is that the town’s ruling politicians are entering into a process that is doomed to failure only they can’t see it.

Today, another well-known retailer is set to close its doors, throwing more retailers, mostly women, out of work.

This pattern is being repeated all over the country.

Surely the solution is a radical appraisal of towns and how they will operate in the internet, retail park era we are in. To throw tax-payers’ money after an out of date model is a recipe for not only wasted money but lost opportunity.

I don’t have the answer to this dilemma, but I know that professionally guided residents, imaginative plans and local and national money could see the town rise from the ashes, Phoenix style.

Robert Pixton, Abney Moor, Liden

Dishonest campaign swung Brexit result

Whilst I accept that there are many people with genuine reasons for voting to leave,the devious, dishonest campaign run by Mr Cummins in 2016 convinced just enough undecided people to swing the result .

Boris Johnson decided at the last minute to join that campaign to further his life long ambition of being PM regardless of the price the country will have to pay.

All Government and independent financial forecasts say that the country will be worse off whichever Brexit we get.

Opinion polls now say that there is a majority in this country to remain close to our European friends - especially with younger people who stand to lose the most in the long term.

Sadly many good, honest Tories are quitting their seats, partly over this issue. Thanks to them we still have a chance to minimise the damage.

That leaves a rump of Tory MPs with genuine Brexit views, but many others who remain purely to follow the party line and in many cases to further their own careers.

Equally sad is the fact that Jeremy Corbyn has taken so long to accept that the majority of his members wish to remain in the EU.

Only the Lib Dems have a clear message and that is where my vote will go. Most embarrassing for Boris Johnson is that his friend Mr Trump is starting to show his true colours.

Do we really want to cast aside our friends in Europe and put our trust in Donald Trump? Can he be trusted with, amongst many things the NHS? I don’t think so.

It is scandalous that certain hard line Brexiteers try to play up civic unrest if they don’t get their way.

I and virtually everyone I know, feel very strongly that we should remain. But we would not even consider such language or action.

Finally, if we were to get the much needed People’s vote with the public being given facts not lies and leave was the result,I would certainly accept that result and await the consequences for our great nation.

Gary Hunt, By email

Grow a Decembeard

I’m calling on dads, brothers, sons, nephews, grandads and uncles to grow a beard this December and raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Taking part in Decembeard is simple. All you need to do is clean shave on 30 November and let your facial fuzz grow throughout the month. Already bearded? No problem. Dye, ditch or decorate your beard.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second biggest cancer killer in the UK. However it’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Raise funds to support vital services and lifesaving research. Sign up at

Kevin Sheedy, Former Everton FC player, C/o Bowel Cancer UK

Be a listening ear

Our next information event to find out more about volunteering with Swindon & District Samaritans is on Thursday November 11, Chiseldon House, Stonehill Green, Westlea, SN5 7HB at 7.30pm.

Contact: 01793 512490 or email: to register your interest

We are always seeking dependable people willing to donate some of their time to help us at Swindon and District Samaritans. Please come along and find out more.

Maggie Gill, Swindon and District Samaritans

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