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Invest in innovative solutions for town

It is interesting that you published a story about Swindon’s businesses hoping the town wins a bid for some government money to revitalise the town centre on the same day as Asktraders site reported their findings.

Their report stated that Swindon had the fifth steepest high street decline in the UK. Most people now think that the retail experience as offered by the town is well past its sell-by date and that new thinking is needed if the centre is to flourish.

However, your whole page article, and front page headline (SA, September 26), is more about hope rather than facts.

If the town is successful in bidding for government money, and we won’t know until spring next year, then a return to the current model will simply be throwing good taxpayers’ money after bad.

In my opinion a fact-finding exercise to discover what residents want, coupled with imaginative ideas about retail parks, internet usage and click and collect needs to be embarked upon rapidly.

However, from past experience it remains to be seen if the local council has the vision and willingness to invest in innovative solutions.

Bob Pixton, Abney Moor, Liden

Support families in need at Christmas time

Christmas is a magical time for families from Wiltshire to enjoy all the lovely things about the festive season – from decorating the tree to visiting Santa’s Grotto to spending time with your loved ones. But when you’re a child going through cancer treatment, that’s all at risk.

I work for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and we’ve kick-started our Christmas campaign this December to highlight how cancer can cost children their Christmas. We are now asking the public for their support so that we can be there for these families helping to keep them together this festive season, and beyond.

With the community’s support, donations will help fund CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home service, which provides free accommodation for families near hospitals, so they can be close to their child whilst facing cancer this Christmas. Your support will also mean CLIC Sargent social workers, based in hospitals and out in the community can be there to provide practical, emotional and financial support.

As well as donating, there are other ways the community can support children and young people with cancer this Christmas, from collecting stamps to visiting the charity’s online shop for Christmas shopping.

As we approach the end of the year, I’d like to say a personal thank you to everyone in the community who has supported CLIC Sargent this year. Your help and generosity means CLIC Sargent can continue to be there for more children and young people from Wiltshire facing cancer.

The first of our Christmas films features six-year-old Matilda who lives in Wiltshire and two other Wiltshire families will appear in the next couple of films.

To donate to CLIC Sargent’s Christmas appeal and for more information, visit, call 0300 330 0803 or text GIVE to 70300 to donate £5.*

Emily Waddell, CLIC Sargent fundraising engagement manager – Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Bristol

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