Different approach on town centre needed

I was extremely interested in some recent stories you have carried, which, when put together, point a way to the future.

On the one hand Swindon Council wants the Government to give it the money it spent on their behalf during the early stages of the pandemic.

It also wants the taxpayer to give it the money it has not made and give it money it had to spend for fixed costs.

We all know that the Government will end up only reimbursing them partially with the local taxpayer having to foot the difference. To avoid bankruptcy the Council will cut its services and put up Council tax-a double whammy with the worst of both worlds.

You are rightly highlighting the cuts in jobs that High Street firms are undertaking. Your response is admirable in encouraging people to get out and spend.

The typical response of traders is to request Councils’ cut their car parking charges and give them a cut in business rates. Both of these will result in less income for Council services leading, as above, to higher taxation and more cuts to services.

The demise of the High Street is well documented to be the result of Tory encouragement of the use of out of town business parks and the internet sales.

No amount of Government money to shore up the shops will reverse this effect, indeed, there are many units closing on our business parks. It will be throwing good money after bad.

With working from home due to rise on the agenda, less commuting and increasing click-and-collect we would be foolish if we thought things would return to how they use to be.

We need to be bold and to seize the initiatives for doing things differently. How can society be organised so that we become richer, have more free time, better educated and integrate more?

A hankering to return to the bye-gone days (of only last year!) is doomed to failure.

We are not alone in this, it is a global challenge, now that’s food for thought while I munch on my Government sponsored meal.

Robert Pixton

Abney Moor,


Wearing face masks is just good discipline

Common sense prevails, face masks do help to save lives.

What's all this about having to wear face masks is against one's democratic right.

I would have thought to help not to pass on possible germs or to protect oneself, more important than being proud.

I'm knocking on myself, but I have noticed it's more the older generation that is opposed to wearing masks when entering shops.

Many of these older people probably did their national service, or voluntary served some time in the forces, so shouldn't they be used to discipline, when needed.

William Abraham