Learn from Europe

I think everyone will be concerned by the critical Incident announcement by GWH. I think we should all be considering what to do to help.

Our MPs need to be lobbying hard. Making sure that click and collect for non- essential shopping is stopped. Putting into law that shopping should be done alone unless it’s a single parent involved. Encouraging sensible guidance on exercise. In other words giving clear guidance as to where its possible such as the 15 km rule from home rule used in Germany. At the moment people are reluctant to leave Swindon which is encouraging overcrowding in places like Coate Water and Lydiard. Our MPs must also lobby for increased hospital capacity as this has been an issue for years here. I think they should also look into nighttime curfews as in France. I understand we have left the EU but there is a lot to be learnt from how other countries are dealing with the pandemic.

At local government level its great to see environmental health engaging with supermarkets and looking at enforcing social distancing and mask wearing. I would move traffic wardens into help for the next couple of months, as surely people`s health is more important than parking fines right now. I have been on buses and also gone to a doctor’s surgery and local shops this week. In all the places I went there were no open windows. In Germany where rates are lower than here a lot of emphasis is placed on ventilation.This needs to be done here to, and in all settings including schools and nurseries, where I believe some progress has already been made, but still not enough. I also strongly believe that local public health officials needs to advise taking of Vitamin D and zinc supplements as a good immune system is likely to help mitigate the worst effects of COVID-19. Furthermore there is mounting scientific evidence to back this up. I also note that Tübingen in Germany has had success in dealing with pandemic so why not learn from this German city's measures which are specifically aimed at protecting over 70s.

Its good to see the hospital communication with public health and local media so well. Long may that continue and best of luck to Kevin Mcnamara and his team.

Finally, of course every individual needs to look at their own behaviour and limit contacts with others as much as possible. Certainly not go on shopping trips for unessential items. They should look after their own health and take personal responsibility for it as much as possible.

Its great to see the vaccination programme getting into full swing but everyone needs to take responsibility and work together to get through the next few months. Then we can hopefully look forward to a brighter future. We are definitely all in this together and everyone can play their part.

Jonathan Sheldrake


Unite to fight extremism

One of the phrases that surfaced from a sense of unity and support in communities in the wake of the pandemic was ‘We are in this together’. Without realising, humanity is in a lot of things together, from climate crisis to extremism. The irony is that we are not together in fighting the challenges.

The insurrection at the Capitol building in America was a sorry sight indeed. It represents a very serious and grave problem: Polarisation.

In today’s intertwined world, what we see from a distance today might come home sooner than we expect. America who claims to be fighting extremism globally, is now in the thick of it at home.

The world needs to unite on humanitarian grounds. Pursuit of selfish interests by richer countries ends up in exploitation of the third world countries. This fuels polarisation and extremism stemming from illiteracy and lack of resources. The rapidly changing, perhaps deteriorating, situation of the world requires justice and unity. It is only on humanitarian grounds under God’s supremacy that the world can unite. The head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad has highlighted this at numerous occasions.

Arfa Yassir

Lynmouth Road

Fair funding for police

The optimism of the Covid vaccinations roll out is somewhat tempered by news of criminals trying to scam vulnerable people awaiting this lifeline

Please be assured the NHS will never arrive announced to administer the vaccine and will always notify those elderly, vulnerable and key workers in priority groups to get their free vaccinations. It will never ask any one for their bank details. If anyone calls you, a family member or friend about vaccines and requests bank details, please call Action Fraud immediately on 0300 123 2040.

This cynical and harmful "scamming" is a sign of the times. Cyber crime is growing fast. Tackling this surging type of crime will be an urgent priority for me on being elected as Wiltshire and Swindon's next Police and Crime Commissioner.

So is ensuring that our Police Force has the resources it needs to tackle crime. That is why I back the proposed increase in local funding. But I am deeply concerned that Wiltshire and Swindon Council Tax payers are shouldering more of this burden than we should.

This financial failure is a damning indictment ‎of our county’s incumbent PPC, 7 MPs and both council leaders - all Conservatives and all male. They have failed to get fair funding for our Police from this Conservative Government. Wiltshire is one of the worst funded police forces in the country. I am the determined Wiltshire woman who will fight to change that.

Liz Webster,

Lib Dem Prospective Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire