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It makes you cringe

You can always rely on Coun Garry Perkins for a cringe worthy quote and his latest pronouncement is so typical of him. According to Coun Perkins, “Any decision to invest goes through a rigorous process of examination by officers and members” (SA 2 Dec). In this case he is talking about the decision to ‘spend’ another £4.9 million of taxpayer’s money on the Carriage Works.

Sadly, the council’s officers and members have a woeful record of scrutinising investment decisions. Who can forget Coun Perkins falling for the line ‘Give me £450k and I’ll give you a share of the £700k net profit made on a turnover of £1million’? Yes that was Digital City and for the record the £400k plus 20% interest has never been repaid to the council despite Coun Perkin’s assurance and the assurance given by council officers.

Let’s look at the ‘investment’ in UK Broadband which was going to provide a source of revenue, or the £1m given to its sister company UKBNetwork, which was also going to provide an income stream – perhaps Coun Perkins can confirm exactly how much income SBC has received for its investment.

I’m sure we can all recall Coun Perkins who when the council bought a £15 million car park, said “We see this car park as an investment in the future” and furthermore “car parks always turned in a profit, and 10 years would not be an unreasonable timescale in which to recoup the £15m price tag”.

Latest figures suggest that as ever Coun Perkins is guilty of what consultants hired by SBC refer to as being “Overly driven by a preferred vision and then subject to optimistic assumptions to demonstrate viability”.

In essence, Coun Perkins and the current administration treat Swindon residents as cash cows, critics as fools and indulge themselves with fanciful ideas for which they always exaggerate the benefits and underestimate the costs.

I suggest that the administration takes to heart the views of North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson and dispenses with the anachronism that is Forward Swindon, which is an impediment to progress in the town.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

We shouldn’t pay

Terry Hayward tells us (Dec 1) that when we joined the Common Market in 1973 there was no mention by Edward Heath of an enormous exit fee should we ever decide to leave.

The reason for this is that the exit fee was only recently created by the EU to blackmail Britain during negotiations over a possible future trade deal.

The exit fee has no legal basis whatsoever. In none of the EU Treaties is there any mention of an exit fee.

The latest estimate is that the EU is demanding £50 billion from Britain. We should not be paying a penny of it. The EU are simply using this money to buy time before the failed EU project ultimately collapses.

Britain runs a trade deficit with the EU of a billion pounds a week. The EU is bad for trade and is suppressing our economy.

The UK Independence Party is the only party that says Britain should not be paying any of this exit fee to leave the EU. It is outrageous that our weak and spineless pro-EU Prime Minister is prepared to saddle this burden on generations to come when the £50bn should be spent on more police, border controls and the NHS.

Martin Costello, Eldene, Swindon

Where is my future?

I WOULD like to ask all those who support Brexit, where does my future lie?

I will graduate from university with a degree in engineering in June 2019. By then the UK will be out of the EU.

I am totally confused that all my hard work to earn this degree will be wasted. When I enrolled in the university for this course in 2015, I was quite hopeful that once graduated, at first I would try to gain employment in my home town.

If unsuccessful, I hoped to work for a few years in London or Birmingham, or, If plan A, doesn’t succeed, plan B was to go to Germany or any other European country.

As a graduate with no experience, it is quite hard to gain employment in engineering. Moreover, I discovered recently that the ERASMUS program will no longer be available to British students.

Similarly, I have been told by my classmates that for research opportunities in EU countries, British students will not be favoured after 2019.

Do the Brexiters know what they are doing?

FRED QUINN, Old Town, Swindon

We all have a say

I WAS interested to read Alan Spencer’s letter,” we should walk away.”

In the first paragraph he contradicts himself. He says in the first referendum we were not told the EU was just a trade agreement.

He goes on to write he voted to stay out (it was actually a vote whether to stay in) because he had been told the direction in which the EEC was heading.

Bill Williams in the same edition writes we should leave the politicians to sort out Brexit. Are these politicians, by chance, Nigel Farage who was seen queuing at the German Embassy shortly after the referendum trying to get German citizenship and who announced on the Andrew Marr show he was going to collect £73,000 pension from the EU when we leave (better than our £8,000, eh Bill)?

Or is it the arch Brexiteer John Redwood, who advises his clients to get their money out of the UK before Brexit, as he has done? Or it the Blonde Buffoon, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson?

I suppose as I am now a parish councillor I am a politician so I will follow Bill’s advice and keep writing about Brexit. See what I did there, that last bit was tongue in cheek.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon