GLL isn't as successful as we were promised

When Swindon Borough Council handed GLL control over its leisure assets, the people of Swindon were led to believe this was because council could not afford to run them and needed to save the £1.4 million per annum subsidy.

The deal promised would see GLL make an initial £3 million investment of its own funds to enhance facilities and services across the borough, in addition to £2 million of investment in the facilities from the council.

GLL was extolled as a not for profit enterprise and we were assured surplus monies would be used to enhance the facilities.

Sadly, GLL has not proven to be the success story we were led to believe.

The new Labour Borough Council is now offering a further 'subsidy' of £2 million and extending GLLs remit.

It is difficult to square the Labour group's campaign to 'nationalise' our leisure facilities with their new found love of privatisation.

Des Morgan,

Caraway Drive,


Shambolic traffic management at RIAT

I wonder what percentage of our local economy in Wiltshire may derive directly or indirectly from great events and festivals?

I should think it’s quite a bit, as we have more than our fair share of them.

The Horse Trials at Badminton claim to be the largest spectator attended sporting event in the world. 250,000 people cram into Badminton Great Park- some for the horses and riders; but many for the retail experience.

90,000 people will attend over the four days of the World of Music and Dance Festival- WOMAD at Charlton Park near Malmesbury in a couple of weeks time.

It was a few years ago now that I went to the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Lydiard Park. My 10-year-old escort was not very impressed by being whisked off to the VIP Reception for a chat with the Lord Lieutenant and a couple of Bishops- not why she had come to the festival at all!

So she dragged me away to one of the stages to have my ear drums battered. My ear drums took another bashing at the wonderful Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford.

It’s a great opportunity for business - the 30 or 40 biggest aircraft manufacturers and a host of SMEs from the supply chain were there touting their wares to a big gathering of overseas buyers.

It’s a showcase for all that’s best about British aerospace manufacturing. So why on earth can the organisers, or the Gloucestershire Police, not do something about the traffic?

I sailed into Fairford Village, but then spent an hour and a half getting from there to the airshow itself- a journey which would normally take 5 minutes. The traffic marshals were doing their best in shocking weather to overcome delays caused by badger bridges amongst other things.

But the entry routes and entrances are an ill thought-through shambles. Billions of pounds worth of aeroplanes on display but we cannot manage a sensible traffic management regime.

If Fairford lost the Air Tattoo, the area would be a great deal poorer. Much the same applies to the National Arboretum at Westonbirt where local support is destroyed by appalling traffic management. Highgrove and Gatcombe are models of how it ought to be.

But even leaving aside the economic benefit for the area, I am glad that we are able to offer people the opportunity to have some fun and get involved in their particular interest.

Let’s rejoice in it, put up with a bit of noise or a few traffic jams and just be glad of it.

James Gray,

MP for North Wiltshire