SWINDONCARD FEATURE: James Effeny, 73 who lives with his wife, Esther, in Park South, had to buy a SwindonCard two months ago although his Gold Card was valid until the end of this year.

Mr Effeny used his Gold card to get reduced rates on his two allotments and to play pitch and putt at Coate Water.

When he learned that his Gold Card was no longer valid because of the SwindonCard, he rang the customer services helpline but was unable to reach anyone.

He said: "I am disgusted at the council. As pensioners, we get £2.60 increase a week in my pension but my council tax increases by £11 and then I have to go and buy this card each year.

"I don't mind paying for the card, but my GoldCard is still valid so should still be accepted. It's the principle of the whole introduction of the SwindonCard.

"If people still have a GoldCard then why not give them a SwindonCard at a reduced price or for free?"

In February a similar problem occurred when keen golfer Trevor Tremblen was told by staff at Broome Manor Golf Complex that his Golfer's Passport, valid until March 31, had become invalidated by the introduction of the new SwindonCard.