IN response to two very long-winded letters last week by Tory councillors who voted for the closure of our Norton Bowling Club, my comment is: ‘methinks they do protesttoo much’.

First, as the so-called champion of older people, Mrs Knaggs appears to have little sympathy with senior citizens whose source of enjoyment, social interaction and general physical and mental health is linked to the bowling club.

Compared with her emphasis on making money for the council, residents are of minimal relevance.

Secondly, both your correspondents on this subject are very short-sighted.

If no help can be found to save this excellent facility, which is valued highly in the community, not just in Norton and Malton but throughout Ryedale, the council will not be saving £30,000 as was asserted in November.

It will in fact be LOSING £10,000.

There will be NO income at all from any rent.

The idea that the building could be sold for £400,000 is, in this present financial climate, totally unrealistic.

No further development could take place in the area as it is on the flood plain. It will simply be another white elephant, rather like Harrison House at Malton Station, which still has many empty offices since it was purchased by Ryedale.

The suggestion by Coun Ives that this imaginary sum (£400,000) would actually provide a new swimming pool in the distant future, is a complete red herring. Derwent Pool probably has a limited life-span but he ignores the fact that people are living here and now, not in some Utopia. They wish to play bowls in one of the best centres in England – not to dream of an up-market pool in 20 years’ time.

The council – and by this I mean the Conservatives – could easily have allowed another year, at least, to enable different groups to rent out parts of the Bowling Club and thereby maintain the major facility. It is a real shame that it may have to close.

So I ask: is there a millionaire or a lottery winner reading this, who could help? If so, please be in touch!

ELIZABETH SHIELDS, Member for Norton East