I WENT to the last full Ryedale District Council (RDC) meeting in July. At the point on the agenda where the director’s redundancy terms were to be resolved, the public were asked to leave the meeting, as it was an exempt item.

The meeting apparently ended after this item had been considered, despite there still being outstanding items on the agenda, and I was surprised that nobody informed the public that the meeting had ended.

This does not seem to me to be a particularly good advert for local democracy. Among the items deferred were two motions, one concerning the planned changes and staff restructuring and the second was on the subject of bullying.

Several days later there was a quote from Janet Waggott, the chief executive of RDC, in the Gazette & Herald which stated “Ryedale District Council is a big employer in the area, we are a good employer, we offer good terms and conditions and we’re a fair employer.”

She went on to say: “One thing I want to stress is that we do honestly treat people with respect and value, because the majority of staff have worked with us for a long time”.

It is worth noting that the top two management levels at the council will remain unaltered by the forthcoming restructuring; no doubt their salaries will remain unaffected and they will not have to apply for a position in the new structure, unlike the rest of the staff.

David Summers, Malton

Nuclear is cheap

THIS Hinkley “C” business is almost a déjà vu affair. In October 1989 we were well on the way to building five 1,320MW(e) PWR Nuclear Power Stations.

Over the weekend of November 16, 17 and 18, 1989, the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher cancelled the lot. Some rapid and stiff negotiation allowed us to complete Sizewell “B” on condition that all the cancellation charges and liabilities of the other four were incorporated in the account for Sizewell “B”.

This allowed for some £7 billion to be paid to USA companies, the French Government and some minor contractors. Thus we have the source of the “nuclear is expensive” cries.

Recently, the Prime Minister Theresa May stalled the progress of Hinkley “C” when “security reasons” have been quoted. In the foreground the cries of “too expensive” for the build and “scandalous” for the 35-year “strike price”.

As for the build costs, Sizewell “B” was, realistically, about £12 per MW and Hinkley “C” is projected to be about £5.65 per MW, installed capacity.

This is a considerable reduction over the past 25 years. The other popular horror statistic is that of the “strike price” of £92.50 per MW hr. Compare that with these which are the current values for the financial year 2018/2019: Biomass Conversion = £105; Hydroelectricity = £95; Offshore wind = £135; Onshore wind = £95 and Solar photovoltaic = £110. These are for large commercial installations. On this basis you tell me, which is the cheapest?

D Loxley, Hartoft

It’s an education

“WHAT’S your name and where do you come from?”– so runs Cilla Black’s opening to her TV performances of long ago. Fresh students turning up at universities and colleges this autumn may well be asked the same questions – it might elicit important clues which may help to define identity or start an acquaintance or friendship for life.

Whether you are an aspiring student or a former one, please do come across to a humorous variant of “Scouse humour” in the Esk Valley from August 11 until September 3 for a live professional performance of Educating Rita in which Rita – Cilla’s stage sister character – enrols at Liverpool (or is it the Open University?) of the 1960s for English Literature to be taught by somewhat eccentric lecturer Frank?

For more information, phone Esk Valley Theatre Box Office on 01947 897587 or email info@eskvalleytheatre.co.uk Also, I am presenting a mini-display on the play and on local poetry and play readings on my stall in Kirkbymoorside Memorial Hall market days. Phone 01439 771639.

John Dean, Beadlam