SOME members of Ryedale District Council have been in print in the last few weeks encouraging a mass turn-out of the anti-brigade at the long-awaited planning meeting tomorrow to make a decision on the future of the Wentworth Street car park.

I, too, would urge people to lobby councillors on the planning committee.

But I want those who believe that a supermarket on the site is a good idea to put their heads above the parapet and urge members of the committee to vote in favour.

Having talked to many people, including some local traders, who are in favour of the development, I know why more supporters don't speak out. It is because they fear being shouted down and bullied by the influential few who feel that they have the divine right to dictate the future of Malton.

It's about time that this issue was finally put to bed and the town moved forward into the 21st century rather than languishing in the past.

I enjoy shopping in Norton and Malton and I want to see the towns succeed. I also want choice as to where I am able to shop locally, both in the weekly supermarket run but also for a wider range of other goods. This is why I have always backed the district council’s plans to sell the car park.

As is seen in other market towns, once a major retailer invests somewhere it lifts the local economy and boosts confidence, encouraging other retailers to join them.

Examples of this can be seen in Beverley or Ripon, both bustling, busy market towns.

If we are to see Malton and Norton become secure as a growing economy and somewhere that people want to come to shop, we have to grasp the nettle, make a brave decision and take control of the future as well as supporting our existing excellent local shops.

The unique shops in our towns will not be threatened by a new supermarket as their uniqueness lies in selling products that you just can't buy in a supermarket. This is why I and many others use them.

So I hope RDC members hold their nerve and vote for a brighter economic future for Malton and Norton.

DI KEAL, Norton