IN reply to Susan Crozier’s letter, as mayor I chair town council meetings and have one vote (out of 10) and a casting vote.

As district councillor I have one vote out of 30. My votes are my only power, although of course I do seek to influence decision making by argument in council and the press.

The problems in regard to traffic and other matters go back to the Ryedale Plan. Unfortunately the public find plan-making boring, and don’t react until they see the consequences.

By the time the plan is adopted, it is treated like tablets of stone, and it is too late to do anything about it. As will be seen from my website, I tried very hard to warn the public through your columns of the disastrous consequences of the plan before it was adopted. Sadly few people took any notice.

In making the plan Ryedale was beset by arguments from country members that 47 per cent of new development was being built in the country and “only” 53 per cent in the towns. This was considered completely wrong: they used false environmental arguments to suggest there would be less pollution overall if all new development was concentrated in the towns.

On this basis, Malton/Norton was declared the “capital” of Ryedale and awarded 50 per cent of all new residential and 80 per cent of all new “employment “ development – for the whole district.

I feel I did everything I could have done to oppose the Ryedale Plan. I was supported by Malton Town Council. Since the plan was adopted, I have done everything I can do to lessen its impact and get it changed.

If Susan Crozier wants to blame anybody, she could start with Ryedale’s country members. If she wants to do anything about it, she should campaign to get the plan changed now.

Councillor Paul Andrews, Malton Ward

Stop inequality

RAIL users will shortly be hit by the biggest fare hike in five years.

This comes on the back of news that the promised TransPennine electrification project will be axed, leaving us stuck with slower, noisier and more polluting diesels.

Instead, funding will go to the £30bn Crossrail 2 for central London. The organisation IPPR North estimates that £1,943 is being spent per person in London on current or planned transport projects, compared with just £427 in the North.

With only 13 per cent of the UK population, London funnels off more than 50 per cent of our taxpayers’ money for transport infrastructure.

So much for the Government’s “commitment” to a “Northern Powerhouse”.

I call upon our MP Kevin Hollinrake to introduce a Private Member’s Bill in the next Parliamentary session to protest at this grotesque North-South inequality.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

True masterpiece

A MASTERPIECE of bureaucratic planning to choose mid-August to close the lane between Great Edstone and Salton for re-surfacing.

Tractors and trailers, balers and combines now need to do an eight-mile detour.

Helpfully, the sign at Edstone informs us that traffic to Settrington has been diverted.

I suppose both Settrington and Salton begin with “S” so it’s an understandable mistake.

Helen Earnshaw, Salton Last chance CUADRILLA has started drilling in Lancashire, hoping to frack in December if it obtains final permission from the Secretary of State for Energy.

Nobody doubts that, then, well proliferation will follow if Cuadrilla (as well as Third Energy and INEOS) decide that fracking is viable and will profit them. Similarly, very few can square a new UK fossil fuel industry with our commitment to a reduction in global warming.

On the contrary, other resource extractors will be incentivised, global warming will be boosted to an irreversible point while renewables are denied the level of support they would otherwise receive.

This might be our last chance to stop that first fatal frack. Those of us who care and who accept this argument should support,now, the Friends of the Earth Petition asking Greg Clark to think again before granting final permission.

There is nothing shameful about a U-turn if you discover you have been mistaken.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

Couldn’t make it up

I LAUGHED when I read the letter from Bill Jones re Castle Howard Estate being able to sell belongings to the nation and keep them in situ.

You couldn’t make it up could you?

The phrase “friends in high places” springs to mind.

The museum trust must be awash with funds if that is where the money came from, and here we are in 2017 people queueing at food banks and benefits being cut left right and centre. Where is the justice?

Take heart Bill, give it a try with the Inland Revenue you never know, tell them you are related to the Howards.

Betty Grave, Pickering