WHILE I await my new council tax payment information, I would like to ask all North Yorkshire county councillors and highway officers that receive payments and allowances from those payments that I and everyone else contributes to, if they believe that the state of the A64 from Malton bypass to York is in a safe condition to use.

Or are they like me and know that the road is currently so unsafe that drivers have to swerve around many extremely large and dangerous potholes some of which are inches deep.

While there isn’t much I can personally and physically do about it, surely the local county councillors and we all know who they are could do something about it.

I have emailed North Yorkshire County Council asking if the road is in their opinion safe. Perhaps the Gazette & Herald can ask the same question.

Sue Cowan, Pickering

What do you want?

MIKE Gwilliam in his letter rejected my statement that “we have no product capable of replacing gas”. People think gas is just simply about it producing electricity.

More than 60 per cent of UK gas consumption is as a raw material used in a variety of common products, such as paints, fertilisers, plastics, textiles and very importantly, medicines. Just how do waves, wind and solar provide those products?

Mr Gwilliam claims the audience at the recent debate in Pickering “made their overwhelming opposition to fracking clear”. They certainly did, but it was a “selected” audience.

The debate was advertised for “Ryedale residents only”. Two members of UKOOG were denied tickets as they were not “Ryedale residents”.

It was then shocking to find the audience consisted of many well-known anti-fracking campaigners from across the UK, including London, York, Sowerby Bridge, Lancashire, Manchester and Scarborough.

The UK presently imports 50 per cent of our gas, predicted to rise to 80 per cent. In Sue Cuthbert’s letter, she dismisses people’s genuine concerns about UK energy security. The reality is a terrorist doesn’t care if their target is a pipeline from Russia, Holland or Norway.

Mrs Cuthbert doesn’t want gas from under our feet, doesn’t want us to have energy security, doesn’t want imported gas as it is “hardly eco-friendly”, doesn’t want INEOS to make plastics, while using her plastic keyboard to complain. What do these people want?

You never see an anti-gas campaigner dressed only in hemp and animal skins, walking to a protest wearing wooden shoes and looking sick from lack of medicines do you?

Lorraine Allanson, Allerston

Thanks to library

MAY I through your newspaper thank the library staff of North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York who celebrate local and international writers, one of whom, Herbert Read, Pickering Library celebrate this week with a display.

This presents Read in three strands: childhood innocence; contrary experience; and his legacy.

Read was born on a Ryedale farm in 1893 and died at Stonegrave on June 12, 1968, 50 years ago. After a happy childhood he and his mother Eliza Strickland and brothers William and Charles lost this with the lapse of tenancy on the death of their husband and father Herbert Edward. Many struggles for mother and sons ensued, but many helping hands and maturing influences awaited, harrowing ones too: Eliza’s death from cancer and Charles in war in 1918.

Read was in uniform by 1914 - in Leeds University Officers Training Corps - and on March 21, 1918, for five days, as adjutant of the Green Howards 2nd battalion, he lead all that was left of them in the St Quentin retreat through hardships and deaths to rest and safety, where he could read the copy of Thoreau’s “Walden” he had in his pack. Its message of peace and order in a rural haven was appropriate. The Green Howards History honours Read - and his cultural achievements and pacificism.

It is 100 years to the day since this event. Anyone with memories of Read or his works is asked please to leave their contact details at Pickering Library on the form provided or phone so more events can be arranged - perhaps so schools, groups at libraries can join in.

John Dean, Beadlam

Justify your claim

THE government (and our local MP) have consistently misled us on the issue of fracking.

The latest refusal to release the Cabinet Office report on fracking because it “could call into question the industry’s viability” is just the latest example. Previous reports detrimental to fracking have also been suppressed and claims of cheap gas and tens of thousands of jobs have shown to be false.

And now the government is trying to change the planning system, overturning local democracy, to allow fracking applications to be decided solely by central government.

What contempt for the electorate by the people who are supposed to represent us. Kevin Hollinrake claims that an overwhelming number of his constituents support fracking. What is his basis for this and can he still justify this claim?

Glyn Wild, Swinton