I REFER to your article about Ryedale’s intentions to move out of Ryedale House and sell the council office site.

This is a confession of failure by a council which has neglected all due maintenance of its offices; failed to raise its council tax over seven consecutive years to keep pace with inflation; outsourced many of its services so as to leave it without the critical staffing levels necessary to keep it functioning without reductions in the delivery of its remaining services; delegated most decisions to officers so as to be unaccountable to members and pursued the supermarket saga without any regard to planning justification or the law.

In order to remedy these failings, the council will put its office site on the market so as to raise cash without regard to the impact on local residents.

Ryedale’s office site could no doubt be included in a much larger development area if the police decide to move from Quarry Bank and Malton Police Station.

Malton already has seen a massive recent expansion of its housing sites. This was justified on the basis of consultants’ reports, which are as badly flawed as the ones the council used to justify the supermarket saga; and now residents are suffering the consequences.

These range from traffic congestion to unlawful levels of air pollution.

Why? Because the cash the council hasn’t raised through inflationary increases in the council tax can be obtained from the government as “New Homes Bonus” for building lots of new houses, and the bigger the town, the more the houses that can be built there and the greater the grant of government cash. This is in addition to the actual sale proceeds of the site.

This situation is outrageous.

Will nobody hold the council to account?

Cllr Paul Andrews, Malton Ward

Tribute to Mona

ON behalf of Malton and Norton Musical Theatre, I write to thank you for your article on Mona Chaloner.

Mona was the last of the original members of Malton and Norton Operatic Society (now MNMT). She was present at our 65th anniversary celebration and pantomime, which was again Dick Whittingham.

It was wonderful to think of her continuous link with the society from the 1949 production to 2014.

Even though it was some years since she had appeared on stage, she had continued to help and support backstage as long as she could. Our thoughts are with her family.

Thanking you once more.

Margaret Lukey, Secretary MNMT

Wrong figures

I REFER to a letter from Lorraine Allanson, published in the Gazette & Herald on March 28, in which she claims that more than 60 per cent of UK gas consumption is as a raw material used in industry.

This figure is wrong. The most recent available figures are from 2016, when the UK consumed 510 terrawatt hours of elecricity. Of this, 98 TWhrs, 19.2 per cent was used by industry, and only 19.6 TWhrs of this was in chemical production.

That is 3.8 per cent for producing raw materials, not 60 per cent as Lorraine Allanson claimed.

Perhaps fracking Ryedale is not so essential after all.

John Wilson, Kirkbymoorside

My snow heroes

I WOULD like, via your pages, to say a heartfelt thank you to several people.

To my milkman (of C&D Dairies), my coalmen (of L&P Fuels), my postman and refuse collectors, who all battle through six days of snow, ice, wind and snowdrifts, never once letting us down.

Also, thanks to the two or three neighbours who cleared the whole of the pavement in front of the houses and cottages in High Street, West Heslerton, including steps down the grass verge to my car and even my doorsteps.

Also, thanks to the two neighbours who asked if I needed any shopping and to my daughter who braved the Siberian-like snowdrifts of Langton to bring me some logs.

Although the weather conditions of February 27 and March 4 were not of the 1947, 1962 and 1963 standard (as tough older people will constantly tell you), it was difficult for those who don’t walk too well or who live on a hill where ice and snow are always hazardous.

So - after the reminder yesterday and today (March 17 and 18) - thank you to all of the above.

B Skitt, West Heslerton