I ATTENDED Ryedale District Council’s (RDC) policy and resources committee to hear the attempt of the council to waste our money.

The proposition is to spend £150,000 on a report (voted through) to validate spending £3.2 million on a new cattle market.

The chairman of the committee spoke of “the district’s cultural heritage and economy”.

The reality is that we have cattle markets in York, Thirsk and Skipton to which farmers can take stock; will our farmers really be discombobulated if Malton were to close?

We don’t need a cattle market: the world today moves to online shopping; do we assume farmers won’t do the same thing? I’ll bet they do. Even a farmer was against the idea.

How many market towns have “cattle” as a draw for tourists? Who comes to Malton for them and who will go to near Eden Camp? You’re right – nobody.

And, do we really think the council has the nous to act as businessmen? They can’t even manage social housing?

The financial forecast of the proposed £3.2 million spend shows input from farmers and auctioneers; when questioned, however, the sums were estimates.

Neither bodies had actually promised anything, but this will, of course, all be sorted out in the £150,000 report. Both bodies have a vested interest in having a cattle market, so why not be more up front in supporting the proposal?

RDC has apparently £12 million in reserve, and we have some 22,500 households in Ryedale. RDC and North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) are to “streamline” our services. I suggest NYCC takes over all our services, and then those £12 million be given to each household, ie some £533-plus per household.

Alternatively, improve the Milton Rooms, clean up the sewers in Wheelgate, support affordable housing, provide jobs – but not in farming: Portillo spoke with a farmer in Oxfordshire who coped (by himself) on a farm of c500 acres.

That may not be Ryedale, but that is the future.

David Wright, Old Malton

Take this on board

I FULLY agree with Bill Tait’s letter printed on August 1.

Apart from the environmental issues - before the relatively recent craze of using our historic green lanes as off-roading courses - the county council has confirmed that they had existed in a sustainable condition for decades and no money had to be spent on maintaining them.

There is now a £1.85 million backlog of repairs and the county council is for the first time having to allocate some £150,000 per year in an attempt to deal with the problem.

Is this really what the public want scarce council resources to be spent on or should any green lanes that are unsuitable for MPV use be closed to off-roading motor vehicles?

Our councillors need to take this onboard.

Clive Proctor, Brompton-by-Sawdon

Tell us your views

ON March 29, 2019, the UK is due to leave the European Union, on terms as yet not negotiated and with several questions such as the Irish border, the status of UK citizens resident in the EU and our membership of many European institutions still unclear.

The referendum was called in 2016 by the ruling Conservative Party in an attempt to stave off the challenge of Ukip and to unite a Tory Party divided by the question of our membership of the EU.

The result of the referendum was narrow but clear. We are leaving the EU. The Labour Party has accepted the result of the referendum but has set out a programme designed to mitigate against the worst excesses of our departure.

But where is the voice of Kevin Hollinrake, the Member of Parliament for the Thirsk and Malton constituency? Throughout the last General Election campaign he sat on the fence.

It is imperative that he now uses the platform offered by this column so that we, his electorate, know where he stands on the major issues of Brexit and can hold him to account. Does he support Brexit or does he support a second referendum or no deal at all with the EU? We look forward to hearing his views.

Alan Avery, Thirsk and Malton Constituency Labour Party

Loss is a scandal

AS if the loss of the iconic Futurist building wasn’t a big enough scandal for Scarborough to suffer, the borough council has added insult to injury by apparently discarding all the contents that might have been salvaged.

The beautiful chandelier and 2,000 seats are being crushed under the bulldozer’s wheels as I write this letter.

Here at Saint Cecilia’s we wrote to the contractor to ask if we could have some of the seats to set up a nostalgia cinema for our clients, but were told it wasn’t possible.

Apart from anything else, selling the contents could have generated some revenue.

Instead, the building is being torn down in full, unrestricted view of thousands of summer holidaymakers who are doubtless horrified that Scarborough has allowed one of the shining lights in its shop window to be extinguished in this way.

This amazing theatre was a part of Scarborough’s history. Both it and the people of Scarborough deserved much, much better.

Mike Padgham, managing director, Saint Cecilia’s Care Services Ltd, Scarborough