“YOU don’t need a cattle market in Malton, but Ryedale does”.

I read with great interest David Wright’s letter regarding the opportunities to sell livestock available to farmers in the Ryedale community, indeed Yorkshire has 12 fine and established auction marts, each creating a hub for business every week, the café, the haulier, the bank and the agricultural supplier.

Take away this commodity, you have the potential to further close banks and reduce jobs available, while also increasing food miles.

The market also acts as a hub for farmers to catch up on local news, discuss trade and see how the next generation is doing, while hopefully creating better health and wellbeing in reducing the loneliness in what can be an isolated industry.

Mr Wright also implied the cost to each household would be £533 across Ryedale – in one year. Let’s look at the viability of the livestock mart – 30 years plus we would hope - each household would contribute £17 annually over the 30 years, with the increase in housing, this figure could only decrease surely?

Locally the cost to hire the Milton Rooms is £25 per hour – so £17 annually looks reasonable, don’t you think?

Although I’m sure many connected with agriculture disagree with Ryedale District Council’s sudden bid to take over the livestock mart, what we do know is Ryedale needs a hub for agriculture and this new livestock centre should be the focus for everyone – it may also serve the non-agricultural community through car boots, antique fairs, dog shows and farmers produce markets, serving not only Ryedale, but the wolds, the coast, the moors, the region and potentially nationally.

Dean Smith, Helmsley

It’s our money

AS scores of old photographs illustrate, Malton cattle market in its heyday was a magnificent sight, and market day was usually a busy and exciting event. But, like it or not, those days are long gone, and won’t return. That’s nobody’s fault, but we must now look forward.

If there was no such thing as a cattle market in Malton, and someone wanted to create one, would you put it smack in the middle of town?

Surely not - residents would be up in arms, and permission would never be granted. It’s time to use that space to better benefit the town, and - why not - the landlord.

It’s difficult to see a local cattle market operating at any scale in, say, 10 years’ time. Is such an enterprise, even with the existing business and goodwill, actually going to be a viable tenant for long enough to justify building a specialist facility? Would a professional property developer think so?

In any case, does the local authority have the mandate to invest taxpayers’ money in property development? And anyway, is investing in this particular project sensible?

If a cattle market is viable, and there’s a commercial case to build the facilities, then let an experienced property company invest risk capital in it and take on the tenant.

If it wouldn’t be seen as a viable plan for a commercial enterprise, that must mean that the council would be taking undue risks with taxpayers’ funds. This is not the council’s money - it’s yours and mine. And that includes paying for a study. Don’t do it.

David Hoggard, Malton

Renewable future

IT is rarely that I find myself in agreement with Lorraine Allanson (Letters, August 1), although I think that my answers to some of her points may differ.

How good to hear that the supporters of fracking acknowledge problems (“challenges”). This is a long way from the early days when we were told that we would not know the producers were there.

Why is it that the industry has had years to solve problems such as air pollution, water pollution, earthquakes, well explosions etc and never come up with answers?

Who can deny that so far the gas industry in Ryedale has co-existed with farming and tourism? This is not a surprise as we learn from FORGE’s own figures that only 11 wells have been drilled in the whole of North Yorkshire since 2000.

Contrast this with the 400 wells planned by Third Energy, the 120 wells planned by INEOS along the A170 and others as yet unannounced in the remaining license areas in Ryedale. We will then see the effect on tourism and agriculture.

There is indeed “an incredible opportunity to transform lives”. It does not lie with fracking. Last month the National Infrastructure Commission advised the Government that 50 per cent of UK power needs to be provided by renewables by 2030. It said that domestic heating can no longer be provided by natural gas as this is the source of 22 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

There are therefore no long-term employment prospects in the fracking industry. The future lies in renewables where research has shown that pound for pound more jobs are created than by the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons.

Peter Allen, Cawton