FIRST of all I would like to thank everybody who contributed to the success of my legal action against the Secretary of State.

The action, which cost £24,000, was funded entirely through Crowdjustice without any publicly funded support. So, thank you all for your donations.

Yes I did lose the case, but not the argument - the judgement reads rather like the award of “a pound of flesh, but not a drop of blood” in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

The issue was the interpretation of a paragraph in the Minister’s Written Statement of May 17. This seemed to suggest that any restriction on fracking in mineral planning matters should only apply to fracks which used more than a certain volume of fluid.

This would have excluded four of the five fracks planned for KM8 and most of what ordinary people would call fracking.

The consequences could have been to allow fracking in the National Parks, AONBs etc, and to render useless many safeguards in the North Yorkshire Minerals Plan like the 500m buffer between dwellings and surface structures.

As the case progressed, the government was forced to make concessions and admissions which resolved this issue, so that the North Yorkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan can now be approved and adopted in the form provisionally agreed with the Inspector who examined it.

The judge recognised this and on this basis there was no longer an issue to review. The action was a success – not a failure.

Cllr Paul Andrews, Malton mayor

Plan is untenable

PLANNING to continue to build at least 100 new homes in Malton and Norton per year to at least 2027 (Ryedale Plan - Local Plan Strategy, pages 44 to 46, dated September 5, 2013), is in my opinion untenable, unless infrastructure problems, especially roadways, are tackled expediently.

The hundreds of construction vehicles using our roads will be replaced by a greater number of new residents’ vehicles, as the current multiple construction sites progress. Then even more construction vehicles as new sites are approved. Then more private vehicles etc.

Potential plans to add a single link road to facilitate another massive new construction site in Norton, would be comparable to placing a small sticky plaster on a large open wound.

Some, evidently not all, of those we entrust to plan for the future of our town should pay more attention to the constantly increasing traffic, and how this imposes on residents, businesses and the environment. Under current plans it will get worse, much worse, if we are to become more “new town” than “market town”.

It is acknowledged that the local topography does not lend itself to easy solutions, however, page 34 of the aforementioned Local Plan Strategy, includes “improved connectivity and movement in and between the towns”, relevant to Malton and Norton.

A revisit of these potential improvements and other strategic options need to be seriously considered for implementation as a matter of urgency, or cancel further construction plans.

To contemplate approving any further residential or other “non essential” large scale building sites, in Malton and Norton, with our roads infrastructure in its current state, is frankly beyond comprehension.

Danny May, Old Malton

Negative comments

AS a regular user of the 128 through Kirkbymoorside and reader of the town blog, I was dismayed by the (handful of) negative comments on the proposed eastbound bus shelter.

Examples follow: Why could there not be a shelter uptown? (this was rejected long ago over fears of vandals meeting in it).

Why should the travellers from this stop not be able to endure exposure like everyone else?

What about the safety issue for drivers entering the traffic? (this has been carefully reviewed at county council highways).

I was encouraged by Eden Blythe’s strong advocacy on the blog for the ‘regulars’ who use the stop (Kirkbymoorside Blog, October 24), and over the summer have shared experience with some passengers at the stop and in winters past.

I have witnessed venturers boarding in torrential rain - no shop doorways there for them - and remember that in very cold snaps when the road uptown was impassable to all vehicles many “new” out of town passengers, sprightly or not, had to use this stop, alongside Kirkby folk.

John Dean (regular 128 bus passenger), Beadlam

Plug funding gap

YOUR readers may have heard recently of the £240m of extra money being allocated to the social care system to ease pressure on the NHS this winter. We now know this will mean that just over £3 million will be made available in North Yorkshire and York.

While it’s important that the Government has recognised that social care underfunding lies at the heart of our hospitals’ winter pressures, the amount committed is a let-down – less than 10 per cent of what’s needed to fix the social care crisis now. The social care system is “not just for Christmas” and people with dementia, as its biggest recipients, are experiencing the emotional and economic cost all year round.

To actually turn the tide for the more than 12,000 people with dementia in North Yorkshire and York, we need to plug the current funding gap and offer them the chance to access the good quality social care they have a right to.

Linda Haggie, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for North Yorkshire