IT is with much sadness that I write to all residents of the Norton East Ward to let you know that I am no longer able to represent you on Ryedale District Council.

Some of you I have met quite recently on the doorstep, others have been friends since I was first elected to the council in May 1980.

I would like to thank very much all those of you who have voted for me as a Liberal Democrat and

for your continued support since then.

This is an unbroken 39 years, which I assure you I did not plan (!), although it has all been extremely enjoyable.

Finally, I wish everyone in Norton everything that you wish for yourselves in the future.

Elizabeth Shields, Firby

Thanks to Helmsley

MAY I through your newspaper say thank you to the residents of Helmsley who I have represented for the last 10 years for their support and help in many of the quests I have undertaken.

After almost 20 years as a representative for Helmsley both on Ryedale as a district councillor and Helmsley as a town councillor, the time was right to allow younger blood on to the town council.

As the old saying goes “a new broom sweeps clean” to which I would add “but remember an old broom knows where the dirt is”.

Good luck to all the new and old town councillors for the next four years; it is an undoubted privilege

to work for a town such as Helmsley.

Chris Parkin, retired Helmsley town councillor

‘I’ll try my best’

MAY I through your paper say a huge thank you to residents of Malton and Norton for not only re-electing me on to the district council, but also electing me on to Malton town and Norton town councils as well.

I am privileged to be your councillor, and will try my best.

Thank you once again.

Cllr Lindsay Burr, Malton

We deserve better

A REPORT published in the last few days makes damning reading for local and national government.

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy identifies a continuing neglect of rural services and investment by policymakers focused on city initiatives.

Rural England has a population comparable to Greater London but receives a tiny fraction of the taxpayers’ money spent on transport, digital communications and services.

The high cost of housing compared to urban areas is resulting in a continuing drain of talent as our young people leave for the cities. Rural businesses facing skills shortages and a creaking road network are further hampered by broadband speeds that are among the slowest in Europe.

The last five years have seen a nosedive in service provision – particularly in public transport, banking, health provision and support for young people – as austerity has disproportionately hit the rural north.

A series of reports by the independent organisation Rural England has been making this clear since 2016, but to our county council and local MPs this has been “an inconvenient truth” to be kept under wraps.

In place of persistent and public complaints to Westminster we have seen token gestures from our representatives and a continuing erosion of local democracy.

The latter has been particularly evident in the rejection by councillors and our MP of widespread local opposition to fracking.

We deserve better than this. The Select Committee report recommends a “rural proofing” framework to be delivered locally as well as nationally. It is high time we saw some loud and effective action at

county and constituency levels to rock the boat and demand our fair share.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Good luck Kezy

I READ with interest Karen Darley’s piece in the Gazette & Herald today (May 8, 2019) regarding Kezy Feaster’s exhibtion at Scampston Walled Garden Cafe.

I was recently introduced to Kezy’s work when friends gave me one of her prints for my birthday last year.

It was of Grosmont Station, which was very apt as I volunteer for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The detail in her paintings are second to none.

I moved from Ramsgate, previously a London girl for 58 years to Pickering in November 2016 and having recently browsed through Kezy’s website, saw her painting of Pickering Market Place titled “Monday Market Pickering”.

It was a must to have and after having it framed, is now hanging on my sitting room wall.

Thanks Kezy. I love it and “Last Stop, Grosmont”. Good luck with your exhibition at Scampston.

Ann Searle, Pickering