THE success of Malton to be the “Food Capital of Yorkshire” must surely be well on its way to deserve that title, which is already indicated by signs on the approach roads to the town centre.

The special May market attracted thousands of people to enjoy the abundance of locally-produced food and drink and tempt the most discerning of gourmets.

An excellent time for everyone there and equally good for the Ryedale economy. Long may it continue. However, among the crowds thronging the Market Place and its surrounds, did anyone give a thought to those many, and sadly increasing, numbers of people who on the other side of this picture of affluence, find difficulty in providing enough food either for themselves as individuals, or even for their families?

Our local foodbank, part of a nationwide group, was set up originally to assist those in real need. Today it caters for some residents in Malton, Norton and Pickering, relying on the support of those of us who, thankfully, do not face such a basic problem.

Last year, our Norton group was on two occasions given the opportunity of having a stall at these special markets. They were not intended to sell anything, or harass people, but only to show the kind of items that can, for a limited time, “keep the wolf from the door”, answer any questions or provide a pamphlet.

Those who actually run this market had earlier this year given permission for our stall to be at the May, September and December markets. However, although there were more than 150 stalls in May, there was apparently no room for our stall. What a pity.

Do some people really have so little concern for fellow residents in case, perhaps, amid the splendour and success of the “Food Capital” a discordant note of charity should intervene?

Elizabeth Shields, Firby

Suspicions raised

THE recently-published manifesto of the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) pledges that a “ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible”.

As one of the 41 Conservative MPs who are members of the network, our MP Kevin Hollinrake has signed the CEN Declaration. However, on his constituency website he says “there is one policy in the manifesto upon which I disagree. I should make clear that I am not in favour of a ban on fracking, which is one of the suggestions in the manifesto”.

Leaving aside the fact that manifestoes make pledges, not suggestions, the question arises as to what motivates him in continuing to speak on behalf of the fossil fuel industry rather than his constituents.

As the manifesto points out, “over twice as many Conservative voters believe that we should generate power from onshore wind than from fracked gas”.

Mr Hollinrake seems to think we need more fossil fuels, yet the manifesto makes clear that “gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets”.

A fellow enthusiast for fracking is Jim Ratcliffe, the majority owner of the petrochemical company Ineos – and Britain’s richest man. Rather than pay his fair share of taxes, Mr Ratcliffe now lives in Monaco. His giant plant in Grangemouth uses ethane from imported shale gas to make one-third of the UK’s plastic.

The plant consumes massive amounts of electricity in addition to being a major burner of fossil fuels, indeed it is estimated that by 2050, plastic production will be responsible for 15 per cent of global carbon emissions.

The CEN manifesto takes a decidedly negative stance against plastic pollution, yet this is another anomaly in Mr Hollinrake’s position as he champions fracking in order to create yet more plastic.

Despite his professed “green credentials”, our MP’s continued support for this environmentally destructive industry raises deep suspicion as we approach the next General Election.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Roundabout way

THE best solution that Norton and Malton could do for better assess is to place a roundabout at the York end off the Malton bypass, so that the HGVs can have a choice to enter either end to access the three industrial estates that surrounds Malton and Norton. Why they did not place a roundabout when they first built the bypass is beyond thinking?

Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor