I ATTENDED Helmsley Town Council meeting on Monday, October 21, to discover that the future of Helmsley fire engine was on the agenda.

There was a presentation by Phil Whild, group manager of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and Jonathan Foster, deputy chief fire officer, which suggested plans to replace our fire engine with a three- person Tactical Response Vehicle (TRV).

I fail to see how a TRV could possibly provide the existing service of a fire engine.

Some of its features include a shorter ladder, less water capacity, shorter hose, no roof ladder and insufficient breathing apparatus.

A fire engine is essential for us as it has to respond to emergencies covering a large rural area.

We have a widespread farming community with some farms remote and difficult to reach and many with no access to mains water.

We have a growing domestic demand for a fire engine with the current expanding house building programme, many more properties are being built, some are two and three-storey.

The fire engine has a critical role in attending the many RTAs we experience on our roads.

The town council has objected to the proposed plans and I hope that the residents of Helmsley and the surrounding area will support them in keeping us safe.

Further details are available on the town council website.

Anne Nightingale, Helmsley

Protect our asset

CPRE, the countryside charity has launched a new report called Space to Breathe, A State of the Green Belt report, which highlights the importance of countryside near where we live and the need to enhance it for this and future generations.

Green belts are the countryside next door for more than 30 million people. They give people in our cities and towns space to breathe and are vital for wildlife and communities to thrive.

Escaping from urban life into the tranquil countryside improves our health, boosts our mood, and gives us pause to reflect on the world around us.

The report highlights the shocking proposals for building more than 250,000 homes in the green belt, most of which will be unaffordable.

We must not squander this valuable asset at a time when it is needed for our own health and wellbeing, and to address the climate emergency, more than ever before.

Other, better, solutions to the housing crisis exist, including building homes on previously developed brownfield land.

Crispin Truman, chief executive, CPRE, the countryside charity

Help find lost photo

COULD the person who took the photograph and note from the scanner at Malton Library on Tuesday, October 29, please return it to the library.

It is of sentimental value to me and has been in my family for 115 years.

H Tritton, Norton

Tractor run thanks

A TOTAL of £3,606 was raised for Marie Curie Care and Support Through Terminal Illness at the JMK Memorial Tractor Run on September 8.

With generous giving by so many people, the support of landowners who allow access for the event, marshals and stewards, and a wonderful picnic lunch provided by the Kirkbymoorside and District Marie Curie Support Group and friends, this proved to be a happy and successful event and congratulations and thanks go to everyone involved.

An excellent September sunny day was enjoyed by tractor drivers from far and wide, travelling through the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.

Over the last 15 years a total of £67,593 has been raised at this annual event, and the money used to help local patients and their families.

This is a splendid sum and is due to the vast amount of hard work put in by Malcolm Simpson who organises the event with support from family and friends.

Mary Kendall, treasurer of JMK Memorial Tractor Run

Time to be creative

Primary school children love getting creative – and they’re now being given the chance to win £5,000 of vouchers to be spent on providing a better breakfast for their fellow pupils.

Lidl is running the competition with us here at NSPCC - their charity partner - to give a boost to one school’s Breakfast Club.

To enter, all teachers need to do is get their pupils to tell Lidl and the NSPCC why they love their school.

This can be done in 100 words or less (poetry or prose), via a short video no more than one minute long, or through a scanned in picture (either a photograph or a drawing).

The competition is free to enter and runs until January 3, 2020, with the only criteria being that submissions must be an original work.

Find more details and terms and conditions at nspcc.org.uk/lidlschools

Melissa Holland, NSPCC schools service manager, North