AS the lockdown begins to ease I’d just like to say that Ryedale must have been one of the best places in the country in which to hunker down and wait for the pandemic to pass.

The people have been calm, cheery and respectful of the rules and local shop-keepers and shop assistants have gone out of their way to be helpful. Thanks must also go to the local volunteers who have supported key workers in protecting the vulnerable.

Our area is blessed with beautiful countryside and accessible footpaths which have been essential, not only for exercise but also for our mental health. Let’s hope that we remember, post lockdown, how important the environment is to our well being.

Finally, thanks to everyone who, with just a smile or a wave, helped us all through this very difficult time.

Heather Williams, Malton

We deserve better

WHILE welcoming the enhanced flood protection measures for Malton, Old Malton and Norton (Gazette & Herald, June 24), I am dismayed to see that yet again Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire County Council are letting Yorkshire Water off the hook with regards to the main source of flooding in Norton – its archaic, Victorian sewers.

Whilst both councils and the Environment Agency are contributing to improving flood protection, Yorkshire Water refuses to take the significant action needed to overhaul their sewers that not only result in flooding in Norton, but also in the stench that so often pollutes the air in Malton.

And while the minor infrastructure improvements and grants for individual property protection are welcome, homes will remain vulnerable in the event of a big flood and the measure fails to solve the main problem of flooding from sewers during high water levels.

The long-suffering residents of Norton are being deprived of the investment required to provide a solution to the problem of homes being repeatedly threatened by a tide of sewage year after year following heavy rain. The answer is for Yorkshire Water to increase permanent pumping capacity in Norton.

As the Ryedale District Council ward member for the area of Norton most affected by sewer flooding, I will be again asking for a meeting with the new CEO of Yorkshire Water - something that I requested when she first came into post, but on which I have yet to hear anything back - to discuss the neglect of Norton by the company and request urgent action.

Yorkshire Water made operating profits of well over £500 million in just the last two years while Norton’s creaking sewerage system has been starved of adequate investment for decades – the town deserves better.

Cllr Dinah Keal, Norton

Policy preference

SUPPORTERS of the first past the post voting system claim that this allows a local MP to properly represent his constituency.

Kevin Hollinrake has confirmed in writing that it is acceptable to drive your wife and child 60 miles during a lockdown to test your eyesight. He is not stupid, he must know this is patently absurd but presumably chose party loyalty over common sense.

He has also confirmed his support for a trade deal with the USA that would undermine local farmers’ commitments to relatively high animal welfare and environmental standards in preference to inferior American practices, threatening their livelihoods. Again, party policy has taken preference to any respect for his constituents.

With no fear of consequences at the ballot box in a nice safe constituency like ours, no wonder there is so much political indifference.

Peter Winter, Kirby Misperton