KEVIN Hollinrake has had good publicity from you about how he and the Conservatives are supporting the agricultural sector and fishing sector. In both cases what he says does not tally with his actions.

At the moment the fisheries bill is just going through parliament. So how is it, if the government is so committed to “sustainable fishing for future generations”, that he and the other Tories have voted against fisheries bill amendments which might have achieved some of these aims?

They have voted against keeping quotas within sustainable limits, and they have voted against banning super trawlers from marine protected areas. These are areas where fish stock can breed safely and they are very important to the future of fishing.

The Tories have rendered them virtually meaningless, as they have also cut the funding for enforcement to the marine management organisation, who would police this.

This MP wants votes from the fishing fraternity, and looks, as usual, to short-term measures. He does not seem to understand what the sustainable future of fishing means in the long term. There will be no fish for anyone if overfishing is allowed to continue.

Nelly Trevelyan, Appleton-le-Moors

It’s numbers game

RDC councillors Burr and Duncan expressed strong views in the Gazette (October 14) regarding the recent annual council meeting. Cllr Duncan complained of an unholy alliance of opposition councillors leading a failed coup.

One of the first things I learned after falling into the murky waters of local politics, was that it’s a numbers game. The leader of councillors that can command most votes dictates the agenda. Whether that’s based on what’s best for the Ryedale electorate or personal political ambition becomes their choice once sufficient numbers are secured.

At this meeting, almost every vote was split 15-15, with the chairman’s additional casting vote decisive. The tradition of vice-chair stepping up to the chair was voted down, as Cllr Cleary awarded himself and the Conservatives a third term as chair, thus effectively deciding all subsequent decisions with his casting vote too.

The 12 Tories boosted their numbers to 15 by securing every vote of Totally Independent Tory Cllrs Arnold, Raper and Windress throughout. A “holy alliance”’ perhaps? They were all suitably rewarded with various chairs, vice-chairs and deputy leadership.

With 12 elected members from 30, the Tories now control RDC through every position of power. That’s how the numbers game and our democracy works. If Cllr Duncan is such an ungracious winner, I wonder how he would react to losing.

Cllr Mike Potter, Liberal, Pickering West

Answers needed

FOLLOWING the recent article written by Robert Jenrick stating clearly that he (the government) would not impose a mayor upon North Yorkshire, if a devolution process were to take place, the most serious unanswered question is how would a Unitary County Council relate to local people and the towns and parishes.

In each of the current districts there are offices available to operate a local hub to allow residents to seek advice and make payments. This would also facilitate the re-introduction of the former area committees where locally elected parish and town councillors could question and debate issues which are particular to their areas.

There also needs to be an ability to monitor and report any failures in the authority’s functions - particularly important to local residents.

Finally if there are to be some responsibilities handed down, with proper funding, to the towns and parishes, there needs to be a full list of those functions and what would be expected as a result.

Whilst not happy with the timing of this process, along side the proposed changes to the planning procedures, during a major pandemic, I personally believe that what the county appears so far to be proposing is better than the district’s East/ West split involving a hostile York Unitary.

North Yorkshire has a totally different environment to other areas of the whole county, including the national parks and this unique difference should be maintained rather than divisions based upon the A1.

David Lloyd-Williams, town councillor and Hon County Alderman