AS Mr Strudwick asks on a recent letters page, I state publicly what I have confirmed to him in private correspondence. I do believe that the UK should extend the invitation of a state visit to the new President of the United States.

The seven “Countries of Concern” contained within the Presidential executive order regarding changes to immigration policy were first identified in 2015 by the Obama administration who also implemented some travel restrictions.

However, President Trump’s controls are much more severe and include a further indefinite restriction on Syrian refugees, which I find particularly objectionable.

Taken in the context of the pre-election rhetoric of a ban on Muslims, the overall message that many will take from these words and actions is that the USA is anti-Muslim, almost inevitably contributing to radicalisation of some moderates.

Nevertheless, the USA is our most important ally, the mainstay of NATO, our biggest single national trading partner and an international beacon of freedom and democracy.

Although I do not agree with President Trump’s immigration policies, he made these very clear prior to the election and was democratically elected on that basis.

The UK has often been a “voice of reason” to American presidents and it is all the more important that we play that role now.

Better, in my view, to invite the President to visit our islands, take the opportunity to listen and debate and to make our feelings and protestations known than to pursue a strategy of megaphone diplomacy from the other side of the Atlantic.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, Thirsk & Malton Constituency

How appropriate

THE morning after attending the latest Ryedale District Council meeting, how appropriate to read the Gazette’s headline “Report slams Ryedale District Council meetings as a ‘circus’ and councillors’ behaviour as poor”.

As the “new boy” on the council with a mere year’s experience, I clearly recall that one of my first obligations was to “undertake to observe the members code of conduct upon acceptance of office”.

The business of our February 21 meeting included a breach of this code by Councillor John Raper. At the meeting on December 8, 2016, Cllr Raper had on two occasions voted twice, by using both his own voting unit and that of Cllr Cussons, who had left the meeting earlier. Cllr Raper claimed he had asked him to vote on his behalf (which is clearly not permissible), thus implicating Cllr Cussons in this breach of democracy.

At this latest meeting, the recommendation from a sub-committee was to sanction Cllr Raper, but only for voting twice.

An amendment was submitted by the Liberals that he also be sanctioned for implicating Cllr Cussons.

A Conservative/Lib Dem alliance voted against the amendment, so only the original sanction was agreed by council. The draconian punishment was a six-month suspension from committees only, plus an apology.

His written apology included nothing about implicating others, so these actions remain to be addressed.

I would have accepted a full apology for this most recent of Cllr Raper’s actions, and the matter would have been closed, but clearly, my view of acceptable behaviour is not widely shared by most councillors.

I am not only appalled at Cllr Raper’s behaviour, but at the actions of the council as a whole.

“Poor” behaviour doesn’t come close and Billy Smart could barely have produced a better circus.

Cllr Mike Potter, Liberal, Derwent Ward

Take serious look

AS a resident of Ryedale I am deeply appreciative of the people who have set up the protection camp at Kirby Misperton. The reason they receive so many visitors only speaks to the enormous support they have locally.

I can only conclude that those who take issue with the “nuisance factor” of cars parked along an empty stretch of road, have no concept of the destruction that would result were fracking to go ahead. Compare a few parked cars to thousands of heavy trucks passing along that same road.

It isn’t possible to industrialise a rural community and expect that the impact of it will remain hidden.

So even if we choose to blind ourselves, the impact of extracting more fossil fuel on global warming, or if we ignore the creeping hidden risks to animal and human health, our water supply, our land and our atmosphere, it will not be possible to ignore the noise, the light pollution and the heavy traffic on our narrow roads.

So let’s welcome these resilient protectors and not fall into the mindset of petty complaining. And let’s take a serious look at what we can achieve through investing in sustainable energies so that we can secure a future for our children.

Heather Stroud, Gilling East