I WOULD appreciate space to respond to Des Reed’s comment “Let the twin towns keep their identity”, Gazette, April 13.

Des can be forgiven for his lapse of memory but, his reference that the proposition generally comes from newcomers is, in my opinion, an insult to those not born in either of the two towns.

I quote from my letter published in the Gazette on May 2, 1996, in which I stated:

“Des Reed, April 25, is entitled to his “inaccurate opinions” about the pros and cons of the possible amalgamation of Malton and Norton on Derwent.

Was he so tired after his long cycle ride, to read the Gazette & Herald and the York Evening Press of November 16, 1995? Research your facts Des! You will find that the latest suggestion was made by someone born in Malton (57 Market Place) to be exact); was a Maltonian from 1935 - 1957: a Nortonian from 1957 - 1974 (until the town council changed the name to Norton on Derwent). I’ve been a Norton on Derwentonian ever since.

So, Des, you were wrong to state the “unification” call won’t have come from any “real” Nortonians or Maltonians. My guess is that as many Maltonians now live in Norton on Derwent and vice-versa.

The true Maltonians and Norton on Derwentonians are now outnumbered by new inhabitants who pay their council tax and should have their views taken into consideration on the development of what is one community.”

So, Des, you were wrong in 1996 and you are wrong now. You should apologise to those newcomers to the area...

John Taylor, Norton on Derwent.