SOME predictions are safer than others, but even we didn’t expect one we made in last week’s leader column to come true in time for today’s edition.

However, the suggestion that the calm in Craven’s public life might soon be disturbed by further cuts in the district has been proved correct remarkably quickly.

On our front page today we have the story of fresh calls for volunteers to run bus services presently subsidised by North Yorkshire County Council.

In that article Craven Council leader Richard Foster mentions the discrepancy between the cash available for public services in rural and urban areas, an issue expanded on in a letter on the facing page to this one from Cllr Robert Heseltine.

In it he calls for fair funding for the countryside, calling the favouring of urban areas a ‘national scandal’.

Strong words perhaps, but it's hard to avoid the feeling that warm words about keeping the countryside alive and thriving and a place where young people and families can make their way in life sound a bit hollow when basic services are being continually eroded due to a lack of cash.

Continuing the prediction theme, it also seems like rather a self-fulfilling prophecy to suggest that rural areas like Craven are increasingly becoming an enclave for those who are somewhat older and rather more prosperous.

Small wonder, since they are less likely to require the disappearing public services, such as regular buses and local schools - at least until they are old enough to need care.

This cash gap between town and country must be addressed if Craven is to truly thrive in the future.