I AM writing both to support and expand on the views expressed by your correspondents (Craven Herald, Letters, April 21 and 28) regarding the withdrawal of funding by Craven District Council from the Craven Volunteer Centre.
The timing of this is particularly crass when some core local services, vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities will, from next year, only be able to function effectively if they are staffed by volunteers.
Many people may view the contribution of volunteers as “the icing on the cake”, but nothing could be further from the truth – they are the cake itself, and the bread and butter, too.
Worst of all, the supply of volunteers, especially in the more rural parts of Craven, is drying up and this, in turn, will lead to a reduction in volunteering opportunities as organisations are forced to close or drastically prune their activities.
As a user of the Craven Volunteer Centre for many years, I cannot speak too highly of the levels of care and expertise offered by their small and dedicated staff in matching prospective volunteers with the roles available, and in supplying ongoing training and advice.
In today’s world, volunteering so often provides the way in to paid work and enables people to gain the confidence, skills and experience to include on their CV. Our own organisation is run entirely by volunteers, and a very high proportion of them have been recruited through the centre. Without them, we could not open our doors.
The continuation of the Craven Volunteer Centre should not have to be dependent on the staff’s ability to fundraise – their time is far too valuable for that. Let all of us support them in whatever way we can and lobby our councillors to reinstate their grant at the earliest opportunity.
Honorary curator and trustee,
Museum of North Craven Life, The Folly, Settle

I NOTICED the recent letter from K Martin recognising those who have been picking up rubbish in Aireville Park, as well as one from Bruce McLeod from Campaign to Protect Rural England about picking up litter and the story about Laura and Kirsty Mitton, whose lambs have suffered as a result of the waste carelessly left by others.
We, too, regularly pick up litter left in Aireville Park and roads around the town as we walk our dog. The picture (above) shows how much three of us picked up in just an hour.
Whilst it was lovely to see people out in the park and skatepark enjoying the sun recently, it was incredible how much waste was just left and, once again, we picked up after them. And there are waste bins everywhere! How can you be bothered to carry a full bottle/packet but not when it’s empty? And why bag your dog waste to just fling it in the undergrowth? What kind of impression does this give visitors, on whom much of our local businesses rely?
So, come on residents of Skipton, show some respect and pride in our town. Bin it; protect our environment, livestock and economy.
Raikeswood Drive, Skipton

I OFFER a few solutions to problems aired in last week’s “bumper” Herald.
As towpaths are now used by pedestrians rather than horses pulling barges, Skipton Council should pay for the upkeep of its stretch and install signs warning pedestrians to keep back from the canal edge.
The sisters fed up with litter dumping could use covert CCTV to identify the dumpers. Fast food chains should pay towards the collection of their discarded wrappers. Any motorist causing injury to cyclists should be banned for six months at least. More “beware cyclists” signs may help.

WELL done to the volunteers who tidied up around the Burger King/Keelham shop area. It was very much required, but it would have been a lot better if the gentleman in the white car, who was caught on CCTV depositing the pink bags on our car park near our bins, had taken the time to take them to the tip.
As a consequence, the council wouldn’t empty our bins until we removed the bagged-up rubbish.
Trustee, Sandylands Sports Centre