I AGREE with Pam Jordan and Anne Read on the importance of the people of Craven responding to the government consultation on the future of local government in North Yorkshire (Craven Herald letters April 1).

My previous criticisms of the timing and scope of the consultation were not intended as a call for a boycott. As the writers from the North Craven Heritage Trust rightly say there are plenty of opportunities within the consultation to express reservations about the process and its limitations.

But if we are to show that we are not indifferent to the future governance of our area, as your correspondents say we should, then there is another, equally important, way in which we can do so and that is by voting in those elections which have not been postponed as a result of the consultation.

On May 6 voters in some parts of Craven will have the opportunity to cast their ballots in by elections. There are also parish council elections in some areas, but the one election in which all voters across North Yorkshire can take part is that for our new police, fire and crime commissioner.

This is a comparatively new post and one whose responsibilities are probably not well known to many voters, but the successful candidate will have a wide range of powers to manage the police budget, to set police priorities and act as the link between the public, the police and fire service. Covering such a wide geographical area, the county of North Yorkshire and the city of York, there will be few voters who know any of the candidates personally and unlike in parliamentary elections candidates are not able to send a freepost mailing to all voters.

But there is a website https://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/ and from April 15 you will be able to read each candidate’s manifesto there.

In 2016, the last time these elections were held, turnout was less than 23 per cent. If we really care about local democracy we can show it by ensuring a larger turnout this time.

Mike Smith