Sir - May I remind visitors to Gargrave (and, sadly, some residents) that there are by-laws to be obeyed on the village greens?

Firstly, there is one stating "no lighting of fires". For some reason, people seem to think a disposable tinfoil barbecue does not come into this category. After our lovely sunny weekend, there are at least five burnt patches round the seats on the Middle Green.

Is it too much effort for people to take some stones from the river (and hopefully return them later) to prevent damage to the grass?

Usually the tinfoil trays get dumped at the edge of the river, along with any unconsumed food and we residents have to fish them out (yuk) and dispose of them.

Secondly, there is "no horse riding on the greens". Unfortunately it is local people who are the worst culprits and if you point out to them that they are not allowed to bring horses on to the greens, they get very angry and abusive. One couple of "ladies" even rode their horses in a threatening manner at myself and my daughter.

Always they have an excuse: "We didn't know." Or, "You can't see the notice from here."Or, the worst, "Well our friend says you can." (Yes, you can, but the point is you may not!) Riders have told me they are doing no harm as they don't do it when the ground is wet so don't churn it up, but they seem to ignore the large piles of horse droppings they leave behind where children play. Have they never heard of tetanus?

A third by-law is: "Do not allow your dog to foul this green." Those of us who walk our dogs daily on the greens are exceedingly conscientious about picking up their poo and will spend ages looking for a hidden pile if we can't find it.

Unlike some horse owners, we responsible dog owners realise dog droppings can be hazardous to health, as well as being an unpleasant addition to footwear. However, when we have a busy weekend for visitors there are always piles of poo left behind - and we regulars get the blame.

There are two poo bins on the green so there is no excuse.

We are so lucky to have these lovely green spaces in Gargrave which are looked after and maintained by Gargrave Parish Council who do an excellent job in keeping them tidy and planting bulbs to enhance the area. It is so annoying when selfish people break the rules for their own enjoyment.

Alyson Cheetham, (address supplied but withheld)

Catering complaint

Sir - As a Keighley resident who, by the way, is not employed by Airedale General Hospital, I feel I have to tell you how absolutely shocked and disgusted I am at the outcome of a meeting last Thursday at Airedale General Hospital with the chief executive, the trust board and staff from the catering department.

This meeting was to inform staff of the impending changes to the catering department. It would appear that the department is to be placed in the hands of a private company who will replace the freshly prepared food with chilled and frozen meals that are prepared in South Wales.

As I understand it, at present a lot of the fresh produce used is sourced locally, therefore local businesses along with the staff who work in the department will be affected. Add to this the cost to the environment in transporting the meals from South Wales to Yorkshire and the increased wastage of packaging, all at a time when we are constantly being asked to help to save the environment and cut down on unnecessary travel and packaging.

I fail to see how pre-prepared chilled and frozen foods can be as healthy and nutritious as fresh food. I thought that when someone was admitted to hospital is was usually due to the fact that they were ill; surely then the hospital has a duty of care to ensure that they are given every opportunity to recover.

I would have thought that ensuring that the food they are provided with is of the best quality is paramount to this. We hear so much these days that fresh is best and we are warned of the dangers of food poisoning by re-heating food.

Airedale General Hospital display signs boasting that they are Investors in People, but quite clearly this is no longer the case.

Mrs Joanne Atkins, Spring Place, Long Lee, Keighley

Badgers baiting

Sir - In response to the John Sheard/Stephen Dew altercation, I would like to add my two penn'orth. I thought it was women who were supposed to be bitchy, but these two could give us a very good run for our money.

However, on a serious note I would like to make the following points regarding bovine TB.

What is this "scientific link" that shows bTB "emanates" from badgers? Surely Mr Dew is not still referring to the old "scientific" test where a badger infected with bTB was put in a small stable with a calf for several weeks and the calf contracted the disease?

What is not widely (or loudly) proclaimed is the recent realisation that cattle-to-cattle transmission takes hours, not weeks, as was once thought. Therefore an infected cow can quickly infect others in the herd.

This alone is good reason to improve testing regimes on farms. Dairy cattle these days are very finely bred, especially the Holsteins, and are not as robust at fighting disease.

It must also be remembered that badgers are not the only wildlife that carry bTB: many different species of road kills have been found to be infected, including mice and voles.

Finally, had money been spent on an effective bTB test and vaccine instead of the trial badger cull we would now be on top of the disease. New Zealand had a similar problem but they have managed to control it using veterinary interventions, not culling, so there is no reason why we can't.

This is what the NFU should be pushing for to help their membership. Perhaps Mr Dew should heed his own words and "actually do some research" of his own research across the board and not just pick out the bits that suit him and his members.

Liz Groves, chairman, Craven Badger Group, Tufton Street, Silsden


Sir - On Saturday, Clapham celebrated its 29th Street Market and if we thought that there was no longer such a thing as community spirit, that event has proved to us that it is certainly alive and healthily kicking in this part of the Dales.

Of course, the glorious weather helped, but that was just a bonus. The things that really shone through were an enjoyment of hard work, real enthusiasm, a willingness to help others and genuine friendship.

On behalf of the Parochial Church Council, I want to thank all those who helped in any way to make this such a fantastic day.

Whatever it was - promoting the event, donating things, collecting things, baking things, putting stalls up, running them and then taking them down again, bringing along classic cars and rare breeds of sheep, making notices, dealing with technology, playing music and ringing bells - the list is endless.

However, we must also not forget to thank, as well, all those who came along to support us. We hope they all had a really good time. We don't have a total yet in terms of money raised, but that is almost a secondary consideration - it definitely can't outweigh the benefits we all feel from a genuine community event.

For all those involved with the Street Market for a number of years the greatest joy was to have Jean Claughton joining us. The event has very much been Jean's "baby" over the last 29 years and we hope she felt we have done her idea justice. It was lovely to have her with us - and even for her to win a raffle prize.

Sue Mann, Wyvern, Newby

Staying Fresh

Sir - I would like to bring to the attention of Laser Broadcasting chief executive Nigel Reeves (Herald, July 18) the fact that Fresh Radio has been on our airwaves for an awful lot of years.

This radio has brought much joy and pleasure to a lot of people. To quote Mike Long, "Fresh had a great team of staff and professional presenters."

Not only that, they were also your friends whom you could relate to. No amount of Roger Days will ever be able to replace our Fresh Radio 202, no matter how experienced he is (no disrespect to him).

I feel we are losing part of our heritage and once it's gone it will just be another faceless radio station. Fresh Radio is not just a radio station it's our friend.

Save our Fresh Radio otherwise someone needs a kick up the backside. Save our superquiz.

Mrs S Smith, West Close Road, Barnoldswick

Sir - Further to the damning report regarding the previous management team at Fresh in the Herald two weeks ago, I sincerely hope that the record will be put straight in this week's edition.

Despite the slating of the previous management team by the new owners, Laser Broadcasting, I hope it is pointed out with the same prominence that, under the management of the "anoraks who did not know what they were doing", Fresh Radio never went off air for one day, let alone a whole weekend.

As I write this, at 8am on Monday July 28, Fresh has not been broadcasting to its home town of Skipton on 1413am for over four days now and this is not the first time this has happened under the new management of so-called, self-appointed "experts" in local radio.

How many times has 1413 gone down for several days since they took over? Four times? Five times? I have lost count.

I have now lost patience in Laser (no doubt the majority of listeners in Skipton feel the same) and will be finding another radio station to tune my alarm clock into.

Stephanie Parker, Montgomery Street, Skipton

Sir - I would like to point out to Mr Reeve from Laser Broadcasting that whilst the so-called "Anoraks" ran the station we never had to suffer long bouts of silence being broadcast. We always had a live presenter all day and not the one programme a day tosh that is being broadcast. However, I must comment that since Jeremy Gartland has been doing the breakfast show things have sounded like the old days - but unfortunately this is just a temporary measure until the return of Julian Hodgkiss!

Alex Farquhar, Cowper Street, Skipton

Quarries warning

Sir - Tragically, every year, young people put themselves at risk of injury and even death in their local quarries. It happens right across the country - and it happens in your area.

So, with the summer holidays upon us I appeal to parents to ensure that their children are aware of the potential dangers. The warning applies to both active and disused quarries.

Our national survey of quarry managers showed that warm weather is a trigger for children to seek adventure in quarries. That, allied to considerable free time over the school holidays, means this is a worrying time for the industry.

And with a recent poll on our website - - revealing that 34 per cent of those responding have knowingly trespassed into a quarry, we have to do all we can to take responsibility, maintain safety and tackle site trespass.

A quarry plays a vital role in local life. It is a safe place to work for those who are properly trained, but is not a safe place to play. The dangers of falling or of being hit by falling rock are obvious.

Other risks are less evident: lakes may look inviting but are often deep and bitterly cold; sand stockpiles appear to offer fun but can collapse and leave children trapped.

Quarry Products Association members take their responsibilities seriously and regularly check fencing. Some sites even use CCTV and security guards. Many also liaise with local schools to deliver the safety message. But we need the help of parents. Please ensure that you know where your children are playing this summer. There are many safe places to play - local authorities can usually provide advice.

If your children are still fascinated by quarries, they may enjoy our free, fun and educational websites: and

Simon van der Byl, Director General, Quarry Products Association, Gillingham Street, London

Not the vicar

Sir - Not for the first time have certain members of your staff displayed a lack of understanding where leaders of various churches are concerned.

"Vicar is leaving for pastures new" proclaims a large headline in today's (July 25) issue. I feel sure that neither of the local Anglican vicars will recognise themselves in the photograph that was published.

The Reverend Graham Cutler has had oversight, as was reported, of the Methodist Churches in Barnoldswick and Earby for the last seven years and was one of the ministerial staff in the Pendle Methodist Circuit, the senior member here being a superintendent minister. This has no connection with the Anglican parishes in the area and, when Graham and his family move to Brinscall, he will become one of the ministerial team in the Chorley Methodist Circuit which, again, is not an Anglican parish.

Those who have known the Cutler family throughout those seven years will be sorry to see them go, but moving from circuit to circuit after a period of time is the way within the Methodist Church.

We truly and sincerely wish the family every happiness within their new surroundings.

I would suggest, however, that before our new minister leaves, some years hence, the reporters should be sent on a crash ecclesiastical course to acquaint themselves with the various denominations and how the ministerial staff should be addressed and reported.

Dennis Cairns, Pen-y-Ghent Way, Barnoldswick * Editor's note: We thank Mr Cairns for pointing out the error which, we can assure him, was caused by tiredness after a hard day's work rather than ignorance of the correct nomenclature.

Missing money

Sir - The good news is that the council has put back the proposed work on Skipton Town Hall so the flea markets won't have to close yet. The bad news is that the same council is short of money because it has mysteriously overspent by £400,000.

I say mysteriously because, apparently, it has no idea where this money has gone and the first job for the interim chief executive is to look for it.

For heaven's sake, we aren't talking pennies or the odd few pounds here - we are talking almost half a million pounds. That kind of money can't vanish without trace. Someone should have noticed before it got so out of hand.

Now all departments have to cut down and we want to know if this vanishing cash is part of the council tax we all scrimp and scrape to pay every month.

At the same time as this announcement was made, it was stated that when the chief executive's post is finally filled this person will be on a salary of around £100,000 to make sure that the right person applies for the job.

Is that the answer to the question I wonder?

Patricia Mason, Sackville Street, Skipton

Sir - Reference your announcement in the last edition that, following the resignation of Carl Lis, a new regime is going to take a tough approach to increasing council tax. I would suggest it is very easy to acquire a reputation by virtue of spending other people's money.

There was a well-known chairman of Bradford Council who, many years ago, said: "If we can do wi'out it, we mun do wi'out it" (I quote the late John Braine.) The result was stabilisation rather the ruthless emptying of other people's pockets. "Prudence" is an easy word to use, but a hard word to define.

John Finch, Pools Row, Settle

Tesco trials

Sir - As I tried to navigate the now very restricted and almost dangerous car parking layout at Tesco in Skipton (not to mention avoiding the behemoth juggernaut which appeared from behind the fencing as it transported its payload across the only entrance), it occurred to me that, as well as all the "Thank you for your patience" signs which are plastered everywhere (and which won't have cost them more than a few pennies), it would be a really nice gesture if they used their existing computer systems to record which of their regular customers continue to shop there.

And then, when the new store eventually opens, to send them a substantial gift of additional clubcard points. Or maybe I should move to Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Alan Sturgess, Eshton Road, Gargrave

Proms pleasure

Sir - May I through your column express my appreciation for the wonderful night myself and three friends enjoyed at the Proms On The Farm on Saturday July 19.

I have read about this event in your paper over the years and thought it a great idea. This year I was actually able to go and feel to have been part of something very special.

These events mean a lot of work, usually for a few dedicated people; well done to them, something a bit different and in such a lovely setting.

We were the little group with the Dent Brewery umbrella which seemed to attract attention and, yes, we had got our passports stamped to return to our part of the dales in Cumbria!

Many thanks to all concerned.

Sarah E Woof, Laning, Dent