AS my fellow councillors know, I rarely engage in ‘knockabout’ politics and generally avoid being party political, trying to find what unites rather than divides us.

However, I was struck by the juxtaposition of a few letters in this week’s Craven Herald and the rather disingenuous letter from my colleague Cllr Andy Brown on Mayoral Candidate Keane Duncan’s proposal to trial up to two hours free parking in some towns and cities in York and North Yorkshire had me reaching for my keyboard (Policy will lead to higher taxes or cuts, Craven Herald letters, April 18).

I say disingenuous because I don’t like to think that my friend Cllr Brown has as little understanding of the role of mayor as his party’s candidate Cllr Kevin Foster or indeed most of the rest of them.

Cllr Brown, in suggesting that any free parking would result in increased council tax is simply wrong. This is a costed proposal which would be run as a trial and be paid for from the mayor’s funding from Central Government, not North Yorkshire Council.

The intention behind this is to try and encourage people to visit our towns and villages and to spend money. It is an attempt to put businesses at the centre of policy and to invest in our town and city centres rather than focussing on income generation. The benefits of the trial would be closely monitored on a cost/benefit basis.

As I say, I was struck by the juxtaposition of Andy Brown’s letter and that of Mr Michael Robinson concerning the demise of Wildwood Restaurant in Skipton (and at 20 other locations) (Something needs to be done now, Craven Herald letters, April 18). Mr Robinson raised the challenge to our politicians to do something about the decline of our High Streets and Skipton in particular.

It seems to me that Keane Duncan is the only candidate putting forward proposals to do just that. Perhaps because he is the only candidate who actually understands the role of the new mayor in helping to develop the economy of our region.

Councillor Simon Myers, North Yorkshire Council.

Executive Member for Culture, Leisure, Housing, Libraries and Major Venues.