SIR, - It disappoints me that two Bramhope residents should make such personal comments against Colin Robertson, Chairman of Bramhope and Carlton Parish Council and in such a vitriolic manner which makes it difficult for Colin to reply himself. Therefore, I am replying on behalf of the parish council.

Firstly, you should be aware of the many hours that Colin has contributed over the years and continues to contribute to help improve and promote the village.

This time is not insignificant and his commitment, focus and determination are invaluable. In addition, there are a further 12 councillors who all give their time voluntarily - people who are prepared to make a commitment and do something.

Your two correspondents have clearly failed to attempt to gain any understanding of the work done by the parish council before going into print.

Had they done so they would have found that the parish council also shares the same concerns and has raised all the issues mentioned - planning, road repairs, speeding traffic, street cleaning etc (including those dreadful bicycle parking rails), plus many more, with our principal authority, Leeds City Council, who are ultimately responsible for these areas.

Our role is to ensure that Bramhope and Carlton residents get their share of the resources of Leeds City Council supplementing this with the money raised by the additional precept paid by residents.

We don't always succeed but I can assure you that it's not through the lack of trying. Of course we would welcome any additional help and support.

All residents are welcome to attend the monthly council meetings held at 7.30pm on the fourth Wednesday, except for August and December. Doing so would provide an insight into the discussions and debates that take place on a wide range of issues. Minutes of the meetings are also available on the Council's website - Finally, not only will the Chairman be 'stepping down' in May next year but all parish councillors will do so when a new parish council will be elected. This provides the ideal opportunity, in the words of one of the correspondents, to 'get some real people on the council'.

I am sure residents will relish the challenge to elect new councillors - I certainly look forward to it.

Meanwhile anyone willing to volunteer their time to support the present council would be most welcome.

Geoff MillsVice-Chairman,Bramhope and Carlton Parish Council.

Council's role

SIR, - A couple of last week's correspondents criticise Bramhope Parish Council on account of the chairman's concerns at noisy goings on at the Fox and Hounds. This is despite the fact that the previous week's press report never for a moment suggested that the parish council had at the time either discussed the matter or had indeed expressed any particular view.

Coun Robertson is entitled to express his views like anyone else and personal attacks on him are sad and born out of ignorance. Nobody works harder than he does to further the best interests of the village. If only people knew.

As to your correspondents' concerns that the parish council should be concentrating on issues like crime, vandalism, speeding traffic, roads and dirty streets they should be aware that the parish council has no more responsibility for these matters than for running the airport, the ambulance service or the LGI for that matter.

Both correspondents display a lack of comprehension of the parish council's role. It has no powers to implement no parking' regulations, it operates neither the post office nor the police force and has no planning powers as such, although it is consulted.

As parish councillors we can only urge improvements on these fronts but it is not within the parish council's gift to deliver them.

For the record, incidentally, the parish council did not install the bicycle parking rails, nor does it approve of them and the sooner they are removed by Leeds the better.

Those concerned at the way the parish council performs have the opportunity to attend its regular monthly meetings to express their concerns.

Better still, next May there is an all-out parish council election. Will we be seeing the names of your two dissatisfied correspondents at the head of the list of candidates ?

Coun Clive Fox, Bramhope parish councillor,99 Breary Lane East,Bramhope.

Matter closed

SIR, - I refer to the two letters published in last week's Wharfdale and Airedale Observer regarding the events of July 23 at the Fox and Hounds at Bramhope.

For the record, my complaint, and the response to the Wharfedale Observer's telephone call, were in my capacity as a fellow resident who had an evening with friends ruined.

With Punch Taverns having publicly apologised, Leeds Environmental Health producing a report fomore than 20 resident complaints, I consider the matter closed.

I now look forward to a new tenant with real respect for the community.

Colin Robertson Resident of Old Lane, Bramhope.

Being accountable

SIR, - I would point out to Dr Thakur that if he sets himself up as a public figure, then he can expect to be called to account by any member of the public.

I also pointed out that Mr.Naylor had worked in Saudi Arabia and is, therefore quite well acquainted with Third World care of the elderly andinfirm.

If Dr Thakur had ever worked for me and had taken as little notice of the facts as presented, then his appointment would not have lasted very long.

Gordon Bradley, 15, Kineholme Drive, Otley.

State of toilets

SIR, - What a lovely day was being enjoyed at Ilkley Lido two weeks ago. I had found some shade by a hedge with a good view of the action and my grandchildren were soaking up the sun right next to me.

Then nature called. As I approached the toilets the stench of urine filled the air (no wonder that area of the grounds was deserted) and I had to paddle through goodness knows what to get to the facilities.

When recounting the experience to a friend who, by coincidence, had been to the Lido on the same day, she agreed with every word I said. It wasn't until later in the conversation that we realised she had used the inside toilet which was as bad if not worse than the outside one.

Instead of tarting up the outside surely they should get their priorities right and bring the toilets into the 21st century?

While I am having a grump, can't a few stepping stones be put amongst the pebbles or would that spoil it for the sadist who designed the feature?

Mrs F TSilsden.(Full name and address supplied)

Chickens' plight

SIR, - With the current level of interest in how our food is produced, I am sure your readers will want to know of the scale of suffering faced by broiler chickens reared intensively for meat.

New scientific research shows that more than a quarter of chickens have moderate or severe lameness that impairs their ability to move. This means that more than 200 million broiler chickens, of the total 800 million reared annually in the UK, suffer from leg disorders.

Some of these birds have difficulty reaching the food and water points in the broiler sheds; and in the worst cases they can barely move at all.

A key factor in the high level of lameness is that modern chickens have been pushed to grow very quickly and so reach their slaughter weight in about 40 days. The bird's legs fail to keep pace with the rapidly growing body and often buckle under the strain.

The latest scientific study shows that, despite industry claims to the contrary, the level of suffering caused by lameness in factory farmed broiler chickens continues to be high.

As consumers, we can help avoid this suffering by choosing free range, organic or Freedom Food chickens produced to high standards of welfare.

Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, Compassion in World Farming

Care standards

SIR, - If Dr Thakur is asking me to apologise for not wanting to see Third World standards of health, welfare and care introduced here he is wasting his time.

They may be acceptable in India but definitely not here.

My concern is that care of the elderly and disabled in England under a Labour Government and in Leeds under a Conservative and Liberal Council, is deteriorating to the abysmal standards of the Third World.

The recent publicity in Leeds over care provided by private contractors and means tested charges exposes this crisis but no-one will accept responsibility. This is a serious matter deserving serious discussion. Not drivel and evasion.

Dr Thakur used India as an example of how we should be approach care. According to him this is provided by families only but actually mostly by females. Those without families end up as beggars on the streets or die.

Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in India are reduced to begging. Is that what he suggests should happen here? In India doctors have been amputating healthy limbs for payment so that those deliberately disabled can join the street beggars as a source of income. Is that the standard of health and welfare he wishes to see here?

People in the Third world are so satisfied with the health care and welfare in their own countries that they are flocking into this country in thousands. It is in part because of this that many do not get the care they need.

It was no exaggeration when I suggested that the days of the workhouse could return and if politicians with the views of Dr Thakur are elected then they are nearer than I thought.

The Conservative Party does itself no favours when it selects candidates like Dr Thakur whose views on health and welfare are straight from Victorian England.

Malcolm Naylor(Carer)21 Grange View, Otley

Mast blunder

SIR, - Referring back to your front page story about the Orange phone mast erected in Thompson's Yard, Otley and in a conservation area, Dr Goodhall of Otley Conservation Task Force says he will write to Coun Mark Harris to prevent this kind of planning blunder happening again.

Too late it's not the first, it already did happen five years ago.

Our group has been pressing the Planning Department. through the Ombudsman's Office, for more than five years now, for environmental improvements to Rawdon Billing, as recompense for the erection of the phone mast due to maladministration by the Planning Department.

The department allowed the erection of a phone next to this protected nature site through exactly the same default as which has just occurred in Otley. The Ombudsman's Office has already strongly critised the Planning Dept. in its report regarding the handling of the planning application and it's dealings with the Public.

This type of error does not seem to occur with any other type of planning application - only those relating to phone masts. One has to wonder is it an easy option when there is a lot of strong opposition to a particular phone mast application. How many more have been erected through default?

Phil Gomersall Founder member, Rawdon Billing Conservation Group.