SIR, - I was both shocked and appalled by the news that grouse shooting is going to be allowed on Ilkley Moor.

What message is this sending out to the young people of today - that it's OK to shoot animals and birds?

On the one hand as a society we are desperately trying to curb both the sale and use of air rifles in an attempt to stop violent acts against animals, birds and children and on the other we are saying Hey, its OK to shoot, injure and kill living things'. What a contradiction !

This barbarism has got to stop. Surely you must ask what kind of person would gain enjoyment from bloodsports ?

And should the grouse need controlling,which I question, there are more humane methods of doing this where morals and ethics do not enter the equation.

If there is problem with the grouse on Ilkley Moor then rich people coming into the area and paying to gain enjoyment from shooting them surely cannot be the answer in a civilised society.

Please do not allow this cruel and barbaric 'sport' to go ahead.

G Winn Middleton,Ilkley.

Gunshots on moor

SIR, I, too, am appalled that grouse shooting can be allowed to be carried out and on such a public area as Ilkley Moor.

Surely there are more humane ways of controlling the grouse population than some 'hoo-ray henry' blasting them to bits.

In our lives now we already have the kids thinking that gun culture is cool and they don't bat an eyelid when anhililating animals and people on the Xbox. This is the start of them running riot thinking as adults blast the grouse it's OK to kill things and will they score maximum points?

I, for one will certainly not be frequenting Ilkley as much as I used to once the nice weather is here for fear of hearing gunshots ringing out across the moor and knowing that some poor feathered being has suffered in the name of 'sport'.

It will only be a matter if time before a child or family pet is killed.

Bradford Council - get real - we don't want to promote the use of guns for maiming and killing things. There are more humane ways to deal with any problem that is caused by the grouse - if there are any at all and this isn't just an excuse for a bit of recreation for the bloodsport enthusiasts and upper classes.

Sue Huggins Regular visitor to Ilkley and its Moor.

Election pointer

SIR, - There is patently an election in the offing as Rip Van (Dundas) Winkle has awoken from his almost annual sleep to write to you.

He is treading on his own toes in his sleep for everything he says highlights the problems that have arisen -and will increase - as a result of Government lack of joined up thinking.

Its slowness in tackling immigration, its lack of provision of services, roads, public transport, water, schools, hospitals to meet the ridiculous housing targets they have set pro rata to the size of our country, are all going to make it harder and harder to educate our children as we would like to do, to keep up the standard we need from our health service, etc. etc.

His confusing attempt to blame local councillors was both inept and inaccurate. Our councillors work tirelessly to do the best for our community unlike Mr Dundas whose past history showed concern only for inner city communities who did so little to help themselves.

I for one am grateful that I live in a community where massive voluntary input, together with caring parish and district councillors, help us to live in a civilised fashion not available everywhere nowadays.

B J Cussons 4 Curly Hill,Ilkley.

Library neglect

SIR, - To quote from last week's edition of your newspaper, "The Kings Hall theatre is one of Ilkley's most important cultural assets."

So it be, but what about the Cinderella of Ilkley's municipal complex? Next time you visit Ilkley Library observe the wonderful workmanship above.

Not that which has stood for a hundred years but the wonderful craftsmanship of today? The type your representative at Westminster calls fabulous.

Would you accept such in your abode? Would you pay if electricity cables were left open or forced through the nearest wall? I doubt it. However if you are a resident of Bradford MDC the bill has been paid.

But back to Ilkley's cultural assets. Didn't it strike readers as odd that part of the municipal complex was missing from pictures in last week's paper? Do you, like me, wonder why Ilkley Parish and Bradford Councils are so embarrassed to show our historical seat of learning, along with the Town Hall and Kings Hall.

What are you hiding, councillors? What are you afraid to tell the populace about Ilkley Library? Are we to suppose there is a hidden agenda for our library? Will it join other services once found in the town's seat of power?

Again Ilkley is taking a back seat when it comes to financial handouts. It is a damnation on the whole community if Ilkley Library closes through lack of council attention.

Questions must be asked before the condition of this building gets beyond repair. If we lose it we'll not get another one.

FRAZER IRWIN Queen's Road,Ilkley.

Managing moor

SIR, - I am delighted that Bradford Council is taking bold action to reintroduce gamekeepers on Ilkley Moor.

It will give a huge boost to the management to ensure that the heather is carefully burnt and kept in excellent condition for the sheep, grouse and many other birds to use as cover from predators and as nesting sites.

I, for one, am looking forward to watching and hearing more curlew, lapwing, golden plover, skylarks, snipe, redshanks, grey partridge and merlin whose populations are all struggling where there are no gamekeepers to help control their natural predators.

Every gamekeeper I know only uses legal methods to control foxes, stoats, weasels, crows, rats and magpies. All of which eat the eggs and chicks of these wonderful but vulnerable ground nesting birds.

Nobody in their right mind uses poisons and I'm sure Bradford Council will ensure that the laws for predator control are followed to the letter and they will also welcome any management that will help prevent another devastating fire like that of 2006.

Andrew Wade Burley Woodhead.

Petty points

SIR, - I am disappointed that Sandy McPherson seems intent on trying to score petty points on a matter of deep importance to Ilkley. One would hope that all residents would be united on this matter.

I have not voted to welcome the Regional Spatial Strategy increased housing figures. I have not voted for anything detrimental to my ward. Anyone who suggests I have is at best mistaken and shows a lack of knowledge about the workings of regional government.

Votes are rarely taken. Board members give their views and the officers subsequently report these to the Regional Assembly.

The Yorkshire and Humber Assembly and the relevant boards are strange animals - non democratic - consisting of Government Office, Highways Agency, Regional Development Agency members, Passenger Transport Authority members, Environmentalists, Parish Council representatives, Business Sector representatives and some elected members covering wide areas from across the region.

The meeting in November was, in my view, of such importance that I attended at Wakefield (needing to be driven by an officer) within seven days of an operation. The board is not normally the place for table thumping, but at the November 16 planning meeting there was passionate opposition by myself (representing Leeds City Region) and Coun Barry Anderson (representing West Yorkshire Authorities) to the proposed housing numbers.

Subsequently the elected councils sent their objections (as has occurred at five separate stages, including a public inquiry).

Whether or not our efforts will be heeded by this Government we will find out at the end of May! Of one thing I am sure. The figures will be unpalatable, hence presumably Sandy McPherson's attempt to produce a smokescreen.

Those final figures will be Government figures. Not the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly's figures. Not Bradford Council's figures. It will be Bradford Council's responsibility at that point to allocate the where'.

Anne Hawkesworth Ingleside, Ben Rhydding.

  • This correspondence is now closed - Editor
Litter clean-up

SIR, - On behalf of Ilkley in Bloom I should like to thank all those who joined us for litter picking last week prior to judging for the Yorkshire in Bloom Competition.

Also, our thanks go to those residents who carry out their own independent litter picks throughout the year. Their work is much appreciated.

Summer judging will be July and we hope we can call on all our volunteers again then to ensure that once again Ilkley looks at its best.

Kate Brown Ilkley In Bloom

Thanks for help

SIR, - I would like to say a big thank you to the extremely kind lady and gentleman who stopped their car and came to my rescue on Grove Road on Saturday afternoon.

Whilst trying to dismount the very bad pavement edge at South Parade the front wheel of my mum's wheelchair got lodged in a hole in the road surface and as I tried to pull it out, it removed the tyre and I was completely stranded.

I was struggling to get the tyre back on when they came to see if I was in trouble. They managed with the aid of their car keys to get the tyre back on well enough for me to continue my journey back to Glen Rosa.

I really do not know what I would have done without your help. You certainly were my good Samaritans, so good to know there are still some out there.

A very big thank you once again. In my panic, I forgot to ask your name.

Margaret Clegg The Homestead, Menston.