SIR, - Local motorists are warned that severe car parking fines are on the increase even for quite trivial offences.

Recent experiences of myself and friends include: A £60 fixed penalty for displaying the disabled badge the wrong way up - even though the car was parked carefully and safely in a proper bay and the badge was valid.

A £40 fine for exceeding the two-hour limit - at a supermarket a computer control checks the entry and exit time so you cannot argue.

A £40 fine was imposed at a supermarket car park for not parking properly between the allocated white lines.

A warning' given because a valid pay and display ticket was upside down (ie. improperly displayed) A £30 fine for not paying the parking fee even though a valid disabled ticket was displayed. Note: Not all car parks allow free disabled parking. The National Parks particularly make no concessions for the disabled.

It seems wardens and car park teams are trying to justify their costs by being more strict and increasing revenue.

So if you don't want a yellow' notice on your windscreen please check you are properly paid and displayed before you leave the car anywhere.

John Ince - Full address supplied.

Ilkley impresses visitor

SIR, - I recently spent some days with a friend who lives in Ilkley and I feel I must write to say how impressed I was with the town.

There is no invasion by the big chain stores which blight town centres these days, and I congratulate the town council in keeping them out.

It's a nice surprise to find all the small, individual shops providing quality and choice, and long may they thrive.

And the town is so clean, so free of litter. Wherever I went in Ilkley it was the same. The contrast with the area I live in could not be greater.

Whenever I visit Yorkshire I am always struck by how clean and well kept are the towns villages and countryside.

Mrs V Fyfe - 20 Meeting House Lane, Ulverston.

European Reform' treaty

SIR, - Betty Simmers from London advocates a national referendum (Letters, October 25). There's no explanation of the cause we're asked to decide. I'll remedy that.

I presume New Alliance is referring to the European Reform' treaty that's to be examined in detail by MPs and the House of Lords early next year. Which is what we elect our MPs for.

Unlike the so-called constitutional' treaty abandoned two years ago, this reform' treaty is a small fraction of its length and made up of lots of small innovations and amendments, which streamline bureaucracy and strengthens scrutiny and accountability.

They are changes that enable our club of 27 different countries and 23 official languages to reach agreements on adapting each country's own laws and procedures into similar forms.

Our European club of countries was formed to enable people in Ilkley and all 27 countries to travel, trade, live and buy property anywhere without governments interfering. When the club was started 50 years ago, the six founding countries agreed to make decisions by majority votes.

That was soon changed to unanimity votes on big matters. As the club has grown, the unanimity rule has enabled members to prevent flexibility by vetoing changes most members want. Which is why it's rational to change the way we make agreements.

For most aspects, a substantial majority is all that will be needed - just like most other clubs. Britain retains our right to opt out of club policies on foreign affairs, law enforcement and taxes whenever we chose. Most members retain exceptions that privilege their special interests.

Members have gained benefits from agreeing common policies. The European Union has turned out to be the world's most successful peace process. Nowadays we settle our quarrels through rather boring discussions. Which makes a nice change!

National income growths have exceeded pre-membership rates and especially for the smaller and poorest members. Moreover, almost two-thirds of British exports are to our EU neighbours and our club has become the biggest market for the produce of poor countries around the world.

This is not a perfect club and some are discontent. Other countries worry that English is becoming the club's elite language and that Anglo-Saxon' ideas are taking over. Some people in Ilkley worry that Britain's 1862 decision to prepare for metrication might become a club rule! None of these is policy.

Some Euro-nutters had a plan to make our club of 27 countries sound like a Federal State. And that each country could be invaded by hordes of permanent settlers from central Europe. If that bizarre idea isever refloated, we'd have to sink it again.

Andrew Dundas - Parish Ghyll Drive, Ilkley.

The secret trail activists

SIR, - Your excellent summing-up of the Wharfedale Trail controversy in last week's Ilkley Gazette has prompted me to wonder who are the people behind the well-organised campaign opposing the proposed Wharfedale Trail and why are they so intense?

Their professional-looking website; a village-wide distribution of printed handbills; the expensive-looking posters; and the intensity of their frenetic campaigning all suggest a hidden programme.

Let the leaders of these secretive activists identify themselves and assure us that veiled commercial interests are not motivating their fierce and malicious opposition to the Wharfedale Trail.

Harry Tolson - 1 High Croft, Southfield Lane, Addingham.

Anger at call for badger cull

SIR, - The RSPCA is echoing the anger and dismay of top scientists provoked by a Government advisor's outrageous and misinformed' call for a badger cull to reduce bovine TB (bTB) in cattle.

Robust science has shown that a cull could have disastrous consequences for cattle and badgers alike, so leading experts are shocked by the stance of Government adviser Sir David King. His recommendation directly contradicts the most rigorous scientific study ever produced on the impact of badger-culling on bTB in cattle.

Professor John Bourne - whose Independent Scientific Group (ISG) undertook the badger-culling study - has recently told a committee of MPs the King report appeared hastily written' and superficial'. The ISG recommended cattle controls to reduce the spread of bTB.

To help avoid a senseless badger cull, and add your voice to those of the country's eminent scientists and animal welfare experts, please contact your MP or write to the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR.

Alan Wolinski - RSPCA Regional Manager for North Region.

Appeal for long-lost relative

SIR, - I have been seeking information on my great uncle, Dr Thomas Browne Hearder, who was a GP in Ilkley from about 1906 until his death in 1948.

He lived at Morven, Grove Road, Ilkley. Any stories or anecdotes would be greatly appreciated.

Ian Hearder - 3 Greenhill, Brampton, Cumbria,CA8 1SU.