SIR, - I believe I am expressing the feelings of many residents of Addingham when I say how sorry I am at the decision of Councillor Gordon Campbell to stand down as Chairman of Addingham Parish Council.

Over the last six to seven years whilst he has been chairman, Councillor Campbell has, to my knowledge, devoted countless hours, many behind the scenes, in his endeavours to improve the quality of life of the residents of Addingham. Among the many schemes he has helped with are: l The proposed doctors' surgery which without Councillor Campbell's unstinting help would never have progressed.

l The children's' playground on Silsden Road l The solving, at least for this year, of the problem of admissions to Ilkley Grammar School l Traffic calming measures in the village l Endeavouring to find the Scouts new premises.

He has always found time to discuss issues with villagers, be this in Tesco or elsewhere.

I realise he has had a very difficult last twelve months as chairman of a very divisive council which has led not only to his decision to stand down as chairman but also to the resignations of Councillor Haigh and the Council Clerk.

I can only hope that the new chairman realises that part of her task is to mix with the inhabitants of Addingham and that e-mails and the internet are not the way to get to know the majority of the residents of our village.

As a resident concerned for the welfare of our village I have attended several parish council meetings over the last year and have been surprised and disgusted at some of the petty and disruptive behaviour of certain councillors.

All Councillors should be working to the same end - the welfare of Addingham and its residents.

Bill Preston - Parish Councillor 1987/2003

Food for thought

SIR, - With parking in Ilkley being at such a premium, imagine my joy when I thought I had nabbed a parking space right outside the town hall on a Monday afternoon!

My joy however, was short lived. A lady who, although dressed in blue, appeared to be a council employee and not a policewoman proceeded to fill the parking space with yellow traffic cones labelled Police' and then disappeared in the direction of the Tourist information office.

I managed to find somewhere else to park and as I wandered towards the town hall a short time later, I was surprised to see a 4x4 pull up at the coned off space, dropping off a female passenger who promptly removed the cones allowing the driver to take the space which had previously denied to me.

I decided to get to the bottom of this matter and approached the driver who explained that he was the head of the parish council and that the space had been reserved so that he could unload some important items for the meeting of the parish council.

I observed these important items to be two or three plates of sandwiches.

I usually collect a bacon and tomato sandwich (with brown sauce) from Ilkley Sandwich Company most mornings around nine. I wonder if the same parking privileges might be afforded to myself!

NABBERS - Name and address supplied

Brave protesters

SIR, - The production of foie gras, with its intensive force-feeding of ducks and geese, is one of farming's most brutal and abject practices. I hope that the customers of the one or two places in the town who still sell it will show some sensitiviy and imagination and take their custom to more animal welfare-conscious eating places.

I fully support the thoughtful letters from Heather Parry and Mark Sutcliffe who deplored your editorial comment with its denigrating comments on the two brave protesters, Mike Harrington and Andy Ford, who brought the attention of the public to this cruelty in their midst.

What is wrong with taking persuasive action to defend the right of all animals to be treated humanely and gently and not be subjected to degrading, painful abuses?

I was heartened to read recently that the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, was adopting a 40-day vegan diet for Lent. He said: "We can all be the change we want to see in the world."

Good for him, I hoped he achieved this aim. Your readers have the power to change the lives of animals (and humans) for the better - avoiding cruel food is one way.

Audrey Hargreaves - Addingham.

Businesses hounded

SIR, - I understand what Animal Rights is saying about foie gras. But there's another point here.

If I run a business and what I am selling is not against the law, why should I have to put up with people with placards trying to affect my trade?

Whatever Heather Parry says, the protesters pictured in the Gazette will be intimidating to some people.

They admit they want people to boycott places selling foie gras. That's obvious, otherwise they wouldn't be there.

I don't agree with the way foie gras is produced, either, but I don't think it right that businesses trading within the law should be hounded in this way.