Sir, - Last week Coun John Harris criticised the fact that one of the options then being considered in the County Council Boundary Review was to link each separate Richmond district council ward with some of the adjacent rural parishes, to create three of the six Richmondshire county seats (D&S letters, June 28).

He omitted to say that all the other options, which were in circulation, kept Richmond as a unit. He did not say that local county Coun Oliver Blease, emphatically wishes Richmond to be kept as a unit. He did not note that I myself had put forward two options, both of which kept Richmond as a single unit.

The one and only reason why the possibility of dividing Richmond was put forward, as only one of several options, was so that the Boundary Commission, which makes the final decision, will need to be convinced that the county council has considered all the possible options.

This is the strong advice we were given before reaching a decision. In no way is this "gerrymandering", as John Harris was reported as describing it.

In reality, we had to consider the average population of divisions over the whole of North Yorkshire, not splitting parishes, keeping as closely to district council wards as possible, keeping in mind local identities, and other limitations imposed on us nationally.

At the area committee on Monday, we unanimously agreed to recommend a proposed plan, which fits these criteria as much as possible and includes Richmond as one single division.

John Harris, in fact, gave the game away in his last paragraph. His real interest seems to be, quite simply, in petty party politics, rather than the interests of what he describes as "our town".


Chairman of the Richmondshire Area County Council Committee.



Beautiful hall

Sir, - Recently, as Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland, I took the opportunity to visit Ormesby Hall, and I had a most enjoyable and interesting time.

Ormesby Hall is a handsome mid-18th century squire's house and the former home of the Pennyman family. The building has a magnificent history that is well told by experienced guides. It is owned by the National Trust and is a Grade I listed building.

An interesting feature is that many of the rooms have remained the same as when the last of the Pennymans died. It also has a lovely garden and stable block, which is leased to the Cleveland mounted police.

I would encourage people of all ages to visit Ormesby Hall, to experience a national treasure based on our doorsteps.


Mayor of Redcar and Cleveland,

South Bank.

Wonderful Friarage

Sir, - On the weekend of May 29, my husband and I were visiting friends in Middlesbrough. On the Saturday morning we visited York, but unfortunately I was taken very ill on the way back and was rushed into the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

I wish to thank all who were concerned in my recovery. From the accident and emergency department to the ward staff, both civilian and military. They were all brilliant.

Altogether I stayed in for 13 days and can honestly say I have never, in all the hospitals I have been in, experienced such devotion and duty.

For the first week of my spell in the hospital my husband stayed with our friends, but on the second week he found excellent digs in South Parade. The landlady was again fantastic, even doing his washing for nothing.

My husband was also very impressed with the service and politeness he received from the shop owners in Northallerton.

I hope to visit Northallerton again in more congenial times and to experience some of this kindness myself.




Sir, - I was recently in the coronary care unit in the Friarage Hospital and I would like to express my thanks to the team that cared for me.

I could not fault any one of them, their care and courtesy was all one could wish for. I would like to express my thanks.

This is not the first time I have received treatment in the Friarage Hospital and I thank my good fortune that we have such a good hospital in our area.