Sir, - By the date of publication of this letter it will be known whether elections for North Yorkshire County Council are to go ahead on May 3 as intended or else postponed to a more appropriate time.

As members and former members of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, all of whom served during the chairmanship of Robert Heseltine, it was with genuine concern that we learnt of his intention to seek re-election to North Yorkshire County Council for the Skipton East division.

It might be that even if elected Mr Heseltine does not intend to seek re-appointment to the national park authority, frankly we would be surprised if that were the case.

Last year, as a result of a joint action brought by Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and North Yorkshire County Council, Mr Heseltine admitted twelve charges of false accounting at Teesside crown court. These amounted to more than £1,400; he also asked for eleven other offences to be taken into consideration.

Judge Peter Fox, who heard the case told him "You are unworthy of public office because you are not to be trusted". He was subsequently ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service.

More recently, in January of this year the national park authority's audit and review committee resolved to recover £2,500 from Mr Heseltine for expense claims submitted between April 1997 and March 1999.

As John Blackie, chairman of that committee said at the time "Mr Heseltine has been given every opportunity to bring this matter to a conclusion, but so far not a single penny has been paid back".

We do not consider Mr Heseltine to be a proper person to serve on any public authority and would respectfully ask the electors of Skipton East to take our concerns into consideration before casting their ballots.




l Mr Heseltine to repay cash: see news report: page 1.

l More Letters to the Editor on page 24.