TODAY (March 22) I had cause to visit the town hall in Darlington. It was the part where I believe housing enquiries etc are dealt with.

The reception desk was quiet, and I was dealt with very politely by an employee.

However, I am not saying he was under-employed, but he had to brush the cobwebs away before attending to me. My visit took about two seconds.

Could the council not employ this person more fruitfully perhaps by giving him work away from the reception desk but close enough to attend if a buzzer was pressed?

This would also mean he is giving the council tax payers better value.

A similar situation happened to me. Having commenced employment at North Road Locomotive Works I transferred to Shildon C & W Works in 1964 where I spent three wonderful years.

During that time, I was a junior clerk working in the office of a Mr Matthew Brownless. As a clerk he was great to work for. One day I had to say apprehensively I was very much underemployed although I did get my night school homework done.

Immediately Mr Brownless was on the phone to the personnel office and by next day I was working in two offices gaining more experience.

However, if it is unusual for the reception desk to be as quiet as it was, I apologise to the council.

Mike Taylor, Darlington