STOKESLEY Town Council has asked me to respond to the comments by Derek Whiting on the poor state of many of the roads in and around Stokesley (HAS, Mar 1).

The council shares his frustrations, however, his frustration with the town council is entirely misguided.

The responsibility for highways, including pavements, and their upkeep lies with North Yorkshire County Council. The town council has no jurisdiction nor ability to commission work on these areas. The town council frequently petitions NYCC Highways over the urgent need for repairs on the High Street, Station Road and North Road among others, plus other items where it has responsibility, often chasing up items where there has been a lack of timely action.

The cobbles on the High Street are largely the responsibility of Hambleton District Council. Stokesley Town Council has recognised the poor condition of these. Despite pressure, the district has failed to make permanent repairs. The town council is now progressing negotiations with Hambleton to take control of these cobbles prior to upgrading them.

In areas where the town council has responsibility, it is proud of its recent record of improvements. Examples include the Christmas lights, full refurbishment of the public toilets, relaying the cobbles on Leven Wynd and the continued upgrading of facilities in the Town Hall.

Finally, no one is “in charge” of the council; there are 11 volunteer councillors, with a broad range of skills and expertise, giving up their time freely and trying to do their best for the town.

Mr Whiting is welcome to attend any of the town council meetings where there is an opportunity for members of the public to raise issues they are concerned about or the monthly surgeries held in the Town Hall on Farmers’ Market Saturdays between 11am and noon.

Graham Sowerby, chairman, Stokesley Town Council