Sir, – I have read the article (D&S, Oct 22) regarding Richmondshire District Council’s public consultation on spending cuts and offer the following suggestions.

It is a pointless exercise to ask residents what services they want keeping as one will end up with numerous disparate ideas that are not necessarily in the best interests of the community.

This exercise needs a more professional approach. The council should make available a complete list of current and planned expenditure and a breakdown of all current services and responsibilities that incur costs, along with a full employment analysis including job descriptions and salaries of council employees (identities to remain anonymous).

This should also include individual town council costs, funding and the services they provide to residents.

A simple questionnaire could then be designed around the above data, with two columns headed “Retain” and “Not essential”, enabling residents to tick the relevant box. A limited space at the bottom of the questionnaire could be left for suggestions.

The data and questionnaire should be posted on the council’s website with hard copies available for collection from council offices and libraries. Advice about the questionnaire’s availability and how to complete/ return it should be advertised in the local Press.

ROBERT BROWN Springfield Close, Leyburn.