Sir, – Almost two years ago a headline in the D&S referred to “The building works fiasco”.

This related to a job that Richmondshire District Council carried out at Gayle, I believe the job was supposed to take five days but finally took nine months.

Of course, the council maintained that this fiasco was not its fault. I believe that in any professionally-run company this work over-run could not happen.

Last week I read: “Tell us how to save money, council asks residents”

(D&S, Oct 22).

A few weeks ago I wrote to the council, highlighting several instances where the council had acted inappropriately and wasted thousands of pounds of public money. The council replied to me to demonstrate it had done nothing wrong. In each case, it showed a total lack of business knowledge. Having answered me once, it did not respond to my reply.

To save money, the council has to have operate under the same rules as any private company.

It is too entrenched in its own peculiar way of working.

The difference between a private company and the council is a private company that makes bad decisions simply becomes unproductive and goes out of business; the council on the other hand increases car parking charges or puts council tax up instead.

BRIAN TYLDESLEY The Springs, Middleham.