GIVE the residents of Newby Wiske some credit, Mr Banfield (D&S Times, August 25). Name-calling does you no favours.

In my role as chairman of the parish council, I approached a number of local councils with PGL sites within their boundary, regarding advantages/disadvantages of PGL’s presence in their communities.

Some did not respond at all.

Some pointed out that the PGL site was located well outside the village, and was not considered to be a problem.

One or two were more forthcoming.

One said that (a) the site was well outside the village, (b) only catered for a fraction of the number of children proposed for the Newby Wiske site, and (c) the children attending were only primary school children.

He said that he would have serious misgivings if the site was (a) in the village, as proposed in Newby Wiske (he had looked at a map), (b) if the numbers attending were in the same range as being proposed here, and (c) if the age of children attending was up to 17 years, rather than just 11 years.

From my research, no PGL site appears to be nearer than 0.3 miles to a village.

Some of the PGL sites are situated very sensibly, miles away from any local community, so have no effect on local residents at all.

Each of the parish representatives spoken to said that there was absolutely no financial benefit to the local economy, and that very few local people were employed by PGL. Security, domestic work and cleaning jobs seemed to be about the limit of local employment. One parish councillor said that the PGL leaders do assist with the village Guides and Scouts.

Another one said that during the planning consultation period, PGL had indicated that they would hold ‘open days’ for local children to use the site, but in fact this had never materialised.

I do hope nobody from Thorntonle-Beans was banking on taking their children to PGL Newby Wiske for a day out!

I should point out that since submission of the PGL planning application to Hambleton District Council, I have resigned from the local parish council in order to fight this application, and in order to avoid any accusations of my membership compromising the parish council with my stance.

However, the parish council do remain steadfastly opposed to the application.

Keith Bowe, Newby Wiske

RESIDENTS of Newby Wiske (D&S Times, August 25) should ask themselves which is preferable – the transfer of Newby Wiske Hall to a new owner, able and willing to take on this property, or for the hall to fall vacant and derelict, prey to every vandal and thief for miles around?

This was the fate of The Mount, the former maternity hospital in Northallerton which lay vacant and derelict for several years, during which time thieves stole all the fireplaces, timber panelling and staircase balusters, while vandals wrecked the interior and smashed all the windows.

Having reduced Newby Wiske Hall to a wreck, doubtless the thieves and vandals would turn their attention to properties in the village.

Tony Robinson, Thirsk