I AM privileged to have spent the last 70 years of my life in Ledbury, commencing with my education at the revered Ledbury Grammar School.

It is no surprise that, with the combination of inhabitants, geography, retail facilities and communications, the town regularly appears in the lists of the best places in England to live.

However, I consider the unique character of Ledbury is under threat due to the incompetence and inefficiency of local government.

Whatever their political alliances, the members, past and present, of Herefordshire Council should squirm with guilt.

I cite: The major faults in childcare administration.

The millions squandered on the Hereford By-Pass proposals.

The lack of improvement in such roads as the A438 and A4103 which are only fit for the days of the horse and cart.

The inefficiency of the Balfour Beatty contract.

Unanswered communications.

The disgraceful lack of support for over 90 per cent of the town’s inhabitants for the rejection of planning permission for the Viaduct site. Evidence is already available for the access problems this site will cause.

The foolhardy purchase of the Maylord shopping area which will prove to be a drain on the council’s resources.

All these matters accumulate and it must be borne in mind that the cost of these errors is paid for by the council tax payers.

In my opinion the cause is the lack of business experience of the council members.

In mitigation I believe the time demands exclude business owners from participating.

Whilst I am critical of past performance, and who would not be, my main concern is the total lack of forethought and planning for the future.

In Ledbury we have seen a disproportionate increase in the population with also another 1,000 houses in the pipeline.

There are no proposals to provide increased medical or educational facilities. The car parking problem is acute and the change in the last 12 months or so is dramatic.

Now every side street is clogged with parked vehicles.

There is no provision for employment.

In five years’ time Ledbury, the town which I and most people love, is going to lose its unique character.

What a loss.

Roger Allsop