Regarding your front page article of May 8 (Fear of a bleak future for town).

The future of the town lies with its residents and businesses.

We have no right to expect government to find solutions and fund the execution of those solutions, for the remedy is in our hands.

In Ledbury there are brilliant providers of professional services.

Out of hours they could add to the daytime academic lessons of the schools by equipping students for the financial, legal and medical aspects of practical adult life.

We have a wonderful array of independent retailers who could mount a co-ordinated campaign of being open when consumers want them.

For example, why on earth should a clothes shop open before lunch?

Why should a chemist not deliver prescription drugs during the conventional lunch hours?

Our restaurants represent an almost inter-galactic array of cultures.

Could they not commandeer the High Street for four evenings a year, close off the traffic and have consumer-funded town parties?

Maybe the Government could help, but why don’t we, as society, help them by reducing our demands on its resources?

Just imagine how much less public spending there would be by, for example, the police if fewer raped, burgled, assaulted or defrauded; by social workers if any of us actually cared for our fellow human beings; by the State on unemployment benefit if attendance at school was seen as a privilege and not a right; or by the NHS is we asked ourselves if we really needed a cigarette or the fifth burger of the day.

All it needs for us to be successful is a little thought, imagination and contribution.

There is no magic solution that we cannot ourselves achieve.

David Ashcroft