THE recent Press Business Awards demonstrated that there are companies and individuals with ability, still striving to forge ahead in spite of the recession. The disappointment is that very few are in industry and in particular manufacturing.

York has been preoccupied with tourism, education and service and, in the past 20 years, almost encouraged manufacturers to either close down or see their product made elsewhere, as more than 20 large and middle-sized producers capitalised on the change of use of their land to housing.

Manufacturers have a job spectrum covering all abilities and ages, giving incomes more likely to convert the desire for homes into one of ability to afford.

In a nation whose population and density was born out of and for industrial growth, an effort to swing the pendulum back in favour of those who can make and grow a bigger portion of our consumption is essential.

It would be prudent to have industrial land reserved for future development and ensure that developers are not able to change the land to other use.

After all, with fewer jobs comes a reduced need for housing growth.

Philip Crowder, York Road, Haxby.