THANK you for alerting York residents to the council’s plans to site a nine-day event of camping and entertainments on Monk Stray to coincide with Le Grand Depart (The Press, February 7).

How and when was planning permission for this granted when a similar proposal was dropped some three years ago?

The underhand approach of this council to alter the nature of the Stray from an open space we can all enjoy for nothing to a blatant commercialisation of the green heritage of York is disgraceful.

Some years ago residents understood that no such use of the Stray would be imposed without consultation of the householders and businesses affected.

Yes, there is a presentation tomorrow at Heworth Cricket Club, yet caravan and camping places on Monk Stray are already being advertised for hire on the council’s website. This is before a licence has been granted and before the consultation period for a licence has expired.

This council is passing measures the council taxpayers and residents will long regret; let us hope changing the use of Monk Stray will not be one of them.

Why not deal with the inadequate bus service, the dangerous pavements and the pot-holes rather than interfering in Lendal Bridge, King’s Square and Monk Stray?

If more money is needed why not hold a local referendum on raising the council tax and leave our precious Stray alone.

Prof Peter Lock, Straylands Grove, York.


• IN RESPONSE to my worries that there are local concerns over plans to turn Monk Stray into a nine-day campsite for the Tour De France, Labour’s Coun Sonja Crisp responded by saying: “A meeting is taking place next week in his ward, involving himself and residents, so I’m not really sure what his point is” (The Press, February 7).

What she failed to say was that the meeting is only happening because I arranged it. Before this, City of York Council had no apparent plans for a public meeting or to consult residents.

This goes against what Coun Crisp said in September 2011, when she said that future use of the stray for public events “would be subject to public consultation”.

So, my “point” is: why did Coun Crisp break this promise and why did Labour not consult local residents?

Perhaps instead of trying to muddy the waters, Coun Crisp and City of York Council should address these issues and explain the plans to local people. Their opportunity will come at the public meeting tomorrow at 7pm at Heworth Cricket Club on Elmpark Way.

Coun Nigel Ayre, Heworth Without ward, Galtres Road, York.