CHRISTIAN Vassie's letter (Big issues or animal antics, August 10) was a pointless bit of point-scoring.

I seem to know two people - the "pleasant" one who I meet in person who told me of his support for my efforts to ban foie gras; and the "letters page" version who seems full of vitriol. He seems supportive of the animal welfare agenda generally, yet makes time in his busy schedule to attack what I am doing.

He belittles my request for a review of the role of animals in circuses as being about "performing budgies" when in fact the Zippo circus has been allowed to perform in York in apparent contradiction of the council's own policy. I am entirely within my rights to question that, and the decision whether to set up a review will be taken by an independent committee.

Coun Vassie and I were elected in May 2003.

The last local election was the electorate's first opportunity to judge us on our personal records. Whereas I massively increased my personal vote in Heworth, Coun Vassie lost a whopping 20 per cent of his personal support - almost 200 votes - which for a single member ward is frankly shocking.

During the election campaign, I knocked on hundreds of doors in Heworth and was congratulated dozens of times for speaking up on animal welfare issues. The public want these issues discussed - and are prepared to vote for authentic politicians who fight for what they believe in. Perhaps this is reflected in our contrasting election results.

I have worked hard to secure cross-party support for these issues in the council and beyond; and when he criticises my efforts to reduce animal suffering, I hope readers don't think he is speaking for the Lib Dems.

Coun Paul Blanchard, Chaucer Lane, York