Right on cue ex-Lib Dem councillor Quentin Macdonald tries to quell the fire burning at the closed office door of Lib Dem council leader Keith Aspden (Letters, February 27). Mr Macdonald says that ‘shock-horror’ letters have rolled in. That is his interpretation. Deeply concerned residents may have been shocked at the revelations about Mary Weastell’s departure, but all they want is the truth as to why she had left with such a huge amount of taxpayers’ money, having worked at council HQ for less than three years, and why was it done in such secrecy.

As local MP Rachael Maskell has said, transparency in council dealings is paramount. The words of Mr Aspden on becoming council leader last May sounded fine and grandiose as he told us that the new administration would be the most open and transparent ever. Those promises now just look so hollow.

Geoff Robb,

Hunters Close,


Let's have no more spiel about 'transparency'. Just get on and be open with us

Well at last we see some transparency from City of York Council in the budget papers for the coming year.

I see there is a contingency allowance of 500K being put aside - with the current rate of inflation that should cover the cost of another early retirement!

I wonder if there really has been an investigation into the cause of illness amongst council employees (for which I believe 70k was put aside). It would be nice to know what caused the amount of stress that resulted in a nine month lay off then early retirement in the case of the chief executive.

It will be even more interesting to see who puts their head up for the job, whether it be a replacement or restructure. It’s a very lucrative offer when we change these high position jobs faster than some football clubs change managers.

No matter what some people say, whether it’s reserves or contingency, it’s still the ratepayers money that’s being spent.

Let’s hope we don’t hear the old spiel of ‘I want to make it a transparent council’ yet again, especially if it’s an internal appointment!

Brian Watson,

Beckfield Lane, York