I share Phil Shepherdson’s frustration (Letters, May 17) about City of York Council’s inability to engage with York’s renewable energy potential.

I have witnessed this ongoing failure from the inside as an elected councillor. While countries across the rest of Europe work to make full use of their local energy potential to cut carbon emissions, York dawdles.

We cannot simply blame energy companies. It’s an institutional problem; previous council administrations of all colours have all fared as badly.

In December 2010 I pointed out at a full council meeting that waste heat from the then proposed incinerator at Allerton would be capable of providing district heating to around 26,000 homes. The company that would build the plant had given me the figures.

Instead the council voted for a scheme that would pour £1billion of heat into the sky over 25 years, and I was briefly suspended for my troubles.

Similarly, I have pointed out for over a decade that the old North Selby Mine site could provide district heating to 1,200 homes. That too is ignored.

Is it lack of vision, timidity, laziness, bureaucratic disinterest ... or are we still too rich to bother? We have to get a grip.

Cllr Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York


Junk culture saddens me

As a litter-picker - in beautiful Rowntree Park - I am saddened by all that is thrown away.

Plastic and glass bottles, cans and food wrappings could be recycled or, better still, returned to the producers if we just had a deposit system. Instead they are left on the ground or, possibly, dragged out by foxes, squirrels or birds searching in the bins for scraps as some of the food and drink hasn`t been consumed.

Do any readers have suggestions for reducing this waste?

Rose Berl, Vine Street, York