A dirty city with high levels of fly tipping and graffiti would be unpleasant to live in. That is why the council has launched York Pride.

Graffiti obeys no boundaries, and has become worse and more prolific in recent years.

We must recognise that the appearance of the city has an impact on visitor numbers. People will not come back if they are unimpressed.

In response to Dr Campbell's letter (October 13), tourism is a key part of the York economy, and the new council will encourage this as much as it will encourage confectionery, bioscience and the rail industries to flourish.

Dr Campbell does not do justice to the Street Environment Officers who are already making a difference to the appearance of the city.

Five of those six officers work outside the "tourist" city centre.

This highly-motivated team has been involved in removing graffiti, litterpicking with community groups and taking enforcement action where necessary.

At the same time there has been a major move to put back investment in gulley and street cleaning which has predominantly benefited the suburbs.

So there has, in recent years, been a deterioration in the cleansing of the city, but the new administration has acted to turn this around in all parts of York, not just the "tourist" areas.

Anyone spotting problems with street environment should contact the hotline on 551551 and together we can work to rid York of graffiti.

Andrew Waller

Executive Member,

Environment and Sustainability,

City of York Council.

Updated: 12:14 Monday, October 20, 2003