Like millions of people across the country, I have been glued to the television screen this week watching a host of fascinating sports and cheering on our inspirational Team GB, including Yorkshire’s very own Lizzie Armitstead, Nicola Wilson and Tom Ransley.

There are certain memories that stay with you in life, and like many local residents, I can remember exactly where I was back on July 6, 2005, when London was awarded the Olympic Games, just seeing off the bid from Paris. For far more tragic reasons, I also remember where I was the following day as terrorists struck our country on July 7, 2005.

Seven years on from those callous and cowardly attacks, our country has responded once again in the face of evil with extraordinary determination.

The slogan of these Games is Inspire A Generation, aimed at stirring young people into taking up a new sport. In truth, however, we can all take a great deal of encouragement from our dedicated and truly inspirational Team GB, whatever walk of life we come from.

Indeed, as our remarkable athletes take to the track, the gym and the pool over the coming days, we should all take enormous pride in our country and our Olympian-producing county in particular.

Despite living in difficult economic times, we continue to epitomise some very Olympic values, not least – endeavour, determination, diversity and respect.

• Along with many readers, I was dismayed when reading in The Press recently that City of York Council is considering the introduction of a “subscription-based service” for green waste collection – in essence charging us for our green waste.

I know that local authorities up and down the country are all playing their part in finding savings in these tough economic times, but charging local residents for green waste collections is probably the most bizarre and frankly ridiculous ideas that I have come across.

Local residents from our more rural villages would bear the brunt from any such ill-thought-through move, and surely any imposition of charge would not only be a misguided assault on those households with gardens, but also an unprecedented attack on recycling in York.

This idea follows on from the removal of 349 litter bins by the council last month, without any consultation with the public.

The council must tread carefully. Yes, they have to make tough spending choices, but they alone are accountable for which areas they reform. In a similar fashion, they alone are responsible for the 2.9 per cent increase in our council tax when a majority of local authorities in England accepted a grant from the Government to freeze any increase this year.

I believe that the people of York understand the economic situation and appreciate the need for spending restraint, but I’m sure they will also see through any politically motivated excuses.

My simple advice to the council would be to respect local taxpayers, and their intelligence. The plans to charge for green waste must be binned.

• Last month, our city received some terribly tragic news from the Alps. An utterly heart-wrenching avalanche robbed York of two fine men, Steve Barber and John Taylor. To lose two upstanding family men from the same road in Upper Poppleton is simply devastating.

Words alone are never sufficient in such situations and I cannot pretend to understand how the bereaved families must be feeling. I know that our local communities and services will unite to offer those family and friends who are struggling with as much support and assistance as possible.