As this year closes, as an environment campaigner for more than 20 years, I would urge our elected representatives at County Hall not to delete private email addresses as a means of contact.

Some weeks ago Pat Holland wrote complaining about private emails at County Hall.

I do not know who Pat Holland is, but my personal experience is that council officers can sometimes threaten campaigners and our elected representatives have a democratic duty to provide a trusted channel for campaigners to air concerns.

When anything from a number of emails sent over more than a decade can be used as a complaint from officers — the public is entitled to use other means.

We only have to look at the unanimous decision of the planning committee to disagree with an officer's recommendation regarding a fracking application this year, to realise how angry young campaigners could have been put at risk if they had not had the protection of private emails, and disagreement with officers was very appropriate in that case.

Regarding Freedom of Information requests, I have always raised these with departments, not with elected representatives.

Trust and protection from intimidation when raising concerns, should be at the heart of good local government.

Read more letters sent to the County Press here. Do you have a view on this or any other subject? Send us a letter to