Sir, I was surprised to read Carol Tomlinson’s letter (Herald, January 23) regarding money spent on weed killing in Wantage and Grove.

By keeping weeds down, we not only make our towns and villages more pleasant to live in, but we also save on the greater expense caused by the inevitable long-term deterioration of footpaths due to the spread of roots and vegetation.

Numerous residents have complained to me about the futility of making resurfacing repairs only for nearby uncontrolled weeds to crack and break up surfaces.

This has been ignored for far too long by the local authorities and the weed killing programme that we have reinstated is actually very cost effective. In the past, this work was routinely done by the county council, but was curtailed several years ago. Years of unchecked growth has now started causing damage, so stepping in now means “a stitch in time saves nine”. Most residents have thanked me for weed killing being undertaken once again.

Ms Tomlinson also wrote another letter (Herald, January 16) in which she chose to conflate national politics concerning the free movement of EU citizens with the large-scale housing planned for the local area. This unhelpful political point-scoring distracts from the local challenges where we should all be working together to ensure the best future for our communities As shown by our recent housing survey, the majority of residents have deep concerns about the scale and nature of development, and how the local infrastructure will cope.

First and foremost, as a county councillor for Grove and Wantage, I will always fight for the views of those I represent to be heard rather than get engaged in a sideshow about national policies over which I have no control.

Councillor Zoé Patrick

Leader of the Opposition

County Councillor for Grove and Wantage