Sir, On behalf of all the residents of the Vale, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those who have organised and maintained our public services, particularly our postal and waste collection services, throughout all the recent bad weather. How sad it is, then, to report the figures of attendance of our elected councillors at a general licensing committee meeting held at Vale HQ in Abingdon on Monday, January 21 at 2.30pm. The Conservative chairman and vice-chairman were both absent. Neither had arranged a substitute. Four other Conservative members of the committee were absent. They, too, had failed to arrange a substitute. Two Conservatives were present as expected. Of the seven opposition committee members expected, only one was absent, and they had arranged a substitute. True, the weather may have made it harder for some to attend, but on that day, snow was melting, the vast majority of the roads were clear, and the forecast for our area, at least, was fair for the afternoon.

True, some may have had pressing personal reasons for their absence, but the same could be said for at least two Liberal Democrat attendees.

Richard Webber

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group