You have made it quite clear that preference will be given to letters referring to 'local matters'.

It occurs to me that almost all of the things which people draw attention to by writing to you are about the effects of certain events on their lives.

These may be represented as generalisations or specific concerns.

They range from things which affect us personally to those which affect all of us to a greater or lesser extent.

Many of the letters you publish concern the effects on us of decisions and circumstances that are not only beyond our control but more often than not, we find ourselves unable to influence them.

We become driven by frustration with this 'fact of life' and resort to publicly presenting our discontent to the world (and occasionally our pleasure), via the 'safety valve' of 'letters to the editor'.

I suggest regretfully that these may not be a necessarily effective way to bring real change to our lives.

One might argue that instead of us writing to you with our suggestions and complaints, it would be more effective if we sent them to our MPs, councillors and decision-makers.

However, instead of this being what one might assume to be a reasonable alternative, it has proved to be a relatively futile means of attracting their attention to the root causes of our problems.

Some years ago, I realised that almost all of our problems arise from the way we are governed and wrote to you suggesting that you allow more correspondence or column inches to be devoted towards national politics since this is now clearly becoming the 'root of all evil'!

Party politics has the capacity whatever goes wrong, to divide us all into two camps with vastly different motives always unpalatable to the majority of us. It almost guarantees more 'losers' than 'winners'.

I thank you for allowing us to at least confront these difficulties by allowing public discourse on many controversial subjects.

What I would like to raise personally as something to consider is whether we might in future as individuals and community, only vote for candidates with personal mandates designed to encourage consensus policies.

I believe that until we force Westminster and our new Unitary Authority to adopt PROPA (Proportional Representation Of Public Ambitions), we'll sink struggling furiously in a quagmire of our own making.

It's sucking everyone inexorably into the 'swamp' of political ambition at Westminster.

Mike Joslin