SIR: It certainly emphasises the scale of the problem when both the current Conservative MP (Steve Brine, Letter from Westminster, August 27) and his Liberal Democrat predecessor (Mark Oaten, Letters, September 3) write to you about the continuing delays in redeveloping the rundown parts of Winchester and the inactivity of the current administration. Both condemn the focus on winning seats at elections rather than “taking tough long term decisions for the city”.

Winchester’s economy faces major challenges, including an over reliance on the public sector for jobs, a struggling retail and leisure sector and real problems in keeping young people in the area. The area around the bottom of the High Street is crying out for development and is increasingly shabby. New office accommodation is needed to attract new private sector businesses and to stop those already here leaving. Our high streets and cultural sector need supporting to draw visitors in.

Instead of tackling these issues, the current administration hides behind its green agenda and the pandemic to do nothing. Dither and delay has replaced action. They pander to Extinction Rebellion whilst spurning offers to assist from the Conservatives, at the price of the local economy and Winchester as any form of destination. If the administration is not prepared to act, it should make way for others who are able to make the tough decisions needed.

Hugh Lumby,

Shadow Portfolio holder for the Local Economy,

Upper Meon Valley ward,

Winchester City Council,

High Street,