SIR — As chairs of Highcliffe and Winnall Community Forums respectively, we would like, through the courtesy of your columns, to say how much we agree with the criticism of the county council expressed in several of your letters recently for failing to grit so many of our pavements.

In Winnall this was a specially serious problem because of the hilly terrain.

We note there has been no public explanation nor apology from the council to date.

Why not, when so many council tax payers were so seriously affected (and look to be again)?

If ever there was a service that all citizens have a right to expect from a local authority, it is surely such a basic one as this.

We hope very much that this issue will now be treated as an emergency matter by county councillors and officers before more citizens are injured, and that permanent solutions are found so that both now and in future years, citizens can rely on safe roads and pavements in winter.

Antony de Peyer, chair, Highcliffe Community Forum, Martin Merritt, chair, Winnall Community Forum.