Madam, One of last week's letters made the very important point about making the time in the public sector to say thank you to staff for a job well done.

It also expressed healthy scepticism about the absolute accuracy of any system which attempts to measure the very different challenges faced by local government across the whole country.

A second correspondent tried to link the assessment to the very narrow issue of the Edgar Street development. In doing so, your correspondent made two statements which are wholly inaccurate.

It is suggested that within the overall assessment of "good" the council failed to achieve any excellent levels of service.

This is simply incorrect. There were three areas in which the council achieved that top category.

It is also important to tackle the suggestion of complacency.

As you will know from the material which we supplied to the press and others there was a consistent message that we had achieved a lot in a very short time, hence the "good" rating but we recognised that much remained to be done.

That is hardly surprising when you consider that, in contrast to most of the assessed authorities which have been around for a considerable period of time, we are only just completing our fifth year in operation.

NEIL PRINGLE, chief executive, Herefordshire Council.