I AM in my 83rd year and, apart from four and a half years as a watchkeeping officer in submarines during the war, I have farmed all my life - the last 51 years at this place, though I am now retired.

I am absolutely dumbfounded by the fact that every single livestock market on the A49, except Hereford, has built (in some cases years ago), a new market on the relevant by-pass. Yet Hereford, easily the largest (so far) is still bumbling along with the owner of the market, Herefordshire Council, apparently in conflict with ratepayers in several potential sites as to where the market should relocate.

The provision of a proper by-pass is paramount. I would have thought that the interest of farmers would be of equal importance to that of the council or the ratepayers but political considerations have clearly downgraded the importance of farming to the community.

All concerned should consider the fate of Banbury Market. A similar situation existed there before the council owned the market, right in the middle of the town.

Somebody failed to see the necessity of getting the market out onto the newly-constructed motorway, and what happened? The indecisiveness of the council failed to grasp the situation and Banbury Market - for most of my lifetime known as the Stockyard of England - ceased to exist.

May I make a belated plea to those in authority to pull themselves together, and actually make a decision to obviate another major livestock market closure.

See this week's Hereford Times for more reader's letters.

STEPHEN PHILP, Peterchurch.