SIR - Yes there should be a replacement for the soon-to-be demolished Wales National Ice Rink within the grounds of Glamorgan County Cricket Club at Sophia Gardens as this development will not include any building or use of Pontcanna fields and the public/cycle route that runs past the caravan park to Western Avenue.
How will this affect local residents/safety/parking? The ice rink is used for hockey on a Saturday and Sunday evening between 6pm and 9pm in the winter so is unlikely to affect shoppers or residents' parking or the huge number of children playing unsupervised in a large unlit public park on dark winter nights.
NCP currently offer reduced car parking for rink users on game nights, so why would you park in a "residents-only" space and get a £25 fine when you can park in a car park for £2.50?
Chapel Wood, Llanedeyrn, Cardiff
SIR - Huw Lewis AM has persuaded me that he is an expert on Labour Party cliches and jargon, promising copious amounts of jam tomorrow.
However, could he please explain how, after voting Labour for nearly a hundred years, the Valley constituencies of South Wales are still among the poorest constituencies in the UK, even though billions of pounds' worth of coal and other vital resources have been produced there.
Also during the past hundred years those Irish Separatists have managed to change Ireland from the poorest country in Europe under Westminster rule to a country whose GDP is way ahead of Wales with a Government respected in Europe and the United Nations.
I think I would prefer to listen to the Irish explanation for their success, than Huw Lewis's jargon.
ARFON H EVANS
Penhower Uchaf, Caerhun, Bangor, Gwynedd
SIR - Labour ought to get their facts straight before trying to defend their record on poverty.
A New Labour AM made an astonishing assertion ("Tackling poverty", Western Mail, September 28) that no one ever claimed that Communities First was the answer to poverty.
Perhaps he should read his own party's spin. They claimed in the year 2000 that "Communities First is central to the Assembly's overall plan to combat poverty in Wales". (Assembly Government press release 6 December 2000) and there are numerous other examples.
And now the Government are changing their tune. The Deputy Minister in his own review of the Communities First programme admitted that "Communities First is not the answer to poverty".
Perhaps Labour should get their facts straight before launching unfounded attacks on Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales.
On Objective One, New Labour is again trying to rewrite history. Wales would not have got the European cash in the first place if Plaid Cymru had not forced the resignation of the First Minister. It is amazing how important moments of Assembly history are glossed over by New Labour when it suits them.
And if he agrees that Objective One is so important to fight poverty, as I do, then why are Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Tories in agreement at Westminster that it should be abolished?
New Labour does not care about Wales, only Plaid Cymru will put Welsh interests first - it's time for a change.
LEANNE WOOD AM
Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales
SIR - John Readman (Letters, September 27) asks if I would be in favour of a local income tax rather than the council tax?
I would. Local income tax is fundamentally so much fairer, meaning that people pay in proportion to what they earn. It doesn't take a genius to see that if there are two neighbours, one an elderly pensioner on a small, fixed income, the other a working adult earning far more, that they should not pay the same tax.
Every pound taken from that pensioner is worth so much more. A local income tax would stop that being the case. It doesn't take a genius to see if, but somehow Rhodri Morgan, Tony Blair and the Labour Party can't.
Brecon St, Canton, Cardiff
SIR - Meryl Gravell, the leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, stated that all the people of the county were behind the Scarlets rugby team. If that is the case why does the council waste millions of pounds of ratepayers' money building a stadium whose capacity is only 15,000.
It would make more sense if they spent many millions more building a bigger stadium so that all these new supporters could be guaranteed a seat in the new stadium.
Wait a minute, you might rightly say - doesn't the team already have an adequate stadium with a capacity of 10,000? Yes, whenever I see the Scarlets on TV rarely is the ground more than half-full.
There are many communities within the county with projects where this money could be better spent.
In Pontyberem, rugby, cricket and soccer clubs are in desperate need of new changing facilities. These are amateur clubs run by hard-working volunteers catering for young people aged from 8 upwards. Do we really need to spend money on this stadium or would it be better spent helping all the communities in the county.
Ffordd Aneurin, Pontyberem
SIR - I note that the First Minister has ordered an inquiry into the E.coli outbreak in the South Wales Valleys.
I would hope that this will not only examine the cause but also assess the response, specifically, whether it was the correct decision to keep the affected schools open.
Since the decision the number of cases diagnosed has increased significantly. If they had been closed there would have been a few problems with arranging childcare and a couple of weeks lost from the school term. Overall though, this seems like a small price to pay for a chance to slow, if not contain, the outbreak. My fear is that the authorities' decision led young children into an unsafe environment.
SIR - James Leighton of Bristol ("Train service worst", Letters, September 26) is not the only commuter to have found Arriva train services wanting.
The service between Treherbert and Cardiff is a farce as I often travel without being able to purchase a ticket: the stations are bereft of staff while the train crews can only issue about two tickets between stations before having to open the doors and allowing more people on. It's not uncommon to have a week's free travel on the trains.
As Arriva are subsidised up to the back teeth there is no incentive for them to make a profit. It's even more odd when Cardiff reverts to closed station status (staff inspecting tickets at barriers at platform exits) because if you are only able to purchase tickets on a train then this is termed an implied contract as opposed to an express contract where tickets are purchased on a platform or by pre-booking.
When an implied contract is in operation and there is a queue to purchase tickets to get off the station premises, a commuter is quite within their rights to ask if there is any where else on the station where they can purchase their ticket. If there is, the staff have to reply in the affirmative. In Cardiff Central and Queen St the permanent ticket offices are positioned beyond the ticket barriers so peeved or dishonest commuters can simply insist on buying their tickets there. This they can do unaccompanied by station staff. How many do you think actually go to the ticket office?
Tallis St, Cwmparc, Rhondda Cynon Taff
SIR - I welcome the opportunities that digital transmission ought to provide both in quality and diversity in future broadcasts but I am greatly concerned about the losses we will suffer in Wales.
We currently tolerate excessive variations with both analogue and digital terrestrial television services compared to the other regions. This is despite the relatively low population and the comparatively wide area of Wales.
The events covered do not always command sufficient local support to justify the interruption to nationwide television schedules.
These interruptions invade prime time schedules regardless of what high-profile programme may be broadcast at the time. These variations occur at both fixed and ad hoc time-slots with the latter causing most frustration. It appears that the more channels available the greater the opportunity to vary the schedules.
The most recent example is the loss from digital terrestrial broadcast of the programme Arena: No Direction Home - Bob Dylan not being broadcast on BBC2W. This widely publicised programme would have been lost to Wales had the analogue service not been available, as will shortly be the case. However, the reduction in quality was a disappointment.
My concerns are an ongoing issue for current broadcasts but I hope that a major review of such issues is carried out before cessation of terrestrial analogue broadcasting. Licence payers in Wales must not lose the quality programmes that they have funded and that are widely available to the remainder of Britain.
The Willows, Landare, Aberdare