East Lothian Council’s handling of the proposal for a car park on Elcho Green in North Berwick (Courier, July 23), presented partly as a post-pandemic relief measure, is about as incompetent as the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic itself.

More seriously for East Lothian, the row that this has provoked (well-described in your three pages of letters – has any issue prompted such a response before?) indicates that democracy in East Lothian is not functioning very well.

To think that a proposal such as this could be implemented without any consultation with the town indicates an extraordinary arrogance, lack of understanding, or just plain ignorance of the town’s special qualities, to both residents and visitors.

Equally, it does not say much for the town’s councillors who, according to Jim Goodfellow (quoted in the same issue of the Courier), were briefed as far back as early June, but alerted neither groups in the town nor council officials to the kind of response that they must have foreseen.

Everybody knows that parking in North Berwick is an issue and it is really time for people to get together round a table and sort it out properly for the future, instead of throwing yet another badly-thought-out short-term plan at it.

As Eddie Clark in his letter says, does the 2019 design charrette, which involved the community and a wide range of officials and interested personnel, not provide the basis for a long-term plan, or like everything else, is this just ignored by council officials and members also?

Andrew Guest

Lady Jane Road

North Berwick