I congratulate Ms Orr (letters, July 17) on all the hard work and voluntary work that she has done in her life, but when it comes to her opinion of Mr Jim Goodfellow she does not speak for me, nor I am sure for hundreds of other people who know him.

Jim is a man who constantly goes out of his way to help other people and is a fount of sensible suggestions, both in personal friendships and also, it would seem from most of his comments one reads about in the paper, concerning council matters.

I am a supporter of the Conservative Party myself, but I often ‘josh’ my Labour friends, saying that “the Labour Party couldn’t be all bad, since Jim Goodfellow is a member of it”.

As for his comment about older people being a burden, I know he wished he had not expressed it in those words, but it was not intended as an insult. It is a matter of fact that all human beings are dependent on others for our physical, social and emotional wellbeing (“no man is an island”), and to that extent we are a burden on each other, whether we like it or not.

For the most part we are willing to bear the burden of looking after each other. As we get older (I am 85), it is an inevitable fact that we get ill more frequently and need to go to the health centre more frequently, and to that extent it takes more time to look after us, and so we are more of a burden on the state than we used to be.

I think it has already been said that the context of Jim’s remark was that he hoped the building site in question would be a workplace for the younger people of North Berwick and save their needing to seek work elsewhere.

It is natural, I suppose, that political enemies should seek to discredit Jim, but those who know him know what an excellent person he is in every respect.

Hugh Trevor North Berwick