WITH reference to comments by Mr Dance in your report about the replanting of trees at Cumberland Avenue, I find his attempt to justify the argument from the landowner's point of view rather lame.

Perhaps my hold on maths is as slim as his, but if, as Mr Dance suggests, his clients were so generously offering to replant 200 trees on the site, why did they object to being asked to replant only 109? With obvious intent to create outrage amongst taxpayers he manipulates a figure 'said to be' the amount spent by the council in its pursuit of the law. It could equally be argued that the whole cost could be attributed to just the single act of destroying the woodland in the first place, or that what pushed up legal costs was the landowner's appeal against the replanting decision. A claim against the council for costs was, in fact, refused by the Reporter.

As taxpayers we expect council departments charged with particular tasks to do their job and prosecute lawbreakers.

That is exactly what the council officers concerned in this case have done. Contrary to Mr Dance's assertion about the 'real story', money (within reason) has little to do with it, unless of course he reduces all matters of principle to numbers in terms of cost. To repeat a phrase recently used by a councillor in a different context, could the maths involved here be another example of 'knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing'?

Ian Reed Frazer Avenue, Helensburgh