In Star Letters (March 15) E Cummins, when fulminating about the atrocious mess caused by the cable companies' activities in this area, says the local councillor advises that these works can only be granted by central government and we should remember that at the next election.

That is a slightly skewed story.

This particular cable-laying (and endless re-laying) is for the Cable & Wireless main trunk cable across the UK.

Licences are indeed issued by central government but an Act dated January 1 1993, (who was in charge then?) gives the cable companies the right to lay cable where they think necessary.

Neither county nor district councils have any say, except to try to influence the companies to minimise disruption.

Another bad bit about the 1993 Act was that there was no 'quid pro quo': the cable companies have no obligation to provide cable access for the residents whose daily lives are disrupted.

You will note that they have made bee-lines for the trading estates, just as their predecessors did in the first stage of this exercise two or three years ago.

J. F. Barrett, address supplied