SIR - I was appalled to read of Bradford Council's refusal to allow Arif Mehmood to install external shutters at his cafe to prevent vandalism and break-ins (T&A, March 8). This is just the latest of many such cases of the Council's out of touch attitude. Conservation area? What about people's right to conserve their properties and businesses?

I have also read of the Council saying that such measures give the impression that Bradford is a high crime area.Wake up! It is!

Many people remain reluctant to visit the city centre as they feel it to be an unsafe environment, therefore anyone trying to run a business that will make the area more attractive and welcoming should be given encouragement by the Council. Failure to do so will result in owners giving up in despair, leading to more boarded-up premises creating a far worse impression than sensible roller blinds which will only be deployed at night time.

Perhaps Mr Mehmood and others in his position should follow the example of of another business owner reported in the T&A recently who appealed to a Government inspector who took a more balanced view and allowed his appeal.

Russ Wilkinson, Upper Heights Road, Thornton