These days it is difficult to separate parody from reality, so I am not sure if Mr Legg (Times Letters, March 7) was totally serious when he accused Speedwatch volunteers in Shalford of the heinous crime of being of advanced years and of wasting their time by monitoring the speed of motorists going through that village.

Excessive speed through rural villages is a perennial problem and Speedwatch volunteers - whatever one might think about their age - should be commended for helping ensure that motorists (and sometimes cyclists) remain conscious of their responsibilities to respect speed limits and local conditions where there may be animals, children and elderly people crossing, or walking along the side of the narrow village roads.

Cllr Richard van Dulken

Braintree Council -Yeldham ward