RJA Williams in his retort Bach up the wrong tree, (NCE 31 October) merely fuels the premise that municipal engineering is slowly dwindling away. But he should not forget that in a democratic society such as the United Kingdom, we have local government which is long established in providing a whole range of public services.
Certainly engineering functions carried out have changed over time, but delivery of local public services remains a key part to support the fabric of our urban and rural societies.
So isn't the challenge to equip engineers to serve to their best professional ability? To achieve this, why not introduce secondment between industry and local authorities? An exchange of working practices and experiences can only improve municipal engineering - which now embraces contractors, consultants and local authority engineers.
Doing this will improve the lot in town halls as well industry - an aim I am sure would be commended within the Institution.
Adrian Wilson (M), chairman, South Wales division of AME, 129 Carisbrooke Way, Cyncoed, Cardiff, CF 23 9HU