I was surprised and a little disappointed to read the article 'End of the affair' (news focus, pages 10-11, 31 August).

Anyone who has been involved in health action zones from their conception would agree with Sue Maddock when she points out that HAZs are constrained by the conflicting interests of different NHS arms - for example, service delivery versus wider public health issues - let alone the concept of partnership-working with local authority and voluntary sector colleagues.

However, I have to disagree with her dismissal of health promotion. It has a key role to play in addressing inequalities. Our remit is to build public health capacity in a wide variety of partner organisations and develop policy and strategy that will help HAZs deliver their objectives. If HAZs are 'bogged down' by anything it is the desire for quick wins that do not solve long-term inequality issues.

Bernadette Murphy On behalf of Leeds Health Promotion Service