WHILST I wholeheartedly agree with Chris Stevens (Council tax rise, February 2) that one of the main culprits is central government, the relatively low price of maintaining local democracy’s representatives is not in the same league, although Sir Bill’s MP’s salary for the House of Commons would help.

The around £100 million taken from the council’s budgets in the last decade by the Tories’ austerity policies have devastated the council’s ability to provide good services across the broad range of its responsibilities.


That leaves largely only its statutory duties reasonably covered and even that is a struggle.

This has affected councils of all colours in Herefordshire but the poor old Greens are currently holding this poisoned chalice. Our council is suffering the same malaise as the whole of the public sector, or what’s left of it, after the Tory “small state” onslaught.


Most councils, if not all, are in the same boat, but being such a dispersed county and with the current way the inadequate central government grant is calculated, then we suffer more than most.


Eardisland, near Leominster

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