UNDERSTANDABLY there has been a lot of recent debate regarding the increase in the Herefordshire Council Tax this year.

May I add that the Independent-Conservative led coalition is having to meet the growing flood of increasing demands in local spending, targets and initiatives stemming from this Labour government, for which they are asking local people to pay out of Council Tax.

At the same time, they also inherited a can of worms from the previous Liberal Democrat administration in Hereford, including a huge 15% increase last year and having to pay back the three-per-cent of reserves that they raided just before they lost power.

So to the people who have pointed the finger at the Independents and Conservatives, who are trying to do their best under difficult circumstances, I suggest there is more to all of this than meets the eye. Quite rightly nobody wants to pay unnecessary tax rises. The Conservatives and Independents managed to halve Herefordshire's Council Tax from last year's record high and I sincerely hope they will be able to do so again next year.

NICHOLAS VAUGHAN, Chairman, Herefordshire Conservative Future,

Aubrey Street, Hereford.