IT seems that I have written to you every year since I returned from the West Country in 1998 to complain about the profligacy of Cambridgeshire County Council as manifested in the annual rates demand.

I had thought that this duty would fall away from me

IT seems that I have written to you every year since I returned from the West Country in 1998 to complain about the profligacy of Cambridgeshire County Council as manifested in the annual rates demand.

I had thought that this duty would fall away from me this year as Councillor Walters had been replaced as leader by the graceful and fragrant Ms Johnstone, and I had fond hopes of a start to reversing the damage done to our pockets by Mr Walters and his fifth column of Labour supporters. Sadly it was not to be.

Shona is overthrown, and the Cllr Walters has returned. And of course our local taxation has gone up again by much more than inflation. No surprise there.

What galls me most is that this is done by a group of councillors who claim to be Conservatives - the Iron Lady and the Grey Man would surely have had no truck with Mr Walters and his kind. They really did believe in low taxation and really did do something about it.

So now Walters, who has failed yet to deliver a new A14, has lumbered us with the world's largest and most expensive white elephant in the form of a guided bus, spent a fortune on a pointless bus lane in Huntingdon, put speed restraining bars, which don't restrain traffic, in Wertheim Way, a place where they were not needed anyway, presided over average speed cameras on the A14, recruited a (very) expensive chief executive for his council, and paid out a fortune to his fellow councillors in expenses.

In 1995 I paid £450 for a band D house. In line with inflation this should be now something like £800, but I am being charged £1,700 for 2008/9. So where has the money gone? I don't know, but I do know four things for certain:

Mr Walters has been in charge for much of this time

During the years he has been in charge there has never once been a year when he has been able to cut the rates

I could do a far better job, and return to the taxpayer much of the money that has been filched from them by Walters. It's not hard. You just attack costs.

On reading this, Cllr Walters will give the usual politician's blustery reply of "You want to do better, then get yourself elected".

He knows full well that the people in the street are not able to do that without a party machine, so we are powerless to act and can only grumble.

It is time for this rotten regime to be replaced by people who can identify the services people need, and do it within a sensible budget.

MARTIN BROWN

Coniston Close

Huntingdon

Editor's note: Mr Brown is right to identify himself as an annual correspondent when his Council Tax demand arrives, but he is mistaken about both the numbers and the county council's responsibilities. Council Tax for a Band D property in Huntingdon was £518 in 1995/96 and next year will be £1,394. His £1,700 is for a larger Band E house. And, while the county is responsible for the guided bus and local roads, such as Wertheim Way, at Stukeley Meadows, it has no control over the A14, for which he should blame the Highways Agency and central government.