While not being known as an apologist for county or borough council, I feel I must spring to their defence.

Writers have demonstrates an oft misunderstanding of local government finances.

For decades now the bulk of local government financing comes, not from the local rates, but from Government payments to each council.

From the banking-induced financial crisis in 2010, first the Coalition, and later the Conservative governments, have cut council finance by as much as 60per cent.

The rates now form a small part of their income.

In any case, the councils typically get less than 10 per cent of this income with the rest going to counties.

Pressures of an ageing population and an increasing housing crisis, in places like Essex, have led to an increased demand for these statutory provisions.

Therefore, councils have drastically cut budgets for optional services, from libraries to Sure Start centres.

The system of local government financing needs a major overhaul.

The council tax is a regressive tax.

It’s time for a change but I can’t see this government doing it.

Alan Short

Oaks Drive, Colchester