MANY thanks to the Ledbury Reporter for striking a blow for democracy.

It was good to see some publicity at last for the town council by-election on November 6. Too many residents didn't even know an election was taking place.

Given that the town council has money in this year's budget for elections, I am at a loss to understand why they felt that they needed to save money by neither producing polling cards nor publicising to the town that there was to be an election. Where does that leave democracy?

I am equally at a loss to understand why the town council would think that raising council tax to pay for what the town wants and needs (e.g. grass cutting) can somehow be related to albatrosses around necks.

Of course, they would need to consult properly and ensure fairness, but isn't that part of their role?

The team of 'grass cutting' residents have shown the way. If we don't invest in our town at every level we will all – residents and visitors – be the losers.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that with the on-going cut-backs, we cannot rely on Herefordshire Council to maintain services that we have taken for granted for years.

So come on, town council, let's do this democratically.

No one is saying it's easy but let's have some consultation on the real issues and priorities. Then, as a town, let's sort out the financing to deal with them.

Nina Shields