IT'S a bit of a worry, our ever-increasing council tax running through the hands of people with so little grip on reality.

According to an article in Rushmoor's council magazine Arena, criticising householders for leaving wheelie bins on pavements, the refuse crews sometimes fail to put bins back where they found them. Only sometimes? They never put them back.

As for the quaint reminder that bins should be placed at the end of one's drive by 7am, the crews start well before 7am and many town dwellers have no drives to put their bins on.

Bins have to be put out overnight and some have no choice but put them on the pavement. Shock, horror, most people actually go to work.

No matter how thoughtfully the householder parks their bin when they go out, until they return it will clutter the pavement after the crew have emptied it. A situation many grumble about, but it is a public servant using public money to blame the wrong people that really make you cross.

Since the crews are not doing what they are paid for it seems the cash for ensuring best value for public services has also been thrown away with the rubbish.

The feature on recycling shows another reality slip. For eight years bags hung on wheelie bins were flung with gay abandon by the collection crews. Few actually made it into the recycling portion of the lorry. The crews probably knew it was all going to landfill anyway.

Our council couldn't have known that though. Otherwise they would have knowingly charged us for an expensively trumpeted recycling policy and land fill taxes at the same time. They wouldn't have done that would they? Or have I lost my grip?

What does it cost to produce Arena, £3 or £4 per household perhaps, bearing in mind that it not only has to be produced but disposed of as well?

Given the choice I would rather see my tax bill reduced than receive such an annoying publication, but we have no choice. Perhaps when the Americans have finished with Iraq, they could invade England and impose some democracy, we've got a few oil wells here so it will be worth their while.

Mr S. A. Cranstone, Ash Road, Aldershot.