MANY of you will have noticed that over the last couple of weeks, the Advertiser has been reporting on the steady increase by both our district and county councils of the tax burden imposed on us as local residents and taxpayers.

The common thread is an increase in tax to the maximum limit without triggering a referendum, and a significant decline in services.

Much of this is blamed on central government which has cut funding whilst there is an increase in demand. All very true.

Meanwhile, the residents of Andover not just have to deal with all these taxes, but also with an illegal and unfair tax raised on us by Test Valley. This tax, the Andover Special Expenses Levy, has been set at £21.75 next year for a Band D property. It is rumoured to pay for burial grounds, public halls, sports grounds and play grounds.

The evidence suggests this is not true. These are things that Andover Town Council does not provide. Romsey has a town council, but it has no special levy.

Does Romsey town council pay for burial grounds?

NO. Do they pay for sports grounds or playgrounds? NO.

Do they have public halls?

NO. In fact they had to buy their town hall back from Test Valley who were letting it go to ruin.

If Romsey has all these things provided by Test Valley, yet they are not charged a special levy where does that leave Andover? Do Andover residents get a fair deal from Test Valley?

The more cynical may feel that Test Valley has an established view of Andover as a cash cow that is used to feed its expenditure elsewhere.

Are extra unfair taxes levied on Andover spent for the benefit of local Andover residents? Council pay has increased whilst that of central government employees including teachers, nurses and soldiers has been frozen.

With the centre of Andover starting to resemble a ghost town and services neglected, Test Valley cannot justify an extra unjust tax.

My wife yesterday reminded me that politicians should address things that matter to ordinary people.

Make Andover matter. Bin the Andover Special Expenses Levy.

Luigi Gregori, Charlton Road, Andover.