I WAS interested to see that an Echo reader (letters, September 11) had not paid council tax at all this year.

I wish I did not have to pay tax to Southampton City Council. Of all the bills I have to pay this is the one I most resent paying.

Every year we seem to be facing steep council tax increases. Yet us Southampton residents seem to be getting very little in return for our hard-earned money.

Wheelie bin collections have reduced with household refuse spilling onto our streets.

The city is a disgrace with its cracked pavements, litter-strewn streets and overgrown verges and hedges.

All we seem to be doing is shoring up mega salaries for senior council officers and generous local government pensions. In these days of austerity there seems to have been no attempt to slam the brakes on the town hall gravy train.

It is about time that local government was streamlined. Instead of spending money on the army of pen-pushers it should be diverted into frontline work to give this city a much-needed environmental facelift.

I see that in neighbouring counties councils are being merged. I would like to see district authorities put under one roof which would reduce back-office over-manning. Then taxpayers' money could be spent on priorities which would benefit the community.