IN response to Cllr Mike Greene (Echo, February 1): Increasing public dissatisfaction with local government, particularly with respect to contact and accountability, has been highlighted in recent surveys conducted by market research.

Town and borough councillors (and I was once one myself) up and down the country are all too often seen as deadbeat, long past their sell by date, parasites with little motivation apart from collecting regular pay cheques for doing next to nothing for their communities. Poole council, which shamefully ended area committee meetings (where local people could engage directly with all their ward councillors) several years ago, did nothing I know of to ensure its councillors offer surgeries or respond to phone calls etc. from local residents. Instead they are permitted to busy themselves in a range of sub-committees and portfolios (lucrative supplements to their already over generous standard compensation) and ignore urgent issues in the wards they officially represent.

Environmental services is typical of some Poole council departments in that it cannot be directly contacted by the public, who must instead leave messages for it at the main switchboard and hope for a call back. If one is lucky enough to receive one, the chances are you will get little opportunity to explain the nature of your concern, or that if you do, no effective action will be taken to address it.

All this is bad enough, but when combined with wasteful, unnecessary and uncalled for expenditure, local government becomes especially problematic. The Wallisdown crossroads scheme, a hare-brained plan hatched by Bournemouth highways department but inflicted exclusively on land in Poole, is a case in point. This benefits solely pedestrians and cyclists (who both already enjoy dedicated pathways), gives no thought to alleviating the chronic congestion which reduces vehicular traffic on Wallisdown Road to a virtual standstill during rush hours, and has necessitated the felling of many mature trees - a deplorable act of civic vandalism.

A cavalier response to my letter from Bournemouth councillor Mike Greene (Echo, February 1) completely ignored these points and instead labelled my comments ‘disinformation’. Yet a total lack of meaningful information characterised the inane questionnaire sent out from his department to Poole residents last year – it revealed nothing about the environmental impact of the proposed scheme on the local neighbourhood and sought only to elicit responses from residents to largely irrelevant and unspecific traffic issues. Like the equally conscientious ‘consultations’ it emphasises have been carried out (I can find no-one invited to any of these), such behaviour illustrates an arguably cynical preoccupation with stultifying PR but little else.

JEREMY MAY, Talbot Residents’ Association, Julyan Road, Poole