IT pains me to say this, but I reckon many of our councillors do a decent job and deserve to have salaries that reflect this.

You may have read recently about the massive increases in allowances that mean cabinet members on our local authorities receive proper wages.

In the past, all they got was a few quid a week plus the privilege of some egg sandwiches after a long meeting.

Now the leader of Bucks County Council is to get around £40,000 per year, and Wycombe's cabinet supremo will pick up £16,000.

Critics argue that this rise is unfair on us taxpayers. But, if you pay peanuts, you know what you'll get.

In the past, our councils have been dominated by old dodderers well past retirement age. They say they're there to do some public service, but I reckon they like to have a good old meddle.

The younger, more vibrant would-be councillors can't afford to give up the time to spend on dreary local government affairs. The public loses out in the long run from hiring councillors on the cheap because they cost us a packet if they mess up.

What does annoy me though is the ridiculous amount of dignitaries that our various tiers of local government throw up. Go to any council function and you'll see a huge number of worthies showing off their chains of office.

This mob is known affectionately in inner circles as 'The Chain Gang', but there's clearly far too many of them.

Wycombe, for instance, has a council chairman who's supposed to be the most important dignitary in the district. But the public naturally look to the mayor and there's one in the district for Marlow and for High Wycombe.

Then there's the cabinet leader, the chief executive, the deputy mayors, the mayoresses and deputy chairman.

But, if you live in the same district, you've still got to contend with the county council cabinet leader, the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the county chairman, and chief executive.

If I've missed anybody out, I don't care. There's far too many of you.

You see the public does not give a fig for all these roles. Sorry to disillusion you chaps, but nobody cares who you are any more.

It's time local government was slimmed down once and for all. Then those chains of office would really be worth something for once.