Elaine Bishop, of East Farm, East Charleton, near Kingsbridge, writes:

I have recently received the booklet issued by South Hams Council, Devon Council Council and the police and fire authorities entitled 'What do I get for my money' and subtitled 'How your money is spent on local services'.

I was very surprised to find that both councils had decided to give us uninformative umbrella figures for 'People Services' and 'Place Services' and provide no detailed breakdown.

What I, and I believe most council tax payers, want to know is how much the council are paying for salaries, pension contributions, care for the elderly, libraries, roads, the net contribution to income from parking fees, etc, together with historical data.

We need to know where the councils are making cuts and how deep these cuts are.

Without having these figures it is impossible to hold the council to account and I find it deeply depressing that the chief executives should have decided, obviously with the concurrence of our elected representatives, not to give us the full picture.

Undoubtedly these figures are available if you dig around, but the council information should be transparent and we should not have to dig around.

Indeed it makes you wonder about the motives of the councils in not making these figures available to all in the booklet

I would suggest that the councils publish these figures in full in your paper without delay.

If they don't, your reporters should be able to obtain the figures without too much difficulty and local democracy would definitely be served by their publication.

Many people would also like to know the remuneration of the chief executives and other senior staff in the councils.