It’s always a joy to read, each New Year, the message which our Police Commissioner delivers to his docile flock of council tax payers. Of course, credit where credit’s due, it is to the boys and girls of the commissioner’s public relations team that we should be handing out the laurel wreaths. For it is they, armed only with laptops and forms of application for overtime, who form the praetorian guard which bravely protects commissioner David Lloyd from the strangely unappreciative people of Watford.

But this year (Police council tax rise, Letters, December 28), they have penned a real humdinger. No cliché is left unturned: we have ‘a positive and informative budget’ (a whaaat?), ‘early delivery of efficiencies and prudent financial management’ (just don’t mention the ‘B’ word, though), no reader can be left in any doubt that we are blessed to have this giant among bobbies to oversee our safety. Actually, for the record, he isn’t actually a bobby nor has he ever been one: he happened to be a part-time county councillor at the time that the post of elected commissioner was created. By a bit of adroit footwork, he was adopted as the Conservative candidate for the county, and the rest is history. A baboon sporting a blue rosette in Hertfordshire would, no doubt, have been just as popular. Still, he gives us all a lot of fun.

READ MORE: Why I'm asking taxpayers for £24 more to fund police

Oh! One small point, I nearly forgot: hidden away in the Commissioner’s peroration is the killer punch: ‘I am proposing to increase the police element of the council tax precept by 14.6 per cent’. Well, it’s up to us to see that this paragon of policing perfection is kept in the manner to which he wishes to be accustomed. Who can begrudge him this small hand out? But he asks for our views, but not, you’ll understand, on his personal performance.

It brings to mind nothing as much as the New Year message which the Albanian Communist leader, Enver Hoxha, used to deliver to his downtrodden people year after year: ‘This year is going to be harder than last year: but the good news is that it will be easier than the following year’. We in Watford know the feeling.

Anthony Bramley-Harker

Hibbert Avenue, Watford