THANKS to Councillor MacDonald for highlighting the vanity culture of the current council.

A £19,000 mural of the coat of arms outside the Civic Centre simply cannot be justified during a period of recession and cutbacks.

But it provides yet another photo opportunity for the council propaganda magazine, Hillingdon People.

Face it, essential council services are just not photogenic enough.

Residents have no say in the appointment of the cabinet, who are the only elected members with influence over policy and budget decisions.

Public communication with council services can only be made through the Customer Contact Centre, and information coming out of the council must go through corporate communications.

Centralised control, Mr Puddifoot insisting on being called 'leader', a borough flag flying outside the Civic Centre, the coat of arms on everything conceivably possible, banners in Uxbridge High Street - could our council tax be being used to create a Stalinist totalitarian borough?

I await the announcement of the first Puddifoot statue.