I have some sympathy with David Roberts’ complaint about Sam Corcoran banging on about climate change, while the rest of us are banging our cars into potholes, but not perhaps for the same reason.

I believe that climate change is indeed one of the biggest issues we face (I have Australian friends. Ask them).

The question is what local authorities can or should be doing about it. There’s no doubt that it’s at the national/international level that most change can be made – moving from fossil fuel to wind/ hydro-electric/solar power, legislating against polluting vehicles and factories and so on – so what can local authorities add to this?

Perhaps what we need at this stage is specific proposals rather than general exhortation.

Climate change to one side, I think Mr Corcoran’s main long-term priority should be to restore the quality and reputation of governance in this county.

To ensure that the previous decade’s legacy of blatant incompetence, waste, secretive decision-making, scandal and corruption is rooted out; that we have a council which serves its people with honesty and competence, makes decisions transparently (it is said that this one is on the way) and doesn’t make regular appearances in the “Rotten Boroughs” column of a national magazine.

In the shorter term (eg: potholes), we do have to remember that all local authorities across the country have suffered from swingeing cuts in government funding, started when George Osborne was Chancellor.

Since 2010 £16bn has been cut from local authority funding; 800 libraries and 500 children’s centres have closed across the country, local bus services and support for the elderly seriously cut and so on.

It’s not an enviable situation for local authorities, but we are where we are.

I think we need to hear more from Mr Corcoran about CEC’s plans for mitigating the damage caused by austerity and maximising public services with a reduced budget.

The irony about all the pain and damage caused by austerity is that its objective was to reduce the national deficit. Not one of George Osborne’s targets on deficit reduction was met during his entire time as Chancellor. Not one.

Geoff Holman Cheshire