IT’S reassuring in life that some certainties remain each year to mark our calendars, like Easter, Christmas and the annual letter from Terry Banfield calling on councils to refuse to set a legal budget.

I sympathise with Terry in some ways — preparing a budget this year is a difficult task, with Wales having £1.7 billion less to spend on services than in 2010, thanks to George Osborne and his Tory mates in government.

After all, many of us oppose their austerity policies bitterly. In Torfaen alone, whether we like it or not, we have to make savings of £10.5 million this year — on top of savings of £33 million over the past five years. We’re working hard on being more efficient every year, but that alone won’t make savings of that magnitude.

I’m sure it would be fun to just wash our hands of this dilemma and refuse to set a budget — we’d be heralded by the far left and become minor celebrities. But back in Tor - faen, local services would be decimated and hundreds of jobs would be lost as outsid - ers came in and made savage cuts that we’d be able to do nothing about. So much for a “principled stand”!

Many of the decisions local councillors will have to take this year will be very tough.

But we have to do our job and make the best of a bad situation, minimising job losses and protecting local services as much as pos - sible. It’s not great fun. It’s not sexy. It’s called grown-up politics.

Anthony Hunt Councillor Panteg ward