When was the last time your local council painted the lamp-post outside your house? Approximately 5 years ago, we were very surprised to see a cherry picker in the street and men painting our metal lamp-holder from top to bottom in a shade of green. Just recently we returned to the house and I asked my husband to remember what colour the street-lamps had been? He replied, ‘Green’. I told him to look out of the window. The lamp-posts had had another new coat of paint. This time it was grey. Two coats of paint in 10 years, is that good value for money from the 350€ we pay in Taxe d’Habitation each year?

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