Important Information from ‘The Council’ (July 2020)

For over two years now we have been receiving intermittent announcements from ‘The Council’ (see end of this post for 2017-19 announcements). None of these specified which council it was. On 22 July 2020, we received a further communication about this deeply alarming place. Once again, we reprint it verbatim, just in case…

Covid-19 – Finances

The Council was informed by the government on 17 March 2020 that the virus was harmless; on 20 March that it was fatal; on 21 March that lockdown measures were not contemplated; on 23 March that lockdown would commence at once.

On 1 April 2020, the government announced that a National Track’n’trace Agency was to be set up, run by staff sourced from Serco. On 2 April, the government confirmed that this had been an April fool joke and that it would in fact be operated by members of the Thatchbury & District Battle Re-enactment Society (TDBRS) and that central to its work would be an app designed by the Lemming St Judas Primary School. The Council – which had not been pre-warned of either decision – then diverted £30m to providing additional funding for the school and the TDBRS, in the process being forced to disband its own Environmental Health Team to save costs.

On 26 June, the government admitted that negotiations with TDBRS had ‘all but broken down’ and that the work of track and trace would be handed over to the Environmental Health Teams of local councils. On 27 May it was announced that, as The Council had no Environmental Health Team it would be fined £30m. It also reminded The Council that it would need to provide a complete Track and Trace Action Plan by midnight on 30 June or face a fine (of £30m). This The Council did, by 11.50pm on 30 June: however, as The Council’s broadband had been cut off due to non-payment shortly before, the document could not be sent. The announcement of the £30m fine was received by carrier pigeon on the morning on 1 July.

Councillor Lucinda Wildgoose, the portfolio holder for Finance, then examined The Council’s accounts. She reported to an extraordinary virtual full council meeting on 2 July that the total cash reserves amounted to £14.06. After some debate, it was unanimously agreed that she should withdraw £14 (leaving the £0.06 as an emergency fund) and use this to buy tickets on that day’s Euromillions draw. As has been widely reported one of these was the winner, realising a profit of £90,000,015 (less the £14 stake) for The Council. This was banked on 3 July.

On 4 July, the Chancellor announced that ‘due to the unprecedented situation’ he would be making an immediate and unconditional grant of £1,000 per head (£150m in The Council’s case) to any council which did not on that day have cash reserves of more than £90m. 

Covid 19 – Community Reaction

There are 51 parishes in The Council’s area. Within 15 hours of the government’s lockdown announcement on 23 March, 49 of these had announced that they had created volunteer networks, steering groups with the town or parish council and raised a combined total of £90m from local donations. The two councils which did not respond were Lemming St Trinian’s (which had declared UDI in November 2019 as a result of an unwelcome planning decision) and Lashings Magna (which was at that time underwater as a result of a sewage leak).

On 29 March, The Council announced that The Hubatron had been established to help co-ordinate these activities. This received 30,014 contacts by 6 April (although it was later revealed that 13 of these had been wrong numbers).

On 6 April, the Chancellor announced an emergency package ‘due to the unprecedented situation’ whereby any council requiring help in setting up a support network would receive an immediate and unconditional grant of £500 per head (£75m in The Council’s case) providing the council had not by that date received more than 30,000 ‘genuine contacts’, the assumption being that such councils were ‘robustly self-sufficient’. 

The Council’s Legal Officer (who had been furloughed) has promised to provide a ‘robust defence’ of The Council’s position on these matters as soon as she can get her Universal Credit application approved, which will enable her to redeem her laptop from Winsome Loosesome pawnbrokers in Dogmarket.

Roads

The prosecutions arising from the incident between the A993 and the B600 on 10 December 2018, which were halted in January 2019 after the A993 broke bail conditions, were re-started in October 2019 when the road was arrested at Dover. However a halt has again had to be called when, early last week, the A993 escaped from custody and wrapped itself around the Bulgarian Embassy, where it has claimed political asylum.

The Z9 between Minas Tirith, Winterfell, Azerkerban South and Cair Paravel will be closed for time-portal repairs until further notice.

The Ghanian conversion termites, which were sourced to gnaw the replacement metric cat’s eyes for the A007 at the Wizard’s Bypass into the requisite size for insertion into the imperial-sized holes, have unexpectedly mutated into hooded ravens. Meanwhile the former northbound (currently westbound) lane is still being held in place with duct tape but the former southbound lane has vanished.

The B6789 between Billow and Largely Bigenough turned orange on 19 June and has since vanished. 

The B3030 between Tremelo Park and Euphonium transposed up a minor third on 22 June and has since vanished.

Councillor Rayner Filigree, who was appointed as the portfolio holder for road retention in 2018, has since vanished. Councillor Jasper Heavilly has been appointed to this position in his place.

Bus Services

The new night-bus service, the 00000, introduced in December 2017  between Upper Darkening and Thatchbury Dogmarket, will in future depart but not arrive.

The UB40 retro service between Chippings Loose, Euphonium and Osbertsworthy will now run only on Mondays. Payments must be made in shillings, luncheon vouchers or giros.

The M15 service between Karla and Beebop Smiley has been replaced by the M16 running between Karla and somewhere else that we aren’t allowed to tell you about. This will on Sundays run in reverse as the route C1A. We aren’t allowed to tell you anything about that either.

The following changes have been introduced to services in and around Thatchbury:

Route 9, Dogmarket to Butterscotch Thicket. This will now run only on Tuesdays and will be horse-drawn.
Route 55, Logmarket to Frogmarket (via Dogmarket). Extended to Bogmarket on odd-numbered dates.
Route 73, Hogmarket to Lemming St Judas, Tremble and Terrapin St Rufus. This is now an implied service.
Route 101c, Frogmarket to Minty, Lockjaw Parva and The Doldrums. This is now an inferred service.
Route 33161, Wailing Moor bus station to Cream Cornett. This service has vanished.

All other bus services have been contracted out to the Boiling Moleskin Bus Company and will re-commence as soon as the company has acquired some buses and drivers. 

Environmental Initiatives

The Council has recently announced the following regulations:

Car exhausts. Anyone driving within five miles of Thatchbury Hogmarket between 9am and 5pm on weekdays must have had their vehicle adapted so that the exhaust feeds directly into the passenger compartment. Windows must be kept closed.

Plastic binders. The Council is phasing out the use of these with immediate effect. All notes, minutes, agendas and other documents must now be no more than one page in length.

Desktop printers. These are also being phased out and The Council will be employing a team of scribes to write out all necessary documents using raven’s blood.

Refuse collections. The following changes have been made to roadside collections.

  • Black bins: green garden waste.
  • Red bins: any yellow items; crossword compendiums; discarded spoons.
  • White bins: rotten meat; discarded cloaks of destiny.
  • Silver metal bins: glass objects.
  • Stained-glass bins: metallic objects (other than spoons).
  • Green bins: contaminated soil and radio-active waste.

Collections will now take place on the first Monday of every even-numbered month: if the first Monday falls on a Tuesday then it will be collected the previous Thursday. 

Rail

Due to the construction of of the £500bn HS5 – which will run non-stop from Arbroath to Castle Cary, slashing eight minutes off the journey time – the main line between Thatchbury Dogmarket and Tantamount Junction will be closed until at least 2 July 2055. A range of replacement services is available (see map below) involving hot-air balloons, teams of powerful reptiles and members of the Lemming St Judas Church Choir.

TwisterTrack will be taking this opportunity to convert this section of line to run on telekinesis as its research has shown that the world’s supply of electricity will have been exhausted by 2045.

The new fares which came into operation on all TwisterTrack services on 13 November 2019 have been abandoned. The TwisterSaver AwaydayPlus (the italics must be used in all communications) will, with immediate effect, be replaced by the Mister Twister Emirates Airlines Red Rover Etihad Plus. This will be valid on all services except on feast days, equinoxes and Islamic public holidays.

Note that these changes are retrospective and apply only to journeys which have already been completed. If you have used a TwisterTrack service since 19 February 2020 you need to contact TwisterTrack in order to have your fare recalculated. Note that a separate application must be made in respect of each journey taken in this period. Any penalty fares have already been calculated and were due last month.

Correction

The latest edition of News from the Council had the headline ‘Council Leader Probed in Killer Land Shark Nuclear Bomb Incident’. The headline should have read ‘Council Officer Appointed to Oversee Bus Shelter Repair’. This was due to a proof-reading error and we apologise for any inconvenience or disturbances or civil unrest which may have resulted.

Geographical changes

Tustle, Beebop Parva and the parts of Minty south of the railway line should now ‘be assumed to be part of the Russian Republic for all practical purposes for the foreseeable future’ according to documents recently discovered on the top deck of an M16 bus on 1 July. A response from the Foreign Office has been promised by the end of the year.

All internet services in Threading, Wuhan Parva and Deadbarrow Maze are now run by Alibaba. All persons who are ‘deemed to be an affront to the integrity of the state’ will be subjected to a ‘swift sword, clean strike’ process of utter disconnection. 

Lemming St Trinians, which declared UDI from The Council in 2019, has announced that it has had its application to become a province of Madagascar accepted in Antananarivo. 

The following animals will mutate in August 2020: electric alligators; lardy goats; Fanshaw’s parakeets; feline ents; mome raths.
The following animals will mutate in September 2020: copper-bottomed stoats; sundry beasts of the field, be they not cloven; doh-ray-me banana sloths; trembling animals.

The following licensing changes have been approved by The Council in the light of Covid-19:

The Horse and Whispering Horse, South Moleskin: virtual lunchtime service, implied evening and weekend service.
The Other Horse, South Moleskin: only one person permitted in the pub at any time.
The Fox and Turpentine, Boiling: weekend clockwise service only.
Lady Percival’s Hamster, Lemming St Judas: entry by star sign only, starting with Capricorns on Tuesday 28 July, etc thereafter (Virgos and Librans will not be served at any time unless accompanied by a Sagittarian).
The Leather Hypotenuse, Beebop Karla: socially-distanced vodka experience on Wednesdays.
The Collapsed Parachute, Minty: full-armour Sunday lunches and Tuesday rum punch Karaokes.
The Blind Octopus of Jerusalem, Tustle: lager sprayed into the car park for five minutes every hour. Tickets £20 each.
The Gravy Robber’s Zinc Pancake, Fallow: pineapple alcopops injections on Tuesdays.
The Nazgul, Cream Cornett: closed until the darkness returns.
The Howling Gale, Billow: socially-distanced lager-frenzy breakfast every weekday 7am to 9am.
The Pangolin Arms, Wuhan Parva:Sweet-and-sour anteater and Covid-leaf buffet every Thursday: booking essential via Alibaba.
The Dogmarket Arms in Frogmarket, Thatchbury: anti-clockwise service.
The Electric Rabbit Warren on Stilts, Minty: Sunday evening face-masked Elvis-themed whisky bar.
The Lamplighter’s Revenge, Beebop Smiley: only open to people we aren’t allowed to tell you about.
Wow Like Summeroflove!!, Thatchbury: blindfolded and masked dirty dancing night on Tuesdays.
Mini-shaggers, Thatchbury: open via TikTok.
Like it’s Totally Fab!, Thatchbury: virtual 90s drug quiz in the car park on Monday mornings.

 

Previous announcements received from ‘The Council’: 
Christmas 2017 Changes to Services 
Easter 2018 Changes to Services  
February 2019 Budget Cuts

 

Brian Quinn

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