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It’s Easter time – and here in Smalltown we’ve got a very pious community so it’s no surprise to hear that we’re staging our very own version of the Oberammergau Passion Play this Good Friday through the streets of the town!
Of course, we’re doing things on a much smaller scale. The Oberammergau play takes all day and runs for months. And it’s only every ten years. Here in Smalltown, we do it every year – well, almost every year. Admittedly we’ve missed a few but who’s counting?
The fun starts at 10:30 with the crucifixion of the Rabbit at 11:15 and a resurrection at 11:30. It may well be that nobody actually saw the original resurrection, but loads of us will see this one! Hurrah and jolly well done, us! Very uplifting. It’ll be absolutely splendid. But then everything we do here is.
Oh! Hang on. Did I say ‘rabbit’? I meant to say ‘rabbi’ of course! Silly old me! Still, as I said, ‘who’s counting?’
Happy Easter. Now’s where’s those eggs?…
Well, here in Smalltown never let it be said that our local council would dream of frittering away hard earned ratepayers money on something frivolous, wasteful, unnecessary or whimsical. Oh, no! They’d never do that. Not in Smalltown.
However, it seems that the town centre could use a bit of brightening up and – well – jollifying. You know, giving the populous something to spread a bit of cheer. So in order to do this, they’ve just spend £15,000 on a couple of 3.5 metre tall metal trees.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has described it as “ridiculous” so much is being spent on the trees without residents being consulted. But here in Smalltown, our elected representative don’t need to consult us. The Smalltown Society thinks it’s a great idea, and they speak for us all!
We asked a councillor to comment. He said “There’s some modern art that’s not everybody’s cup of tea so trees with lights on them seemed to be a half-way house between modern art and real trees and that seemed to fit the bill really. No matter what we put them, there will always be somebody who didn’t like whatever it was that was being put there.” So that’s alright then.
I’m sure the 20 council tax payers whose entire bill was spent on them would agree!
For those philistine, pig ignorant folk out there, Towns Alive is a charity dedicated to improving towns and cities nationwide. And they’ve decided to hold their prestigious annual conference right here in Smalltown. Lucky us, eh?
Mark Time, our Smalltown Opportunities for Business (SOB) chief executive commented “This will be a great opportunity for the town to display all it has to offer to a nationwide audience of town centre experts. We’ll be able to tell them just how brilliantly we’re doing and demonstrate to them just how much better it could be in their town if only they followed our example.
We appreciate that not every town can be a outstandingly brilliant as ours, but we can show them just where they’re falling down on the job.”
I’m sure they’ll benefit greatly from our example – and the fact that we’re providing the conference venue free of charge should go down quite well too…
Unfortunately, a row seems to have erupted over it’s ongoing funding. Seems that last year the Smalltown ratepayers subsidised it to the tune of around £750,000. But there is good news! Next year they’re only going to need about £675,000 – so things are definitely improving.
One local councillor says that this is scandalous and that the users should pay, not the ratepayers. But the cabinet member for ‘Heritage, Arts and Culture’ disagrees. “It’s one dimensional to say the user should pay. There are economic benefits that you can’t put a figure on of between £5 and £10 million” she says, putting a figure on it.
Of course the reason for all this is that the venue was reduced in size to keep the building costs down, so now it’s too small to pay when the acts who are actually worth seeing appear here. So now we have to subsidise it instead.
Wonderful news this week that Smalltown is doing so really, really well that it is being held up to the nation as an example of just how perfect things could be where you live! Gosh, we’re so lucky to live here!
Apparently, we’re doing so well that a mere 6.9% of our high street shops are standing empty, the lowest for 5 years and well below the national average of 11.1%! Wow! And footfall’s up as well as proven by the fact that our car park revenues are up by nearly 10% on the same time last year.
This is, of course, absolutely nothing to do with the increased number of so-called ‘pop up shops’ in the town nor is it in any way connected with the increase number of charity shop that have sprung up. You remember – those same charity shops that are now so plentiful that we can’t find enough volunteers to man them.
Nor is it anything to do with an incentive scheme to let young entrepreneurs try out their business ideas in the town on a short term free of charge basis.
And that car park revenue is nothing to do with the people I saw painting nice new double yellow lines all over the place last month or the employment of an additional PCSO to hand out parking tickets.
No, it’s absolutely not anything to do with any of that at all! Absolutely no! Perish the thought. It’s just because we’re so wonderful. Bet you wish you lived here, eh?…
So this week, they are getting really worked up. Seems the County Council has decided to move to a two tier school system instead of the existing three tier. Of course, the Smalltown catholic community opposes this because they have an excellent Catholic school in town and they don’t want it changed. Seems they think it should be an exception because it’s a faith school.
Meanwhile, the Little Smalltown primary school is also going to be closed down. Basically this is because it has fewer than 30 pupils and it’s just not practical to keep it open. This is, of course, a direct affront to the locals who see it as diluting the amenities of their community.
Seems you really can’t please all of the people all of the time…especially when they live in Smalltown!