JANUARY: Congleton Town Council decides not to buy an expensive piece of equipment after going through all the proper procedures and doing a due diligence check. A spokesman said: “We thoroughly looked into this expensive device that would be bought using tax payers’ money, and decided the company was probably a little too new to risk our electorate’s money. Why is this in a satirical column anyway?”
FEBRUARY: After Private Eye reports that former Cheshire East Council leader Michael Jones allowed a leading council officer to use his holiday villa, locals contact the Chronicle to complain about the number of people staying at the villa.
“We can always tell the people from Cheshire East because they’re wearing horrible lime green shirts,” said a villager.
MARCH: Cheshire East Council recruits a company to provide physiotherapy services using correct procedures and preparing tenders in the normal way. “No matter how good a company is, we always remember that we are using public money, and strive for best value and transparency,” said a spokesman. “Can I ask why is this in a satirical column anyway?”
APRIL: Congleton MP Fiona Bruce asks the Chronicle to clarify that she is actually a member of the Toby Party, her alleged Tory connections only coming about because of an early misprint on her election leaflets. She made her comment after we asked her to comment on allegations of a bullying atmosphere and secrecy among the Tories at Cheshire East Council, the continuing failure of Tory-controlled Cheshire East to develop a local plan, Tory-controlled Congleton Town Council’s loss of £20,000 on a glorified big telly, and allegations that a Tory on Congleton Town Council had made up allegations against a fellow councillor. “I may have flirted with being a Tory when I was younger. I grew up to believe in honesty and transparency and realised I was best off in the Toby Party” she said. “The only way I’d be a Tory would be if Moorlands MP Karen Bradley steps down and I can flee over the border and escape this shambles. Karen? Karen?”
MAY: Cheshire East Council accidentally releases a Press release that contains all its meaningless clichés. Its spokesman commented: “We are an enforcing council that believes in putting our residents first. As a residents first enforcing authority we place a high priority on being a listening enforcing council that shows a real commitment to being an innovative enforcing authority and somewhere to do business, Northern Powerhouse Gateway Twitter physiotherapist, all above board”.
JUNE: Sandbach Town Council agrees to a proposal from Coun Sam Corcoran. “He suggested locking the town hall at the end of the meeting, so it was pretty controversial stuff,” said a spokesman. “Despite this, we decided to agree with him for once.”
JULY: The developer of the Bridestones II scheme in Congleton announces that it will go ahead, with work start immediately. “It will look just like the model we made for the public to consult on, will include all the things we said it would and will be finished on time,” she said. “I don’t understand why you’re putting this in a satirical column.”
AUGUST: Congleton Town Council defends one of its members after a statement is read out accusing a councillor of wrong-doing. A spokesman said: “We didn’t know what was coming, and the 96-page statement was read out before anyone could stop it, accompanied by brass band music and the Dagenham Girls’ Choir. The statement accused the councillor of being behind the Brink’s-Mat heist, wearing a Harold Shipman mask at parties, stealing dinner money from small children and, er, voting UKIP.”
SEPTEMBER: Staffordshire Moorlands District Council announces that its local plan, started six years after Cheshire East’s, will be finished by 2017, with Cheshire East still arguing about where to put the Jaffa cakes on the table at the next round of public meetings. “We knew it had to be done, we went through the procedure, we knew what we were doing and we consulted properly,” said a Moorlands spokesman. “Why is this in a satirical column anyway?”
OCTOBER: Congleton Pantomime for 2016 will be a stage version of Star Wars, it is announced, with councillors agreeing to all take roles. George Hayes is to play Luke Skywalker and Graham Goodwin the grumpy Han Solo. Coun Paul Bates, the new leader of Cheshire East Council, plays their arch nemesis Darth Vader. Coun David Brown takes on the role made famous by Alec Guinness, Obi Wan Kenobi, while former council leader Michael Jones is Jabba The Hut. Princess Leia, who is chained to Jabba but then throttles him, will be played by former Mayor Hilda Gaddum.
The story will centre on the hidden planet of Lyme Green, which mysteriously sucks large sums of money from the Empire. Jabba is eager to keep the location of the planet secret, while Jedi knight Dulla Countant (Sam Corcoran) tries to find out where the money went.
Backstage, the planning department’s local plan team directs, and UKIP’s fire safety expert Brian Silvester is in charge of pyrotechnics.
NOVEMBER: Senior officials from hospital parking tyrants (Is that right? Editor) ParkingEye complain after being charged £7,000 for parking on the Fairground in Congleton. The officials had visited the town in connection with the proposed introduction of parking fees at Congleton War Memorial Hospital.
A spokesman for the town council defended the charge. “The terms and conditions are made clear on a sign as you drive into Congleton, so they accepted them as they entered the town,” said Jackie McParkingfee, town centre manager.
“It’s true that the sign is in a shrubbery, written on the back of a fairy door in Viking runes, but it’s legally binding. Paragraph 22 says anyone relying on cynical placing of signs and cleverly worded legal clauses to extract money from hospital patients and their worried family and friends will pay £7,000 per day to park.”
DECEMBER: The J17 development at Sandbach complains after being left out of the Chronicle list of satirical predictions. “I know I’ve been in every year since 1893,” said the field, still waiting for any work to start on it, “but I’m hurt not to be included. I don’t care that it’s getting a bit tedious.”
The Chronicle announces it will no longer be doing a satirical list of predictions for 2017, the real world being far too bizarre to be satirised.
Cheshire East Council cancels its pantomime, the local plan team, which was to direct, saying the script had gone missing.
“We just lost the plot,” a spokesman admitted.