The County Courier
This week our Chief Political Editor, gardening correspondent, Community Affairs editor (school sports days, fetes and jumble sales) and cookery columnist, Dylan Donc, was granted a world exclusive interview with Mr Merfyn Jones, KPMG, OMG and BA (Hons), chief executive of Cwmoffit Council. For security reasons it was not possible for Dylan to record or note down the interview, but we are indebted to the council's press office for providing us with this transcript.
Your Excellency, I wonder if you have a message for the people of Cwmoffit as we look forward to 2013?
Thank you for asking me that, Felicity. Before I tackle that very good question, I'd like to put your readers' minds at rest about the Leveson Inquiry. Once again we in Cwmoffit are leading the way, and have been regulating the press for several years now. There are still one or two minor newspapers and others who refuse to play by the rules, but they will shortly be hearing from our lawyers in London. Happily, I can report that we are well on our way to ridding Cwmoffit of the gutter sniping press with its carping criticism and prying that are sadly a feature of so many newspapers in this great country of ours.
We have also made great strides in what we call "e-government", where "e" stands for efficient! Thanks to the recent introduction of new procedures in the council chamber, councillors may only speak using words printed on the chairperson's card. They must not deviate, although exceptionally repetition is permitted for the Council Leader who may repeat phrases such as "I would like to congratulate the officers" as many times as he wishes.
This innovation means that we will soon be able to publish both meeting agendas and minutes at the same time, thereby doing away with the need for expensive and tedious meetings.
But we face many challenges, and money does not grow on trees. Last year we discovered that groups of pensioners were dining and being kept warm in day centres at a cost to the council of £400,000 per year. That is 1% of our total costs, and almost as much as it would cost to employ two chief executives. Thankfully, our partners at the local branch of the Arkansas Redneck Church of No Forgiveness stepped up to the plate with a soup kitchen, and scores of old people can now feast on a bowl of soup on alternate Tuesdays.
Another partner church, the Hallelujah Ministry of Mercy, will shortly begin operating a foodbank in association with Kansas Fried Chicken and Krispi Kreem Kakes to offer a balanced diet of out of date food items for all those who cannot be bothered to take advantage of one of the many excellent eateries in our newly renovated town centres.
Benny and Jerry's, Megabucks Koffee and Pondos Ribshack all offer excellent value and a healthy alternative to locally grown rubbish, and it is vital that everyone in the county supports them to keep the new shopping malls buzzing.
But times are about to get very tough for many of your readers. Council tax and charges for facilities such as parking may have to rise significantly, while many of the services people take for granted, such as road maintenance, swimming pools, libraries and public transport are a luxury we can no longer carry on funding. In most cases, we are under no statutory obligation to provide these things anyway.
But every cloud has a silver lining. As a council we are determined to encourage a healthy lifestyle, and so making poor, fat people walk rather than sit on a subsidised bus service will help. Sacking binmen will do wonders for recycling rates, and sharp rises in council tax may encourage more people to move into sustainable cardboard box accommodation or relocate to other authorities, such as Swansea.
It is with sincere regret that I have to contemplate making hundreds of low-paid workers redundant to ensure the future employment and pension prospects of senior management, without whom this council would not be able to function.
It is in recognition of the importance of the senior management of the authority that we shall in 2013 be seeking an upgrade of the various awards and honours that have been so graciously bestowed on us by Her Britannic Majesty. An authority of this size and importance surely merits a few knighthoods and a peerage or two.
Another necessary sacrifice is to stop wasting money on the Welsh language, and all the indications are that in a few years from now we will no longer need expensive translation equipment to keep the Welsh Taliban happy. And then the headsets will be consigned to the dustbin of history along with the likes of Mr Hussein al-Qynghanedd and Qeveen ul-Qambel.
But I cannot sit around answering your questions all day, Bob, so I will leave you and your readers with what I hope are words of comfort. This council has for many years worked hard to get rid of poverty, and that is why we have not insisted on any affordable homes in the large and exciting new executive housing developments which strategic partners, such as Tinker Winky, are just itching to deliver.
It will be painful for some of you, but for those who can afford the flood insurance and the price of a Megabucks skinny latte grande, I offer you the prospect of a brighter Cwmoffit, free of poverty and miserable old people.
Dylan Donc: On behalf of our readers, may I thank your Omnipotence for sparing us so much of your valuable time.