Wednesday 30 March 2016

Who wants to go next?

Bets are now on for the second most toxic job at the Blessed Authority! According to the published agenda, the Authority is seeking a Chairman for arguably the most dysfunctional planning committee in East Anglia. 

The news follows the final departure of Minty Beige, a member appointed by the Secretary of Oversight and Accident. Speculation is rife as to who will succeed him

Bookie’s favourite is Granny Spokesperson herself, who according to the known rogue Gary Sheds has no fewer than 6 separate code of conduct complaints against her. 

An undercover source within the planning department has stated that a close second is Dick Niggling, who despite being appointed by a Local Authority possesses enough obedience to fit Granny’s strategy for the planning committee leadership.

“Chairmanship of the Planning Committee is not a popularity contest” ,said Granny. “It is also of paramount importance that I appoint somebody who my close friend in the planning department approves of and that simply has to be either me, or somebody who recognises my leadership qualities. The deciding factor, of course, is how the Chairman feels about Tripe Island and any views opposed to hounding that dreadful man Roger Bush off his property, simply won’t do. My priority is to keep my good boating partner happy, as all this talk of a planning application in line with the 2014 inspector’s decision is making her very sad indeed. She has spent most of her professional life trying to get rid of him and I simply must ensure she retires on a personal high."

The current vice chairman, the blonde Swedish bombshell Henna Larsson sadly marked her ticket by indiscrete use of social media, crowning herself Queen of the Ferals and disobeying the laws of peroxide by forming opinions of her own, which is unlikely to suit Granny’s strategy. The blonde was seen sobbing into her wine at the Pony and Wagon near Yeorgh House recently, promising herself an extra deep spray tan and a new outfit.

“It is vitally important the role goes to somebody incapable of seeing the Woods for the trees", smiled Granny. "It is the Chairman’s duty to follow the officers wherever they may blunder as collective responsibility will ultimately save us all."

Tuesday 22 March 2016

Vaper Trails

Following on from inadvertent public release of the Blessed Invisible Ink (codenamed Blink), our shrimp spies have learned of a further development at Yeorgt House; invisible paper (codenamed Vaper).

It has long been thought that such a technology had been developed, but not until recently was its existence actually discovered (or not).

Released under the guise of Paperless Tolls, the Blessed Authority has unwittingly confirmed that there are certain documents which no longer exist. These include planning agreements and Acts of Parliament. Once thought to be merely a freak and remarkably accurate accident with the slot of a shredder, the Vaper project has been confirmed recently and is being released upon the public under the guise of a paperless tolls trial.

Leader of the Vaper project within the Obfuscation department, Ceefroo Balderdash, told our reporter, “The project has been perfected over many internal trials. We began with the Invisible Ink trials which were pioneered with internal reports, meeting minutes and so on - but it quickly became obvious to those who actually read them that certain documents were being ‘adjusted’; the only solution was for the Blessed Authority to adopt ‘total transparency’.”

Holding aloft a piece of Vaper, Ceefoo, continued, “To the ordinary eye, there is nothing in my hand, but let me assure you that this is a sheet of tolls plaques, printed just moments ago using Blink and Vaper.” He made a hand motion of crumpling the 'document', then tossed the Vaper in the air, seemingly catching it in a brown paper bag he was holding between the fingers of his right hand.

The new invisible tolls plaques will be sent to boat owners in the coming weeks along with assurance that the Blink will not run or, if it does it won’t mark the boat’s hull. These must be fitted to the bows of all boats by April 1st.

Hoarder of Tolls, Rob Yermone, was quick to comment on concerns of toll avoidance under the new Vaper system, “The idea of paperless plaques has often been discussed by the navigation committee who were unaware of the Vaper project at the time. Each occasion this was raised, Officers dismissed it for a wide range of reasons. However, officers have confirmed that whilst the reasons are all still valid, they don't matter any more now that the Authority has decided on a different outcome. And, besides, nobody can find any written evidence of the objections anyway."

"Our stakeholder survey research indicates that the public believes that the BA is a soft touch and does not prosecute nearly enough people, or waste enough public funds on legal fees. As part of the Vaper trials in relation to tolls reform, officers plan to ensure that targets are to be set for prosecutions with incentives given to rangers to find un-tolled vessels in back-waters.  In the fullness of time, we plan to operate a more automated prosecution system requiring boat owners to fill in SWANs (Statutory Above Water Notifications) if their boat is not actually in the river else they will automatically get a summons. To best address the stakeholders' concerns that we don't squander enough public money on legal costs, there are also plans to set a minimum level of expenditure, per case."

Sunday 20 March 2016

Blessed Chair admits to influencing Member appointments

Blessed Authority chair Granny Spokesperson surprised NSBA members this week by admitting to being able to influence the selection of both Secretary of State and Local Authority appointees.

Although the "independent and impartial" appointment process is widely known to be less than transparent, this is the first time it has been admitted in public.

Speaking in response to questions about the under-representation of navigational interests on the Blessed Authority, she confirmed that she could address this by "influencing" the impartial appointments process. Wielding such power was "clearly preferable" to all the trouble and uncertainty which direct elections would bring.

In the short term, she confirmed that she would encourage Members with no interest in boating to follow her example and buy a share in a boat, so as to create the illusion of greater toll payer representation.

In an effort to cement member-officer relations, the self-styled 'Chair' has also shown great leadership by entering into boat ownership jointly with a senior planning officer. "Although cosy relationships between members and officers are discouraged, I can't see anything wrong with this one and of course it doesn't affect my ability to challenge my friend and boating partner in planning committee meetings", she said with her fingers firmly crossed behind her back. The arrangement was allegedly approved by the monitoring officer, shortly before he disappeared without trace.

At the meeting, she was also quizzed about her failure to promote public rights of navigation at Bewilderbroad, when the Blessed Authority was consulted on the multi-million pound injection of public money into a private broad. She promised to look into this, just as soon as she discovered where the broad is actually located.

Granny will shortly be meeting with conservation and tourism groups, where she is expected to give similar assurances about their representation on the Blessed Authority.

Monday 14 March 2016

"Special" ink accidentally used for tolls

Officers at the Blessed Authority were left embarrassed last week after a "special" ink purchased for use in important documents was inadvertently used for the 2016 toll plaques.

The "washable" ink was developed to assist officers when they needed to change documents after they'd been printed. Unfortunately, printers misunderstood a recent urgent instruction to print "everything" using the new washable ink, with the result that this year's toll stickers become unreadable after a quick shower of rain, and can only be used indoors.

Officers are now working on a special varnish to "seal" the plaques from the rain, though there are concerns that this could be used on documents for the same purpose, rendering them "unwashable" - so a special type of paper is in development, which will resist the sealer but hold the special ink until washed. Such methods may seem extreme but, as a spokesperson explained, "it is important to be able to alter documents if they don't say what we want them to. This is the normal way of things, and is essential for protecting the reputation of the Blessed Authority."

Since most documents are shared and stored electronically these days, readers might think that washable ink is a bit of an anachronism in 2016. "Not so," said the spokesperson, "we still print everything here at Yeurgh House - including this article of course. No serious person uses all that 'cloud' stuff do they? I mean, we don't even need our own Facebook presence, we just use another page which we were entrusted with, to distribute our propaganda."