COUNCILS the length and breadth of Britain are always bleating on that they have little money to provide the services the public expect. Budgets are routinely cut they say, most of them citing poverty as an excuse for not providing what they should. Only main highways are gritted and cleared, as they just can’t afford to tackle local roads from your home to a main road. Libraries are closed and rubbish collection by councils is a lottery depending on where you live.
Local councillors don’t have to be particularly bright, but just willing to stand and take the job on, our fault then that some who are elected councillors become jobsworths when a little power goes to their heads. Now it’s Christmas and the idiots among them are at it again, funny that there’s always money to issue local diktats on what we eat, buy and how we decorate our homes for the festive season!!
Leicestershire Council has issued guidance that only six Brussel Sprouts per person be cooked to avoid waste. If I could have got my children to eat any Brussel Sprouts at all that would have been a Christmas miracle. Presumably there is a Brussel Sprout officer monitoring any reports of anyone having seven sprouts? They go on to advise their obviously brainless population to plan ahead on food and buy only half-price items, not buy one get one free. Where is this supermarket in Leicestershire that only sells half price food? In the same vein The Food Standards Agency has dreamt up a festive cartoon character called the ‘freezer fairy’ to advise you on portion sizes and what you can freeze if there’s any leftovers.
Portsmouth Council advises you to buy an artificial tree as this helps the planet and your purse, as your tree can be used year after year; whilst 40 miles away, West Sussex Council advises against buying an artificial tree as they are made from plastic and when you eventually throw it out it can’t be recycled. You couldn’t make it up.
A gem of advice from Argyll and Bute Council is when positioning candles put them away from objects that may catch fire, and here’s me about to place mine under my artificial Christmas tree.
East Devon Council has banned wreaths on front doors as a fire risk and also no fairy lights round windows, with Bradford in the same mode banning any Xmas decorations pinned, stuck or nailed on walls of government buildings. A Christmas tree is fine as long as low energy fairy lights are used. No guidance is given on whether an artificial or real tree is allowed, so Bradford must be in a state of flux.
Cotswold Council has issued an advent calendar and behind each door is advice on useful tips for Xmas and recycling broken electrical equipment. How festive, where’s the chocolate?
Christmas cards it would seem divide councils, some advising not to send any – as it harms the tree environment – and advocate sending e-cards instead. South Norfolk Council advises if you do receive cards to keep them till the following year and make them into gift tags; that would be for the gifts that are sanctioned by these jobsworths.
Tamworth Council has sent a normal Christmas card to all its tenants wishing them a happy Christmas and a good New Year with the message to remember to pay their rent on time – presumably not a worry when saving on Brussel sprouts.
Drink sensibly and dress warmly if walking home is stating the obvious but Doncaster Council feels we need reminding, but the first prize goes to Dundee Council who advise people who are having parties in their own homes to ensure guests have enough room to move around so people can meet each other, and that putting your sofa in the corner would be a good idea. Obviously the Christmas Council parties were a boozy affair and Doncaster and Dundee councillors have got back to their offices a little inebriated and thought we need to be told the bleeding obvious.
Unbelievably and worryingly Falkirk Council has issued a new policy that prevents school children giving a gift to their teacher. They say it’s seen as bribery? A card should suffice they say, but don’t say whether a traditional card or an e-card – what a quandary to put parents in. In my experience the only teachers that get wee presents are primary school teachers and I can’t see how this is bribery for anything.
Southwark Council advises making a list of presents for each of your children to avoid duplication, really! I’m sure if I accidentally bought two chocolate oranges it would still be eaten, with Monmouth Council advising when buying presents for your children to be aware of the packaging as your wheelie bin might overflow.
On this note Bromley Council suggests the perfect gift for granny is to give her that special Christmas joy, a 240 litre garden wheelie bin. They say ‘Treat that special someone to a years worth of garden waste collections’ – although wrapping it might be a problem though.
All these councils think that the people that voted them in as councillors are obviously not the full shilling which probably is a sign no one with an ounce of intelligence would vote for people that insist on telling us how to live our lives.
My advice? Have your normal Christmas, put up whatever tree you like, eat all the food you feel guilty about eating the rest of the year and have a snifter or three.
Have a very happy Christmas.
NB. I recently wrote an article about the new hangover cure ‘Your Saint’ at £35 a bottle, questioning its effectiveness. Your Saint has offered to send me some to prove it works and I’m happy to drink a bottle or two of the red stuff over the festive season and get back to you. This will be done only in the name of research of course! Watch this space!