Monday, November 28, 2011

News on the dark side

A shot in the dark 

Thieves broke in to a Folly Market shop stealing jewellery and other goods that could be melted down for profit. Police are asking for anyone who has recently been offered a quantity of plastic to contact them urgently.

 Energy saving lights?

Petersfield Town's great Christmas light switch on took place on Friday, coinciding with the launch of the 'Christmas Trail', a treasure hunt which invites participants to spot out of place items in the High Street.

Immediately obvious to all, but reminiscent of the good old days, was the lady dressed as a traffic warden who could be seen pacing around the town.

Black cat

A Sheet household who all but stole a cat are pleading for the real owners to come forward as it is eating them out of house and home. The Ateatstoomuchs of Outwomans Lane enticed the cat into their home with morsels of tuna but are now beginning to realise how much it costs to feed the three-stone moggy. Mike Ateatstoomuch told Newswire: "We unreservedly apologise to the owners of the cat, but plead with them to come forward and take the ruddy thing back."

How do you like it - underexposed?

Pumpkin is being reunited with some of her family this week, and she will be accompanied on her journey by two of her sisters. We are joining forces with the Petersfield Proust and offering you the opportunity to win a leg of lamb if you can correctly identify what type of creature Pumpkin is from the above photograph.

Images courtesy of the Petersfield Proust, whose photographer has asked us to make an on-line appeal for a Nikon battery charger. If you can help please contact Len Scap direct at the Proust offices.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How the council spends your money

As easy as pie
Leaked accounts from East Havantshire District Council reveal the major categories of public expenditure in Petersfield.
Nineteen per cent of the council's budget was spent on Forgetting Remembrance Day. This is a particularly difficult task given that Remembrance Day has been fixed into the national calendar for nearly 100 years and that everybody walks around wearing poppies for several weeks beforehand. The council spent significant funds ignoring these clues.
Fifteen per cent of the budget was channelled into the "Failing to organise the Olympic Sreeen" project. The costs of delivering this disappointment were greater than expected, forcing the council to dip into its special "Ignoring the wishes of everybody" and "Working extra hard to find one person with a minor grievance" reserve budgets.
The single biggest spend, however, was on ruining bin collections, a complicated procedure which required the council to co-ordinate the disruption with Winchester .
Council spokeswoman, Mercedes Penz, of Penz Place said: "It takes a great deal of money to be this incompetent but it all supports our equality mission: to make Petersfield as shit as Havant. I think we're doing remarkably well, don't you?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PRATS - Petersfield's vocal locals

Cam Payne, Petersfield's biggest PRAT

A new website has been launched to enable Petersfield residents to object to the many things they object to “in a more organised manner”.

The man behind the website, Cam Payne, chairman of the vocal local organisation Petersfield Residents Against Things (PRATS), believes this is a major step forward in the town’s ability to complain irrationally about all manner of topics.

He said: “Petersfield residents are renowned for objecting – whether it’s against planning applications, the closure of the Town Square, car parking, pavements, the lack of organic five-a-day vegetables, the increasing appearance of fog or a failure to increase oxygen levels for old people.

“While these are all valid objections, as a town we need to have a more co-ordinated approach. Too often the protests are limited to individuals posting leaflets on telegraph poles or somebody writing a letter of ill-informed complaint to the local newspaper.

“The launch of the new website will enable us to protest in a more organised manner. And it will also lead to more concerted and visible campaigns. For a start, this week, following on from the much publicised ‘Occupy’ protests in New York and London , we are holding an Occupy Cloisters march.

“It will start at the statue in the centre of the square and culminate at the Cloisters coffee bar where protesters will occupy all the tables, pausing only to order the occasional latte and eggs Benedict.

“And if, as expected, the protest gathers momentum we will be able to nip across the square to Milletts and purchase some thick socks or even a tent. For most people this will only differ from their normal day in that they will be ordering eggs Benedict instead of a smoked salmon bagel – but the important thing is we have to start somewhere. And the website has enabled us to do that.”

The website comprises a simple content management system into which visitors add in relevant information in order to generate a campaign. These include ‘cause of ire’; ‘action required’; ‘how many angry residents do you require?’; and a multiple-choice section for ‘required action’, which includes tick-boxes for ‘angry letter to the paper’; ‘angry photograph in the paper’; ‘poster pinned up angrily in the library’; or ‘angry stall in town square at next event organised by an angry Ben Errey.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

No news is news

Wenlock and Mandeville...

Following last week's news that the Olympic torch is coming to Petersfield we can now round up all the other exciting Olympic games news from around the area.

Petersfield won't have a screen, so you'll need to watch it on the telly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Greater Leigh Park a flaming nuisance?

 Catch me if you can

Petersfield residents have received assurances that despite problems with illegally parked cars, that continue to remain unchecked by Petersfield Town Council, the Olympic torch will make its way through the town next year.

News for people living between Petersfield and Portsmouth was, however, far less positive.
The torch is set to be carried from Portsmouth to Brighton on July 16, 2012, day 59 of the mammoth relay.

The start of the journey is set to see the torch carried from Portsmouth straight to Petersfield without visiting Leigh Park, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Waterlooville, Horndean or Clanfield despite the fact that it will be coming within yards of each of them.

Immediately after gracing Petersfield the torch will visit settlements as small as Rogate, Midhurst, Easebourne, Tillington, Petworth and Duncton.

Lord Coe has been approached by Chantell Fewdont a representative from Havant, Rowlands Castle, Waterlooville etc. or as it known Greater Leigh Park, pleading that he change his mind and slightly alter the route of the torch to take in some more of these built-up areas.

Lord Coe was unequivocal in his response: “Not a chance” he said.

“We did give this matter serious consideration, and one of our major goals in planning the route was to reach out and meet as many of the population as possible, where possible in deprived areas, but this would be a risk we are simply not willing to take.

“You need to realise that much of this journey will be broadcast across the world and if anything were to go wrong, well it doesn’t bear thinking about.

“My advisers tell me that ‘torch’ has its own meaning in Greater Leigh Park, and the last thing we want is for a wanton trail of destruction to follow the runner, because the locals think it appropriate.

“In addition, this torch is golden in colour. It’s not real gold, but I have been warned that the locals will almost certainly not realise that and that a runner carrying gold would be like a scene from the pied piper of Hamelin.

“No we will not be diverted; Greater Leigh Park is a flaming nuisance.”

Monday, November 07, 2011

Olympic torch to bypass Petersfield?

Hardly a shining example
Plans for the Olympic torch to be brought to Petersfield in July could be thrown into chaos because of unregulated parking in the town.

Sebastian Coe, the former Olympic gold medallist turned Conservative party mouthpiece, admitted the health and safety of the runner could not be guaranteed in Petersfield.

He said: “Petersfield has become renowned for the haphazard and unregulated parking which has been encouraged by the town’s independent shopkeepers.

“It is not right to ask somebody carrying the Olympic torch to weave in and out of badly parked cars just to visit a tin-pot Hampshire market town. We have to be able to guarantee the safety of the runner and we can’t currently do that.

“In addition, the predilection for local farmers to muck spread and fill the town with noxious gases on warm days in July and August does not sit well with the idea of a naked flame. Hence we are currently reconsidering our initial route.”

The news will horrify the town’s residents who are still reeling from the news that a giant screen planned for the town square during the Olympics has been banned owing to fears of a loss of trade by pan-pipe buskers.

But news of the potential re-routing was welcomed by local jeweller Matt Tress, head of a local independent traders group. He said: “I welcome people double-parking illegally outside my shop – it means they’re more likely to come in and pay through the nose for their purchases. It’s good to see that people are thinking of the small shopkeeper for once.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a full investigation into the issue and is likely to favour whichever option can provide him with the most votes and the best PR.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Petersfield residents are wheelie confused

Frubbish boards the number 48 to Rogate
with one of her children

Changes to local bin collections and bus timetables have left Petersfield residents bewildered.

Many people are complaining that their buses haven't been emptied for three weeks while others say it's unacceptable that they have to catch a wheelie bin into town.

Local mother of two Ismelda Frubbish was faced to take her children to school in a green wheelie bin on Tuesday. 

She said: "It was downright humiliating. When we arrived everybody was pointing and laughing. I simply hadn't realised it was supposed to be a grey bin week.

"The council was no help either. The told me to take my complaint to Winchester , which meant waiting ages for the number 95 dustcart. They're washing their hands of all responsibility."

A council spokesman advised "you should always wash your hands after touching domestic food waste or bus passengers".

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A sign of the times in Petersfield

Splendid signage

Petersfield is celebrating after being awarded European Centre of Signage status for 2012.

The prestigious award follows a vigorous vetting procedure which saw the east Hampshire town lauded for its “lack of regulation” and “diversity”.

The chairman of the EU panel of international judges, Bill Board, explained: “Petersfield was the stand-out candidate. Too often in large cities, where there is an abundance of regulated hoardings the focus is on big corporations and legitimate, paid-for advertising and the close proximity of golf sales.

“But Petersfield manages to be a smorgasbord of unregulated signage, from bright yellow notices of forthcoming comedy nights to posters in a cleverly designed childish form advertising bonfire nights. And they’re not just limited to one area – these notices are all over town, ranging from A4 notices attached to lamposts to six-foot posters nailed to bits of plywood and tied to roadside trees.

“It was this diversity, lack of regulation and complete disregard for aesthetics and the safety of road users which appealed to the judging panel. That’s why it was placed ahead of Tromsø, in Norway, and the small French village of Beaucoups de Trivialities, just north of Ridicules.”

A spokesman for Petersfield Town Council, Bobby Bear, was able to provide further details of the panel’s findings.

He said: “The judges made comment about the diversity of our signage and picked out for special mention the seasonal Petersfield Town Juniors six-a-side signs – described as ‘plentiful and effective’; the ubiquitous ‘Hot Tub Sale’ notice – ‘hugely informative’; the Winton Players’ series – ‘just made us want to go and buy a ticket’; and the ‘hilarious’ no parking at any time notices in the High Street, which ‘showed a satirical and contemporary sense of humour, largely lacking in other conurbations’.

“We are delighted to win such a prestigious award and you can guarantee somebody will produce a handwritten bill in celebration and staple it to a telegraph pole near you soon.”

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Crime prevention

 An officer tests out a new toy on loan from Surrey

The number of crimes reported in Hampshire has fallen, according to new Home Office figures released last week.

Muggings are up 10%, burglaries up 12%, robbery is up 8%, domestic violence is up 23% and fraud is up 3%. Identity fraud is up 36%, knife crime is up 17%, gun-related crime is up 13%, road crime is up 26% and drug crime is up 29%.

However, against this backdrop of increased disorder and criminality stands the fact that nearly all of East Hampshire’s police stations have been closed down.

Detective Superintendant Plod said: “I am proud to announce, that in line with official guidelines, from next year Hampshire Constabulary - Eastern Division, will operate from one solitary police station.

“It is anticipated this will cut our overheads by some 35%. Furthermore, we will be selling existing police stations, and expect this action to raise £3.5M for police funds. This should enable us to invest in some shiny new cars and some of those rather splendid Segway scooter things.”

We asked DS Plod how it is we are being told crime has reduced in the area when the truth appears to be the complete opposite.

“Reported crime has fallen,” he told us. “You need to find a policeman, or speak to one on the telephone to report a crime, and from what we understand most victims simply give up.

“I want to reassure the public, that in the face of adversity, we, the boys in blue, are always there to help. If for any reason you need assistance or need to report a crime, please call our strategic nerve centre in Alton on 01420 999 999, on a Wednesday between the hours of 14:00 and 14:05.”