The Chronicle

of the month of Heliora in the year 152

The continuing war with Salvoyn continues to affect Linrodeth with the closure of the Cascorach road bringing a halt to much overland trade. The movements of the armies has destabilised the region so much that few caravans are making it through without losses to bandits or mercenaries. In another development the area to the south of Linrodeth, previously held by Lady Perignon has declared itself an independent Duchy, and is rumoured to be asking Linrodeth for support. Compared to last year's debacle, this year's budget debate was sensible, well-argued and ultimately successful. The Chronicle suspects that having more money that they know what to do with has shocked our leaders into a new mood of rationality. The first debate was over the Monterey proposal to move £1000 from Shipping to Trade. Alderman Monterey explained that "the primary purpose of this amendment is to balance up the financial commitments between Trade and Shipping" he went on to suggest that perhaps a special subcommittee be established to oversee the building of the new docks. The heat was taken out of the debate when Chairman for Shipping, Thomas Osbert, stood up to back the proposal. The amendment passed unopposed despite mumbling from the Bottler benches about "wasting time on the minutiae of Witanmoot structures and regulations instead of getting things done for the City." The second debate over the proposal to lower the Lands budget to £1750 was won by 161 votes to 115. A much closer vote than the lacklustre debate would have suggested. The overall budget split was then passed unanimously. Lady Andrews thanked the Witanmoot for its prompt and diligent decision-making which enhanced the smooth running of the city.

This years Sheriff election looks already to be decided following a set of nominations which declare the voting intentions of most of the factions. Jenny Davy was proposed by Lambourne, Monterey, Cutario, Trueman. Nicholas Bowden was proposed by Trueman, Cutario, Bottler and Alan Monterey was proposed by Lambourne, Monterey. With neither Davy or Bowden looking willing to challenge Lady Andrews at Springtide it looks as though the City is in for a period of stability not seen since the era of Lady Cox. In the other Midsummer election Alan Monterey has proposed Maud Blessop as envoy for Kerun, enabling her to gain the post unopposed. Alderman Monterey has also placed a shot across the bows of Shipping during the normally turgid debate on the acceptance of Committee accounts. He demanded to know exactly what the items under Shipwreck and Storm Rescue is, and exactly where it leaves the volunteers of Bridge ward. He also declared his intention to move an amendment that funding for the Bell tower be restored to the levels it enjoyed in the year 150. Warming up to his popular voice of the outraged citizen style he declared, "I am in no way prepared to tolerate the gratis transfer of a civic building and responsibility to military use without a full and proper debate in the Witanmoot, rather than in the underhand manner that this committee is attempting. Understand that I have no objection to our forces having use of the Bell tower, but the manner in which it is being managed is unacceptable." As an utterly bemused Cutario pointed out, "The Belltower at the estuary is of course well beyond the bowshots of even Lady Andrews. Its ownership was transferred as part of the reforms passed by the Witanmoot at Springtide, which superseded this committee's previous arrangements; it's all perfectly straightforward."

The reason for last month's fervent surveying by the Brynettes is becoming clear. Rumours around the Witanmoot suggest that Alderman Saunders has secured backing for a complete redevelopment of the Outer Bridge area. It would appear that he has persuaded people that the area on the far side of the river is suitable for both the new docks and the Sweet water project. If he pulls this off the Chronicle for one will be impressed. With such large sums of money to be spent any Aldermen who has the skill to get all of it for his own ward will be well on his way to becoming Lord of the City. The greatest asset he has is that it actually looks like a good idea. However the one weakness in his plan appears to be hat he has yet to obtain the backing of the powerful Bottler group which is know to have significant influence over the establishment of all large construction projects.

Marcus Lambourne has asked Lady Andrews to distance herself from the remarks in the last issue of the Chronicle, supposedly by sources close to her, about 'considering a permanent resolution' to the Lambourne problem. He made it clear that in no way was he accusing Lady Andrews of seeking to eradicate him "quite the contrary I should be very much surprised to find that she intended what was being inferred. It would seem that some of her staff are being a little 'overzealous' in her defence." He went on to ask Lady Andrews to "to take this opportunity to reaffirm her commitment to the democratic process". He continued with a long speech which the Chronicle feels is worthy of reproducing in its entirety "From time to time contributors from the floor of this august house will have a hitherto unconsidered insight into one of the many issues that face us. It is that individual's duty, however painful, to bring those considerations to light, to ask the questions that need to asked, many of which can be dealt with by simple answers. I know that I am seen by many as a focus of opposition within the Witanmoot. That is not a mantle that I feel comfortable wearing. Let me state here and now that, when I agree with Lady Andrews, as I do on a great many issues, then I shall back her to the hilt. When I believe that some important factor has not been brought to her attention, then, out of loyalty to the City, I shall raise it in the Witanmoot. That does not make me disloyal, quite the contrary. I deeply regret that some individuals have sought to make capital from my contributions and accused me of disloyalty. I have sworn the Oath of Fealty and, as anyone who knows me will attest, I do not undertake Oaths lightly. I find it very sad that Alderman Trueman feels the need to resort to insinuation and slurs against me to further his political ends. I don't believe for one minute that there is any real threat to my safety. It was simply a ruse to plant spies in my household, and generate unwarranted suspicion about my motives. The Law and Order Committee, then under the control of Alderman Barnett, involved the Witanmoot Guard, a body of men and women for whom I have the profoundest respect, in political skulduggery, tainting the good name that they have earned in their many years service to the City. They deserve better than that. If I truly believed that there was a threat to my life, I would have no hesitation accepting their protection. Alderman Trueman seems so fearful of my safety that I would suggest that he is the one suffering from paranoia! In what is probably a vain attempt to put his fevered mind at rest, I want to say categorically, and on my word of honour, that any attempt to find evidence that I am guilty of treachery or disloyalty to the City of Linrodeth is doomed to failure, for the simple fact that it does not exist. If anyone wants evidence that I am a traitor then they are going to have to fabricate it."

After this speech all eyes turned to Lady Andrews for a response. With characteristic style she leaned forward and commented quietly, but with some menace in her voice "This city's democracy has always been rigorous in defending itself from those who fail to work for the best interests of that democracy. Provided he continues to serve the city by providing a healthy opposition, then Cllr Lambourne can be assured that he will remain healthy himself."