The Chronicle

of the month of Menderal in the year 145

This month's budget debate, which had been expected to occupy a major session of the Witanmoot, turned out to be one of the shortest debates on record. Larken Drumm had been expected to propose a raft of amendments, but both the councillor and the amendments failed to materialise. In his absence his erstwhile ally, Adam Avery, attempted to make up some proposals on the hoof. However his vague "we should have two more trade posts' proposal was followed by a polite pause as the council waited for more details and, more importantly, costs and fundraising. The silence and the amendment were terminated by Lady Perignon who called for a brief show of hands ("oh, sorry Adam") of those who supported and opposed the idea. After less than an hour of debate Alison Shefford's meticulously prepared budget was passed by a large margin with some scattered and disorganised dissent centring around the Drumm and Trueman factions.

Bandits have once again struck at a caravan, this time capturing a large shipment of goods for the Broiderers and Tapissers guild. The attack took place near the location of a previous raid and it is clear that the bandits are operating out of the Wealden forests to the north of the city. The guilds have demanded that the Sheriffs take action.

The controversial Home Tax proposals proved to be a more heated affair. Following last month's debacle the faction leaders had laid down the law to their various groups and clear instructions to vote for the proposal had been issued. However despite this a large section of the Witanmoot defied the orders and opposed the tax. An odd alignment of the hard line rich (led by George Rimon) the poor (led by Alderman Hubold) and the reformers (led by Cllr Edge) actively opposed the motion. Eventually the 'Registration Duty' was approved by a margin of 40 votes, but only after Avery had amended it to allow for the registration of a list of Principal Owners with witnessing by a local councillor.

Following on from this, Alan Monterey's proposals for new trade delegate posts should have been a simple matter, backed as it was by the merchant guilds and with the vocal support of Sheriff Dixon and the Lord of the City. However a brilliant and powerful speech by Vanessa St Lawrence proposed instead that the same money instead be spent on an orphanage. Building on the rebellious mood of the Witanmoot, she quickly gained support for her proposals from all areas of the Witanmoot, and before the faction leaders could do anything about it, the council had approved a donation of 300 pounds to Gax's orphanage project.

The expected threat to Sheriffs Dixon's re-election failed to materialise, with the council clearly deciding to back experienced candidates. Dixon was elected by a resounding 21 votes. The only dissent coming from Alice Fytton who said she was surprised that other aldermen were willing to give power to someone with such a history of abusing it. Alan Griffiths returned to the post of Sheriff after an absence of some years; his 15 votes easily outweighing Key's 6 and Rucche's 2. Ariane Pencric had been expected to do well but received no votes at all and had difficulty covering her disappointment.

Lady Perignon's Midsummer Ball was a lively event. With the long absence of such balls and the need to recover from a heavy week on council, most people let their hair down and relaxed. Lady Perignon glided around as a stately and gracious hostess, while Sheriff Dixon celebrated by turning up in an elegant new suit of black velvet which managed to exceed even Sheriff Griffiths' distinctively startling costume by Eshi. Alan Monterey's continued sulk over his trade delegate proposals lead to him being mostly ignored, and William Trueman's drinking binge led to some heartless comments. Much attention was paid to Adam Avery's startlingly witty comments which kept everyone entertained while the musicians were distracted. However it was Aralan Derwent who provided the most dramatic incident, being expelled from the ball under scandalous circumstances involving a rolled up tapestry, a dozen wine goblets and most of the minstrels gallery. Despite the Chronicler's best efforts we have not been able to determine exactly what happened, but a disgusted Lady Perignon has banned the councillor from future civic balls. Sheriff Dixon was rather more relaxed about the incident: "She's probably just upset everyone. That's what she normally does, doesn't she?" he commented.