The Chronicle

of the month of Pipetal in the year 147

Lord Dixon, bolstered by a unanimous re-election, has backed Elliot Anderson in proposing a shocking increase in the tax imposed upon the city. The budget proposals placed before the Witanmoot this month have led to protests throughout the city as citizens face an increase of a several pennies in the pound. However Alderman Anderson seems unrepentant. He told the Chronicle, "Whilst I regret the need for this tax increase, all I have done is my duty as Treasurer. The extra taxes are needed to fund the commitments made by the council and Lord Dixon's predecessor. I believe it was Lady Cox who said five years ago that, "It's about time some members of this council realised that when they vote for an increase in service, they have to be prepared to back it up with an increased budget." It is unfortunate that since Lady Cox's time that policy has not been followed. I have Lord Dixon's complete support in pushing through a realistic and honest budget. Surprisingly the proposals have yet to be attacked by any of the major faction leaders, however Alderman Pencric has already described the increase suggested for her ward of Marshgate as "An outrageous imposition".

A sleaze scandal looks set to engulf the Witanmoot this month after revelations that official watch members have been used to procure refugee children for senior aldermen. Reporters for the Chronicle have confirmed several incidents where young blond children were sought and apparently lured by watchmen to an address on Wheat Hill with promises of an inheritance or "wealthy benefactors". It appears that the scheme went wrong when too many refugee parents turned up at the location, only to be met with official denials and dismissal. A spokesperson for the angry parents said, "They's gone too far this time. Burn our 'omes, freeze us, starve us and now nab our kids will they? We're going to see about that."

The behaviour and effectiveness of certain ward watches may only be one of the topics troubling the new Law & Order chairman, Leonard Tholin, as he takes up his post this month. It appears that last month's prison escape has drawn the attention of the redoubtable Lady Perignon herself. The elegantly dressed matriarch has completed a tour of inspection of all the gatehouse prisons, accompanied by a number of bejewelled and bemused citadel cronies. No doubt the snap inspection would have been even worse had the tour not been narrowly preceded by quick visits from Alan Monterey. Alderman Monterey is apparently assisting Sheriff Shefford's own investigation of the break-out, but without results. Aunty Beatrice has also been the target of a dramatic attack by Cllr William Trueman from the Mootstone this week. The gist of the outburst appears to refer to some expert politicking during the recent elections: "Citizens, Alderman Andrews and myself were honoured to be able to start the City Orphanage project. It is unfortunate that the Perignon/Avery league squeezed Miranda Andrews out of office before we could see this important work through to completion. I can only hope that Alderman Beaureli continues with this good work. However, I have my doubts as he has yet to consult either Alderman Andrews or myself about the matter...It is particularly worrying when recently appointed Ladies ignore the noble tradition of "my word is my bond" and instead reflect the worst aspects of their origins...I accept that I was fooled, being a person who believes in the truth I trusted that those in respected positions would behave in a manner worthy of respect...Alderman Andrews and I accept our losses, we just hope that Lady Perignon's perfidy doesn't destroy the wonderful opportunity to build your orphanage."

Alderman Aralan Derwent, whose promiscuous private life has allegedly been linked with the Witanmoot sleaze scandal, has now been challenged to a duel. The once supreme rapierist has not been seen on the fields for some years, and speculation is growing that she may be defeated by young Laurella Lausada. Miss Lausada has represented the Drapers Guild in many fencing competitions over the past few years, winning several purses of prize money. It appears that the bookies have been unable to extract any reliable information on the alderman's current fitness, and good odds can still be obtained by anyone willing to shop around.

Those looking for diversion from the cut and thrust of Witanmoot debates might do worse than visit the recently reopened Kings Theatre (formerly the Theatre Regale) in Temple. The resident company are as yet unnamed but rumours persist of highly placed patrons. Theatre manager Geoffrey de Puisset has announced that the first production will be the perennial favourite, 'The Merry Wives of Faringdon'. A Chronicler reviewer has been despatched.