Website makes fun of ineffectual’ town council

A SPOOF website about a town council has been launched, ridiculing various aspects of the public body and labelling it largely ineffectual . At a glance, the satirical site at www.letchworthgardencitycouncil.org.uk looks exactly like Letchworth Garden Ci

A SPOOF website about a town council has been launched, ridiculing various aspects of the public body and labelling it "largely ineffectual".

At a glance, the satirical site at www.letchworthgardencitycouncil.org.uk looks exactly like Letchworth Garden City Council's official website, until you read the content.

Set up by a person, or people, calling themselves the Letchworth Garden City Trust, the site says: "The town council has engaged in local area forums, youth groups, police liaison, planning issues and public consultation. However, it has been largely ineffectual in these matters."

It says the council's mission statement to "promote the best interests of Letchworth Garden City for the ultimate benefit of its residents" is nothing more than a good sound-bite.

In a mock speech by a parody of the council's chairman and town mayor, Philip Ross, and accompanied by a Simpsons' character wearing a sash emblazoned with "mayor", it says: "Letchworth has one of the newest and least welcome town councils in the country" and continues: "The aim of the council seems to be to attack the Heritage Foundation and embarrass Letchworth."

Under Frequently Asked Questions, it says: "The mayor attends a plethora of community meetings and events for the greater glorification of the town council. The appointment is an unnecessary one."

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A spoof blog by the "Lord Mayor" says: "That mayoral chain is becoming a problem. The Heritage Foundation refuses to give it over. Still, the new one will be every bit as good, and a bargain. Tax payers' money well spent. The Westbury School campaign has failed - no influence there then!"

Another mock blog entry says: "On a positive note, the tax hike to £600,000 was railroaded through despite protests - Lovely jubbly."

There is a form on the site which says: "It has been suggested the town council is costly and unnecessary" and asks people to sign up to having a referendum on whether the council should be dissolved.

Cllr Ross said: "The spoof website is quite amusing. I am touched someone has gone to all this trouble and expense. It is the 21st century equivalent of Punch magazine or Spitting Image. As Oscar Wilde said, 'It's better to be talked about than not to be talked about at all.' My only criticism is that I found some of the comments about Westbury School's closure to be in poor taste.

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