Berwick Deputy Mayor and first-generation vampire Georgina Hill has been fiercely criticised by clan elder, the powerful Lord Viktor of House Halidon. Lord Viktor, who prefers to go by the name Councillor John Stephenson, is reportedly furious that Hill has failed in her Conservative duty to be sly, secretive, untrustworthy and altogether wrong.
“Georgina Hill condemns the lack of transparency in this [Berwick] council in a national newspaper,” Lord Viktor is alleged to have told the Disinterment & Regeneration Committee. “Well, if Councillor Hill can find any evidence of lack of transparency among councillors I would imagine they would resign. But she’s got to find it first. And as for corruption — du-ur, we’re the living dead; corruption is kind of what we do.
“Transparency is there, but obviously not when we want to hide stuff. Like the meeting I chaired back in September of the Finance Committee, where we secretly appropriated the Portas money. The gagging proposal put forward by Gavin Jones following Ms Hill’s demand that we desecretify that meeting is just a tremendous coincidence.
“To be honest, I’m disappointed that a member of my clan would act in such an honourable way. I blame Europe.”
Lycan councillor Jones, demonstrating the biddable nature of his species and why they’re so good around young children, had tabled a motion to give a subcommittee of three the power to reject “vexatious” requests for information, inquiry and review of council decisions. The proposal was subsequently passed as a result of several abstentions due to the national policy of Lycan castration.
Panting happily around a large Kong stuffed with Butcher’s Choice Select, Jones declared:
“I’m just keen that the council doesn’t get bogged down with credibility; it would really affect the workflow now we only have two-and-a-half members of staff. There used to be three, but my time of the month took her unawares. Here,” he added. “You dropped this stick.”
Berwick residents have reacted angrily to the news that a majority of the town council is keen to implement a behind-closed-doors policy.
Flavia Petrescu, a Romanian dog-groomer based on Bridge Street, said:
“Is disappointing. I’m a Lycan-lover, always has been. They is just so cute and eager to please. But vampires is just so independent; they don’t need you or give no shit. I am not typical a fan of vampires. But, you know? It just shows you cannot always tell. Ms Hill might has made vampire person out of me.”
But would she still vote for Councillor Gavin Jones?
“Not so likely,” admitted Petrescu. “Least not until his glands has good squeeze.”
Zac Richardson, a traffic cone operator from Horncliffe, agreed that such actions will make decision-making difficult come election time.
“These days the only way I can tell whether a politician is up to the job is by reading about his or her sex life in The Daily Mail. With everything going on behind closed doors I’ll be forced to look at their policies, and we all know they’re made up.”
When routed from his 18th-century crypt Councillor Tom Forrester, clan brother of Ms Hill, had this to say:
“When I read the proposal by Councillor Jones I was stunned and surprised to find such an anti-democratic proposal from a Lycan. They don’t usually care who sees them dragging their arse across the carpet. I can only put it down to a growing campaign to stake the Deputy Mayor. It’s a sad state of affairs when a vampire has to point out the correct way to behave.”
Lord Viktor has so far failed to dispel the rumours of a council plot to dispense with Councillor Hill. Only last week the 450-year-old nightwalker was heard muttering over a half-conscious virgin, “Just because we share a nest, doesn’t mean we have to like each other,” before ripping out the still-beating heart and offering it to the bat god, Camazotz.
Dr Jonty Hardcastle, researcher at the Berwick Institute of Thinking, links Berwick Town Council’s behaviour to an inner ear infection particular to supernatural beings.
“The fact that Councillor Hill is talking with integrity yet being discounted by her colleagues is due to the higher pitch of the female voice,” he explains. “You have to remember that both Lycans and vampires have heightened hearing. For the male of these species, whenever an intelligent woman speaks it causes physical pain. In an attempt to lessen this auditory distress, the brain’s temporal lobe tries to minimise the impact of the words by stripping them of meaning and consequence.
Dr Hardcastle went on to say: “This condition — chronic otitis labyrinthica politica, or sexism as it’s more commonly known — tends to manifest in those with poor self-image, low intellect and entrenched mother issues.”
Councillor Hazel Bettison agrees:
“I tried to alleviate the effects of Councillor Jones’s proposal by suggesting that the whole staffing committee should be involved with ignoring information requests from the public. My very sensible compromise was knocked back. I can only put this down to my voice. It did rise a pitch or two, but then my brain was melting out of sheer incredulity.”
“I’m taking testosterone so it doesn’t happen again,” Bettison added.
While storm clouds continue to build, the Deputy Mayor remains unperturbed.
“As a vampire, I welcome darkness and the reputation of a slaughterer of innocents. It’s a concept I’m comfortable with. However, I draw the line at concealing things that have no business being concealed. That’s just well dodgy.”
What do you think? Has Councillor Hill got it right or are there some things better left behind closed doors when it comes to local politics?