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The good, the bad and the ugly of a year to remember

HAVE the relatives gone home yet?

HAVE the relatives gone home yet?

I think you’ll agree this was a strange year when the news was good, bad and ugly.

Make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and decide which was which in this review of 2008.

JANUARY:

Just how excited were you when John Murphy belted that ball into the back of the Chelsea net?

I was driving down the M6 at the time screaming like a banshee. It didn’t last long, but how good did it feel?

The entire operation was a credit to everyone associated with Macclesfield Town.

How many Premiership clubs lay on free transport for their fans? What a wonderful idea, surpassed only by that brilliant day when 25 footballs bounced onto the pitch during a televised match against Walsall.

That one gesture made the whole country smile and lifted the spirits of spectators and players alike.

Way to go Silkmen.

FEBRUARY:

Walking past Cheshire Building Society I noticed a sign on the front door stating: ‘Colleagues entrance at the side’.

The word ‘colleagues’ was, no doubt, an attempt by highly paid directors to show empathy with lowly staff working at the coalface.

But later in the year when both coal and directors ran out, all ‘colleagues’ got was the shaft.

MARCH:

MPs’ expenses hit the headlines and I had a brainwave to resolve the thorny problem of second homes.

Lots of London council estates have vacant houses where MPs can rent cheap accommodation, reduce expenses and sample the culture they’ve created first hand.

It was a win-win proposition, but found no takers.

APRIL:

According to the Office for Criminal Reform Statistics, the average fine for driving without insurance FELL from £203 to £169.

Given the level of inflation and the surge in insurance premiums, it had to be the bargain of the century.

MAY:

The new authority of Cheshire East claimed they would save taxpayers £16.1million each and every year.

With no ‘saving’ time to lose, leader Wesley Fitzgerald swung into action, appointing chief executive Erika Wenzel plus three directors at a combined expense to taxpayers of £700k.

JUNE:

"They fought the dogs and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,

And ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,

Split open the kegs of salted sprats,

Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,

And even spoiled the women’s chats,

By drowning their speaking,

With shrieking and squeaking,

In fifty different sharps and flats."

No it wasn’t traffic wardens, but rats invading the Colshaw Farm estate.

"Wheelie bins are like rats’ dinner time", said one parish councillor.

But with ‘savings’ to make, councillors could not afford a return to weekly collections of household waste.

JULY:

Cheshire County Council announced their demise; MPs headed for home (the one they paid for, not the one we paid for); Cheeky Girl Gabriela planned her marriage to Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, halting production of the next Cheeky Girl album; Heather Mills moved to New York; and Gordon Ramsay left for LA.

So it wasn’t all bad news.

AUGUST:

Quote of the summer went to county councillor Eveleigh Moore-Dutton, who said: "The council has carefully designed temporary traffic measures tailored to help pedestrians as well as create a safe and efficient delivery of (road) works. The aim is to create the least delay and disruption to the local community, local businesses and road users."

With massive hold-ups in Macclesfield, Poynton, Prestbury, Alderley Edge and an Olympic size swimming pool forming beneath the station bridge in Wilmslow, there was mass speculation Coun Moore-Dutton actually lived on the Sea of Tranquility.

In fact, Ms Moore-Dutton resides in Shropshire, which explains why she found roadworks in Cheshire so perfectly ‘tailored’ to her requirements.

SEPTEMBER:

Weren’t the Olympic Games just fabulous? Did you ever see anything like the opening ceremony?

How good did it feel to turn on the radio every morning to find Great Britain had won more medals? Not England, Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland but Great Britain, as it was before political midgets created devolution.

For once, the Union Flag was a source of pride, which must have irritated all those apologists intent on national self-flagellation.

OCTOBER:

While wardens persecuted motorists for straying over the white lines of their allotted parking bay, I spotted this MBC van on the Churchill Way car park.

Apart from the abysmal parking, it had no valid parking ticket on display.

When I returned an hour later, the van was still there, but had somehow managed to escape prosecution.

I wonder why?

NOVEMBER:

Tesco announced plans to put their massive new Hibel Road store on stilts, add a new junction to the Silk Road, and build a Tesco Express on one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the borough.

"We can’t do anything about it," said the MBC planning committee.

A statement somewhat confusing to all those residents run ragged by Macclesfield planning over every minor application.

DECEMBER:

Christmas arrived in Macclesfield via Henshaw’s Skip Hire, who lit up Moss Lane with a joyous celebration of seasonal lights.

Two gorgeous little horses appeared in Mill Street doing their bit for Disabled children and the Pheonix Children’s Foundation (above).

Bollington based Canalside Community Radio finally hit the airwaves (102.8FM), and Mrs B gave my best winter hat to her dog.

Wishing you all a wonderfully happy and healthy New Year.

The views on this page are vic Barlow's and not necessarily those of the Express

 
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