Barlow's Beef: Malice in Bunderland


Once upon a time there were glorious pastures where animals grazed and children played in a green and pleasant county known to all as Blunderland.
Then came an edict from Blunderland Council that fields and hedges must be removed to accommodate the addition of 36,000 dwellings.

"For what reason must this be so?" cried the community for they were enraged.

"To provide shelter for those who have do not sufficient shekels we shall build 'affordable homes.'

After much screaming and gnashing of teeth did residents say unto their Council: "These green fields which have blessed us with Ash, Birch and the mighty Oak, which hath given shelter and shade for generations must not be lost before every inch of Brownfield ugliness is regenerated."

And the Council did spake saying unto them: "Observe thee our Brownfield First Policy whereupon we swear this solemn oath that not one blade of grass shall be cut, nor one sod turned until all Brown fields hath been fully developed. Then and only then shall we continue to erect 'affordable homes upon green fields for those desperate families seeking basic accommodation."

And the people of Blunderland did acquiesce, for they were a Christian community and in the spirit of goodwill to all would agreed to forgo their open spaces for the dispossessed to have shelter.

Communities stepped aside as mighty machines did rip the countryside asunder until nought but brick and concrete did remain. "Build it and they shall come," sayeth the Council Leader sorely in need of physio from the strain of his responsibilities.

And build they did until towns and villages were but dark shadows of their former selves. Yet strangely did the Brownfield land survive. Ugly rusty fencing did replace hedgerows, litter replaced lilies and rubble ruined the land.

"What happened to thy Brownfield First Policy?" asketh the people and were deafened by the silence emanating from the council chamber.

Upon examination communities didst discover that only five per cent of erected dwellings were 'affordable homes" and an angry crowd marched upon the town hall demanding an explanation.

"Why hast thou deceived us with thy 'affordable homes' lies?" shouted the people for they were proper vexed.

" Have we not built such homes as are suitable for the poor and dispossessed?"

"But affordable homes' number only five per cent, " yelled the crowd.

"And your point is?" replied the Council.

"Ninety-five per cent therefore are unaffordable homes."

"Correct," sayeth the supercilious Council for they were slippier than a snake's belly.

"And who shall buy these 'unaffordable homes?"

"The rich people we built them for in the first place thou dimwits."

There followed an eerie silence as the truth finally struck home.

And so with malice aforethought were the people of Blunderland shafted.

To Be Continued...

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Tress Attwell
Tuesday 22nd December 2015 at 10:22 pm
I remember when that same council leader promised that no development would take place on the land off Adlington Road.
However I read the following sent by Sam Corcoran (councillor) to the residents of Sandbach with great interest.

Change of Leadership at Cheshire East Council
A week is a long time in politics. Michael Jones, the Conservative Leader of Cheshire East Council, has been under pressure recently because the Council waived normal procurement rules to award contracts worth £150,000 to his physiotherapist. Cllr Jones had gone so far as to announce his intention to step down as Leader in February 2016, but some Conservative Councillors were saying that Michael Jones would be missed and that those wanting him gone should be careful what they wished for. Michael Jones has been under pressure before - over the Lyme Green fiasco, where money was wasted digging the foundations for a waste site without getting planning permission, and over Twittergate where Council officers drafted party political tweets for his Twitter account. A week ago it was rumoured that Michael Jones would be ‘doing a Farage’ and coming back as Leader in the New Year because the people demanded it and because the Cheshire East Conservatives wouldn’t put up a candidate to replace him. It was even rumoured that Conservative Cllr Hilda Gaddum would be forced to step down as Mayor for daring to break ranks and call for an external investigation into why Cheshire East Council awarded contracts to the Leader’s physiotherapist and allegations of bullying.
Then at a Council meeting on Thursday it was announced that the police are involved and on Friday Private Eye published an article in their Rotten Boroughs section. So now, after a tumultuous week, Michael Jones is a laughing stock and will not be coming back as Leader of the Council. Cllr Jones may even resign his Bunbury seat to save himself the embarrassment of turning up at Council meetings. He may yet face a formal police investigation and he has put his house in Bulkeley, Cheshire up for sale.
There will be some very worried people over the next few months, who will be nervous about whether their conduct might be seen as assisting in a cover up. I hope that everyone with information will now come forward and present it either to the Cheshire East internal audit team, who are looking to establish the facts around the awarding of contracts to Core Fit Ltd, or to the Cheshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit, who are considering whether to launch a criminal investigation.
On a personal level I will be mightily relieved to hand things over to the police to investigate.
Dave Cash
Wednesday 23rd December 2015 at 3:57 am
It was also reported by 'Look North West' last week, that the Leader of Blunderland had promised not to allow 'fracking' in Cheshire East, (possibly in the hope of benefitting from the Lancashire CC decision to refuse Planning Permission for 2 proposed fracking sites). Yet Dave & George seem unaware of Cllr M Jones' assurance, as last week the Cons Govt granted exploration licenses for various area's in Cheshire. One such site could include Tatton Park, (owned by CEC).
John Clegg
Thursday 24th December 2015 at 9:19 am
Politicians always say thing like "making difficult decisions" which usually translates into getting your vote because they promise to do / not do something - but then do it / not do it once they get their hands on the wheel.
It works better if it doesn't directly affect them or - better still ! - benefits their friends and them directly, especially in the pocket.
John Clegg
Thursday 24th December 2015 at 9:47 am
...we just know it as plain lying.