Come with me if you will to the Council Offices in Badger's Drift where the planning committee is assembling:
'Right gentlemen can we come to order.
Have we any apologies? No'
'Let the minutes show that Major Smythe (Chairman), Mr Algernon Moncrief, Mr Ernest Bunbury, Rev. Dr Canon Chasuable, Mr Jack Worthing JP, Mr John Rimmer, Mr Oscar Ball '
'Our first item is consider a petition from Mr True-May. He urges us to maintain the unique character of our English village and to put the interests of those who have lived here for generations in front of incommers' .
'Thank you Mr True-May. I think the sentiments you express are ones with which we'd all like to be identified. We all know that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. It is the actions of men like you that will preserve our culture. You have our congratulations and thanks.'
'Gentlemen we have two planning applications before us tonight, one from a Mr Singh and one from our good friend John Brian Ball-Rimmer.'
'Can we turn to the first application. I don't thing Mr Singh has any connection to our village. He wishes to open a hot food take away specialising in food from the Indian sub continent.'
'I suggest we reject this application. I believe that such an establishment would alter the unique character of our village and would prejudice the interests of local people who might want to set up businesses. We in Midsommer have a vision of the future for our Village. We are the last bastion of Englishness. It wouldn't be an English village anymore if we said yes to this plan. It just wouldn't work. Suddenly we might be in Slough and you know what that means.....'
'Yes Mr Ball:'
'We must consider the foreign smells, Lady Bracknell would be most upset.'
'Thank you , yes odour pollution is a real issue. And by the way Oscar please accept our congratulations for winning the prize for the Best Pig is Show at Badger's Drift last week.'
'Gentlemen, I think we are all agreed. We will reject this application under the powers granted to us by the Secretary of State under the new Nimby Act which allows us to reject application which we believe would alter the unique character of our community.'
'Next item. Mr John Brian Ball-Rimmer wants to open 'Ye Olde Midsommer Fish and Chip shop'.
'I think this is much more straight forward. There have been Rimmers and Balls in Midsommer since the Doomsday Book. I heartily welcome this initiative by a local family. This business I know will be welcome by local people. I know them all and they will give three cheers. We were all sorry when Mr Ball-Rimmer's Cordwangler business had to close. It is a matter of regret that the Fish and Chip shop he opened in Malham Bridge had to shut when the Mumbai Star opened its doors.
'Are we agreed?'
'That is unanimous.'
'Sorry Mr Bunbury, you wish to say something?'
'Chair, as you know I'm new to this area, but surely if Mr Singh wants to open a business on a site which is eminently suitable we should not stand in his way?'
'As you say you are new to the area-personally I think that there ought to be a residency qualification for councillors that require them to have lived here for a minimum of twenty years before they can be nominated. Let us move on'
'Finally we have the police here. You recall we have been having complaints about the increase in traffic on the road to Malham Bridge and we asked the police to undertake a traffic survey. Inspector Bhanuka Rajapaksa I'm sorry to have put you to so much trouble. Have you come far? '
'No Sir, I was born in Slough.'
My officers have undertaken a traffic survey on the Malham Bridge Rd on the times complained about, namely Friday evening between 6pm and 9pm. We stopped 300 cars in a two month period and interviewed 666 people. They were almost all travelling the relatively short distance to Malham Bridge. 60% were going to visit the Mumbia Star, 20% the Flying Wok, 8% El Macho's Mexican Dinner, 5% on family visits 4.5% the Salsa Dancing Club, 2% to buy croissants from Tescos in Malham Bridge because the local baker says there is no demand in Badger's Drift and 0.5% visiting the Seinter in Slough.