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DO you ever read your local newspaper? Do you know anyone that does? If you answered ‘no’ to both of those questions like the majority of people in this fair West Country of ours, you’ll be surprised to read that some actually do. This small, perverse minority have given those that write these newspapers the belief that what they write matters and that the way they write them is perfect. For this very reason, as well as many other pointless and unrelated ones, I have taken it upon myself to rewrite these so called newspapers into something that closely resembles news. There will be no punches pulled (as I can’t punch in the first place), no stone left unturned (of course there are no stones in my room) and no predetermined rules about how one should write. This shall become a free newspaper, for the people, by a person. Will it be perfect? That’s very unlikely. Will it be readable? One can only hope. So, good reader, you have got this far, don’t stop. Read on, read on. The wonders of the West Country lay just ahead of you, don’t stop now.

Blue Bear Sighted With Books THE blue Bookstart bear recently visited Mitcheldean Library and Children’s Centre to meet families and scare little children into reading books. Gloucestershire County Council is encouraging parents to pick up a free Bookstart pack from their local library. Bookstart, which is a national programme, promotes the benefits of children of any age enjoying books. Councillor Antonia Noble, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Libraries, commented that "children are never too young to discover the joy of books (except for the fact that they can’t read until a certain age...small issue) and these Bookstart packs are a great way of getting them interested. The county’s libraries have so much to offer children of all ages, even the very youngest." On a serious note though, the free books provided as part of the scheme can help stimulate babies’ sight, hearing and touch. So if you consider yourself a child, or you know of one, get down to your local library fast.

THE right to vote is a right that took many years of blood, sweat and tears to achieve. But with many voters disenfranchised with their constituency’s candidates’ policies and personalities, a Bristol man has taken a bold step by changing his name by Deed Poll in order to reintroduce the ‘none of the above’ box to ballot paper at the forthcoming elections. Mr Zero None Of The Above from Kingsdown decided to stand for election as he believes that voters should have an option if they disagree with the agendas put forward by all of parties. Mr Zero, who is running in the new Filton and Bradley Stoke North constituency after popular demand, said: "I only have one election promise and that is, if I do get elected, I will resign straight away". “My resignation would force a by-election and I would then run again and again, always vowing to stand down if elected, until the other parties came up with a manifesto that the majority of the constituency wanted to vote for. In essence, the whole process is about getting those who stand for election to engage with the public on the issues that matter to them." He added: "Saying ‘no’ to what’s on offer is better than saying nothing at all. As such, my campaign is not about me as an individual, but literally about becoming a ‘none of the above’ box so voters can show their displeasure actively, rather than being labeled lazy and apathetic." Pictured: Mr Zero None of the Above looking sober


Friday, 23 April, 2010 – Issue 1. Written and Produced by Matt Reed. No Copyright obviously.

Price of Entering Politics Finally Confirmed: £10

Landlords Told: World Cup Too Exciting To Be Shown Here THE summer’s football World Cup is fast approaching. To combat this, South Gloucestershire Council is taking drastic steps with the district’s pubs and clubs prior to the tournament. Coinciding with Noise Action Week (yes there is such a week, check your calendars), which runs from the 26th to 30th of April, council officers will be visiting licensed premises to offer information on how to discourage people from having a good time, as well as advice on how to turn a profitable business around. Shaun Fudge, senior environmental health officer, said: "The World Cup will see many premises running special events and showing games on big screens, often to packed houses. As many of the matches will continue until 10.30pm, even later with the inevitable penalty shootout, there is the possibility that noise and disturbance may cause problems for local residents. This is especially likely near closing time when patrons are leaving licensed premises." However, he later refused to confirm that this would be different from any other night of the week. In order to reduce the likelihood of such problems and resulting complaints, the landlords have suggested that residents who are unhappy should be put into care during the tournament, or alternatively they should consider playing their classical music loudly. Until then, many premises will remain silent as the patrons wait with bated breath in anticipation of another summer of failure.

Volcano Could Be Charged With Crane Egg Abortion

Some Shit Happening At Wyevale Garden Centre

TRADITIONAL travellers are not the only ones to have been hit by the flight restrictions introduced because of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK. A project to reestablish wild cranes in Somerset has been forced to alter their best laid plans in order to collect the eggs from Germany before they hatch. The intention was to have the eggs flown from Germany so that they could be hatched and raised at Slimbridge. However, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) expert Nigel Jarrett is now set for a non-stop road and boat journey in order to collect the eggs in time for hatching next week. Forget football teams on coaches and people using trains, this man has some crane eggs to save, clear the road! Great Crane Project manager Damon Bridge said: "This is quite a complex operation so we've had to do some quick thinking to work out a way of getting the eggs back on time and ready for hatching early next week." "So instead of flying them back, it looks as though they will set off on a rather epic road journey across Europe." The word “epic” of course is not a throwback to Road Trip, as crane lovers are as well known for their hatred of the film. The idea of Breckin Meyer having a leading role is what really grinds their gears. But he said bird experts from WWT had plenty of experience (of driving or of epic road journeys across Europe?) and the birds would be "just fine" on a road trip in incubators back from Germany.

LEEKES, an award-winning independent retailer, is set to open a conservatory and kitchen studio at Wyevale Garden Centre, Thornbury. Opening the 1st of May, the conservatory and kitchen studio exhibits leading kitchen designers. Why you would go to a garden centre to view kitchens I don’t know, but there’s a market for this apparently. Emma Leeke, Commercial Director at Leekes, said that they "are delighted with the progress of our continuing expansion plans; Thornbury is the latest addition to our portfolio, taking the number of Leekes retail sites to 13." Wow, 13 whole stores, no wonder they’re award winning. Still, one extra reason to maybe one day possibly, in the event of having nothing better to, I can’t see myself visiting Wyevale. Sorry. Pictured: The evil volcano that no-one can pronounce has not responded to Gordon Brown’s attempts at negotiation. Still, it’s stopped now.

Golf Club To Become Centre of Universe After New Manager Takes Over THORNBURY Golf Centre has a new general manager, Graham Marshall. The new man at the helm is wasting no time in looking to turn the public pay-and-play facility into the region’s premier leisure and business venue. “There is great potential for Thornbury Golf Centre,” said Graham who was previously assistant manager at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Herts (I don’t know where that is either and googlemaps hasn’t helped me). The recently built £120,000 Marlwood Suite can be used to host shindigs, not because its practical, but because it has “stunning panoramic views over Thornbury’s magnificent golf courses available thanks to glass walls, and a private veranda.” Yes, that’s right; people actually want to view the golf course. Oh and don’t forget a private veranda. Graham, who has also worked in the US at the Woodway Country Club, Connecticut (ooo fancy), went on and on saying that “We are looking to really spruce the place up with new facilities to accompany the recent renovation of the bar area and Marlwood Suite.” “I can’t wait to meet all the people who use Thornbury on a regular basis, whether they are golfers or non-golfers using the clubhouse for a social drink or meal.” You hear that? Drinks are on him!

Thought of Food Confuses One Woman Into Thinking Up Pointless Terms IN an age where the pricing of food is a constant battleground, a war that produces multi-million pound profits that are determined by a 1p saving for the consumer here and there, we have become accustomed to ‘quality foods for rock bottom prices’. But the sums of this economy of food don’t add up. As the price of fuel rises, the cost of transporting goods from every corner of the globe increases, thereby eating into these burgeoning profit margins. Yet the impact of this changing economic scene is not just limited to monetary concerns, but it also exacerbates the issue of climate change and further depreciates our natural resources. With this in mind, the true cost of a 7p apple has never been higher. So what is someone doing to curb this? They’re holding a swap shop with some seeds and bread in a small village that has an average attendance of 70 odd people. The world order is changing people; get on the bandwagon before it’s too late! If you have any thoughts on this newspaper, or believe that there’s news happening near/next to you, get in touch: Word!

Disabled Woman Baffles Community After Explaining That Her Inspiration For Exhibition Came From Space LIKE many of us, Shirley Britton was in awe of the images beamed back to Earth by The Hubble Space Telescope. But in her new art exhibition at the Yate Library which runs until May 3, she tries to show us how these images inspired her to capture movement, colour and the edge of what is seen in the visible spectrum. Shirley, who has being using an electric wheelchair since she was diagnosed with severe arthritis and fibromyalgia in 1998, revealed that "having taught others for so long now, I've shied away from concentrating on my own art. But I've used this wonderful opportunity to rekindle my enjoyment for creating art. Obviously the arthritis in my hands makes it extremely painful to hold the brush, but I kept going through the pain to express what I had inside of me." Shirley also helps others fulfil their dreams by creating art through volunteering and charity work, as she firmly believes in its empowering capabilities. Including creating Palettes of Pleasure Monday morning art group in the Ridgewood Community Centre in 2005, she also holds a local children and family help charity Hop Skip and Jump close to her heart. Moreover, she also chairs the newly formed group Photographers with Disabilities, which supports disabled photographers who wish to develop their photographic skills through contact with other disabled and like minded people. Her efforts in the face of adversity should be an inspiration to us all.

Free Me News - Issue 1  

The first issue of the new Free Me News "newspaper".

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