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BACKCHAT - TOULMIN SMITH

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All together now ...
All together now

Luton BC chief executive Kevin Crompton showed residents another side of his talents when he appeared with his band at town's bank holiday carnival.

He says: 'When I arrived in Luton I revealed to a local paper that I was in a band and promised to perform for staff and residents once I had settled in.

'Colleagues offered me a gig in front of thousands of Luton revellers. No pressure, then!'

The band plays Irish and blues-influenced music. Now there's a new category for the CPA.

The call of the (Peckham) wild

A Peckham man who got his claws into a legal battle with Southwark LBC, has managed to win over magistrates.

The court's decision will overturn the council's ban against the animal lover keeping leopards in his back garden in a quiet residential area.

He also applied under the Dangerous and Wild Animals Act to keep other wild cats, which was met by fierce protests from neighbours who fear the animals could escape.

However, the man won the case having clawed his way through to gaining the support of a City of London Corporation vet who said the 12ft cages were suitable for the animals. Now the council says the leopards will need planning permission.

Language please!

A Rochdale resident was baffled when he was unable to complain to the council about his neighbour's 'erection'.

He sought to object to planning staff about the extension proposed for the next door house, but both his emails were bounced back as obscene.

His third message got through, but by then planning permission had been given.

A Rochdale spokesman said the council's 'rude words' email filter had now been changed.

Boars galore

Tsk, tsk. I am shocked to see no council troubled to respond to a government consultation on feral boars.

The consultation turned on whether these giant porkers should be eradicated, managed or left to their own devices.

Councils would probably get dragged into complaints about slain boars littering the countryside, and 'managing' boars brings visions of officials running round fields shouting 'hey, you with the tusks, get over here, now!'

What might unsupervised boars do if they became an established part of rural life - perhaps we might yet see some reopen village shops or stand for parish councils?

Prescott hacked off

Cheeky computer hackers have been adding to John Prescott's woes. We have received the invaluable information that, for a few days, typing an Anglo-Saxon expletive followed by 'wit' into Google brought up our very own deputy prime minister's homepage at the top of the list.

Got the hump

The mayor of Horea, Romania is beautifying his town with shrubs for a rather unusual reason.

It seems that Horea boasts a hill with magical properties believed to help childless couples.

The town has become a tourist magnet and the greenery has been planted to provide privacy for couples who, presumably, do not wish to beat about the bush.

Mayor Corneliu Olar says for the past three centuries most of the town's inhabitantshave been conceived on the hill.

Clearly Horea provides an entirely new meaning for the phrase 'got the hump'.

Just a little squirt

Dover DC has taken the momentous decision to switch on a fountain in its main square - despite Kent being hit by a water shortage.

Apparently the water feature is very important to the town, but the council has reassured the local water company that it will only be switched on for a trial period of a few days.

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