How to solve a problem like maria…………………..

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Four weeks ago the people of Chester began to notice some unusual plaques and memorials appearing on the city’s benches.

The plaques, placed by mysterious street artists on a busy race day were immediately spotted and removed by the council.

Maria Byrne, The Head of Place Operations at the Killjoy Council stated that the plaques could have been deemed offensive by some members of the community, however, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.

The public immediately had their voice on social media stating the council should have made an attraction of the plaques due to their wit and cutting satire as well as delivering a well needed message.

An on-line survey run by The Daily Telegraph was answered by over 12,500 people with a staggering 97% stating the plaques should have been left in situ or they delivered an important message and only 3% saying the plaques were offensive or supporting the council’s decision to remove them.

There was also a petition started to insist the council returned the plaques to their rightful place to put a smile back on everyone’s faces.

However, behind the witty and humorous plaques there was a more serious message to be delivered as they aimed to bring attention to Chester West and Chester Councils proposed Public Space Protection Order. The sweeping reforms would see unauthorised busking, sleeping on the streets and feeding the birds become a criminal offence with on the spot fines of £100 rising to £1,000 if the matter is dealt with in court.

In light of the overwhelming public support and the councils heavy handed response by promising to hunt out those responsible the pranksters have returned to Chester for a final time to pay their last respects to the complete loss of Chester’s sense of humour.

Their final plaque reads

“In memory of the sense of humour removed from the City of Chester by Order of the council. A memorial service will be held every Tuesday when ceremonial knock knock jokes will be told. For tickets please contact”

A spokesperson for the group said “The response to the original plaques has been phenomenal thanks to the strong arm tactics of Cheshire West and Chester Council. We have brought attention to the PSPO in a light-hearted and fun way which has brought a smile to many, many faces along the way. Given CW&C stance on the original plaques and their obvious sense of humour bypass we will say farewell to the city but may be back somewhere soon if there is another message which needs bringing to public attention.

We’d like to thank Maria, and to quote The Sound of Music How do you solve a problem like Maria? I’d like to say a word in her behalf, Maria makes me laugh”


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