A Petersfield residents’ group is under threat of extinction after effectively killing off any activity whatsoever in the town.
The Petersfield Residents Against ThingS (PRATS) action group has been so successful in ridding the locale of everything that it is losing members rapidly while newspapers and websites seemingly have nothing to report.
Cam Payne, the chairman of the group, explained: “We’ve been in existence now for a number of years and have been ‘outraged’ by everything from tattoo parlours to litter louts. As a group we’ve been responsible for the non-existence of gypsy encampments within the town boundaries; the rise of expensive coffee shops; the lack of entertainment venues; and a high-profile protest against stuff we don’t like or aren’t really sure about.
“But this success has come at a cost. We are haemorrhaging members at an alarming rate; with little left to protest about, they are going off to do other things such as opening coffee shops and jewellers. There is also a very public knock-on effect of our successful protesting – the letters pages of the local newspapers are no longer chock-full of readers’ ill-informed complaint.
“Instead they’re full of people thanking other people for helping them raise funds for some-such thing or for assisting an elderly relative who stumbled while getting out of an illegally parked 4X4. In the Petersfield Proust, they’ve even given over half the letters page to a guy who spends every week moaning about his miserable life.
“At any other time he would have been an ideal member for PRATS, but sadly we’re struggling to recruit as there seems so little to complain about locally. We may even have to turn our attention to national or even international matters. Following today’s news that the Occupy London protest at St Paul’s has been removed perhaps we could Occupy Waitrose … although obviously, we wouldn’t be objecting against capitalism in any form.”
His view on the dearth of local stories was echoed by a spokesman for Petersfield Newswire, Petersfield’s leading news website with the word ‘Newswire’ in its title.
The spokesman said: “I echo his views on the dearth of local stories. Nothing’s happening. We’re even looking forward to the summer, so we at least have the algae and water shortages to write about. It’s a sad time."