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would tell them it was necessary given the accelerating change in the rural demographic. They would yawn so wide, councillors could fall in and never be seen again.

And there on the doormat when he walked into his flat was the decree nisi. The decree unless. Unless Yvonne could accept that there were more important things in life than three foreign holidays a year? Unless he‟d been more ambitious, and earned enough to afford all the things she yearned for? Unless they could turn the clock back twenty years and regain the passion that had brought them together? His wife had rejected his body, and he was selling his soul. What was left?

He put his pizza in the oven and an image flashed through his mind of himself dozing in front of it in the only chair, empty bottle of aspirin and bottle of whiskey at his feet, while the sordid little flat filled up with gas. He opened his laptop, clicked on the template for press releases, and tapped out:

Press Information issued by Covinshire Council

It was with shock and great sadness that staff and councillors at Covinshire Council heard of the death last night of Bill Smith, aged 41, the council‟s long-serving Press Officer.

Bill joined the council fifteen years ago, after working on the Covinshire Evening News, where he started as a junior reporter. During his five years on the Evening News he covered virtually every aspect of local journalism, including sports, business, and features. He had served for two years as the paper‟s municipal correspondent, covering local government and the health service, before jumping ship for a better pension and learning to spin the news instead of dramatising it.

Clive Robertson, Leader of Covinshire Council, said: “Bill Smith always found exactly the right words, and put them in the right order. If I had attended the media-training course he ran for councillors I am confident I would be able to follow his example and do him justice now. He will be sorely missed by both councillors and staff and indeed by the local people and all the different communities in Covinshire whom he served so well.”

Chief Executive of Covinshire Council, Peter George, said: “Before Bill Smith, there was no public relations function at Covinshire Council. I suppose we just got on with the job and did what we knew was best for everyone. In changing the way the council communicates and consults with its various publics, Bill made a huge contribution to public life. He was at the heart of the cultural change which has put our selfish, myopic customers at the heart of everything the council does.

“On behalf of all the council, I offer my condolences and deepest sympathies to Bill‟s lovely wife, Yvonne, who left him over a year ago for a wholesale tyre dealer who has a fast

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