The coronavirus pandemic is being blamed for the sacking of all 12 staff at one of Britain’s regional tourism bodies.
But the long-serving CEO of the Midsomer Country Tourism Authority, Vic Timm, said staff believed the virus was being used by the local county council as a convenient excuse to shed staff following many years of unsuccessful tourism promotion by the organisation.
“I admit that since I started as CEO of the authority five years ago there’s been no net growth in Midsomer tourism,” Mr Timm said.
“My immediate predecessors faced the same problem. In fact the figures show no tourists whatsoever have visited the county for almost the past quarter-century.
“Even before the virus pandemic struck I had suspected that tourists were staying away because of our county’s unfortunately high murder rate.
“Midsomer is a traditional quiet, quaint, and picturesque English county. But at least once a week like clockwork someone in one of our twee little villages is murdered.
“It’s got so bad that our local undertakers are having trouble keeping up and often the coffins of victims are piling up in public places (main picture), which in itself has no doubt deterred tourists from coming here.
“Now with the virus we can only expect more coffins to pile up, so bang goes any chance of tourists coming here.”
Mr Timm said he and other staff who had been sacked were considering mounting an unfair dismissal challenge against the Midsomer County Council on the grounds that it had used the virus as an excuse to cut jobs.
“I’m not sure how long it will be before we finalise our legal challenge because unfortunately the first lawyer we engaged was found dead from poisoning, so we had to find another,” he said.
“Then when our second lawyer tried to lodge the paperwork, he went to the court house and found the clerk of the court stabbed to death.
“A few days later the paperwork was finally lodged and we thought maybe the case was ready to roll, but then the local judge was found battered to death with a candlestick in the library of his house.
“Another judge has since been appointed so we would normally expect the case to start any day now but the pandemic has seen court rooms closed, so we’re in limbo,” Mr Timm said.
BREAKING NEWS: Former Midsomer Country Tourism Authority CEO, Vic Timm, has been found murdered in his home where he had been self-isolating as part of precautions against the covid-19 virus. Local police said it appeared Mr Timm had been suffocated, strangled, stabbed, and poisoned.