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David Parker's Editorial in the Valley News dated 4th March 2014 decries 'our' lack of enthusiasm for becoming a Council member, be it at either Parish or Unitary Authority level. One always admired his spirit when he was a member of the old Salisbury District Council, and too his creation 'Valley News' which no doubt is even now being eyed by the local Press Baron. Having heard David speak in the old Council one recognised his spirit was very much that of an Independent member, who held office on his own recognisances, rather than as an apparatchik of one or another of the Political Parties.

Why do not more of us offer our services ? Possibly too many are disillusioned by the apparent cliquishness of local Governance. Recently Tisbury Parish had its first resignation and co-option. It seemed there was more than one person offering to serve on the Parish Council, and the man who was next in line last May, was co-opted. A very sound decision however one was left wondering as to who the other would be Councillors were, and whether they too were or were not members of the Tisbury Business Association. It is very easy to sit on a fence and seemingly criticise those who are doing their best, whilst others of us do nothing. Misunderstandings too easily arise since the lines of communication between say our Tisbury Parish Council and its electorate are so poor. We benefit from a Parish Council website, a page in Focus each month, an occasional News letter, but all lack substance as to what is going on. The Salisbury Journal seems disinterested, so if one wishes to kindle the embers of Democracy we would do better to read the Valley News, which is our area's answer to the New Milton and Lymington Times, the latter still only forty pence a week.

Conversation with others reveals that many are unable to differentiate between Tisbury and West Tisbury Parish Councils, let alone the fact that our amalgamated Ecclesiastical Parishes have nothing to do with our Civil Parishes. Of course one could attend Council Meetings and be the wiser for doing so, but we don't being fearful of giving into an urge to' knock heads together.'

Why oh why does not Tisbury have a Parish Notice Board with open access ? If we had the money to finance a Cricket Pavilion in Fonthill Bishop surely Tisbury Parish could finance a decent board that might accommodate the proliferation of notices a fluttering on every passing telegraph pole.

contact : John B. Pope
Email : pionono@tiscali.co.uk