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Tisbury Needs You

A picture for Wanted

Tisbury Parish Council Vacancy for a Councillor.

One reads that due to the resignation of one Parish Councillor there’s an opportunity for another Person to stand in his stead. In being unlikely that ten electors will for call for an election, the vacancy will once again be filled through co-option of a volunteer. Those who choose the new man or woman will be the sitting Councillors who find themselves able to attend the appropriate selection meeting.

Public apathy has been such, that none of those who will be selecting the new Councillor will have been elected to their office by exercise of the Public Franchise, for all are there either by default or co-option. That isn’t any sort of criticism of the Village Elders, but it is indicative of the fact that our electoral process is well and truly broken. Broken not only in Tisbury but at my last count in some twenty six other Local Councils of the old Salisbury District Council area, as is the case throughout the Country. Could it be that the days of the Parish Councils are gone, there were none prior to my father's tenth birthday.

When I first came to live here thirty plus years ago things were not so lacadaisical, but were even then more relaxed here than they were in the New Forest Village whence I came, for in that place, many were called and few were chosen. Elections were contested on what those in the know realised to be a quasi Party Political Basis. Heaven help that happening in Tisbury, however in that previous Village, Parish Councillors knew that they were representative of their majority. Maybe our Parish Councillors also represent the majority, but how are they ever to know unless elected to office ?

All have legitimate opinions about what should happen next.Living as I do some two plus miles from The Square in Tisbury, I find myself at odds with what happens in Tisbury Village, have doubts about 'The Campus’, and think ‘Marjorie’ the compost heap a diabolical un- ecologically friendly extravagance paid for with 'my' money, so too all that lighting on the Tennis Courts. Whilst some talk of light pollution others stick flood lights on the summit of ‘Mount Tisbury’ itself. There was that Hindon Lane Debacle. When the old Salisbury Plan was brought out, an earlier manifestation of a Tisbury Parish Council registered no complaint to the building of houses off Hindon Lane. To my knowledge the only two complainants were the Fonthill Estate and my good self. The Parish had an 'Augustian Approach ' on the lines of ‘lets have houses there but not yet oh Lord.’ Later there was an exceedingly expensive Public Planning Appeal on the site, and still Tisbury fought on.

Seemingly we are to have houses there anon, and at the insistence of the powers that be in Tisbury, there is to be a vehicular route down off the new Estate and on through the Churchill Estate. Heaven help the residents of the latter, Vicarage Road and Bennet Mews. Is this traffic one way traffic?

Then there was to be all that Housing at Station Works. The then Parish Council preferred to see sixty housing units built there, rather than at Hindon Lane. Preferred to see The Jewel in Tisbury’s Crown, its only place of employment sacrificed for the like of a Mess of Pottage. Possibly we will now see the former happen anyway under the Coalition’s Development Scheme. Does Tisbury so need to enhance its lure as a retirement area, or would we better through our Parish Council seek for it to become a thriving viable community supporting a mixed economy. The Parish Council is very keen on local shops, and we are lucky to have so many but surely the writing remains on the wall for local retailing, such business has long been hard to sustain, Boutiques are something else. Ones life tends to be ,where one’s work is, where one’s children go to school, where ones other involvements are; and it is there one tends to shop. These are hard financial times for most people and there are many charities needful of support. I take my hat off to Beatons and can but marvel at its viability, being minded of that mouse trap business, which apparently emanates from.

'If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.'— Ralph Waldo Emerson,


No doubt when the vacancy is advertised yet another Public Spirited person will volunteer his or her services, and either he or she, or if there is more than one applicant some other will be co-opted as our new Parish Councillor. The chances are that it will be yet either another local trader, or a fellow retiree most of whom seem to be here today and gone tomorrow.


He or she would be in a minority of ten to one on the Council so could do little harm thereon.However it would be refreshing to have the next generation represented on the Parish Council, so as to hear its voice from around the table, and thereby attract others of its ilk.

(Should anyone read this and wonder why instead of just criticising others, the writer didn't attempt to be elected to the Tisbury Parish Council himself. I would explain that he threw the towel in all of thirty years ago. I was first attracted to local governance back in the nineteen fifties, but of course then one deferred to one's undoubted elders and betters. By the sixties one had become interested in the concerns of the Wokingham District Council, however perceived no vacany thereon. It wasn't until the late Seventies that one twice attempted to become an Independent Member of the New Forest District Council, but I was robbed! The Conservatives then suggested that I might like to stand for them next time round, and later asked if I might like to let my name go forward for consideration as one of their Hampshire County Councillors. Didn't advantage myself of either suggestion at the times both were made. Had one done so no doubt I too might have become a Councillor, for such is the way of doing it, but what then of my principles? I did not like'Maggie's' Agenda, and that was all there was to it, so have ever sulked outside the tent rather than be an ineffective minority within it).

Sunday 27.11.11