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Rambling about the May Poll

A picture for Maypole Dancing

Parish Councils happily are of little relevance to the Planning Process. Metaphorically ‘Tails seldom wag the dog. Whilst few see ‘The Forest for the Trees’ and all the other appropriate Clichés. It is required that Parish Council Opinion is sought in the Planning Process, but there is no obligation for Planners to accede to its wishes. It might be beneficial if such Councils were not consulted over Planning Matters for too often, each beats the drum of ‘Nimbyism.’ Planning matters apart Parish Councillors are an Asset to their Community and none of us should be any less that grateful for all the other work these volunteers perform.

THERE IS A PUBLIC DEBATE afoot concerning the Housing proposed for FIRSDOWN, which Parish had too few Candidates to precipitate a Parish Council Election in May 2007. Suddenly the area is Up in Arms. Firsdown was not on its own last May, others of the area such as ALDERBURY, CLARENDON PARK, REDLYNCH, The LAVERSTOCK Wards. BOTH PITTON AND FARLEY; WINTERSLOW, WEST DEAN, WHITEPARISH, AND BOTH GRIMSTEAD WARDS, and IDMISTON, held no election either.

Is not the proposed fate of FIRSDOWN a warning to all who abjure the DEMOCRATIC PROCESS? It is a bit late to wait for a ‘fait accompli’ before personal involvement in local Governance. People do not need to stand for Election, but nor should any leave the selection of Party Candidates to others, nor fail to vote in an Election should they be lucky enough to have one.

This is the time of year for Annual Parish Assemblies. That of our Parish TISBURY is to occur at 7pm Tuesday May 20th at The Hinton Hall. Hopefully Tisburians will attend their meeting, as other Parishioners will respectively attend theirs.

On the 3rd of May 2007 there were overall some sixty Parishes in the Salisbury District Area deprived of Parish Council Elections. Vacancies were filled, by un-voted for Councillors co-opting others. I have no idea what happened in those two Parishes where no Candidate whatsoever offered his or her Services. All this begs a question .

‘Why was it that those subsequently Co- opted Councillors failed to offer themselves for Election on 3rd. May 2007?’

Possibly it was but innate Modesty that stopped many allowing their names to go forward in the first place. That is understandable enough, especially amidst New Residents, for in other areas mass disaffection for ‘Councillorship’ is, or certainly used to be, less evident.

When we as a Family moved to Tisbury near twenty eight years ago, I came hot from Political Involvement in the adjoined New Forest District Council Area. My interest in New Forest local affairs is no less now than it was then, albeit only a matter of counting ones ‘Political Chickens’ as each comes home to roost.

New Forest Politics were fast and furious, not only in the near ‘Party Political’ involvement of would be Parish Councillors, but too in the District and County Councils. Albeit Elections were held in the face of that twenty six thousand Majority that the local Conservative Member of Parliament commanded.

Unless my memory fails, it would at that same time have been a brave man or woman who stood seeking to become a Tisbury Councillor at any level without implicit invitation . Further more one would have regarded it as presumptuous to suppose as a newcomer that one had sufficient residency to be qualified for such Office. Maybe my perspective was wrong.

Does such misjudgement persist? Can it be that others refrain from offering Services which would now be welcomed? Things used to be so very different. I recall capturing ‘Our’ first Tisbury Rector when he more or less fell off the back of a Rogation Tide Farm Trailer. He accepted our invitation to take tea on the lawn but did so with the qualification that he ‘Supposed we were Weekenders’ in much the same way, we supposed he was our Vicar.

Undoubtedly any involvement in local Politics is a good way of upsetting others. Thus it is understandable that few persons have an appetite to subject themselves to possibly ineffectual exposure. Having already touched upon ‘Rector-tude’ puts one in mind of three quotes. The first is ‘For he who is not against us is for us’ the second ‘He who is not with me is against me’. The third concerns ‘the shaking of the dust from ones feet’ That latter course of action tends to be wasteful of talent. Far too often unsuccessful Protagonists are encouraged to lick their wounds in the shade of resumed oblivion. What happened to all the unsuccessful District Council Candidates in the May 2007 Election. Is it being naïve to suggest that this majority ought to be cultivated, or does failed Candidacy create ‘personae not grata’? If that is so, it is regrettable in these times when short sighted ‘King Makers’ proclaim the impossibility of finding anyone to do this that or the other. I have seldom been in a position to invite anyone to do anything, but in my limited experience, asking anyone whom one perceives to be the right person at the right time, has never produced a failure. The recommendation is to ‘Ask a Busy Person’ but following that advice promotes ubiquity, and nothing discourages other volunteers more ,than that.

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