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Papalscope March 23


Not really as exciting as it sounds, but on Thursday March 17th. 2005. The Planning and Regulatory Panel Of the Salisbury District Council considered the requests for 'Parish Reviews', amidst which are Tisbury/West Tisbury. Council Staff produced Data on each Parish.

It is the case that these two Parishes 'Field' twenty-four Parish Councillors between them. If they were to be combined as but one civil Parish, then jointly there might be seats for only thirteen Parish Councillors. Seemingly West Tisbury has a mere 481 Electors on the Roll, represented by nine Councillors, whilst Tisbury has 1652 Electors represented by fifteen Parish Councillors.

(If one was to use West Tisbury as the standard, Tisbury would have just under forty Parish Councillors!), it makes Tisbury having but fifteen seem over modest.

Data suggests that Tisbury Parish might better currently have just thirteen Parish Councillors. I.e. Exactly the same number as we might be entitled to share if Tisbury and West Tisbury were to become but the one Civil Parish.

Apparently Tisbury Parish Council does not wish to join with West Tisbury Parish Council because it considers that the two Parishes have different natures. However it is stated that;

'there are some large Housing Estates in West Tisbury that might more appropriately be one with Tisbury.'

Oh, does that mean Tisbury consider that at least partial amalgamation is a good thing after all?

Apparently West Tisbury Parish Council has stated it is aware that there is a relatively 'urban' population in West Tisbury, whose interests potentially are not being served by an essentially rural Parish, but they went on to relate that the electorate is reasonably well satisfied.

(Would that be all 481 of them? A majority of who live in those large Housing Estates off Union Road and Monmouth Hill which Tisbury Parish Council think

' might more appropriately be one with Tisbury')

As from next April it will be the entitlement of those nine WEST TISBURY 'essentially rural' Parish Councillors, each of who represents fewer than 54 electors, to seek financial assistance paid out of our Community Charges.

Surely it is time to call a halt to this nonsense of two Parish Councils each employing and paying for it's own Parish Clerk? If one wishes to reduce the Community Charge, this is a good way so to do.

The Salisbury District Council agreed that Revision would be considered. Maybe it will be concluded that things are just fine as they are? Even so there is a good case for the contrary opinion. If that is so why does the request for this 'Tisbury' review come, not from either Parish Council, but from a member of the Public?

Apart from 'us' there are similar requests for Reviews in five other Parishes. Every one of those requests comes either from a Councillor or a Council. A difference of opinion is fine enough but surely a Parish Council is there to lead a community. Tisbury needs to have an Election for Parish Councillors. Maybe in 2007 we can have one? This is most likely to happen if Tisbury and West Tisbury combine as one Civil Parish electing but thirteen Parish Councillors between them.

Who are our Tisbury Parish Councillors? There is now a list on display outside the Victoria Hall, correct at 2nd.March 2005. It names the area of responsibility of each Councillor, but still the addresses of Councillors are not shown. It has been suggested to publish those on the Internet could breach the Data Protection Act. One might have hoped that this 'so ham' explanation would not apply to those holding Public Office. One is reliably informed that the members of Fawley Parish Council publish not only their address, but too their photographs!

At the time of an Election Names and addresses of all Candidates are on Public Display. Why are things so different when it comes to the co- option of Councillors? Tisbury has developed the tendency to let such candidates manifest from crysalid obscurity through the miasma of Public Apathy. No blame attaches to those co- opted, except that a majority of them seem to be unwilling to stand up and be counted. Tisbury Parish Council has a very unfortunate record over co-options in so far that new Councillors join the Parish Council ,but many decide it is not for them and leave soon afterward. This should not happen, and surely indicates that something in our Co- option process just isn't working. I have lost count of the comings and goings of our Parish Councillors over the past two years. There is another problem on the Parish Council, those Councillors who on a regular basis not merely fail to attend Council meetings, but compound that failure by failing to present apologies for their absence.

Full Council Meetings are on the first Tuesday of each month. Hard core Councillors attend every one, whilst others find it impossible so to do. One Councillor missed eight meetings in a row between October and January, came to one in February on the evening two new Parish Councillors were co-opted, but failed to turn up for the mid-February Council meeting. Seemingly in all that time presenting apologies for absence on only one occasion. If one is away for six months, one forfeits one's seat. (Attendance as listed in TPC Minutes)

Many appreciate they have neither the time nor inclination to attempt to become a Parish Councillor. However any that accept and continue in Office have a duty to attend Council Meetings. Failure so to do without presentation of one's apologies for absence is not only discourteous to fellow Councillors, but too, to the people of Tisbury whom Councillors are 'elected' to represent.

Concerning those addresses;(BR) Recently enough a Tisbury Parish Council was asked to give their considered opinion on two different Planning Applications, each of tremendous significance to this Village. First those houses proposed off Hindon Lane, secondly the houses proposed for The Station Works Site. Either application seemingly linked to the success or failure of the other. Councillors have an obligation to declare if they have any personal interest in matters coming before the Council, and if they have, they are required to leave the Council Chamber whilst the matter is discussed. On such an occasion a councillor would need to reveal whether the Councillor /his or her property would be effected by any matter under discussion.

Thus one can correctly conclude that on December 16th 2003, none of our then Parish Councillors lived near the 'Station Works site' when it was discussed, as none declared any interest in that application. ( Tis.PC. Minutes) Why are Parish Councillors so reluctant to let the rest of us know where they live? Such information has always been available as a 'print out' from The SDC at Bourne House, Wyndhams Road , Salisbury. Does one now have to make a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act ?
John B. Pope. SP3 6LY.

contact : John B. Pope
Tel : 01747 870326