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Tisbury Papalscope

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August 2006

August 2006

It must be getting on for two years now that one has written ‘Papalscope’ On the Community Web Site. It is but my Personal Comment on this and that; Posted because it is very difficult to express any alternative view elsewhere in the Village. I even lost two Papalscope ‘Bills’ off the Newsagents board.

I have experienced being ‘time’ harassed whilst making a statement prior to a meeting of the previous Parish Council, and later had a complaint made that I attended a Public Meeting that concerned Parking in Tisbury, this complaint was compounded with criticism that I had attended and spoken at a meeting held to discuss the proposed future use of what was then the Nadder Middle School. A meeting that I personally had been invited to attend by the Wiltshire County Council Convening Officer.

After serving on the TisVis committee for well over its first year, I resigned over a similar circumstance which arose over the Station Works Site.

Matters arising after the TisVis Questionnaire. There was question no 27 ‘ Tisbury should NOT be allowed to expand beyond the current District Council Housing Boundary.
Seemingly 50% of respondents strongly agree on that point and another 28% merely agreed. So 78% of respondents are agreed that there should be no Development etc. Well it may come as a surprise to some that the Station Works site is well away outside the Current District Council’s Housing Boundary. The Hindon Lane site is already designated as building land and is within the District Council’s Housing Boundary.

There was another relevant question no 28 ‘Development of Greenfield Sites (land which has previously not been built on) within the Housing Boundary is desirable.’

25% of respondents thought it was desirable, 18% neither agreed nor disagreed, whilst 58% registered no wish for such a thing. Or should that figure be 57% to avoid totalling 101%. Either way that is a clear majority against building on Greenfield sites, and I have no quibble with the voice of Tisbury. I am not sure which the precise definition of Greenfield is. Is the Hindon Lane site actually Greenfield or is it white? Was there not once commercial activity on site, have I not heard tell of Electric Pylons that must surely prohibit residential use? It is all very difficult to quantify.

Question 31.
A representative 49% of the Village has no wish to see the Station Works (ex Parmiter site) offered on Hindon Lane’s Sacrificial Altar. It wishes Station Works to remain a place of work. It is ugly, possibly no one wishes to hire it in its entirety. It should be pulled down and more modern buildings should be erected. Such redevelopment is entirely viable on the purchase price paid and there can be no justification to line the pockets of a Property Development Company. It remains astonishing that Tisbury and West Tisbury Parish Councillors have been so keen to support the proposal for an Estate of sixty four houses, especially when the TisVis Questionnaire Q.29 & 30 respectively advise that Tisbury does not need new large Housing Estates and that an annual growth in housing is the desirable norm. Whom does our Parish Council represent ? It is really no good anyone becoming a Parish Councillor to sit there nodding ones head, or having become one then fail to turn up for Council Meetings. Good intent is not enough , there seems to be too much fiddling as Rome burns.

More than once the suggestion has been made that if I am so interested in local affairs, maybe I too should attempt to be co-opted to the Tisbury Parish Council. Had one made such application and been successful , then one would be effectively silenced under the terms of collective responsibility.

Is it yet time to update the list of Parish Councillors? It would be an excellent thing if an address be published too. I know where they live and I would be happy if they were to share the information with the rest of you. A good proportion is located in the immediate vicinity of the proposed Hindon Lane Development. It would be helpful to hear whether any member of the Parish Council, or come to that the TisVis Committee ,is also a supporter of the ‘Tisbury Action’.

In an answer to the recent TisVis questionnaire (Q.23. The Parish Councils….respond well to the views of the people of Tisbury ) thirty five percent of us thought both did, there was no differentiation between the two Parishes in the response. That is good but forty nine per cent of the respondents chose to express no opinion, and sixteen per cent thought they did not respond well. This hardly amounts to a vote of confidence, and might have suggested that the time had come for change. In fairness how is any Parish Council to be aware of the views of those they represent if so few are willing to speak to them, when given the opportunity at the Annual Meeting.

What of Papalscope then?
Do those who occupy web sites ,or otherwise Blog express opinions other than their own? One gets occasional feedback from people, direct or oblique comment is passed. Few will actually read such pages. One uses the web for reference . I never expect others to read Papalscope all through anymore that I read other peoples websites with any degree of thoroughness.

None the less one still wonders. Rather than installing a ‘HIT’ Counter on my Community Web Site; some three weeks ago I republished the July Papalscope as a Google ‘BLOG’ Site, and installed a ‘HIT’ Counter thereon. Well the answer so far at noon this fine Sunday Morning is that there have been
Three Million, two hundred and thirty six thousand, two hundred and twenty six Hits so far.
Surprised me too. However in all honesty I must deduct the final 226 because that was circa the figure at which I started the counter . (Didn’t wish to get too much egg on my face, should there have been no hits at all. )

Just because hits are recorded, it doesn’t mean that anyone has read anything, just that the possibility of Reading whatever, will have been on the screen, will have been under consideration. Since there are now some sixteen million Chinese who operate BLOG sites, I will acknowledge the fact, even though spell check has put a red line under the lot.

Papalscope 东方读者欢 国经


Are we complacent? Each of us too wrapped up and departmentalised into Church, and all those fine local Societies from TAG through the Floral and Horticultural and Country Market, Fishing and Bowls, and Local History, and Football, and footpaths, oh and the Sports Centre, to have an interest in overall community involvement? Does the Village lack coherent leadership?

A member of our Parish Council related to me how dreadful it felt to have to put ones name up on a Parish Notice Board with a view to submitting to the Election Process. I do empathise as I formerly did a similar thing on four occasions from Parish through to County. Elected or not one feels well enough after the event, positively self righteous I fear. I recommend that others give it a go.
Some Persons are ubiquitous. It really should not be necessary to see the same faces fronting every situation, and sitting on every Committee. One needs to incorporate new people and new ideas in a village. Incomers are reluctant to presume that they have anything to offer a Community that is seemingly being adequately tended by others. That certainly used to be the case with the Parish Council. It was once well populated with indigenous members so it took a presumptuous newcomer to stand for election. Why should any wish to do so?

If a village our size is now unable to furnish a Parish Council via the Ballot Box, something has gone wrong with the process of local Government. It may be that this breakdown of community relationship could be blamed not only on the advent of Party Politics, but more possibly is attributable to un-opposed pressure groups in our Local Management.

We only heard the name of the recently co-opted Councillor after the event. One extends welcome to him. Were the other two candidates who offered their Services the same two the Council failed to engage last year? After all if we have an election next year, it would be helpful if the Electorate had such information for it is as important to hear whom they have not chosen , as whom they did chose. Situation puts one in mind of that quotation
‘What Peter says about Paul, tells one more about Peter than it does of Paul.’

I have lost count of the number of co- options to our current Parish Council, it is certainly in the region of sixteen, that without counting the still sitting formerly co-opted Councillor, who through some sort of misunderstanding had allegedly resigned, but was then recorded as being re-co-opted back into Office. Can that be done without due notice? The point I wish to make is that such a high turnover suggests that either our Parish Councillors are none too reliable in the choice of those whom they co-opt, or that newly resigned co-opted Councillors are somehow frustrated, maybe disappointed in Office.

One has no idea whether the number of our Council will be reduced to eleven members or not. I do hope it will be. It will encourage regular attendance. If people do not have time to attend Council Meetings, they shouldn’t join in the first place.

Accounts to 31.March 2006
I have seen no published Accounts for the last financial year. There is a suggestion on the Parish Council Notice Board that one can see the books and dockets at the ‘Castle in the Donheads’. Is ‘Tisbus’ to run an excursion that we might know how our money was spent ? It had been customary for a statement of account to be available at the Annual Assembly. Once again none was actually available this year. It was apparent from the Council Tax Demand that our Parish Precept was going up .Why are accounts no longer displayed on the Parish Notice Board, or even on the internet site? Are they available for inspection in the Parish Office? I know they are perfectly lovely accounts, but they relate to our money, and we are entitled to expect easier access. So too the Accounts of TisVis which is funded under a European initiative. When I was still a member of TisVis I suggested that our accounts should be published.

I have trouble with the Parish Website, and the Parish Notice Board. As I write this the most up to date Minutes on the latter relate to the May 2. Meeting. It will be August in a few days time.

THIS VILLAGE WOULD BENEFIT FROM HAVING A MONTHLY FREEBIE. I HAVE NO WISH TO SEE A PROPAGANDA SHEET OF ANY SORT. RATHER ONE THAT GIVES THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE OPINIONS OF THE ‘MAN IN THE STREET’ TO BE EXPRESSED. There was once a piece of A4 from the Parish Council, but it might be better if any News Sheet was Independent of Church, Council, or TisVis. Everywhere else seems to have such a publication.

There is always the opportunity for local residents to have their own Blog on the South Wilts Community Web Site. There is a button to push, and the instructions explain how one should proceed. However Papalscope would be happy to host any stray points others might wish to raise. Do not forget we have an extensive Chinese readership!

contact : John B. Pope
Tel : 01747870326
Email : pionono@tiscali.co.uk