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Great Oaks from Acorns Grow.

A picture for Papalscope October

A picture in the Lymington Times and New Milton Advertiser (which still costs only 30p per week) depicts the twenty seventh New Forest Marathon. This would seem to be the successor to the New Forest run , the brain child of one David G. who now lives in Wales. That preceding event was first organised by the Sway Branch of the New Forest Conservative Association to raise funds. That same Branch also organised the New Forest Conservative Association Auction which at that time had a turnover of over £20,000. One was indebted to both the Dorset Conservatives and Messrs Riddetts, then the leading Bournemouth based Fine Art Auctioneers for guidance as to how the latter event was best organised. Neither event was the product of the Gerontocracy who then ran the New Forest Conservative Association.

The Nineteen seventies were heady times, and despite the above circumstance, there were younger, if not actually young people waiting in the wings, however one lot of Retiree Branch Officers invariably replaced the last, and the younger Party Members soon left not only the Conservative Party, but seemingly all the other Political Parties, wishing to avoid the dead hand of yesterday’s men and women. One really must not forget the latter because it was they who seemed the obstacle to progress. Was the New Forest unique in its attitudes? There are still, Hampshire Councillors who were in Public Office at least forty years ago, and some were old then. One is minded of the late Wiltshire Unitary Authority Councillor who aimed to hold Office for sixty years, and a very popular Councillor he was too.

However any Political Party that fails to accommodate the next generation, is doomed as an institution. Membership of all Parties is failing and membership subscriptions have become inadequate for their purpose. Now there is the suggestion that Political Parties should be funded by the Taxpayer. One can not see why any tax payer should be expected to pay either directly or indirectly towards the welfare of Party Politics. One speaks of indirectly because one hears tell that Party Politicians are expected to pay a tithe out of their ‘Allowance’ to the Political Party each is beholden to. Seemingly the allowances we so generously pay are far too high.

Is it the involvement of Political Parties in Local Governance that has ruined our Democratic process? Too often any old candidate is better than none. This is a remark I have been propounding ad infinitum, but surely it remains a fact however boring it may seem. Tisbury still seems to be short of a PARISH COUNCILLOR, as was/is West Tisbury. It is recorded in the Henley Standard this week end that one of its satellite Villages is short of four Parish Councillors, so the Wiltshire/Dorset border is doing better that the Berkshire Oxfordshire one. If people are no longer willing to be Parish Councillors, maybe it is time for Parish Councils to be done away with.

One hears of local groupings of Parishes. I have never fathomed how we the Tax Payers are involved with them at all. One gathers that Parish Councils send representative Parish Councillors to some of their area board meetings. Are there other members, does the General Public have a say in their deliberations , and what are they deliberating about anyhow? I really do not know, and as an interested local , feel one should have heard a lot more. Tisbury will not have held a Parish Council Election for all of nineteen years, before its next is due in May 2013.

What of TisVis’ continuance. A number of persons, myself included, volunteered to prepare a questionnaire , distribute it around both Tisbury and West Tisbury, collate the answers and hand them in to the Powers that be. Quite rightly the members of this ‘Quangette’ had no more say in the Tisbury Plan produced that anyone else. Indeed as a member I found the whole business both a waste of time and a waste of European funding, and a waste of Community Tax Payers money, for seemingly the Tisbury Parish Council 9 What of West Tisbury?) had to provide additional funding. It was a well intentioned exercise, but as is so often the case, there were those who couldn’t be bothered to fill the questionnaires in, and one wonders at the worth of some of the answers given.

For one instance, seemingly Tisbury people are ‘satisfied with our Ambulance Service‘. The Paramedics are without a doubt superb, but they are not supermen, and in the time it takes to get out and into Salisbury, possibly their clients may have died. If Tisbury feels that is good enough, fair enough, but it appals me. Have we yet got this first response team up and running ?

Having quoted that Red Herring, one may wonder why TisVis itself is still up and running. I have seen a recent letter from the Chair of TisVis, but do any of us know who else is a member. Who elected any of them to speak on our behalf. We have a Parish Council, surely it is the Job of Parish Councillors, albeit unelected ones so to speak. If anyone in the twin Parishes aspires to become a member of TisVis, how would one set about joining? TisVis seems to be no more than a ‘Paper Tiger.’

Please may we have better communications ? THE WILTSHIRE UNITARY AUTHOURITY HAS ASSIMILATED THE SOUTH WILTS COMMUNITY WEB SITE, INTO ITS OWN, BUT THE S.WILTS SITE ALSO STILL APPEARS UNDER ITS OWN BANNER TOO, BOTH SITES BEING HOSTED BY CRAVEN COMPUTERS, A LOCAL FIRM. It is a facility there to use, why oh why do we not use it? It just isn’t good enough that the last entry for Tisbury is dated March 2008.

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