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West Tisbury and Tisbury Parish Council

At the meeting of the Tisbury Parish Council this month, a Resident of West Tisbury attended to air a problem. She seemed bemused on hearing that she did not reside in Tisbury Parish. Even so being for ever helpful, the Tisbury Parish Clerk offered to refer her problem to the Parish of West Tisbury. It does not surprise me that this lady after many years of residency had no idea that Tisbury was split, not as two Wards as might it better be, but into two different Parishes. The situation puts me in mind of the ‘Gondoliers,’ and all that stops the matter being equally hilarious is the fact that collectively, local Council Tax Payers finance two Parish Councils, when one would be adequate. Why should this remain so ?

The second question that evening concerned that very point,
‘Please would Tisbury Parish Council discuss the possibility of its amalgamation with West Tisbury ?’
The answer to that was easy enough, yes they would, for seemingly most of the Parish Councillors recognised that having two separate Councils for one Village was a nonsense. On a show of hands only one Tisbury Parish Councillor was of contrary opinion, that the one who ‘moonlights’ as the West Tisbury Parish Clerk.

I believe the amalgamation question will be discussed at a forthcoming meeting of the Tisbury Parish Council. Then no doubt the West Tisbury Parish Clerk will be out of the room, having a pecuniary interest in the situation.

It was suggested that the questioner might himself seek the opinion of the West Tisbury Parish Council. That would be a pointless exercise,

Firstly because he had already mentioned the matter to the Chair Person of each Parish Council, and knows of West Tisbury reluctance to voluntarily amalgamate with us, and secondly because such things are better negotiated between Parish Councils, rather than by any well meaning unelected individual.

If Tisbury Parish Council consider ‘our’ separate Parishes would function better as one, by all means let it, discuss the matter further with West Tisbury. But a West Tisbury Veto should be unacceptable. Either Tisbury should persist, or unilaterally put the matter before the Wiltshire Unitary Authority for resolution. One suspects that new Authority would be only too willing to see the Parishes become one; may even decide to include other Parishes in the deal.


1 Neither Parish has had an Election for years. The 450 electorate of West Tisbury has an allocation of nine Parish Councillors which seems to be one for every 50 Electors. Tisbury has 2500 residents and eleven Parish Councillors, which is one Parish Councillor for every 227 Electors. If the Parishes were to amalgamate then together we might be entitled to 12 or 13 Councillors. These should be easier to find amidst two Wards, than the current joint requirement of 20 Parish Councillors. Thereby an Election might be called in May 2011.

2 Currently the Village complex ( hereafter referred to as the Village) employs two Parish Clerks, and pays twice over, for everything. This is an uncalled for extravagance. Even though money is not the prime point of issue I summarise the West Tisbury Accounts below. Being aware that my amounts do not total the £4848 Precept, but the Library copy of the accounts was difficult to read.

Of that £4,848, 56% ie. £2,716 went on Audit Fees, Office expenses, Travel and AGM, WALC and Community first fee, The Parish Clerk’s Salary, and the Chairman’s allowance. In addition another £513 was paid out in Insurance Premiums. If we were but one Parish the first of these amounts would be obviated, and the Insurance Premiums be but a lesser ‘AP’ on a single Tisbury and West Tisbury Insurance Policy.

Currently that total expenditure costs each West Tisbury Elector £7.17p, and ‘forget not that penny buns costs tuppence when one is married, {or in a civil partnership or not as the case may be}.

What happened to the rest of your money? Well £1544 ( an additional £3.43p per capita ) went to more justifiable causes; a Wage Bill, Burial Ground, Grass Cutting, St John’s Church Yard, Sundries, and a British Legion Poppy Wreath.

IS THIS NOT A CASE OF THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG. ? There would still be bills to pay if our Parishes were but one, however all outgoings and all benefits would be shared .

3. As things stand West Tisbury Parish has no rights of Consultation concerning what happens in Tisbury Parish. For Instance over The Hindon Lane Development, or The Station Works Site which assuredly will return to haunt us, nor even over Parking, or all the other concerns the ‘Village’ holds so dear.

Understandably West Tisbury is keen on having its say. It was displeased that Western Area of late fame would rightly not ‘Hear’ it , on an ex officio basis concerning the Hindon Lane Development. But that site is no more their concern than is Station Works. Why should West Tisbury expect Representation without appropriate Taxation? The residents of Upper Chicksgrove some 1.8 miles off the bottom of the High Street understand West Tisbury’s misgivings well enough, for there are those of us who hanker to be reunited with the other half of our Village in the Parish of Sutton Mandeville.

4 West Tisbury has four hundred and fifty Voters and all of nine Parish Councillors, not sure which is West Tisbury’s actual recommended entitlement for Parish Councillors, but I suspect that it is far fewer than the nine they currently have.

Tisbury has some two and a half thousand Voters and eleven Parish Councillors. Prior to the last election Tisbury had all of thirteen of them; and the then Parish Councillors were none too happy to have their number pruned. This pruning was done at the instigation of a member of the community who was and still is anxious to precipitate an Election. At that time one Sitting Parish Councillor daringly gave support to the proposed reduction in numbers, by addressing the then Salisbury District Council and speaking in favour of the change. Doing so prior to the District Council so recommending.

5. Will the Wiltshire Unitary Authority pay much heed to the voice of 450 West Tisbury Electors? Local Governance has changed , and the day of the Fiefdom gone. I am advised that it is open to any group of signatories to petition the Unitary Authority with a Proposal of Amalgamation, and am aware there are those who would be willing so to do at an early date should it seem necessary. Possibly West Tisbury Parish Council too might be pruned.

The Gondoliers:
Yeovil Amateur Operatic Society - Auditions for YAOS next ... Auditions for YAOS next production 'The Gondoliers' from 5th October 2009 to 10th October 2009 at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil. www.yaos.org.uk/index.php/auditions - 

The Tisbury Carol: and the naming of parts. Can be found by entering PAPALSCOPE on the South Wilts.Site, and at bottom of page enter The Tisbury Carol in the box, because the hyperlink seemingly doesn’t work. http://www.southwilts.com/site/tisbury -floral-carol/index.htm

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