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A picture for White Elephant on Loose

Set out on Safari yesterday evening to the Summit of Mount Tisbury accompanied by a chorus of turn right, right again, straight on over the roundabout and again and again left here mind that parked car, and that person crossing the road. I knew before we set out from Base Camp that the route would be arduous, but when men asked why we did so, all one could tell was that 'we did what a man had to do, when presented with a challenge.'

Which and where the challenge?

It was accessing 'JACK AND THE BEANSTALK' at The Nadder Hall. Yet another great Presentation by TAG. The Pantomime, apart from starring old favourites, was elevated by The Fairies who danced so delightfully, and the tea was hot too.

How nice it is that the Village has use of such a Hall, how unfortunate its inaccessibility to those not living in its immediate vicinity. However its vehicular approach for everyone, whether they live in its vicinity or not is ridiculous, and even on foot the approach is none too convenient via The Quarry. In its wisdom our Tisbury Parish Council has decided it would be a good thing to have a second vehicular approach off the Hindon Lane, Via Wyndham Place. Just what both Wyndham Estate and Churchill Estate need, a two way 'Rat Run'. Everyone is entitled to a point of view but it is difficult to understand how our Parish Council reached such a perverse decision in the face of such local opposition.

Well of course Tisbury Parish does need a Community Centre but surely the Old Nadder School shouldn't be it, for its location is better described as 'Off Centre.' How many will be able, let alone be willing to ascend Mount Tisbury. There are those who having decided the old Nadder Middle School would be an asset to Tisbury and its surrounds, have been pushing the scheme for many years. Before the Brethren bought the place the suggestion was that the Parish should buy it and refurbish everything from the boiler up, doing so at great expense. Meetings were held and a decision reached that we did no such thing. However we did get possession of The Nadder Hall, which has been skilfully managed, and hitherto been in receipt of monies from the recent owners of the School, who paid for use of it. However that sub tenancy has presumably been terminated? How financially viable is the Nadder Hall now ? What is the future of the Leisure Centre, do we know that ?

There is an article in Focus this month written by the Chairman of the Tisbury Parish Council, who incidentally is seemingly also the Chair of the recently refurbished Business Association. There is a suggestion that Villagers are too detached from Local Affairs, for seemingly only c. 15% of us gave our views on the Campus Project. Not too bad for a Parish which hasnít fielded a quorum sufficient to precipitate an Election for over two decades, not even since the requirement for Parish Councillors has been reduced from thirteen to eleven. How bitterly the then Parish Council fought that reduction in its number. Much though one respects all the voluntary work Parish Councillors do for the rest of us, it would be a good thing if we had an opportunity to endorse or reject their good work intent, through the Ballot Box this coming May.

It was great to hear of the Parish News Letter, but when it came, it was short on 'the nitty gritty'. Then there is that monthly piece in Focus. This month there was mention of applications for the lopping of trees at different addresses. One address concerned Willow Trees. Surely the Council knows that Willow Trees are grown for their prunings and that Aspirin comes from Boots in the Village. How many of us need to know about such good husbandry, and how many of us care a proverbial 'Tinkers' what our Parish Councillors think on the matter. A while back Councillors would take note of such information, not 'support the planning application' for that smacks of Pomposity.

It really isnít good enough that the Minutes of a Parish Council held on the first Tuesday of one month, arenít approved or disapproved of until the first Tuesday of the next month before publication. For then the Public hasn't the chance to question the detail of matters in hand until the first Tuesday of the month next ensuing. Ours is not the Village of Dibley, nor should our Parish Council be confusable with Dibley PCC.

THE TISBURY CAMPUS , and other Matters
The Village rejected the idea of the Campus when the matter was considered prior to the purchase of the Nadder Middle School by a third Party. I aired my opinion at the time, but even now the same vibe is still emanating from the 'Hall-Gathering Community' It has no overall use for a Campus. There is suggestion that the last thing the Village needs is yet one more rentable area. Maybe the Chair of the Parish Council has only just heard the voice of dissent?

More recently the Village decided it had no wish for Johnson's Field to be bought for Car Parking and Leisure purposes. That being so why wont some Parish Councillors take 'No ' for an answer. Some are still fuffing on about it. If Local Traders and even West Tisbury Parish Council wish to have a Parking lot on that site, maybe they should empty their Piggy Banks and buy it. It can be done .

That TisVis Questionnaire advised that the Village had no wish to see housing built outside the Village Envelope. Even so the then Parish Council clamoured for housing to be built at Station Works which is ' Outside the Village Envelope.'

If any Parish Council fails to heed local opinion it is hardly surprising that people have such a laissez faire attitude.

The Focus article makes reference to a number of Halls, and tells of one time opposition to each and everyone of them. Regardless of ownership Tisbury Parish has in its midst,

The Victoria Memorial Hall. Its site included a parking area to the West, so would it not have been better to have built a Community Centre there instead of tacking on The Elizabeth Hall, and later selling off the rest of the site for the erection of our excellent Surgery ? Maybe that is why some were displeased by the erection of the Elizabeth Hall and were less than pleased that the Council later sold the rest of the site for the Surgery.

I've no idea of the circumstance of that Surgery, but it isnít unusual for such sites to owned by a PFI, which lets the premises for a limited tenancy; or for it to be owned by the Partners who would receive a 'Notional Rent' for the use of their premises from the Health Authority. Hopefully more than enough rent to cover any Mortgage.

Then there are.
The Methodist Hall, recently refurbished. The Sacred Heart Church Room, The Tisbury Social Club, and The Bowls Club, and of course the Old Court Building, and The Nadder Hall and The Leisure Centre etc. Function Rooms and
The Hinton Hall.

A separate article in Focus informs that the hiring terms for it are to be changed so as to include Heating Costs. This Hall was once a School and when the opportunity to buy arose, the late Lord Hinton bought it and presented it to St. John's Church. Did the donor, the son of the former Head Master there, realise when Chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board, that the cost of Electricity would become any sort of a problem for his Hall? West Tisbury is particularly fond of the place as it is the most convenient of Tisbury Parish's six other Halls, that apart it belongs to what is their Ecclesiastical Parish Church too.

One knows the adherents of each venue have their own favourite but what a wasteful spread of resources running all are.
Yes of course Tisbury should have a Community Centre instead. Unfortunately the Nadder Middle School isnít a suitable location for it.
With all these new houses in Tisbury surely the Junior School could grow into that Building anon.

Regrettably Tisbury Parish Council seems too profligate for my pocket. I can not afford to contribute to subsidising so many Halls, when one would suffice. Nor afford we give recurring £500 Grants to Marjorie The Compost Heap, nor spend all that money on lighting for the Tennis Court, nor to effectively finance two different Cricket Pitches, one of which isnít even owned or situated within our Parish.

One is given to wondering whether Parish Councillors think the term 'Only one penny on the Community Charge of an average band D house means no more than that.'

Governance is about foresight, not reacting to Ad Hoc inconveniences. 3.February 2013

contact : John B. Pope