Help keep villagers in touch

This Is Wiltshire: From left, parish councillor Barry Thunder, Tower And Tap’s past editor Kay Long and regular contributor Brian McGlone From left, parish councillor Barry Thunder, Tower And Tap’s past editor Kay Long and regular contributor Brian McGlone

SOUTH Marston is facing a communications breakdown at a time when an unprecedented period of development is on the horizon.

The parish council’s clerk and village website editor are both moving on from their roles in the near future, while the village publication, Tower And Tap, has been suspended and there are no candidates for the vacant editor’s role.

The parish council is considering applicants for the clerk’s position.

But for a time there may be little, or no news being circulated around the village, when progress on plans for thousands of new homes around the parish is building momentum.

“Our communication network is going to fall down in some fashion,” said parish councillor Barry Thunder.

“Despite the numbers due to arrive, we currently only have 320 houses in the village.

“For most of them, this is the main way we keep contact. We will try and cope.

“All these communication channels are the only way we can keep all the outlying houses, down near the A420, in touch.”

Barry believes the Tower And Tap dates back to the 1900s. It was edited on a voluntary basis for a long time by a villager called Kay.

It was then taken over by the parish council parish clerk, Amanda Burchell.

Now she has resigned the council is keen to separate the roles of clerk and editor once again.

“We are left with no parish clerk and no editor for Tower And Tap, so we are a bit stuck,” said Barry.

“There is still quite a bit of work done for the publication by the church volunteers. The church office prints it and another volunteer collates it.

“It’s a voice for the church and those who have an interest in that. It also provides local businesses with an advertising opportunity.

“A lot of people don’t even know how to access our website, so it’s important we can keep it going in print if we can.”

“It’s going to take some months to introduce a new clerk first, which might be early September or even early October, but they will take some training and bedding in.

There is no definite salary for editing Tower And Tap, but if anyone is interested in coming forward, the parish council would be happy to negotiate a rate.

Donald Jones, the website editor, will also soon be leaving the village. Anyone interested in running the site is also encouraged to come forward.

  • For more information, email clerksmpc@southmarston.org.uk.

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