Boughton Church Window Gary Trouton


July 2003

Offering you a more highbrow, constitutionalised Pump

Hello again,

You will see that Les Lawrence, in his article on page 15, has again raised two significant points are of significant importance to you our readers! First he says that, with his reduced contribution, the Village Pump has become more Highbrow and more of the BBC Radio 2 than the BBC/ITV mix we have come to expect. Second, he cites the recent appointment of a Stoke Ferry resident as Mayor of Downham Market as an example of the Village Pump's intransigence when it comes to people not actually living within the Pump's catchment area holding positions of authority. Perhaps I could deal with these in sequence?

Les is right that the Pump must retain a balance between serious items and those of the more lighthearted type. But that balance need not be at the expense of what you the readers want. Since the reduction of contributions from Les I have made strenuous efforts to include a number of lighthearted items to balance the more serious articles that I still believe the Pump must include. Les's item this month genuinely admits, "he would say that, wouldn't he!" But the real dilemma is that I can only publish items that you the readers send me. This month we have a nice cross section; we have items from RG (in the form of a TREE QUIZ), Anne Zissler (with one of the funniest royal anecdotes I've read in years), the usual inputs from Graham Forster and Janet Tilburn and some challenging pieces from Alan Whitford. There is information from the local Parish Council and the Grampian Liaison Committee, some letters from local residents and a plethora of information about local events through the much-appreciated UP BEET Newsletter. There is even a report on visits to local Open Garden events. But the more I get from you, the better balance I can achieve; so please, get scribbling. As I have said before, you don't have to be a Charles Dickens; just give me your scribbled notes and I will do the rest! For example: you ladies could let me know if you have tried the recipes so lovingly crafted and what sort of success you achieved!!

Now for the second point of Les' challenge. His article reads as if the Pump is a single entity. In reality, the Village Pump is managed by an elected committee whose overall strategies and policies must be endorsed by you the public through the auspices of the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The business of the Village Pump is conducted and organised in a manner that must satisfy its Constitution. The Constitution is regularly reviewed and submitted for approval at each AGM. Currently, the Constitution decrees that officers of the Village Pump Committee must be drawn from the Villages embraced by the magazine catchment area; Boughton, Stoke Ferry, Wereham, West Dereham, Whittington and Wretton. This decision has evolved over the almost 25 year life of the Pump to ensure that unacceptable outside influences do not destroy the very fabric of a very special local magazine. But if you the readers do not agree with these aims, you only have to attend the next AGM to voice your opinions. As a relatively recently appointed Editor, I have no qualms with the current Constitution. Like any other Public Service organisation, we need to preserve the sanctity of our community and avoid undue influence from our jealous neighbours.

So, over to you dear reader! Let me have your views. The next AGM is scheduled for October 2003, so you have time to compose your thoughts and lobby support in the next three editions of the Pump!

Ray Thompson

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