We were surprised to be told that a child’s poster letting people know about Westadderbury.org has been ripped down from a village noticeboard. Even more surprising is that this is not an isolated incident – posters are being removed almost as soon as they are put up. The child’s family first thought that perhaps the posters had somehow come loose, but it is now apparent that someone is actually ripping them down. (Yes, we mean ripping – the torn corners of the poster are still present.)
The child is pictured pointing to where his poster ought to be. A notice advertising the Parish Council backed adderbury.org and associated pamphlet, the “Contact”, can clearly be seen on the board. If it is acceptable for addebury.org to advertise on public noticeboards and lampposts, what objection can there possibly be to posters for Westadderbury.org?
This may seem like a trivial matter, but someone clearly thinks that West Adderbury should not have its own website. They obviously feel angry enough to go around destroying other people’s property. Sadly, this kind of animosity towards the very idea of West Adderbury having its own identity, needs and interests is all too familiar to those who have followed the saga of Adderbury Parish Council over the last few years.
East Adderbury resident and Vice Chair of Adderbury Parish Council, Keith Mitchell sums up the animosity some feel towards West Adderbury and WARA on his blog. In an article entitled “West is best or West is worst?”, he suggested that membership of WARA would only be open to people living in big expensive houses and driving “BMWs, Range Rovers and upwards”. In another post he disparagingly refers to “the antics” of “an outfit calling itself WARA”.
A Twyford resident, running a blog called AdderburyNews, posted an article “Wexit is coming?” The blog post speaks of “the hilarity of the suggestion” that West Adderbury might have its own parish council and dismisses West Adderbury residents’ concerns as “comic”.
The child in question made the posters because, like many of us, he is proud to live in West Adderbury and is upset at the destruction of wildlife that is currently taking place. Many of us think of ourselves as residents of West Adderbury, rather than just Adderbury. The continued refusal of others to accept that we have our own identity is troubling. This is the real message behind the ripping down of a child’s poster.
West Adderbury, the village that dare not speak its name?