The Parish Council

The Parish Council meets on the 2nd thursday of each month at 7pm in the Drax Hall.

A Parish Councillor also joins Peter Wharf our district Councillor at the regular surgery he holds at Turberville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 9.30 to 10 am.

If you have any queries regarding the council, you can contact them via their website here or via the people below -

Title Name Tel. No. Email
Chairman Ian Ventham 01929 471 480 Email
Vice Chairman Laurie Fairhurst 01929 471 507 Email
Village Clerk Amanda Crocker 01929 472 327 Email

We have Reports from all the meetings held so far this year. For the Reports of older meetings stretching back to July 1961, have a look at our Parish Council Monthly Report Archive by clicking the photo below. The actual Minutes of current Meetings can be found on the Parish Council website here

Choose a Date from the menu below for that months Parish Council Minutes Summaries...

January 2015 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th January 2015. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 12th February 2015, at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns.

Public Participation

We were very pleased to be joined by 21 members of the public, by Colin Eversden, the Project Manager for the new school and by our PCSO, Luke Taylor. Colin Eversden gave an update on the progress towards a new school, focusing particularly on the problems around the re-design of the Southbrook junction to allow the access drive to be built for construction traffic.

At December’s meeting he had been asked to initiate a survey of the lime tree at the Southbrook junction to see if the tree could be moved. He quoted extensively from the report that had been produced on 29th December 2014 by Steve Maros MA; BSc (Hons) Arb a professionally qualified tree inspector. Mr Maros’s report (which is available to be seen by contacting the clerk) categorises the condition of the tree as ‘fair’ which is defined as ‘generally healthy, some defects, limited life expectancy’. He states that the tree has a Safe Useful Life Expectancy of ‘10-20 years (tree has obvious structural or cultural problems that cannot be rectified and decline is likely to continue)’. He states that ‘The tree is too large to be moved and replanted’.

A discussion then ensued on the topic of the removal of the tree. A number of members of the public spoke of the need to move swiftly to ensure that the new school proceeds to plan, in order not only to provide better facilities for our children, but also to overcome the potentially dangerous traffic issues of Rye Hill, and that, regrettably, the lime tree would need to be removed.

One member of the public suggested, that if it was possible, the timber from the tree could be used to create a something for the school, perhaps a bench for the playground, as an enduring memorial.

It was re-iterated that the council should look to plant a replacement tree on council, or school land in due course.

Other matters raised by members of the public included mention of another incident involving an aggressive dog, some comments on the Council’s budget, parking in West Street and the appropriateness of Facebook as a medium of discussion on Council matters.

Neighbourhood Plan Update

The council received an update from the steering group that: The Council’s analysis of responses to the Neighbourhood plan questionnaire is in final draft form and would go out to all households in the parish shortly. We are awaiting guidance from PDC on the implications of the change in policy announced in the Autumn about sites of fewer than 10 dwellings without a requirement for affordable homes.

We will be engaging again with the landowners of the potential housing sites, particularly the Drax estate, to obtain agreement in principle to our proposals.

The New School and the Southbrook Junction

Following the contributions made by members of the public to the debate about the re-design of the Southbrook junction, the council agreed that it stood by its difficult decision to support DCC’s request to remove the Lime Tree. The suggestions to try to use the timber from the tree and to plant a replacement were enthusiastically endorsed.

Lengthsman’s Contract

The Lengthsman’s contract is presently up for review. Full details have been advertised and are available from the clerk.

Wessex Water Grant

We are delighted to announce that Wessex Water have given us a ‘Watermark’ award of £350 towards the provision of a water supply for grazing on Souls Moor.

Play Park

The children of the parish will, I hope, be pleased to know that the new slide was installed at the end of December.

Grants

The Council was please to give a grant of £150 towards a defibrillator to be installed at the Sports Club.

Parish Council Vacancy

As has been advertised, we have a vacancy for one councillor and we would urge everybody who is enthusiastic about working for the good of the parish to put their names forward. If we have more than one applicant there will be a simple and informal selection process leading to co-option. Everyone who comes forward is guaranteed a place, if not on the council itself, then on one of our many sub-groups where your contribution will be just as valued.

Ian Ventham
Chairman

 

February 2015 Meeting

The Parish Council met on Thursday 12th February 2015 at the Drax Hall. The next meeting will be on Thursday 12th March at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns.

Public Participation

We were very pleased to be joined by 34 members of the public, by Colin Eversden, the Project Manager for the new school and by our PCSO Jake Williams.

There was discussion about a recent incident of unruly behaviour by a number of young people outside the Royal Oak pub.

Margo Kirk then spoke about extending the Bus2Go scheme to Bere Regis (please see the advert in the Parish Mag).

We were pleased to welcome Mr Rob Asprey of Hastoe Housing Association who outlined a possible affordable housing development that might be brought forward for planning consent on a rural exception site at the end of Shitterton. Numbers of residents were able to raise queries about the proposal.

Neighbourhood Plan Update

The council received an update from the steering group that:

The council’s response to the returned questionnaires had been sent to every household in the village.

Various individuals who had raised specific queries had been invited to contact members of the steering group. None had done so to date.

A further letter had been sent to the representatives of the Drax Estate.

Lengthsman’s Contract

Two applicants had applied to take on the Lengthsman’s role. Interviews will be held in March.

Grants

The Council was pleased to give a grant of £250 towards the Bere Regis Show and Scarecrow Festival

Parish Council Vacancy

There are now two vacancies on the Parish Council and three people had so far put themselves forward. The deadline for the submitting yourself for election is 28th February, so we urge all who would like to serve our community to put their names forward by then. After that the vacancy will be filled by co-option. A selection process will be put in place in March.

Elder Road Open Space

The second work party arranged to open up the overgrown woodland area along the stream by the streamside walk took place on 7th February. About 40 metres have been cleared and selected willow trees pollarded. It was found that they were only 20-24 years old and had rotten centres. This has shown how important this management is. They will re-grow after this treatment. We were joined by two conservation officers from DWT and at their advice some areas close to the stream are being left to allow some partial shading of the stream. This will allow variations in the light level on the stream to provide a better diversity of habitat. Another work party is arranged for the 7th March. We hope more volunteers will join us then.

NeighbourCar Scheme

This scheme is proving itself to be of huge value to our less mobile residents. In the 3 months of November and December 2014, and January 2015, there were 74 journeys undertaken to Dorchester, Poole, Wareham, Salisbury and elsewhere. Drivers are still badly needed. If you are able to offer help as a driver, or if you want more information, please call Brenda House on 01929 471 255.

Ian Ventham
Chairman

 

March 2015 Meeting

The Parish Council met on Thursday 12th March 2015 at the Drax Hall. The next meeting will be on Thursday 9th April at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns.

NeighbourCar

Although the scheme itself is running incredibly well and proving to be very popular, more drivers are still needed, particularly as we look to introduce free trips within the village for residents unable to get to the shop, doctors, post office etc. If you’re at home during the week, with a car, and could spare a couple of hours per week then please do contact Brenda House on 01929 472155.

Lengthsman

After interviewing applicants for the role, it was decided that the next contract would be awarded to the current lengthsman, Tony King. We will be introducing a quarterly report detailing the valued work carried out by Tony throughout the parish.

Grants

The Council was pleased to give a grant of £200 to Autumn Leaves towards the costs of speakers at their upcoming calendar of events.

Parish Council Vacancy

The Parish Council was delighted to offer Bere Regis resident Matthew Richter, one of the vacant spaces on the council. Due to other applicants being unable to attend, the other vacancy will be carried forward to a vote at the next meeting.

Notice Boards

Councillor Bates gave a brief presentation on the proposed information boards which will be positioned around the village, most notably in the village centre, boardwalk area, Souls Moor and Hyde. Design concepts were discussed and it was agreed that the materials for the signs would be ordered. Any villagers who want to share thoughts or ideas for the signs are more than welcome to contact either Cllr Bates or Cllr Pitcher.

Dog Mess

This has again cropped up as an ongoing problem. There is little we can do to stop this other than plead with residents to bag it up and bin it when you’re on a walk. A small effort such as this makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of others walking in the area.

Cemetery Charges

Having stayed stationery for at least 3 years, it was agreed that all costs related to the cemetery for interments, monuments or rights, be increased by 10% across the board. The new charges will take effect from 1st April 2015 and can be obtained by contacting the clerk and will be posted on the Parish Council web site.



Play Park Fencing

Following on from the new fence along the Elder Road side of the Play Park, it was agreed that the remainder of the fence should also be replaced. Anybody wishing to submit a quote should contact Cllr Bennett, on 07812 991166 in the first instance to receive the specification.

Christmas Trees

These are now available to order for Christmas 2015 from the Clerk! Please return your green slips to the Clerk, together with your £5 to avoid disappointment.

Ian Ventham
Chairman

 

April 2015 Meeting

The Parish Council met on Thursday 9th April 2015 at the Drax Hall. The next meeting will be on Thursday 14th May at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns.

NeighbourCar

Following last month’s plea for new drivers, we are delighted that there were 4 enquiries, but could always do with more. If you’re at home during the week, with a car, and could spare a couple of hours per week then please do contact Brenda House on 01929 472155.

Lengthsman

Lengthsman Tony King has now been formally appointed as the new Bere Regis Lengthsman for the coming 3 years. He has, with the assistance of Tim Sadd, been working in the role for some time and they are both now well known around the village. The Lengthsman is contracted by the Parish Council for 26 hours a week. His key responsibilities are the maintenance of the cemetery, the upkeep of the play park, and ensuring the Elder Road area is kept neat and tidy. Alongside this, he is responsible for maintaining and repairing finger posts, street signs, and benches to name but a few functions of his role. One of the not so pleasant responsibilities is that of clearing up the litter and dog mess from the paths and play areas. In the first 3 months of this year, Tony and Tim spent more than 18 hours on this job alone. With the limited hours they have, their time could be better spent on more important tasks so, please, pick up your litter and clean up after your dog.

The Lengthsman’s top 4 for the last quarter was: 100hrs working on the Elder Road site, 70.75 hours working at the cemetery, 18.75 hours picking up litter and clearing dog mess, 9 hours making and repairing finger posts and signs.

Lime Tree Wood

There is a small amount of wood available from the Lime Tree that was removed from Southbrook, if anybody wishes to have some for remembrance or carving purposes. Please contact the clerk, on the contact details above if you would like to have some. This will be issued on a first come, first served basis until it has all been used. There has already been some set aside for the school to make a memento from.

Parish Council Vacancy

Following a very close vote between the 2 applicants for the remaining Parish Council vacancy, Suzie Hamilton was duly elected onto the council. The other applicant, Dominic Bishop, has been asked to assist the council with various sub-committees and in other areas.

Parish Council Monthly Minutes

From this month, a full set of minutes from each meeting will be available to read in both the Post Office and the Doctors’ Surgery. If anybody requires a copy of a set of minutes then please contact the Clerk.

World War One Talk

The next in our series of World War One talks will be on Thursday 16th May at the Drax Hall and is titled “Courage without Glory: The British Army on the Western Front 1915”. Tickets are £2.50 again with under 16s free and are available now from the Clerk.

Christmas Trees

Christmas in May? Bonkers! However, trees for outside decoration only are now available to order for Christmas 2015 from the Clerk! Please return your green slips to the Clerk, together with your £5 to avoid disappointment.

Bryan Benjafield


May 2015 Meeting

The Parish Council met on Thursday 14th May 2015 at the Drax Hall. The next meeting will be on Thursday 11th June at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns.

Parish Meeting

Before our regular Council meeting, we held our annual Parish Meeting, an opportunity for Parish organisations and individuals to meet us, discuss their previous year and raise any issues. We had a nice turnout and thank those who made the time to come along. Our Chairman also presented a report on the Council’s activities in the last year, a copy of which is available on our Website and the Bere Regis Facebook Group. Our monthly meetings are always open to the public and we welcome anyone who would like to come along.

Re-Election of Offices

As this meeting was our AGM, we went through the process of re-electing our Chairman and Vice-Chairman, with Ian Ventham and Robin Pitcher kindly standing again in their respective positions. The Council also appointed new members to the Finance, Planning and Neighbourhood Plan group, as well as PACT, Speedwatch and Business Group representatives.

VE Day Celebration

We were delighted to see over 60 people attend the VE Celebration on Friday 8th May to commemorate the end of Second World War in Europe. The lighting of the Beacon and ringing of our Church Bells made it a memorable event. See further in the magazine for a selection of photos of the evening.

Parish Council Vacancy

Due to the previously co-opted Councilor being unable to accept the position, the Council co-opted Dominic Bishop into the remaining vacancy. We welcome Dominic and look forward to continuing with a full council once more.

Play Park Inspection

Recently, RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) carried out their annual inspection on our Play Park at Elder Road. The park passed the inspection with a number of minor improvements noted, which our Lengthsman will be carrying out in due course.

Distgen Grant

We were delighted to receive another grant from Distgen, the owners of the wind turbine at Rogers Hill, for £6,196 to put towards Council use. It was decided at the meeting that we would split the grant and put £3,500 towards the valuable village NeighbourCar and Salt and Pepper Lunch Club schemes, and the remaining £2,696 would go towards the much needed upgrade of the footpaths along Souls Moor to prepare for heavier use once the new school is open. Christmas Trees

Final call for Christmas Trees! The order for these will go through at the end of June, so if you would like to order one then please return your green slips to the Clerk, together with your £5 by the end of June to avoid disappointment.

Bryan Benjafield

 

June 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

 

July 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

August 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

 

September 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

 

 

October 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

 

 

November 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

 

 

December 2015 Meeting

Awaiting the Meeting

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