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 2014 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 9th January. There were over 20 members of the public present, plus our community policeman, PC Jon Stewart, and our PCSO, Luke Taylor.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 13th February, at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are welcome to attend.

 

Facebook

We would like to make it clear that the Parish Council has a policy of not being drawn into debates on the village Facebook page. We use Facebook to inform about events and activities, and, sometimes to announce matters being published on our websites. We do not believe that Facebook is the right forum for constructive discussion and debate. Parish Council meetings, always held on the second Thursday of the month at 7pm, and Parish Forum meetings, held once or twice a year, are the open, democratic opportunities for people to speak, and for the Council to discuss and decide matters.

 

May’s Wood Deer Fencing

The council expressed its disgust at the vandalism of the recently erected deer fencing on Brian May’s land. As he has been generous enough to allow free pedestrian access onto his land, particularly where there are no formal rights of way, we all felt that this was a particularly ungrateful and unnecessary criminal act. Anyone who has any information about who might have done it is asked to speak to the police, and to be vigilant in the future. It is highly likely that night vision CCTV cameras will be installed

 

Partial Street Lighting

At the beginning of this year Dorset County Council implemented its policy of turning off street lights in our residential areas from Midnight to 5am. Members of the public spoke against the new policy on grounds of vehicle and personal safety, and crime prevention. Others expressed views supportive of the new policy on grounds of cost saving, and environmental benefits. Peter Wharf, our County Councillor, reported on his discussions with DCC over the matter. PC Jon Stewart reported that there had been no measurable increases in crime in areas where the policy had been running for some time. After due consideration, the Council decided that there were no exceptional grounds for making a case for Bere Regis to be treated differently from the rest of the county.

 

Post Office

Gary Thomas from the Post Office spoke at the beginning of the meeting about future plans in general, and specifically about the future of our post office on West Street. He explained the new national initiative being implemented at present to invest £1.34billion to help retain some 12000 main and sub-post offices all over the country. Although our present incumbents had indicated that they wished to give up the post office, Gary was confident that, from the expressions of interest he had received, there would be a successful applicant to take over the post office possibly in its present location, or possibly elsewhere in the village.

 

Gravel Extraction

There is a proposal to extract gravel from a number of sites in the county, including one in the parish on Bere Heath near Philliols Farm. The Parish Council is trying to get more information about the impact this might have, both ecologically and in terms of vehicle movements, so as to determine how to respond. Parishioners can comment individually, and we would urge anyone with an interest to go to a consultation meeting and comment. Meetings are being held between the 8th and 30th January at various locations around Dorset.

 

Recycling

This is to remind everyone that the new Dorset Waste partnership recycling scheme takes effect in March. You will shortly get your smart new food recycling caddy, your new, smaller, rubbish wheelie bin, and you will have to then use your larger old wheelie for recycling. More details can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/recycling

 

Community Transport & Volunteer Driver Scheme - NeighbourCar

A volunteer driver registration evening was held on Thursday 9th and those drivers that attended were registered and will be ready to start as soon as the paperwork is processed. There will be a further registration evening in the near future for those who were unable to attend and anyone else who wishes to become involved. It is intended that the scheme will start asap, with an official launch being help on 1st March – further details will follow nearer the time.

 

Drax Arms Community Benefit

We are pleased to announce that Sam and Jacqui are planning to put on monthly benefit dinners in aid of good causes in Bere Regis.

The 3 course dinners will be held on the 1st Saturday of every month (except July and August), when up to 50 people will be able to enjoy a fine dining evening for £15.95ph, of which £2.00 per person will be donated to the selected cause. In addition the proceeds of a raffle and a quiz will also be donated, so each event may generate a donation of up to £200.

Any charity or good cause in the parish can apply to be the beneficiary. Good causes may include organisations such as the Scouts, FOBRES, Ragamuffins and Pop In Place, but may also include individual young people (under 25) seeking support for instance for a gap year charitable project or similar. Applications should be made in writing to the Drax Arms, with contact details and explaining what the donation will be used for. The Drax Arms management and a member of the Parish Council will vet all the applications and will carry out a draw for the successful monthly bids.

The person or organisation applying must be prepared to fully participate in the event by providing information, selling most of the tickets and finding raffle prizes. This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole community to benefit, by supporting our good causes and one of our local businesses and enjoying a great night out all at the same time.

 

Bere Stream Open Space Project

As parishioners will probably know, the Parish Council now owns the whole of the Souls Moor area to the South of the Bere Stream, including the fenced SNCI area, and the open land towards Southbrook. We are very shortly taking ownership of the land to the North of the stream from Shitterton Bridge through to the Scout Hut. We have plans under development for a skate park, and there is now a proposal to create a memorial sensory garden as part of the development of the open space near Southbrook .

At the moment these are all separate projects, but the Parish Council would like to integrate our thinking and take a more holistic view of the development and management of this hugely valuable and attractive area of open space. This does not mean the individual project teams will be wound up. They will still be crucial to each part of the whole, but an over-arching view will help us to better coordinate our approach.

We therefore want to create a small project team comprising both Parish Councillors and residents to take this forward. Any residents who would be interested in helping either with this team or with the individual project groups is asked to put their names forward to Amanda Crocker, our clerk.

Ian Ventham
Chairman

 

February 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting

 

March 2014 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 13th March. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 10th 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.

Elder Road Open Space

We are delighted to report that Purbeck District Council has just gifted to the parish the whole of the open space which runs on the north side of the Bere Stream from Shitterton Bridge to the Scout Hut (excluding, of course, the parcel of land by the boardwalk which belongs to Mr Lockyer). Part of this land will form part of the Bere Regis Local Nature Reserve which we are creating with the Souls Moor SNCI, and part, at the Eastern end will be available for community use.

The Parish Precept

Each year the parish agrees a budget, which includes an element of Council Tax, called the Parish Precept, and we estimate other sources of income we might receive. For instance over the past three years we have received a grant from Dorset County Council to help with the cost of employing a Lengthsman. We have also been receiving a grant from Purbeck called the Community Support Grant. I’m sorry to have to tell you that the Lengthsman’s Grant is being stopped this year, and the Community Support Grant is being phased out by 2018.

However, on the positive side, having just taken ownership of the Elder Road Open Space, we will be receiving financial help with maintaining that for a number of years. We also seek funds from grant making trusts towards various projects.

Nonetheless, the precept will be increasing this year from £33000 to £37000. This represents an average amount per household per month of about £3.60, up from about £3.20 last year. Given what we have and do achieve on a relatively small budget, including the Lengthsman’s work, the new Play Park, the cemetery and open space maintenance, footpath maintenance etc, I hope that you agree that this represents very good value for money.

Christmas Trees

As I write this in balmy Spring weather, there are only 284 days to Christmas, but, it is never to early to be thinking about it!! This year we will be charging a nominal £5 towards the trees we buy in with which to decorate the village. To obtain them at a very reasonable price, we have to order them in June. Please, therefore, put your orders in now, either to Christopher Maunder on 471342, or to our clerk, Amanda Crocker and include your £5 with the order.

Bere Regis Volunteer of the Year

At A ceremony at Purbeck District Council offices in Wareham on 6th March Mr Tony Shave received a scroll as Bere Regis’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’. This is the citation that was read out:

Tony was born and has lived all his life in and around Bere Regis. Part of a farming family, he has spent all his working life on farms in this area.

Tony was born with a form of skin cancer which has necessitated regular bouts of hospital treatment and surgery. No-one can ever remember Tony complaining about this. Indeed he is a most positive and cheerful person, despite his medical problems. Despite his constant pain and discomfort, he is a person who constantly brings good cheer and warmth to everyone he meets.

Tony is a rare asset to Bere Regis. He is someone who will always volunteer, not for the most glamorous or noteworthy of jobs, but for the behind the scenes, low profile, but vital jobs that many people wouldn’t even consider. If there is an event in our community, you can pretty much guarantee that somewhere in the background you will find Tony cheerfully helping out.

For instance over the last 17 years Tony has been a volunteer for the Pop in Place, Bere Regis’s Community Group, helping out in all manner of ways, and bringing fresh fruit and vegetables from Wareham market for sale on a Friday morning. To do this, Tony buys with his own money and sells on, never quite knowing if he will actually cover his own costs or not. We suspect he frequently operates at a loss at his own expense.

He is a member of the team that runs our village hall. He is the first person everyone turns to run the car parking for any event, be it the School Bonfire night or Summer Fayre, or for the Jubilee celebrations last year. Tony supports the Sports Club by acting as scorer for cricket home matches. He has even been known to act as unofficial traffic policeman on Rye Hill when everything has ground to a halt when the children are coming out of school.

He is also the unofficial, unpaid and totally voluntary ‘caretaker’ and warden for his neighbours where he lives, getting older folk to doctors’ appointments, or to the shops and checking up on people when they are unwell. He organises an annual Christmas Dinner for the farming community of the parish.

He is a source of country lore and, on his side of the parish he knows where to find the Early Purple Orchids and Cutty's (Dorset Wrens). All round the village he is the person who knows if a tree is down and needs clearing, or if a gate or fence needs mending, and he’ll draw it to the attention of whoever is responsible for sorting it out, if he hasn’t already done the job himself. And he has a prodigious appetite for cake, preferably home made!

Unassuming, reliable, modest, never seeking the limelight, Tony is the embodiment of the true volunteer. I know that his nomination as Purbeck Volunteer of the Year will completely surprise Tony, but delight many people in Bere Regis who know just how much he does for the parish.

We offer Tony our sincere congratulations on this well deserved award.


Ian Ventham
Chairman

 

April 2014 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th April. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 8th 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.

Crime (or lack of it)

Our PCSO, Jake Williams attended the meeting and brought information about the crime statistics for our parish. The good news is that in the first quarter of 2014, there were just 11 reported incidents, against 19 reported in the same period last year. This year’s incidents included 2 criminal damage, 1 theft from a vehicle, 7 thefts from garden sheds, and just 1 burglary from a house.
Please make sure you leave nothing valuable in your car or van, and securely lock up sheds and outbuildings.

Our Environment

The thoughtless and irresponsible leaving of dog excreta on pavements, walkways and footpaths continues to cause great distress to residents. There can be nothing worse than to find that your child, or you, has inadvertently trodden in dog mess. Dog owners, it is your responsibility to clear up after your dog.

After the heavy winter rains many of our drains have been blocked by debris. Drains will be cleared by Dorset County Council, but only if they are reported as blocked. Please let our clerk know if a drain near you is not working properly.

The Parish Council Election

Peter Wharf will write about this in more detail, but just to remind you that the election takes place on 22nd May. Please vote. And if you will be away, please register for a proxy or postal vote. Forms are available from the clerk.

Cemetery Grass Cutting Contract

As we are very satisfied with the quality of the contractor’s work, and his price, the contract will run for another year, but we will review the contract next year and we will give local contractors the opportunity to bid early in 2015.

The Parish Precept

I wrote last month explaining that the precept, which is the very small element of Council Tax that comes directly to the Parish Council, will be increasing this year. We have now lost a grant which we used to get annually from Dorset County Council to cover the cost of the Lengthsman, and we will be losing the Community Support Grant from Purbeck District Council, therefore the rise this year is quite large. For a band D household the rise will be £13.85pa.

We debated whether to increase the precept, or whether to use the funds we have, or cut back what we do in order to make up the shortfall. In the end, it was the unanimous decision of the council to increase the precept, so that we can maintain the service we provide, not just this year but over the next few years. This means we can continue to employ the Lengthsman, maintain the Play Park and Cemetery and look after Souls Moor and the footpaths. We believe this represents very good value for money, at a time when other services are being cut.

Christmas Trees

This year we will be charging a nominal £5 towards the trees we buy in with which to decorate the village. To obtain them at a very reasonable price, we have to order them in June. Please, therefore, put your orders in now, either to Christopher Maunder on 471342, or to our clerk, Amanda Crocker.

“The Amizing Prack”

We have recently been able to finalise the accounts for the new Play Park. We felt parishioners would like to know how much this cost, where the money came from and on what it was spent:

Income   Expenditure  
       
Fundraising £4,000 Consultancy & Fees £1,872
Parish Council £1,050 Design, equipment & construction £43,048
Jubilee Profit £1,848 Signs £414
Donations £1,250 Safety Inspection £60
Grants      
Awards for All £9,000    
MoD £3,000    
Community Fund £6,000    
Synergy £7,000    
Viridor £12,500    
       
Total £45,648 Total £45,394

The small surplus will be used for maintenance in the future. The Play Park fencing will be repaired as soon as possible, but at present it almost impossible to buy fence panels.

Ian Ventham
Chairman


May 2014 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th May. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 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.

Christmas Trees

Once again, we would ask you to think about your Christmas tree. Very few people have responded to the recent requests and it is now important that you give this some thought as we have to order the trees in June. This year we will be charging a nominal £5 towards the trees we buy in with which to decorate the village. Please, therefore, put your orders in now and include your £5, either to Christopher Maunder on 471342, or to our clerk, Amanda Crocker.

Retiring Councillors

It is with considerable sadness that we are saying goodbye to Chris and Tim Maunder, Martin Howard and Len Alderman from the parish council. Between them, they have over 50 years of experience on the council. Special thanks are extended to Chris, who first joined the parish council in 1986 and takes with him a wealth of knowledge. A presentation of certificates was made to all and a gift of a framed OS map with Bere Regis at is centre was made to Chris. We wish them all well for the future.

Incoming Councillors

Following the recent request for nominations for councillors – two people put their names forward and, as the election is uncontested, they automatically come on to the Parish Council. They are Tom Bennett and Tony Bates. Both officially take their posts on the 26th May. This means that we are still 2 councillors short. As the
election was uncontested, we are able to co-opt into these seats. If you would like to put your name forward, please contact any member of the parish council or the Clerk via email here. All those who submit their names will be invited to attend the June meeting and will be asked to say a few words about themselves. The councillors will each be asked, via a secret ballot, to pick 2 names from the submissions. Please ensure you put your name forward before the 4th June if you wish to be considered.

NeighbourCar Scheme

This continues to go from strength to strength but we desperately need more drivers. At present, 2 new clients are coming forward each week but we still only have 8 drivers. If you can spare any time at all, please put your name forward. This is a vital service and one that many people are already beginning to rely upon. Please contact Cllr Brenda House on 07749 621631 if you are able to help.

Open Spaces

Cllr Robin Pitcher and his work party have now drawn up a consultation document which will be going out to every household in the parish at the end of May. By the time you read this, you should already have received it and we would ask that you take a few minutes to read through and complete the questionnaire. It is important the you have your say as this covers a sizeable area of land in the centre of the village and its future use will affect almost everyone.

Amanda Crocker

Parish Clerk

 

June 2014 Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting of the Parish Council took place on the 11th June and was attended by 21 parishioners.

The Chairman opened the meeting by thanking those councillors who have retired this year. Len Alderman, Martin Howard, Tim Maunder and Christopher Maunder. All have contributed so much to the council during their time in office and we wish them all well for the future. We also welcome Tony Bates and Tom Bennett to the council and have 2 more seats to fill which will be done by cooption when the council meets on the 25th June.

The Chairman highlighted some of the areas of responsibility for the council and went onto explain our statutory powers and areas of income and expenditure. The year has been a busy one, from the finalisation of the purchase of Souls Moor and the handover from Purbeck District Council of the land to the north side of the Bere stream along Elder Road, the planting of what has become known as May’s Wood, the opening of the new play park, setting up the Banter Club, the NeighbourCar Scheme, the on-going production of the Neighbourhood Plan and much more.

The Neighbourhood Plan

The Steering Group meets regularly with officers of Purbeck District Council to move the Plan forward. A consultation document will be sent out to all houses in the parish to ask for your views on the housing which will cover 4 sites – 1 large and 3 smaller ones - and is very much in line with our first questionnaire.

Reports from Parish Organisations

We are very fortunate in Bere Regis to have a large number of very active groups.Each group was invited to say something of the work they have undertaken during the year.

Open Spaces Project – Robin Pitcher gave some background to the project and Tony Bates spoke of Souls Moor and the natural regeneration of the flowers on the site. On the 28th June there will be talk on the Management of the Bere Stream at the Scout Hut.

Andy Kent gave a brief report on the Sports Club which goes from strength to strength. There are now 9 football teams and 3 cricket teams on site and interest continues to grow. He spoke of the Thomas Williams Trust – the applications for which close on the 4/5th August.

The NeighbourCar Scheme continues to grow and volunteer drivers are much needed. Brenda House, together with Alison Bennett have been organising the new Salt & Pepper Lunch Club and the first date for the project will be the 17th July.

Alison Bennett gave a report on the Pop In Place which continues to serve the local community and provides a regular meeting place for people of all ages from the Parish. There is a dedicated team of volunteers reaching out to some of the most vulnerable and isolated people in the community.

She went on to talk about the Poppets Group, run by Sarah Leigh, for babies and toddlers and reported that they have received a cheque in the sum of £500 from the estate of the late Barbara Charles who was a regular visitor to the Pop In Place. This will be added to the money raised at Strictly Come Dancing in October and will be used to develop a house for the children with some new toys. It will be called Barbara’s House in memory of her kindness and support.

The Pop In Performers has just finished a very successful 3 day run of “Sing as you go” in commemoration of the first and second world wars.

Songbirds is a new pre-school music group which came about when the Toddler Music Group had to finish due to the work commitments of the organisers.

Lyn Simmonds gave a report on the hall improvements which continue but the end is in sight.

Vikki Mayo gave an update on the new school and reminded everyone of the up and coming consultation. There will be an open day/union before the school closes which will be an opportunity for all those with memories of the school to get together before if finally closes its doors. It is hoped that the new school will be opened in December 2015.

Richard Teather reported on the activities of the Scout Group. There are now 100 scouts in the group with ages ranging from 6 – 18 years and 15 leaders. He reported that this is the centenary year for the Group.

Steve Syrett reported on the Banter Group and that 3 acts from the club have passed the heats stage of the Dorchester Music competition and are through to the finals on Saturday.

Judy Newton spoke of the Twinning Association. More and more families from Cérences are coming to the village and host families are needed. The village of Cérences is keen to take part in the WWI commemorations and will be coming over for the 2014 Remembrance Services. Judy stressed that the group is open to anyone to join and they always try to link families with those from similar professions.

Peter Wharf reported that the Superfast Broadband upgrade continues and we should hear the first announcements of when and where the roll out will start very soon. He also reported that Dorset County Council is running a series of road shows around the county called “Ask Dorset” at which residents will be able to tell the County Council what they think of them and offer suggestions as to how they might improve the services they provide.

Amanda Crocker

 

July 2014 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th July. Our next meeting will be on Thursday 14th August, 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.

The council met for the first time after the elections with full membership. We welcomed our newcomers Tom Bennett, Tony Bates, Simon Griffin and Brian Benjafield.

Responsibilities

Our work is arranged around devolved responsibilities which for the moment are:
• Finance – Ian Ventham, Peter Wharf and Tom Bennett
• Environment and Facilities – Robin Pitcher with Tony Bates, Tom Bennett and Laurie Fairhurst
• Planning and Housing – Laurie Fairhurst, with Simon Munnings and Tony Bates
• Community Liaison – Brenda House with Arlene Duncanson and Brian Benjafield
• Police, Traffic and Roads – Simon Griffin with Brenda House
• Neighbourhood Plan – Ian Ventham, Laurie Fairhurst, Simon Munnings, Peter Wharf and Robin Pitcher

World War One Commemorations

In conjunction with Ian Woodward, our vicar, and Pastor Jim Morris, the next commemorative event will be the Church Service to be held on Sunday 3rd August (the 100th anniversary of the eve of the declaration of war) at 7pm in the Parish Church. See the advert for further details.

Open Spaces

Many of you will be aware that in last month’s magazine we promised that a consultation questionnaire would be sent out to all households about the future use of our open spaces, particularly Souls Moor, and the Streamside area; and about the location of a skate park or other facilities for young people. I’m afraid we were not able to issue the questionnaire because a technical matter has cropped up that we have to resolve first. The matter is that in order to build the access drive to the new school over Souls Moor, which is designated as common land, we have to register a similar sized and nearby area as common land. We are in the process of doing this now with Dorset County Council’s help, so we have to keep our options open until things are satisfactorily resolved.

Track Vehicle Speeds

Tracked vehicles from Bovington are now limited to 20mph on public roads which, while appropriate in built up areas can seem very slow on unrestricted roads. If anyone has had a problem following a slow moving tracked vehicle, please let our clerk know, so that we can pass on any comments to Bovington.

NeighbourCar Scheme

Under Brenda House’s leadership, the scheme has had a big take up and is clearly meeting a very important need. However, clients hugely outnumber drivers so we urgently need more drivers to sign up. It’s not an onerous task if we have sufficient drivers. There is no requirement to make a regular commitment. Please see the ad elsewhere and let Brenda know on 01929 471255 if you can help.

Salt & Pepper Lunch Club

By the time you read this the inaugural lunch will have been held. For further details see the ad elsewhere in the mag.

Christmas Trees

This year we will be charging a nominal £5 towards the trees we buy in with which to decorate the village. To obtain them at a very reasonable price, we have to order them now. This is, therefore, your last chance to put your order in Christopher Maunder on 471342, or to our clerk, Amanda Crocker.

Ian Ventham
Chairman

August 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting

 

September 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting

 

October 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting

 

November 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting

 

December 2014 Meeting

Awaiting Meeting


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