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.
next meeting will be on Thursday 13th February, at the Drax
Hall, starting at 7pm. All parishioners are welcome to attend.
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.
Wood Deer Fencing
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
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.
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.
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
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
Transport & Volunteer Driver Scheme - NeighbourCar
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.
Arms Community Benefit
are pleased to announce that Sam and Jacqui are planning to
put on monthly benefit dinners in aid of good causes in Bere
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.
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.
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.
Stream Open Space Project
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 .
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.
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.
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
Road Open Space
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Regis Volunteer of the Year
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
offer Tony our sincere congratulations on this well deserved
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
(or lack of it)
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.
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.
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.
Parish Council Election
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
equipment & construction
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.