Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report Archive
2016
January 2016 Report

Minerals Consultation

You may be aware that over the year DCC has consulted on two emerging planning documents; the Draft Minerals Sites Plan, which includes preferred sites for mineral extraction; an area of search for sand and gravel, improved restoration and management in the Puddletown Road area and further guidance on mineral site safeguarding www.dorsetforyou.com/mineral-sites and secondly the Draft Waste Plan, which contains the spatial strategy, vision, objectives, policies and site specific options to address the key waste management needs that have been identified - www.dorsetforyou.com/waste-plan

Consultation on both Plans began on 15 July and ran until 23 September 2015. A series of exhibitions were held during the consultation.
A range of methods were used to publicise the consultation and exhibitions including leaflets send to stakeholders, posters in key locations, parish and town council newsletters/e-bulletins, press releases and social media.



The Minerals Sites Plan

1300 comments were received from 746 contributing consultees (individuals/organisations). Now that the consultation period is finished, officers are beginning to review these comments to provide further information where appropriate and to consider what changes to the Draft Mineral Sites Plan may be required in light of the comments made.

Some sites, or combination of sites, generated particularly high levels of interest, including the proposed extension to Swanworth Quarry in Purbeck and the extension to the existing Woodsford Quarry together with two new site proposals on the Moreton Estate.

Three petitions were received, one of 40 signatures from Knightsford Parish Council regarding the nominated Woodsford Quarry Extension, one of 210 signatures from Moreton Parish Council regarding the nominated Station Road and Hurst Farm sites and one of 457 signatures from the T.E.Lawrence Society.
The petitions will be considered by DCC.


Officers have not yet had time to consider all the comments in detail, but it is already clear that further work will need to be undertaken including an assessment of cumulative impacts, particularly for traffic, in the Moreton/Crossways area, focussing on the capacity of the B3390 to deal with the expected development proposed for the area.
Closer working with Purbeck District Council and West Dorset District Council, considering the impacts of development proposed for the Moreton/Crossways area.


Some sites were nominated just before the consultation began, not giving any time to appraise and consider these.
They will be appraised and considered for possible inclusion in the Plan.
Other sites need to be reduced in size, or have various mitigating measures applied.
Discussion/negotiation with site promoters and other interests/agencies (e.g. Natural England) will take place before coming to a final decision regarding inclusion in the Plan.


The Waste Plan

917 responses were received from 197 contributing consultees.
Generally, consultees were supportive of the levels of waste growth forecasted in the Draft Waste Plan and the proposed policies/supporting text, subject to minor changes and updates.
Some of the issues, raised during the consultation, will also need to be addressed prior to the next stage.


What happens next?

In order to keep all stakeholders up to date, it is proposed to prepare a detailed report of responses to both Plans including officer comments/recommendations.
This will be sent to Dorset County Council Members early in the New Year, followed by publication on the DCC website around April 2106.
All stakeholders on DCC’s database will be notified when this report has been published.
Further formal consultation will take place during summer 2016.


Wool Level Crossing Closure

There will be overnight closures of the level crossing on 25th and 26th January to allow Network Rail to complete safety work.
This closure is likely to be inconvenient and you may be redirected around East Burton during the closure.


Driver Training for Older People

If you dislike driving on unfamiliar roads or driving in the dark, then it may be time for some driver refresher training.
For just £5, drivers aged 70 and over can take part in a two-hour theory session to update their driving knowledge.
The sessions are organised by Dorset County Council and are run by a road safety professional in a friendly, non-threatening environment.
Subjects such as staying fit to drive, new driving techniques, changes to the Highway Code, negotiating roundabouts and junctions safely, and dual carriageway and motorway driving will be covered.
There is also an option for a practical refresher drive at a later date.
This 90-minute one-to-one practical driving session takes place on local roads and includes town and country driving.
This aims to improve defensive driving techniques, hazard awareness and better road positioning, as well as providing tips that can help reduce fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear.
Bookings are being taken for courses across the county for the New Year.
For further information and to book a place on the theory discussion session please go to: www.dorsetforyou.com/roadsafety/gold or call the road safety team on 01305 221031



Mobile Library consultation

The consultation with communities and members of the public closed in early September. DCC had over 500 responses and have been analysing the responses to inform any changes to the proposed schedules.
This work is close to being completed – we are currently at the stage of “roadtesting” the routes in a mobile library to ensure that the timings and routes can be done. DCC anticipate providing feedback to the public about the consultation and an update about any changes to the proposals in January.


The new mobile library schedules will not come into effect until spring 2016 and DCC will ensure that all users are given advance notification of the new timetables.
Ahead of the new schedules being implemented, DCC will work with users at any of the stops being withdrawn to see how we can continue to offer access to library services.



 

 

February 2016 Report

 

Buses 186 and 103

 

County have announced they are considering further cuts to the Bus services, in our area the 186 and 103 services.

The announcement has been rushed and the period of time to respond is very short.

I shall not be supporting this and would hope that people will respond to the consultation if you can.

When this is raised at the County Cabinet I shall be arguing that this has been poorly thought out and will result in severe rural isolation for some people.

 

Council Tax Settlement

 

The Government announced the settlement for Local government in December and when we read the small print we realised that Dorset is being treated worse than any other County in the country leading to a further and unplanned for £7.2 Million being required to be cut from the budget before April.

This will not be possible without savage cuts.

All of Dorset’s MPs went to visit the Minister to lobby on our (and your) behalf and we will know the results of this by the time you read this article.

This is very serious as over 50% of our budget is on Adult and children’s services which are, generally, mandatory services.

This means that any cuts elsewhere have to be correspondingly larger and more draconian.

 


March 2016 Report

Broadband

The Superfast Dorset project has brought superfast broadband to almost 80,000 premises so far in addition to the 265,000 through commercially funded programmes.
This brings the total that can access superfast broadband to 90% of premises across Dorset. By the end of 2017 when we have completed current plans, this will have reached around 97%, making a huge difference in our market towns and villages and communities.
However we know that this is of little immediate help to those in the remaining 3-5% and we appreciate and understand how vital reliable broadband is for businesses and residents alike.


The County Council along with other local authorities in Dorset will have contributed a total of over £12M (Dorset CC £8.6M) to the project by 2017 to help enable the 80,000 premises referred to above to be connected.
This is in the context of significantly reduced overall funding being available to all local authorities in Dorset, in particular, in the past five years.
At this time there is no universal service requirement for broadband in the UK, let alone superfast broadband.
However Dorset is set to be one of the best connected counties in the country by the end of 2017 and although this does not mean 100% coverage, DCC is working hard to secure additional resources to get closer to that mark.


However we know that this is of little immediate help to those in the remaining 3-5%, so Superfast Dorset has launched a satellite scheme for premises that won’t get a superfast service in the foreseeable future and can currently receive only very slow speeds.

The scheme is designed to fulfil Superfast Dorset’s commitments to a universal basic broadband service of 2Mbps. DCC offers a subsidy towards the installation of a satellite broadband connection.
In order to be eligible for the scheme, applicants must own the property they are applying for, not be in plans to gain access to fibre broadband through the Superfast Dorset programme and only able to receive broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps.
Any property that can see the southern sky can get a satellite broadband connection.
This will require a dish on or near the property which can deliver speeds up to around 20Mbps and may cost about £25 per month.
This scheme will help subsidise the one-off installation fee of the dish.


Satellite connections are not suitable for time-critical activity such as online gaming, but are fine for most internet use.
Most satellite providers will allow account holders to swap to fibre broadband if it becomes available, with no cancellation charge.



Council Tax Settlement

Dorset County Council has welcomed the announcement of the local government finance settlement by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark.

The news follows the Government’s consultation with councils on the provisional settlement, which was published in December.
This changed the way funding is shared between cities and counties and would have left Dorset needing to save an extra £7.4m on top of the £13m already planned in the coming year.
The transitional support and extra grant for rural authorities


announced by Mr Clark in the House of Commons will see the £7.4m of extra cuts in 2016/17 reduced to £3.3m.
The council will receive a further £3.5m of support in 2017/18 and £2.1m in 2018/19, which means it will not receive ‘negative’ grants in the next two years as feared, which would have seen it having to pay money back from its business rates.


Even with this additional support our financial position remains very challenging.
We still need to make the planned savings and more to set a balanced budget, which will impact on the way we deliver services.

 

May 2016 Report

Wool 103 Bus Service

Dorset Community Transport has announced that they will be offering a bookable bus service as an alternative to the recently-withdrawn Damory Service 103 (Wednesday-only Dorchester market bus).
This will be what is known as a demand responsive service for service 103 although I am uncertain as to how it will be booked.
I hope to have that detail next month.
The times are as follows


0930 Bovington
0940 Wool
1000 Lulworth Cove
1045 Dorchester

Return at 1315 following outward route as the 103.

Syrian Refugee crisis

I have had a number of people asking me about Dorset's response to the refugee crisis, including our MPs. We are holding a multi-agency meeting in May including all of our district/borough housing authorities.
We will need to understand the funding position from Central Government but we are committed to help where we can.


Broadband

The majority of the work planned by the Superfast Dorset team in Purbeck has now been completed.
Fibre broadband is now widely available throughout Winfrith Newburgh, Lulworth, Wool, Wareham, Corfe Castle, Swanage, Lytchett Minster and Bere Regis.
Faster, more reliable broadband has recently become available in Studland for the first time.
This year, there are plans to extend the coverage in Bovington Camp and also bring superfast broadband to Worth Matravers and Morden.
Next year, communities which stand to benefit include Bloxworth and Church Knowle.
With better broadband more widely available than ever, now is the time to encourage residents and businesses to check with their provider what is available at their property.
If you would like to receive a pack of leaflets and posters to distribute in your area, please contact the team at superfast@dorsetcc.gov.uk


For those suffering with the poorest speeds that aren’t in our current plans, support is available via the Basic Broadband Subsidy Scheme, which offers a subsidy towards the installation costs of either a wireless or satellite broadband connection.
The latest information about the Superfast Dorset programme is available at www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast
The Broadband partnership has been successful in securing £2m of SW Ultrafast Broadband funding to deliver Ultrafast (min 100mb) to four of the county’s strategic employment sites, including Dorset Green.
This is being match-funded by a £2m grant from the LEP utilising its growing places fund (normally restricted to use for loan purposes).

June 2016 Report

New Wool to Dorchester Market Bus

The Dorchester Market Bus is available to anyone unable to access public transport easily.
It is not restricted to the elderly or those with limited mobility.
To use the bus, simply register your details with DCT initially and then pre-book your seat whenever you wish to join the bus.
Where possible, DCT can offer a “door-to-door” service and can also accommodate passengers travelling in wheelchairs.


Dorset Community Transport registration and booking hotline:

01258 287 980 (line open from 9:30am to 2:30pm, Mon-Fri) or email here


The fare for the return trip to Dorchester is £5.
Please note that concessionary-fare bus passes are not valid on this service.
The Dorchester Market Bus runs Wednesdays at these times:


Bovington *0930 Return bus leaves

Wool *0940 Dorchester Trinity St

Lulworth *1000 at 1315

Dorchester arrive *1045

*times are approximate

The route will be similar to former service 103, serving these communities (according to demand): Bovington, Wool, Coombe Keynes, East Lulworth, West Lulworth, Winfrith, Owermoigne, Warmwell, Woodsford and West Stafford.
If you use this please let me know how you get on.


Unitary et al

On 18 April, East Dorset District Council reversed their previous decision and agreed to take part in the discussions about the possible creation of unitary local authorities in Dorset.
Local Partnerships (an arm of Government) are now including East Dorset’s information in their assessment of the financial implication of such a reorganisation.
The financial assessment was reported to Leaders of al Dorset Councils in the middle of June.
A working group of officers across all Councils has been established to oversee the procurement of consultation specialists.
A specification has been prepared and Chief Executives appointed a company to undertake the consultation at the beginning of June.
Consultation will run from the sometime in August for six weeks.
However, timings may need to be reviewed in order to ensure that Councillors from all Councils have an opportunity to comment on the proposed consultation arrangements prior to them being finalised.
If all Dorset Councils agree to implement the local government reorganisation, it remains on target for the new Councils to take over on 1 April 2019.
Elections to the new Councils would take place in May 2019. More next month.


Partial Review for Purbeck

An important public consultation on future housing development is taking place in Purbeck from June and to 12th August.
The consultation is part of a partial review of the Purbeck District Local Plan Part 1, which was adopted by the Council in 2012.
The review is a requirement of an independent planning inspector.
Legislation requires councils to prepare a local development plan (Local Plan) to shape future development and the use of land in their area by guiding development and determining planning applications.
The Council commenced the review of the Local Plan Part 1 with a public consultation in early 2015.
The public consultation highlighted the key issues and options for the Council when planning for future development.


This summer’s consultation sets out a possible strategy for allowing future development whilst attempting to protect Purbeck’s natural environment.

One of the major issues the Partial Review needs to address is the potential for additional housing growth over and above that identified in the Purbeck Local Plan Part 1.
The Eastern Dorset Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) was published in December 2015 identified a need for an additional 238 homes per year in Purbeck over the period 2013 to 2033.


Based on these findings, the Council would need to provide for approximately 3,080 additional homes (over and above the 2,520 already identified in the Purbeck Local Plan Part 1).

With continued added pressure on the District to provide for future growth, we need to ensure the Plan remains up-to-date to avoid developer led planning with little control from Councils.
This potential option approach has been developed to reflect as far as possible the feedback the Council received from the 2015 consultation about locating development in the most sustainable settlements; the desire to spread development as much as possible; and the desire to achieve infrastructure, such as schools and highways improvements, alongside homes.”


This consultation gives everyone the opportunity to have their say on future development in the District.
I urge everyone, irrespective of your views, to respond. Please take the time to respond to the consultation.
Without an approved up-to-date plan, the Council would have potentially little control over where, when and what development would take place in the District.
Planning affects many aspects of everyone’s lives and it is important that the Council gets the balance right.
The consultation starts on Thursday 9 June and will run until 4pm on 12th August.
Households in Purbeck should have received a leaflet detailing events taking place around the district.
The full consultation material (including details of how to respond) are be available online here.


Paper copies of the consultation document can be obtained by telephoning the Council on 01929 556561.
Printing and postage costs of approximately £10 will apply for the consultation document.
Paper copies will also be available to view at libraries around the district.

July 2016 Report

Dorset Waste Partnership

The post of Director of the Waste Partnership has been advertised and a new person appointed who has taken over from the current post holder who stepped down recently.

How much is Dorset’s special environment worth?

The Local Nature Partnership held a forum at Poole Lighthouse recently.
The Dorset Environmental Economy Report was launched which estimated that Dorset’s outstanding environment is worth an estimated £1.5 billion a year to its economy.
The Dorset Environmental Economy report was commissioned by Dorset County Council and its partners to help drive future growth and influence decision-making.
A team of experts, led by consultants Ash Futures, used a number of ways to measure the size of Dorset’s ‘environmental economy’, including specific studies of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (WHS) and Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The central estimate suggests that it supports around 30,000 jobs in Dorset and makes up 8 to 10 per cent of its total economy – roughly the same size as manufacturing (although there is some overlap) in particular, it estimates the Jurassic Coast (part of which is in East Devon) and Dorset AONB influence around £111m and £65m of economic output, respectively.


Library Service

Dorset County Council has voted to maintain one home mobile library service van and withdraw three mobile library service vans.
This decision follows a consultation with library users and local town and parish councils to look at alternative ways to access the library service.
People who are unable to access a library due to a disability or frailty will continue to have access to books, and other reading material delivered to their homes through a partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS).
The council are also encouraging community transport to help people have access to libraries.
We will continue to take the home mobile library service van to residential homes.
The consultation identified that social isolation is a concern for some people and the council’s Partnership for Older People Programme (POPP) community development team has started working with communities to address the social aspect that the mobile library currently serves.
Dorset’s library service has joined the “LibrariesWest” consortium which means customers will be able to access libraries, ‘coast to coast’ from the Bristol Channel to the south coast.
In some parts of Dorset the nearest library is in Somerset, and being part of the consortium means they can still access library services.



August 2016 Report

Ward Walkabout

In July I and a number of Parish Councillors for every Parish in my ward visited over 100 reported highway related problems.
These have now been logged and are all being followed up to see what if anything can be done about them.
I will report back on results later.


Unitary Update

There will be a series of drop in events throughout the County to publicise the options currently being considered to reorganise the structure of Local Government in Dorset.
Please do along and let the organisers know your views.


21/09 Wednesday Swanage Co-op, Springfield Road 2pm-6pm Purbeck

22/09 Thursday Wool D'urberville Hall, Colliers Lane 9.30am-12.00pm Purbeck

15/10 Saturday Wareham Sainsbury's, South Street 10am-2pm Purbeck

19/10 Wednesday Upton Community Hall, Blandford Rd 10am-2pm Purbeck

Grants

Dorset County Council has invested in a number of online tools and support for Dorset's communities to access; in addition to the strategic grants to a series of infrastructure support organisations.
These are now available within the Support for Voluntary and Community Organisations pages on Dorset for you.


I would like to draw your particular attention to the Dorset Fundfinder tool as this will enable community groups to search (at no charge) for current open grant funds to maximise their chances of obtaining future external funding.

If you have any queries please feel free to contact the Officer named below.

Laura Cornette
T. 01305 224306
W. Dorset County Council Community Fund


September 2016 Report

Buses

A revised Bus service has been implemented in Bere Regis, Bloxworth and Briantspuddle and whilst the frequency of buses has remained the same, the timings have changed slightly and there is now one bus that additionally starts and finishes in Blandford.
The Bus Company has still not put the new timetables up when I last looked at the bus stops so I wrapped one round some of them and I am pushing them to do this for all Bus Stops.


The Bus Service from Wool that is run by Dorset Community Transport is likely to revert to Damory in October which will mean that concessionary passes will be able to be used again.

Unitary Update

There is still time for you to respond to the web site on this critical subject.
The consultation formally started at the end of August and will end on 25 October.
We are encouraging residents and stakeholders to complete the consultation questionnaire, which is available along with further information, at reshapingyourcouncils.uk .
Paper copies are also available in local libraries.


Cycling Events

Following the disruption caused by the Ironman event in September I will be having a meeting with Officers to review these events and to see whether they need to lock down part of Purbeck for, primarily, the benefit of Weymouth.

Safeguarding Children

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and if you have any concerns about the safety of a child or young person this should be reported immediately. This doesn’t just apply in the workplace but also at home or in the community.
If you see something say something.
To spot the signs of child abuse or neglect, look for changes in:


• Appearance – such as frequent unexplained injuries, consistently poor hygiene, matted hair, unexplained gifts, or a parent regularly collecting children from school when drunk

• Behaviour - such as demanding or aggressive behaviour, frequent lateness or absence from school, avoiding their own family, misusing drugs or alcohol, or being constantly tired

• Communication – such as sexual or aggressive language, self-harming, becoming secretive and reluctant to share information or being overly obedient

Dorset County Council Children’s Services is launching a single point of contact for any new referrals or safeguarding concerns you may have about a child or young person.
From 5 September, the only number you will need is 01202 228866.
This change is in anticipation of the launch of a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) next spring.
To discuss concerns about a child who is already known to social care teams, contact their allocated social care team or social worker as usual.
If you are unsure if you should make a referral or want to discuss a matter in confidence then please contact Becks Kirk who is the Purbeck District Council lead for Children’s Safeguarding.
For more information about safeguarding children, contact: Rebecca Kirk – General Manager, Public Health & Housing 01929 557268.


October 2016 Report

County Council Elections 2017

There has been speculation that the County Council elections due in May 2017 would be postponed until 2019 when the proposed new unitary form of local government (whatever the form) would take effect.
The suggestion was that it would make sense to postpone the election to coincide with the new format and not have Councillors for just a two year period.
However sense has prevailed and we will be having an election albeit only for a two year period.
The ward will be the new ward of North West Purbeck as introduced by parliament to equalise the number of constituents in each division.
We will be losing Wool and East Burton whilst gaining Lytchett Matravers, East Holme and East Stoke.


Unitary Update

The consultation on the proposals to go to a unitary form of local government ended on October 25th and we should hear about the results by early December.

The timetable thereafter is:


1st December 2016 - Leaders and Chief Executives of all Dorset Councils receive presentations of draft findings from the consultation and case for change

23rd December 2016 - Each council to issue the final reports to Councillors

The council meeting is as follows: 31st January - Purbeck District Council - 7pm - Wesport House, Wareham

This meeting and others for the other Councils will decide whether to go into the new unitary format.
It is open to the public


Triathlon

We will be holding a review into the Weymouth triathlon event held in September which sadly paralysed many of Purbeck’s roads.
We will be asking the organisers to explain the poor marshalling and incomplete signage as well as the resultant traffic gridlock on the day.
Whilst the event brings much needed tourism into Weymouth we remain to be convinced that it does the same for Purbeck and will be asking the organisers to produce an economic business case to demonstrate the value to Purbeck.
This will need to be to our satisfaction for me to recommend to Officers that it should be allowed to run again next year without very significant changes.
If you have any experience of the event, good or bad, please email me or write to me at County Hall with your comments.
The review will be held late November or early December.



November 2016 Report

Community Transport Grant

Dorset County Council are offering grants of up to £5000 to support communities who want to set up their own transport scheme.
Grants are also available to existing schemes.
The Community Transport Grant will fund costs associated with starting up and operating a scheme.
These include vehicle purchase costs, IT software that supports effective operation, marketing of schemes and training of staff or volunteers.
The grant is a match funding grant, and applicants will need to demonstrate a clear outcome and show that at least 50 per cent of costs are met from other sources.


More details are available on the Community Transport Grant application form.
You can request an application form by e-mail here, or by post: Community Transport Grant, Dorset Travel, Environment & Economy Directorate, Dorset County Council, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ.
The deadline for submission of applications is Friday 13 January 2017


The funding will be released in February 2017

Ironman ‘Call to account’

Dorset County Council is to hold a special meeting to look into concerns about traffic management during the recent IRONMAN triathlon – and is inviting local people to take part.
The IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth event took place on 11 September across south and central Dorset. Competitors and spectators largely viewed it as a success. However, many people contacted the county council – Dorset’s highway authority – about delays and confusion on local roads due to problems with signage, stewarding and information.
The council’s Audit and Governance Committee will hold a ‘call to account’ meeting on Wednesday 7 December to investigate what happened and recommend ways to avoid problems with similar events in the future.
The committee will look at a range of evidence, including complaints received immediately following the event.
It is also inviting local residents, businesses and groups who would like to give their views as part of the inquiry, either in person or in writing, to get in touch.


Organisers IRONMAN UK, the county council and other agencies recently held a joint ‘wash-up’ meeting to learn lessons about this year’s event. The organisers have since announced plans for a scaled-down IRONMAN 70.3 race in Dorset in 2017.
The call to account will be a formal opportunity for councillors to investigate and address these issues on behalf of the public.



December 2016 Report

Buses consultation

The concessionary travel scheme currently provides the national statutory minimum provision of free travel between 0930 and 2300 on Monday to Friday and at all times on weekends and public holidays.
The scheme currently also allows free concessionary travel before 0930 on services where the next bus is not until after 1030.
Free all day travel is available for blind and partially sighted pass holders.
Dorset Travel proposes the removal of free travel before 0930 on routes that have no other services until after 1030.


Dorset County Council is consulting a wide range of people about the proposals above.
They want to hear your views and want to know how these changes could affect you.
The results of this consultation will help them to decide the next steps.


The consultation runs for six weeks from 1 December until 13 January.
The results of the consultation, the Cabinet decision and any implementation information will be published on the web-page above.
Any changes to the concessionary pass scheme will be implemented in the Spring of 2017.


I urge you to object to this, this objection has been supported by all the Parishes in my ward.
It will save a small amount whilst inconveniencing many people.
I also suspect that Bus companies may change their timetables to disadvantage some bus users as this will make them more revenue!


Ironman ‘Call to account’

We held a meeting in December to review the recent Ironman event.
The organisers appeared to finally accept that the provision of marshals and the organisation of road closures left much to be desired.
We will be producing a hard hitting report with recommendations for the organisers to do it properly next time!
These will be published in the next report.


Highways Issues


If you encounter a pot hole or some other issue the quickest way to report Highways issues is to go on-line.
This is a simple process which gives you a reference number and reports progress along the way.