Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 1999 Meeting

There was a very good attendance of Parishioners at the January meeting as the applications for the two proposed developments had been published in the newspapers.

However only one application, that for the Chalk Pit Farm area, had been received by the Council.

As the two applications were to be displayed for public viewing the following week and that comments from the public were invited subsequent to the viewing, the Chairman decided that that application would not be discussed at the meeting.

However a very lively open discussion took place during the `period for public participation'.

The subjects ranged over the two proposals, the thoughts on the future village hall and some current problems.

All in all it was a very valuable meeting for the Councillors.

NB. If, by the time that you are reading this, you have not submitted that particular comment in writing to the District Council about the applications, then please do so quickly - the closing date was the Ist February but I am certain that it is never too late to write.

The Council planned the Budget for next year which of course includes the Millennium celebrations. Though no specific ideas were agreed, it was decided to put some money aside to cover likely events. Likewise with the fact that the Drax Hall will not be able to be used after the year 2004, it was agreed to put aside some money as a reserve to cover possible expenses that could be incurred in negotiating for the new hall.

All together this will result in a precept on the District Council for £10,000 in the coming year and will be reflected on the Council Tax demanded by that Council.

The last occasion that we had an equivalent precept was in 1995/96 when it was over £10,000 and had been £6,000 the previous year.

We have always tried to keep the precept at or around £8,500 so this year's increase is exceptional and for two purposes which we have not had previously.

The Millennium is almost on top of us and the Council would welcome ideas as to what Parishioners would like to see done in celebration of the event.

These may be from commemorative mugs for children in education/or up to sixteen years of age; a bonfire and fireworks on Court Green or other place, or any other form of celebration.

The School Governors have reluctantly decided to close the Learners Swimming Pool at the School, due to uncontrollable leakage from the pool.

The cost of rectification by far exceeds the alternative of bussing the children to the Purbeck pool which will be done throughout the year.

The Governors are grateful to everybody who has been involved throughout the years of the pool's existence who have contributed time and money to create and maintain it.

There are many people who recall the days when it was dug out and built mainly by the parents and it was indeed one of the first major achievements of the Parent/Teacher Association.

It was a great talking point and a great target for the fund raising - remember the tea and soup we sold to the queues of cars waiting to enter the village, where it is now a dual carriageway.

Sadly the pool has had its day but not before hundreds of children in the village have learned to swim.

It was a great achievement and one that the village should be proud to recall.

One name, if I dare, that of Fred Pitfield who designed it and `oversaw the coolie labour force'.

The Governors are looking for another use of the site and would welcome ideas from any Parishioners.

February 1999 Meeting

After the Purbeck District Council's display of the two major planning applications Currently being considered, it was not surprising to see a large number of Parishioners at the February meeting.

It appears that three hundred letters from two hundred households had been received by the District Council which goes to show the interest from the village.

The Council discussed the applications and decided that they could not agree with either as currently the Local Plan has yet to be approved.

They were of the opinion that even in its present form, the Plan did not include development to the south of the Bere stream and thus the application for one hundred and fifty houses at Chalk Pit Farm should not be agreed.

In the Council's opinion the applications should be tested against the Local Plan which in itself needed to be tested at an Inquiry beforehand.

Inspector Cutter from Wareham Police, introduced himself and reported that Bere Regis was relatively free of crime currently.

Only seven crimes had been reported to date this year.

However vigilance and care was need to maintain this status.

The Council noted with gratitude the gift of tulip bulbs from Mrs Kath Jeeves.

These will be planted in the Remembrance Garden in the cemetery.

The Council decided to tidy the corner down Chapel Lane which has been subject to a legal wrangle as to ownership.

The weeds will be dealt with and it is hoped to lay some gravel on the surface.

This is an untidy corner and is the sort of site that can influence the judges in the Best Kept Village competition.

March 1999 Meeting

The atmosphere at the March meeting was definitely one of `after Lord Mayors Show' as there were no Parishioners in attendance even though it was the Annual Parish Meeting at which any Parishioner may speak and put forward their ideas for the Council to consider.

This was the scene compared to the busy meetings earlier this year when the proposed developments were mentioned.

The Annual Meeting received a report from the Chairman on the activities of the Council throughout the year.

The matter of traffic on Rye Hill was an item that had continued and the Council will try to get improvements to reduce the traffic speed.

Our suggestion to move the 30 limit sign nearer to the Poole Hill round about is not agreed with by the DCC so we are now trying to get the sign to be made more prominent - with a yellow background as one sees in other villages.

We would also like to see the limit displayed on the road surface, but these are not allowed in a built up area that has street lights! We have given examples of where these are in use but the DCC seems determined to keep the Police in business by the school!

The business of the Council this month was to consider a couple of reports to which we have responded. One concerned the new Crime and disorder Act and the other was the Purbeck District Council's Economic Development Strategy to the year 2004.

The Council was unimpressed by this `crystal ball gazing' as though we are required to take our share of future developments, there was no mention of Bere Regis throughout the document.

The crime figures for the village, normally very low, took a jolt when three cars were `attacked' during a recent Saturday night.

Like the geese that saved Rome, it would appear that one of the `attacks' was foreshortened by the waking cries of a small child!

These incidents go to show that we can not be complacent as there are people out there who want to make use of other peoples possessions.

The Village in Bloom competition - our own version of Best Kept Village - is coming around again.

The rules are quite simple - there is no need to enter as all gardens arc judged throughout the village.

The judging is undertaken by a pair of Councillors who view from the roadway.

They judge precisely what they see and do not enter the gardens.

Prizes are awarded in the Autumn and normally there is a selection of photographs to show those of us with less skills just what we ought to be trying to achieve.

Incidentally the Best Kept Village competition is also being entered this year.

The Council recorded their pleasure with the works that have been undertaken recently in the Church.

The new electrics, the cleaning and the Lime Washing all of which was undertaken by local men is most impressive.

April 1999 Meeting

At the April meeting it was stated that the Planning Application for the developments along North Street, West Street and Chalkpit Farm had been deferred for further investigation.

The Planning Committee from the District Council together with their Officers had visited the Village to have a look at the areas concerned and to get a feeling concerning the possible impact.

No Parish Councillors were invited to accompany the visitors throughout the visit.

This was before their monthly meeting at which they arrived at the deferment decision.

All of those avid readers who make use of the mobile library should be aware of the new times coming into force in May.

The library will still visit every Friday but it will alternate between mornings and afternoons.

Thus on the 21st May the visit will be from 1110 until 1255 then on the 28th May it will be from 3.35 until 5.00.

Thereafter it will continue to alternate.

We are lucky that our weekly service continues - other villages are down to fortnightly visits.

A full list of dates and times has been placed on the Village Noticeboard and in the Drax Hall.

A copy of the latest DCC ‘Out and About’ booklet has been received.

This booklet is guide to the Dorset Countryside for the less able.

Twenty five locations are described with details of how to get there and what there is to see once you are there.

A copy is held by the Pop in Place Group in the Drax Hall, from where it may be borrowed.

The Old Boys and Girl Councillors from the School remind everybody that the a re-union of pupils is being held at the School on Saturday 19th September.

This is to commemorate the seventieth anniversary since its opening.

Please let everybody know and try to attend. Bring along those old souvenirs - prizes, photographs etc and your memories.

It has all the makings of a fun day.

The Council is discussing the Millennium - who isn’t one is tempted to ask.

They are concerned that, because of the cost and possible lack of transport etc, the evening might become a ‘damp squid’.

One thought is a large ‘Street Party’ on The Cross with an impressive firework display to shoot the old thousand out and bring the new one in.

It only has to be a short burst of rockets.

Naturally one then thinks about a central bonfire etc - on Court Green?

A disco for those able to?

Food - BBQ. Bring your wellies and thermals it is December/January!

Might this get somebody talking and tell the Council what you feel that you would like to do on that evening.

May 1999 Meeting

At the May meeting each year the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen are elected.
This years Chairman is Mr Lionel Street from Hyde, and the vice Chairman is Mr Richard Griffin from Church Lane.
The Notice Board copy of Representatives has been amended accordingly.

Miss Susan Stone is the District Councillor having won the election earlier in the month. She was congratulated by the Councillors at the meeting.
She explained the new arrangements that are evolving at the District Council and that she will be a member of the Scrutiny Group.

It was with some regret that the County Council has informed the Council that they did not now consider the highlighting of the speed limit signs with a yellow background to be of any success, as they too had become familiar.
However they did agree that the sign of the limit marked on the road surface was of use and promised that when legislation was extended that we would be included on the list of places for application.
The County Council has included the extension of the limit to the top of Rye Hill in its application for changes, but we have to wait for the action to happen.

The Council had received two letters from Parishioners concerning the young persons activities around the public toilets.
One person had offered to lock them in the evening and re-open them the next day, an offer which was readily welcomed and which the Clerk will follow up.
In the meantime the Police will be asked to increase their patrols in the area of the toilets with a view to deter youngsters from misusing the area.

The Bere in Bloom competition is getting closer - the judging is towards the end of July and into August. (Note by the scribe - after my roses at the front of my cottage have finished!)
I think that I overheard one of the Judges talking of hanging baskets and flowers - perhaps a hint for potential winners.

The Council, having put out feelers as to ideas for the celebration/commemoration of the Millennium in last months report, welcomed an input by Mrs Whitfield of Stanbarrow Close who attended the Council meeting. She spoke of her desires to ensure that the event did not pass by Bere Regis.
A number of suggestions were made and the outcome was the formation of a committee, which includes three Councillors and Mrs Whitfield.
A Meeting will be called of representatives from each of the village organisations who will be asked to organise the events at the time of the Millennium.
The Clerk will be writing to each organisation inviting them to send representatives to that meeting.
As of this day no date has been arranged but that will have been fixed by the time this magazine is published.
The date will be advertised on the Notice Board.

The Village Plan has been revised/rejuvenated.
It is much the same as before and differs only in some detail. One specific detail is the stated inclusion of the Community Centre at the Sports Club site.
There is a strong feeling in the village for an alternative site more in the middle of the community.
This was apparent at the Council meeting and so it was decided to hold a meeting between the village organisations and the Parish Council at which Presentations would be made in support of the two proposals.
From this meeting it would be hoped to decide on the best location and type of Hall for the Village.-
This meeting is provisionally booked for Tuesday 29th June.
In the meantime if any individual or group has a view concerning the future Village Hall, they should send their comments on the forms available, or by letter to the District Council.
These comments are required by 30th June.
If in any doubt please do talk to your Parish Councillors and let your views be known.

Reverting to the newly produced Deposit Draft of the District Local Plan, there will be exhibitions of the proposals at which both County and District Officers will be available to answer any questions.
The exhibition will be held between 2.OOpm and 8.OOpm on the following dates at the stated locations:

Tuesday 8th June at DRA Administration Building (A 12), Holton Heath Thursday 10th June at Swanage Town Hall

Tuesday 15th June at the Masonic Hall, Wareham; and Thursday 17th June at the Parish Meeting Room, Sandford

June 1999 Meeting

With the publication of the revised Village Plan it was not unexpected that a good crowd of Parishioners attended the June meeting.
However the debate concentrated on the Planners positioning of the Health Centre at the top end of North Street.
There is considerable concern about this throughout the Village. Alternative solutions to the apparent problems that the Practice has in its present building were discussed and a suggestion that a feasibility study be conducted on locating another building at the western end of the Car Park was agreed.
This building would be in addition to the existing Centre.
A suggestion was also made that the Centre be located adjacent to the Village Hall if that was built at The Cross.
Other matters concerning the Plan that were debated were the accesses to the proposed housing areas, the lack of provision of bungalows - either private or Housing Association - that would make it easier for older residents to stay in the Village, and, the density of the proposed housing.
As all previous comments made to the District Council concerned the original Plan which has been superseded by the revised Plan, Parishioners were advised to resubmit their comments by the end of June.

The meeting opened with a presentation by Mr Walklley on a project concerning mobile cinemas.
He illustrated his talk with a video of a mobile cinema that operates in the rural areas of France.
His task at present is to visit various locations in Dorset where it is thought that a mobile cinema could visit on a regular basis.
He is preparing a report for the County Council which if they consider shows a need for this service, will result in making an application for Lottery funding.

One could not help being impressed by the technology of converting an articulated lorry unit into a 120 seat cinema with plush seating.
The Projection unit is the full size 35mm so that the same films as shown in larger cinemas could be shown.
The Council will discuss this at a later meeting, but if anybody has an opinion on such a service would they please talk to any Councillor.

The Council has been alarmed by the damage done to some of the trees that have been planted in recent years.
In some cases the bark has been removed so that the tree concerned will die this year and will have to be replaced.
In a similar vein the Councillors are very concerned about the state of the toilets at the Car Park and are asking the District Council to get them back to a reasonable and useable comfortable state.
The Council suspects that the damage to the trees and the loos is done by a thoughtless minority and is therefore asking Parishioners help in seeking out the perpetrators.

July 1999 Meeting

The July meeting was very well supported by Parishioners who expressed their concerns about the state of the Car Park area and the toilets in particular.
It was agreed that the problem lay with the young people who were seen to be using the area as a general meeting place.
They appeared to have no regard for the amenities or for the neighbourhood.
Inspector of the Wareham Police was also in attendance and asked whether or not anything could be done towards helping these young people and diverting their attention away from the public toilets and the bins.
After a long discussion it was agreed that a meeting be arranged between a special working group and the young people with a view to finding a solution to the problem.
The Working Group will report to the Parish Council at their next meeting.
As a parting shot, it was revealed at the meeting that the toilets cost £5,000 per year to maintain - that money comes from the Council Tax.

Another Parishioner expressed concern about dog fouling on the Recreation Ground.
This has been mentioned before but apparently it continues and so dog owners are expressly requested to keep dogs off the Recreation Ground and also to train their dogs not to foul public ways.
This, it is appreciated, is not easy but one has to be prepared for accidents.

The problems with Chapel Lane were expressed by another Parishioner. The Council has been trying to get the modified lane recognised as a definitive Right of Way so that its maintenance can be sorted out. The mountain of Administration be it at Dorchester or the landowner has to be witnessed to be believed. A few months ago we thought that we had got it under way, but then there were further delays. Once all of this is sorted it is intended to remove the weed trap in the middle and to restrict its use for Pedestrian only. Bicycles are not supposed to be ridden down the lane as it is dangerous to the legitimate users.

The Council called a meeting of representatives of all Village Groups on the 29th June to consider the best site and the type of Village Hall/ Community Centre for the Village.
Over sixty people attended, with two from each group.
After introductions by a Parish Councillor, the meeting heard presentations on a Village Hall on the Allotment Site at The Cross, and a Community Hall on the site of the Sports Club/RBL.
The meeting was then invited to form five groups consisting of a mixture of all Village Organisations and to discuss the propositions openly in a `brainstorming exercise'.
After over an hour a nominated person from each group presented their collected thoughts.
Interestingly no group was in favour of the Community Hall idea at the Sports Club/RBL.
All groups thought that the best site was at The Cross and four out the five thought that a multi functional Village Hall was required.
There were other very interesting points such as having the Health Centre on the same site, having a Pedestrian Crossin at Elder Road and finally, most importantly, having a continual consultation with the Village.
To this end a meeting will be called in July/August of representatives of Village Organisations to form a Committee that will be tasked to work with the Parish Council sub Committee to providing a new Village Hall.

August 1999 Meeting

A Parishioner at the August meeting remarked on the potential dangers of the junction of Blind Street on to North Street.
With vehicles parked on the western side the width of the road is restricted to one lane to cater for both directions.
Regrettably the vehicle speed in each direction often exceeds the legal limit of 30mph - it is actually faster now than before the bypass was built.
He suggested that a calming measure should be investigated in the vicinity of the Drax Hall of the type that have been so successful in West Street.
The Council accepted the suggestion and will communicate with the County Council concerning the inclusion of two humps which should restrict vehicle speed.
There were no thoughts towards restricting the parking of vehicles on the western side of the road as in itself these help the majority of drivers to take care.

The special meeting mentioned last month concerning the new village hall took place on the 4th August. Over forty village organisations were invited to send one representative each to the meeting.
Thus together with the four Parish Councillors who constitute the Parish Council sub committee we had a potential attendance of around forty five people.
In the event we got just under forty with some apologies from others, so all in all it was a successful quorum.
The meeting had to decide on the next steps eg form a committee which is tasked with providing the new village hall.
All of the organisations who were invited will be represented on the committee by one of their members and form the committee together with the Parish Council sub committee members.
Yes it is a very large committee but it is essential that the Village is aware of what is going on and each organisation has its input into the final / finest village hall.
To get the task done a smaller Working Group of ten people have been formed from the main committee. These will be the same four Parish Councillors plus six members of the committee.
These are the folk who will lead the project and their responsibilities are to the main committee.
Group Meetings will be held monthly on the last Wednesday in each month and main committee meetings held at every third Group Meetings.
Reports on happenings will be published widely.

Resulting from last months report of the problems in the Car Park area and the toilets in particular, a sub committee had had a meeting with the Police and the youngsters concerned.
Resulting from this it is hoped that some finance may become available for some provision,to be made towards facilities for these young people.
The Parish Council recognises that with the Play Park the very young children have been catered for but nothing has been provided for the older children.

The dog fouling around the village was mentioned again.
It is one thing to complain to the Council but proof of the offending dog / owner is required.
The District Council can not afford a Warden and so to be able to bring a successful prosecution it is essential to have supporting evidence eg photographs with proof of time.

The Council is concerned about the number of fly posters that appear from time to time around the Village.
It is not so much the appearance as the continual appearance after the event has long since occurred.
If organisers do use this method of advertising, then please remove them as soon as their purpose has happened.

For more years than the scribe of this column would care to know the weekly bus to Wareham has been on a Tuesday.
However Market Day in Wareham is on Thursdays and the Council is keen to know if there is a need for another bus on Thursdays.
If it can be shown to be of interest then steps will be taken to investigate it further. Let any Councillor know your thoughts on this.

The Millennium approacheth and with it the thoughts of celebration.
The Council has applied for a Grant towards the cost of a Beacon which it is hoped to light adjacent to the Cross on the night.
Using this as a focal point it is hoped to have a party on The Cross but we need a few volunteers to come forward to help run it.
We will need music, if we are to `blast' the second millennium away with a few rockets and greet the third one in, we will need a competent Rocketeer, likewise feeding the `crowd' a BBQ style feeding stall will be required.
Are there any volunteers who are prepared to come forward and perform these tasks on a night when it could be cold and wet?
If so please let me know on 471342.
Village Groups are organising events to commemorate the Millennium and in response to the Parish Council's plea for information the following have been declared.

1. Pop in Place - A concert on l lth December in the Drax Hall in aid of The Scouts Kenya 2000 Project - this will be a celebration of music and drama of the 1900's.
2. Pop in Place - are preparing a Millennium Frieze which will depict Bere Regis history and its inhabitants.
3. Kingsbere Quilters are making a full size quilt which will be raffled in aid of charities..
4. The Bere Regis Theatricals (BRATS) - A Millennium Pantomime to be performed in January.
5. Autumn Leaves - A special Millennium Party for the over 50's in January.
6. Drax Hall - A Fashion Show in aid of Millennium chairs for the Village Hall in February
7. Woodbury Hill Singers - An entertainment in aid of Millennium chairs for the Village Hall in March.
8. The Bere Regis Theatricals (BRATS) - A special play depicting the building of the Church.
To coincide with the visit in July of our French twin village.

The Council is grateful to all of the organisations who are putting on events and hope that they will receive support from all quarters in the Village.

September 1999 Meeting

The problems of the toilets were aired again at the September meeting.
There had been a special meeting with the District Council and the Police in August but sadly the District Council can see no practical solution to helping the youngsters who hang around the toilets in the evening and using it as a meeting place.
The Parish Council have put forward some ideas but these require money and the District Council holds the purse strings.
In the meantime the toilets get vandalised and the District Council spends £5000 of Council Tax each year towards their upkeep.
(Me-thinks that the money could be better directed!).

In the meantime to prevent the toilets being damaged the Parish Council is seeking any volunteers to lock them at night and to open them in the morning.
It is suggested that two people should be key holders so that holidays are covered.
If there is anybody interested would they please contact the Parish Clerk on 556 263.

The County Council Public Transport Adviser has written asking for comments on some specific alterations to the bus services in the form of additional services.
Copies of the proposals have been placed in the Turberville Court, the Cyril Wood Court, to individuals who I know are interested in the bus service and on the Parish Noticeboard.
If there is anybody else requiring a copy please let me know on 471 342.
Likewise if you have any comments on the particular changes proposed.

The Working Group of the New Hall Committee held its first monthly meeting in August.
The Chairman is Mr Guy Storey of 48 West Street.
The meeting was mainly spent discussing the various sites that are thought to be available.
The monthly meetings are held to coincide with the Parish council meetings.

The dog fouling around the village was mentioned again.
It is one thing to complain to the Council but proof of the offending dog / owner is required.
The District Council can not afford a Warren and so to be able to bring a successful prosecution it is essential to have supporting evidence eg photographs with proof of time.

October 1999 Meeting

At the October meeting the Council discussed plans for the commemoration of the Millennium.
It is hoped to have a bonfire on Court Green, the application for funding a beacon having been refused, and some fireworks to hail farewell to the second millennium and a welcome to the third.
These are both subject to confirmation as this is been written.

The Church is being floodlit at about 10.00pm on the 31st December and it has been suggested that some people might like to journey up to Woodbury or Black Hill to view the lights before returning to Court Green.
This suggestion included journeying by bike etc and that all participants be invited to wear masks and hooded capes decorated for dramatic effect with fluorescent and dayglow reflective patterns.

There will be a commemorative mug produced, exclusive to Bere Regis, which will be presented to all children living in the village between the ages of 0 and 18 or in full time education, whichever is the younger.
To assist with this project it is necessary to know the names of the young people so please assist those people who are collating this information between now and the end of the year.
There should also be sufficient mugs available for sale from the Parish Council once the distribution has been sorted out.

The Council is very concerned about the lack of facilities for youth in the Village.
A recent meeting between the youth, Police and Councils came up with some ideas.
However when put to the District Council they virtually `stone walled' these ideas much to the consternation of all concerned, particularly the Police and our Council.
We must persue this problem and it is of interest that no mention the problem is made in the local plan which is subject to a Public Inquiry next year.
As a step towards understanding the youth requirements the Council is investigating the possibility of establishing a Parish Youth Council.

The saga of the re-cycling bins continues.
The Council is trying to get them relocated but when a suggestion was made for them to be sited adjacent to the pumping station at Southbrook this was rejected by the District Council.
The Parish Council does not like the present location - in the middle of the car park and adjacent to Turberville Court, and thus they will go back to the District Council and try again to get them repositioned.

The New Hall Committee, Working Group had its second meeting in September.
A District Planning Officer was in attendance, having been invited as the sites were being discussed.
Her attendance was useful.
At the next meeting we have invited a County Council Highways Officer as again sites are being discussed, particularly the Cross.

November 1999 Meeting

It is regretted that there will not be a bonfire/beacon or fireworks to mark the Millennium.
Frankly the requirements are too severe for it to be held as a public event.
However the one unique item to commemorate the new Millennium is the gift of mugs to all young people up to the age of eighteen who are in secondary education.

Thus during November we have been trying to ensure that the names of all young people who qualify are on the list.
None of us are so perfect that we can get the list complete without a hitch so please bear with the chronicler and check that your offspring are included.
The list is available at 15 North Street - Tel 471342, the Post Office and at PIP.
Tremendous assistance has been rendered to the compilation of the list from various groups and neighbours.
However we would not wish to miss anybody who qualifies so that they do receive their `special to Bere Regis' Millennium Mug.

It has always been the intention that some mugs would be available for sale.
If you wish to purchase a mug then please let me know - again 15 North Street - Tel 471342.
Price an amazing £3.00 each - your very best millennium bargain!

The Council has been very concerned about the toilet block in the Car Park.
The Purbeck District Council has, as a policy concerning all toilets in the District, decided to reduce the numbers available.
This unfortunate state of affairs has come about as a result of the vandalism - obvious in our own block - and mis-use by inappropriate groups.
Our own toilet block is being considered for closure.

Before this policy is implemented, the Parish Council wishes to ascertain the thoughts of our parishioners, e.g. What do think about the toilets being closed?
Currently they are constantly being vandalised and used as a meeting place by both youth and older people from outside the village.
As a result they are a burden on the Council Tax.
On the plus side they provide an amenity which visitors can make use of when they use the Car Park as a starting point for walks etc.
If they were to go what about the site?
The Council has mentioned the need for more space for the Surgery and also the need to find another location for the re-cycling bins.
This topic will be discussed at the next Council meeting in December so please let the Councillors know your thoughts.
When the rains come, as they seem to like a monsoon from time to time of late, it is always happens when the road drains are blocked which results in flooding.
There is now a faster way of getting the matters resolved by the County Council and presumably the District Council.
One may call CLARENCE on a free line - 0800 23 23 23 - giving your name, the problem and its exact location.
If reporting a street lighting fault give also the lamp column number that is painted on the column.
CLARENCE is available on weekdays from 9.OOam to 5.OOpm ( 4.OOpm Fridays).
CLARENCE is a small team of specially trained operators who will make sure that your problem gets to the right person for action.

Christmas is almost here - it will be when you read this - and the Parish Council is putting up trees again. This will all happen around the first weekend of December.
If you enjoy the display please help by donating towards the trees.
Alan Dunning and David Gibbs will happily accept your offerings and pass them on to the Council.

Finally the Councillors and Clerk wish all Parishioners a very happy Christmas a prosperous New Year and a peaceful Century.
I was trying to think of a suitable adjective for the Millennium but a thousand years is a great deal of time to wish for anybody! (Just think, `arold, of the arrow in his `ead at Hastings, was not even born when the present Millennium started)

December 1999 Meeting

When you read this I hope that we will be enjoying the start to the third millennium.
The Council hopes that the young people will take joy with the mug that they have received and take care of it as a memento of the great event.
If there are still, by this time, some who have not yet received their mug then please call me on 471342.
We are hoping to get them all distributed by New Year's/ Century/ Millennium Night!

At the December meeting the Council was addressed by Wendy Cutts from Dorset Community Action. She had been invited to speak on Youth Parish Councils and a number of representatives from the youth groups in the village attended to hear her.
She suggested that possibly our problems in the village, some of which are attributed to the youth, may be overcome by involving them - the youth - in problem solving.
The youth concerned are a minority group and consider that they have no voice or representation and therefore revert to vandalism.
She suggested that so often this group are not interested in the organised groups and do not take part.

A discussion followed during which various suggestions were made concerning the needs of this group. The Parish Council has tried to initiate schemes but has been frustrated by the District Council who have not agreed with suggestions that have been submitted.
However the matter has come on further since the involvement of the Police and it is thought that the District Council might actually listen to the needs of the Parish.
However it is essential that the Parish Council presents a representative view of the needs and to this end it is intended to invite the youth of the Parish to a special open meeting at the Drax Hall on Wednesday 2nd February 2000 at 7.OOpm.
The object of this meeting are quite 'simply to set up a liaison group - Youth Parish Council - and to discuss the needs.
We understand that money can be made available to help in the setting up of this Council but to meet their needs clearly a large sum of money will be necessary.
It is foreseen that this Council' will work and be linked to the Parish Council - rather like a sub committee.

Parallel with the previous item, the subject of Village toilets was discussed.
One person had written in suggesting that they be closed because of the activities that had been observed in the vicinity.
Other suggestions were that they be pulled down to make way for the re-cycling bins and that the building be retained for the use of the youth.
The Council accepted that they be closed and would take up the other suggestions with the District Council.

The Christmas Trees have been distributed and most are up and lit.
The Council are grateful to those Parishioners who donated towards the cost of the trees and asks that if anybody else wishes to make a donation for them to contact Mr Gibbs.
The Council learned that both Mr Gibbs and Mr Eastment do not wish to continue putting the trees up next year and so will be calling for volunteers nearer the time.

The District Councillor, Miss Sue Stone, reported on the District Plan.
There is great concern at the District about the proposed housing at Holton Heath.
As is well known they have a road problem and the locals saying `no houses without a bypass'.
It seems that the alternative scheme has run into problems with SSSI's and a general objection from intended users.
In addition there appears to be problems with getting the 1300 houses into the site as again there are `things that have to be protected'.
She reported that the District Council are probably going ahead with the Local Plan as it stands and leave it to the Inspector, at the Public Inquiry in May, to sort it out.
From the Bere Regis point of view we are conscious that the County Plan envisaged developments on the arterial routes eg Holton Heath, Wool and Bere Regis.
The Council is deeply concerned with what happens if the Holton Heath scheme is lost.