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.