Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report



An application for the development by Fry's was delivered to the Council immediately prior to the January meeting.

This is a revised presentation and consists of a great deal of reading.

Thus the Chairman suggested that any discussion on this be withheld until the February meeting when the package would have been seen by all Councillors.

In the meantime the Council advise all those who have a concern about the development to write to the District Council with their concerns.

The other planning matters that were before the Council - that for the replacement Hyde House and for the Doctors to have a portable office in their car park - went through without any objections.

The Council has been offered a grant of £500 towards the eastern extension of the Board Walk which will include a ramp to enable less able persons to get onto and enjoy the walk.

The Local Planning Inquiry, scheduled for May, is likely to be postponed until September/October as the sustainable traffic plan for the area is not yet ready.

The District Planners are experiencing great difficulty with the problem of the A351 and until that is resolved the final location of the 1400 houses at Holton Heath or elsewhere in the District can not be established.

The County Councillor spoke of the reorganisation that has gone.

The Government has given Dorset an improved settlement this year so it is planned to maintain the Education budget and reduce other budgets by 1.25%. Thus the County element of the Council Tax should be an increase of 6%

The Parish Budget for next year was the main subject for debate at this meeting and the budget reflects the forward planning for a new Village Hall by providing for the likely expenses to be met.

This is an ongoing activity so it is anticipated that future budgets will include similar charges so that a reasonable figure can be achieved. Otherwise the budget has included the usual items that we are required to cover.

The Chairman has received a number of cards and letters from the recipients of the Millennium Mugs.

They were all expressing their gratitude to the Council for their gifts and the Chairman was very happy to receive them.

The distribution of the gifts was completed in the first few days of the new millennium.

There are now a number to sell which are available at the Post Office or from me at 15 North Street - cost £3.00 each.

The Christmas Trees brightened up the Village at the festive season and the Council is grateful for the donations made towards them.

As reported in the last month's magazine it is regretted that the present team of illuminators has decided to discontinue the task. Could any persons who feel that they would like to continue the task come forward in time for next year.

The trouble has been the lack of numbers and so it has been an onerous task for two or three people.

If we could get more help it would not be such a long task.

It would be a shame to lose something which has become established in recent years.

Perhaps interested persons could let any Councillor know.


The February meeting could have been expected to attract a crowded public gallery as the Fry Planning Application was to be discussed.

The Council decided to oppose the application on the same grounds as before - density and premature application considering the Local Plan Inquiry date.

It is understood that the PDC planners have put off discussing the scheme until further reports from the Developer have been received.

Additionally the Council objected to the proposed positioning of the Village Hall at the top end of North Street. Parishioners are advised to write to the PDC if they have any comments on the proposed scheme.

The subject of Public Toilets was discussed particularly with respect to the still existing direction signs.

It was decided to advise the PDC, that having closed the toilets, that it was essential to remove the signs.

A number of potential users of the toilets had been misled by the signs and were `caught short'.

The one Parishioner in attendance spoke eloquently on the problem of dog fouling in the village, particularly on the Sports Ground. Owners of dogs will be prosecuted if their dog is caught fouling paths etc.

The Council remind all concerned of the health hazards, particularly to small children, of this effluent.

Fly tipping, though not so hazardous is also a problem within the Parish.

If there is a need to dispose of something then it should be taken to the Household Waste site. If that is a problem then contact the PDC.

A very successful meeting with the Youth was held early in February.

The Parish Council values this link to enable it to understand the needs of the young people and to hope that by so talking that vandalism can be eliminated.

Certainly the ideas which were forthcoming presented the Council with some deep thoughts and help in future planning.

The subject of Christmas Lights was brought up and discussed.

The Parish is reminded that the trees are provided by the Parish Council to the places that have agreed to have them.

The lights themselves are provided by the occupant.

On the given day the team prepare the trees and place the lights, the occupant connects the lights to the supply.

Then on a given day the reverse happens.

The present team has decided that they no longer wish to be responsible and so the Council is seeking another team of volunteers.

Anybody who would like to see this festive feature in the village continue and is prepared to assist is asked to contact any Parish Councillor.

The Millennium Mugs are still available for sale at £3.00 each from either the Post Office or myself at 15 North Street.

They will also go very well with an Easter Egg next month!

The Blood Bank held in January was the most successful that we have hosted with 122 donors coming forward and over 100 units of blood being sent off.

Thank you to all who supported this splendid effort and apologies for the long waits experienced by all to give their precious gift.

The Committee was extremely pleased that the Pantomime was so successful.

The BRATS had certainly worked very hard to achieve what all thought to be a brilliant production.

The AGM of the Hall Committee is to be held in the Hall on Tuesday l lth April at 7.OOpm.

All Parishioners are welcome to attend.







The March meeting was the Annual Parish Meeting at which the past year was reviewed by the Chairman, Mr Lionel Street.

In his report he mentioned the efforts to reduce the traffic speed through the village from Southbrook to Rye Hill with particular reference to the length by the School.

This will be brought up again.

The Council had commissioned an improvement in the form of a ramp to the Board Walk that will enable the elderly and the disabled to make use of this facility.

The condition of the Cemetery was much improved since Mr Mooney had taken on the maintenance contract which reflects the interest of a local person with interest in the work.

The County Council was well advanced with the road improvements at Woodbury Cross which the Council had requested some years ago.

The Parish Council had recorded its objection to the Local Plan.

The Chairman regretted the decision by the District Council to close the public toilets but acknowledged the problems that had caused this decision.

He reported that the Parish had suggested that the toilets be demolished and the site used to re-site the re-cycling bank. He mentioned the progress that has been made towards the provision of a new Village Hall by the Committee that represented all groups in the village.

They had recorded a 100% objection against the District Council's proposal to site the Hall at the Recreation Ground and this had been passed on to the District Council.

The Chairman stated that a dialogue with the Youth had been initiated and it was to be hoped that this would continue in strength.

It was considered necessary to make some provisions in the future for their needs in an endeavour to cut down on the vandalism that has occurred of late.

The finances of the Parish would reflect on the changes occurring and next years Precept would be up to £11,500.

Though the Annual Meeting is the open to the Public, when they are able to make suggestions to the Council and air any criticism, it is regretted that so few Parishioners attend and take this opportunity.

One Parishioner requested that the Council provide some financial support for the Twinning Exhibition and another reported a defective street light.

After the Annual Meeting, the monthly meeting took place during which it was reported that some trees had been felled, it was suggested, to improve a view.

These days permission must be obtained before any tree is felled, unless it is in an obviously dangerous state and even then the fact must be reported to the District Council.

The Parish Council's Tree Officer is Mr Dunning who will answer any queries concerning the trees.

The Parish Council made a major decision at the meeting.

Probably it was the biggest decision for a very long time.

It was decided that the Council would purchase the field known as Souls Moor, on the north side of Egdon Close, and currently owned by the Debenham Estates.

The land had been put up for sale with other areas and this field had been looked at by the New Hall Committee with a view to the siting of the new Village Hall and Surgery.

This purchase will necessitate the Council obtaining a loan quite apart from the monies required to build the Hall.

However first things first and the purchasing procedure is now in place.

Once obtained the Village will own a sizeable open area in the middle of the Village. 

The scheme envisages both the Surgery and Hall using a common car parking space, there will be a bridge over the river by the end of the board walk and a pathway leading across to Southbrook via the two buildings.

The area to the west and along the river is an SNCI and will need to be maintained as such.

This was a very big decision by the Council but in years to come they are sure that it will be seen as the right decision as there will be this green area in the middle of the Village - perhaps it may be a Village Green.


At the April meeting it was reported that an invitation has been extended to the Chairman, Mr Lionel Street and his wife to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace later in the year. 

This is a great honour for the Village and they will be there to represent us all.

Parking in the Village was discussed in response to a Parishioner.

The particular concerns are the area around the Cross outside the Royal Oak in West Street and at the Surgery.

The Council takes the view that though `yellow lines' may solve the problem, their arrival in an otherwise `yellow lines free' zone will only encourage their extension to other parts of the Village.

Therefore the Council asks all would be parkers to do so with consideration to other users.

The Local Planning Inquiry was reported to be taking place in October this year. Watch out for the dates.

The District Council has still to decide on the Fry application, they can either decide to refuse it on the grounds that it is premature - eg - before the Inquiry, or they can postpone in order to investigate the detail further.

The acquisition of the field known as Souls Moor is or was proceeding along the slow legal lines.

Sadly we have been advised by the District Valuer that our offer for the field is some 30% above their valuation.

This does not affect us immediately but the District Auditor will be down on us with a ton of bricks next year.

The DV looks at it as a field suitable only for the grazing of cattle and horses.

We of course value it as an asset for the Community.

The struggle continues and we will not give up.

Again sadly - I do introduce that word rather a lot - another `organisation' has appeared and made an offer.

Whether it will come to anything or not we have to learn but the Council will do its utmost to secure the land.

The second Youth Meeting was held under the auspices of the Parish Council.

It was not very successful with an average age of around fifty!

However the Council takes the view that we have to do something - even talk which is all that we can do at present.

The Council does, however, include a Youth aspect in all of its plans for the future.

Of course we can not really expect the Youth to take a great deal of interest until something is seen to be done so the Council does not lose heart in the apparent lack of interest.

We know what is required and we are trying desperately to overcome the problems.

It is not just money - a different and more positive approach from the District Council would go a long way to making it all easier.

The Council has donated some money to the Twinning Art Exhibition that will be held in.

This should be a very interesting exhibition with artists from both villages showing their works.

Watch out for the date and go to see the exhibits.

Also on the receiving end of donations were the Crime Prevention Panel and the CAB.

Both were seen to be worthy of support by the Council.

The Village entered the Best Kept Village competition this year.

Unlike that large conurbation of Briantspuddle and Affpuddle who sent four representatives, our team

was but one! A forty five minute presentation was requested and ours stopped on minute forty four!

Bere Regis was presented as the best place to live in the middle of Dorset.

We await the results and if we do not do well at least we are aware of the requirements next time!


The May meeting each year is the time when the Offices of Chairman and Committees are decided.
Thus the Chairman for the coming year is Mr Lionel Street, from Hyde and the vice Chairman is Mr Laurie Fairhurst of North Street. The list of Committee representatives is displayed on the Parish Noticeboard.
In general, if you have a problem that you feel should be aired, contact any Councillor and they will bring it to the attention of the Council.

Parishioners will have noticed that there is a resurfacing task being undertaken at Woodbury Cross.
It would appear that an incorrect surface was applied to the new road junction and thus it is necessary to renew it all.

Also the same observers will probably have seen the return of the travellers along the remains of Lane End.
It appears that the gate, that was put there to prevent people camping there, was left open and in no time at all the travellers returned!
The Council has been advised that the travellers will be moving on 'shortly' to another location.

Confirmation of the application of a loan in order to purchase land for the New Hall has been received. However those Parishioners travelling to Dorchester will have observed that the notices for the sale of land have been removed.
This is not because the Council has purchased the land but because the whole area has been sold as a result of the receipt of a 'very substantial' offer.
This sad news was related to the Chronicler on the thirteenth of last month, not a Friday but it might just as well have been. Thus sadly it appears that we are without a site for the magnificent project of Village Hall, Medical Centre and Village Green.
Propositions have been put forward to the new owners and we await the possibilities of having a discussion with them.
However I have to say that we are only clinging on by a thread at this stage.


At the June meeting the Councillors discussed at some length the problems associated with the Public Toilets.
These have been closed as the District Council was fed up with meeting the maintenance costs and the repair after being vandalised.
Your Chronicler receives regular comments, about the fact that they are closed, from visitors to the Village.
It is a sad reflection upon our society today that we can not provide for the basic needs of visitors whom we, and the District Council, should welcome with open arms.
We are in the middle of a very attractive part of Dorset, we have a car park at which visitors can leave their cars whilst they go off walking or visiting the Church.
Yet the toilet is closed for the sake of a very few young vandals and some suspiciously acting males.
It would appear that as a society we need to look for a solution which does not include closing one of the few public facilities in the Village.

An item of good news came from our County Councillor who reported that there is a proposal to reduce the width of a length of the fenced off section of Lane End by ripping up the surface.
The object is to make it less possible for the travellers to pitch camp.
As reported last month we have been advised that the present travellers will be moving on shortly and the works will then be undertaken.

The Council is preparing its submission to the Local Plan Inquiry that will be held in October.

It had previously been reported that a tracked Armoured Vehicle went up West Street.
The Council in turn reported the matter to the Army at Bovington who then demanded to know the registration number of the vehicle so that they could take appropriate action.
Obviously after such a time it was not possible to acquire the number, but the lesson to be learned is that if it was to happen again then the observer needs to note the vehicle registration number as well as the date and time of the event.

Not much to report on the Village Hall, we only know that the sale of the Debenham lands around Sitterton is going ahead.

Our Council Trees Officer reported that some damage has been done to the trees down by the boardwalk.
This damage is clearly the result of youngsters trying to create something for themselves - a rough ride track.
One does not condone this behaviour but at the same time it does show that perhaps a group in the Village are not being provided for and so have taken it upon themselves to do something.
The Council is trying to find provision for these youngsters and we are not unique with this problem, but it takes time and money.
Here again the Council is caught between a District Council that gives it no support, and the youngsters.
Provision might actually in the end be a solution to the vandal problem.


At the July meeting the Council learned of the difficulties associated with the County’s attempts to move on the Travellers, encamped at Lane End.
There are major problems associated with taking legal action so the County Council is reluctant to proceed yet.
The Parish Council understands that eventually action will be taken to move these people on and to make the site inaccessible for vehicles.
However as yet there is no time scale for these intentions.
The Parish Council is therefore writing to the County Council to express their concern for the apparent lack of action in moving these people, who are causing a nuisance.
Equally any Parishioner who feels in a similar vein is invited to write to the County Council to express their thoughts.

The Local Plan Pre-Inquiry Meeting was held in Wareham at the beginning of July.
The Council observers who attended foresee problems with the main Inquiry that is due to start in October.
The Holton Heath problem, which affects the rest of the District, has not yet been resolved and needs to be before the Inquiry starts.
Also the location of the Inquiry at Kemps Hotel is very questionable as it is not large enough for attendees and parking.
Access is not good by public transport and is equally not good for the disabled.
The Council has expressed its concern by letter to the Government Regional Office, suggesting that it be delayed by six months.

The Council was delighted to receive a report from the County Councillor concerning the participation by the First School in a Millennium Celebration at Lulworth Castle.
She stressed how well the children had been in the play that they presented and that they were a real credit to their school and our Village.

By the time this is published the Chairman and Mrs Street will have enjoyed the experience of attending a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
This is an honour that is rarely bestowed on a Parish Council and our Chairman attends as the representative of the Parish.
We all hope that the sun will shine on the day!


The August meeting reflected the concern of the threat of housing to the South of the Village particularly in the vicinity of Sitterton as there were a large number of residents from that part of the Village in attendance.
As was reported in the August magazine a meeting had been arranged with the new owners of the land in that area.
The following is a shorter version of the report of that meeting.
The Council wish everybody to know of actualities rather than speculation thus the following report should be read as fact and with interest.

On Thursday 20th July the Parish Council met at the request of the new owners of the land that was recently sold by the Debenham Estate. Everyone will be aware that included in that land was the field known as Souls Moor, which the Parish Council had hoped to purchase as a site for the new Village Hall and Medical Centre.
The new owners, The Grainger Trust is based at Newcastle upon Tyne, is a Property Trust and purchase lands with a very long term of view concerning developments.
The Debenham acquisition was intended to be one of an agricultural basis.

The meeting was held at the Drax Hall and attended by seven representatives of the Council and three from The Trust.
As stated in the previous report the Council presented its thoughts on the Village Hall, Medical Centre and the linking of the two halves of the Village by footpath and new bridge over the stream.

We then listened to the Trust who explained that in the closing stages of completing the purchase of the land they had come upon the Objection to the Local Plan that had been lodged by the Debenham Estate.
This objection was to the lack of inclusion in the Local Plan of their proposal to build some houses as an extension to Egdon Close with access along a new road on the North side of Egdon Close from Southbrook.
Having found this the Trust took a longer look at the Local Plan themselves and found that there were many objections plus a number of engineering problems concerned with building the Fry scheme eg West Street and North Street developments.
From the Local Plan and the Agents they were aware of the Village Hall and Medical Centre requirements.

They then produced an outline scheme which included a joint building for the Village Hall and Medical Centre and a road across from Elder Road to join a new road from Southbrook at the end of Egdon Close, where the joint building was to be sited.
Though the principles of the Village Hall and Medical Centre being near to each other and a link established between the two halves of the Village, both of which had been Parish Council' s objectives, had been shown, the Council did not wish for a joint building or a road across from Elder Road.
These points were accepted by The Trust.
A development which involves Community Buildings has to be paid for and thus in the back of ones mind throughout the discussions was the question - how many houses?
The thought from The Trust was that about five acres in a 'bell shape' at the end of Egdon Close.
It would not extend beyond the Western end of Souls Moor and thus Sitterton would not be overwhelmed.
The Trust stated that they would envisage planting trees and creating heathland to the South of this development to act as a buffer to the SSI along the top of Black Hill.

The Council Members took the view that what was proposed offered an alternative to the Fry scheme which was being imposed upon the Village.
Though strongly opposed the objectors to the Fry proposals were offering no alternative apart from total opposition.
The Grainger scheme was an alternative which also took into account the requirements of the Parish Council.
The only problem was to overcome the proposal in the Local plan whereby there was to be no development at this stage South of the stream.

The holistic view adopted by The Grainger Trust was thought by Councillors to be a welcome attitude towards the overall planning in the Village.
Certainly the District Council had not looked at the Village in this way when they had prepared the Local Plan, their approach was one of filling in gaps that one landowner had made available.
It should also be noted that subsequent to the meeting, a representative of The Trust has suggested that a new School should be included in their scheme on this site.
Nothing has been talked of in detail.
All of this is the result of the new landowner looking at his new acquisition from outside the Village and attempting to find an answer to the question of what is best for Bere Regis and how can they help?
We now await the next step which will be their submission to the Public Inquiry using the original Debenham objection.

The meeting was addressed by Mr Bruce Paynter, the County Council Travelers liaison Officer, who spoke about the forthcoming actions to move the Travelers on from Land End.
If all goes well the site will be cleared by the end of September.
One Parishioner spoke of the appearance of ragwort in the verges and warned of the danger to pets and animals.
If seen it should be dug out and destroyed.

The Clerk asked Councillors to think of suggestions for items of expenditure for next rear.
The Budget is not decided until much later in the year but he is trying to look ahead so that decisions can be made in slow time instead of the last minute rush.
This invitation is extended to Parishioners who should put their suggestions to any councilor.

One item that is under threat for this year are the Christmas lights in the Village.
The council would like to hear from any volunteers who would be prepared to organise he placing and illumination of the trees.
The Council provide the trees, the lights are provided by the house/shop owner.

The task is to trim the trees to fit the socket, decorate the tree, place the tree in the socket and pass the lead through the adjacent window.
The tool requirements are a 'ladder, sharp tool for trimming the trunks, pliers for nipping the plastic bands and small screwdriver.
It is suggested that a team be formed to include a qualified Electrician.
If anybody is interested please contact David Gibbs who has undertaken the task for many years in the past.


The September meeting was very well attended by Parishioners from Southbrook and Rye Hill .
They were expressing their concerns about the speed of the traffic and the apparent lack of indication of the restriction.
The Council has for a very long time attempted to get improved signs on this road but the County Council, which is the responsible Authority, has invariably not agreed to our requests due to the lack of funds, or they just do not agree that a proposal - as in the case road markings - are as good as we would advocate.
There is no doubt that the present indications are not working as the traffic speed testifies and 'something' needs to be done to reduce the speed and make this length of road safer.
The Council is seeking an 'on the site' meeting with a Traffic Engineer from County Hall when all of the points raised will be put to him.

Another Parishioner requested whether there had been any further meetings with the Grainger Trust, the new owners of the Debenham lands in the Parish.
They were advised that when the Trust visited the Doctors in August, a meeting was held with the Parish Council at which it was agreed that they would present their thoughts to the Council at a meeting on 21 st September.
The Council had invited representation from the BRRAD group to that meeting.
The Trust intend to undertake a presentation to the Village in November.

The Inquiry into the Local Plan is to start as scheduled on 24th October at Kemps Hotel, East Stoke. Bere Regis items are to be heard in January. At that time there will be the objections to the plan heard from the Developers who are interested in the lands south of Bere Stream and Rye Hill plus the (and at White Lovington.
These are scheduled to be heard on 23rd January which looks like being a busy day for the Inspector.

The Council has received information concerning the Holton Heath Environmental Statement.
This statement was required to support the development at Holton Heath and Sandford as in lieu of a bypass there is a need to indicate an alternative route for traffic currently using the A351.
Without a satisfactory alternative route it is not considered suitable to build all of the 1350 dwellings in that neighbourhood.
If that number is not built in that location then there will be a need to redistribute numbers elsewhere in the District.
Thus this will be a very important part of the Inquiry and one that we should pay heed to.
In another aspect there is the risk of increased traffic on Rye Hill resulting from the diversion from the A351, particularly with Weymouth bound traffic.
This is another matter being raised with the County when they visit us.

To date nobody has come forward to volunteer to set up the Christmas Trees in the Village.
The Council are therefore offering to those residents who can display a tree on their house eg there is a suitable socket for the trunk, a free tree on the understanding that they then become responsible for decorating the tree themselves.
Trees will be delivered to "residents willing to do this at the beginning of December.
The Clerk requires to know of the number of trees to be obtained so please contact him to let him know - Jim Ruddock Tel No 556 263.


The October meeting discussed the traffic on Rye Hill in preparation of a site meeting with the DCC road engineers later this month. The matter had been raised at the previous meeting when a number of residents - outnumbering the Council! - presented their thoughts on the problems.
It is to be hoped that this busy road can be made safer by the enforcement of the 30mph speed limit.
We can but hope that improved sign posting will help.

The problem of cars dumped by the wayside is a nation­wide problem and in an endeavour to reduce the problem in Purbeck, the District council is offering to dispose of unwanted cars for the sum of £20.00.
If you wish to take advantage of this scheme you should telephone 01202 675564 and quote reference PDC/ WSR. Arrangements will then be made to collect your unwanted vehicle direct from your home.
Proof of ownership of the vehicle and personal identity such as a driving licence will need to be produced together with the fee at the time of collection.
By doing this you ensure that your old vehicle is recycled and you are doing your bit for the environment.

The Play Park maintenance was discussed as it is necessary to lay more bark chips.
It was agreed to spend just under £500 for current maintenance. If, as is quite likely, the rules concerning the Play Park and the equipment are changed to raise the standards, it is likely that over £3,000 will be needed to bring it into line with the new rules.

The Parish Council together with representatives of the New Hall Committee and BRRAD attended a presentation by The Grainger Trust, the new owners of the former Debenham land in the village, on their thoughts on the future of this land.
The vast majority of the land, it was stated, would be retained for agricultural use.
However during the purchase the Trust had found that the Debenham Estate had more than thought about the possibility of building some houses at the western end of Egdon Close and connecting these with a new road to Southbrook.
As the Local Plan has proposed that no building be permitted to the south of the stream, the Estate had lodged an Objection to be heard at the Public Inquiry that is currently being heard.

The Trust have taken up this Objection and their thoughts on this part of their land was the subject of their presentation.
As in the Debenham intentions they see about five acres of land being used for housing at the end of Egdon Close and connected to Elder Road by a roadway over a new bridge on the stream.
Knowing of the needs for a new Village Hall and Medical Centre, they have earmarked space for these in their thoughts.
For the future, but not in the lifetime of the present Planning Period, they thought that there could be further housing to the West but certainly not beyond the western end of Souls Moor.
Some of the land to the south of Sitterton has views protected by covenants so there are legal defences in place there.

It was pointed out that the Village's need for a new Hall is a reality for 2004 but that the Trust may not be able to convince the Inspector of the argument in favour of their scheme.
In this case the Trust stated that they would not be against an application to erect a new Hall on the site that we have always seen as the best site for the Hall in the Village.
In answer to a question concerning provision of a new Hall, the Trust stated that they could not undertake that but might be able to assist in the provision of services. In conclusion the majority of people attending thought that the Presentation was helpful and that the Trust had expressed an interest in the preservation of the countryside in the vicinity of their thoughts.
The Trust will be displaying their thoughts in an exhibition at The Drax Hall on Tuesday 7th November, during the afternoon and evening.


At the November meeting Mr Alan Dunning volunteered to be the SEB Liaison Officer for the village.
In the event of a power crisis the SEB will contact Mr Dunning with up to date information on the situation.
He will be the only person who the Board will respond to 'and it is from him that we will be advised of repairs and estimated reconnection etc.
It was encouraging to learn that there has been a good response to the disposal of unwanted cars.
Many have now been cleared from around the countryside and others have been taken away and not just dumped, as before.
The promised site meeting on Rye Hill occurred as promised.
The Official, from the County Council, listened sympathetically and a healthy debate ensued as we progressed from The Cross to over on the Wool side of Rye Hill.
On completion he promised to write a report for the Parish Council.
The report was considered at the Council meeting and it is anticipated that improvements will be made to the limit signs corning off the Poole Hill roundabout, improved signs on the approach to the School, a 40mph zone from the South before the turning to Turnerspuddle to give vehicles the opportunity to slow before the 30mph length and, when approved by the new legislation, consideration for 30mph reminders in the road.
The Parish Council have responded in agreement and requested the time scale for these improvements to be implemented.
The Council was saddened to learn that the Ragamuffin Play Group was having to ask for financial support.
This little group is essential in the village and deserves all the support that the village can give it.
It is housed in what is to be hoped a temporary building which itself costs money to maintain and which is currently in need of decorating. If there is anybody able to offer help the Council is certain that the Group will very happily accept it.
The Grainger Trust presentation had attracted considerable interest.
They are now presenting their scheme to the Inspector at the Local Plan Inquiry in the New Year.
The District Council's Appraisal exercise went off well.
Early indications were that over one thousand 'stickers' were produced though many were giving the same or similar messages.
It was interesting that one person thought that it would be a good idea if we could have the Mobile Library visit the village - it does every Friday, and one plea from a small child who would like the trees to be nearer!
The next stage is for all of the information to be collated and eventually produced in the form of a booklet.
The Parish Council did the last one and it is interesting to read of the plea for control of the traffic speed by the School - nothing seems to change, except that when that was written the School was outside the restricted length of road and it was changed to the present situation at that time.

It should be noted that the Council meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7.OOpm in the Drax Hall. Everybody is welcome to attend and there is a period for public discussion at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes of meetings are held at the Post Office.


The last meeting of the year the Council had to prepare itself for the next financial year and so ideas for next years Budget were aired. We had a warning that the District Council had likewise looked at their Budget for the year and concluded that they would either have to impose a large increase in the Council Tax or cut out some services currently provided. The District Council is very concerned about this so are sending out people to consult with the populace. We believe that they are coming to Bere Regis towards the end of January but the actual date has yet to be finalised. The consultation will be in the form of a Public Meeting at the Drax Hall and posters will be published to advertise the meeting.

Mr Lacey, the District Council Youth Worker, addressed the Council concerning the requirements for the 'not so young' members of our Parish. It was arranged that he address this group of young people towards the end of January. Notices will be placed concerning this meeting and it is to be hoped for a good attendance.

The Village Appraisal has taken a big step forward with the publication of the lists of ideas submitted. A meeting of those people who offered to help has been held and a Steering Group formed. Meetings are planned to be held on a regular basis and reports of progress made. The Steering Group welcomes any ideas and helpers. Contact Sue Stone on 471933.

The Local Plan Inquiry grinds on at Kemps Hotel. Our Council is to give its evidence on Thursday 18th January. The Inquiry is open to members of the public