At the January meeting the Council learned with regret that Miss Sue Stone had resigned from both the Council and the District Council.
Councillors paid tribute to her for her contribution to the work of both Councils and her representation of the Village throughout the six years of her service.
She was a tireless Councillor being a member of many committees but has found that it all clashed too much with her employment.
Without doubt she will be missed.
The meeting was addressed by the two Heritage Rangers for Purbeck, Messrs Dick Burt for East Purbeck and Bob Ashington for West Purbeck.
They explained their respective roles and offered any help towards the maintenance of paths and projects to preserve the environment.
The problems of the woods below the Black Hill Reservoir, where motor cycles are conflicting with the badgers and other wild life were discussed at length.
The Debenham Estate, to whom the land belongs, is to be contacted concerning the nuisance.
The Council finalised the Precept and concluded that a small rise was necessary for the coming year.
The District Council is concerned that the Council Tax will have to rise to meet the needs of their expenditure, having had a reduction of input from Central Government. In an endeavour to explain this and to get the feeling of the Parish concerning the rationalisation of facilities, the District Council is addressing a Public Meeting in the Drax Hall.
This meeting, mentioned in the January report, will have been held when this report is published.
The Local Planning Inquiry has deferred the Bere Regis section until Tuesday 27th March.
It appears that the District Council's attention has been drawn to p shortcoming on their part concerning the Conservation Area.
Quite what is necessary to be done before the Inquiry can look at Bere Regis again is uncertain.
The Council is concerned about the proposals to reduce the speed of traffic on Rye Hill being changed from what was discussed with the County Council.
Apparently there is doubt about the 40 mph buffer zone on the south side of the hill being incorporated.
The Council has not been advised officially as yet but Mrs Briggs, the County Councillor, seemed to think that these changes result from an objection that has been lodged.
At the February meeting your scribe reported that he had attended, on that day a meeting at County Hall concerning the A30/35/31 Exeter to Southampton Road.
This was a consultation meeting between the operators of the road and the various Councils along its length.
The problems discussed involved noise pollution, the dangers of crossing by foot or with a horse and I was able to speak about the routing of the Weymouth traffic.
This latter point is very important as at present the traffic is routed through to Rye Hill and on down to Wool.
The maps produced at the meeting actually indicated that the intended route into and out of Weymouth is via the Dorchester by-pass.
I was able to point out that the road signs at the two roundabouts at Bere Regis are minor indications to Weymouth, whereas at the Affpuddle junction there is a major indication to Weymouth via Dorchester.
The Council will pursue this point with the aim of getting the Weymouth traffic off the C6 over Rye Hill. Current studies of the road in our area include on-line improvements to the A31 at Winterbourne Zelston, along the length from Lion Gate to Roundhouse and on the Bere Regis to Lake Gate length.
We were very pleased to hear, from the County Council, that the same C6 and Rye Hill in particular is to receive new indications and the requested 40mph `buffer' zone at the south end of the present 30mph limit.
These we are led to believe will be those that the Parish Council discussed with the County road engineer when we met on the site. Time will show!
The Purbeck District Council, through the Heritage Committee, are launching a new look to the Annual Purbeck Aware event.
The festival will be lasting a whole month from 19th May to 17th June inclusive.
The theme is to be 'Purbeck People' which should allow us to celebrate famous past residents.
All organisations are invited to consider taking part and putting on an event which, in return, the Heritage Committee will publicise through various means including the press and a special leaflet which will be produced covering all events.
The aim is to attract visitors to the area and to our particular events.
Interested organisations are invited to contact Ruth Nicholson or Katherine Wright at the Purbeck Tourist Information Centre, Wareham. 01929 552 740.
The March meeting was the Annual Parish Meeting which, though well advertised on the Parish Noticeboard, had just two Parishioners attending.
The Chairman, Mr Lionel Street, reviewed the past year in the life of the Council.
One parishioner raised the problems associated with the foot and mouth epidemic concerning access to the countryside.
The Chairman welcomed the recently elected District Councillor, Mr P Wharf to the Council meeting.
At a later stage in the meeting Mr Wharf was elected to fill the vacancy on the Parish Council.
An observation was made concerning the litter to be seen on the sides of the roads in the Parish. A letter is to be sent to the District Council requesting that efforts be made to clear this continual nuisance.
The Council is concerned that Parish information is not easily disseminated around the Parish and thus they are looking for suitable sites for notice boards. Four possible sites have been identified eg adjacent to the School, Hyde - by the post box, Sitterton - by the bridge and Elder Road.
The Council will now investigate the possibility of siting suitable notice boards but as they are not cheap it will not be happening overnight.
The Council is concerned about the potential dangers from spring action guns and catapults that are to be seen in the hands of some young people in the Village.
The West window of the church has been damaged by a catapulted missile and a glass panel in the telephone kiosk has been damaged.
Worse damage is possible and the bearers of the guns, which at first appearance look so real, should remember that the Police have severe ways of dealing with incidents particularly where a weapon is involved.
The matter of Chapel Lane ownership and rerouting of the right of way together with a request to sort out the messy corner at Turberville Road was raised and the Clerk will write to the parties concerned.
One Councillor had recently attended a meeting of the Dorset County Council Transport Forum. The agenda concerned roads as well as public transport. It would appear that large sums of money are being made available to repair roads and to reduce potential accident spots. These are five and ten year plans! However we can look forward to
a The upgrading the C6 - Rye Hill road to Wool - being upgraded to a B classification.
This needs to be looked at advantages that can be gained by upgrading eg road markings as it is the intention to mark speed limits on A and B roads.
bThe County is looking at a cross County scheme for concessionary fares as the present District led scheme does not work fairly.
c The restriction to 50 mph on specific lengths of the A35.
d A safe route to school is to be investigated.
In addition the views of the Council concerning the Weymouth bound traffic were well aired at this meeting and a promise was made that the route signing would be looked at again.
The Council reminds Parishioners of their entitlement to make use of Postal and Proxy votes.
Whereas until recently it was necessary to. have strong reasons for using this method of voting at Local and General Elections, it is now very easy and avoids becoming disenfranchised through illness or sudden changes in plans.
The Electoral Roll is now a continually amended document and one can claim a vote immediately your new circumstances are known.
If in any doubt contact the Electoral Registration Officer at Purbeck District Council.
At the April meeting the Council fully supported the 'Bere for all' Heritage Day and decided to display some of the old records from the archives.
Such papers as the Burial Records which in former days recorded the causes of death and also the occupation of the deceased.
These will compare interestingly with the employ of the contemporary populace.
Sadly the Parish records today do not record these details as most people elect to be cremated and thus are not included in the Burial Record.
Your scribe believes that we are losing some valuable information for future generations.
Sadly one of the remaining reminders of the old Bere Regis & District Motor Services has come to an end.
The Service 312 bus to Wareham on Tuesdays has had to go as it lacked sufficient support to justify the continuation of its subsidy. The Linkrider service continues but the time in Wareham is quite short.
If anybody has a comment to make concerning this service perhaps they would contact me on 471342.
It is of interest that the Government through its Rural White Paper is making £10,000, over three years, available to enable Parish Councils to provide a specifically required transport service.
This might be in the form of a mini bus or taxi to a particular place on a regular basis for people who are denied such pleasures as visiting a town for shopping.
Details are more than a bit scant at present but will become better known in the near future and will be advertised.
The Police have equipped themselves with a mobile Advice Centre.
The whole of Dorset is covered by two such vehicles and ours, which extends from Christchurch to Bere Regis, is visiting on the 24th May.
Other Agencies are also making use of this facility so it will be rather like the old Blue Van with the added presence of the Police.
With the 'peculiar' winter behind us with all of the flooding etc, global warming is not far from our minds.
Thus we are being implored to try to recycle as much as possible.
To this end the District Council is encouraging the use of composting to reduce the amount of waste that needs to be 'land filled'. Watch out for the offer.