Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report



During the meeting in January the Council approved a vote of thanks to Rod and Lorraine Hamilton-Brown for the efficient manner with which they operated the Post Office during the past years.

It is sad that ill health has obliged them to give up but the Council is pleased to learn that they will continue to live in the Village.

The January meeting is when the Council concerns itself with the Annual Budget.

Previously proposed figures were finalised against expectations.

There are some slight increases reflecting on the increased charges for such items as the Cemetery maintenance, the Children's Play Area, the proposed Cycling Area and the Jubilee.

The Parish Precept forms part of the Council Tax figure but the District Council and the County Council claim the majority of the sum.

The commemoration of the Jubilee of the Queen's accession was discussed.

It was decided to call a meeting of all Groups in the Parish and to form a committee.

The invitation to this meeting will request that people attending should come along with some ideas.

The date of the meeting as I write this has not been decided but letters with the date will be winging out in the coming week.

We need enthusiasm as we certainly do not want to hear people saying that Bere did nothing.

In May the local elections will be upon us.

The Parish, and the District Council seat, are up for election.

This is the chance for others to come forward and give a lead to our community.

The Government has stated its interest in local Government and in the future the powers of the Parish Council are likely to increase so that they can actually perform tasks.

If you are interested in your local community why not come forward and take part in shaping the future of our Parish.

See any Councillor for information and watch the Notice Board for details of nominations etc.

One of the biggest tasks that we have for the future is the replacement of our Village Hall.

Sadly the Drax Hall - its been there since before 1777 - does not meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act eg. disabled people can not enjoy its facilities.

It is not possible to make it suitable so we have to build a new Hall.

This is a subject that I have written about for a long time but the Act becomes applicable on the 1 st October 2004.

So time is short.

The New Hall Committee has looked at sites which they thought were suitable but regrettably others - mainly the Planners - thought otherwise.

Thus it was that the Committee approached the Scouts to see whether or not it would be possible to share the site that the Scouts have in Elder Road.

After a long period it was agreed that we should proceed which is where we are at present.

It was hoped that the Parish Council would be able to apply for Planning Approval in January, but that was not possible.

They now hope to apply in February but in the meantime the Council has undertaken a consultation exercise with the whole of the Parish.

By the time this is published all houses in the Parish will have received a letter seeking agreement, opinions etc on the principle of building a new Hall in Elder Road.

This is necessary to have when the Council seeks the Planning Approval.

Until that approval is received we are unable to start fund raising in earnest or to apply for a Lottery Grant.

Everybody's response to that letter is important so if you have not responded yet, please do so before the 7th February by letter to the Clerk at his address or in the collecting box in the Post Office.

Finally as a tail end item from the Parish Council, there is great concern about the amount of dog dirt around the Village.

Owners are requested to clear this up and also not to let their dogs run loose around the Village.

There is a dog Warden in the District and he does regular patrols around here.

The penalties for infringement can be severe.


At the February meeting a brief analysis was reported on the response to the Village Hall letter sent out in January. Seven hundred and eighty letters were delivered and seventy six responses received.

Of the responses 90.8% agreed with the principle of siting the Hall at the Scout HQ.

The major concern was to do with the car parking and the present situation in Manor Farm Road was stressed as, before the effect of the Hall, there is a parking problem around the Surgeries.

It must be assumed that the car park is full when both sides of the road are blocked with cars.

Many ideas were forthcoming and these will be put to the Committee.

Some concern was expressed about the proposed size and therefore costs both building and running.

These points will be looked at by the Council and a reply published.

The object of the exercise was to obtain an opinion of the principle of using the location so that we could take the next step in applying for Planning Approval.

As the letters were delivered so the Council had a meeting with the Planning Officers requesting their opinion.

It was pointed out that an early response was requested in view of the effect of the oncoming Disability Act.

Sadly the Planning Officers had not responded before the meeting and have still not as I write this.

One wonders how long the actual application is going to take a Committee to decide.

The Council is most grateful to the three Parishioners who moved the tree bark in the Play Park.

They were Chantal Sykes, Debbie Tibbey and Richard Miller.

Well done all of you and thank you.

Have you, the reader, ever thought of standing as a Parish Councillor?

One reads letters in the press of criticism of Councils and there was a reminder in a recent edition for the electorate to remember what Councillors had promised before the elections and therefore to cast their votes accordingly.

Obviously there is interest from individuals.

Why not come forward therefore and bring your ideas to the Council?

It would strengthen the Council if new faces would come along.

Every four years the Parish Council is elected and that day dawns on May 2nd this year.

The nominations close on 5th April.

For nomination papers apply to Mr Peter Aston at Westport House Tel 556561.

Eleven Councillors are needed and this next four years is an important period in the life of the Village.

Come along, take part and make your mark.

The District Council seat for the Parish is also being contended on the same date.

Applications for papers as in the case for Parish Councillors.

Safe Routes to School' is the subject of a meeting at the School on 20th March at 6.15pm.

The C6 - thats the Rye Hill road - will be discussed.

This is an important meeting as there is still concern about the traffic using the road past the School.

Finally even if you do not wish to stand for the Council do remember that Parish Council meetings are open to the public in general. There is a period set aside for public participation so that you can update the Councillors on your thoughts on matters and to ask about things that you wish to know about.

The Council meets on the second Thursday in each month at 7.OOpm in the Drax Hall. You will be most welcome.



The March meeting is the Annual Parish meeting when the Chairman offers his report on the Council's proceedings for the previous twelve months.

Mr Lionel Street in speaking of the tasks undertaken by the Council noted the representation at the Trigon Landfill Investigation and the Local Plan Inquiry.

He mentioned the problems of disturbances at the top end of North Street, the speed of the traffic on Rye Hill and the provision of toilets in the Village.

There was still the provision of an area for the Youth to be solved but the Council were working on this.

Looking to the future he mentioned the coming of the Wardens after April, the preparation of the Conservation Appraisal which is considered to be so important to the future of development in the village, the new Hall and the problem of locating a suitable site. Members of the public were in attendance and raised questions concerning the Army vehicles in the vicinity of the school during school hours and the potential drainage problems of the new chalets at the Dorset Golf and Country Club at Hyde.

At the close of the annual meeting the Chairman received a vote of thanks for his endeavours throughout the year.

The Council then continued with the normal monthly business when it was reported that some glass bottles had been broken in the vicinity of the children play area.

Though the glass is thought to have been cleared there is always a danger of some pieces being left and so the Council has arranged for a clearance to be made.

Parents are warned of the problem and the Council would be obliged to learn of how the glass came to be there in the first place.

I mentioned last month that in relation to the New Hall the response to the consultation letter had been overwhelmingly in support of the site in Elder Road.

However there was concern about car parking as the drawing that accompanied the letter only indicated a reduced area.

There is a minimum requirement for parking allocation where public buildings are concerned and the design will meet this requirement at the very least.

It is regrettable that the drawing had to be reduced to the A4 size and at the same time give an idea of the proposed layout.

The District Council has responded to the request to agree in principle to the site in Elder Road.

Obviously they are unable to agree until an application for planning approval has been made and discussed by the Planning Board.

However one is led to believe that the Officers are not against it.

They suggested that the building lay outside the Development Area and could be subject to being 'called in' which would delay the project further but then in a subsequent letter suggested that an application be made quickly before the Development Area is established as a result of the Local Plan Inquiry.

They also thought that we should be making a full application from the start and not an outline application. This in effect means that we have to prepare the full drawings etc requiring the use of Architects and Engineers, but more importantly money.

This matter will be discussed further by the Council in the coming months

A meeting was held during March with the Grainger Trust, the owners of Souls Moor, concerning the proposed cycle track area for the older children. The Trust will be writing to the Council with their thoughts and possible offers of assistance.

There is to be a weekly bus service from the village to the Purbeck Sports Centre on Wednesday evenings.

It is proposed to depart at 6.00pm arriving at 6.30pm. It will depart from the Centre at 7.45pm to arrive at the village at 8.15pm.

There will be a later departure from the Centre at 9.20pm to arrive in the village at 9.50pm.

More details will be known after a meeting on 21st March. This is a tremendous step in the right direction and the Council hopes that the service will meet with approval.

The Council will in April be adopting the new 'Code of Conduct' for Parish Councils.

This is a Government initiative and has to be adopted before May. By virtue of the Code all Councillors will have to declare their interests and even gifts received over the value of twenty five pounds - it will make for a cheap Christmas!

The fear is that this type of measure discourages ordinary folk from offering themselves for election as Councillors.

There is nothing wrong with it, indeed the principle is right, but in spelling out honesty it tends to put people off taking part.

Thus I repeat the plea for Parishioners to come forward as potential Councillors.

The election, if more than eleven candidates come forward, will be on Thursday 2nd May. If less than eleven come forward all will be 'elected'.

If fewer than a quorum come forward it is believed that 'Councillors' will be appointed.

The thought of having to revert to the latter state must be a cause of concern to any tight minded person as it is yet another example of how our rural life is being allowed to erode and we might see the beginning of the end of Parish Councils.

Matters affecting the Parish would then be passed on and discussed by the District without reference to the Parish.

So in conclusion a plea to any person to come forward and offer yourself for the good of your community.

The necessary papers are available from Mr Peter Aston on 556561.



At the April meeting the Council learned that of the eleven Councillors currently elected only four were prepared to continue and offer themselves for re-election.

As it is necessary to have over eleven candidates for an election it was clear that this wouldn’t occur on this occasion.

What is more with only four nominees there is not enough to form a quorum and it is necessary for the Chief Executive Officer of Purbeck District Council to appoint one person to act as a Councillor.

One of the Councillors has been recommended so all things being equal we should be able to contribute towards the Council tasks next month.

The lack of Parishioners who are prepared to come forward to serve is particularly disappointing.

From time to time the Village gets excited about some matter - particularly Developments - and a 'pressure group' forms up and makes itself known.

The matters seem to go away - in fact they never do - and the group dies down.

I should have thought that at this time with the prospect of Developments looming on the horizon, that we would have seen a very interesting election.

The Local Plan Inquiry is due to be reported during this summer.

We are aware of interest in subjects like speeding traffic, police presence, houses, Village Hall, Doctors Surgery and areas for youngsters are near to our hearts plus others but nobody cares to play their part.

There has been a Parish Council in this Village since 1894.

It has served the Parishioners extremely well in the past and it is needed for the good of the future of the Village.

The Council thanks those Councillors who are not standing again - Messrs David Gibb, Richard Griffin, Alan Dunning, Peter Fysh, Bob James and Lionel Street for their service over the years and look forward to their attendance in the 'gallery' from time to time.

Finally the Council invites interested Parishioners to offer themselves for the available places.

It would be particularly nice to see some younger members - minimum age is eighteen - and it would be very good for the Council to have some lady members.

If you are interested please pass your name on to the Clerk - Jim Ruddock on 556263.

It was interesting to see that the response to the District Council's invitation to all of the Purbeck Parish Councils to attend a meeting about a proposed bus service to the Purbeck Centre was responded to only by our Parish Council.

( this lack of interest in Parish matters is clearly not just confined to us).

It was to our advantage to attend as a totally different approach to the matter evolved.

The proposal is just the same but it is more attractive financially.

The proposal is that a bus should leave the village in the evening and travel to the Centre by way of Bloxworth - if there is any interest there.

It would return after about two hours.

The journey would be free but a charge would be made for the facilities at the Centre.

If anybody is interested would they kindly contact me so that I can take it on to another stage.

`Me' is at 15 North Street, Tel. 471 342.

The Council is deeply concerned about the facilities for the youth and even if there appears to be no progress to show, the Councillors are talking with the Grainger Trust about some land for the youngsters to use.

Finally a subject that the Council has interested itself in throughout the Consultation Period prior to the Local Plan Inquiry is still very active in their minds.

This is the Community Appraisal which actually should form part of the Inquiry Report.

Hence it is necessary to get this completed before the Inquiry Report is published.

Basically it is a statement on the state of the village at present so that any future developments can reflect on what is there today and we should not have any glaring unsatisfactory buildings in the future.

These Appraisals are undertaken from time to time and its to be hoped that they do serve a purpose.


The May meeting marks the beginning of a new Council that will last, all being well for the next four years.
There was no election for the Council as only four Parishioners offered themselves up for election out of the eleven vacancies.
The District Council have appointed Mr Laurie Fairhurst to stand so that we have a quorum of five to enable the work of the Council to proceed.
Thus there are vacancies on the Council awaiting to be filled by co-option. If you are interested, and we all hope that you are, then please let the Clerk - Jim Ruddock on 556263 know.
If you would prefer to write then please send your letter to him at 1 1 Tarrant Drive, Wareham BH20 4EP. It would be very good for the Village if some younger people offered including ladies.
Anyone over the age of eighteen is eligible.

The first task of the new Council was to appoint a Chairman and Committee members.
It was decided that until a quorum was established by co-option that an Acting Chairman be appointed and this honour fell to Tim Maunder who must be one of the youngest Chairman that this Council has had for many years.
It is to be hoped that his appointment might encourage younger persons to come forward.

The Council was addressed by Mr Tony Weatherill the Manager of the Purbeck Community Wardens.
This scheme was launched on the previous Tuesday and the writer attended to represent the Village.
We have two Wardens - Nickie Stockley and Mark Wodarek-Black - whom we share with Wool, Bovington and Bloxworfh.
Though not the Police they are here to co-operate between Parishioners, the District Council and the Police. Among their duties they will enable grafitti and abandoned cars to be removed more swiftly.
It is to be hoped that they will enable the problems around the car park and the Garage to be reduced.
Look out for their distinctive red shirt uniforms and their maroon coloured cars.
Talk to them and make them feel at home as they are here to improve our surroundings where that is found necessary.
The Wardens can be contacted on 01 929 556543 throughout the 24 hours but initially it will be by answerphone during the silent hours.

The Council is currently assisting the District Council to prepare a Conservation Appraisal as part of the Local Plan.
This will become a source of reference when future planning approval is sought.
The document concerns only the Conservation Area but clearly lands adjacent to that area will be affected by their proximity to the area.
One detail that the Council has been requested to consider is the status of the currently listed properties and also those currently not listed.
Possibly buildings that are not currently listed should be considered for listing as 'interesting properties' though not having to suffer the problems of being listed.

An exhibition of this work is being staged by the District council in the Drax Hall on Saturday 15th June.
However if any Parishioner has any thoughts on the subject of the Appraisal it would be appreciated if they contacted any Councillor.

One interesting item for planning consideration was the application to make use of the remaining land at the Townsend Business Park. The feeling was that in addition to the possible work for local people, the scheme would tidy up the area.
Thus it was agreed to by the Council with the proviso of some screening trees etc.
It just awaits the agreement of the District Planners to see this long outstanding area, which has been the subject of so many applications that never happened, tidied up.

An Award Scheme, in conjunction with the Queen's Jubilee, is being advertised on the notice board. The Council would like to hear about possible worthy recipients.

The Council met with the New Village Hall Committee to receive a briefing on the state of the project.
The one site that is being considered is that along Elder Road at the Scout HQ.
The District Council Planning Officers when they visited the site expressed concern about the effect that the new hall might have on the Flood Plain.
As a result they requested that any planning application would have to be accompanied by a report prepared by specialist engineers.
The Parish Council took the view that there was little point in going ahead with any proposal until it was ascertained that the site was not going to be turned down on the grounds of the Flood Plain.
Thus three quotations have been received for this engineering work, as are required for works costing over £1,000.
Fortunately the Council has been putting £1000 aside each year for the past three years which should cover this cost and so it was agreed to issue an order for the work to proceed.
The result of this survey will either confirm our intention to go ahead on that site or indeed require that we start again looking for an alternative site, but that is a long worn exercise.

The Dog Bins have now arrived and it is hoped to have them in position before too long.
The Noticeboards are also waiting to be positioned, the problem being obtaining the necessary permission for their siting.


The June meeting saw the new Council reinforced by the co-option of five new members so that our total rose from four to nine leaving just two vacancies.
A request for volunteers to fill these vacancies by co-option has been made.
The new Councillors that were co-opted are Mrs Jayne George, Messrs Richard Hall, Keith Foster, Roger Duncanson and Laurie Fairhurst.
They were welcomed by the Chairman and it is to be hoped that they will enjoy their experience on the Council.
A vote of thanks to the retiring Councillors was agreed unanimously.

The Council is seeking a volunteer to undertake the duties of Internal Auditor.
This rather grandiose task is simply to ensure that the procedures to be followed are being adhered to each Quarter.
It should occupy the person for twenty minutes on three occasions each year and about an hour on the fourth Quarter.
Would interested persons please contact the Clerk.
(Note: it can not be a Parish Councillor)

The June meeting commenced with a briefing by Mr Mark Sturgess from Purbeck  District Council on the exhibition that he had organised concerning the Bere Regis Conservation Area.
Despite the other events on that day - England playing Denmark in Japan - about fifty people attended the exhibition and several have taken pope on which to comment.
This is an important stage towards the finalising of the Local Plan.
The matter concerning the school bus service and its employment of double decker vehicles is being pursued further by the Council, who are aware of the parents concerns.

The writer was privileged to attend the launching of the 'Welcome Book' which has 1 been produced by the PIP Group to mark the Queen's Jubilee.
Indeed I was invited to speak in its support as the Parish Council had supported this venture both financially and in spirit. Any new people moving into the Village should now receive a copy of this splendid little book which tells the reader 'What, Where and When' things happen.
Everywhere should have one and it is to the credit of the PIP Group that we have one here in Bere Regis. It will age so it will be necessary to update and publish editions as time goes by.
I am certain that the Council will be involved in that and the . cost will be precept money well spent.

The booklet is a response to one of the major problems today - that of communications.
For all the e-mails etc it still difficult to get a message out and, about. I expect that there will be people who say that they missed the Conservation Exhibition because they were unaware that it was on - despite the posters and notes in this journal!
The Council will try to get its messages out and the promised three new notice boards should be up and about soon.

For those observant people who are equally concerned about future developments, and who may have seen Surveyors on and around the Bere Stream adjacent to the Scout Hut, they are/were indeed surveying the area on behalf of the Council.
The information that is being sought is the effect or otherwise on the floodplain of building the Village Hall at this site.
This survey has never been required previously but is required to be submitted to the District Council in support of a Planning Application if a decision is made to go ahead with the Village Hall scheme.


The July meeting saw the Council achieve its full complement of eleven Councillors.
Two new Councillors were co-opted to fill the final vacancies.
The new Councillors are Mrs J Maclntosh of 12 Turberville Road and Mr G Storey of 9 Boswells Close.
Both were welcomed to the Council by the Chairman.

The responsibilities of the Councillors were decided for the forthcoming year and are: Cemetery - Messrs T Maunder & R Hall, Environment - Mr M Munro, School Governing Board - Mr P Wharf, Parish Magazine - Mr C Maunder, Rights of Way - Mr L Fairhurst & Mrs J Maclntosh, Public Transport - Mr K Foster, Youth - Mr R Duncanson, Trees - Mr M Munro, Charities - Mrs J George, Archaeology - Mrs J Maclntosh, Crime Prevention - Messrs T Maunder & K Foster, Village Hall - Messrs C Maunder & G Storey, Play Group - Mrs J George, Site Inspections - Messrs C Maunder & M Munro, DAPTC - The Clerk. These Councillors report to the Council on their various topics each month so if Parishioners have any concerns about matters falling within these topics they are requested to speak with the Councillor concerned if possible.
Obviously if the matter is desperate speak with any of the Councillors.

The Council approved votes of thanks to all Parishioners who contributed to the recent Local Plan Inquiry and also to Mr Peter Fysh who organised a very active team to respond to the District Planners who were tasked with preparing the Conservation Appraisal. The Appraisal is now complete and is to be presented for discussion by the District Council.
If and when approved it will become a very important reference for any future development within the Conservation Area.

It was reported that the three Notice Boards and three Dog Bins were now in place.
The Notice Boards will be used to keep Parishioners advised of Parish Council matters.
A list of Councillors will be displayed on the Board.

The Police have written concerning an incident during which damage was inflicted on the toilets in the Car Park.
We had written as we understood that the matter had been reported by a resident and who had not received any response.
The Police reply stated that they could not find any trace of the original report.
Thus they have requested that the Council advise Parishioners to ensure that reports on incidents are definitely made.
It is appreciated that there are times when the police are unable to respond there and then, but if a report is made a follow-up visit is normally made later.

There is deep concern among the residents of Snow Hill concerning the Lane leading down to the Eastern end of North Street.
Four-wheel drive vehicles have been observed proceeding along the lane which is a Bridleway, and marked as such.
The police advise that this is illegal and is contrary to the Road Traffic Acts and have requested that vehicle details be forwarded to them in the event of repetition.
In the meantime the Council will be in touch with the Landowner and the Farmer concerning possible physical obstructions being sited to prevent the vehicle(s) clear passage.

The Travellers at the Picnic Area have now moved on and the area cleared gradually.
The entrance has now been reduced in width to prevent a repeat visit by the lorries and caravans etc.
Hopefully this area will be left to the enjoyment of the picnicking folk.
However just as a passing note, before it can be used there is an area of effluent that has to be got rid of - guess where that came from and there were no elephants up there!

The meeting finished with the usual 'other business' type discussions with one of the new members hoping that we, as a Council, will be able to encourage a sense of pride in the Village.
Trying to tidy up any rubbish before it takes root and is there for ever, like the weeds on the roads.
This was welcomed.

The Council would be interested to hear from anybody who would like to represent the Parish on a new Panel which is being formed in Wareham and whose aim is the reduction of crime in the area.
It is similar to the Crime Prevention Panel but is different in that there are Government funds available to do things with.
At the first meeting it was suggested that the two separate organisations should get together and that may well happen.
This plea is also directed towards the Affpuddle/Bryantspuddle areas.
If you would like to participate in the Wareham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership please turn up at the next meeting which will be on !st August at 6.30pm at Moretons Court in Wareham.
This could be a Crime Prevention Panel with teeth as the Police and all Authorities are involved.
Note that though it is called the Wareham CDRP it actually covers all of the District with the exception of Swanage and Upton.

Finally it is to the credit of the Parish that the Blood Bank was able to collect eighty three units of blood during their last visit.
The next visit is in December.


At the start of the August meeting the Council silently remembered Dick Goldie who had served on the Council for many years and was a very respected Chairman.
As was stated, his memory will live on for many years.

One of the Community Wardens was present and reported that during the previous month they had offered advice to the elderly on safety and guarding against possible criminal acts.
They had cleaned up the Play Area, the area by the Board Walk and assisted in clearing the stream.

During the period set aside for public participation, one parishioner expressed her concern about the pile of rubbish that accumulates at the top end of North Street.
She has observed animals breaking into the bags for scraps of food and it has been reported that rats have been observed in the area.
The Council will draw the attention of the Sports Club and the Royal British Legion to this problem in an endeavour to keep the area tidy.
Another Parishioner reported that the hedges down by the former Hyde Sawmills had not been cut back and as a result he was experiencing difficulty with deliveries to his business.
He also reported that the footpath from Hyde to the Warren had been blocked off in an endeavour to prevent motor cyclists using the path.
The blocking off of the path and the use by motor cyclists are both illegal and the Council will take the matter up with the County Council.

The density and speed of traffic through Southbrook and up past the school to Rye Hill was discussed at length and the Council will request that a Traffic Officer from the County Council attend a meeting to consider matters that could ease the problem.
There were suggestions made previously which were put 'on hold' and it was felt that we should pursue these further and include others as this road is currently designated to be upgraded to a 'B' road.

It was reported that there are some memorials in the Cemetery that are in a dangerous condition and could cause injury if they were induced to fall over.
Though children are not permitted to play in the Cemetery if they were injured by a collapsing memorial, the Parish Council would be liable even though the children, if playing were in the wrong,
The condition of the memorials are the responsibility of the people who placed the memorial in the first instance.
One can see so many loopholes in this and so the Council requests that parents keep their children out of the Cemetery, unless they are accompanied by an adult.
A notice to this effect will be placed by the entrance.
If any Parishioner has a memorial that falls into the category of being a potential hazard then please have it repaired.
Councillors Richard Hall and Tim Maunder form the Cemetery Committee and together with the Clerk are always available for advice.

The Council has had a long battle on its hands concerning Chapel Lane e.g. the footpath from West Street through to the Car Park. The object has been to try to )et it listed as a designated pathway.
The correspondence floated - nay drifted - between the landowners and County Hall and got nowhere.
Thus the County has suggested that we now collect evidence from the users of the path before it was diverted around the rears of Woodbury Court and Kingsbere Court.
Thus we are looking for people to state that they walked from Mr Kellaways Garage in West Street through to the Chapel or Mr Barnes Carpentry Shop as it later became.
There is a requirement to complete a form that the Clerk holds but if willing people :ire prepared to help and to let any Councillor know then the matter can be resolved and the footpath maintained.

With the completion of the Conservation Area Report and its acceptance by the District Council, the Council has decided that it is necessary to look now to the future of the Village.
Clearly the need for affordable housing is a matter that needs to be addressed as without it our next generation and our older brethren may be obliged to live away from their Village.
Thus the Council has appointed a ~committee led by Cllr. Guy Storey to draw together the needs of the Parish and to identify possible sites for an enlarged Surgery, the Village Hall, affordable housing and linking parts of the Village.

The Council is very concerned and debated the matter of 'Pride in our Village'.
From the weed strewn roundabouts at each end of the Village and through the main streets, the unusable toilets and the litter allowed to lay undisturbed, it is clear that there seems to be little evidence of a sense of pride.
The Council will be writing to the County Council to request that attention is paid to keeping the roads clear of weeds etc.
However the Council does hope that Parishioners will assist by encouraging the use of litter bins or simply taking litter home.
It may seem obvious but encouraging children and young people to be tidy conscious would assist greatly.

The Council has been well represented in a fresh organisation concerned with the prevention of crime.
With the intention of reducing crime the Government introduced the Crime and Disorder Act (1998).
This Act requires that at District level all organisations are to work together to develop and implement plans for reducing crime and disorder.
Two of our Councillors responded to the invitation to attend the first meeting to which one hundred and eighty organisations had been invited - less than twenty people attended!
Our two Councillors quickly found that by attending they were now members of the Purbeck Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and specifically in the Wareham Task Group which covers our Parish.

To put it simply this new organisation is a Crime Prevention Panel with money  and teeth.
Whereas the dedicated Crime Prevention Panel had to beg for funds from the Parish Councils, this new team has been funded from Central Government.
The Reduction Partnership involves all organisations including Education.
Our Councillors were able to stress our problems, though to be fair we are privileged to live in a relatively 'crime-free' area, and it was pleasant to see that the matters that we had raised, for example concerning our toilets, where thousands of pounds of Parishioners Council Tax have been spent to no avail, our matters were taken up by the Chairman at the second meeting and used as examples of what could be done within the meaning of the Act.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses.


At its September meeting the Council was privileged to be joined by the Member of Parliament, Mrs Annette Brooke
This was indeed a rare event though in fact she did say that she would try to attend at each Parish once a year.
Our previous incumbent came once, just before he was elected in 1997.
It was good to see her taking notes and afterwards she expressed her pleasure at hearing us debate the future of the Council housing, with particularly the possible fear of losing the local provision of housing if the stock was taken on by a Housing Association, as she was attending a meeting on this matter the next day.
This was a good example of the top and bottom tiers of Government meeting and it was sad that the tiers in between were unable to attend.

The Rye Hill traffic in the vicinity of the School was discussed at length.
There is very deep concern about the speed and density of the traffic and though the 40mph zone does seem to work the traffic speed is still too fast at the School.
The Army is equally concerned and have promised to attend our next meeting - Thursday l Oth October at 7.OOpm - and the Council has invited the DCC to send representatives from the Traffic Engineers.
Clearly something has to be done to slow the traffic and the Council is determined to get a result.

The Clerk, who is also charged with the keeping of accounts, reported that the accounts had been found by audit to be in order and were now available to be inspected by Parishioners.
Please contact the Clerk to make an appointment.
The Cemetery Committee reported that they would like to see a general tidying before the winter in much the same way as the Churchyard is undertaken.
Thus they are seeking the help of volunteers who could spare a couple of hours on weekends to cut back bushes and branches of trees.
The debris will have to be disposed of and they seek the assistance of anybody with a mulcher who might be prepared to help. Contact either Richard Hall or Tim Maunder to discuss details.

Last month it was reported that the pathway through from Hyde to The Warren had been blocked.
The tree trunk that had been placed across the path was removed by the County Council.
Also last month it was reported that rubbish was being deposited in the vicinity of the Royal British Legion and the Sports Club.
No implication was intended that this rubbish originated from these two establishments and the writer apologises for apparently implying that this was so.
It is hoped that the matter has now been resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.


The October meeting opened with a very frank discussion on the traffic problems on the C6 (Road to Wool) in particular in the vicinity of the School.
The Council had invited representation from the Army at Bovington and the County Council Roads Department to attend. Also in attendance were two Governors from the School.
The problems discussed were the clash of times, between the children entering and leaving the premises and the movements of large and also tracked vehicles, plus the speed of traffic past the School.

The Army, in their endeavours to control their vehicles, would like to erect signs indicating times that their vehicles were not to be in the vicinity.
Also they wish to limit the speeds of their vehicles to 20 mph.
They stated that though they have the signs ready for erection they are unable to place them in position because the Department of Transport disapproves of the signs.
The proposed signs are similar to those at East Stoke on the Wareham to Wool road but it transpires that these signs are equally not approved of by the DoT.
Both the Army and the DCC have been instructed to remove them but have refused so far and there is considerable correspondence floating between all parties.
The discussions involved all parties present and in conclusion the Chairman requested the Army and DCC to go away and come up with some suggestions which would resolve the problem.
One might be to reduce the traffic speed - not just the Army - to 20 mph by the School.
As was stated the 20 mph limit sign is approved of by the DoT.

The Wardens were in attendance at the meeting and reported on their happenings during the previous month.
They had clearly been in touch with the Youth involved with the encampment that had appeared on the land adjacent to Elder Road.
Clearly there is a need expressed by the youngsters for 'somewhere' to do their own thing.
Ideas were expressed and the Chairman undertook to see that some steps be taken in the right direction.
Apparently money is available to help so if we can obtain a site we should at long last be able to do something to counter that awful expression -'we've nowhere to go'.

The Council , in our previous report, requested assistance with clearing up the Cemetery trees and bushes.
A date was set that has now been changed to Sunday 27th October as it is intended to put all cuttings etc. on the School Bonfire.
(Note I realise that this will be folklore by publication date, but it might prevent all of those volunteers turning up on the following Sunday).

Christmas comes each year in December in Bere Regis and the Christmas trees go up in the first week.
The Council ~,purchases the trees for people who are prepared to put '~ them on public display - like on the walls etc.
If you would ~" like one to display please let the Clerk know. (Jim Ruddock - 556263)
The trees will be delivered to your address on the last Friday or Saturday in November and it is then up to individuals to set them up with the lights/decoration etc.
It is always lovely to see our trees and lights at Christmas and they always draw very favourable comments.


At the November meeting the Council was addressed by Inspector Angela Downer, the Wareham Police Commander.
Reassuringly she told us that we lived in one of the safest areas in the country let alone the county. for example during October there were four recorded crimes in the village.
She highlighted the problem that all communities experience and asked the Council to try to provide the Youth with 'somewhere' so that they can meet and do their own thing.
The Council is very aware of this problem and view the erection of the `shelter' along Elder Road as a message from the Youth to the community.
The Council has resisted the removal of the shelter and is determined to make a better provision in the near future. To this end the Council is investigating funds that are said to be available.
Parishioners may well ask why the Council is concentrating on this matter and the answer is that we now have a duty, as a statutory body, under; the Crime and Disorder Act.
A very powerful Section in that Act calls us to do things which will reduce crime.
Hence our need to provide a `blind eye' to the shelter and to provide somewhere for the youth to meet.
The Police Inspector was backed up by the Wardens who have established good , relations with the youth during their regular patrols around the village.

The Council has received a favourable response from ' the Grainger Trust, who own Souls Moor, to our request, to establish another crossing over the stream by the, Scout hut.
The Trust has agreed to our request to make a footpath from the new crossing to Southbrook.
This will be a permitted footpath and will have to be closed for one day each year to prevent it becoming a Right of Way.
The Council is now applying for planning approval for the footbridge and will be applying for funds under the Awards for All scheme.

The long awaited report on the flood plain area has ' been received and states that the area into which it is hoped to build the new Village Hall, is safe from flooding.
This is a valuable document that the Parish has arranged and should put a stop to the continual resistance to our proposals by the District Council.

The Cemetery 'clear up' was a great success and the area is much improved, The Council is most grateful to Richard Hall and his helpers. The debris that was removed proved to be too much to move up to the bonfire and so will be chipped.

Three items of planning were discussed. The Council did not object to the application concerning the Clay Pigeon Shooting School along the Puddletown Road or to the erection of a 'lean too' at the Heath Chapel.
With respect to the request for a mobile telephone tower between Sitterton and Black Hill, the Council noted that its exact location was not apparent on the drawings supplied and suggested that the mast in existence already on Black Hill be utilised for this additional service.

The County Council has reported that the mobile library visiting times for the coming year are unchanged from previous years.


Quite a lot has happened during the past month. We had the Purbeck District Council Officers over to explain their thoughts behind the budget that they are forming and from which the Council Tax is set.
This meeting was a follow-up to the Questionnaire that was sent out by the Council previously and we were able to hear what the respondents had reported.
Sadly only two Parishioners attended this important meeting despite it being publicised in the press and on notice boards. Fortunately two Parish Councillors attended but that was four from the Village to meet five visitors.
One wonders what will be said when the Council Tax bills drop through the doors in the spring.
One may not be able to change much but at least one was able to have a say.

However this is a facet of life it seems as one often receives comments on Council decisions after the meeting to which nobody came.
The Council meets every month on the second Tuesday at 7.OOpm and visitors, applicants and objectors to proposed planning are all welcome and are invited to speak to put their view forward.
We endeavour to have that period at the beginning of the meeting so that there is not too much hanging around, however if it so happens that we have a briefing on a particular matter which involves an outside authority, like the Army or the County Council, then we have that first.

The Government have introduced a Freedom of Information Act and the Parish Council is required to create Publication Schemes whose purpose is to be a means by which a public authority can make a significant amount of information available routinely, without waiting for someone specifically to request it.
If anybody has any questions on this - please contact the Clerk.

It has again been suggested that if there is sufficient support, public transport could be arranged on a weekly basis to the Purbeck Sports Centre. We almost got this off the ground last year but failed for a variety of reasons.
Please if you are interested contact me - 15 North Street, Tel 471342.

At the December meeting the representatives from the Army at Bovington and from County Hall were present to discuss the problem of the traffic on Rye Hill.
The Army wish to put speed limit notices for their tracked vehicles and the County Council were reporting on the flow of traffic that has recently been observed.
It may come as no surprise to learn that the rates for this minor 'C' road do not fall, far short of some more major 'A' roads.
The concern is that with Winfrith expanding that the road will be required to carry greater flows - past the school. Nothing was decided but all parties were requested by the Chairman to return with their thoughts in two months time.

Sadly yet more wanton vandalism has occurred in the Children's Play Area. Broken bottles scattered around on the bark, the toys damaged and fencing panels removed.
The damage done will be repaired but at the expense of the Council Tax.
The Play Area costs a great deal of money to maintain, let. alone repair the vandalised damage.
The Council would like to do away with the bark on the ground and replace it with a rubber surface which could cost around £5000. You can understand their reluctance when this sort of damage is occurring.