Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report







January 2003 Meeting

The January meeting was addressed by a resident from Hyde complaining of the activities of the Shooting School on the Puddletown Road.

The pity is that these comments were not heard when the School's application for permanent usage was heard in November when the Council decided not to oppose the application for an activity which has been active for seven years.

The Council has asked Parishioners previously for assistance in getting the legal status of Chapel Lane correct.

Older Parishioners will recall that this 'dog legged' path leading from West Street to the Car Park, once led to the old Chapel which subsequently became the carpenters shop in Mr Barnes builders yard.

When the houses were built the lane was diverted and what the Council is attempting to do now is to legalise the lane in its present form as until that is completed it is difficult to maintain.

For a start we need evidence that the lane has been in use previously.

Thus if anybody can recall using Chapel Lane to get to the old Chapel and they are prepared to sign a paper to that effect, then would they please contact the Clerk on 01 929 556263.

Parishioners walking up past the Cemetery will not have failed to notice the hedge laying that has been undertaken recently.

This splendid improvement has been undertaken by Mr John Cleave who has only recently come to live in the village.

The Parish Council recorded their gratitude at the meeting for this very impressive hand work.

At the same time they expressed their thanks to the other voluntary work being undertaken in the Cemetery.

An untidy area, in fact three untidy areas, which were discussed by the Council were the roundabouts at the entrance to the village. There is a strong opinion that they should be adopted as in the cases of the roundabouts in other places.

Initially they need weeding and the Council has requested that the County Council gives them some tender loving care.

In the meantime inquiries are being made for long term adoption of each.

If any Parishioners have any suggestions for likely adopters then please advise the Clerk.

Traffic on the C6 and in particular on Rye Hill was discussed.

Currently the Council was advised that on 5th November there were nearly 7,100 vehicle movements in the 24 hours of that day.

The maximum in one hour in the morning was 651 and in the afternoon 570.

This was November which is not the busiest of months in the year.

The Council is very concerned for the future as in the long term the Winfrith site is likely to expand to beyond its previous size when transport of personnel to and from the site was by special buses.

With so many diverse industries on the site individuals will be travelling presumably by car and many of those people the Council feels will be coming from the larger conurbation's.

Thus the Council is drawing the attention of the Planning Authorities to a potential problem in only a few years time.

The Local Plan Inquiry Report has been studied by the District Council and proposed amendments have been published.

These are now available for comment by the Council and any Parishioners.

The publication is available at libraries, in the District Office or, I am reliably advised, on the 'Web'.

By coincidence on the day that the District Council proposals were published, there was a banner headline outside Mr Seymours stating that Dorset House prices were up by 30%.

From the publication one learns that the average house price in Purbeck is £117,552 and that 60% of Purbeck households have incomes of less than £20,000.

Regrettably these details seem to have escaped the good Councillors of Purbeck in their deliberations on the Inspectors report as there are no recommendations for affordable housing in Bere Regis.

It is thus hardly any wonder that few young people can return to their home villages.

If you wish to comment you have until the end of February to do so.






February 2003 Meeting

There was a strong visitation of Parishioners at the February meeting expressing their concern on a number of topics.

One Parishioner spoke of the return of the travellers to the Picnic Area and requested that something be done.

Sadly the Parish Council can do little more than express their concern to the County Council and request that further steps be taken to protect the areas that the travellers descend on.

This will be done but as was stated, these actions take time.

Several parents of the younger children who frequent the play area expressed their concerns on the condition of the play area.

As reported previously the wood chips have been contaminated with glass from broken bottles etc.

Sadly we seem unable to prevent the older children from using the area and spoiling it for the younger children.

The play area is a constant task for repairs and maintenance and the Council budget over £1500 each year.

The Community Wardens visit the area when they are in the Village and report their observations, however the Council are unable to employ anybody to constantly clear it up.

Thus the state of the area is dependent upon the good services of the parents of children using it.

Clearly the problem is the glass and the youngsters who deposit bottles without any thought.

Nobody seems to know them or where they live but they are of our own and one day they may be the parents of young children wishing to make use of-the play area - safely.

Where, one may ask, do they learn this irresponsibility?

The Council hopes to be able to make the area safer and several ideas are being looked into.

In the meantime the Council is aware that the older children have desires for their own 'area'.

Ideas abound and it is hoped that a meeting can be set up with them - again.

The Council has learned of some money that could be applied for as schemes to reduce crime and disorder do attract some funding.

However at the end of the day it is likely that the available sums for both the play area and the older children's area will be but a fraction of the costs actually required, which leaves the balances to be raised by fund raising.

The School Governors attended the meeting to express their concerns about the traffic on Rye Hill by the school.

Some Councillors were pleased to see that the speed limits had been embossed on the road surface and that slow warnings had been included before the school.

Others thought that they were ineffective.

Sadly the County Council Roads Department had failed to remember that they had promised a return visit to the Parish Council at this meeting and the Governors were hoping to meet with them.

The DCC officers will be asked to a future meeting to discuss the plan that had been suggested by the Governors to improve the safety along this road.

Our own County Councillor advised the meeting that the problems of the Cb were being reviewed by the County Council taking into account the impact of greater traffic flows with the expansion of business at Winfrith.

For a long while Councillors have complained about the condition of the roundabouts at the entrance to the Village on both the A31 and the A35.

The feeling has been that they both require tidying up.

It has been suggested that the Council endeavour to find firms who would be prepared to sponsor a roundabout and dispense some 'tender loving care' to improve their appearance and consequently to raise the initial impression of the village.

The Council were advised of a transport scheme run by the Wareham Transport Action Group and named 'Home Hopper'.

This is a scheme based in Wareham but extends from Bere Regis to Corfe Castle and Wool to Holton Heath for people who find it difficult to use public transport.

Information on this service is available on 552586, 550268 or 556655.






March 2003 Meeting

The March meeting of the Council is the Annual Parish Meeting and is specifically advertised around the Parish as such. All Parishioners are invited to attend and to air their particular concerns.

Unusually the 2003 meeting attracted a large number and the Drax Hall was very nearly full to capacity.

At this meeting the Chairman reports on the activities of the Council throughout the previous twelve months.

People often laugh about the activities of a Parish Council as they are dealing at the grass roots end of activities, but listening to the Chairman list the number of achievements this year it is clear that the Council has been very busy.

Considering that we started the year without Councillors it is a credit that much has been achieved.

Perhaps a reflection to the Council meeting of one hundred years ago would be of interest as the Minutes for the meeting held on March 23rd 1903 record that there was not a Quorum so no decision could be made in respect of an application from Mr John Barnes, the grave digger, for an increase in salary.

The matter was resolved at the next meeting on 16th April 1903 when an offer of an increase of ten shillings (50p) per annum was made.

This was immediately accepted and actually increased the salary to Five pounds ten shillings (£5.50) per year for looking after the Cemetery.

Fortunately he received five shillings (25p) for each grave that he dug.

Back to today!

At the public participation period one Parishioner expressed concerns about the return of the Travellers to the Gallows Hill area and the Picnic Area in particular, a matter to which the Council is equally concerned but unable to act beyond seeking the assistance of the County Council. Another Parishioner expressed her concerns about the Children's Play area and reported on the activities and aims of the committee that has been formed to take care of the area.

The Council welcomed this new initiative and promised as much help as is possible to ensure that the Play area is both enjoyable and safe.

A Parishioner asked about the application by the Royal Oak for an Entertainment Licence and this provoked a wide debate on what was being requested, what had been advertised as requested and the vivid description of the proposed activities envisaged.

The matter was well aired under the control of the Chairman.

Finally another Parishioner questioned the reasons for any proposed increases in Council Tax, particularly the precept from this Parish. He noted that there were reserves in the Council account.

It was explained that the Council has to pay increasing amounts, as everybody does, for items.

The reserves are there today for items awaiting attention - we need to put aside money to keep the play area in order, we put money aside each year for the new Village Hall and we have to try to foresee what might become a problem.

As was pointed out the Budget decision resulted from several Council meetings and was deliberated slowly and carefully, it was not simply 'add five percent to last year'.

The Council considered the application by the Royal Oak for an Entertainment's Licence and debated the matter fully.

There were discrepancies between the application form and the Official Notice as published in the Press, and also with the description of the proposed activities by the Applicant.

After a careful discussion the Council resolved to defer a recommendation on the application and requested that the District Licensing Officer be requested to investigate the matter and advise the Applicant on the presentation of the application.

For a number of the years the Council has been concerned about the appearance to visitors of the entrances to the Village.

A number of organisations were approached to see whether they would be interested in sponsoring a Roundabout.

Favourable replies have been received and these have been passed to the Authorities concerned.

It is to be hoped that we may see some improvements to these Roundabouts quite soon.

The Council was advised that the overall increase in Council Tax this year will be 15.5%.

The letters advising individuals of their obligations will be arriving in the next few days.

Of this increase the Parish Council is responsible for a 5% increase.

The Council continues its concern for the traffic and speed on the C6 particularly on Rye Hill.

Residents are not impressed with the new signs.

The County Councillor is in deep discussion with the County Officers concerning the long term solutions.

The Council is attempting to establish the status of the Green Lane that extends from Snowhill to Townsend.

This has come about because a number of four wheel drive vehicles have been sighted on the lane.

Parishioners are asked to try to remember whether the lane has been used as road in the past or was it just a Bridleway?.

If anyone can help they are asked to contact the Clerk on 556263.

April 2003 Meeting

The vehicular traffic on the Green Lane from Snow Hill down to Townsend was the subject for debate at the April meeting.

This lane had been blocked off by the Estate but had been re-opened after the County Council gave instructions whilst they investigated its status.

Historical connections were quoted in support of its status as an access to the fields.

The matter is being further investigated.

The Council had been advised that the PDC Licensing Board is to hold its May meeting at The Drax Hall to hear the application for an entertainment's licence for the Royal Oak.

This meeting, which will be open to the public, will be on Tuesday 13th May at 10.00am.

Parishioners expressed concern about the wording on a notice that had appeared outside the Royal Oak during the previous week.

The recently formed Play Park Committee, reported on their meeting and on the progress to improve the existing facilities.

The Council is grateful to this Committee for working so hard to improve the play area.

Parishioners expressed their concerns about the travellers and their coming and goings at the Picnic Site and at Gallows Hill.

It appears that the ownership of the land at the Picnic Site has been in dispute since the Army own most of it but the County owned the remains of the original road.

It has now been decided that the Army should take possession of the whole site.

In turn they will clear the area and create a Picnic/Viewing Site.

It is anticipated that the Travellers will be cleared off the site in the near future.

The Council were advised that the County is seeking specified areas where Travellers may stay so that the new legislation whereby Travellers are only permitted on specific sites can be enforced.

If Travellers then park themselves on other sites they can be moved on without the need of the delaying Court actions.

The Council have been advised that the Military Traffic restriction signs for the area of road by the school should be appearing soon. They will advise a speed restriction of 20mph and of the limited times for heavy traffic to access the area.

The Council were very pleased to learn of the progress with the provision of a Youth Shelter.

A very successful meeting had been held with the Youth, the residents and the Police together with the Wardens.

Cllr Storey had prepared a design for the Shelter and the area between Elder Road and the stream and all had agreed to proceed.

An application for planning approval will be made.

Funding for this project is available from a variety of sources and Cllr Foster is to be congratulated for his efforts in finding those sources.

The Council were advised of a proposal for a Wind Farm at Winterbourne Zelston.

An exhibition has been held at Blandford and Councillors were invited to attend.

It was very encouraging to see and hear of the favourable response to the proposal from people who live closest to the sites.

May 2003 Meeting

Prior to the May meeting getting under way the Chairman, on behalf of the Council, presented Mr John Cleave with a framed series of pictures in recognition of the restoration work that he had completed during the past year.
He has not been in the village for one year yet but in that time he has transformed the hedges around the Cemetery by laying them in the traditional manner.

Being the first meeting for this Parish Council year, the Chairman and Vice Chairman were due for election.
The Council requested that the present holders of these positions continue in office to which they agreed.
Thus the Chairman for this year will be Mr Tim A Maunder with Mr Laurie Fairhurst as the Vice Chairman.

The Council discussed the reported traffic excesses along Elder Road and concluded that a survey should be requested.
There has been no report on the traffic survey that was conducted previously but the Council wishes to emphasise the fact that we are seeking to encourage pedestrians moving across the road to use the proposed 'safe route to school' and the use of the area by the older children with their shelter.
There is already the young children's play area so that all in all it is a busy road and we need to slow the traffic down.

The District Council is about to publish an Appraisal of the Conservation Area of the Village.
This is a very interesting document with plenty of photographs and illustrations and well worth a place on any Bere Regis bookshelf.
No doubt copies will be available through the District Council but no details are known at this stage.

The Council discussed the Cemetery at some length and were pleased with the overall appearance now that several trees and bushes have bee removed and the grass cut more frequently.
However the Council is concerned that young children are seen playing around the graves and climbing the fencing.
This is very dangerous so parents are requested to warn their children not to play in the Cemetery please.
Children are only permitted in the Cemetery when accompanied by an adult.

The Council is concerned about the recent incidents of crime within the District, particularly break in and removal of property.
Clearly there is a need to be aware of the dangers and to take the necessary measures to prevent it happening.
Another pleasing report was received concerning the Children's Play Area where the new Committee are really making a great influence on its condition.
All of the mums are doing their very best to make the area safe and the Council is most grateful.

For the horticulturists among my readers, you might be interested in the grass cuttings at the Cemetery.
These are available for collection for use as compost.
Please do be careful though and tidy up after you have filled your bag(s).
No costs involved but the next time you pass your favourite charity just double up on what you were going to donate.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 12th June at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

June 2003 Meeting

At the June meeting the Council expressed its concern about the seemingly lack of grass cutting throughout the Village and the approach road verges.
The Clerk is to write to the authorities to ascertain the situation.
Members were particularly worried about the weeds growing in gutters on the roadside.
In days gone by such weeds would have been removed by the manual road sweeper but our monthly visitation by the mechanical machine does not produce such good results.
Again the Clerk is writing to the authorities concerned reminding them that the gardens throughout the village are being opened in July and we certainly do not want these weeds on display!

The Council awaits the outcome of its application for planning approval for the Youth Meeting Hut.
It was hoped that a decision would have been received but nothing had as yet.
This is very upsetting for the Youth and the team behind the application as until such approval is obtained no funds can be applied for.

For some months now the Council has been seeking agreement with the County Council for the roundabouts at the entrances to the Village to be 'adopted' by local commercial organisations.
Sufficient interest in the scheme has been shown by local firms and we have been waiting for the County Council to finally `cross the tees and dot the eyes'.
Again there seems to be delay but the aim is to rid ourselves of the weed strewn roundabouts and hopefully replaced by something attractive the likes of which may be seen around Poole and Bournemouth.

The Chairman reported that he had represented the Council at the Coronation Commemoration Service at St Mary's Church in Wareham.
It was an impressive occasion with representatives from Councils far beyond Purbeck District.

Dog owners/walkers are reminded of their responsibilities concerning dog waste.
One particular area that has been brought to the Council's notice is that of Snow Hill and Boswells Close which it was suggested is a popular area for morning walks.
The Council will consider putting in a dog bin if the problem persists but these things are not cheap and require a site.

A recent meeting of the Crime Prevention Panel in Wareham learned that there is a tendency not to report what appear to be minor criminal activities.
This is to be discouraged as unless all matters are reported the Police have little data upon which to plan their strengths for the future.
The local numbers for incidents are - Wareham Police 01929 552222 and Winfrith 01929 462727.

July 2003 Meeting

At the July meeting the Council received a report from the County Council concerning the lack of grass cutting throughout the Village and the approach road verges.
Remarkably it appears to be a County wide problem that the authorities seem unprepared to tackle.
We did not receive any great promises of improvement in the future.
The matter was raised by a representative of PIP who reminded us all that their 'Open Gardens' event is on the 20th July - only ten days from our meeting.
She asked that the verges be cleared of weed if possible but we were advised that the sweeping machine is not fitted with brushes to do that task.
In the end it was suggested that volunteers might like to come forth but that they must be warned of the hazards involved. Parishioners may well ask why the Council does not employ somebody to undertake this and other tasks.
The simple answer is cost.
It not just the wage and provision of the tools etc, but, as we found out some years ago when we looked into this, there is the protective clothing, the insurance and training to be considered.
Also at the end of the day where do we find somebody prepared to do the task these days of minimum wage etc.

There is some good news concerning the roundabout on the Poole Road, it is anticipated that the concrete blocks are going to be removed and the area landscaped - in the autumn.
The plans for sponsorship are 'progressing'.

The recent spate of vandalism highlighted in time for the summer holidays by the Vicar last month, and again on the ether in mid July, was discussed by the Council.
The County Councillor has been asked to organise a meeting with the Chief Constable so that the Chairman and vice Chairman may register the dissatisfaction of the Council with the apparent lack of police presence at times of need.
The Council would like a presence on Fridays and Saturdays from 11.OOpm to 1.OOam.
The matter will, it is hoped be discussed at the Purbeck Crime and Disorder Group at their meeting in August.

The Council was advised that the Royal Oak is to appeal against their refusal for a Public Entertainment Licence. It is likely that this will be held at Wareham on - 8th August.

The Council has decided to make a planning application for the new Village Hall along Elder Road near to the Scout HQ.
A revised scheme from both the original and a previous revised scheme was presented to the Council.
Previous schemes were costed at sums far in excess of what we could expect to raise.
The architect has approached this scheme based upon a lower cost and included obvious sporting activities because currently money is being awarded towards the sports rather that Village Halls as such.
A copy of the drawing accompanying the application will be on display in the Drax Hall.
The Hall is designed to accommodate one hundred and twenty people for events, a portable stage, a kitchen, usual offices, storage and Parish Office are included.
It is not so grand as was envisaged initially, but there is room to expand the building at a later stage when a permanent stage can be added.
The funding is to be provided by the sale of the Drax Hall plus money raised within the community which will help us to seek grants including lottery money and the Sports Council etc.
The building will be designed to meet the requirements of the Disability Act that comes into force later this year.

The Council has decided to display the Planning Application plans before their meeting each month.
These will be placed at the entrance to the Drax Hall on Monday and Friday mornings when the PIP is in session.
There are not many each month so there should be ample space in the cloakroom area.
Comments should be passed to the District Council in the usual way but this may save journeys to Westport House.
On completion you can enjoy a coffee at the PIP.

The Government has decided that there should be some remuneration to Parish Councillors in return for their labours as members. The Council members present decided that they would not accept this as it was yet another call on the precept - and subsequently the Council Tax.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 14th August at 7.00pm.

August 2003 Meeting

The Council was extremely pleased with the efforts by the volunteers to clear up the streets in readiness for the Open Gardens day. It was a wonderful effort by everybody concerned - even the County Council gave us an extra sweep,
thanks to our County Councillor, Malcolm Shakesby.
The Council approved a vote of thanks to the PIP for organising the event.

The Chairman, accompanied by our County Councillor, called on Superintendent Lynn Hart who commands the Eastern Division of the Dorset
police. He reported that it had been a useful visit as he was able to tell her of the problems experienced in the village.
He asked for a Police presence around the centre of the village on Friday and Saturday nights and she has stated that she will do her best to provide it.
The matters of vandalism at the Church and in the Cemetery were discussed.
We now have a Community Beat Officer (CBO) for the Village, but like the Community Wardens he is thinly spread over a wide area. Everybody is encouraged to meet PC Alan Burt and to make him aware of your concerns.
Sadly he is not just a CBO as he is also required to fulfil a response role as well.
An important point that was stressed by the Superintendent was the importance of reporting incidents.
She admits that the Police may not be able to respond immediately but if incidents are reported they do have an obligation to follow it up.
In so doing a true picture of the problems can emerge and steps taken to plan counter measures.
Many people apparently say that reports have been made but the Police have difficulty in tracing a record.

Our Member of Parliament attended the August meeting and was particularly
interested in the discussion on local crimes and problems.
Her current avenues of interest in the Parish are the problems of traffic by the school, the Royal Oak, the future of the Community Wardens and responding to young people who e-mail her stating that ‘there is nothing to do in Bere Regis’.
On a wider Parliamentary basis she is serving on the Select Committee that is concerned with the proposed Sexual Offences Bill.

The Ministry of Defence has modified its proposals with the Picnic Area to the south of Chamberlaynes.
As a result this will be much smaller and more open to view.
Thus it is hoped that the Travellers will be deterred from trying to stop there. In the meantime the concentration of Travellers at Gallows Hill are being moved on - at some time.

The Youth Shelter along Elder Road has received planning approval and the sum of £5000 has been donated by the Police Partnership Fund.
The District Council, upon whose land the shelter will be built, have given a licence for the land to be used.
Plans are now being made for the construction of the Shelter which will involve some of the young people themselves.
This is a magnificent move forward and the Council is grateful to Cllr Keith Foster for obtaining the funds, to Cllr Guy Storey for designing the structure and to District Councillor Peter Wharf for his efforts at the District Council.

The Council received a letter from the Winterbourne Kingston Parish Council
requesting that it give support to them in their endeavours to prevent the construction of the wind farms in the Winterbourne Valley. The matter was
discussed at length and at the conclusion the Council was evenly divided on its response.
The Clerk was directed to advise their Council that we were unable to offer support.
However if Parishioners wish to object then they are advised to write to the DART group who are leading the campaign.
Leaflets are available in the shops.

It was reported to the Council that due to a confusion of address, an ambulance and police car took ninety minutes to find the caller who lived in one of the main streets.
In this case the name of the house had recently been changed.
Unfortunately the caller did not quote the house number - hence the delay...
Fortunately all was well in the end but it is a lesson from which we can all learn.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 11th September at 7.00pm

September 2003 Meeting

Chairman of the Council, Mr Tim Maunder, had intimated for some months that owing to increasing work he felt unable to continue as Chairman.
The Council reluctantly accepted his decision and thanked him for his work as Chairman.
Subsequently your scribe was proposed and duly elected as Chairman.

The Council has been informed of intended road works on the A35 between the Bakers Arms and the Lychett Matravers! Organford cross-roads.
Clearly these are going to be extensive as they are not due for completion before Easter 2004.
The road will be closed and it will be necessary to find other routes to avoid the works from time to time.

The long awaited improvements to the access to the village by way of 'beautifying' the roundabouts is making slow progress. Council has been advised that jab numbers have been issued for some of the work.

The Council discussed the matter of the heavy traffic noises on the Slip Road - between the A31 and A35.
Heavy lorries using this road can be heard early in the mornings. it is proposed that the County Council be approached to plant same screening trees in an endeavour to deaden the noise.

The Parishioners will be pleased to learn that the application by Orange for a mast at Black Hill has been rejected on appeal.
This is quite notable as the mast lobby is very strong and the track record for appeals has not been good in the past.

The day before the Council meeting had been the day set aside by the Government to record all disturbances.
It had been chosen as a typical mid day during school term.
It so happened that there were no disturbances to note and so a 'zero report' was tendered to the District Council.
!f this was repeated around the whole area it presumes that we have no crime problems.
During the subsequent discussions it was revealed that there were at least four problems on the previous Friday night at various locations in the village.
Council decided therefore to send the 'zero report' but to add the list of the Friday night problems.
A copy of this will be sent to the Police Inspector at Wareham in the hope that her promise of a police presence on Fridays and Saturday nights will be fulfilled.

The County Council Rights of Way officers have promised to do some clearance on the footpaths in the Parish.
It is hoped that this work will be completed by the time this is published.

Checking back in my diary for last year I see that the District Council sent their emissaries to explain the happenings planned with the Council Tax for this year in the previous November.
I know that they did not give much notice of the visit which resulted in very few people attending the meeting and to ask questions.
This is an early warning for those who are interested, to look out for the date of the meeting this year.

In anticipation of Christmas happening in December, the Council wishes to know of Parishioners who would like to have a tree for street display.
The Council will deliver a tree but it is up to the householder to arrange the lighting and putting it up.
Tell any Councillor or the Clerk on 556263 before the end of November.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 9th October at 7.00 pm in the Drax Hall.

October 2003 Meeting

At the Council assembled for their October meeting, it was becoming apparent that we only just had a quorum - e.g. four members in attendance. a fifth arrived as we started, but it indicates the perilous situation that we sometimes may face.
There is one vacancy to be filled, resulting from one Councilor moving away from the Parish, and the period whereby we would fill that vacancy by election has expired.
Thus if any person, over the age of eighteen years, would like to offer themselves to be co-opted to the Council would they please contact the Clerk, Mr Jim Ruddock on 556 263.

The Community Wardens attended the meeting and introduced themselves, as the original pair are no longer serving Bere Regis. These two chaps are tasked with serving, supporting and helping the local community.
The whole team of six Wardens is based in Wareham and are part funded by the Parish through the Council Tax.
The Council is keen that the Wardens become known throughout the Parish, so when you see them around talk to them so that they have the confidence of members of the Parish.
If you have concerns about anything tell them as they are in contact with both the Police and the District Council.
The Council is investigating the introduction of an Alcohol Control Order within the centre of the Village.
This is directed at underage drinking in public places.
Parishioners may be interested to know that there have been fifteen such incidents within the Village since January 2003 with ten of them since July.
It is clear that not all incidents during that period have been reported and Parishioners are encouraged to report any incidents of underage drinking that they may observe.

The subject of Housing in the District and County is rearing its head again.
The Council received a copy of a letter addressed to the District Council by the agents for the Grainger Trust, who purchased the land vacated by the Debenham Estate four years ago.
In the nicest, but most audacious way, they were suggesting that they could help solve the Affordable Housing shortage.
The suggestion was for 400 houses into this Parish which only totals around 770 houses at present!
There was the usual carrot of a new school, sites for a new Village Hall, a new Surgery and other amenities.
This letter was directed at the District Council just as they were about to discuss the amended Local Plan.
Our District Councilor attended that debate and will no doubt use his section of the magazine to report it.
In the meantime the Council recognize that they have got to get down to thinking and planning the future.
Some years ago we identified and listed possible 'in fill' sites though sadly such sites are not cheap and do not lend themselves for affordable housing normally.

Parishioners will have seen that there is much debate going on about waste.
The County Council has held a number of exhibitions and meetings but the notice for such meetings has not been excessive.
Your scribe was asked to put some posters around for a meeting at Winfrith Village Hall on the Monday after our meeting on the Thursday - time of the meeting 11am - 2pm. Hardly the most convenient venue or the best time.
No doubt they then complained of the poor attendance!
The fact is that something has got to be done about the waste that we all produce, fortunately the best reading on the proposals has been included in the Advertiser/Echo.
At this time of the year the Council concerns itself with the annual budget and Councillors are encouraged to think about items that are needed and perhaps, based on the previous years experience, trim the budget.
The Drax Hall has got several problems resulting from old age and so the Council, which has responsibilities to the Hall, will be including an item in this years budget.

Finally as I wind up I offer this suggestion to the Parish, not as Scribe but as Chairman of the Council.
We are clearly in the eyes of some people ripe for expansion.
It may not be now but it could be in the next decade.
Time is on our hands to think about the future and I am suggesting that we should form a group entitled 'The Bere Regis Society'.
This Group would have just one aim, 'the enhancement of Bere Regis'. It is to ensure that whatever happens the Community of Bere Regis has thought it all out previously.
I invite comments from anybody. CM

November 2003 Meeting

At the November meeting the Council received a presentation on Housing entitled ‘The affordable village life programme’.
This was given by the Rural Housing Enabler for West Dorset and Purbeck, Mr Andy Lloyd from Dorset Community Action (DCA).
He explained the problems that rural communities faced when it comes to housing and how these problems can be overcome.
Clearly the cost of housing in the rural areas is such that many people who would wish to live in their ‘home’ village find it necessary to move into the towns.
This can be detrimental to the community as it removes young people out of the Village and that has an effect on the schools etc. Mr Lloyd has a plan that could be of help and the Councillors decided that we should make a start on it to firstly find out the size of the problem in Bere Regis.
The first steps are consultation including conducting a Parish Housing Needs Survey. To be effective the whole Parish will be covered and of course there will be many folk who will not need to respond.
The Council is keen to make this Survey as realistic as possible and will ask Parishioners to ensure that people who have had to move elsewhere but would still desire to live here, be included.
Thus for example if a son or daughter are living away, you would be asked to either pass your form to them or to obtain another form to send them.
This is the start of a process and no mention of sites or land is involved, it is purely to establish ‘need’.
The whole process can take five years but at the end it would be hoped that our rural housing needs are satisfied and protected. We will try to get the survey underway in the New Year.

The Council has decided to move into the brave new world. Last year the Clerk was ‘armed’ with a computer complete with e-mail and this is used by all Councillors to receive correspondence and to make comments etc.
It has now been decided to create - if that is the right word - a Web site.
This should enable those increasing numbers of people to refer to matters concerning Bere Regis which up to now they have been unable to do.
Many communities do have these sites and we have been most fortunate to have received an offer to set it up and manage it for three months.
After that we will be looking for somebody to update it regularly.

The Council discussed at length the Community Warden Scheme.
The funding for the present scheme is coming to an end and the pro’s and con’s of the scheme were talked of.
A new scheme which should be an improvement is on offer.
This scheme is more closely aligned to the Police and is available for similar hours but until later at night.
The ‘Wardens Plus’ will have power to confiscate alcohol in designated areas or from young people, to confiscate tobacco from young people, to remove abandoned vehicles, to obtain the details of people acting in an anti-social manner and to service fixed penalty notices for cycling on pavements and other anti-social behaviour.
The Council decided to support the new scheme which, if accepted throughout Purbeck, will come into force after April 2004.

The Cemetery Committee were complimented on the improved state of the Cemetery and it is hoped that we have now got on top of the problems that have been experienced in the past.
The Committee does ask though that dead flowers etc be placed in any one of the four bins or at the top left hand corner of the cemetery, with the grass cuttings.
It makes for an untidy appearance for old flowers to be left around the edges of the ground.

The Council is obtaining the Christmas trees as in past years.
These will be distributed at about the same time as this journal is published so December should start with displays of colour in our Streets.
The Council is grateful to those Parishioners who display trees for everyone to enjoy as they go about their business.

The Chairman and Councillors wish you all a very happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you at our meetings.
The next meeting is on Thursday 11th December at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

December 2003 Meeting

At the December meeting we welcomed Mr J Parsons of White Lovington to the Council as our eleventh Councillor.
He brings a wide experience of Parish Council work plus considerable knowledge of this area.

In the past few years during January/February we have had visits from the District Council who were seeking opinions about the Council Tax and how we as a Parish would like either reduced or improved services.
The meetings were directed at Parishioners but attendance was extremely poor.
Thus this year the District Council has commissioned a lobby company to undertake the task for them in the form of a questionnaire.
The chosen company is Simalto and presumably they will be sending out the questionnaires to a sample of addresses in the hope of achieving a better response than the Council.
If you receive a questionnaire do please try to make use of it on behalf all Council Tax payers.
The County, who account for 90% of the Council Tax, are apparently undertaking a consultation approach to obtain opinions.
Again if you hear of the location of a meeting, try to get to it to have your say in this tax.

The Council is concerned about the parking of vehicles around the West Street entrance to Snowhill whereby the lane is partially blocked. The last thing that the Council wishes to see are yellow lines, and there will be no need for them providing drivers park with care and consideration for others.

Concerning crime, the Chairman attended the meeting of the North Purbeck Task Group, which used to be the Crime Prevention Panel.
The Group includes the Police, Community Wardens, Council Officers and Councillors from the various Parishes in the District.
We were advised that as of November crime had reduced in this area by 18%.
However for an incident to be considered as a crime it needs to be reported to the Police, as clearly unless there is a record there is nothing to measure and thus compare one period with another.
We also learned of the Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) and the Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABC) that are being introduced in this area.
An ABC is an agreement to behave more reasonably after having been caught behaving badly.
Breeches of the ABC and disorderly conduct can lead to the issue of a ASBO.
This would restrict the person from particular areas and from associating with particular individuals.
Details of the person would be circulated in the community so that shops etc can display them.
ASBO’s are operative for two years and any breech will result in a custodial sentence.
Where these Orders have been used and a few have been issued in the Purbeck area, they have been shown to be successful.

The new Parish Web-site is being visited more and it should get busier as it becomes better known.
There are some interesting pictures of both new & old Bere Regis on it.
There is also an Events calendar and it is to be hoped that as a result we may avoid clashes in dates between organisations.
The web-site address is
Parishioners are also reminded that despite the TV advertisements Broadband for the Bere Regis area is a long way off as we require a minimum of 350 interested subscribers.
It is therefore important that if you are interested that you register with BT.

The Council was very pleased to hear complimentary remarks about the Christmas trees and they thank all of the businesses and houses who contributed to cheering up the village at Christmastide.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 8th January 2004 at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall. CM