Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 2005 Meeting

Just before the January meeting I received a very pleasant letter from a soldier currently serving in Iraq. He was writing to thank ‘all the kind people of Bere Regis for the gifts that they had sent at Christmas time’.

I have passed the letter to the Post Office so that it may be displayed.

The gift scheme was a very kind thought on somebody’s part and clearly it was appreciated by the recipients.

The new bus timetable, specifically for Bere Regis, has now been produced and copies are being distributed by Councillors throughout the Parish.

If you do not receive one , and do need it, then please let me know. (471 342)

The Parish Plan is making very good progress and the team under the guidance of Mr Jon Cleave is working very hard to keep to the programme.

The time is coming for Public Participation though sadly the two Public Meetings will have happened by the time this is published.

However there are to be plenty of notices concerning them so it is to be hoped that they will be well supported.

The big step forward though is the distribution of the Questionnaire to all households for all Parishioners over the age of eleven years to respond to.

This is a very important document as it will provide the data upon which the whole plan will be based.

Please treat it seriously and follow the specific instructions for its return.

All responses are confidential and nobody will know who has responded.

The Council were advised of a suggestion to form a Patient Participation Group within the area covered by the Medical Practice.

Such a Group might be a forum to feed back suggestions for the improvement of services to patients, develop projects to meet the needs of fellow patients, e.g. with transport for patients and the distribution of medication, act as a representative group to influence the local provision of health and social care.

Such a Group might fund raise for specific items of medical equipment or aids to patients.

The Council thought that this was a good idea and well worth investigating further.

If you are interested then please mention it in your response to the Parish Plan Questionnaire. Interestingly there is an example of assistance to the Parish in the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting of the 18th January 1905.

The minute records that Dr Lys of Bournemouth had offered the Council a bath-chair and it was accepted with thanks.

Just 100 years difference – but with similar intentions.

This month the Youth Shelter took a big step forward towards its actual arrival.

The Council is aware that time has gone by and little appears to have happened.

However money had to be found and plans submitted for approval.

The Shelter and the Kicking Wall have been ordered and they should be around by Easter.

We still have to find some more money but we feel confident that that will be available when required.

The Council is at the same time looking at the finances for another bridge over the Bere Stream close to the Scout Hut.

This will permit an extension of the Board Walk towards Southbrook. and subsequently up to the School.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 10th February at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

February 2005 Meeting

The February meeting was preceeded by a presentation by the Wareham and District Development Trust. This is a small voluntary group who are endeavouring to help improve life in the District.

So far they have concentrated their efforts in Wareham with the Lifewheels Mobility Centre in St Johns Hill, the Priory Meadows on the opposite riverside to the Quay and bringing back the Computer Centre.

If any organisation has a project in mind these people ought to be in your thoughts to assist with funding.

Kevin Randall on 07967 117410 or email him here

The Council was disturbed by the amount of litter that seemed to appear around the board walk.

Sadly it was also seen by visiting walkers who quickly let us all know.

Litter is a problem and whereas only a few years ago one could get a crowd together and literally descend on it and fill dozens of black bags, today we have to abide by strict rulings for our health and safety.

Such rulings make the task an administrative nightmare and so we rely upon the District Council sending their contractors to do the job.

This was done, thankfully quite quickly.

The Purbeck CAB has informed the Council that they have appointed a Rural Outreach Worker.

This person can visit clients at their homes who have disabilities, who are carers of elderly people or people with disabilities or older people (over 60) who have difficulty getting into Bureau offices.

If you would like a home visit then please contact Helen Macey or Linda Lancaster at Wareham CAB, Mill Lane, Wareham BH20 4RA.

Telephone 01929 552464.

The Council in its endeavours to provide the planned meeting place for the youth and the extension to the board walk have decided to apply for a loan to cover the balance of finances so that the work can be undertaken and completed.

We were fortunate to have been awarded £10,000 from the Police Partnership Trust and so work should be underway at around Easter time.

Watchers of the Roundabouts will be part pleased to learn that endeavours are being made to obtain sponsorship for the Poole Hill roundabout.

However it has taken a long time to get to this point.

Concerning the A35/A31 roundabout by the Shell station, the owners of the roads – not the DCC in this case – have shown no interest in improving its appearance.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 10th March at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall. CM

March 2005 Meeting

The March meeting each year is the Annual Parish Meeting at which Parishioners are invited to raise points as they so wish.

It is also at this meeting that the Chairman summarises on the years activities of the Council.

This year he was able to report on the Parish Plan and the progress with the Youth Shelter.

The Cemetery Committee were thanked for their obvious efforts to make the Cemetery attractive.

The Chairman thanked all Councillors for their support throughout the year.

In my last report I stated that the Council had embarked upon obtaining a loan to enable the Youth Shelter to be completed this year.

Also included is the cost of a new bridge over the stream by the Scout hut.

This will be an integral part of the footpath from Sitterton to Rye Hill via Southbrook.

The footpath on the western side of Rye Hill, which is to be provided by the County Council though financed by BP, will create a ‘safe route to school’.

In all the Council have borrowed £12,000 for a period of ten years but it will see these works completed at long last.

In his report the Chairman stressed his definition of a village – school, churches, shops, a post office, pubs, a surgery and houses for the people.

He expressed his concern that unless all the facilities are used then we could lose them and then as they dropped out of the equation, the village is affected.

He urged all Councillors to get their Parish Plan Questionnaires completed and posted.

The Council is concerned about Affordable Housing and further to the Housing Needs Survey that was conducted earlier, they will be inviting a Housing Association to come and talk to them about possible ways forward.

Of course the problem that we have in the Parish is sites and it is to be hoped that sufficient sites to meet the needs of our young – and older parishioners can be identified.

The Council is concerned at the continual need to repair the Youngsters Play Area.

The items are not cheap and each year we have to budget £1200 for these repairs.

In addition the Council is anxious about the rubbish that accumulates within the Play Area.

We do appeal to parents to stress the need for more care – particularly with glass.

One may well ask why glass bottles end up in the area.

Does one hear questions being raised about the Young Persons Shelter.

Well it's up to them to look after it, the Shelter which is due to arrive around Easter time is made of a heavy grade steel.

No doubt it will be re-decorated from time to time but the Council hope that the young people will appreciate it and treat it as their own.

It is specifically for them and the Council has worked very hard to achieve what was asked for some years ago.

We all hope that they will enjoy it.

April 2005 Meeting

At the April meeting of the Council the Councillors expressed their gratitude to Mr Guy Storey for the design of the Youth Shelter and for making all the arrangements for its construction.

The project is not quite complete yet as the kicking wall, lighting and waste bin have to be added.

All things being equal it should be all in place by the end of May.

The Council were appraised by the County Councillor of some amendments that have been proposed to the Waste Plan.

One of the proposed changes indicates that waste will be brought from the east (Poole) to the Binnegar Quarry along the Puddletown Road.

This is a change from the previous plan that envisaged waste coming from the west (Bridport, Weymouth) to be processed at Winfrith.

The route for this waste was seen to be on the A352 and as such would not affect us in Bere Regis.

However there are some people who thought that it might come from Dorchester on the A35 and then go via the C6 (Rye Hill) to Winfrith.

The waste from the east to Binnegar is not permitted to use the A351 through Sandford as that is already congested, thus it is being sent up the A35 to Bere Regis and then on to the C6 and on to the Puddletown Road.

Apparently there could be up to fifty lorries a day, which means that with the return trips there will be one hundred lorries on the C6.

The Council is very concerned and is objecting to these proposals.

The Council is also concerned that the waste is having to be brought into our area at all.

The aims for the treatment of waste is that it should be treated as close to the area creating the waste and they will be raising this point as well.

The Council had a representation from Winfrith who briefed the Council on what they are doing and it may well happen that we will join them in our objections.

Parishioners may like to know that the objections to the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Waste Local Plan, that is the treatment of waste, is the subject of an Inquiry that will be held in Dorchester from the 24th May.

Clearly the C6 is a problem that is getting larger.

If, and the waste has to go somewhere to be treated, the proposals are permitted then we must insist on a southern bypass around the village.

Such a road should solve all the present problems.

The Council was addressed by the co-ordinator of the Parish Plan – Mr Jon Cleave – on the progress of the plan. We were well pleased with what we were told and we look forward to seeing the first draft and hearing about it at the Public Meeting in May.

The Council have decided to place a new bridge over the stream near to the Scout Hut.

This will be an integral part of the ‘Safe Routes to School’ when the new pathway over Souls Moor to Southbrook is constructed.

The pathway will link Southbrook to the centre of the village and thus provide a healthy alternative to using a car.

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

May 2005 Meeting

At the May Meeting, the Council had its AGM.
This saw the election of the Chairman & Officers.
There were no changes for the coming year.

June 2005 Meeting

At the June meeting the Council was addressed by representatives of the Synergy Housing Group and the Purbeck Housing Trust.
The Council had invited them to come and tell us how they might be able to help us meet the building of the twenty four affordable homes that the Housing Survey had concluded were required.
They illustrated their talk with examples of schemes with which they had been involved.
Clearly the largest problem to be overcome is the acquisition of the land, not only its location in the village but also its cost.
The Council's task is now to look and find suitable sites.

The Council received a letter from the District Council concerning the new arrangements for the recycling and collection of household waste.
In discussion members expressed their concerns particularly for those households for which they could foresee major problems.
It was decided to invite Mrs J Dutton, the organiser of the new scheme, to come and address the Council at its next meeting.
This will be on Thursday 14thJuly at 7.OOpm in the Drax Hall. Parishioners are welcome to attend.

The Parish Plan, after its successful initial presentation, is moving onwards.
The need now is for teams to study and report on the various subjects raised in the Plan.
Ideally each subject should be studied by a small group who would produce a solution ora way ahead for the subject.
Thus the Team is looking for volunteers who are prepared to undertake this work and collectively produce a report for inclusion into the Parish Plan document.
Are you a person with a vision?
Would you like to contribute to the well being of the future Bere Regis? If so please let any member of the Team know.
The more opinions - the better the solutions.

The Council is very pleased to have the `kicking wall' in place along Elder Road. With its companion Shelter, they each provide a part answer to that oft quoted youthful response - 'theres nothing to do'.
It is certainly good to see the large numbers enjoying it and who knows that it might just happen that a future Beckham may credit his (or indeed her) success to the kicking wail at Bere Regis!
However parents please stress on their children that these structures are not climbing frames.
A fall from either could do some serious harm.

Parishioners may be interested to know that an Inquiry was held in Morden Village Hall into the pathway that goes from Chamberlaynes across to Yearlings Bottom.
The inquiry was chaired by a Government Inspector and a result will be reported in anything up to six months time.

The next meeting of the Council, at which Mrs Dutton from PDC will be talking about the new refuse collection arrangements, will be at 7.00pm on Thursday 14th July.
All Parishioners are welcome to attend - as indeed they are to any Council meeting.

July 2005 Meeting

At the July meeting the Council was addressed by the Mangaer of Environment Services at PDC, Mr W Davidson, and the Chief executive of Purbeck District Council, Mr Mackenzie, on the subject of Recycling. Parishioners will have received communication from PDC on their plans to increase the recycling of discarded materials from households.
Clearly if we do not recycle more from this area we are liable to have monetary fines imposed which will have to be passed on through the Council Tax.
The Parish Council is therefore keen to encourage the facilities that are available to increase the re-use of precious resources.
The concerns of the two members of the public who attended at this time were responded to but the fortnightly collection, particularly in the summer months, is a real concern.

One member of the public spoke at the period set aside for public participation.
He drew the attention of the Council to the prospect of gravel extraction on Bere Heath.
This was the subject of an Inquiry some years ago and it seems to be appearing again.

The Council expressed its delight at the success of the ‘Open Gardens’ event put on by PIP. This attracted a large number of visitors to the village.

The Council has expressed its concern to the County Council over the condition of the footpaths in the Parish.
The excess growth has made walking difficult on most paths but the Council Footpath teams are overwhelmed by requests for assistance at present.

The Council requests that all parents of young people using the Shelter and the Kick Wall to remind them that climbing the two structures is forbidden.
Accidents can happen and it would be very sad if anybody was injured as a result of falling, particularly as the Kick Wall is so popular.

The Council was represented at an Emergency Planning Day at County Hall which though it closely followed those incidents, had actually been planned some while before.
The Council now have to prepare a Plan to endeavour to cover likely incidents that could occur here in Bere Regis.
The aim is to be prepared by having a basic organisation in being – on paper and disc.
They did not have this in being in 1788 at the time of the Great Fire.
However whilst the Councillors were in session a hot air balloon descended just missing the Drax Hall and the thatches nearby – it could have been an incident that would have required the Emergency Planning Team.

No doubt it was the hot air produced by the Council that was sufficient to drive it clear!

August 2005 Meeting

At the beginning of the August meeting the Chairman invited the Council to record its concern about the future of our Post Office.
It was recognised that this vital service might be at risk and there seemed to be little that the Council could do to ensure its guaranteed survival.
The Council decided to write to the Post Office Counters expressing their concern and sending a copy to the Purbeck District Council, whom they recognised were in a similar position of not being able to do more than stress its importance in our small community.

The Chairman in his opening remarks reported that during one of his walks he had met a member of the County Council Rights of Way Department.
Among other things was the advantage of having a Display Board of the paths in the Parish which could be displayed in the Car Park for use by visitors.
The Officer concerned thought that assistance with its provision might be available from the County.

The Shitterton sign has disappeared again.
This sign seems attractive to a particular type of person who every now and again removes it.
Without doubt the name is unique but its removal can become an expensive exercise if repeated too often.
It will be replaced but at a cost to the Council Tax.

After all the fuss and effort to get the Youth Shelter in place it is very sad to see it adorned in graffiti.
The Council is certain that the language and expressions illustrated do not emanate from the education curriculum or the imagination of the young people concerned.
It is no surprise that the surfaces would receive an adornment and if artistic that would probably be acceptable, but just plain crudity, as has been done, is not acceptable and will be removed.
Perhaps parents would wish to see how young people are treating the facilities that are provided by the Community as a whole.

The Council is having an ongoing battle with the County about the noise being transmitted from the main roads.
The County would say that nothing can be done until the surfaces require re-laying, when a quieter material will be applied.
The Parish maintains that with the increases in traffic that the problem is getting worse and that barriers to screen the noise should be erected.
The recognised ‘bad areas’ are the A35 near to Shitterton and the link road.
During the discussion on this problem the speed of the traffic was mentioned as in both areas the traffic is accelerating.
Particular concern was expressed about the speed of motorcycles.
We await the response of the County Council.

September 2005 Meeting

At the beginning of the September meeting the Chairman spoke of the need to prepare an Emergency Plan to meet any possible requirements.
He had attended a meeting at County Hall in July and he stated that we need to lay down some basic plans which together with other Village plans would form the County Reaction Plan for use in times of crisis.
Councillors agreed and a small committee will investigate the requirements.

The attention of the Council had been drawn to the fact that the local Advertiser no longer reported on any forthcoming Planning Applications.
Thus apart from the yellow notice that is always displayed on the property concerned, there was no indication to the general public of any intended planning application.
The Council will now list Planning Applications that have been received, on the Notice of Council Meetings that includes the Agenda.
This notice is displayed in advance of the forthcoming meeting on Council Notice Boards throughout the Parish and will include advice as to where to comment on the Application.

The time has come to prepare for Christmas! (I know it gets earlier each year).
As in the past the Council is offering Christmas trees to those people who will display them on their houses to brighten up the winter scene.
The lighting is the responsibility of the house owner.
If anybody would like a tree then please call Mr Maunder on 471342.
It is planned to deliver the trees at the end of November so that we can all enjoy the Christmas scene that has become so familiar in recent years.

Looking further ahead to next year the Council is concerned to remind Parishioners that elections to the Council will be held at the beginning of May 2006.
At the last elections – in 2002 – there were insufficient candidates to form a Parish Council and thus those candidates who did come forward were returned unopposed.
The majority of the present Councillors had to be co-opted to the Council.
It is to be hoped that this will not be repeated next year and that more candidates will come forward for election.
The electorate then has a choice for their Council.

The Council is concerned that young people are climbing on to the roof of the Youth Shelter.
A fall from the top to the base could cause more than a headache and so parents of young people using the shelter are asked to remind their children that climbing on the Shelter is forbidden.
Likewise at the Play Area a small child was hurt recently when some other children swung on the large gate, knocking the child over.
The Council planned that the gate should be locked except when required to permit entry of maintenance equipment, but again the Council asks parents to make their children aware of this hazard.

The next meeting of the Council will be at 7.00pm on Thursday 13th October at the Drax Hall.
All members of the Parish are welcome to attend.

October 2005 Meeting

At the beginning of the October meeting the Council received a Petition on behalf of the Youth of Bere Regis concerning the Kick Wall area.
The Petition was very well presented and requested that the Council consider improving the area by laying a  resilient all weather playing surface and adding a Basket Ball net to the Kick Wall.
Cllr. Guy Storey had looked into finding a solution to the playing surface and produced a sample that is used in many Play Areas.
He also explained the problems of having to provide drainage and meeting the needs of the various Authorities concerned with that piece of land.
The Council agreed that something needed to be done and promised to look into it promptly.
The waste bin for the area has been ordered and should be on site within the next few weeks.
The deputation members agreed to see that the bin is used in the future.
The Council expressed their concern regarding the crude graffiti.
After it is cleared it is likely that an area will be set aside for more artistic competitive painting to be judged by an Artistic Councillor.

At the period set aside for public participation, the Postmaster – Mr Terry Seeney - explained the dilema that he was encountering in attempting to ensure the long term survival of our Post Office. Post Offices are not Government Offices, they should be likened to a private shop which acts as an agency for Government Departments.
The Postmaster is the Contractor and receives a financial income dependent upon the business transacted.
Sadly over recent years the Governments – of all persuasions – have withdrawn many of the services that provided the income for the Postmaster and hence they had to diversify and brought other items into the shop.
Terry explained that he could not carry on for ever under the present conditions, even though he enjoyed the work.
Like anybody who has made an investment, he needed to see a positive return on that investment and currently he was not succeeding.
As to the future, he could not see any improvement.
He has negotiated transferring the Post Office to the Central Stores, where Mr Roden is happy to set it up and Post Office Counters Ltd are in agreement to the move.
However there is a commercial difficulty concerning the present shop in which the Post Office is currently sited and Mr Seeney stated that this can not be easily solved.
He went on to say that he plans to continue the business for a further two years but can not promise, at present, any further period.
He went on to state that the proposed move to the Central Stores is dependent upon a grant that may have a time limit and therefore may not be available in two years time.
In response the Council expressed their sympathy and their deep concern as they consider it to be essential for the good of the Community that there should be a Post Office in the village.
Ironically the Office had recently been noted as the top Post Office in its class in this area.
This is a commercial matter and the Council is unable to intervene.
The future is bleak unless the business can be linked to an existing business which is prepared to take it under its wing in order to share the overheads.
That is the reasoning behind the proposal to move to the Central Stores.
Post Office Counters recognise its importance and want it to continue.
In the meantime the Council’s advice is for it to be used as much as possible – or else it could be lost.

Another speaker at the meeting was Michelle Goodman from the Purbeck Sports Centre.
She stated that it was recognised that there were difficulties with clients getting to the Centre from Bere Regis.
With the emphasis these days of prevention being better than curing, there is a drive to improve individuals fitness.
Thus the aim is to get 8% of the populace taking part in some activity(ies).
Bere Regis has been selected for the Pilot Outreach Scheme and letters will be delivered explaining the scheme.
Our school has agreed to be involved and in the first stage AFC Bournemouth players will be attending at the school every Thursday after the half term.
The next stage, in January, will include Martial Arts at the school.
Other items are planned for the future including Cycle Proficiency and Polities.
The Parish Council – of unknown average age – promised its support in any ways that were possible.

Concern was expressed at the amount of dog mess that is clearly obvious around footpaths in the parish. It is an offence but clearly difficult to enforce.
Dog owners are asked to be prepared for the obvious by taking a receptacle with them on walks so that it can be placed in a bin.

November 2005 Meeting

It was not surprising  after the Travellers had returned to the Gallows Hill site during the previous week, that the Council was addressed by Mr Michael Evans, the DCC Officer responsible for Gypsies and Travellers.
The Council had expressed their concerns to the DCC about the return of these folk to this site.
Mr Evans explained the problems and the legalities of the matter.
In due course they will be moved on but it is feared that other groups are in the area and may well move on to the site.
The concern, expressed by the Council, is that in the past there seems to have been an increase in burglary when the Travellers are at Gallows Hill.
The DCC dispute this though they admit that there is an element within the group intent on criminal activities.
Others are happy to live in their own way and not require assistance.
The Police are aware of their existence at the site and will make visits from to time.

Parishioners may be pleased to learn that the Council has changed their Meetings Agenda so that Planning Matters are at the beginning of the meeting.
Applicants who so desire are invited to speak about their particular application and likewise any person who disapproves.
The District Council at the same time is endeavouring to speed up the processing of applications.

As these notes are being prepared news has just come through about the discontinuance of the First Bus X55 service.
The service will cease after Christmas Eve. 
Sadly it is a fact that unless the service is well used it will not be provided.
The whole question of public transport provision rests on its use.
The Council hopes that Parishioners have responded with their thoughts on this subject through the Parish Plan.

Next year is Election Year for the Parish Council.
At our last elections we did not receive enough nomination to form a quorum and thus the majority of our Council is made up of nominated members.
If you are a keen follower of this monthly report and think that you would like to help your village, then please allow your name to be put forward.
Meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday at 7.00pm.
Please speak to any Councillor if you wish to know more.
Training is available if you feel that you do not know about the task.

By the time this is published the Council should have distributed the Christmas Trees for display in the Village.
The Council thanks those people who display the trees that light up the streets. Remember that people in a nearby town were advised to visit us when they expressed their disappointment with their own lights!

The Chairman and Councillors wish everyone throughout the Parish, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 8th December at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

December 2005 Meeting

At the last meeting for the year the Council discussed the contents of a letter from a well known housing developer who is offering their services to build our much needed affordable houses.
However like all housing developers there is a sting in their tail as they wish to build a large number of houses of which only a percentage will be affordable.
This does not tie up with the Council’s thoughts on the subject which are for affordable houses only and built for local people.
It was decided to write to The Synergy Group, who are the parent company to the Purbeck Housing Trust, to follow up their offer to assist us in progressing the affordable houses that we require.

As the year ends so with the start of the new year our thoughts were given to the Precept.
That is the money that we require to do the things that are required to be done during the coming year.
This then becomes part of the dreaded Council Tax.
The Council has a Finance Working Party which, with the Clerk, works out the sums.
All of this is reported to the District Council who then finalise the sums required from us all.

The Travellers are still at Gallows Hill whilst arrangements are sought on what to do next.
There is, as ever, talk of them being joined by others but this has not happened yet.
They are the responsibility of the County Council but of course in reality they end up in a Parish. 
They present a difficult problem to us all as they choose to live apart from the main communities and like to be on the move.

It is apparent that somebody has driven a car on the grass close to the Youth Shelter.
Who ever it was clearly sank the car into the soft surface and created some very deep ruts.
The Council has spent a great deal of money in creating this new Play Area and it is not amused by this vandalism.
The Council recognises the shortfall in the kick wall area and is seriously investigating the laying of an all weather playing surface.
It is fearful of the effect of this vehicle on such a surface, which is going to cost a large sum.
The Council is happy to provide for the older youths who have requested this, but in return there must be responsible behaviour towards the facilities provided.

Hope you all have a very Happy Christmas & enjoyable New Year!