Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 2006 Meeting

At the January meeting Doctor Harley addressed the Council and expressed the gratitude of the Medical Practice for the support that they gave in the recent matter concerning a possible Pharmacy being allowed.

Details of this are the subject of an article elsewhere in this magazine.

Doctor Harley also spoke of the Practice’s desire to form a Patient Participation Group in the future.

Councillors expressed their concerns regarding the litter that seems to decorates our streets at present. Discarded sweet wrappers, crisp packets and drink cans give a very poor impression of a Village that does care .

Sadly we do not have road sweepers these days so its up to ourselves to keep the village tidy.

The Council appeal for everybody not to discard unwanted litter in the street, but to drop it off in a bin or even to take it home

The Council received a recommendation for the precept of £16,550 for the forthcoming year.

By making use of reserves the increase is restricted to 7.5% over the current year.

The recommendation was agreed unanimously by the Council.

The matter of graffiti on the Youth Shelter was discussed at length.

One Councillor had attempted to use a special fluid to remove the writings but clearly this was of insufficient strength.

Other methods will need to be used but the best one is that the youngsters should not desecrate their own, requested, Shelter.

It is all a matter of respect and the Parish, who have really made an effort to meet the needs of todays young people and tomorrows Council Tax subscribers - deserve a better response.

It may not be our own young people, but somebody knows who goes around with paint cans and fibre pens, all very ordinary every day items  but devastating  in the wrong hands.

The Council is aware that a greater Police presence would help and has represented this thought to the appropriate Authority.

This year is Election Year for the Parish Council and this is an appeal to find some fresh faces for the Council. Ideally the Council should represent a cross section of the Parishioners and coming from all quarters in the Parish.

At this same time four years ago we only had four people for the eleven seats, which did not form a quorum.

Thus the other seven seats had to be filled by co-opting.

If you have doubts about what the Council is doing then the best way to get your thoughts over is to come forward. In April posters will be put up calling for nominations.

If more than eleven names are offered then there will be an election on the first Thursday of May.

If only eleven or less names come forward, then those who offered themselves are appointed without an election.

It is far better to have an elected body who come from all parts of the Parish.

It is several years since the last election and the Council asks everybody to give it some thought and support.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 9th February at 7.30pm in the Drax Hall.

February 2006 Meeting

The opening question from a parishioner at the February meeting came as a surprise to all Councillors as it was stated that a description of a proposed extension consisting of many houses had been included in our Parish Web Site.

The surprise was that the Council had not been requested by any developer, or had it given approval for its inclusion.

Equally no Councillor was aware of it being included.

In this case it was the Grainger Trust, who own the land from the watercress farm through to Shitterton. The Council has, of late, been on the receiving end of requests by developers who wish to talk about future extensions to the village.

The Chairman suggested that we could be likened to a honey pot with the bees (developers), buzzing around outside.

In response the Parish Council have stated that their policy is to provide ‘affordable housing’ that meets the numbers stated in the Housing Needs Survey conducted in April 2004.

Our Rural District Councillor, Peter Wharf,  has written elsewhere of the Spatial and District aspects for the provision of housing.

Our needs within the Parish are for twenty four units of affordable housing. 

These homes can be placed on in fill sites or on what are known as rural exception sites.

Rural Exception sites are defined as those communities with less than 3000 population, situated next to existing settlement boundaries indicating proximity to transport links and some local services - shops etc.

Exception Sites are an exception to normal planning policy exclusively aimed at meeting local need.

All  the homes provided on such a site must be for people from the surveyed community, or who come from the community and have been forced to move away by prohibitively high accommodation costs.

All housing provided on an exception site must be affordable to local incomes and remain affordable over the long term.

Thus the Council has a policy  which it believes meets the needs not only of those in the Survey but also in line with the results of the Parish Plan Questionnaire.

The next step is to find sites, as defined above. For this the Council has requested assistance from Synergy, the Group that incorporates the Purbeck Housing Trust.

It is also likely that other Trusts may be approached to advise in due course.

It is to be hoped that between Councillor Wharfs article, and this statement, that any rumours which may have been started, with the item being included in our Web Site, may be negated.

Parishioners will be aware that the long awaited Safe Route to School pathway will be underway when this is published.

This will provide a safer environment for all pedestrians on Rye Hill when completed.

Also when the new bridge (The Munro Bridge) is in place there will be a link across The Moor from Southbrook to the Board Walk.

The Council has been very concerned for a number of years about the condition of the Young Childrens Play Area.

This was provided originally by the parents of the young children who had nowhere to play.

They did some fantastic fund raising.

However over the years the Council has continued to maintain the equipment and replace broken items.

The sad fact is that some young  people damage the items which causes the costs to increase.

These Play Areas are supposed to be fenced in and well gated.

Ours is, from time to time, but witness at present how the fence has been sawn through on the south west corner and the double gate so damaged that it requires replacing.

These are not the result of small childrens activities.

The Play Area was provided for small children by their mums and dads.

The money to keep it going is Council Tax – yours - and the Council is concerned on your behalf.

They would like to know whether there is a future in this Play Area.

They would welcome ideas as to how to keep it safe and enjoyable to the young children.

The older ‘young people’ now have their own area so there should be no excuse for them invading this area.

I mention again the possible elections in May.

Would you like to have a say in the governance of your Parish?

Have you ever asked quite what the Council thinks that they are up to – do you have  alternative suggestions?

If so how about putting your name forward for election.

The Council meets once a month on the evening of the second Thursday.

Very occasionally there might be another meeting. Watch out for the Official Notices concerning the election, it is eight years since we had one for the Parish Council, simply because not enough people came forward to fill the eleven places at the time of the last elections.

The Council meets next on Thursday 9th March 2006 at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

March 2006 Meeting

Do you have a vision for Bere Regis? If so Bere Regis Parish Council needs you.

It needs you in two distinct ways.

Firstly please consider coming forward and be nominated to stand for the election on Thursday 4th May.

There are eleven seats available and it would be marvellous to have at least twelve nominees.

We would then have an election and Parishioners would be able to choose their Councillors.

Nomination papers are available upon application to the Purbeck District Council’s Deputy Returning Officer, Peter Aston, who can be contacted on 01929 557221 or via e-mail here.

Papers have to be returned by Noon on Monday 3rd April.

This means that after this item is published that there is precious little time to get the papers into Wareham.

However this information has been displayed on the Parish Noticeboards for at least a fortnight.

Secondly everybody can give strength to the Parish Council by turning out tovote. How wonderful it would be if we could have a Council that commanded

support from over half the Parish.

The Polling Station is going to be open from

7.00am to 10.00pm on election day.

Please everybody, make the effort to vote.

Parish Councils have a great future. Whereas in the past they have been seen as a ‘talking shop’ they will in only a few years time be the actual ‘doing Council’.

The Government is producing a White Paper that will reorganise Local Government and it is putting great emphasis on to the very local present third tier.

The frustrations of the present arrangements whereby the Parish has to seek the solution to simple tasks from the County or District will change to the Parish actually being able to solve it.

Then when the streets are not cleaned it could be the Parish’s fault for not arranging it.

All of those other tasks which the Council can have little say in, one that annoys the writer is the state of the Board Walk and the Riverside Walk.

Though we ask for the work to be done it seems to take an eternity to get results.

These changes will come in due course and to make them work it will probably mean that we will have to link with neighbouring Councils to share the costs.

Anybody who is interested in reading about the Ministers thoughts on the subject should look into

Our Council has a great future.

We are going to receive a very well produced

Parish Plan and that will serve as our guide over the years ahead.

We are not trying to just react to today’s matters, The Plan takes us years ahead in an

endeavour to keep the Community alive and active.

Back to today!

The March meeting of the Council is the Annual Parish Meeting

which is open to all Parishioners to attend and to speak about any problems that they may have.

Sadly we attracted just the one Parishioner but she drew attention to the new pathway on Rye Hill.

She reminded us that the object of

providing the new path was to make the walking to school route safer by providing a wider footpath on the western side of the road.

She had compared the two footpaths and found that the new path was no wider than the old one at fifty seven inches.

Fortunately a drawing was available for consultation and this indicated that the width should be a nominal two metres – seventy eight inches.

The Clerk was instructed to draw the attention of the County Council to this and request that the pathway be provided as originally specified.

Our County Councillor was also present and promised to convey the same message to the County Council the next day.

The Council is trying to make progress with the Sustainable Affordable Housing.

A meeting is being arranged with Synergy, the parent company of the Purbeck Housing Trust but there are minor difficulties in trying to arrange a suitable time and date.

We are seeking their assistance as they are able to obtain Government Grants to build Affordable Housing. In the meantime the Chairman has attended a meeting at which an alternative method of funding, by creating a Community Land Trust, was discussed.

This is being used in a number of locations in Dorset.

The one that the meeting discussed is at Worth Matravers.

It is to be hoped that we might obtain a quicker solution by creating a CLT in Bere Regis.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Thursday 13th April at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.

April 2006 Meeting

The April meeting of the Council this year was the last meeting of the Council in its four year cycle.

We were due for elections in May but as sufficient numbers came forward to replace those Councillors who have decided not to continue in office, it was not necessary.

Cllrs Richard Hall, Guy Storey and Keith Foster have stood down after giving honourable service, and their places are to be taken by Messes A Duncanson, J Pitts and I Ventham.

The Council discussed Affordable Housing and how we might progress its provision.

We are meeting with a Housing Association in early May as at a previous meeting they suggested various ways forward in which they may be in a position to assist us. 

Clearly there are two major obstacles money and sites.

The new Council has to try to resolve these.

The  new Play Area if I might refer to it as such will soon have an all weather playing surface and a Basket Ball net attached to the kick wall.

The Council hope that these will prove to be popular with the young people.

The Council is concerned that the young children's Play Area continues to be vandalised by older children and therefore hope that the improvements being provided to the kick wall area will divert the energies of the larger people.

The Council is pleased that during the last four years there have been improvements in the Cemetery. Whereas we used to receive letters of complaint, we now hear pleasantries concerning its condition.

This results from the personal attention from Richard Hall during that period, and the Council is grateful to him.

The next meeting of the Council will be at the Drax Hall on Thursday 11th May at 7.00pm.

All are welcome to attend.

May 2006 Meeting

The May meeting every four years, which normally follows an election, is the ‘all change’ meeting.
This years was no exception as we welcomed three new Councillors and elected new officers to serve for the next twelve months.
I am listing all of the Councillors together with contacts either by phone or e-mail.
The Chairman, elected unanimously, is Mr J Parsons and the vice Chairman is Mr I Ventham.

Contact details are:

Mr R Duncanson  472 141
Mr L Fairhurst  471 507
Mrs J George Email
Mrs J Macintosh  471 068
Mr C.Maunder  471 342 
Mr T..Maunder  471 342 
Mr M Munro Email
Mr J Parsons  471 050
Mr J Pitts   471 322  
Mr I Ventham  471 480
Mr P Wharf  472 246

The Council discussed the progress with the improvements of the walking to school’ route.
There seem to be some tasks yet to be completed but when these are complete and the scheme has been approved, it is to be hoped that it will be used and that there will be a better feeling of security by all concerned.

At the recent meeting of the North Purbeck Task Group, which is todays title of the Crime Prevention Panel, it was stated that the Police Station desk officers at Wareham would in future be calling people back to inform them of action being taken as a result of their call.
The station desk number at Wareham was given as 01305 220400 if people preferred to use that number instead of the 01202 222 222 number.

The Council had a very interesting meeting during the month with the Synergy Group concerning Affordable Homes and possible ways forward.
These are early days and more meetings will be held as the Council is determined to find ways by which local people are going to be able to live in their village.

June 2006 Meeting

At the beginning of the June meeting a Parishioner spoke of the nuisance of bonfires left to smoulder overnight.
For people, who at this time of the year leave their windows ajar, this can be most unpleasant.
Thus if bonfires are lit you are requested to ensure they are fully extinguished before nightfall.

We were privileged with a visit by our MP, Annette Brook, during our meeting.
She tries to visit one of our meetings each year.
This year she arrived at the outset of a discussion on the roads and our old friend the C6 in particular.
She is keeping a close eye on the progress of the safe route to school’ and is intending to attend its grand opening whenever that might be.
She joined in a discussion on public transport and suggested that there might be some changes on the way to improve the situation in the rural areas.
We will watch with interest.

The Council intends to hold a clear up day at sometime in the future.
In the meantime all Parishioners are requested to help by clearing any weeds and discarded rubbish in the vicinity of their property.
We are extremely grateful to the two Peters who can always be seen picking up carelessly dropped sweet papers etc and by so doing keep the village in a reasonably tidy state.
I know that neither of them likes to see untidiness and thus can be seen frequently disposing of dropped litter on our behalf.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 13th July at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall. All Parishioners are welcome to attend.

July 2006 Meeting

At the July meeting Councillors expressed their concerns about a number of tasks that the County Council seemed to be experiencing difficulties with completing.
These included the clearing up of the streets after the re-surfacing work and the painting of the white lines at The Cross.
Also they are very concerned about the safe route to school work that has yet to be finalised, even though it has been going on for a long period.
All of the points are being made to the County by letter with a hope that all of the works will be completed very soon.
In addition it is hoped to raise these items at a Seminar that is, by co-incidence, being held very shortly.

As reported in last months notes, the Council is planning a Clear up Day.
Councillor Ian Ventham is organising this and an article detailing the arrangements appears in the magazine.

Councillors are also concerned that they have not yet been able to fulfil their promise of providing an all weather surface in the Kick Wall area.
The money has been earmarked and it should have been laid by now.
We hope that this will be completed during the present dry spell and before the autumn wet weather – that normally comes.

The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 10th August at 7.00pm in the Drax Hall.
All Parishioners are most welcome to attend.
The initial item on the agenda is the period for public participation, when any items that a parishioner is concerned about may be raised.

August 2006 Meeting

There was a good attendance of Parishioners at the August meeting of the Council as there was clearly deep concern regarding the Board Walk.
Sadly this popular structure has been showing its age of late and clearly became very easy to vandalise. Sections of the pathway had been removed and it had become too dangerous to use.
The District Council, who is responsible for its upkeep, wisely closed it.
The matter was discussed by the District Council and the acting Chief Executive, Mr Whalley, came to our meeting to advise us of their deliberations and to seek our thoughts.
There were a number of choices available ranging from total removal to total replacement.
After a discussion, in which the Parishioners participated, it was resolved to ask the District Council to arrange for the Board Walk to be removed.
It was agreed by all present that the Walk was required as it provided a pleasant route alongside the river. It was thus decided to seek the approval of the District Council to replace the eastern end of the pathway with a hoggin pathway.
The western end that crosses the permanently wet area is proposed to be replaced and possibly with longer life and non slip materials.
A meeting will be held to finalise the details in the very near future.
At the same time permanent repairs will be made to the bridge over the stream.
It is to be hoped that all of these works will be completed as quickly as possible but as readers will understand these matters are not cheap and the money has to be found.

Parishioners will have seen the notices that have been put up concerning the possible extraction of gravel from Philliols Farm on Bere Heath.
No application has been received as yet and ten years ago the Council opposed the proposal when it came before a Public Inquiry.
The Inquiry rejected the proposal so that any future moves will have to overturn that Inquiry.

The works on the road by the school were discussed at length.
The final outcome has yet to be decided it seems but our County Councillor is doing battle with the County authorities to achieve the requirements that the School Governors requested.

The Travellers remain at Gallows Hill.
However they should be moving on at the end of September. 
However there are no indications as to where they will move.

The next meeting of the Council will be on Thursday 14th September in the Drax Hall at 7.00pm.
All Parishioners are cordially invited.
The first item on the Agenda is a period when Parishioners may bring any matter that is of concern to them to the attention of the Council.

September 2006 Meeting

There was a good attendance of Parishioners at the September meeting of the Council reflecting the interest in the planning application for seventeen houses on the Griffins builders yard.
Many points were discussed concerning the retention of trees and hedges together with detailed points on a couple of the proposed houses.
There was concern expressed about the number of cars likely to used from the site compared the allocated parking spaces.
However as two spaces per house had been provided, which is above that required by statute, this matter was resolved.
There was concern that vehicles might be parked on North Street and there was concern expressed about the increased traffic in North Street.
The Council, after taking all points raised into account and including some riders, agreed to raise no objection to the proposal.
It welcomed the inclusion of five affordable units which will be controlled by a Social Landlord.
These being the first towards the twenty four units required from the Housing Survey.

The state of the footpaths and hidden road signs was discussed and the applicable authorities will be requested to clear hedges and long grasses.
The Purbeck Local Plan is in its final edition.
This edition sets out policies and proposals to guide development in Purbeck District up to 2011 and beyond.
These include general tests of whether a development proposal is likely to be permitted, as well as specific proposals for certain sites.
These policies and proposals aim to meet the needs for housing, jobs and services, whilst protecting the District’s high quality environment.
The Plan can be obtained from PDC or viewed on the PDC web-site. Comments and suggestions are invited from any residents before 20th October.
This is an important document and affects where you are residing now.
Bere Regis is a lovely place to live but you might find in your circumstances that there are shortcomings.
This is yet another chance to air your thoughts.
Try to be be constructive in your ideas.

The school crossing was discussed as the new arrangements are still not in use.
We learned that it is now aimed to introduce the new crossing at the half-term by when it is assumed all of the arrangements will be completed.

The Board Walk, as I write this, is still in place.
The plan is that it should be removed and an ordinary path laid similar to the Riverside Walk at the western end.
There is a small dispute on land ownership which will be resolved at the same time.
The wood removed from the Board Walk is intended to be disposed of at the School Bonfire Night.

October 2006 Meeting

At the October meeting the Council discussed the possibility of Affordable Homes within the Parish.
There had been some talk around about concerning the Toilet Block where it had been suggested that a one bedroom flat could be considered.
However on further investigation it was found that it would not be possible to build such a flat in this small space to the standards required of housing today.
Also the fact that a constantly running power unit would have been sited adjacent to it and in addition there are numerous cables etc beneath the ground on the site.
Thus this will not happen and the likely future is that the Toilet Block will be removed and replaced by grass.

As all will have observed the Board Walk has been removed.
The plan is that the section through the trees on the western end will be rebuilt using a material other than wood.
It is understood that the material to be used will be safer in wet weather than the wooden decking used previously.
It is also resistant to rotting in the wet.
The remainder of the path to the eastern end, where it will join a new bridge carrying the path the Souls Moor, will be made using a gravel.
It is anticipated that this work will be undertaken in the Spring or when the new bridge becomes available.

The Council has been discussing the state of the Poole Hill roundabout for some years with the County Council.
Parishioners will recall the blocks being removed and replaced by soil which was subsequently sown with grass seed.
However there was no rain so seedlings died and up came the weeds.
Fortunately the weeds were green so when they were mown back it at least looked green and not weeds in blocks.
All along we have tried to find sponsors who would maintain the roundabout, and the County Council have been undertaking a suitable design.
It is to be hoped that all of these intentions are going to come together in the very near future.
The other roundabout, by the Shell station, is owned by three different organisations and sadly it has proved to be impossible to obtain any progress with improving that site.

The Council is endeavouring to find suitable locations for seats by the bus stops in West Street.
This has been suggested to the Council together with a request for shelters.

Each year the Council is asked by various Charities for any financial assistance and a sum is budgeted for this.
At its meeting the Council agreed to send £100 to the Ragamuffins and to the Dorset Air Ambulance.

The Council will next meet for its routine monthly meeting on Thursday 9th November at 7.30pm at the Drax Hall.
All Parishioners are welcome and there is a period of public participation at the beginning of the meeting when parishioners may comment or seek answers to any matters concerning the Council.

November 2006 Meeting

The Council met twice in November.
The first was a special meeting that had been widely publicised in order to attract as much interest as possible to the discussion on the Core Strategy 2006-2026. Parishioners had been implored to respond to the Draft Preferred Options Document during the previous six weeks.
A proposed response to the Document was circulated among the attending Parishioners. Nearly fifty Parishioners were in attendance and in the Public Participation period the matter was discussed at length.
At its conclusion a proposal was made from the floor that those Parishioners attending support the proposed Parish Council response and this was carried unanimously.
Later when discussed by the Council the same proposal was carried by a large majority.

The same meeting accepted the Parish Plan from Mr Jon Cleave.
He and his team had worked on this for nearly two and a half years and have produced a conclusive document that is designed to guide the Parish and other Councils over the coming years.
He was thanked for his efforts which resulted from his determination to see the task through.
The Council formally adopted the Plan.

At the normal monthly meeting, recent acts of vandalism in the vicinity of the Children’s Play Area and the Youth Shelter were discussed.
The Play Area had clearly been damaged by some person(s) who are much older than for whom the area is intended.
It had been left with damage that would have caused serious injury to any youngster playing there.
In addition a bench had been moved down to the Youth Shelter area.
Another bench on the Green at the bottom of Stanbarrow Close had been totally wrecked.
These sorts of incident can not go unnoticed by more senior Parishioners and yet nothing is ever heard at the time.
The Council Tax will have to pay to rectify these mindless incidents – something that will probably not please the parents of these persons.

The graffiti on the Youth Shelter is also very disturbing.
Quite what the ‘authors’ get from their ‘cartoons’, one is at a loss to imagine.
Is it boredom?
In the meantime it will be necessary  to paint the shelter again.
Councillors would be very pleased if any of the youngsters would come forward and discuss these matters.
We would like to see the formation of a Youth Council if possible – if that sounds too official, how about coming to the next Council meeting and discussing the problems of being a Youth in Bere Regis in the 21st Century.

The Council will next meet for its routine monthly meeting on Thursday 14th December at 7.00pm at the Drax Hall. All Parishioners are welcome.
There is a period of public participation at the beginning of the meeting when parishioners may comment or seek answers to any matters concerning the Parish.  

The Chairman and Councillors wish all Parishioners a very happy and peaceful Christmas.   

December 2006 Meeting

Concerns were expressed by Parishioners attending the December meeting, about the notices that had appeared on the Green Lane leading down from Snowhill to the eastern end of North Street.
These notices were giving notice that it was intended to apply for the lane to be designated as a BOAT (Bridleway open to all traffic).
This in effect would permit the passage of all types of wheeled vehicles.
The Council agreed that this is a pleasant lane and that its status as a Bridleway and Footpath should be retained.
Inquiries are being made so that a legal objection may be raised to the proposal.

The Council is concerned about a number of mini motorcycles that are creeping on to the village scene. These vehicles are for use in designated areas and not on the roads.
The riders are not insured for road use and the bikes are not registered.
If Parishioners are concerned, mainly about the noise and their use on the roads, then they should inform the Police.

There has been another spate of vandalism in the village.
The Church toilets were the subject of one incident and the Drax Hall has had windows smashed on two occasions.
If anybody has any knowledge of these incidents they should inform the Police.

Following the recent heavy rain one lady walker reported that she had slipped on the bridge over the stream.
The Council asks that walkers to take care in wet weather when walking on the wooden surfaces.

The Council, in its move into the 21st Century, is anxious to create an email mailing list to allow rapid dissemination of village news and information to those who wish to receive it.
Thus would anyone wishing to have their email address added to the list please send an email to Ian Ventham here saying ‘please add (name) to the Parish List’.
The list will be used sparingly and only for village information.
Participants will be able to unsubscribe at any time.
Email addresses will not be disclosed to anyone.

The Council noted that the Parish Housing need, eg people with Bere Regis connections, has identified a total requirement for sixty two dwellings.