Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 2008 Meeting

At the January meeting the Council expressed its pleasure with the appearance of the Village throughout the Christmas period when the illuminated Christmas trees were on display.

The Council is grateful to all concerned with these displays.

Some of the residents of Hyde attended the meeting and expressed their concerns about the possibility of the extraction of gravel from that area.

They are not only concerned with the actual extraction but also about the possible effect on the River Piddle.

The period of public participation on this matter is now closed and they, as a group, had produced a response to the questionnaire that had been issued by the County Council.

Another resident, from North Street, spoke of the traffic speed along North Street.

Though the road is clearly within the thirty mph limit it is suggested that some of the traffic exceeds this.

He was particularly concerned about some motor cyclists who have been seen riding up and down the road.

The Community Wardens, who were also present at the meeting, offered to report this to the Police and request that they attend to observe the speeding vehicles.

The Council intend to hold monthly Community Surgeries, similar to those held by our District Councillor. The intention is for residents to air their concerns on Parish matters.

It is hoped that the Community Wardens might also be in attendance when matters concerning them can be raised. Details of these meetings will be publicised in due course.

The Council is concerned about the possible increase in traffic if the Binnegar Waste Processing Plant obtains approval to operate.

The matter was discussed atlength and a response to the County Council expressing our concerns formulated.

The concern is that most of the waste will come from outside of our area.

The proposed route to Binnegar is stated, by the proposed operator, to be via the A351 from the East and the A352 from the West.

Both of these roads are heavily congested already and also have some tight spots.

Thus it is felt that the traffic will take the less congested routes via the A31 from the East and the A35 from the West before taking the C6 (Rye Hill) through our Village.

The Council recognises that a bypass route to the South of the Village is essential and has stated this fact to the County Council.

In addition it is also communicating with the Parish Councils on the A351/A352 routes to seek their support in bringing such a bypass route to fruition as it is felt that such a route will be of benefit to them also.

February 2008 Meeting

Affordable Homes and the Play-park

Following discussions with Synergy Housing and subject to various conditions, the Parish Council have agreed to proceed with the sale of the land currently occupied by the play-park.

The first condition is that the land would be sold only if it is used for the purpose of building affordable homes. 

As you will be aware the consultation undertaken for the formation of the Parish Plan identified that affordable housing was one of the biggest concerns of people living in the village. 

Should the plans proceed it will mean 7 houses will be built on the site.

The second condition concerns the play-park. 

Undoubtedly concerns will be raised about replacing the play-park. 

The parish council have taken steps to ensure that money is made available and ring-fenced to build replacement play-park facilities and are currently looking for alternative sites.

If you have views either about the building of affordable homes or any suggestions regarding alternative locations for the play park, please contact Amanda Kennard on email here or telephone  01929 472583.

The Board Walk

I hope everyone is as pleased as we are with the new boardwalk, footpath and the new “Souls Bridge” near the Scout Hut. 

We are well aware that Souls Bridge at present deposits you into a very muddy patch in Souls Moor. 

The good news, though, is that we have set some money aside, and hope, by April, to have an extension to the boardwalk completed across the boggy patch and on to the firmer ground beyond. 

Eventually, we also hope to put in a gravel path across Souls Moor, and another to the north of the bridge from Elder Road.

Meeting of Parish Councils

You may have heard about the proposals to build a modern recycling plant at Binnegar on the Worget Road. 

We welcome this proposal, but we are very concerned about the additional heavy traffic that might end up using the C6 past our school. 

We believe that many of the other Parish councils in Purbeck also have concerns.

I’m therefore pleased to be able to tell you that Bere Regis Council has taken the initiative to invite representatives from all the nearby parish councils to an informal meeting here in Bere Regis to see if we can agree on a joint approach to Purbeck District Council and to Dorset County Council on this issue.  We’ll let you know the outcome of that meeting in next month’s magazine.

Annual Parish Meeting

Finally, this is to let you know that our Annual Parish Meeting will be held next month on Thursday 13th March at 7pm in the Drax Hall. 

We will be reviewing progress on the Parish Plan, and would therefore, very much welcome as many parishioners as possible to attend. 

It would be particularly good if representatives of our village organisations such as the Pop-in Place, the Sports Club, the Royal British Legion, Scouts, local businesses etc. could be there.

Do come!

March 2008 Meeting

AGM - Thursday 13th March

The Annual Parish Meeting was held at the Drax Hall this month. Jim Parsons, Chairman, welcomed 20 parishioners to the meeting.

Organisations represented included the Parish Church, Scouts, Bere Regis Sports Club,

The WI, Pop in Place, the Drax Hall, and the Surgery.

Jim Parsons started with his report on the progress made this year on the many issues raised in the Parish Plan.

He commented that there are simply too few Councillors to be able to do everything necessary, and that we badly need the active involvement of local people and organisations to be able to succeed.

He then commented on a number of the matters the Council has been involved with in the past year.

The Boardwalk and Souls Bridge

The Council worked with Purbeck District Council (PDC) in a joint project team to complete the boardwalk renovation and the installation of the new bridge.

The cost to the parish was £10945, and to PDC £30200.

Huge thanks are due to Councillor Malcolm Munro for his vision for Souls Bridge, and for all his work over many years  to see it installed.


In the face of pressure from government for houses to be built in the South you will recall the considerable objection to large scale housing development in Bere Regis which resulted in this Council sending a strongly worded letter of objection to PDC, along with about 90 letters from individuals, in response to the Local Development Framework document.

This document is being redrafted, and we shall be watching very carefully to ensure our previous comments are taken into account, and, if necessary, we shall comment again.

Play Park

The Chairman explained that the Council had been exploring the possibility of relocating the Children’s Play Park, and the sale of the land to a housing trust to enable affordable housing to be built there.

This would bring two real benefits to the village, firstly the provision of affordable homes, which was identified in the Parish Plan as a very high priority, and, secondly, the upgrade and modernisation of the Play Park from the sale proceeds.

It is entirely out of respect for the huge and well-remembered efforts which were devoted to creating the Play Park, that the Parish Council is pursuing a course of action which has the potential to bring these two really significant benefits to the village.

The Play Park site is one of the few areas in the village actually owned by the Parish Council, and, as such, it is highly suitable for an affordable housing development.

The houses built there will be for rent, or possibly for purchase under shared equity, and will be legally restricted for use by local people who cannot afford to buy at market levels.

The excess funds from the proposed sale of the site to a housing association will then be ring-fenced and put back into the second major benefit, the opportunity to create a completely new, modernised and upgraded Play Park in another location, or, possibly, in more than one location.

It was also part of our consideration that it is nearly 20 years since the present Play Park was created, and not only has the equipment naturally suffered much wear and tear over that time, but the standards demanded of public play equipment have been raised.

Even if the Play Park were to be retained on the present site the cost of repairs and replacement would soon become a real challenge.

There are a number of possible sites around the village.

What we want to try to ensure is that the new Play Park is as vandal proof as possible and in a location, which will make it harder for the older youths to misuse it.

We might also be able to create an additional site away from the Play Park specifically for the older children, in an attempt to reduce misuse of the younger facility.

This matter was at a very early stage, and was by no means decided.

In the meantime, consultation would proceed to try to find a suitable alternative site or sites for the Play Park, and possibly a separate area for older children away from the Play Park.

Traffic Problems in Purbeck

As you may have read in the local papers recently, your Parish Council took the initiative to convene a meeting of representatives of eight neighbouring Parish and Town Councils, together with District and County Councillors to discuss the possible impact that the proposed waste plant at Binnegar may have on heavy goods traffic on local roads.

We plan to send an agreed document to Dorset County Council (DCC), PDC, local MPs and MEPs.

This is still under discussion but will probably call for a by-pass to the East and South of Bere Regis.

The DCC decision on Binnegar has been postponed to 4th April.

Parish Plan Reports

Parish Councillors then gave short reports on progress on the Parish Plan priorities for their areas of responsibility.

Traffic: John Pitts (in his absence reported by the Chairman)


Completion of Safer Route to School, including the Vehicle Activated signs, a Traffic Survey, and the Zebra Crossing planned but still awaited.

Survey of West Street traffic which did not justify weight restrictions

Action by police on speed of traffic in North Street

Plans for double yellow lines near the Shell petrol station, and the West Street/Snow Hill junction, and single yellow lines near the surgery.

Employment: Ian Ventham


A working group of some of the village businesses has met and identified a number of initiatives that might improve footfall in our existing businesses.

These included Brown tourist signs (being pursued by John Pitts), a village directory and improvements to the Car Park.

Natural and Village Environment: Malcolm Munro


Public access has been improved by the boardwalk and Souls Bridge installation.

An additional stretch of boardwalk is to be put in over the boggy patch on the south of the stream, and hoggin paths will also be added.

The Parish Conservation group under Tony Bates’ leadership is up and running.

It is hoped this group will link to the Council and take the lead with Dorset Wildlife Trust on conservation schemes, green corridors and the development of wildlife trails.

Work continues on creating a local nature reserve along the Bere Stream and Souls Moor

PDC has finally published the Village Appraisal after some delay.

We continue to try to apply pressure on DCC to improve the appearance of the entrances to the village, particularly the roundabout.

We have offers of sponsorship, but the fragmented management between the Highways Agency, DCC and others seems to thwart our efforts.

We hope shortly to relocate the recycling bins within the car park, and then to commence some improvements to the car park

Law and Order: Peter Wharf (in his absence reported by the Chairman,)


Better contact and liaison with our community police officer, PC John Stewart, and his two PCSOs.

The active police presence in the village appears to act as a deterrent on petty crime and nuisance behaviour.

There will be a police presence with Councillor Wharf at his monthly surgeries.

Housing and Planning: Laurie Fairhurst


Affordable Housing—15 units either agreed or in train

Small-scale developments--Griffins Yard will add 16 homes in North Street.

We continue to monitor closely the local development plans and will continue to oppose any proposals for large-scale development.

Youth: Amanda Kennard


In discussion with Sports Club and local youth groups to try to ensure the widest possible provision in the village for all ages through the various voluntary organisations, but it is clear that some groups of young people are not well served by what we have.

Trying to ascertain what young people would like to see provided in the village.

An area for BMX biking and skate boarding is high on the list.

There is a strong possibility of the Bere Regis Sports Club linking with the Purbeck Panthers, thus opening up a larger pool of children, more coaches and access to funding

Continuing to consult on possible locations for the Play Park, and on what the children would like to have in the Play Park.

Medical/Surgery: Ian Ventham


The key issues remain firstly to find a site to improve or enlarge our surgery buildings and secondly to set up a Patient Participation Group (PPG).

Whilst there has been no progress so far on the former, on the latter, a meeting has been held with the Practice Manager which has identified what needs to be on the agenda when we form a PPG.

This includes patient transport both within the village and to and from hospital, dispensary pick up points in outlying villages, consultation about opening hours, the need for an exercise club and other preventative measures.

Karen Rumsey and Ian Ventham will be working actively to establish a PPG in the near future, and would greatly welcome any ideas and offers of help from the community.

Village Amenities and Services: David Shepherd and Tim Maunder


Agreement has been reached with PDC to demolish the toilet block in the car park, and, hopefully, to relocate some or all of the recycling bins onto that land.

The Cemetery continues to be carefully maintained.

Brown tourist signs and better parking signage is in hand.

Public Participation

During the public participation period various points were made and issues raised including:

Emphasis that Traffic, particularly on the C6 Wool Road, remains a very high priority.

Were the results of the traffic survey known?

Acknowledgement of the excellent services being provided by our surgery

The need to improve the amenity value of the stream and the boardwalk area, (including asking PDC to remove various fallen trees)

The need to perhaps move the school bus pick up point, so that the surgery was less affected by large numbers of young people waiting there in the mornings

The need for more dog waste bins particularly in the Souls Moor area

The need to do something about cars parking outside the school at drop off and pick up time.

The Annual Meeting then ended, and the normal monthly Parish Council meeting continued.

April 2008 Meeting

The Local Development Framework

Steve Dring from Purbeck District Council gave a an illuminating presentation about the progress (or lack of it) being made towards agreeing the Local Development Framework, including the efforts being put into opposing the additional housing potentially being imposed upon the Purbeck area, and Lytchett in particular.

Traffic Problems

Last month we mentioned the attempts we were making to get other local councils to join with us in lobbying about the increasing traffic problems we foresee the proposed waste recycling plant at Binnegar will create.

We are very pleased to report that, in the end, five other parishes joined us in agreeing the following statement, which has been delivered to the chief executives of Dorset County Council, and Purbeck and West Dorset District Councils.

Copies have also been given to the members of the Dorset County Council planning board and to various other County and District councillors as well as to our local MPs and MEPs.

In the light of the development of the proposed Binnegar Recycling Plant, and the significantly increased traffic flows on already saturated roads in the Purbeck area, we strongly recommend that Dorset County Council and Purbeck District Council take an integrated view of road traffic in the County by:

Upgrading Dorset’s east/west links by substantially improving the A35/A31 roads, particularly at the Eastern and Western ends.

Upgrading the north/south links by building a by-pass to the East and South of Bere Regis.

Reconsidering the Sandford by-pass.

Policing Initiative

Last month we agreed to sign up to the local policing initiative, the PACT panel, covering Lytchett, Bere Regis, and Sandford. Councillor Chris Maunder attended the first meeting where various local priorities for policing were agreed.

School Bus Pick-up Points

Concerns have been expressed by a number of parishioners about the problem of large numbers of children congregating near the Surgery in the morning for the school buses.

We had a useful discussion about where the bus stop might be relocated, and decided to recommend a couple of options to Dorset County Council.

Environmental Award

We were particularly pleased to learn that our joint initiative with Purbeck District Council to reinstate the boardwalk and install the new Souls Bridge had been rewarded by being chosen as a winner in the International Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment.

As the driving force behind the new bridge, it was felt entirely appropriate that Councillor Malcolm Munro should represent the Parish at the award ceremony to be held at the Tower of London in June.

If you have any problems or issues that you think we may be able to help you with, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Please remember that you are very welcome to join us at our monthly meetings and to raise any points of concern in the period for public participation.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday May 8th at 7pm.

May 2008 Meeting

Your Parish Council met on Thursday 8th May for its monthly meeting.
This meeting is the one at which officers are elected or re-elected for the following year.
The Council duly re-elected Jim Parsons as Chairman, and Ian Ventham as Vice-Chairman.

Bere Regis First School
Annetta Allen, chair of governors of Bere Regis First School, gave a very interesting and thoughtful talk about the school, its successes and progress.
She also briefed us about the forthcoming consultation process about schooling in Purbeck, as a reaction to falling school rolls.
The Council pledged its strong support to the school, through this process.

Puddletown Road Windfarm Application
The Council discussed this proposal at some length, eventually deciding that in principle we supported the application, but had concerns about the lack of consultation with the Dorset Scout County Campsite at Buddens Farm, which is within the parish, and reservations about the siting of two of the turbines, as these would have a significant impact upon those using the campsite.
We also wished to urge the developers to consider integrating their plans with the waste disposal facility being developed at Binnegar, particularly over energy generation.

The Binnegar Waste Plant Application
You may recall that this council had managed to coordinate a common view of six neighbouring parish and town councils about the traffic problems we believed the Binnegar Waste Plant would create. At the Planning Board meeting about this application, Councillor Wharf eloquently and strongly presented Bere Regis Council’s view, that whilst we were not opposed to the plant, we were strongly of the opinion that the traffic issues needed to be dealt with first. Whilst this argument was not formally accepted, and the plant was granted planning permission, there are strong indications that our lobbying has been at least partially successful, and that the planners are in the very early stages of considering an Eastern and Southern bypass route for our village.

Traffic and Roads
Councillor John Pitts reported on the deeply frustrating delays caused by Dorset County Council to the implementation of the zebra crossing near the school, which should be the final element in the 'Safer Route to School' plan.
It is now about 15 months since we made a formal complaint about the inaction of our County Council, yet their failure to publicly advertise the proposed crossing has led to this inordinate delay.
We will continue to press them to finish what they have long promised but have yet to deliver.
The same criticism applies to the failure to advertise the proposed double yellow lines which we would like to see painted on the roads near the surgery and at the Snow Hill/North Street junction, however I am pleased to announce that the long awaited Public Notice has finally been published, and will be posted on 15th May, so perhaps there will now be some progress.

Practice Support Group
The surgery, with the Parish Council, would very much like to get a volunteer-run support group up and running.
The sort of tasks such a group of people might undertake include collecting and delivering prescriptions to elderly or less mobile people who cannot easily get to the surgery, providing transport for patients to and from the surgery and hospitals, and acting as a sounding board about the services being offered by our medical team here in the village.

We would very much like to appoint someone who is resident in the village, and who could give perhaps an hour a day, to act as the coordinator of such a group.
We’d also very much like to hear from people who have their own transport, who might be willing to be on a delivery or passenger rota from time to time.
Would anyone interested in helping out, and who might be willing to come to an interest meeting to find out more, please let me know on 01929 471480, or email me here?

Demand for Allotments
We have been asked if allotments can be made available in the village.
Whilst the Parish Council does not own or manage any, there are some that are owned by the Morden Park Estate, but there is apparently a waiting list for these.
If sufficient demand exists we could investigate how more might be made available in the future. Would anyone interested in an allotment please telephone our clerk, Jim Ruddock, on 01929 556263

June 2008 Meeting

Your Parish Council met on Thursday 12th June for its monthly meeting.

School Bus Pick up Point

The Council has learned of problems relating to the school buses picking up in the vicinity of the Doctors’ Surgery.
The issues relate to the pick up times clashing with the opening times of the surgery, this hinders patient access and increases the risk to the 100 or so children who board the buses.
In an attempt to improve the situation the parish Council has consulted the bus operators and a proposal to move the pick up point to Elder Road, east of M Manor Farm Road opposite the Scout Hut, is being discussed.
If you have any comments on this proposal should be made to Mr Chris Maunder on 471342 or to 15 North Street before the middle of July.

Environmental Award for Bere Regis

Councillors Munro and Wharf attended as Awards Ceremony in London to be presented with a Broad Leaf Tree Green Apple Award for the Souls Bridge Board Walk project.
The award was presented by David Bellamy. It will shortly be displayed in the Drax Hall.

Alternative Play Park Site

The Parish Council are committed to consultation on a new site for the Play Park.
A letter of explanation and a questionnaire will be delivered to all homes in Bere Regis in early July please let us have your views on the proposals.
There will be a post box for replies in the Spar Shop.

Zebra Crossing

The Parish Council are continuing to press Dorset County Council to implement the crossing outside of the school.
Annette Brooke our standing MP has written to Dorset after being made aware of the delay to this project.

July 2008 Meeting

Public Participation

Four parishioners were present during the period for Public Participation.
Various concerns were expressed about the planning application recently submitted about the operation of a café at the Central Stores on West Street.
The council, having listened to these concerns, found that it could not agree with the majority of the objections, and resolved to support the planning application, as it was in line with the policies in the Parish Plan.
The council did agree, however, to recommend that approval of the planning application should be subject to tidying up the area to the side of the Central stores, and to the installation of an extractor system that would cope adequately with the kitchen smells.

Play Park

A consultation letter to all households about possible new sites for the children’s Play Park will be sent out shortly.
A safety inspection has recently been carried out, that has highlighted a few safety issues. Expenditure has been authorised to deal with the most pressing of the repairs.

Traffic and Transport

Councillor John Pitts spoke about the deep frustration he is experiencing in his dealings with Dorset County Council (DCC) about the long promised zebra crossing outside the school, and the delays over the provision of double yellow lines near the Shell Garage, in West Street and near the surgery.
It is now nearly two years since the zebra crossing was agreed, and despite many letters, and contacts, including a letter of support from our local MP, Annette Brooke, the necessary adverts and conversion to an order have not been carried out.
Similar problems surround the provision of the double yellow lines.
Also, for some other Parish items DCC now claims that it does not have sufficient money, but the suspicion remains that this is merely the inaction of a grossly incompetent local authority.


Just as frustrating has been our dealings with Purbeck District Council (PDC) over the demolition of the disused toilet block in the village car park.
It was agreed to demolish the block well over a year ago.
This is part of a longer-term plan to tidy up the car park, move the recycling bins, and perhaps install visitor signs and maps in due course.
On the face of it, it would appear not to be a too difficult exercise to demolish the building, yet PDC officials appear incapable of even being able to plan and execute this simple task.
We continue to press them for a conclusion to this sorry saga.

Bere Regis Surgery Practice Support Group

Following the request two months ago for volunteers to coordinate a possible Support Group initiative to deliver prescriptions to the housebound, we have moved a step or two in the right direction.
We now have a couple of willing volunteer coordinators, so the next step is to ask for people who have an hour or two to spare each week, who drive their own car, and who would be willing to take on this voluntary task to contact me, Ian Ventham, on 01929 471480, or at for more information.


Our next meeting on 14th August will be held in a novel way.
We are going on walkabout around the village!
We will gather at the Drax Hall as normal at 7pm, do the minimum essential business, including the Period for Public Participation, and then set off to take a look around ‘our patch’.
The route we will take will be as shown on the map below.
Parishioners will be most welcome to join us en route, to comment, give suggestions or just to meet us.

Please remember that we, your Parish Council, do what we do as volunteers, in our own time, for no recompense, except that we are all committed to trying to ensure that our village is a safe, clean, well regulated place which we can all enjoy living in.
Please help us achieve that.

August 2008 Meeting

Your Parish council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th August.
We were very sorry to hear that our clerk, Jim Ruddock, had suffered an accident on his motorbike, and was laid up with an injured foot.

This was an unusual meeting in that routine matters were quickly dealt with to enable the council to ‘go on walkabout’ around the village.
We were very fortunate to be joined not only by our District Councillor, Peter Wharf, and our County Councillor, Malcolm Shakesby, but also by our MP, Annette Brooke

Traffic and Transport

We discussed once again the inaction by Dorset Council (DCC) over the long promised zebra crossing near the school.
We noted that funding for the Safe Route to School, including the crossing, had been very generously given by BP, so if lack of funding was the reason for inaction, then serious questions needed to be asked of DCC as to what the balance of the BP money had been spent on.
Your Council debated what courses of action were open to it in trying to overcome DCC’s incompetence and inertia. Annette Brooke offered her help.

The Walkabout

Our route took us up North Street to the Shell Garage, along Snow Hill Lane, to West Street, Manor Farm Rd, the Play Park, the Youth Shelter, across Souls Bridge to the Cemetery, returning to the Drax Hall via Southbrook.
We were joined by a few villagers along the whole route, and met quite a few more at various stages.

We noted a number of matters that were in hand with DCC, but not yet completed, such as the yellow lines at the Shell Garage, on West St, and near the Surgery.

We undertook to ask DCC to cut back the verges and overhanging foliage at the top end of North Street, and in Southbrook.

The Play Park gave us some concern, as the damaged fencing allows access for dogs.
We also noted the need for a new load of chippings to make the area safe.

We discussed, but couldn’t arrive at any conclusion about how to deal with the increasingly unpleasant graffiti on the Youth Shelter.
Painting it out merely gives the young people concerned a fresh canvas, and leaving it to accumulate is offensive.
Other than asking parents to exercise more control over the children who misuse the Youth Shelter (are the parents concerned even aware?), we lacked any answers.
Suggestions would be gratefully received.

We commented on the state of our street signs, many of which look very tired.

By contrast, we commented on the fine state of the cemetery, which was in very good order, and looking attractive and peaceful.

Overall we were pleased with how the village appeared, and it was a pleasure to be able to show our MP around and for her to meet some constituents.
We plan to make this walkabout an annual event.

September 2008 Meeting

Housing in the Green Belt in Lytchett

At the September meeting of the Parish Council the District Councillor for Lytchett Minster, Paul Johns, spoke to us about the 2,750 extra houses that have been imposed on that area by the Government Office of the South West.
We find that there are many people in the area who do not know about it and are horrified by the thought of the proposed 2,750 extra properties in the Green Belt at Lytchett Minster.
This has been unanimously opposed by the District Council and a series of demonstrations and public meetings will have taken place by the time this article appeas.

The Parish Council gave Paul our support and agreed to publicise his message.
You can read Pauls article here and a link to respond to the Government can be found here.
There are also additional copies of the Article and response form in the Post Office.
We encourage you to respond with your thoughts whatever they might be.


The Council discussed the idea of a Bere Regis composting site to be situated somewhere in the village. We would envisage it dealing with small amounts of biodegradable compost purely for the residents of the village.
We have no idea of where it might be but before we start to investigate this idea we wanted to gauge the level of interest.
Please email the clerk here or the Chair here with your thoughts on this or drop a line to me at The Old Vicarage, Bere Regis.
We make no promises about this.
We would not want to do a lot of work on without there being a strong demand for a composting site within the village

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

October 2008 Meeting

Council Vacancy

There was a discussion about the vacancy which presently exists on the Council.
Ideally, we would be pleased if a parishioner with an interest in young people came forward for appointment.

Traffic and Transport

The lack of action by Dorset County Council over the installation of the promised Zebra Crossing near the school had prompted our MP, Annette Brooks to get involved.
As a result, a meeting involving John Pitts from the Parish Council, Malcolm Shakesby, our County Councillor, Annette Brook and various officers from DCC took place on 2nd October, at County Hall.
During a long meeting, it was admitted that many matters including the Zebra Crossing, yellow lines and roundabout sponsorship had been neglected and delayed.
Action was promised.
A follow-up meeting is being put in the diary in an attempt to keep DCC up to the mark.

Village Environment

Three benches are due to be delivered shortly, and will be installed near the stream and boardwalk.

There had been considerable enthusiasm expressed for the idea of a village composting area for green waste, so this matter, and the matter of providing allotments, will be taken forward by Jim Parsons and Ian Ventham.

Residents of Sitterton Close have been in consultation with PDC and with Purbeck Housing Trust (PHC) about the problems caused by the trees in the Close.
Your Council agreed with the proposal from PDC and PHC that every second tree should be removed and the remainder pollarded again.

Planning and Housing

The large scale development proposed for Lytchett Minster was discussed.
All households in the village should by now have received a leaflet from Purbeck District Council (PDC), outlining how to register an objection, should you wish to do so.
Further leaflets can be obtained from Jim Parsons, the chairman.

Bere Regis Scout Hut

The council heard that rising numbers of young people in membership means that the Group wished to extend the hut on its site in Elder Rd.
Planning permission had been granted, so fundraising for the £50,000 needed will now start in earnest.
The Council gave its support to the Scout Group in its plans.

November 2008 Meeting

Your Parish council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 13th November.

Public Participation

Five parishioners were present, and questions were raised about various matters including dealing with the hand made signs which were regularly appearing at the roundabouts advertising fish for sale (the Council agreed to write to the appropriate authorities), the continued absence of a sign for Shitterton (work continues to try to obtain a less easily moved sign), the purpose of the new PACT Panel (see below), and the state of play concerning a request for more allotments in the village (see below).

It was recognised that many parishioners would not want to turn out for our regular meetings on the evening of the second Thursday of the month.
Therefore, in order to make the Council more available, the Council decided to set up a rota of Councillors to join our District Councillor, Peter Wharf, at his regular monthly surgery.
This is held at Turberville Court, on the first Saturday of the month at 9.30 am.
From the New Year, anyone with a problem or query for the Parish Council will be very welcome to come and talk to us at this regular surgery.

Of course, in the meantime, we would welcome any parishioner phoning or emailing us with any problems or queries.

Council Vacancy

No volunteers had come forward, so we are continuing to try to find two parishioners to fill the vacancies. We are particularly keen to obtain the help of someone with an interest in and involvement with the young people of the village.

Village Environment


We are delighted that the new benches to be installed near the stream have arrived, and hopefully will be in place very soon.


We are continuing to try to obtain more allotments for a number of parishioners who have requested them. An approach is being made to the Morden Estate to persuade them to re-open the allotments at Back Lane. Other possible sites are being investigated.
The legal position is now clearer in that the advice we have received is that the Parish Council has no power to compulsorily purchase or hire land for allotments, and would only be able to request the District Council to act, but if it did so, the resulting legal costs would probably be far beyond our means.
There is no legal number of allotments that have to be provided in the village.

We continue to seek a site for a village composting area.
Dorset County Council inform us that the yellow lines in North Street by the Shell Garage should be painted by Christmas, though the ones near the surgery and in West Street won’t happen before the New Year.
The zebra crossing at the school should be installed by February half term, though we continue to push for an earlier completion date.
Clearing back the weed growth and soil in North Street should happen before Christmas.

PACT Panel

There was considerable discussion about the role and purposes of the new PACT Panel initiative which has been introduced recently by central government. It was felt that there was potential for confusion and overlap between the role of the Parish Council, and the role of the PACT Panel.
Councillor Ventham stated that in discussions with the police recently, it was made clear that the intention was that the PACT panel should involve all groups and organisations in the village, and should be working closely with the Parish Council.
To that end, and to try to resolve the confusion, and to tell us more about our local Safer Neighbourhood Team, Inspector Chris Weeks, our newly appointed Section Inspector, would be attending the December meeting of the council.
Clearly any initiative, which helps to improve the quality of life of our residents, is to be welcomed.
We just need to establish how best to work together.

We were very pleased to welcome PCSO Stuart Hann to the meeting.
He was standing in for PC Jon Stuart, who is on leave.

December 2008 Meeting

Public Participation

Four parishioners were present.
Matters raised included comments about the gate at the end of North Street being left unlocked (Dorset County Council to be asked to repair and replace the lock); speeding in North Street (to be raised again in February when Inspector Weeks should be present); and concerns about the new PACT initiative (see below).

The PACT Initiative

We were grateful that the vicar was attending the meeting in his capacity as Chairman of the North Wareham PACT Panel.
He explained that PACT Panels have their origins in the Crime and Disorder Act 2002, as part of the government’s objectives to oblige local authorities and Police Forces to work together to address the issue of creating safer communities.

Groups of 3 or 4 parishes are combined into Panels under an independent chair, and hold about 4 meetings a year.
These meetings should involve Parish Councils, Fire Service representatives and other community representatives, to decide upon a set of priorities to do with safety, policing and crime prevention, and to try to find solutions to these problems.

The three current priorities in this area are:
1. The new school crossing at Sandford
2. Speeding in the High Street at Lytchett
3. Graffiti on the Youth Shelter at Bere Regis

In addition, regular PACT meetings are held in order that parishioners may voice their concerns about safety issues to members of the PACT Panel. The next such meeting will be in the Drax Hall on 15th January from 1pm to 1.45pm. If you have any concerns about safety or security, please come along and voice them.

Allotments and Composting

The council was continuing to talk to the Drax Estate, and to Grainger’s, the landowners to the South of the village, about possible allotment sites and a possible green waste composting site.

Play Park

A formal consultation exercise will be underway soon to gauge views about possible future sites for the children’s play area.

Village Environment

The double yellow lines at the Shell Garage are completed. North Street road edges and bushes have been cut back.
The long-awaited zebra crossing at the school should be installed before half-term next year, and yellow lines near the surgery and in West Street should be in by February.
New car park signage is near to agreement.

By the time you read this article the new benches near the stream and the boardwalk should be in place and in use.

Council Vacancy

We are continuing to look for new councillors, to co-opt to the two vacancies we presently have.

County Councillor’s Report

Malcolm Shakesby, our county councillor, reported on the schools consultation presently being carried out, on the subject of the middle school system.

Parish Plan Responsibilities

The council agreed to a slight re-ordering of responsibilities:
1. Environment Team Leader Councillor John Pitts
2. Housing and Planning Team Leader Councillor Laurie Fairhurst
3. Youth Team Leader (unfilled at present)
4. Police and Community Team Leader Councillor Peter Wharf
5. Village Organisations Liaison Team Leader Councillor Ian Ventham

Council Surgery

On Saturday 3rd January, a Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf, our District Councillor at his regular monthly surgery at Turberville Court at 9.30 am.
Any parishioner who wishes to raise any matter with either the parish or district councils is very welcome to come along.