Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 2009 Meeting

Schools in Purbeck

Dorset County Council has initiated a review of school provision in the Purbeck area.

In their background document on this they state that the key objective of this review is “to improve the life chances for children and young people in the region.

Schools within the Purbeck district have seen a considerable decline in the number of school aged children.

This has led to a significant number of surplus places across Purbeck” Without grossly oversimplifying the situation the basic idea is to move from a three to two tier education system which would mean closing the middle schools and changing first schools to primary schools.

The major impact for Bere Regis would be the closure of Sandford Middle School and the repositioning of our first school as a primary school.

Consultation has commenced and will close on 25th February 2009.

Copies of the document are available from Caroline Cole at DCC on 01303 228621 or are on line here

Please come along to the next Parish Council meeting 12th February at 7.00 pm where we want to hear your views before we submit our formal Parish Council response to DCC.

Also at that meeting will be the Chair of Sandford Middle school Reverend Ian Woodward and the Headmaster of Bere Regis First School Mr. Steve Battishall.

New Councillor

We welcome Keith Nurrish who has joined the Parish Council.

Keith is a retired airline pilot who lives in White Lovington and who is known to many of us as a keen golfer and man with a wicked sense of humour!

New Joint Surgery

On Saturday 7th February a Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds.

This is held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am. We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

February 2009 Meeting

Your Parish council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th February

Public Participation

The Purbeck Schools Review-Public Views

There was a very good turnout for this meeting, with nearly 20 people present to contribute to the debate about ‘The Purbeck Schools Review’.

We were particularly pleased to welcome our MP, Annette Brook, as well as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for our constituency, Nick King.

Lively contributions, some in favour of the status quo, and some in favour of the two-tier system, from Steve Battishill, our village school head teacher, Ian Woodward, our vicar, in his twin capacities as a governor of the Bere Regis School and chairman of the governors of Sandford Middle School and Andy Kent, amongst many others, helped inform the Council’s own debate which took place later in the meeting.

The PACT Initiative

We were also very pleased to welcome Inspector Chris Weeks, who is responsible for the Purbeck section, along with Karen Jaggs who works for Purbeck District Council as the Community Safety Officer. Inspector Weeks reported on his satisfaction with the development of the PACT initiative in the area.

Peter Wharf, as the Councillor with responsibility for policing and police liaison, reported on the first successful combined village surgery held last Saturday, involving himself as District Councillor, a Parish councillor and PC Jonathan Stuart, our community policeman.

The next combined surgery will be at Turberville Court at 0930 on Saturday 7th March.

Anyone with any matters they would like to raise will be most welcome.

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. The agents for the Drax estate have asked whether the council would be willing to take on the running of the allotments at Court Green. More information has been requested.

Play Park

A good number of responses have already been received, but as, due to an oversight, a number of houses did not receive the questionnaire last month, more have now been distributed.

Consequently, the responses will be discussed at our next meeting in March, so as to give everyone a chance to comment.

In the meantime it was reported that all the pupils at the village school had taken part in a project to look at the pros and cons of the various alternative sites, and to discuss what sort of play equipment they would like to see in the new play park.

Three councillors had very much enjoyed listening to feedback about the results of the project from the children.

When the time comes, the children’s views will be taken into account in the layout of a new site, and in the selection of equipment.

The Purbeck Schools Review

The council had a long debate on how to frame its collective response to the consultation document. Everyone expressed great disappointment about the quality of Dorset County Council’s consultation exercise, expressing frustration that in effect, only two options were being put forward, and these in very stark terms.

There was insufficient assurance about the certainty of funding to enable either the two or three tier options to be successfully implemented.

Consequently, the council decided that it could not support the recommendation to move to a two-tier system, and could only support the status quo.

County Councillor’s Report

Malcolm Shakesby, our county councillor having taken part in the Schools Review debate, also mentioned actions he was taking about flooding on the A35 road, and about the need for measures to reduce the danger of cars hitting increasingly large numbers of deer.

Village Environment

John Pitts reported that work had started on installing the Zebra Crossing near the School, and that yellow lines should be painted on the road near the surgery and either side of the Snow Hill junction in March.

He also reported on the activities of the village Environmental Group who he had recently met, and their desire to become more involved in the stewardship of the natural environment near the village.

Council Vacancy

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

Village Organisations

Councillor Ventham reported that he and Councillor Maunder intended contacting all village organisations over the coming months to ask if they would like a councillor to join a meeting to talk about the Parish Plan and the work of the Council.

It was also intended to ask representatives of all the organisations to join the Parish Council Annual Meeting on Thursday 12th March at 7pm.

Parish Precept

The council approved a precept of £23495 for the 2009/10 year.

Combined Surgery

The next combined parish, district and PACT surgery will be held at Turberville Court at 0930 on Saturday 7th March.

Please come along if you have a problem you wish to discuss or an issue you wish to raise.

Parish Annual Meeting

The next council meeting and the Annual Meeting will be in the Drax Hall at 7pm on Thursday 12th March, when we will be debating the future Play park site.

We would love to see as many people their as possible.

March 2009 Meeting

Annual Parish Meeting Thursday 13th March 2009

The Annual Parish Meeting was held at the Drax Hall on Thursday 14th March. Jim Parsons, Chairman, welcomed 25 parishioners to the meeting.

Organisations represented included the Parish Church, Scouts, the WI, Pop in Place, the Drax Hall, the Village Conservation Group, the Royal British Legion, Autumn Leaves and Friends of Bere Regis School.

Jim Parsons presented his annual report on the progress made this year on the many matters that have come before the Council.

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.

Allotments and Composting Site

We are still in active contact with the agents for the Drax estate and Grainger with the view of providing additional allotments and a village composting site.


Just over a year ago this Parish Council took the initiative to convene a meeting of 8 Parish Councils to discuss the traffic problems in Purbeck and in particular the need for a southern by-pass of Bere Regis. This resulted in a joint demand going to Dorset County Council and was a major factor in the decision` by County that such a by-pass is justified and to carry out design work on the four alternative routes. We have been promised that we shall be consulted on these designs in the next two months or so.

He expressed his concern over the safety of children going to and from the school.

We all know that Rye Hill is extremely busy and potentially very dangerous.

However he had many times seen young children running several yards ahead of their mothers and this is very worrying.

He urged parents to keep their children under close control.

Affordable Homes and The Play Park Site

A major part of our work has been the play park.

We reported very fully at the annual parish meeting last year and in parish magazine articles over the months but will summarise the situation again.

For some time we have been exploring the possibility of relocating the children’s play park, and the sale of the land to a housing trust to enable affordable homes to be built.

This would give two benefits—the provision of more affordable homes which was a high priority in the Parish Plan, and the upgrade of the play park with modern equipment using the sale proceeds.

We have to bear in mind that it is some 20 years since the present play park was created and, as you would expect the equipment has suffered much wear and tear in that time. In addition the safety regulations for play equipment have become stricter. So even if the play park remains where it is the cost of repairs and replacement would soon be a problem.

If we are able to re-locate the play park we want to make the new one as vandal proof as possible. We might also be able to create a separate second site for the older children.

When Purbeck District Council sold the land to the Parish Council a restrictive covenant was added so that building would not be permitted.

We have been in discussion with Purbeck and it may well be possible that the covenant can be lifted, taking account of the double benefits which would follow—i.e. the affordable homes and a new modern play park.

Purbeck required us to consult widely within the village on possible alternative sites and this we have done over recent weeks.

The results will be analysed shortly and we will then review the way forward.

This matter will undoubtedly be discussed fully in future Parish Council meetings and will be reported in the Parish Magazine and our web site.

Or you will be most welcome to attend our meetings to express your views.

Volunteer of the Year

Purbeck District Council have introduced a Volunteer of the Year award scheme, the idea being that Parish and Town Councils nominate a volunteer from their areas and then a decision will be taken as to which one is the overall Volunteer of the Year for the whole of Purbeck.

He said that, after consultation, he had nominated Kath Jeeves as the Volunteer of the Year from Bere Regis and was sure that will be a very popular choice.

Parish Plan

Finally, we have continued to work on the action items from the parish plan. With a view to greater efficiency we have very recently reorganised our work and have set up 4 working groups so far and we want to establish a fifth working group when we have recruited a new councillor, with responsibility for Young People.

These are:

Environment led by Councillor John Pitts, Housing and Planning led by Councillor Laurie Fairhurst, Police and Community led by Councillor Peter Wharf and Village Organisations Liaison led by Councillor Ian Ventham.

Each then gave a short report of their work.

Planning and Housing

Laurie Fairhurst said that the Planning and Housing Working Party had met ten times in the past year – mainly to consider planning applications.

• Planning

The PWP considered twenty-five applications during the year and recommended no objections to twenty-two. Of the three we raised objections, two were for the same site – namely the conversion of a garage to a dwelling behind 3-4 North Street.

The other application objected to was the enclosure of an open space at 1 South Mead.

Our chairman spoke to PDC planning board on all these objections and the planning board upheld our recommendations.

• Affordable Housing

Of the six affordable homes built by Wyatt’s at Griffin’s Gardens, five are now occupied and at least three of the occupants are from the village.

The investigations into building seven affordable homes on the site of the existing play park are on hold until the results of consultation with the village on re-locating the play park are finalised.

• Housing Action Plan

The housing working party have studied a map from the 1986 village plan and a map produced in the mid 1990’s showing possible development sites for housing.

After discussion on various sites Councillor Malcolm Munro has volunteered to produce a new map based on these ideas.

This will be presented to the parish council late spring/early summer.


In his absence, John Pitts’ report was read out.

Amongst many successes, the following were significant:

• Roads/Traffic:

1. Safe Route to School. Zebra Crossing Beacons and electrics are installed.

The non-slip surface laid 18 months ago had failed and had to be removed and re-laid.

Zebra Crossing road markings and commissioning remain.

Then the Safe Route will be complete.

2. Yellow Line Markings. Shell Garage– Double yellow lines from roundabout to junction of Industrial Estate completed. ’30 mph’ entry signs from roundabout now installed.

Entrance to Snow Hill – Double yellow lines now installed. Manor Farm Road opposite Dr.’s surgery – Single yellow line now installed.

3. Road Signage. A scheme to rationalise/update the signage to and from the car park/refuse area and to include the Church symbol continues to be developed with Dorset County Council.

Currently, we are awaiting the cost of the proposed scheme before, hopefully, we can finalise.

4. Car Park Recycling Bins Relocation.

The toilet block has been demolished and amended to an enclosure to enable some recycle bins to be relocated.

The work has been completed by the builders for Purbeck District Council.

Not all the recycle bins can be relocated in the area but rationalising the area of bins is being concluded.

• Natural and Village Environment

1. A meeting has been attended with the Parish Conservation Group, which was well attended.

A map of an area alongside the Bere Stream that the group would like to develop further as a conservation area has been received.

2. Maps [updated] of all Public Rights of Way in the Bere Regis Parish have been received from Dorset County Council.

A maintenance and reporting system is being developed.

3. A survey is being carried out of wheel chair access on the village roads/pavements.

Police and Community

The Chairman reported as follows on Peter Wharf’s behalf:

We have recently attended two meetings of PACT. As you may recall this acronym stands for Partners and Community Together.

It is often thought that the P of PACT stands for Police and although the Police are heavily involved, the idea is that members of the local community work together as Partners.

One of the meetings was to review the working of the Homewatch scheme.

This used to be called the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

We have asked for a current list of the organisers in Bere Regis so we can advertise for new members where there are gaps.

At the second PACT meeting we asked for the anti-social behaviour near the stream to be monitored more closely by the Police, with a Police presence from time to time at the bridge and all along the stream from the Scout Hut to Shitterton Bridge.

We shall continue to attend PACT meetings and report any crimes in the village. It is important that residents bring any such problems to our attention or direct to the Police.

Village Organisations Liaison

Ian Ventham stated that this is a new responsibility, created at the end of last year, with the aim of trying to ensure that the Parish Council engages with all organisations active in the village.

To start with, we are offering the organisations the chance to invite a Parish Councillor to a meeting or an AGM to talk briefly about the Parish Plan, and how that organisation and its members might relate to, and help implement the plan.

At the very least, we hope that by opening a dialogue, we will become more aware of the issues that are important to parishioners.

So, the invitation is there! Just let us know if you would like a Councillor to attend a meeting to speak for a few minutes about the Parish Plan.

Public Participation

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

• Ian Woodward stated, as chair of the local PACT panel, that PACT was not just about dealing with crime, but also about anything to do with public safety.

• Sue Stone made the very helpful suggestion that to help deal with the demand for allotments, perhaps those older people who were finding their gardens a bit too much to cope with, might be put in touch with those wanting an allotment, to the benefit of both parties.

[If there were any residents who would be willing to hand over part of their garden for cultivation by someone else, perhaps they would let one of the Councillors know.]

• Sarah Welton, on behalf of the Court Green allotment holders, expressed interest in the landlord possibly handing control to the Council, and said there was the possibility that the allotment holders might form a self-managing association.

• Tony Bates queried why the Back Lane allotments were largely disused.

The Chairman said the council was awaiting a response from the landlord on this very subject.

• The chairman of the Bere Regis Branch of the Royal British Legion requested that the council pay for the cleaning of the War Memorial, and some necessary re-lettering.

The Council agreed to look into this.

He also raised the issue of traffic safety at the junction of Manor Farm road and Turberville Road.

• A number of people raised the issue of dog fouling on pavements in the village, particularly on the School route, the need for more enforcement of anti-fouling regulations, and the need for more dog waste bins. We were reminded that there were now very severe penalties for allowing dogs to foul pavements, and residents were asked not to hesitate to take dog-owners to task if they were seen not to clean up.

• The need for improving the footpaths on Souls Moor and along the Bere Stream was raised.

This was on the Council’s agenda for this year

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

Finally, please don’t forget:

• If you have any problems you wish to discuss come to the monthly joint Parish, District and PACT surgery on the first Saturday of the month (Sat 4th April) at Turberville Court at 9.30am.

• Our next monthly meeting, at which all residents are welcome, on Thursday 9th April at 7pm

April 2009 Meeting

Zebra Crossing outside the school

We have asked Dorset County Council (DCC) to review the installation of the zebra crossing as the “belisha” beacons can be difficult to see in the sunlight and to see whether DCC can extend the cowling on the top to help people see the crossing more clearly.


PC Craig Tatton attended the Parish Council Meeting and agreed to follow up on enforcing the newly installed yellow lines around the village to ensure they are adhered to.

The Parish Council requests all people to park considerately particularly around the Doctors’ surgery and around towards the car park.

This is particularly important when patients are entering and leaving the surgery.

Kathleen Jeeves

The annual volunteer of the year award was held on 8th April at Purbeck District Council in Wareham. Eleven people from across the district attended a ceremony where they were presented with an award for their services to the community.

These people had all been nominated by their local Parish Councils and Bere Regis was represented by our very own Kath Jeeves.

Jim Parsons (Parish Council Chair) gave a short acceptance speech (below) on behalf of the parish Council and the people of Bere Regis.

“Kath as she is known throughout the village has worked tirelessly for over 30 years for the good of the village and the district community as a whole.

In the earlier days, she recognised the need to establish a club for older people so that they could get together and keep in touch with their friends.

The club is still very active and continues to provide a most valuable service to the community.

As a pianist, Kath has formed a choir of ladies who, in many cases, would not have considered themselves performing musicians.

Her enthusiasm brought them together and formed a talented group who perform to audiences young and old, regularly performing at old folks clubs, nursing homes and sheltered housing.

Kath also accompanies on the piano for the Pop in Place choirs for younger members of the community.

Kath has also enthusiastically guided the Village Hall Committee as its Chairman, inspiring the committee to make great improvements to the elderly Village Hall and today it is a welcoming meeting place for all who care to use it.

Over the years, Kath has set a very high standard for voluntary work in the village and surrounding areas, quietly getting on with things, including taking elderly folk on shopping trips, giving friendship and companionship to all.

Kath is an outstanding example of a very good citizen, well deserved of this award.”

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds.

This is held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.

We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf

District Councillor

May 2009 Meeting

Your Parish council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th May

Public Participation

Andy Kent and Roger Duncanson gave an excellent presentation, and showed the plans, for the proposed development of the Sports Club facilities.
Andy outlined some of the successes the Club is presently enjoying, and then went on to outline the phased plan the club was trying to put into place.
Plans, which are all dependant on raising considerable sums of money, include re-roofing the building which is presently used by the British Legion, developing new changing facilities and eventually putting in a multi purpose, hard surface pitch called a MUGA, to enable the club to offer improved facilities for a wider range of sporting activities and to relieve the pressure on the grass field, particularly during wet periods.

The council was happy to give its support to these plans, provided that the outcome benefited the largest possible number of parishioners.


Jim Parsons, our chairman for the past three years, and a council member for six, announced that he was standing down, not just as Chairman, but also from the council.
He outlined some of the achievements of the council against the agreed actions in the Parish Plan, and was pleased to report that, during his chairmanship, more than 30 items could be ticked off as being completed or well under way.
Jim was congratulated and thanked for his leadership, not just by the Council, but also by Jane Woodward on behalf of those parishioners who regularly attend our meetings.

Ian Ventham was elected as Chairman, and Laurie Fairhurst as Vice Chairman.
On taking the chair, Ian Ventham said that he wished to continue the efforts to achieve what was agreed in the Parish Plan.
He said he felt that most of our residents share quite modest aspirations.
They want to live in a place which is safe, clean, and has a strong community spirit.
To that end, Ian, with the council, would like to set as his priorities:

• Strengthening the links between the village organisations and the council
• Presenting our village better through good signage, less litter and a tidied up village car park
• Trying to provide improved facilities for our young people, particularly the teenagers
• Enabling some modest housing development to include a proportion of affordable homes.

Sustainable Communities Local Spending Reports

The council felt that this consultation document, which had been issued by the Department of for Communities and Local Government, did little but add to the already heavy burden of bureaucracy in local government.
The council therefore refused to endorse it, as had been requested.

Village environment

Dog poo bins had been requested for Snow Hill, Shitterton, and Chalk Pit Close.
We are going to get some prices for additional bins before taking this further.
Dog owners are reminded that they are responsible for picking up and binning dog waste.
Please do not throw plastic bags of dog poo in the hedges!

It was noted that that a number of street signs are either broken or unreadable.
Purbeck District will be asked to clean or replace such signs.
Dorset County Council will be reminded again of the need to cut back foliage that obscures traffic signs.


Don’t forget!
The joint surgery for District Council, Parish Council and PACT panel will be on Saturday 6th June at 0930am at Turberville Court.

June 2009 Meeting

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

Public Participation

Mrs Curtis, Mr Owers and Mr Osborne all spoke with great passion about the future of the Royal British Legion (RBL) in the village, and about their concerns following the presentation made by the Sports Club to the Parish Council last month.
The Council assured them that it most certainly was not favouring one party against the other, and reminded them that it had no power to intervene in any dispute over ownership or use of the buildings.
It was stated that blood donating would have to cease because of the changes being made, but this was disputed.
The Council undertook to contact the Blood Donor Service to ascertain the true position.

Mr Kent, for the Sports Club, stated that the RBL had been offered continued use of the buildings, when they were not being used for sports purposes.
The Council undertook to respond formally to the five letters received on the subject of the RBL.

Mrs Woodward raised the issue of the lack of visibility when joining the Westbound A35 at the slip road, due to the height of the grass on the verge.
DCC would be contacted.

New Councillor

Mr Martin Howard offered himself as a councillor.
He stated that: “I have 40 years experience as a Chartered Surveyor in the Public Sector and have previously been a member of the Burpham and Wepham Village Committee in Arundel, West Sussex prior to moving here.

"I am experienced in local affairs in a rural community and am familiar with the workings of local and County Councils and other Public Bodies and Associations”.

The Council was delighted he had put himself forward and were pleased to co-opt him.


A number of residents had complained to councillors about the poor state of some of the green spaces in the village, which appeared never to be cut, and by the state of some of the gutters which were full of weeds.
Part of the problem is that there is considerable confusion as to which bits of land are the responsibility of which council. Our District Councillor is going to take this up.
(See his notes).
We will start planning another Village Tidy, perhaps in the autumn, perhaps in conjunction with Purbeck District Council.

Play Park

Report by Councillor Malcolm Munro

The Parish Council would very much like to thank all those respondents who kindly returned their Play Park questionnaires in the Spring.
Approximately 800 survey forms were distributed. The results were as follows:

• Single choice returns numbered 86 selections completed.
• There were 45 multiple choice returns yielding another 126 selections.
• Objection returns numbered some 10 respondents.

The overwhelming preference was for site No 5 (near the Scout Hut).
Slightly less favoured were sites 4 (Manor Fm Rd) & 11(Recreation Ground) with No’s 8 (Southbrook) & 9 (Recreation Ground again) also proving popular.

Some of the more constructive comments made were:

• Facilities are needed for a range of age groups, not just small children.
• Centrality was an important issue.
• Ability to expand the facility for the future.
• Relocation of facility within new community hall/area.
• Relocation of facility as part of an expanded Sports Club.
• The Primary School children felt that site 2 was by far the best.
• The Scouts considered site 6 as the ideal.
• Playparks more suited to smaller children.
• Better protection from traffic.

It soon became clear that a single site selection was not necessarily going to be the best option to choose. The following conclusions were made:

While site 5 was the most favoured, the site would still not meet all the likely criteria to meet universal acceptance especially in regard to traffic, the floodplain and overall supervision.
It was decided that we should divide the Play Park need into two major age groups so that more than one site could widen appeal, accessibility and supervisory security across the whole village.

We felt that site 8 (Southbrook/Souls Moor) should be reconsidered as a large format activity area for the older age groups.
To satisfy the toddler and upward age group from say 2 – 7 it was greed that two of the other more popular sites should be considered.
These were sites 4 (open space behind Manor Fm Rd) & 2 (end of West Street).
These areas would be fenced to keep out pets and gated to deter vandalism.
In the end, of course, we will be in the hands of the planners at Purbeck District Council, but our application will be guided by your responses.

While abandoning the choice of site 5 may seem illogical in the face of the overwhelming preference it had, the Council would of course keep the site open as an option as and when the longer-term aspirations for a possible new village hall/community centre became known.

It was very much appreciated that the existing Play Park has been a credit to those involved in its creation and funding some 18 years ago but the ongoing maintenance and vandalism had now consumed almost as much money as it had cost to build it in the first place.

The choice of new play furniture would also take into account the possible re-use of some of the existing play apparatus provided it proves safe to do so.
The Council is also committed to opening any new facilities before any other changes are made in regard to the existing Play Park and the land it occupies.


Don’t forget! The joint surgery for District Council, Parish Council and PACT panel will be on Saturday 4th July at 0930am at Turberville Court.

July 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 9th July


Our Community police Officer Jason Newall (PCSO 5435) was welcomed to the meeting.
We discussed two items that we asked him to ensure the Police follow up on.
• In previous years it has been reported that there has been evidence of anti-social behaviour around Elder road over the summer holidays, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.
Without wishing in any way to curtail people’s enjoyment we have asked the police to visit the area on these nights to ensure nothing gets out of hand.
• There have been frequent reports of motorbikes speeding down North Street on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Again we have asked the police to keep an eye on this.

War Memorial

The Parish Council reviewed five quotations for cleaning the War memorial in the Churchyard and have now agreed and approved the chosen supplier for this: we hope that this can be completed soon and that the stone will be restored to something close to its former glory.

Tipping of garden and kitchen waste

It was brought to the attention of the Parish Council that some people have been tipping garden waste in two places in Bere Regis, one near North Street and one near the stream by Elder road.
The Parish Council asks whoever is doing this to stop please as it is dangerous to the health of people and animals, and we ask that this waste be disposed of properly.

Fatalities in and around Bere Regis

At the June meeting of the Parish Council we discussed the depressing (apparent) frequency of accidents (many fatal) in and around Bere Regis over the last five years.
To ensure we were dealing with the facts rather than guesswork we asked the authorities (using the Freedom of Information Act) to advise us of the accident statistics within a two and within a five mile radius of Bere Regis.
They are shown below and make very disturbing reading.
By any means of measurement we appear to have a much greater incidence of accidents than other similar areas.
We are reviewing these figures and have asked Dorset County Council for their comments.

2 Mile Radius,5 Mile Radius, Year. Fatal, Serious, Slight, Fatal, Serious, Slight





September Walkabout

It’s our intention in September to hold another Parish Council walkabout around the village.
If any parishioners have any particular concerns they would like us to see, please let the clerk or one of the councillors know, so that we can try to visit the area concerned.

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds.
This is held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.
We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

August 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th August, when we were pleased to be once again joined by our MP, Mrs Annette Brook.

New Councillors

We were very pleased to welcome Martin Howard to his first meeting, and to co-opt Robin Pitcher as a new councillor.
Mr John Pitts has tendered his resignation.
We are very grateful to him for the efforts he put in, in the face of huge incompetence and delays, to getting things done with Dorset County Council.

Village Tidy

We are planning another village tidy, to be held on one of the weekends either side of the October half term holiday.
The date will be confirmed shortly. In the meantime, any offers of help will be very gratefully received, as well as suggestions as to which parts of the village we should tackle.

Parish Council Walkabout.

The Council will take a walk around the village during its next meeting on Thursday 10th September, on the route shown on the map below.
Anyone who wants to meet with us as we go round, to point out any concern or problems, will be most welcome.

Dog Poo Bins

In an attempt to reduce the frequency of fouling of pavements and footpaths we are ordering three new bins, which will be installed shortly at the end of Shitterton, the Butt Lane/Tower Hill junction and at Southbrook, near the gate to Souls Moor.
We will also possibly resite the little used bin presently at the top of Southmead.

Traffic on the Wool Road

Dorset County Council will shortly be consulting about a plan to reduce heavy vehicle use on the Owermoigne to Affpuddle road.
We are very concerned about this, as we believe that if it happens, it will inevitably divert more heavy traffic onto the road past our school, with an increase in the consequent dangers.
We are therefore trying to arrange a traffic survey, and we hope to produce a video of the weight of traffic at the entrance to the village, when the children return to school.
We are also arranging a meeting to coordinate our plans with other parishes which will be similarly affected.
We believe this attempt to shift a traffic problem from one over-crowded country road to another, is ill-conceived, and that the only worthwhile solution would be the Bere Regis East and South by-pass in due course.

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds.
This will be at Turberville Court on Saturday 5th September from 09.30 to 10.00 am.

September 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th September

September Walkabout

We held the planned walkabout prior to our September meeting and identified a variety of areas that require work to be done on them in the form of cutting back hedges or getting rid of weeds.
We are now going through the laborious process of finding out who is responsible for these areas.
It could be any one of the Parish, the District, the County Council; or Purbeck Housing Trust or in private ownership or finally the responsibility of the Highways Agency.

Planning Purbeck’s Future

Last month Peter Wharf, our District Councillor published a long article describing the planning proposals for Purbeck that have been produced for the next twenty years.
The District is required to produce this document called the “Core Strategy”.
This will be discussed at the Parish Council Meeting in October.
Following the delivery of leaflets to every household on the District there is now a consultation exercise in progress with all the residents of Purbeck.
To assist we are helping to organise a drop in session described below.
We urge you to come along and let us know what you think.

Drop in Session
Drax Hall
13th October 4-8pm

Please come along to discuss the proposals in the Planning Purbeck’s Future consultation, on a one to one basis with District Council Planning Officers.
Transport Planning Officers from Dorset County Council will be also available to discuss transport issues in and around Bere Regis and the Local Transport Plan

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds.
This is held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.
We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

October 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th October

Parish Responsibilities

In order to provide better oversight, and a higher quality of review, the Parish Council has allocated responsibility for particular topics to smaller groups of councillors.
The topics are grouped together under the following headings:

• Village Environment
• Planning and Housing
• Community Liaison
• Security and Policing
• Children and Youth

In addition, there is collective responsibility for matters such as budget oversight.
Communication of Parish Council matters via the Parish Magazine, the Village Website and other local media rests with the Chairman.
Use and development of the village email list is with Peter Wharf.
These are the agreed allocations of membership and responsibilities:

Village Environment
• Chairman: Martin Howard, with Laurie Fairhurst, Malcolm Munro, Tim Maunder
• Responsibilities: Traffic, road signage, cycle routes, pedestrian safety.
Rights of way, conservation, wildlife trails, reserves/SSSIs/SNSIs.
Car park, cemetery, allotments, grass cutting and weeding, village tidiness, maintenance, ‘lengthsman’ scheme.
Liaison with District and County Councils and other bodies such as Highways Authority and neighbouring Parish Councils.

Planning and Housing
• Chairman: Laurie Fairhurst, with Malcolm Munro, Martin Howard, Ian Ventham

• Responsibilities:
Overview of planning applications (including recommendations to full Parish Council), encouragement of affordable housing development, encouragement of modest housing development in line with Parish Plan, liaison with Housing Trusts and other potential developers, occasional housing needs surveys.
Liaison with the Planning Department at Purbeck DC, with Purbeck and other Housing Associations; and with DCC about minerals planning.

Community Liaison
• Chairman: Christopher Maunder with Ian Ventham
• Responsibilities:
To be the lead person in fostering a sense of community in the village.
Liaison with the Drax Hall management committee and with the management of other organisations with meeting facilities.
Liaison with village voluntary organisations, businesses, churches, the surgery and dental surgery to facilitate Parish Council support and help when appropriate and requested.
To develop volunteer assistance, if needed, for the elderly and vulnerable.
To investigate a possible annual ‘village forum’ gathering.
To look into establishing a ‘village office’.

Security and Policing
• Chairman: Keith Nurrish with Peter Wharf
• Responsibilities: Membership of local PACT panel, and attendance at its meetings, Police liaison, Neighbourhood Watch liaison and communication, ‘eyes and ears’ for the Parish Council for graffiti and vandalism in the parish.
Contact with Dorset Fire and Rescue Service over location of station.

Children and Youth
• Chairman: Robin Pitcher with Jayne George

• Responsibilities:
Liaison with Bere Regis First School governors and head teacher and with the schools fed by Bere Regis.
Liaison with village young peoples’ organisations about the provision of appropriate clubs and facilities for young people in the village.
Investigate establishing a village Young Peoples’ Forum. Investigate the provision of recreational facilities for teenagers.

Each individual Chair is now working up a list of priorities for their area of responsibility.

Planning Purbeck’s Future (Core Strategy)

We were joined at the meeting by our Vicar, Canon Ian Woodward who came to the meeting to lend his support to the development proposals described below by Laurie Fairhurst who is the Leader of the Planning Working Party.

The Core Strategy attempts to establish strategic policies that will enable Purbeck District Council to conform to national policy.
Once adopted it will replace the Purbeck District Local Plan published in 2004.
The Core Strategy is now open for public consultation and Bere Regis Parish Council have studied the 122 page document and responded on those issues that mostly impinge on Bere Regis.

The Parish Council supports the preferred option for housing which means the building of eighty new houses between now and 2026 in the village.
This would be made up of infilling and a new green field site for fifty homes including twenty five affordable dwellings.
The Parish Council also supports the concept of potentially relocating the village school nearer to the centre of the village.

The Parish Council opposes a new supermarket in Wareham as a large superstore could have an adverse impact on village amenities in Bere Regis.

The Parish Council was unanimous in believing that these policies meet the requirements of the Bere Regis Village Plan in providing affordable homes, a steady measured growth in housing and support for local businesses and the school in order to maintain a vibrant community in the next two decades.
We believe this represents a sensible and balanced way forward, which will be to the real benefit of the village.

Parish Council Vacancy

We have a vacancy for one Parish Councillor, if anyone wants information on what is involved please contact any of the Councillors.

Village Tidy

The printing deadline for the Parish Magazine prevents us from reporting on it this month but a hearty thank you to everyone who contributed to the exercise, we are all very grateful.
A full report will appear next month.

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds. This is held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.
We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

November 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday12th November

Next Meeting (at the Fire Station)

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 10th December and will be at a different venue due to a fixture clash with other village organisations whose needs are greater than ours on that day.
As a result we will be moving our meeting 50 yards up the road to the Fire Station.
It will still be a public meeting and all will be welcome.
Please come along and meet your Parish Councillors whilst looking inside Bere Regis Fire Station at the same time!

Parish Period for Public Participation

We were very pleased to welcome a good turn out of members of the public, most of who attended to comment on the state of hedgerows and areas of grass that were thought to be the responsibility of Purbeck Housing Trust.

Purbeck Housing Trust

Paul Derrien, the Housing Operations Manager for Purbeck Housing Trust, attended the meeting and explained PHT’s responsibilities.
He outlined PHT’s plans for estate management in and around Bere Regis and answered questions from members of the public.
PHT have recently appointed an Area Housing Officer for Bere Regis responsible for Estate Management - Helen Barbato. Her phone number is 01929 558464 and email
She is part time and works Wednesday morning, Thursday and Friday.
Paul suggests that Tenants contact her if they have any questions on estate management and is particularly keen for tenants to contact Helen if they would like to join the Tenants’ Panel which has a major influence on the way PHT runs their tenant affairs and would benefit from representation from Bere Regis, which it currently does not have.
Paul can be contacted at the address below

Paul Derrien
Housing Operations Manager
Purbeck Housing Trust
Prospect House
8 Westminster Road
Tel: 01929 558 423

There was also a discussion about the Trees in Shitterton Close and the need for them to be pollarded. There is some doubt as to who owns which trees and Paul has agreed to contact the Land Registry Office to try to resolve this.
Until ownership of the trees is resolved it is not possible for any person or body to touch trees that might not be theirs!

Homewatch (what used to be “neighbourhood watch”)

Homewatch is currently under-represented by people in Bere Regis and the Police are looking for new recruits.
Experience shows that active Homewatch schemes contribute to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in the community by achieving greater shared awareness of local problems and a better understanding of the practical steps that can be taken to tackle them.
If you are interested and would like to find out further information the Police number to ring is 01202 – 222510 or 227840 or alternatively contact our Parish Councillor with this responsibility - Keith Nurrish on 472214.

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds, which is always held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.
We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

December 2009 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th December at the Fire Station in North Street because the Pop in Place were holding the dress rehearsal of their XMAS production in the Drax Hall on that evening and we gladly gave way to their greater need.
We would like to thank the Fire Authorities and Bere Regis trained fire-fighters who made us and the public most welcome.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th January at the Drax Hall starting at 7.00 pm; as always the public are most welcome and there is an item on the agenda at the very start called “period for public participation” where we would like to hear from you on any points you would like to raise.

Battery recycling

We all know that we have to try to dispose of batteries more safely, and not in landfill, so we have agreed to set up a mini collection point in the Post Office where you can dispose of your used batteries (not car batteries though!).
Please take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of your unwanted batteries easily and without harm to the environment.
Many thanks to Kevin for allowing us to use the Post Office for this.

North Street

Due to some car Satellite Navigation systems being wrongly programmed, drivers are sometimes sent along North Street towards Dorchester even though there is a gate permanently closing the route ahead. The Parish Council together with Dorset County Council is arranging for a more prominent “No Through Road” sign to be repositioned at the entry to North Street.
This should reduce the potential for road accidents caused by the increased traffic volumes and curb the excessive speeds from frustrated drivers forced to turn around and retrace their routes.
We are also trying to get the ‘rat-run’ at the end of North Street blocked off again.

Shitterton Footpath

The footpath up to Black Hill from Shitterton has a gate at the top which has recently been locked shut. Though the public has used it for many years the footpath is not a public right of way and the landowner has done this to combat poaching and inappropriate travel up there by 4 wheel drive vehicles which damage his land and frighten his livestock.
The owner has made it very clear to the Parish Council that he is not attempting to stop people walking up to Black Hill.
The Parish Council is currently investigating whether we could install a stile or gate to help walkers whilst still deterring vehicles from driving up there - other than the farmers own vehicles as required.
Your help in reporting any vehicular traffic up there would be greatly welcomed.


Andy Ackerman of Dorset County Council attended our meeting as our guest to explain the lengthsman scheme.
Basically this involves a Parish Council (or a group of them working together) employing a person (the lengthsman) to undertake minor works such as unblocking drains, clearing brambles across footpaths and clearing amenity areas of rubbish.
Whilst most of these duties should be performed by other bodies they tend not to get done, or if are do they take too much time and effort puling in labour from elsewhere and as a result they can be costly and unresponsive.
A Parish Council typically can not afford the full cost of such a service but would actually be the best placed to provide it with their superior local knowledge and the use of local labour.
This scheme would be paid for by the Parish Council but would be subsidised by both the County and the District Council.
We have indicated that we would be happy to be a “pilot” scheme for this and we are going to visit another scheme nearby in Somerset and then identify the costs and implications for Bere Regis before reporting to you again of what we are going to recommend.
Your Parish Council have agreed that the idea is well worth following up.

Monthly Joint Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery he holds, which is always held at Turbeville Court on the first Saturday of each month from 09.30 to 10.00 am.
We have decided to combine and hold a joint surgery as many of the issues raised cut across Parish, District and County responsibilities and it makes sense for us to work together to address any issues that arise.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor