January 2012 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th January 2012.
This will be held in the Drax Hall on Saturday 25th February from 10.30 to 12.00 with coffee from 10.00 and soup and rolls for those who stay the course afterwards.
Items currently on the agenda are:
1. The Jubilee Celebrations
2. Plans for the Play area
3. The Bere Regis Neighbourhood Plan (see note below)
4. Damory Buses (see next report)
5. Stone signs (see note below)
All Bere Regis groups and organisations are invited to attend and all residents of Bere Regis would be most welcome..
The message below, which concerns the Damory buses that run through Bere Regis, has been received from an Officer of Dorset County Council.
However, we understand that Damory have now agreed to postpone implementation until 14th April, to allow DCC more time to work on alternative solutions.
"Damory have advised the [County] Council that they intend to deregister a number of bus services that they have been running on a commercial basis i.e. with no subsidy from the County Council.
We have no control over this.
I am meeting with the Managing Director of Damory this morning with a view to persuading them to delay the effective date - 19 February to give us an opportunity to put alternative arrangements in place.
It is my intention to report this matter to the County Council Cabinet on 18 January and seek its view on how then to proceed.
Services can probably only be retained if it is possible to put in more subsidy for which there is currently no budget.
We will issue a further statement to elected Members and Parish Councils after these meetings have taken place.
With regard to school transport, the County Council will of course ensure that all children entitled to free school transport have appropriate provision."
As soon as we hear more we will communicate back to you via the Parish Magazine, the Bere Regis email list and the Facebook village page.
The new Localism Bill encourages local communities to develop what is called a Neighbourhood Plan. These are led by the local community and set out a vision and plan for the local area.
It is about local rather than strategic issues and could include things like where new shops, offices or homes should go and what green spaces should be protected.
It has to be compatible with Purbeck District Council’s plan and is intended to guide development rather than to stop it.
Please contact the clerk if you would like to be involved in drafting this plan.
Purbeck Stone Signs
The Parish Council are planning to install stone signs similar to that at Shitterton at the entrances to the village to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
If anyone wishes to make a personal donation their name will be recorded in a Diamond Jubilee book which will be held in the Church.
Any personal donations of £100.00 or more will see the donor’s name being carved into one of the stones.
Please use the form enclosed with this magazine to make your donation.
We understand that Dorset County Council has reaffirmed its decision to withdraw funding for the school crossing; they have suggested the School seeks sponsorship from commercial parties to fund the continuation of the school crossing.
The Parish Council reiterates its support of the school and will help the School however it can.
The Parish Precept Explained
As we all know only too well, every household has to pay Council Tax which goes towards paying for the local services provided by the District and County Councils, as well as for other local services such as Fire and Policing.
What may not be quite so well known is that a small part of your Council Tax bill goes on what is called ‘The Parish Precept’, that is, the amount of money that your Parish Council has to spend on your behalf on the very local things that we do within the civil parish of Bere Regis.
On the income side we receive most of the precept from council tax payers, via Purbeck District Council. For the coming financial year we shall be asking for £33,000, which is up by 3.7% on last year’s figure of £31,830.
We also receive a grant of £5,500 from Dorset County Council towards the cost of the Lengthsman scheme and there is a very small amount of income from running the village cemetery.
We have budgeted for a total income of £39,015 in 2012/13, and plan to spend about the same amount.
On the expenditure side our spending falls roughly into the following four categories:
1. Maintenance, including the work of the Lengthsman, cutting the Play Park and Cemetery grass, and maintaining the fabric of the Play Park and Cemetery, nearly £17000 (43%)
2. Administrative costs, including our Parish Clerk’s salary, insurance, stationery, postage, hall hire, audit fees and rates for the Cemetery, £11500, (29%)
3. Future facilities and amenities, including Christmas trees, upgrading and renewing the Play Park, Jubilee activities, work to be done on the boardwalk and footpaths near the stream and on Soul’s Moor, just under £10,000 (25%)
4. Grants to village organisations £1000 (2.5%)
In addition, this coming year, we hope to be able to buy Soul’s Moor for the parish with help from a grant making trust.
The Parish Precept amounts to about £44.33 per Band D household per year, and the increase this year will add just £1.87 To a Band D Council Tax bill.
We hope you approve of what we do for all of us who live in this lovely village and the wider parish. Every parishioner is very welcome to join us at our monthly meetings (second Thursday of the month at 7pm in the Drax Hall) to have a say and influence our decisions.
It’s perhaps worth remembering that, with the exception of the clerk, we are all unpaid volunteers and claim no expenses.
Thank you to Jon Cleave
The Parish Council would like to record its heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Jon Cleave, who has worked tirelessly to cut back, reshape and lay the hedges on the perimeter of the Cemetery.
This work has been done at no charge and is to the benefit of everybody who lives in Bere Regis.
February 2012 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 9th February 2012.
Bere Regis Community Play Association
The Bere Regis Community Play Association is a working group of the Bere Regis Parish Council that has been set up to help with the regeneration of the new play park in Elder Road and future play projects that will benefit the whole community.
The group mainly consists of local mums who are helping design the park by obtaining play equipment ideas from the community and the school children and will also be arranging various fundraising events in the village to raise as much money as we can towards the cost of the project.
Robin Pitcher, Emma Bastian (Joint Chair) and Jennie Crawley (Secretary) attended the Bere Regis Parish Council meeting on 9 February to discuss their objectives and were given the Parish Council’s full support and backing.
Police Community Support Officer (PCSO)
We welcomed our new PCSO Luke Taylor to the Parish Council Meeting and offered him our support should he need it; we hope to have contact details for Luke in next month’s report.
Boardwalk upgrade and extension
The Parish Council have secured funding to resurface public footpaths through the area by the Bere Stream. The existing path surface will be improved with passing places upgraded.
At the same time a new path will be constructed from Souls Bridge to Elder Road with the boardwalk on the south side of the river being extended a further 6 metres in order to avoid the muddy area at the current end of the walkway.
This work will commence soon so please be careful when walking in that area.
Bere Regis SNCI Group
The Parish Council also welcomed Tony Bates who reported that a Working Group has been set up to oversee the management of the S.N.C.I (Site of Nature Conservation) which will be a sub group of Bere Regis Parish Council and it was agreed that this should be called
The Bere Regis S.N.C.I. Management Group.
The S.N.C.I. area consists of:
1. Land north of the Bere Stream through which the footpath passes from the eastern new bridge to the Shitterton road bridge.
2 Souls Moor to the south of the Bere stream.
Reports will be included in later parish Magazines.
March 2012 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th March 2012.
Two matters to do with footpaths were raised by parishioners.
Firstly, there is concern that footpaths (rather than bridleways) are being used by horse riders in and around the village, and this is cutting up the surface of the footpaths and making them difficult for pedestrians.
Riders are requested to stick to bridleways, and leave footpaths for pedestrians.
Our PCSO has been asked to keep an eye on this.
Secondly, we can confirm that the fencing work recently carried out by the landowner on the footpath which runs through Court Farm is entirely legal and has not altered the course of the footpath.
Following the concern expressed by many parishioners about the possible loss of the 347/387 Damory bus services through the village, the Parish Council called a meeting of the affected villages along the route to discuss what action could be taken.
On Saturday 3rd March a meeting was held in the Drax Hall, chaired by Ian Ventham, which was attended by our MP Annette Brook, our County Councillor Alex Brenton, our District Councillor Peter Wharf and representatives from Lower Winterbourne, Puddletown and Tolpuddle, Affpuddle and Briantspuddle, Bere Regis, Morden, Bloxworth, and Lytchett Matravers Parish Councils.
The meeting heard that Damory had delayed implementing the cuts until 9th June, to give Dorset County Council time to try to find alternative arrangements.
The meeting agreed to send a resolution outlining the vital nature of these bus services to so many people and calling on Dorset CC to use contingency funds to subsidise the continuation of the service in the short term, whilst seeking a longer term solution.
The Neighbourhood Plan was discussed at the Bere Regis Forum and several more volunteers were enlisted to help with work on this important project. Updates on the scheme are;
1. Three sub-groups have been created, namely Residential; Village Facilities, and; Employment, Transport & Land Use.
These groups will be meeting shortly so anyone else interested in helping should contact the parish clerk.
2. Purbeck District Council will carry out a Housing Needs survey over the coming months.
Please ensure you complete the forms so that the council is aware of what additional housing is needed in the parish
3. The Parish Plan was published in 2006 and it has been agreed that this should be reassessed to identify what has and has not been achieved since then.
Jon Cleave has kindly agreed to take on this work.
Diamond Jubilee Plans
It’s very pleasing that a number of village organisations, including Pop in Place, the Gardening Club, the Bell Ringers and the Sports Club either have held or are planning to hold pre-Jubilee events in the run up to the main event in June, and that some of these are raising money to help fund the main event.
We acknowledge the generous contributions already made by the Sports Club and the Gardening Club.
Insurance cover for the vehicle floats entering the Jubilee Pageant has proved a bit problematical. However, we now have a solution.
All vehicles taking part must have normal Road Traffic Act insurance, preferably comprehensive cover.
In addition though, we are now taking out a policy which covers all aspects of our Jubilee celebrations, from food hygiene, through fire risk from the beacon to carnival processions and floats.
Details of this insurance, which the Parish Council will pay for, will be available shortly.
Village Stone Signs
The three new commemorative Purbeck stone signs which will be installed in May have been generously supported.
So far nearly £1900 has been given, and, at the time of writing, 18 people have asked for their names to be inscribed.
We would still welcome any contributions, but regret that no more names can now be added to the stones
We would now encourage everyone in the village to think about organising their own Street Parties, perhaps on the afternoon of Sunday 3rd June.
We do need to know as soon as possible what you are planning, both to provide insurance cover, and to arrange road closures if necessary.
Please let Amanda Crocker, our clerk, have the details.
April 2012 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th April 2012.
Recent incidents of Arson
We welcomed Inspector Tracy Baker to the meeting who had been invited to talk to your Council about the recent spate of arson incidents.
She reassured us that the Police are taking this very seriously and a variety of lines of inquiry are being followed which they hope will lead to the individuals responsible being charged and convicted.
Two people have been arrested in connection with this and released on Bail and enquiries are continuing.
School Crossing Patrol
We congratulate the School on securing the future of our well loved lollipop lady by obtaining funding and sponsorship from local companies, now that the County Council will not be paying for this service.
A group of volunteers under the direction of Councillor Simon Munnings has been set up to develop our neighbourhood plan for the Parish of Bere Regis.
A flier will shortly be sent to every household in the Parish describing what is happening and how you might help.
The envelope will also contain a Housing needs survey form which we are asking everyone to fill out so that we can better understand what type and amounts of housing we should be aiming for in Bere Regis.
The cost of the postage is being met by Purbeck District Council as part of their duty to identify housing needs at regular intervals.
Annual Parish Council Meeting
The Parish Council will be holding its Annual Meeting on Thursday 10th May.
Apart from appointing our Chair and Vice Chair we will be welcoming individuals and community groups throughout the Parish and where possible asking them to let us know what the have been up to and what they want from their Parish Council.
Whoever you are or represent you are most welcome!
The Purbeck stone signs will be installed sometime during the week of 8th May.
We have asked the school to fill a time capsule to be buried under one of the stones.
The pupils will decide what artefacts would best represent our time and the culture of Bere Regis and we will list what has been put in, in a later article.
Bere Regis pageant
It is not too late to register for the pageant or a street party, contact the parish Clerk for more details.