Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report


January 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th January 2012.

Village Forum

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..

Damory Buses

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.

Neighbourhood Plan

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.

School Crossing

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.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

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.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

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.

Damory Buses

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.

Neighbourhood Plan

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.

Ian Ventham


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.

Neighbourhood Plan

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!

Stone Signs

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.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

May 2012 Meeting

Chairman’s Report on the Year

This has been a productive year for the Parish Council, with a number of matters being brought to fruition, and some very interesting new initiatives under way.

In the middle of last year we said a warm thank you and goodbye to Jim Ruddock who had served the Parish and the Council as Clerk for over 35 years.
Our work this year has been helped hugely by the expertise and professionalism brought to the role by his successor, our new clerk, Amanda Crocker.

It’s also worth noting that this Parish council would achieve very little if the councillors did not freely give significant amounts of time and expertise to our work.
I am deeply grateful to the whole team for all that they do.

Planning and Housing

Perhaps the single most important initiative this past year has been the start of work under the leadership of Cllr Simon Munnings on the Neighbourhood Plan.
Under the Localism Act, this will become a really important document in which the residents of this community will determine both how they would like the Parish to develop, and what they would not want to happen.
It will give us a positive view of the future, and act as a defence against imposition from outside.
Work is underway under the three key topics of Housing, Facilities and Commercial.

Village Environment

We have seen the bedding down of the work of Paul Critchell, our village Lengthsman, and the consequent improvement in the general tidiness of the village.
His hard work, though, continues to be spoilt by the actions of the inconsiderate minority who drop litter, and allow dogs to foul footpaths.
Great credit is due to Cllr Martin Howard for all his hard work in initiating the Lengthsman scheme, and in seeing through other matters such as the repainting of the lampposts in West St.

The long negotiations over the purchase of Souls Moor are heading towards conclusion with agreement reached between Grainger and this council, and funding in place, in part from a generous donation by Viridor Credits.
Acquisition of Souls Moor will enable better protection of the SNCI, and eventual development of Souls Moor into a valuable open space for the village.

Similarly we have been in discussions with Purbeck District Council (PDC) to acquire from them the streamside area of woodland near Elder Rd.
However, we were not happy with the terms under which ownership was being offered, so the matter is back with PDC.
In the meantime, though, with financial help from Viridor Credits, we have had the footpaths through this area reinstated and resurfaced.

We have also been instrumental in helping to persuade Dorset County Council to buy a parcel of land from Grainger near the end of Egdon Close as a possible site for a new school in due course.

Cllr Tim Maunder continues to keep a watchful eye on the state of the Cemetery.
We are in the throes of re-negotiating the grass cutting contract at present.

Police and Security

Mostly, Bere Regis is a peaceful and law-abiding place.
However in the last few months we have had an outbreak of sporadic arson attacks.
Thankfully, good relations with our community police team and swift follow up has resulted in some arrests.

Travel and Transport

In anticipation of the winter a preparedness plan was developed along with practical measures such as the siting of more grit bins and a small village stockpile of bags of salt.
In the event the weather was kind and these measures were not needed.

The threatened withdrawal of the main bus services through the village was vigorously opposed, and a meeting of all the Parish Councils along the threatened route was called by, and held in, Bere Regis.

Children & Young People

The most significant development in this area has been the establishment of the Bere Regis Community Play Association, which is jointly chaired by Cllr Robin Pitcher, to design and raise funds for a new play area, and in due course to look at facilities for older young people as well.

Community Liaison

Major effort in the past year has been focussed on the planning of the village Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in June, and on the Pre-events leading up to the Pageant and Parish Picnic.

It is heartening to see how well a wide range of individuals and organisations including the Sports Club, the Parish Church, WI, The Scouts, the First School and FOBRS, the Gardening Club, the Woodbury Hill Singers and the Pop in Place have come together to plan the village events as a community.
Cllr Arlene Duncanson has contributed greatly to these plans.

The three new village signs to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, for which over £2000 has been raised, are being carved and will be installed very shortly.

In addition two well attended Village Forum events have been held, one last October, and one in March.

All in all, this has been a year of steady progress in sustaining Bere Regis as a safe, pleasant and well run community for all its residents, but, with the District and County Council budgets being continually cut, it is very likely that more and more will be passed down to the Parish Council.
This makes it even more essential that everyone takes the opportunity to express their views by attending the monthly Parish Council meetings or the bi-annual Village Forums.
The Parish Council is here to work for you, on behalf of the village, but, to be able to do so, we need to know what you think.

Ian Ventham

June 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th June.

Most unusually, nearly two dozen members of the public joined the meeting at the beginning, and a lively discussion was held on two key matters.

Sports Club Planning Application

The first of the topics discussed was the planning application by the Sports Club for change of use of the field at the south end of the sports field from agricultural to recreational use.
After an interesting debate the Parish Council decided to support the application but made various recommendations concerning security and access.

The Neighbourhood Plan

The second topic to attract a lot of interest and discussion had been provoked by the Parish Council’s information stand at the Jubilee Party the previous week, when the consultation process for the Neighbourhood Plan had been initiated.
Specifically, a number of residents were very concerned about the Council’s preferred site for a new school on a plot of agricultural land at the West end of Egdon Close.
A number of misconceptions and rumours were put to rest, and it was made clear that this was the start of a consultation process which would end with a referendum of all Bere Regis residents being held on the whole plan, and that there would be opportunities for discussion and debate before the plan was formulated.

Later in the meeting, the Council decided to look into the costs and logistics of ensuring the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire was not just made available for residents to pick up, but was distributed to every household in the parish, to ensure maximum participation and involvement.

The Diamond Jubilee

The Council reviewed its part in the Jubilee celebrations, and concluded that its leadership role had contributed greatly to a memorable series of events, in which the whole parish had been able to participate.
In addition, a significant amount of money had been raised for the new Play Park.
Warm thanks are due to all the village organisations and individuals who put in so much time and effort to create our celebratory events.

Stone Signs

Two signs are complete and ready to be installed, but unfortunately the bad weather in the spring has prevented the quarry from extracting a suitable piece of Purbeck stone for the third sign.
We have two options: option 1 is to install two signs shortly, and to install the third when it is ready.
Option 2 is to wait until all three are ready, possibly after the summer and install all three then.
A decision will be made soon, and communicated to the donors.

The Cemetery

We apologise for the fact that the cemetery has become overgrown.
The reason is that the grass cutting contractor had failed to meet his obligations, and we have had difficulty finding a new contractor willing to put in a tender who has suitable equipment and is licensed to remove waste.
However we believe we have now found a new contractor and the cemetery should be appropriately maintained again soon.


Because of concerns regularly expressed about the growing volumes and speed of traffic on the C6 near the school, the Council has initiated an annual traffic survey, the results of the first of which have just been received.
This first survey appears to indicate that nearly a third of all vehicles passing the school in both directions are travelling at more than 30mph, some considerably faster.
This, if accurate, is obviously alarming and we have passed this information to the Police and to Dorset County Council for action.


In addition to the village website which carries so much useful and historical information, the Parish Council now has its own website carrying information specific to our work, and to the progress of the Neighbourhood Plan.
It can be found here.

Ian Ventham

July 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th July, Our next meeting is on Thursday 9th August 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.

Register for super fast broadband

Superfast Broadband is coming and it is hoped it will be available to everyone by 2015.
The funding is now in place to put in the infrastructure and the next step is to start negotiations with commercial providers.
In order to attract an enthusiastic supplier we need to show how much people want and need this service.
You can help by filling in a survey on the Dorsetforyou website and getting your friends and family to do the same.
The survey can be accessed via .
It takes seconds to complete and is totally private.
Please do take the time to complete the survey – the link can also be found via the Parish Council web site.

Commemorative Stone Signs

It has now been some time since many residents contributed towards the Commemorative Stone Signs and we had hoped to have them all installed by now.
Unfortunately, the weather has upset our plans and all the quarries are currently under water following the severe rainfall throughout the last few months.
Luckily, two of the stones had been worked on prior to the worst of the rain and, with the exception of the inscriptions are now more or less complete.

At the June Parish Council meeting, it was agreed that the two completed stones would be used for the Royal Oak and the Milborne Road sites and they would be put in place as soon as they are ready. The Rye Hill Stone will be installed as soon as it is finished.
It is hoped the first two stones will be in place and we will be able to organise an official unveiling sometime in September.
Thank you for your patience.

Distraction Thefts

There has been a spate of these thefts recently and below is the advice from the Police.

Victims of distraction burglaries are usually the elderly and vulnerable members of our community who will often live alone.
A Police Crime Prevention Advisor said: “Distraction burglars or bogus callers use all sorts of excuses to try and gain entry to your home.
One of the most common excuses is to claim they are from the Water Board or another official agency. “Offenders will often work in pairs with one person distracting the homeowner while the other enters the house to remove cash and valuables.
They are also known to work on their own and can be male or female and will sometimes take children with them.”

To reduce your family members, friends and neighbours chances of becoming a victim of a distraction burglar or bogus caller ensure that they have good locks and a door chain fitted on their doors, make sure that they don’t keep large amounts of money in the home and help to maintain their house and garden so it doesn’t attract attention.
You can also help them by encouraging them to adhere to the following advice when a caller is at their door:

LOCKED – Is the back door locked?
STOP – Am I expecting anyone?
CHAIN – Put the chain on BEFORE opening the door.
CHECK – Ask for the callers ID.

Shut the door leaving the caller on the doorstep and phone the number in the phone book NOT the one on the card they give you, as this could be an accomplice around the corner (especially if it is a mobile number).
A genuine caller will be happy to wait while you do this.

Do not buy or sell or sign up to any work on the doorstep no matter how urgent they say the work is.
Tell them to go away and call a family member or neighbour and inform the police on 101.
If they won’t leave, then call 999

Road Safety

A number of Parishioners have raised their concerns about Road Safety particularly on the C6 past the school. We have asked our County Councillor in particular and all Councillors in general to comment on this at our next (August) meeting

Speed Limit up Rye Hill

Connected with the previous topic, at the request of the Parish Council a monitoring device has been placed by Dorset County Council near the school.
The data recorded suggests that nearly 30% of traffic exceeds the speed limit on Rye Hill.
We are waiting for more expert analysis of the survey and will report again when we have more details

Neighbourhood Plan

We are still recruiting volunteers to sit on the Housing, Commercial and Village Facilities sub-groups, which will be meeting again at the end of the summer.
If you wish to help with developing our plan please come and join us.
Training will be given. Please contact Amanda Crocker on 01929 472327

Bere Regis Community Play Association Update

Over the last few months we have been very busy holding various fundraising events in the village and have been very fortunate to receive some very generous donations towards the regeneration of the new play park in Elder Road.
This community support has helped raise £3177.
In addition we have been applying for various grants for the project and have managed to secure £7000 from Synergy Housing and have received conditional offers from Awards for All for £9000 and the Dorset County Community Fund for £6,000.
With this support we are well on our way to reaching our target but do still have a way to go so please do join us at our future events.

We would very much like to thank the whole community for their generosity and continuing support, we could not do this without you.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

August 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 9th August. Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th September, when we will be starting at 7.00 pm at Souls Moor Bridge before returning to the Drax Hall at about 08.30 pm (see walkabout, below).


Representatives of the Campaign for improved road safety attended the Parish Council meeting and made a number of helpful suggestions that we are going to follow up in the Neighbourhood Plan consultations with the residents of Bere Regis.
The suggestions included a 20 M.P.H. speed limit up Rye Hill, a mirror to be erected at the junction of Green Close and Rye Hill to aid visibility, and they helpfully returned the Southbrook keep left sign that had gone missing.
We will ensure it is put back. One suggestion that we could not follow up is the idea of a weight limit on West Street as we looked into this some time ago and it was not allowed because it would prevent the access of milk and grain lorries back to their respective company bases and to farms on the Milborne Road.

Commemorative Stone Signs

We are planning to officially unveil the signs on Saturday 29th September.
We hope the ceremony will be performed by Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, and will take place on the western edge of the village on the Milborne road, beyond Shitterton.
Details will be issued nearer the time.


The Parish Councillors are going to have their annual walkabout in the village starting at 7.00 pm at Souls Moor Bridge and then spending about an hour or so in and around the Souls Moor area.
If there is something you would particularly like us to see, or to ask us about, please join us there.

Neighbourhood Plan

As part of the neighbourhood plan and our desire to keep everybody informed and involved there will be a revised questionnaire sent to all households in Bere Regis sometime early September.
We have done this to incorporate some of the issues and questions that arose from the initial consultation.
In the letter there will also be a request for volunteers, please do help us out if you can.

Bere Regis First School

Our County Councillor Alex Brenton informed us that she has written to Dorset County Council to express concern about the limited space in the school to accommodate the extra children when the school takes on two more years worth of pupils’ following the move from three to two tiers of schools in Purbeck.
We will be inviting the Chair of Governors to our October meeting to report on how the school is coping with the new classes and to see whether we can help in any way.

Christmas Trees

If you would like a Christmas Tree to show outside of your house please contact Chris Maunder (471342). If you would like a holder installed (cost £25) please Contact Amanda Crocker on 01929 472327.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

September 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 13thth September.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th October, when we will be starting at 7.00 pm.

Police and Crime Commissioners

On 15 November 2012, for the first time ever, the public across England and Wales will elect police and crime commissioners who will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their police force area.
In the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act the Government has set out plans to introduce Police and Crime Commissioners and that Police Authorities will be abolished.

The Government are introducing this new arrangement as it believes that the public will be better served by someone who is directly elected.
The first elections will be held on 15th November 2012 and a single Commissioner will be elected for each force area for a four year term.
The Government outlines five key roles for the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner as:

• representing all those who live and work in the communities in their force area and identifying their policing needs
• setting priorities that meet those needs by agreeing a local strategic plan for the force
• holding the Chief Constable to account for achieving these priorities as efficiently and effectively as possible
• setting the force budget and setting the precept
• hiring and if necessary dismissing the Chief Constable

The Commissioner will be overseen by a new Police and Crime Panel which will primarily consist of representatives of all Local Authorities in a Force's geographical area.
The Panel is intended as a check and balance on the Police and Crime Commissioner, rather than on the Force itself.

Do turn out and vote if you can on 15th November so as to influence this important change in our public life

Commemorative Stone Signs

By the time you read this report two of the three stone signs should have been installed in the village, and the third, which was delayed because of flooding at the quarry earlier in the year, won’t be far behind.

Green Close parking

A number of people have commented that it can sometimes be difficult when turning in and out of Green Close.
We would ask that people park sensitively around that area in order to allow a clear view when entering or leaving Green Close to reduce the danger of accidents.

Neighbourhood Plan

We would hope that the revised questionnaire has been delivered to everybody by now.
If you have not received one please contact the Parish Clerk.

Road safety

The request to Dorset County Council (DCC) for a 20mph zone up past the school on Rye Hill has been sent and we await a response from them.
Also we recently commissioned a traffic survey in that area and we will be publishing the results of this as soon as we have had a response from DCC and the Police for their comments.
We intend for this survey to be conducted regularly so that we can compare traffic movements over time.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

October 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 11th October.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 8th November, starting at 7.00 pm.

Public participation

At the period for public participation Jon Parker of the road safety group CARS expressed some concerns about the Neighbourhood Plan.
In particular we agreed that the colours had not been reproduced as well as we had hoped and he suggested that they might be potentially confusing; we also apologised for referring to Egdon Close three times on one page but then getting it wrong by calling it Egdon Road.

We asked all respondents to contact us in the event that they did not understand something on the form or were confused and throughout the whole process just two people mentioned on their completed questionnaires that the colours on the maps were a bit difficult to make out.
As a result of Jon’s points we publicised a further question and answer session and checked with a number of people who had responded already and found no evidence of major confusion or misunderstandings - but thank you to Jon for bringing this to our attention.

Police and Crime Commissioners

We published information in the last parish magazine about the forthcoming election to be held on 15 November 2012. Nick King, who is a prospective candidate, was invited to the meeting to give us his views on what the job entailed and what the key issues likely to face the commissioner are.
An interesting debate followed and we will be happy to answer any questions residents might have either by contacting the clerk or our Police representative Ron Margetts at

The supplementary vote system, which is currently the system used to elect mayors, will be used for these elections.
Voters will be asked to select their first and second preferences for PCC,
if no candidate gains 50 per cent of the first preference votes, the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes go forward to a second round of counting.

Road Safety

We were delighted to hear from a representative of C.A.R.S, the village Road Safety group, that they have purchased high visibility jackets for all of the children of Bere Regis School.
Help was offered to Jon Parker, the C.A.R.S. representative, with developing a child protection policy for C.A.R.S.
The concerns of a number of parishioners about this and other matters such as the structure and finances of C.A.R.S were passed on.

Butt Lane parking

Members of the public who attended the meeting expressed concerns about parking on the junction of West Street with Butt Lane.
On a number of occasions this has caused difficulty with turning in and out of Butt Lane.
We agreed to send a request to Dorset County Council for double yellow lines around that junction.
It was pointed out that the double yellow lines by the Spar shop are not well policed and are therefore not as effective as they might be but it was felt this would still be a deterrent for some people!
In the meantime could we please ask all residents to park carefully near this junction, remembering that the Highway Code prohibits parking opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space.

Neighbourhood Plan

The date for responses to the neighbourhood plan will be closed by the time you read this.
We hope to be able to publish the headlines in next month’s magazine.

Snow Clearing

Winter is just around the corner and we all hope the weather is kind to us, but if we have a repeat of 2010 we need to better prepared and with the help of everyone I believe we will be.
We have arranged with a local farmer to have a snow plough available to clear our main village roads, including those at Hyde. We already have snow shovels available and the salt bins are going to be topped up but we will need volunteers to help with the gritting and snow clearing.
We will put out any call for help on the village Facebook page if we need to.
Please look out for neighbours, particularly the old and infirm, during any bad weather.

Wind Farm at Tolpuddle

A number of residents expressed concern about the Windfarm being proposed for installation at Winterbourne Kingston which will be visible to some residents from the West end of Bere Regis.
This application is being processed by West Dorset District Council (WDDC) and we will request that they consult with the Parish Council even though we are not in WDDC.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

November 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th November.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th December, starting at 7.00 pm.

Public participation

At the period for public participation a parishioner spoke about the parking on the corner of West Street and Butt Lane.
Previously we had said that we would consider asking Dorset County Council to install yellow lines around that area.
Along with the speaker we have also had written representations from others arguing against this on the grounds that it would reduce the opportunity of residents of West Street to park near or outside their houses.

As a result of these conflicting views the Parish Council will be taking no further action on yellow lines but will ask Dorset County Council for advice. We would again remind people that the Highway Code prohibits parking opposite or within 10 metres (32 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space.

Souls Moor and the Elder Road Open Space

I am delighted to say that cheques from the Parish Council and from Viridor for the purchase of Souls Moor have been sent to the solicitor, so, by the time you read this, Souls Moor should be owned by the parish.
Likewise we await final confirmation of the transfer of the streamside area north of the Bere Stream by Elder Rd, into Parish Council ownership from Purbeck District Council.
We will be getting some financial support from Purbeck District Council when the transfer takes place next year.

The Farmland South of the Village

The farmland south of the village, which was owned by Grainger, has now been sold to Brian May (of Queen fame).
A plot for the proposed new school has been allocated near the end of Egdon Close.
Brian May wishes to plant the bulk of the land as mixed broad leaf woodland, with paths, glades and areas of wildflower meadows within it.
We met recently with representatives of Tilhill, the forestry company who work on behalf of Brian May, to review their intended plans which will be finalised in the coming months.
All the existing rights of way, bridleways and footpaths will be retained and more created.
They will be putting up deer fences to protect the young saplings, but there will be gates and access through the planted areas.

Planting will start in about one year’s time.
Tilhill intend holding some briefing meetings in the village in the New Year so that everyone can see and comment on what is planned, as they are very conscious that the plans will substantially alter the outlook of the southern side of the village.
A colour plan of their proposed planting scheme will be published in the January magazine.

Play Area Update

The Bere Regis Community Play Association reported to the council that they have so far raised the amazing sum of over £42000.
They wish to sign the contract with the Play Park contractors, so the Parish Council has agreed to underwrite the small shortfall to enable the work to start.
The Play Park will therefore be closing after Boxing Day and the work on the new equipment will be carried out in January.

Our huge thanks and congratulations are due to everyone involved in this extraordinary effort.

Road Safety (20 mph limit)

We have now received a letter from Steven Howard of DCC stating that DCC will not be supporting the implementation of a 20mph speed limit up Rye Hill.
The full letter is available from the Parish Clerk if you would like to see a copy.
Obviously this is disappointing news and we will be working with representatives of CARS to see where we go next with this.


The investigation into the possibility of an arsonist operating in the village is still on-going. Peter Wharf and Ron Margetts have had a meeting with Dorset Police, Inspector Tracy Baker, and Dorset Fire & Rescue Services, Alun Morgan, to discuss progress with the investigation and the next steps we as a village need to take.
Thankfully nothing untoward has happened recently, however, if you do suspect an incident is arson or hear anything about arson in the village that would help the ongoing investigation then please contact either the police or one of the Parish Councillors (contact details are given below).
Your information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Should you see someone starting a fire or discover a fire then call 999 as usual or call Dorset Police on 101. For further in formation, there are local Policeman to contact - Jon Stuart PC 1813 - email, mobile: 07825 521 900.
Alternatively, Luke Taylor PCSO 5344 – email, mobile: 07825 521 900.
Don't forget that Ron Margetts is your local Parish Councillor with special responsibilities for liaison with the local Police Pact panel.
Her email is here.
Peter Wharf your District Councillor is also available to be contacted via email here.

Neighbourhood Plan

A meeting was held on 27th October where training was given for those people wishing to be on one of the three groups working on this.
The date for submitting questionnaires has now passed and we had 208 submitted representing 350 residents of Bere Regis.
We will be holding a public Meeting on Saturday December 8th at 10.00 am in the Scout Hut where we will be reviewing the progress of the groups and reporting on some early findings.
However the detailed analysis will not be finished until January when we will arrange a public meeting at which we will present all of the details and findings from this exercise.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor

December 2012 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 13th December. Our next meeting is on Thursday 10th January, starting at 7.00 pm.

Public participation

There were no members of the public who wished to speak.

Soul’s Moor

The area south of the stream known as Soul’s Moor now belongs to the Parish! The purchase was completed on 7th December by the Parish Council.
The land will be used as a community space for the entire village.
We will be issuing a management plan for the SNCI part of the land and some thoughts about its use shortly and the Neighbourhood Plan groups will also be thinking about how the area can best be used for the benefit of everyone in the community.

Neighbourhood Plan

We held a successful public update meeting at the Scout Hut on Saturday 8th December where the Parish Council Chair went through in detail the responses to the recent questionnaire issued to everyone in Bere Regis.
The responses make very interesting reading and can be found on the Parish Council website.
If you could not make the meeting but would like to attend another meeting please contact the Chair Ian Ventham who will be delighted to put on another presentation if numbers are there for it.
If not we will meet village groups and organisations if .requested.

Snow Clearing

In the event of a snow fall this winter, are there any able bodied villagers willing to help at short notice to clear snow, particularly from the surgery and shop areas to ensure the elderly and less able bodied amongst us are able to get out and about?
We already have a plan to deal with adverse weather but in the initial stages we will need as much assistance as possible.
Any time you are able to give would be most helpful.
We will mostly use the village facebook page to call for help if we neeed to.

It would also be greatly appreciated if you do not use the grit from the bins dotted around the village for your own personal use.
We have just gone to some lengths to ensure that they have all been fully stocked up for the winter.
We do have a limited supply of 25kg bags and are happy to offer them at £4 per bag but will have to limit this to one per household.
If you are able to help with the snow clearing or want a 25kg bag, please contact Amanda Crocker, Parish Clerk on 472327 or email her here.

Children’s Play Park

We are delighted to report that contracts have now been exchanged for all the work to be done on the children’s play park.
Well done to all the fundraisers who have done such a brilliant job in raising over £40,000.

387 Bus

The 387 bus service was recently replaced with single decker when it was full.
Dorset County Council has promised to ensure this does not happen again.

Peter Wharf
Parish Councillor