January 2013 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th January.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th February, starting at 7.00 pm.
A member of the public spoke about the increasing parking on West Street and the difficulties that this was causing with the scheduled Bus Services and other large vehicles being blocked in the street and the problems some residents have getting in and out of their driveways.
These problems are in addition to the potential difficulty a Fire Appliance would have in accessing the village and Milborne St Andrew if West St was blocked.
We were asked to consider putting yellow lines down one side of West Street to alleviate the problem. Accordingly we have now written to Dorset County Council asking them for their views on this proposal and for suggestions as to how we might conduct the necessary consultation with the residents of Bere Regis to determine whether there was agreement to this proposal and what other options were open to us.
We fully recognise that there may be strong views both for and against this proposal.
Community Right to Buy
Under the Localism Bill communities now have the right to have the first option of buying valuable community assets such as playing fields, pubs or Post Offices if they are put up for sale.
They would need to be assets that were of great value and importance to the Community as a whole, and they need to be registered.
If anyone has suggestions about assets in Bere Regis we should consider registering, please contact the Clerk.
Yet another plea to Dog Owners to bag their dog’s poo and to put it in one of the many Dog Bins the Parish Council have installed at various points around the village.
Whatever you do please do not put it in a plastic bag and leave it.
This will take approximately 2000 years to degrade which is a lot of people who will then have to put up with seeing it!
Bere Regis SNCI management group will be holding a drop in session on Sat 9th Feb at the scout hut to show how Souls Moor is going to be managed, this includes the plan to fence the area to allow grazing.
Please come along between 10-12 noon.
We would like to thank the volunteers who helped to remove the old equipment and clear the site over the Christmas holidays ready for the contractor to start installing the new park at the start of January.
The Play Area is being refurbished and by the time you read this it may well be finished and ready to be re- opened for play,
This will include an area specifically for toddlers as well as the much anticipated Zip wire for the older children.
Speeding down the C6
Be warned, there may be radar traps to catch these speeders!
A salmon was spotted in the stream up at Shitterton Bridge by the slip road.
It is believed to be very many years since the last sighting of a salmon there!
Upton By pass
There is likely to be one lane closed while work continues for longer than was originally anticipated.
It was originally due for completion in January but now looks as though it will continue for some further time.
Look out for the information signs.
February 2013 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th February.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th March, starting at 7.00 pm.
A member of the public spoke about the proposal for the installation of seven wind turbines outside of Tolpuddle.
As a Parish we have been notified of it but we are not currently being consulted.
Our District Councilor confirmed that PDC have sent a request to West Dorset that we be included as an official consultee on this development as residents from Bere Regis can reasonably be said to be affected by the development.
We await West Dorset’s response; until then we can not comment officially.
We understand that there is to be a public meeting on Thursday 7th March at 7pm, in Tolpuddle Village Hall.
Community Governance Review (CGR)
We have been asked to comment under the CGR exercise on whether we think any part of the Parish should be moved into another Parish or whether we should take responsibility for any area currently outside of our Parish. Affpuddle & Briantspuddle Parish Council (ABPC) have suggested that we take on the responsibility for all of Rogershill Farm which is currently split between the two Parishes.
After a detailed discussion we decided not to support this, and indeed we have made a counter suggestion that the whole of Rogers Hill Farm, including the wind turbine and the motor bike scrambling track should come under ABPC.
We did however agree to request that a property in Briantspuddle (Weatherby House Ashley Barn) be transferred to ABPC as it is clearly within their area and has little spatial connection to Bere Regis.
If any person has a comment on either of these proposals please send them to Amanda our clerk so that we can include them in our response to District which has to be in by early April.
The Parish Council Precept Explained
As Peter Wharf has explained in his report our Council Tax 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 Bere Regis, which is not just the village, but the civil parish of which runs from Roke in the North to Gallows Hill in the South.
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 £37,000, which is up by 12% on last year’s figure of £33,000.
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 £49,412 in 2013/14, and plan to spend £53,064.85 – the difference being made up from reserves accumulated in past years.
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.
This year we will be maintaining the newly acquired Souls Moor and the streamside area near Elder Road for the first time as well. Cost £22,801 (43%)
2. Administrative costs, including our Parish Clerk’s salary, insurance, stationery, postage, hall hire, audit fees and rates for the Cemetery. Cost £18,263, (34%)
3. Future facilities and amenities, including Christmas trees, the addition of information boards, path signage and the Neighbourhood Plan (we hope to get a substantial part of the £6000 for the Neighbourhood Plan reimbursed)
Cost £10,000 (19%)
4. Grants to village organisations. Cost £2,000 (4%)
The Parish Precept amounts to about £50.50 per Band D household per year, and the increase this year will add just £6.17 per year 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, or to join one of our sub-committees dealing with the Play Park, the Village Nature Reserve or our Neighbourhood Plan
Dr Brian May & The Woodland Planting Scheme
The extraordinary pulling power of ‘celebratory’ status was well in evidence on Monday 11th February when Brian May and his team from UPM Tilhill came to the village to tell us about the proposed planting scheme and wildlife haven that is to be established on 63 hectares of farm land to the south of the village that Brian has recently bought.
The Drax Hall was full to bursting as around 150 people listened avidly as Brian May outlined his vision for the area and Julian Ohlsen from Tilhill told us that around 100,000 native British hardwoods would be planted in the Autumn.
Brian May impressed everyone with his easy charm and evident enthusiasm for his approach to wildlife conservation.
It is clear that the vast majority of residents are very much in favour of the proposals.
Members of the Parish Council have been meeting with Tilhill staff to iron out details of the scheme, in particular to ensure that footpaths and rights of way are respected and enhanced and that we try to integrate our plans for a village nature reserve on Souls Moor with the new planting scheme.
The Play Park will be officially opened on 2nd March. The ceremony will be held at the Bere Regis Scout Hut starting at 1.00 pm.
There is likely to be one lane closed while work continues for longer than was originally anticipated.
It was originally due for completion in January but now looks as though it will continue for some further time. Look out for the information signs.
Community Right to Buy
Under the ‘Community Right To Buy’ legislation, we are now able to register buildings, land and facilities which we believe are valuable to the community, so that, in the event that any of these might be sold or lost for whatever reason, the Parish has the right to be given ‘first refusal’ so as to try to keep the community asset going.
We have compiled such a list and are presenting it to the registrar for approval.
This does not mean that anything on the list is completely protected, because we would have to raise the necessary funds to buy the land or shop or whatever, and that may prove impossible.
The legislation merely gives us the opportunity to try to safeguard a community asset.
March 2013 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th March.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 11th April, starting at 7.00 pm at which all parishioners are most welcome.
Eleven members of the public attended, four of them principally interested in the issue of traffic on the C6 at Rye Hill, four in the matter of the proposed installation of nine wind turbines between Tolpuddle and Milborne St Andrew, and two were concerned with working with the Parish Council to determine what community facilities might be provided in a new school.
The topic of traffic on Rye Hill was discussed first and various ideas and solutions were suggested such as traffic lights, double yellow lines, and an off-road parking area in the field near the school.
It was pointed out that banning parking on the road would actually increase traffic flow and speeds, and that the field suggested as a parking area was privately owned, would not work in the rain, and cars turning in and out across the path of pedestrians would cause as many problems as might be solved.
After a vigorous debate, our County Councillor, Alex Brenton, agreed to try to get DCC traffic engineers out again to look at the problem.
It was pointed out that with the budget cuts being made by DCC this might not be a high priority.
Another of our traffic surveys will be carried out in May to give a further snapshot of traffic speeds and densities on the C6
Those with concerns about the proposed wind turbines had an opportunity to voice their objections, which included proximity to dwellings (840 metres in the case of Weatherby House), noise, particularly the impact of very low frequency sound, visual impact, and the carriage of aggregate from local quarries over local roads.
Planning Application for The Proposed Wind Farm
The Council, as a neighbouring parish, then debated the planning application for the Wind Farm.
All councillors spoke and a vote was taken.
By a narrow majority, Bere Regis Parish Council voted not to support the application.
Dog Faeces (Again)
It is difficult to tell when walking on our footpaths if it is that our dog population has exploded, or if it is our irresponsible dog owner population that has increased, but what is clear is that we have a filthy situation with unacceptable amounts of dog excreta being left on the local paths for people to walk in, and walk into their homes.
We have asked for help with this problem and we will prosecute if we see offenders not picking up after their dogs.
Dog Owners – be Warned - Be Responsible.
A small sub-committee is being established with representatives of the School Governors and some Parish Councillors to see what additional community facilities it might be possible to incorporate, if and when the new school gets the go-ahead.
The Amizing Prack
The new Play Park opened to great acclaim on 2nd March.
The Parish Council gives its warmest thanks and congratulations to all who have been involved in bringing this project to fruition.
It is a great asset.
What – Christmas Trees in April!!
Don’t worry we’ve not gone completely loopy, but it is timely, with only 265 shopping days to Christmas to remind ourselves that the Council buys Christmas trees in order to decorate the village in the run up to Christmas.
These are intended only for show outside homes, mainly in the metal brackets many have on their homes, not for use indoors.
If you would like a bracket please contact the clerk on 472 327.
If you would like a tree please contact Christopher Maunder on 471 342 as it will not be long before our order has to go in to get our bulk discount.
April 2013 Meeting
Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 11th April.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 9th May, starting at 7.00 pm.
Jon Parker of the CARS group spoke about the petition of 31 signatures he had collected from North Street residents in favour of a 20mph speed limit there.
As this was not on the agenda it will be considered at the next Parish Council meeting.
He also spoke at length about the CARS ‘Pledge20’ campaign calling for residents to drive no faster than 20mph everywhere in the village and reported that 267 people had signed up to CARS voluntary code.
The Parish Council affirmed its support of any legal measures to improve road safety, particularly near the school, but pointed out that driving too slowly when all other traffic is doing 30 mph can be irritating to other drivers and a potential source of friction.
Advice has been obtained that if an accident was caused by drivers going too slow for the road conditions, and where there were no safety issues, the slow driver could potentially found to be liable.
CARS was advised to ensure that it had adequate liability insurance in place.
We as a Parish Council nonetheless welcome any ideas to promote greater road safety, particularly in and around the school during school hours – especially when pupils are arriving or leaving.
It should also be noted that Dorset County Council has responded to our previous correspondence about a 20mph speed limit outside the school by saying that because of budget cuts no new Road Traffic Orders will be considered before 2015.
This was also confirmed by our County Councillor.
Retirement of Ron Margetts
We are very sorry that Ron has stepped down from the parish Council.
During his time on the council he has made a major contribution to the improving Police liaison and ensuring our views are effectively represented at PACT meetings.
We thank Ron for his work and wish him well.
Village Tidy - Sunday 12th May 2013
The Parish Council is again organising the annual Village Tidy targeting Groups and individuals to help in a clean up of the Village ahead of summer.
With your support this can be an effective and fun occasion where you can enjoy creating a visible improvement for both visitors and residents alike.
The aim is to collect litter, remove weeds from roadside areas and footpaths and generally to sweep neglected areas and prominent village locations.
Local streams, the boardwalk, West Street, the Car Park area, residential roads and footpaths are all included in the Tidy, indeed any area that needs attention.
Can we request your help in taking part in this worthwhile venture by organising a small group in your immediate area or drawing it to the attention of any Society/Club you are involved in and encouraging their participation?
Please try and organise a project, however small, that enhances our environment.
Purbeck District Council is supplying us with a limited number of hoes, brooms, fluorescent tops, sacks and gloves etc for those who don’t have them.
Arrangements have also been made for weeds and debris collected and left in gutters on the day to be picked up by a mechanical sweeper in the following week.
We hope to organise free soup etc in one of our two Pubs for participants after the event.
If you can help, including drawing to the Parish Council’s attention any particular areas that you think would benefit from action or would like to help on the day, please contact Councillor Martin Howard Tel 01929 472841.
Alternatively, meet in the Car Park at 10.00 am on the day or simply concentrate on the area near where you live and tidy up gardens and pavements/footways attached to your homes.
I am sure you will agree this is a worthwhile project which will engender some pride in our Village and leave us with a tidier and brighter place to live.
We would love to hear from you or see you on the day, thank you.
The Election of a Parish Councillor
With the resignation of Ron Margetts we are a Councillor short.
Our original intention was to co-opt someone onto the Parish Council for the rest of this Council year (up until May next Year) when there will be a full election of all Parish Councillors.
However Jon Parker, as is his democratic right, has collected the 12 signatures required which means there will be an election for the one vacancy whatever now happens.
If only one person puts their name forward it will be an uncontested election.
If more than one person puts their name forward the election will be contested and the cost of a contested election to the Parish Council will be at least £4000.
The key dates are as follows
• 8th May nominations open
• 16th May Nominations close
• 13th June – an election will be held if there is more than one candidate.
This will be held similar to any other election with the Polling booths being in the Drax Hall and voting taking place between 7.00 am and 10.00 pm
Agendas and Minutes
We were asked in the meeting where the agenda could be found by members of the public.
They are held on the Parish Council website as are the minutes of previous meetings, and they are also put up on the Notice Board outside the village shop.
Presentation on the Bere Stream by Wessex Water 21st May 6.30pm at the Scout Hut
Our Bere Stream is reported to be one of the purest chalk streams in the country and Wessex Water has recently carried out a survey of the stream and water quality.
On 21st May, Fiona Bowles from Wessex Water will be giving us a presentation on ‘Environmental Investigations on the Bere Stream’.
The presentation will start at 6.30pm with a walk along the stream to show how they test for Water Quality and demonstrate kick sampling.
The short walk will be followed by a presentation in the Scout Hut at approximately 7.00pm.
All welcome to come and hear about this interesting aspect of our village environment.
Youth Project- The Banter Club
The Banter Club is a new Young Adult club that is being formed to give the teenagers, 13 -19 Year olds a meeting place in the village.
This came about after the March Parish Council meeting when the need for such a facility was identified. The following week an inaugural meeting was well attended by adult volunteers (17 have offered their help and support) and a plan was formed to create something for the young adults to do.
Just one week later the next meeting was very well attended by not only the volunteers but also by a dozen teenagers.
They were each given a survey to complete and copies to pass to their friends who could not attend.
One week later 18 surveys had been completed and the name (picked by the young adults) Banter was created.
At the time of writing we are awaiting a decision by the Bere Regis Sports Club to allow Banter to use the Sports Club “Barn” on a Friday evening between 19:30 and 22:00.
So within four short weeks we feel the Young Adults will soon have a meeting place once a week.
If you are interested in helping (adults) or attending please contact Angie or Ian Wright on 01929 471734.
The Parish Council will be formally asking the Police to mount speed camera patrols outside the school more often than is the case at the moment and it will request that these are followed up regularly.
Rogershill Farm Turbine
The Parish Council were dismayed to learn that our District Councillor was prevented from voting on the wind turbine proposal some months ago because the developers offered some of the profits to Bere Regis Parish Council without asking their permission or even notifying them.
This then was deemed to have prejudiced his view.
He and we were furious.
We refused their offer.
They have now made the offer again. Now that the turbine is in we reconsidered their offer and after a long debate we agreed that we would accept the money although this should not be read as accepting in any way the proposal.
If we did not accept the money it would provide greater profit to the developer.
We have reiterated that this does not in any way indicate any view for or against the development; but we will be using it for the benefit of the residents of Bere Regis!