Bere Regis Village Website

Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report



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.

Public participation

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.

Dog Mess

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!

Souls Moor

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.

Play Park

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.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

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.

Public participation

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.

Play Park

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.

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

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.

Public participation

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.

School Liaison

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.

Ian Ventham


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.

Road Safety

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.

Speed Camera

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!

Peter Wharf

Parish Councillor

May 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 9th May.
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 12th June, starting at 7.00 pm.

The evening began with the Annual Parish Meeting which you can see below. It was then followed by a shortened monthly meeting.
The Notes for the monthly meeting are below the Annual meeting notes below.

Annual Parish report

Ian Ventham the Parish Council Chair presented the Annual Parish report as follows, which was followed by a number of community groups giving their annual reports.

This past year has been an eventful one for all of us, and, I think a particularly good one for the parish and this, your Parish Council. Let’s run over some of the activities we’ve been involved in since last May;

There was the Diamond Jubilee on the first weekend of June, preceded by all those fundraising events put on throughout the village.
We had the carnival procession, the Party, and the lighting of the village beacon, the Church Service, a concert and much more.

We invited contributions towards our new village signs, and we now have these wonderful Purbeck Stone signs gracing the entrances to the village as a permanent reminder of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

In July we re-launched our attempt to write a Neighbourhood Plan, and undertook a survey to every household in the parish, the results of which continue to guide our deliberations.

In the Autumn we were able to get the footpaths by the stream resurfaced, making them much more accessible particularly to the disabled.

We eventually completed the purchase of Souls Moor for the village from Grainger, and the Parish Council’s SNCI Group, with the village wildlife group, have been undertaking preparatory work to fence the SNCI area and create and sustain a Village Nature reserve.

With the school we encouraged Dorset County Council to buy an area of land at the end of Egdon Close as a possible site for a new school.

In December we heard that Dr Brian May had bought the farmland to the south of the village, and his visit in February caused quite a stir when he announced his plans for woodland planting and the creation of a wildlife haven

Our Community Play Association, a subgroup of the Parish Council, raised sufficient money to enable the “Amizing Prack” to be built for our younger residents.
This gallant band is now going on to raise the funds for a skate park for the older kids.

We are in the throes of helping and encouraging a wonderful new team of adults and teenagers to open ‘Banter’, our new meeting place and club for teenagers.

In the meantime our ‘normal’ everyday work of scrutinising planning applications, maintaining the cemetery and open spaces, and keeping the village tidy, has gone on.
This year, we even managed to keep the village moving when the snow fell!

I’d also like to draw attention to the amazing work which goes on year in, year out in our voluntary and community organisations.
These include our churches, Pop in Place, the WI (who have planted the bulbs round the signs and in other open spaces), the Scout group with just under 100 youngsters in membership, FOBRES, raising thousands of pounds for the school each year, Ragamuffins, the Gardening Club, Autumn Leaves, the Sports Club, the Swimming Club, CARS, The Toddler Music Group, the Wildlife Group, the Village Hall Committee, the RBL Women’s section, and the Twinning Association.

Closer to home, thanks are due to my fellow councillors for their voluntary contribution to the life of the village. To our District (and Now County Councillor) Peter Wharf, and our erstwhile County Councillor, Alex Brenton, and to our MP Annette Brooke.
We should also be very grateful for the work that Amanda our clerk does beyond the call of duty, and for the time, often in foul weather, that Paul Critchell puts in as Lengthsman.

Looking very briefly to the future:

Our main priority is to complete the Neighbourhood Plan and hold a local referendum on it.
We will support Banter as it gets established.
We will work with the Play Association to create a skate park facility.
We will work with the school to try to obtain some good new indoor sports facilities for use by all residents.
We will take over the streamside area near Elder Rd from the District Council and together with Souls Moor try to create an interesting nature reserve and recreational area in the heart of the village

Finally, I must pose a question.
As a community, how do we wish to commemorate and remember the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and its impact on us on 4th August 2014?
We have a few months to get our plans in place, but we must start soon, if we are to do justice to the sacrifices our forbears made.

Community Group Reports

Community Groups were then invited to present their reports.
Space does not allow me to put in the full report from each of the village organisations, but the full details have been recorded in the minutes and will be available for inspection on the website.
We were delighted that the following were represented at the meeting:

Banter Club (Ian & Angie Wright)

The Banter club is a club for young adults that has been set up by adult volunteers in Bere Regis with the main purpose being to give the young adults of Bere Regis a meeting and social venue for one evening per week. This will include provision of music, TV & Wi-Fi, darts and computer access.

Twinning Society (Judy Newton)

A successful year with about 40 guests from Cerences spending the 15th anniversary weekend with us in September when we all visited the RNLI, lunched at Amity Masonic Hall and returned to Bere Regis for an evening BBQ and dancing hosted by the Venthams at Shitterton Farmhouse.
This year we are visiting Cerences in September (Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd) with a few seats left on the coach, if anyone is interested contact Judy.

Pop in Place (Jo Syrett)

The Pop in Place is still proving to be a vital and valued village facility catering for a wide cross section of the village.

The Pop in Place is now in its 17th year. Many volunteers have been with us for all of that time, some are relatively new but everyone is there for a reason.
They all share the same ethos that “People Matter” and we all in our own individual ways try to help to enhance the lives of those within the local community providing many different opportunities.
As well as this many charities throughout the country benefit financially from our support.
Copies of the Annual Report are available to anyone who wishes to see them

FOBRS (Vicky Mayo)

Vickie Mayo thanked everyone for all the community support the group has received over the last year with all the activities they have held.
The recycling campaign collected just over 2 tonnes which meant they rose just over £1,000

C.A.R.S. (Jon Parker)

This year the village road safety group have organised many regular and informal meetings to provide a place for villagers to air road safety concerns and ideas.
We have launched our Pledge20 campaign which is designed to encourage motorists to slow down in Bere Regis.
During the rest of 2013 we are planning to further campaign regarding a 20mph speed limit especially outside the school.

W.I. (Arlene Duncanson)

We started our year in May 2012 with the dashing Giuseppe teaching us how to make Pasta.
In June we had our Jubilee Party, hosted on a possibly the one sunny evening in the grounds of the house of one of our members.
The July meeting was given to learning the Salsa with Jason!
Many evenings of enjoyable speakers brought us into a very cold and dank winter but things looked up in February when a talk by the National Coastwatch Institute was well attended.
In March we had an inspiring presentation by the local Judiciary and Probation Service, this was so well received and provoked so many questions that time ran out.

Also, during this year, members must have poured hundreds of cups of tea and coffee to keep visitors to Bere Regis as well as local residents well lubricated.
Members have made countless cakes, cut umpteen sandwiches and been on hand to help throughout the year for most village occasions particularly for the Jubilee festivities.
Sally Cheeseman again organised the Pancake Day Races, members supplied the refreshments for Mums and other supporters as well as manning the cake and other stalls.
All monies from this event were donated to the village Church Bell Appeal.

Our members were delighted to be asked to supply cakes for the opening of the Village Children’s Play Park. Daffodils have been planted round the village name stones and the area at the West end of the village has been tidied.
Our skittles team again entered the annual competition and although they did not win many matches the enthusiasm and fun more than compensated.

It is always sad when a member or ex-member dies and we have lost a few friends during 2012-2013.
They have gone but are not forgotten by the friends they have left behind and there will always be echoes of their involvement with Bere Regis W.I. in the minutes and records of past meetings.

Bells seem to have been a theme through our year so let us continue this association and ring in the Bere Regis WI 95th birthday with pride for all our achievements throughout these years and look forward to many more.

Sports Club (Mike Boswell)

We are pleased to make our facilities available to various community groups, including Weightwatchers, Slimmers World, Brownies/Rainbows, Cubs/scouts, the School and of course, as the focal point for the Jubilee celebrations last June.
In the coming months we look forward to welcoming the new youth group ‘Banter’.
The ground now has Queen Elizabeth 2nd status, sustaining provision for the future and we have applied to Sport England for funding to extend the recreation ground.

We continue to develop the facilities available at the club, recently adding digital projection onto a large screen, available for screening sports events or for presentations.
We’ve continued to upgrade the old clubhouse for the benefit of user groups and of course, we continue to maintain the field itself through the impressive efforts of volunteer ground staff.

Playgroup (Robin Pitcher)

This Year has been a fantastic year for the BRCPA culminating with the opening of the park on the 2nd of March.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the committee for their fantastic fundraising activities, and the community of Bere Regis for supporting us in this project.
We are on course to be able to provide an inclusive trampoline, and will continue to fundraise for other activities for the younger generation, with the provision of a skatepark our next project.

Scouts (Ian Ventham)

The group continues to flourish with 104 young people in membership in the 4 sections, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers.
In addition, most of the Explorers work as Young Leaders assisting the adult leader teams in the younger sections.
Currently, as of 1st May, we have 20 adult leaders across the Group.
This year the Beavers aged from 6 to 8, will be camping under canvas for the first time.
Cubs and Scouts will be enjoying a range of activities including camping and cooking.
Many of the Explorers will be going in the summer for their extraordinary expedition to Nepal, for which they have been training and raising funds for the past couple of years.
We wish them every success and look forward to hearing their stories in September

Village Hall Committee (Lynn Simmonds)

Once again the hall has had another positive year and many thanks go to the hall team for their continuing commitment and hard word work.
The following events were arranged by the committee.

March Easter Bingo - a popular and well attended evening

October Purbeck Film festival - “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” A comedy with several well known faces, including Maggie Smith and Dame Judy Dench starring in it

December XMAS Bingo - Another very well attended evening

In conclusion, the hall has had another very good year and hiring costs have remained low thus making it an attractive option to all.

Monthly Meeting

The first item on the agenda was the election of a Chair and Vice Chair for the year.
Ian Ventham was elected as Chair with his being the only nomination.
Similarly Laurie Fairhurst was elected as Vice Chair.
Ian thanked everyone for their support and reminded them that he would be standing down as Chair and from the Parish Council at the end of this year when he hopes the Neighbourhood Plan would be agreed.

Parish Council responsibilities

The Chair then confirmed responsibilities within the Parish Council would be allocated as follows for the forthcoming year

Laurie Fairhurst Planning and Housing
Martin Howard Village Environment
Len Alderman Traffic Transport & Police
Robin Pitcher ` Children and Youth
Chris Maunder Community Liaison
Peter Wharf Communications

Also the composition of a number of subgroups were agreed

Finance Ian Ventham, Chris Maunder & Martin Howard
Neighbourhood Plan Ian Ventham, Martin Howard, Simon Munnings, Peter Wharf, Laurie Fairhurst
SNCI Robin Pitcher
Playgroup Robin Pitcher
Banter Arlene Duncanson

Village Tidy - Sunday 12th May 2013

Thank you to all those who turned out on a crisp sunny Sunday morning to take part in the Annual Tidy!
Although numbers are always a little disappointing, a varied collection of enthusiastic Villagers, including the different sections of the Scout Group with Mums and Dads, neighbour groups,
Parish Councillors, the Village Lengthsman and individuals, arrived wielding hoes, brooms and plastic sacks to litter pick and remove weeds and clear gutters and footways.

Different parts of the Village were targeted including the area alongside the Bere Stream, the boardwalk, the approaches to the Village and the prominent public areas with the help of equipment loaned by Purbeck District Council.
The high number of filled plastic sacks with their variety of spoil, bore testimony to the efforts and endeavour that took place.

The mechanical sweeper had also been booked to follow on the Tidy during the next week to ensure the removal of remaining vegetation and gutter debris.

At the end, participants congregated in the Royal Oak for some well earned refreshment where new Landlady, Jeanette had kindly laid on excellent Soup and a warm welcome.
Thanks Jeanette.

The Tidy is an Annual Event and for those of you who haven’t got involved before, please give it a try next year. Just one hour of each of your time on the day will help to keep this beautiful Village looking good for visitors and all who live here.
Well done and thank you to all who took part.

Appointment of a Parish Councillor

We wait to know the number of people who have applied which will determine whether or not we need to hold a contested election thereby costing the Parish some £4000 plus.
Whether the election takes place or not, we have already been billed £750 in respect of polling cards.

XMAS Trees

Please let Chris Maunder or the clerk know if you require a XMAS tree this year.

Stone Signs – Scroll of Honour

There is now a framed scroll of honour in the Drax Hall listing all those who made a contribution to the stone signs – however large or small.
The size of the individual donations is not mentioned - just the donor’s names.

Bere Regis Marketing Group

This group held its first meeting and the Parish Council unanimously endorsed it objectives “To make our retail village facilities viable and vibrant”

Annual Finance

As a matter of good governance and organisation we reviewed all our finances for the year, together with the Parish Council’s Standing Orders and Risk Assessments and signed them off as being a true and accurate record.
The accounts will be audited in June and are available for inspection by any Parishioner – just ask Amanda our clerk, they are publically available at any time and the annual financial statement can be viewed on the Parish Council website.

C.A.R.S. Petition

The petition in respect of the reduction in the speed limit along North Street, originally submitted to the Parish Council at the April meeting, was read out by the Clerk.
After some discussion, it was agreed that a letter would be sent to DCC saying that we understand the issues raised by CARS and 36 residents of North Street.
DCC will be asked to consider a variety of options including a consistent speed limit along the length of the road and better signage to highlight the no through road.

County Councillors Report

Our new Councillor thanked our previous County Councillor Alex Brenton for her hard work and wished her well.
This was echoed by all the Parish Councillors.

Peter Wharf
County Councillor

June 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Wednesday 12th June.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 11th July, starting at 7pm.

Co-option to the Parish Council

The evening began with Ian Ventham explaining the principle of co-option and how it operates as there seems to be an enormous misunderstanding regarding the procedure.
For the past 6 years the Parish Council has not had one applicant for any vacancy that has arisen and it has been necessary to approach someone and ask them if they would like to stand.
Should a co-option have been necessary, each person who had put their names forward would have been asked to attend the meeting, say a few words about themselves and the Parish Council would then go into confidential discussion and a secret ballot would take place.
Prior to the election being announced, no member of the council knew who the candidates were.

The work of the Parish Council

There have been many unfounded rumours regarding the work of the council.
The Chairman thanked all the members of the council for the work they have done over the last 5 years.
Apart from the usual day-to-day work of reviewing planning applications, liaising with County and District Councils, replacing street signs, clearing litter and fly tipping, maintaining the village assets from the cemetery to dog bins, benches and paths, the Parish Council has organised the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, secured Souls Moor for the future, arranged for the new Shitterton Bridge, and is in the process of securing the Elder Road path area for the future.
Individual members work tirelessly for the community – Martin Howard has organised the Village Tidy virtually single-handedly over the past years and Robin Pitcher has organised the replacement of the play area and is now looking at providing a new skate park.
All members have their various roles and although villagers do not see what they do, their input is essential to the smooth running of the village.
It must be remembered that they are all unpaid volunteers who give a great deal of their time.
There is a great deal of implied criticism of the Parish Council on Facebook and this is unfounded.

WW1 Commemorations

4th August 2014 marks the commencement of the first year of the centenary commemorations of WW1. Nationally there will be 4 years of events and, as a village, we need to start thinking about how we would like to commemorate this period of our history.
During July, the Parish Council will be sending a letter to all the organisations in the village to arrange a meeting in September and start to consider possible activities.
On the 4th August 2014 there will be a candlelit vigil in both Glasgow Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
At 11pm the candles will be put out to symbolise “the lights going out over Europe” on the 4th August 1914 when war was announced.
Perhaps we could do a similar vigil in our Church.
The memorial marks the names of those who went to war and did not come back – perhaps we could try to find the names of those associated with the village that went to war and did come back.

Souls Moor

The fencing work will take place during the week commencing 17th June, prior to which DWT will cut a path through the long grass to mark where the fence will be going.
The route of the fence has been changed slightly and will be less than originally thought.

C6 Traffic Survey

This has now been completed and the results have been assessed.
The full analysis is available on the Parish Council web site but, in brief, the number of vehicles passing the school has increased by 1,967 for the week or an average of 292 perday.
Sadly, the average daily number of vehicles passing the school in excess of the 30mph speed limit has also increased by 247 over a 24 hour period.
During the period between 8am and 9am it has increased by 14 vehicles.

Elder Road Play Park

Robin Pitcher reported that the Mini Footbal l tournament raised anadditional £300 towards the play park funds. Total funding raising to date now stands at £40,598.56 and costs at £36,677.16.
A further £8,887 is payable to the contractor but this includes the cost of the trampoline and the retention.
The Play Area Committee is now looking to start their new project – a skate park.
A consultation day is to be planned for August at which time the West Dorset District Council mobile skate park will be hired and set up in the play area car park.
There have been various issues raised regarding the play park but, rest assured, it is checked weekly by the Lengthsman and then, every 4 weeks, a more detailed check is undertaken by both the Lengthsman and Robin Pitcher.
Eventually the report will be included on the web site. In the meantime, the zip wire seat has been removed pending repairs on Tuesday 18th June and a notice put up asking for it not to be used.
The road signs indicating the play area are being reviewed and it may be possible to have some traffic calming in Elder Road at the entrance to the play park in the future.

Election Results

The final results for the election on Thursday 13th June were: Brenda House 295; Alex Eddy 131; Jon Parker 75; Matthew Smith 3.
We are very pleased to welcome Brenda House on to the Parish Council and wish Alex, Jon and Matthew all the best and thank them for taking part in this election.
There will be a full election of all Parish Councillors in May 2014 at which point they, and anyone else, would be very welcome to put themselves forward.

Amanda Crocker

Parish Clerk

July 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Tuesday 9th July.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 8th August, starting at 7.00 pm.

New Councillor

The council was delighted to welcome Brenda House to her first council meeting, and looked forward to her contribution to the work of the council, particularly as she brings a personal perspective very much geared towards the Agricultural community and the outlying parts of our parish.

Police Presence

Our PCSO, Luke Taylor kindly attended the meeting.
He updated us about the Neighbourhood Policing Team, which is still run by PC Jon Stewart, but, with an additional PCSO, Jake Williams, is now responsible for Upton, as well as Lytchett and Wareham.
He commented that there is a very low incidence of reports to the police from Bere Regis.
He left us the current contact details which are printed elsewhere in this magazine.

Wind Turbine

The council acknowledged with thanks receipt of a donation of £3,075.04 from Distgen, the company which operates the wind turbine at Rogers Hill Farm.
Part of this money will be used to help clear some of the most regularly used footpaths in the parish.

Bus Services

Very confusing information has been sent to us about proposed changes to the Dorchester to Poole bus services.
We are urgently seeking clarification, and will let everyone know, as soon as we hear something.

Woodland Planting Grant

The Council was pleased to give a grant of £150 to Linda Lamon towards the recording costs of two songs she has written to celebrate Dr May’s woodland planting scheme, which she is hoping children from the village and the Pop in Singers will be involved in and which will raise money for the Church Bell Appeal

The first trees will be planted at the western end of Dr May’s land at A planting day at the end of September on Friday 27th or Saturday 28th.
The Council is coordinating matters with Tilhill, the forestry company.


The council will be applying the balance of some funds given to us by DCC, and some of the money that has recently come from Distgen to clearing back undergrowth and mowing footpaths.

Village Show

Just to remind everyone to exhibit their prize parsnips, peas and produce at the Village Show (which is sponsored by the council) on Sunday 11th August at the Scout Hut. And, if you can’t exhibit, please come and see this great traditional event.

Monthly Surgery

A Parish Councillor will be joining Peter Wharf our District Councillor at the regular surgery we hold at Turberville Court on the first Saturday of each month ( Saturday 3rd August) from 09.30 to 10.00 am.

Ian Ventham

August 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 8th August.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 12th September, starting at 7pm.

Rural Bus Services

It has been reported that, once again, we are under threat of losing the 347 bus service to Poole.
Dorset County Council is required to save a further £850,000 from its annual budget and it is planning to do so by removing the subsidy from the less well used routes.
Unfortunately, the 347 to Poole is one such service.
The Dorchester link to and from Bere Regis will continue for now.
We have sent an immediate response, asking that at least one service a day to and from Poole be retained to help those who work there.
A more detailed response will be drawn up by the Parish Council and will be discussed at the September meeting.

Community Transport Schemes

As a result of the bus service review, the Parish Council is looking into alternative ways to help less mobile residents and those who do not drive.
We will be working with PoPP (Partnership for Older People Programme) with a view to setting up some kind of Community Transport Scheme, whether this be a Volunteer Driver & Car Scheme, or a village based minibus scheme.
A community run scheme, which could be open to all, will only get off the ground with strong local support.
We will be holding an initial exploratory meeting shortly.
If you feel you may have something to offer, either to help run the scheme or as a driver please contact Amanda Crocker, our Clerk.

Souls Moor

The fencing of the SNCI area on Souls Moor has now been completed.
This has been done in order that the area may be managed by the grazing of livestock.
Funding for the work has been provided
by Dorset Wildlife Trust which has also advised that grazing is the best way to restore this lovely native site to its original state and encourage the re-emergence of the orchids and wild flowers.

World War 1 Commemorations

The first meeting to plan how the village might mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 is due to take place on Monday 16th September at the Drax Hall, at 7pm.
If you, or a group you belong to, would like to get involved with helping organise the commemorations, please let the Clerk know and come along to the meeting.

Part Night Street Lighting

We have now received confirmation that Dorset County Council is nearing the completion of the part night lighting project.
The policy requires that A and B class traffic routes, roundabouts, town centres and road with speed humps remain lit all night, whilst all other street lighting will be turned off from midnight until 5:30am.
No private roads or lighting systems will be affected by this.
This is due to take effect in about 3 months’ time.
For Bere Regis, this means only West Street and the stretch of road from Poole roundabout to the Cross will remain lit – all other lights will be turned off.
Further details and a map can be seen on the Parish Council website.

Amanda Crocker

Parish Clerk

September 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th September.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 10th October, starting at 7pm.

Rural Bus Services

Following the last meeting, The Parish Council has been looking into possibility of setting up a Community Transport Scheme and Volunteer Driver Scheme.
We have met with Erica Pretty of PoPP who are able to guide us through the setting up process and acquire funding for the schemes.
This is still in the very early stages but it is important that volunteers to be drivers or administrators put their names forward in order to make the scheme viable.
If you are able to help, please contact a member of the Parish Council or the Clerk.
Cllr Peter Wharf will be speaking at the Cabinet meeting on the 16th October and will be asking them to consider maintaining an early morning service to Poole, returning at 5.30pm.
In addition, he will also be asking the County Council for sponsorship of a Community Transport Scheme for 3 days a week.

Village Forum

The next Village Forum will be held on Saturday 26th October from 10am to mid-day – refreshments will be provided. The topics to be discussed will be:
• Neighbourhood Plan
• Community Transport and Volunteer Driver Schemes
• Play Park and the proposed Skate Park

Please put the date in your diary and we hope to see as many residents as possible there.

Business Flier

This flier, intended to try to give our local businesses a little more trade, is now in the process of being printed and will be delivered to every household in the parish.
Our thanks are extended to the Business Support Group and also to the Dorset Golf & Country Club for paying for the printing.
Our local businesses are very important so please make an effort to support them

Community Speed Watch

The Parish Council is setting up a team, under the leadership of Cllr Len Alderman with the Clerk acting as co-ordinator.
Armed with a hand-held radar issued by Dorset Police, the volunteers on the team will measure vehicle speeds in the 30mph areas.
The 5 key areas that will be covered by the team will be the C6 (Rye Hill), Elder Road, West Street, North Street and Manor Farm Road.
6 names have been submitted to the Police so far to be trained but we really need up to 14 more.
It is anticipated that the team will operate for an hour a week, varying the time and locations.
It should be stressed that the prime objective is “Education not Enforcement.”
If you would like to get involved with this initiative, please contact Cllr Alderman or the Clerk.

Amanda Crocker

Parish Clerk

October 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 10th October.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th November, starting at 7pm.

Community Transport & Volunteer Driver Scheme

Erica Pretty of PoPP has submitted a grant application on behalf of the Parish Council to cover the cost of setting up a Community Transport Scheme.
We must now prove a need.
If you or someone you know would wish to use the scheme, please let a member of the council know when and how often you would envisage using it.
This will enable us to work out the best days and times for a mini bus to run.
In the meantime, we continue to pursue the Volunteer Driver Scheme.
There has been a great deal of interest but, to date, only 3 volunteers have come forward. In order for this scheme to work, we need a lot more drivers.
The drivers will be compensated for their time – based on 45p per mile – even if you are only able to give an hour a month, please do put your name forward.

West Street Traffic Congestion

This continues to be a problem and the incidents of lorries and farm vehicles being unable to get through West St are on the increase.
By way of resolving the issue, one of the options the Parish Council is looking at is to have yellow lines put in along the side of the road opposite Visions Hair Salon.
The lines would run from Church Lane to opposite the Snow Hill entrance, covering the narrowest section of the highway.
As yet, nothing has been submitted but we would like to hear your comments on the option, together with any photographic evidence you may have of vehicles struggling to get through.

Elder Road Speeding

This continues to be of concern.
The upgraded play park is in constant use and the Play Park Committee is looking to put in additional activities on the grass area alongside the stream.
This may mean children running from one play area to another, often with very little thought of traffic using the road.
In addition, the pedestrian route crossing Elder Road, over Souls Moor and onto the school is designated a Safe Route to School.
Having spoken to both the Police and Dorset Highways, the opinion is that, as Elder Road is a cul-de-sac, those speeding are most likely to be residents who should know better.
We would ask everyone to pay particular attention when using this road and to be watchful for children and mindful of their speed.

Community Speed Watch

Things are moving on a pace and the names of 8 people have been put forward.
Once in place, the roads that will be targeted are Elder Road, West Street, North Street and the C6 Rye Hill.
You have been warned.

WWI Commemorations

The first group met on the 16th September and some interesting ideas began to be formed.
The next meeting will take place on Monday 11th November.
If you have ideas and want to get involved, please do join us at the Drax Hall, 7pm

Amanda Crocker: Parish Clerk

November 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 14th November.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 12th December, starting at 7pm.

Speed Indicator Device (SID) – Rye Hill

Thanks to the constant badgering of Highways by our County Councillor Peter Wharf, Highways have finally agreed that they are able to do something about the speed along Rye Hill and, more specifically, in front of the school.
Despite originally telling us it would not be possible, it now appears that the software contained within the SID may be able to be altered to show a 20mph advisory speed limit at times best suited to our needs.
There is a very good chance this could be in place by March or April 2014.

North Street Traffic Survey

During the first week of October, and as a result of concerns expressed regarding the speed of traffic along North Street, Highways installed traffic survey equipment at the request of the Parish Council.
The equipment was installed at the straight stretch of road beyond the fire station and the results have now been received.
Of the 127 vehicles recorded travelling along this stretch only 2 exceeded the speed limit of 30mph and both were travelling at less than 35mph.
The vast majority of users (41%) travelled between 20 and 25 mph and 26% travelled between 15 and 20 mph.
This clearly demonstrates that there is not a speeding issue in this part of the village.

Parish Council Expenditure

Each month one of the functions the Parish Council must perform is to agree the monthly expenditure.
This month it was particularly high as we had received the invoice for the Parish Council elections that we were obliged to hold in June.
As everyone is aware we were obliged to do as at the request of certain residents.
The cost was finally set at £3,155.24 which was completely unbudgeted and so will have to be taken from reserves set aside for other projects.
We would, however, like to thank Purbeck District Council for absorbing part of the original cost of just over £5,000.00. 2014 is an election year when all Parish Councillors must stand for
It is open for anyone to stand should they wish and details of how to get involved will be published in the New Year.

Volunteer of the Year

Each year, Purbeck District Council holds an award ceremony where parish and town councils are able to nominate a member of the community.
In the past, the Parish Council has chosen the person they think has done most to benefit the community in which they live.
This year we would like you to put forward your suggestions.
The only criteria is that whoever you nominate must be a full time resident of Purbeck whose volunteer activities benefit our community in a substantial, important or unique way and the volunteer activity must have occurred during the award year of 2013 (January to December).
Please send your nominations to the Clerk before the 5th December so they can be chosen at the meeting on the 12th.

WWI Commemorations

The organising committee met on the 11th November and ideas are starting to take shape.
There are 3 main strands of thought – the religious - consisting of church services and vigils;
events – Pop In Place performance, exhibitions, lectures and the production of a publication; and a tangible reminder – a sensory or memorial garden and the re-dedication of the war memorial.
There is also the possibility of organising a Battlefield Tour in 2015 of about 4 days and costing about £250.
In order for us to judge whether we are likely to have sufficient numbers to go ahead with the organisation, we need to have expressions of interest as soon as possible.
This will not commit you to attending but will act as a guideline for us.

Community Transport Scheme

With the threat of the buses to Poole being withdrawn in the near future, Bere Regis will be setting up a volunteer car service so parishioners and those from nearby villages will still be able to access services (hospital, dentists, etc).
If you are one of the people who would require transport, please register now.
It will cost you £5per annum to have your name included on the list of users.
Please remember, this is not a taxi service, it is local people giving up their time to offer a service and you will be asked to contribute towards the drivers’ expenses.
Registration forms can be obtained from Cllr Brenda House by ringing 07749 621 631.
We also desperately need drivers with a clean licence to volunteer.
You will be reimbursed for your mileage and running costs.
You only have to give as much time as you can manage and it could be as little half day once a week, once a fortnight, one day a week or only to go to Dorchester or Poole.
If you can help in any way please contact Brenda as above.
Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Amanda Crocker: Parish Clerk

December 2013 Meeting

Your Parish Council met for its monthly meeting on Thursday 12th December.
Our next meeting is on Thursday 12th December, starting at 7pm.

Rye Hill traffic

The works order has now been signed to amend the speed indicators on Rye Hill to show 20mph during school pick up and drop off times.
This should come into effect in March or April 2014.
In addition, the zebra crossing lights will be upgraded and will have the LED lights added (similar to those at the new crossing by the Purbeck School).
This should make them more noticeable from a distance.

Bere Regis New School

The feasibility study is going ahead, hopefully leading to a decision in January.

Police Report

PC Luke Taylor attended the meeting and informed members that there had been 9 crimes in the area since October.
Three of these were thefts from vehicles and residents are reminded once again to lock their cars and not to leave anything of value in them when unattended.
In addition, there has been the theft of livestock at Hyde, together with an attempted theft of cattle and working dogs and two drive offs from the Shell garage.
Despite this, Bere Regis is still a quiet part of the country to live in.

Skate Park

There will be a consultation taking place on the 23rd January at the Drax Hall, commencing 7.30pm.
The aim of the evening will be to encourage new people to come on board and help and to let everyone know what is happening and what has been achieved to date.

Volunteer Driver Scheme – Bere Regis Neighbour Car

There are now 12 volunteer drivers on board and the scheme is set to go live in January with a major launch on the 1st March.
This will coincide with the reduction in the bus service.
If you want to get involved, either as a driver or a passenger, please contact Cllr Brenda House on 07749 621631 or pick up a leaflet from the shop, Post Office and surgery.
Remember, you must be a member of the scheme in order to use it and membership will cost only £5 per year.


This continues to be a problem around all our footpaths and, as a Parish Council, we are running out of ideas.
We have tried posters, pleas in the Parish Magazine and on Facebook for the irresponsible dog owners to clean up after their dogs – but to no avail.
If you have any sensible ideas as to what can be done, we would be very willing to listen to them and give them a try.

Amanda Crocker: Parish Clerk