Bere Regis Parish Council Monthly Report Archive
2020

 

 

January 2020

 

The Parish Council met on Thursday 9th January 2020 at the Drax Hall.

Three members of the public were present.

 

The next meeting will be on Thursday 13th February at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm.

All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns at the start of the meeting.

 

Parking

There have been concerns raised not just by residents but also from the refuse collectors who have difficulty negotiating the junction of Snow Hill and Barrow Hill due to inconsiderate parking in that area.

As a result, the area used as a pull-in will be blocked to prevent parking there.

We would ask residents to park more considerately.

 

Barrow Hill Paddock Planning Application

We were pleased to hear that the planning application for two houses to built in the paddock at Barrow Hill and Tower Hill has been refused by Dorset Council as it is not in conformity with the Bere Regis Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Lengthsmans Work

Some parishioners have queried what the Lengthsman does and what his priorities are. We will be publishing more detailed information soon, but here are some statistics about his work in the quarter to the end of December last year:

 

Cemetery maintenance 117 hours 30%

 

Streamside, verges and gullies cleaning and cutting 143 hours 38%

 

Play area maintenance 46 hours 12%

 

Picking up litter and dog faeces 57 hours 15%

 

One litter picking sweep along the streamside, through Souls Moor and on Snow hill collected more than 150 bottles.

 

The entirely avoidable cost of litter and poo picking amounts to a cost of nearly £1000 in that quarter alone.

We would ask residents to take more care over our environment so the lengthsman’s time and our money can be applied to more beneficial work.

 

Dark Lane

The evidence documents to establish the footpath from Dark Lane, Shitterton to the top of Black Hill have been re-submitted to Dorset Council rights of way department.

 

Community Event

In June last year the Council organised the Mid-Summer Bere Fest, a very successful community event on the Recreation Ground which raised substantial sums for our local clubs and organisations.

If there is anyone who would like to take on the leadership of a similar event for this year or for 2021, the Council would happily provide admin support and guidance to an organising committee.

Please get in touch with Ian Ventham or our clerk if you are willing to get involved.

 

Climate Change

Whilst we recognise our contribution as a Council and as a community is likely to be modest, we are anxious to play a sensible role in trying to reduce our impact on climate change.

We have set up a working group firstly to take a look at what the Council itself might do, and then in due course to identify what sensible measures we might promote across the parish.

I am sure we will be asking for parishioners to contribute to these discussions in due course, but if there is anything you feel you want to suggest at this point, please feel free to pass any thoughts to the Clerk.

 

Village Forum

We will be holding a Village Forum on Saturday 16th May, in the School Hall, starting at 11am.

We would ask everyone to note the date, and community organisations to think about taking the opportunity to report on their activities and programmes.

 

 

 

 

February 2020

 

 

The Parish Council met on Thursday 13th February 2020 at the Drax Hall. 15 members of the public were present.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 12th March at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm.

All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns at the start of the meeting.

 

Parish Forum

 

We will be holding our annual Parish Forum for all residents to attend on Saturday May 16th at the School.

The agenda will probably include:

 

• A talk about May’s Wood by Anne Brummer, Chief Executive of the Save Me Trust, a conservation and wildlife charity established by Dr Bryan May

• A talk by Michael Tomlinson MP

• Presentation of local volunteer awards

• Presentation about the need to cherish and conserve our local SSSI, Black Hill (tbc)

 

All community organisations are cordially invited to attend and to set up stands to promote their activities to residents.

 

White Lovington Development

 

Following the submission of plans by the developer of the site at White Lovington, the council heard from a number of residents who were displeased at the increase of numbers of houses from the number set out in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Following discussions, the council agreed unanimously that because the application did not conform with the Neighbourhood Plan, it would inform Dorset Council that it could not support the planning application in its present form.

 

Bere Regis Calendars

 

The council were delighted to announce that the 2020 version of the annual Bere Regis Calendar, from which profits are being donated to The Ed Kent Trust, sold a total of 161 calendars, raising the fantastic sum of £405 for the charity, which helps local young people with funding in the sports and music areas.

 

Play Park Resurfacing

 

Having researched many solutions to the replacement of the woodchip bark in the Play Park, the council agreed to purchase rubber chippings to replace the bark with.

Made from recycled tyres, this bark gives both a safer surface for children to play on and a more environmentally beneficial solution.

We hope it may also deter cats from using the bark as a litter tray!

 

VE Day Celebrations

 

There are a number of celebrations being planned by organisations within the village to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May.

Further details will be released nearer the time, but ideas under discussion include a 40s themed tea dance, run by Scouts, along with a ceremonial ringing of the church bells and a lighting of the Beacon, followed by an outdoor ecumenical service of thanksgiving.

If residents in areas around the village wish to hold their own street parties, or organisations wish to add to the events to mark the occasion, the council will be delighted to help with any planning and road closures involved with this.

 

East Devon and Dorset National Park

 

The Council heard an enthusiastic talk from a member of the team behind the proposed new National Park in Dorset and East Devon. There are many potential benefits, and some possible pitfalls, that could be had from forming a new National Park and we look forward to monitoring the progress of their application as it goes through the next stages.

 

 

 

March 2020

 

 

The Parish Council met on Thursday 12th March 2020 at the Drax Hall.

14 members of the public were present.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 16th April at the Drax Hall, starting at 7pm.

All parishioners are very welcome to attend and to take the opportunity to raise any matters or concerns at the start of the meeting.

 

Parish Forum Saturday 16th May

 

We hope to be holding (subject to whatever restrictions are by then in force) our annual Parish Forum for all residents to attend on Saturday May 16th at the School.

The agenda will include:

• A talk about May’s Wood by Anne Brummer, Chief Executive of the Save Me Trust, a conservation and wildlife charity established by Dr Bryan May

• A talk by Michael Tomlinson MP

• Presentation of local volunteer awards

• Presentation about the need to cherish and conserve our local SSSI, Black Hill.

All community organisations are cordially invited to attend and to set up stands to promote their activities to residents.

 

Bere Heath Broadband

 

We heard from a resident in Bere Heath about an initiative he and the other residents in that area have taken to investigate having fibre optic broadband capabilities extended to serve the 6 houses in the area who presently do not have broadband.

The cost to do this will be approximately £2,000, and the Parish Council has offered a grant of £900 to the company which they have had to set up to facilitate this, to go towards the cost and ensure that all future residents in that area will also benefit from these amenities.

 

Digital Champions

 

Councillors Ventham and Mathers have recently joined Dorset Council’s Digital Champions scheme, which aims to help get older residents skilled in using computers and the internet, and we hope in due course to be able to run a workshop or even regular meeting, within the village.

 

VE Day Celebrations Friday 8th May

 

There are a number of celebrations being planned (subject to whatever restrictions are by then in force) by organisations within the village to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May.

Further details will be released nearer the time, but the Scouts will be holding events during the day and into the evening, along with a ceremonial ringing of the church bells and a lighting of the Beacon.

If residents in areas around the village wish to hold their own street parties to mark the occasion, the council will be delighted to help with any planning and road closures involved with this.

 

Open Spaces

 

In addition to some scrub clearance, the environment and wildlife group has this month completed the coppicing of a section of the of the overstood hazels along Bere Stream between the Shitterton road bridge and the Jubilee bridge.

This will allow much more light to reach the stream which will benefit the rich aquatic life that our stream is well known for.

It also creates an attractive alternative pathway close to the stream. We would like to thank the small but energetic group of volunteers who done a great job to improve our environment.

 

 

 

 

APRIL 2020

 

The Parish Council met very briefly by video conferencing on Thursday 9th April.

This was by way of experimenting with the technology with which most of us are unfamiliar, and to discuss how our future meetings can be made accessible to the public.

If you have any questions for a future meeting, please email them as detailed below.

 

COVID19

Members discussed the range of measures that had been put in place by the Parish Council and others to assist residents during the pandemic, under the banner of BereConnect, and were satisfied that at present there was little more we could do.

 

Rowlands Wait Caravan Park

The council was very unhappy that planning law makes no distinction between towed caravans occupying pitches at a touring site for a week or two at a time, and so-called mobile homes occupied by year-round residents.

The owners of the site are proceeding with works at the site authorised by a Certificate of Lawfulness issue by the then Purbeck District Council in December 2018.

We resolved to write to our MP with a view to facilitating a change in the law, and to engage with Natural England and Dorset Council, to voice our concerns.

 

The Annual Meeting

The next meeting on Thursday 14th May, should be our Annual Meeting, which would normally include the election of officers.

Central Government has decided that Town and Parish Councils can choose to delay the meeting until May 2021 or until later in 2020 when councillors are able to meet.

We have chosen to delay the meeting until the Autumn of 2020.

In addition, all current office holders, i.e. Chairs and Vice Chairs and Committee members, should remain in post if possible, until that time.

Our next meeting will, therefore, take the shape of a normal monthly meeting, which will be held by video conferencing.

Residents are invited to submit questions to the Clerk or a Councillor by email by the 10th May.

The question will then be read out at the meeting and a response given.

The meeting will then be streamed via the Parish Council website in order for residents to hear the response to their questions.

 

Councillors contact details can be found at https://www.bereregisparishcouncil.co.uk/about…/councillors/

 

This is all still very new and strange to everyone, so we would ask your indulgence and forgive us if it takes a meeting or two to get things right.

 




May 2020

BERE REGIS PARISH COUNCIL


Chairman:      Ian Ventham 471480 ianrventham@gmail.com

Vice Chairman: Bryan Benjafield  07969 770890 bryan@cheapprintingdorset.co.uk

Parish Clerk: Amanda Crocker  472327 bereregispc@gmail.com

Websites: www.bereregisparishcouncil.co.uk
www.bereregis.org


The Parish Council met remotely via Zoom on Thursday 14th May 2020. 2 members of the public joined the meeting.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 11th June, again remotely.
If you wish to join the meeting, or wish to send a question in to be read out, please contact the clerk beforehand.

Rowlands Wait

The Parish Council discussed the work being carried out at Rowlands Wait Caravan Park to convert it to a Park Home under a Certificate of Lawfulness issued by Dorset Council.
We had some weeks previously expressed our concerns to Dorset Council about the legality of the work, the damage to trees and shrubs and the proximity of this work to the Black Hill SSSI.
A tripartite meeting had taken place about a month ago between the Planners, Natural England and the Dorset Tree Officer, Graham Cox,  after which we were  informed that the laying of concrete slabs as bases for park homes was not subject to a Planning Consent and that the work being carried out was lawful.
Concerning the damage to hedges and felling of trees, just today (14th May), we had finally heard back from Jenny Key on behalf of Graham Cox, explaining that action had not so far been possible as officers, on safety grounds, were not permitted to undertake a site visit, but that they might be able to do so shortly if it was deemed an emergency.

In addition, Councillor Wharf, and the Parish Council Chair had held a telephone conference call with Michael Tomlinson MP, to discuss the possibility of effecting a change in the law for the future to differentiate planning regulations for Park Homes from those covering touring Caravan Parks.
All members of the Parish Council had recently received a copy of a letter from Mike Gee, a resident who was formerly a planning officer, who sets out a case as to why he disagrees with the response given by Dorset Council.
The Parish Council resolved to forward Mr Gee’s letter to the Head of Planning at Dorset Council for a response.

Black Hill SSSI

There have been ongoing discussions between the landowner at Black Hill,
The Urban Heath Partnership, Dorset Council and Natural England, as they wish to try and stop the damage which is being done to the SSSI on Black Hill, particularly by cyclists using tools to dig the land for their bike tracks.

The Parish Council have been asked to help raise awareness of this.
We appreciate that we have responsibility for the interests of all residents of the village, and absolutely sympathise with the children and young adults using their bikes on this area who are enjoying the countryside and being active, which is certainly a good thing.
Stopping them from doing this isn’t our intention at all.

To be clear, as far as we are aware, the landowner is still happy for people to use their bikes in the “circle” area at the top of Cemetery Lane where bikes have traditionally been used.
It’s specifically the area further along to the west, where tools have been used to create new tracks and jumps, that they are trying to stop the damage on and protect the wildlife there.

The Parish Council are still actively pursuing the creation of a new area for bikes, skateboards and such and hope the development of the Neighbourhood Plan can further the options for this.

Certificates of Appreciation

During the recent pandemic, we have been heartened by the number of people within the parish who have gone above and beyond to help others with a multitude of tasks and favours, with no expectation in return.
In due course, after lockdown has ended, we would like to present these people with a Certificate of Appreciation to show our thanks for all that they have done for our community during this time.
If there is anybody, or any organisation, you would like to nominate to be recognised in this way, please send details to the Clerk, on bereregispc@gmail.com.

Ponies

The 2 ponies should be back in the Nature Reserve at Souls’ Moor in the coming days and we are looking forward to seeing the continued progress and benefits their grazing brings to the wildlife there.
The ponies are regularly monitored and have a constant supply of fresh water.
If you are nervous around horses or have dogs that might bother them, we advise walking around the outside of the nature reserve.
If you do have any concerns about the horses, please contact the Clerk.



Bryan Benjafield



June 2020

BERE REGIS PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman:      Ian Ventham 471480 ianrventham@gmail.com

Vice Chairman: Bryan Benjafield 07969 770890 bryan@cheapprintingdorset.co.uk

Parish Clerk: Amanda Crocker 472327 bereregispc@gmail.com

Websites: www.bereregisparishcouncil.co.uk
www.bereregis.org

The Parish Council met remotely via Zoom on Thursday 11th June 2020.
Two members of the public joined the meeting.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 9th July, again remotely.
If you wish to join the meeting, or wish to send a question in to be read out, please contact the clerk beforehand.

BereConnect Emergency Fund

The fund, which was established by donations via JustGiving, received £5475 from 71 donors.
So far nearly £870 has been spent on food for distribution from the food bank, and £500 has been given out in loans or grants.
There is about £3900 remaining in the fund.
Application for help can be made by any parishioner at any time to bereconnect@outlook.com

Rowlands Wait

The Parish Council were asked by a member of the public about the ongoing works at Rowlands Wait, and it was stressed that at the present stage there is no system for the Parish Council, or the public, to be able to make an objection to any works going on.
The only thing we can do, which we have, is ask Dorset Council to urgently check the trees on site and see if any need to be protected with a Tree Protection Order which would then stop it being removed.
Dorset Council are dealing with this as quickly as possible.
If there comes a stage where any applications for development or a licence has to be applied for and is put forward to us, then we will publicise this and respond accordingly.

Black Hill SSSI

We were grateful to Amy Gallagher from the Urban Heaths Partnership for giving up some of her time to talk about what the Urban Heaths Partnership do, managing the land on behalf of Natural England and the landowner.
Amy confirmed that following the recent discussions, they have now put notices in place on the land, making it clear to all users that bikes are only allowed on the bridleways and nowhere else.
Amy discussed the various wildlife which inhabits the SSSI and the importance of protecting that.
They are happy to help us investigate any alternative areas locally for bike users and work on education for everyone on the benefits of the SSSI and the need to look after the area.
We agreed that we would also like to help produce some larger signage to go up in the area, to help inform on the value of the area.

Play Park Improvements

Whilst we await for the green light to reopen the play park, we are continuing with our programme of improvements and upgrades, with new rubber “bark” due to arrive soon, and metal brackets being fitted to the feet of most of the equipment to help preserve its life.
We hope to have these measures in place for when it reopens and will continue to monitor and fix any problems as they arrive.


Open Spaces

On Souls Moor, the ponies are back and doing a great job again. 
The benefit of the grazing on the wet part which floods in the winter has already helped the wildlife.
This year for the first time since the ponies were introduced into the field again 3 years ago, we have a good number of Southern Marsh Orchids which are a 'protected' wild flower. 
This type and other orchids were most likely very common in the fields near the stream in years gone by.
This is one of the main reasons why the Parish Council purchased the field and set it up as a nature reserve.
We are concerned that it looks as though someone has dug up one of the orchids.
This is NOT allowed and it is almost certain that the plant would not survive in a garden because the growing conditions would not be correct.
So please enjoy just seeing them on Souls Moor. Keep a look out too for the dragonflies that are in and around the pond.

Flies

The council discussed the current spate of flies that are rife around the village and surrounding areas, and whilst there’s very little we can do to stop them from appearing, we have purchased a bulk lot of fly papers to distribute to those who may be self-isolating and unable to get out to buy some or do not have access to the internet.
We will arrange the distribution of these shortly through the BereConnect scheme, but if you cannot get any and require some then please contact the clerk.

Fly Tipping

We notice there has been an increase in reports of fly tipping in our local area in recent months.
If you do encounter any instances of this, please report it immediately to Dorset Council on the following page: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/bins-recycling-and-litter/reducing-and-reusing/current-campaigns-and-offers/tip-off.aspx.


Bryan Benjafield



July 2020

BERE REGIS PARISH COUNCIL

Chairman:      Ian Ventham 471480 ianrventham@gmail.com

Vice Chairman: Bryan Benjafield 07969 770890 bryan@cheapprintingdorset.co.uk

Parish Clerk: Amanda Crocker 472327 bereregispc@gmail.com

Websites: www.bereregisparishcouncil.co.uk
www.bereregis.org

The Parish Council met remotely via Zoom on Thursday 9th July 2020.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 10th September, again remotely.
If you wish to join the meeting, or wish to send a question in to be read out, please contact the clerk beforehand.

Food & Drink Market

Due to the Coronavirus, the Dorset Food & Drinks Markets have been unable to operate.
They are now looking at organising a series of small 'pop up markets' in villages around the county.
The Clerk had been in discussion with the market co-ordinator regarding the possibility of holding a small market on Souls Moor in August.
The organisers are still looking at all the logistics but, if successful, this would be an opportunity for parish producers to showcase their wares.
As soon as dates and details are confirmed, we will advertise the event throughout the parish.


Community Volunteer Co-Ordinator

The Parish Council unanimously agreed to the appointment of Councillor Brenda House as our Community Volunteer Co-Ordinator formalising many of the roles she already undertakes under one banner.
Brenda has for many years organised the Salt & Pepper Lunch Club and NeighbourCar scheme and this gives her the opportunity to expand the volunteer network that has been set up to help with the requirements of villages during the Pandemic and hopefully proved a wide reaching service for all to benefit in the future.

Certificates of Appreciation

During the recent pandemic, we have been heartened by the number of people within the parish who have gone above and beyond to help others with a multitude of tasks and favours, with no expectation in return.
In due course, after lockdown has ended, we would like to present these people with a Certificate of Appreciation to show our thanks for all that they have done for our community during this time.
If there is anybody, or any organisation, you would like to nominate to be recognised in this way, please send details to the Clerk, on bereregispc@gmail.com.

Play Park Opening

Hopefully by the time you read this, the play park will have re-opened.
At time of writing we are still waiting for the fitting of some new brackets to stop the current posts from deteriorating, and the arrival of new eco-friendly rubber bark.
We are taking this opportunity to ensure that we’ve made every precaution we can to keep the park “Covid Safe” so that it can be enjoyed by all upon it’s reopening.
We will be installing guidance notices and signs around the park asking for people to use common sense when using the facilities and ensuring we do everything we can to maintain a safe space.
We hope to re-open the park by the end of July and thank you for your patience.

Wildflower Verges

Bere Regis Parish Council is hoping to create new wildflower verges around the parish to provide flower-rich habitat alongside our roads. 
This habitat will provide food for pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies, habitat for many invertebrates and small mammals, and help the survival of rare and common wildflower species. 
Lowland grassy verges are widespread throughout the UK, and can include cowslips, oxeye daisy, scabious, clover, vetches, knapweed and meadow cranesbill. 
Sometimes with the right management verges can also support orchids.

The wildflower verges around the parish will not be planted with annual flowers as this requires time to prepare the ground for sowing and can be expensive. 
A new cutting and collecting regime will be used instead, with fewer cuts each year at different times of year. 
A cut later in summer rather than spring can provide time for summer flowering plants to set seed. 
Some plants such as yellow rattle, which helps to keep tougher grasses down, could be introduced. 
It is important that any cut material is removed as wildflowers and the more delicate grasses thrive in nutrient poor soils.
The Bere Regis Wildlife and Environment Group will carry out a short survey this summer to determine the best areas in which to create wildflower verges.

We will be working with Highways in order to comply with any highway regulations.
Road safety is a priority and sightlines will be maintained.

Open Spaces

We would like to express our appreciation to Brian May and Tilhill Forestry  for the May’s Wood area.
Now, 7 years on from the original tree planting, a great diversity of wildlife has evolved and we are told by naturalists that this is now an exceptional area.  Although primarily woodland, there are wide open rides for visitors to enjoy as they walk through the woodland.
The trees are growing rapidly and scrub is developing which supports interesting wildlife. 
It is fascinating to see how the wood changes over the seasons.
The sowing of both annual and perennial wildflowers has created spectacular shows of colour. 
We all enjoy walking along the rides through the wood and can we remind all dog walkers to pick up and dispose of droppings appropriately.
August .. no meeting held



September 2020


BERE REGIS PARISH COUNCIL


Chairman: Ian Ventham 471480  ianrventham@gmail.com

Vice Chairman:  Bryan Benjafield 07969 770890  bryan@cheapprintingdorset.co.uk

Parish Clerk: Amanda Crocker  bereregispc@gmail.com

Websites:  www.bereregisparishcouncil.co.uk
www.bereregis.org


The Parish Council met remotely via Zoom on Thursday 10th September 2020.
The next meeting will be on Thursday 8th October, again remotely.
If you wish to join the meeting, or wish to send in a question to be read out, please contact the clerk beforehand.

Food & Drink Market

The first Sunday of September saw the inaugural Food & Drink Pop-Up Market on Souls’ Moor.
With approximately 12 visiting traders supplying their wares, the event was a great opportunity for people to access suppliers and products they wouldn’t always have the opportunity to.
We are looking to hold another, similar event around the Christmas period, restrictions allowing.

Buses

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, Dorset Council have had to close the 4pm bus from Dorchester to Winterborne Kingston (via Bere Regis) to the general public, due to the need to take School Children, and not being able to mix them.
We will try and notify people when this eventually resumes.
The new timetable can be found here: https://passenger-line-assets.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/morebus/DAM/187-timetable-20200902-06f36277.pdf

Benches

The Council are considering purchasing some picnic benches to be sited near the stream and Souls’ Bridge on the Elder Road open space, along with another bench in the Play Park.
If you would be interested in making a donation in memory of a loved one towards the cost of these, and placing a plaque with the name of your loved one(s) on the bench, please contact the Clerk, Amanda Crocker on bereregispc@gmail.com.

Play Park Opening

The Play Park has been open for over a month now with reinforced feet fitted to some of the equipment to prolong its life, and the new rubber chippings replacing the bark.
We would like to extend our thanks to the Lengthsman for the number of hours he put into the project recently, with some major landscaping needed to lay the chippings and make the area safe.
We hope everyone enjoys the area responsibly and as always if anyone spots any faults please contact the Clerk.

Tree Planting

It was agreed during the meeting to arrange for some trees to be planted on the area currently known as “no-mans land”, just outside the school gates, where the road bends around.
It is hoped we can do this at a heavily subsidised cost and this will greatly enhance the area.
The wildlife group will be involved in the planting, so keep an eye out for any news on that if you’d like to be involved.

Grant for School

We were delighted to unanimously approve a grant application from Bere Regis School for £400 towards the cost of extra PPE and additional cleaning and cleaning materials, to help keep the school clean and the children as safe as possible.
With fundraising events nearly impossible at the moment and increased costs for the school to fit in with current restrictions, all funding to them at the moment is vital to ensure the continued safe running and maximum benefit for the children.


Bryan Benjafield