The Chairman of the Parish Council, Rowland Hibbard said the high point had been the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in June. July 7 was the low point when continuous exceptionally heavy rain caused a landslip at Beaminster Tunnel which caused the tragic death of two people which has resulted in much disruption and much discussion at P.C.meetings centred on potholes and other damage caused by large vehicles using Broadwindsor as a diversion.
The Community beat Officer, Alex Bishop, sent a report saying that crime in the area had been very low although there had recently been the theft of heating oil from an isolated property in the village. The tank was not fitted with an alarm. “Stop that Oil” can give advice, the number to ring for it is 01308 862222.
He warned dog owners of what tragic consequences there can be when dogs are loose in the vicinity of livestock and that thieves are targeting garden ornamentsnow.
The Parish Council had earlier asked about Community Speed Watch; a pilot scheme is being started in Beaminster and Broadwindsor will be next in line. To get the ball rolling, a small team of 6-7 volunteers should be drawn up now. All must be able to read number plates on passing vehicles and to write them down. Volunteers will be vetted nearer the time.
District Cllr Jacqui Sewell’s report is published separately on this website.
County Cllr. Rebecca Knox has been working very hard. As Chairman of the Dorset Fire Authority, she is keen to ensure that the Fire Service continues to provide the best service for the whole county. More efforts are being put into prevention. Flood related rescues have increased by 400% over the last 18 months and Mrs Knox is trying for central government money towards this extra work. The diminished budget for Highways will have a one-off boost when an extra £2m will be available. Additional gulley emptying should lead to an improvement.
Provision of Day Care Services is under review with the aim to deliver a service which users and their carers want. Some services may appeal to others who do not receive financial support but wish to buy into what is on offer.
Mr Martin Hill from DCC’s Highways spoke about his work in general, and winter maintenance in particular. What had been the wettest year in his 34 years with DCC had given many additional problems. Water coming off the fields on to the roads has been very detrimental to the network. There had been 125 “salting days” compared with 60 last year. In the past, Government targets for
main roads had led to deteriorating minor roads. The extra government money in May will enable proper patching to be done, and draining will be prioritised. Community Self-Help Groups are being examined with guidance and tools coming from DCC. The man who comes round with a can of white spray to mark potholes, now carries what is needed to repair the worst of them. If complainants take DCC to Court over a claim for tyre or wheel damage, 90% of them will fail.
The FMR Trust report was given by Janet Tubridy, it had not yet recovered from the falls on the stockmarket so income is still down, grants totalling £6632 had been distributed during the year to Drimpton (4), CricketClub (2) and one each to Hursey Common Sportsfield and the School. Mrs Tubridy asked that residents consider the FMR Trust in their wills in recognition of what a beautiful part of the world we live in.
The Sick Poor Fund report was given by Mr Hansford who said that grants are made to people with health issues and awards have been made recently. He will send more details to the Broadwindsor News.
Mr Bishop said that funds are available for more applicants to the Blackdown Education Foundation. There has been only one request in the last year.
Village Hall reports:
Comrades Hall, was given by Mr Ron Wright who said that the number of bookings had been slightly up. Hiring fees have had to be increased to cover the running costs. A new Loop and PA system has been put in, also a stair lift and an emergency escape chair which is also a wheel chair and a stretcher. Pollarding the lime trees in Bernards’ Place had to be halted when bats were found to be
hibernating in one of them. The parking area is to be marked out afresh. Mr Wright thanked Denny Hughes and Nigel Budden for organising entertainment via Moviola and Artsreach.
Volunteer helpers will be very welcome when general maintenance on the play area and general tidying up is done on Saturday May 18.
Blackdown Hall, was given by Mr Rowland Hibbard who said that it continues to be an important part of the community life. It hosts dog training, dances, private parties, whist drives, and the harvest supper which is always a sellout. He thanked the Parish Council for generous donations and from theCommunity Foundation which enabled the boiler to be repaired. Plans are afoot for
structural repairs to the front wall. Decorating the interior will be done in the near future. He thanked the volunteers, family members and friends who help with the running of the hall, and fund raising.
Drimpton Hall report was given by Mr Roger Smith saying that the refurbishment programme outlined at last year’s APM had raised £20,000. An improved access, disabled toilet, baby changing and improved sports changing rooms and showers had been completed. A further £11,500 has been raised to refurbish the kitchen which should be complete in May. He listed the many fundraising events which had produced the money to carry out the work. He thanked the Parish Council, the District and County Councils for their financial and moral support. Also the FMR Trust and the Fun Day Trust, and the volunteers, without whom it would not have happened.
Jacqui Sewell reported that the First Responders is down to 4, from the original 33, but 3 new Responders have almost completed their training and one more person has offered their services. It is expected that 3 public access defibrillators will be provided in Broadwindor, Drimpton and Blackdown through the British Heart Foundation.
Terry Clarke gave the Jubilee Group report saying that a very exciting programme to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee over 3 days in June was described as “fantastic.” Several groups had combined to make it such a success. Various events will take place to raise funds for the Fun Day on 8/9 June when the theme will be “Superstitions and Old Wives Tales.”
Jacqui Sewell spoke about the post Office Support Group. It continues to thrive with the post office giving a very good service. C/H committee were thanked for their support. £90 was raised on Red Nose Day.
Pat Armes read a report from Hursey Common Sportsfield. It continues to provide the youngsters of the village with a safe venue for various sports and is very well used. The footpath at the entrance to Hursey up into the Sportsfield has been very successful and is much safer. Fund raising has been to buy a new mower for which the outlay is large as it has to be of an industrial standard. Thanks were given to the Parish Council for grants.
The Parish Plan Report was given by Fraser Hughes who outlined the large amount that had been achieved. 92% overall had wanted a shop to reopen. Thanks to donations from the Parish Council, Chalk and Cheese, the Jubilee Group and many individuals who had invested in shares, it has opened free of debt. This gives an outstanding chance of success. BUT IT IS UP TO PEOPLE TO USE IT!
Speeding, potholes, the problems caused to Common Water Lane, bus timetables were cause for concern, and all have been discussed at Parish Council level.
There are still areas of the report to be addressed, but before this can proceed, more volunteers are needed. Please offer your services to help organise events to increase the use of the sportsfield. Or help report on the conditions of Rights of Way; run the Parish Website; organise facilities for both under fives and the under 18’s. Anyone interested is asked to contact Fraser Hughes on 867209.
When it was too wet to do any gardening, the Allotment Group tackled the problem of supplying water to the allotments.. Planning permission has been given for a water-harvesting project. A grant and self funding has enabled the work to start. Tenants who are tardy in paying their meagre rents (£10 p.a. for a whole plot, £5 for a part of a plot) are a continuing source of annoyance!
Restoration of the verges is the next aim for the Common Water Lane Friends, reported Mr Mike Lowing. Sliding rails have been put in the fencing to give access for tractors. He said that DCC Rights of Way will be improving Owl Lane.
Andrew Frampton gave an up-beat report on progress with the Cricket Club. There is a pool of 25 players and the team had finished second in the League against the much larger Wincanton Club. The final result went to the last game of the season. The continuing aim is to get a water supply to the Pavilion. A new entrance and a pedestrian gate have yet to be done but 130 people attended a dinner at Highlands End which raised £7,000 and this makes the completion so much nearer.
Mrs Donna Heys spoke about the WI which will be celebrating its 95th birthday in October. 30 members meet monthly in the Lewesdon Room when a short business report is followed by a talk from a visiting speaker and ending with social time. There are occasional outings and members have the opportunity to participate in activities such as canoeing, stone carving or rifle shooting. 868 368
for further details.
The draft Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting will be on public display.