Month: February 2014

Let’s scrub up Hursey Common

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Volunteers are needed for the Hursey Common Scrub Clearance on Thursday, 27 March from 10am, led by Dorset Wildlife Trust. See the poster here for more information.

Village stores celebrates first year

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ImageBroadwindsor Community Stores celebrates its first birthday next week with a special pancake day party.

The shop in the old telephone exchange in Drimpton Road was created by the community for the community after the shop in the village square closed in 2011.

Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength with volunteers supporting shop manager Sue Williams and shop assistant Jane Sloman.

Last year, the stores won the people’s project category in the Dorset Best Villages Awards.

Fraser Hughes, chairman of Broadwindsor and District Community Enterprise, which runs the stores, said: ‘In twelve months, the new shop has become a real focal point for the community. It has been a tremendous success and that’s down to the support of and active involvement by local people.

‘The shop is always really busy and we’re proud of the range of products and services we offer. It’s been a triumph of local endeavour.’

To mark the first birthday on Saturday 8 March, pancakes will be served from 10am until 12 noon and a special cake provided by Fancy That Cakes of Beaminster will be cut at 11am.

During the week there will be a number of special offers and, on the Saturday, customers spending £20 in the shop will get £2 off their next shop. The voucher will be valid until the end of May 2014.

When the original shop in the Square closed at the end of August 2011, it seemed at first that there might never be another shop in the village. But a team of residents, with tremendous backing from the community, embarked on the road to prove it could be done. 

Unsuccessful attempts were made to buy or rent the original shop, and at one time a temporary shop in the grounds of Comrades Hall (the village hall) was considered. Despite setbacks, the village stayed committed and at the beginning of December 2012, the breakthrough came when planning approval was given to turn the Old Telephone Exchange in Drimpton Road into a shop. 

The finance to open the shop was raised from donations, grants and a share issue, to which over 200 local people subscribed. Chalk & Cheese, an organisation administering funds for rural development on behalf of the EU, also awarded the shop a grant. This funded the shop fittings, stock and initially part of the manager’s salary. The shop committee also received a huge amount of encouragement and advice from outside organisations, particularly the Plunkett Foundation, the acknowledged experts in the Community Shop field.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the old shop in the square was for sale. Because it is registered on West Dorset District Council’s list of assets of community value, community groups have, if they wish to bid extra time to develop a bid and raise money before the owner is able to open the sale to any other interested outside parties.

Mr Hughes said the committee had met to discuss the development.

‘A public meeting will be held on 11 March where the Right to Bid process and the options for the village will be explained. Views will be invited, after which a decision will be taken on the next action.’

A decision has to be conveyed to West Dorset District Council by 18 March.


Have your say

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Annual Parish Meeting 2014

Drimpton Village Hall, Weds 5 March 7.30pm

An opportunity to:

  • chat to your councillors and local group organisers
  • express your concerns and wishes
  • question your councillors – roads, planning, play areas, broadband – any subject
  • get to know your community
  • enjoy a social event – free refreshments

CD of comedy folk songs could be recreated

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Who’s up for recreating a bit of Dorset folk song history?

Read how a serendipitous discovery by folk legend Martin Carthy could see a modern-day revisiting of this CD of comedy songs sung by villagers in the 1980s.

Find out how you can get a copy of the CD and read all about it on Maddie Grigg’s blog, The World from My Window.

Public meeting set to be held over shop sale

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Here’s the latest news on the shop, taken from the Broadwindsor Community Stores Facebook page:

‘Today’s BBC News Website (Dorset) has carried a story about the Community ‘Right to Bid’ for local assets, stating that the Broadwindsor Shop and the Bottle Inn at Marshwood are now for sale. We would like to make it clear it is not ‘our’ shop that is for sale (although originally the photo used was of ‘our’ shop) but the shop in the Broadwindsor Square. The Shop Committee will be meeting to discuss this development. This will be followed in early March by a Public Meeting where the ‘Right to Bid’ process will be explained and what the options for the village are. Views will be invited after which a decision will be taken on the next action. A decision has to be conveyed to WDDC by the middle of March.’

Broadwindsor shop for sale

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Community groups who qualify under the Community Right to Bid can notify their intention to bid for Broadwindsor Stores in the village square.

Broadwindsor Stores and The Bottle Inn at Marshwood near Bridport are listed as assets of community value by West Dorset District Council and have recently been put on the market by their respective owners.

There is now a six week period during which qualifying community bodies who might want to bid for these properties can notify the district council of their intentions. Leader of West Dorset District Council Robert Gould said: “The Bottle Inn at Marshwood and Broadwindsor Strores are both recognised by the district council as places that have an important role in local life.

“They are registered on our list of assets of community value which means community groups have extra time to develop a bid and raise money before the landowners decide who they wish to sell to.”

West Dorset District Council would like to hear from any local groups interested in buying the The Bottle Inn public house by the legal deadline of Monday 17 March.

Groups interested in buying Broadwindsor Stores have until Tuesday 18 March to notify the district council. Community organisations interested in bidding for The Bottle Inn or Broadwindsor Stores need to check that they qualify under the Community Right to Bid and give notice of their intentions by contacting:

The Head of Community Planning and Development, West Dorset District Council, South Walks House, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ. Telephone: 01305 252358 E-mail:

More about the Community Right to Bid

Using new community rights under The Localism Act 2011 and The Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012, local community and voluntary bodies and parish councils can identify and nominate land and buildings that are important to them such as a village shop, local pub, community centre or library.

They can then nominate them for inclusion on a list of community assets maintained by the local council.

A community asset is a piece of land or a building whose use furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community and could continue to do so.

Community assets may be owned by anybody and some assets are excluded including residential property.

If a listed asset of community value comes up for sale, long term rent or assignment there is an initial pause of six weeks for a community body to decide whether or not to exercise a right to bid for the asset.

If the district council does not receive a notice of intention to bid, the landowner is free to dispose of the asset.

If a community body notifies their intention to bid this triggers a pause of up to six months to enable it to raise money and bid to buy the asset.

This does not however, mean that they get a right of first refusal or have the opportunity to buy the asset at below market value.

Broadwindsor Fun Days

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Heroes and villains are being sought for this year’s Broadwindsor Fun Days.

There’ll be two days full of fun, over the weekend of 7&8 June, and the theme is Heroes and Villains.

On the Saturday, there will be usual Big Breakfast, a cream tea in the afternoon in the grounds of Broadwindsor House and a barn dance at Comrades Hall in the evening.

And then the fete part of Fun Days will be on the Sunday at 2.30pm, where there will be stalls, sideshows, live music, teas, a magician and fortune teller. The Jubilee Group is hoping to hold a concert in the church in the evening with the Gallery Quire.

The Heroes and Villains theme will also cover the scarecrow competition. So, children, get out your superhero outfits and prepare to tear around Bernards’ Place and beyond and have some fun.

There will be lots more to tell you, so watch this space or visit the village’s Facebook page.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to help out, please contact any member of Broadwindsor Jubilee Group – the more the merrier.