My 2014 Annual Parish Meeting report – interesting read, especially about buses

Over the past 12 months there have been many changes at the District Council; the Shared Services Partnership with Weymouth & Portland has resulted in savings of £2.1m – which has enabled West Dorset District Council to keep the council tax for 2013/14 the same as last year, still protecting front line services, no cuts to grants to our local voluntary and community groups – and have frozen short stay car parking charges yet again to help local businesses.

Moving into new greener offices in ‘South Walks House’ have given us more savings from better ways of working, also getting the maximum potential from our workforce, and for the first time, public and staff can access the whole building if they have a disability – and at a total build cost of under £10million – almost £1 million under budget, this will also save the District Council more than £200,000 every year in running costs – much more that was budgeted for.

I now turn to a issues raised in our Local Plan.

Although Public Transport is no longer my responsibility as it passed to County some time ago I still do what I can to assist & of course I actually use the bus most weeks. At Drimpton Somerset County Council changed the route of the 99 Bus – it no longer goes through the village – but looking at the route that it takes it is still possible to catch this bus from Horn Ash – which is not too far for someone to be dropped off, or into Broadwindsor to catch the 47 Bus to Crewkerne – the 47 bus has a new timetable – I have put copies in the Comrades Hall & our Community Shop & is available on-line.

The best news is that the Number 42 Bus to Bridport on Wednesday’s & Saturday’s continues, although it leaves at 9.28am -Bus Passes can still be used – this was a totally NEW service that I initiated after I was first elected in 2007 as there wasn’t a bus to anywhere in Dorset running from Drimpton. Also the lack of and the seemingly uncoordinated timetables between bus & trains is a huge problem – consultation between the bus & train companies is on-going & as soon as I hear anything I will get the information out.

Affordable Housing

A CLT Community Land Trust has been formed in Marshwood – if enough people put themselves forward to form an action group – this could be the way forward for this area as well, please contact me if you are interested in this.

Refuse & Recycling

As I said last year, West Dorset District Council has become part of the Dorset Waste Partnership – this partnership is responsible for managing 11 household recycling centres across Dorset & dealing with over 65,000 tonnes of waste – the collection PLASTIC – the service has already started and it will be here in 2014 -future years will bring more challenges…

Cllr Jacqui Sewell – 01308 867145

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My daughter Katie – with her ‘two mothers’

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Another year, another mothers day
There is no card in the post to say
How much you mean to me
But in my heart you will always be
The mum who saw me through
Everything scary and new
I may not say it with paper and pen
But I think of you mum even when
You are not near me to be seen
I don’t care that we share no gene
So take this poem as a way to say
I love you each and every day xxx

Katie Joanne

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Hot Cross Buns & Easter Biscuits at the Post Office on Tuesday 7th April

Hi everyone, just to say we will be serving Hot Cross Buns & Easter Bisuits as well as coffee’s / tea’s on Tuesday 7th April at the Post Office in Comrades Hall from 10-12noonimage

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Looking back at Bus Transport since 2007

image Back in 2007 there were no buses from Drimpton into Bridport, the only bus was the 99 Bus running into Somerset – I promised if elected that I would look at providing a bus service for the Drimpton residents to have a bus to Bridport, after I was elected to the District Council and after some 18 months of negotiations Mike Halford started the 42 Bus to Bridport on Wednesdays & Saturday’s, unfortunately after a service review we lost the Saturday Bus – the 42 Bus Route is now run by Damory & hopefully it will continue, we must ensure that it is well used. The 47 Bus from Bridport to Yeovil was lost for a short while as well, but again after lobbying by myself, the County Councillor, other district councillors and the 47 users group, endless talks were held with the operator and Dorset County Council, a compromise has been achieved and the 40 Bus route has been extended through to Yeovil, a brilliant result, the 99 Bus Route was lost after a service review by Somerset County Council, but I’m hopeful that the 99 bus route will be looked at again.

The photo above shows me with the 213 Broadwindsor to Dorchester Market Day bus which was cut, but after a campaign led by Caroline Meatyard we were successful in getting it back.

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New picture of me checking out Fly Tipping in Drimpton

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Just got this picture of me inspecting the ‘fly tipping’ of roofing sheets in Netherhay Lane last October – it is so frustrating that people dump their rubbish instead of taking it to a tip – Crewkerne Recycling Centre is only 5 miles further down the road.

A quick reminder of timing – 8.15am I receive a telephone call from a resident of Oxhayes – 8.30am I drive over, check to see what’s been dumped, take photograph & email in to the Dorset Waste Parnership and items were cleared before lunchtime.

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Looking back at some issue about ‘trees’

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Over the past 8 years, hedges and  ‘other people’s tree’s’ have been a recurring issue that I’ve helped many residents with. My first encounter with the ‘Anit-social Behaviour Act 2003’ was at The Old Bakery where there were 3 very tall conifer’s growing in the small strip of land that leads down to the Telephone Exchange, they were overshadowing the houses & with high winds were at risk of being blown down – after what seemed like months of emails flying back & forth the owners of the land eventually arranged to have them topped.

Another resident had an issue with branches from a ‘neighbour’s tree’s falling into his garden causing damage, again the responsibility for the damage is with the owner of the tree, it is so important to inspect the tree’s on your land for signs of damage etc, in the picture below you can clearly see a large crack in the trunk & also take account of the height, to see where it would fall if it was damaged in a storm. There are plenty of aboricultural advisers in the area, who can advise of remedial works etc.
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A few months ago a member of the public reported another problem with a Conifer Hedge overshadowing houses & consequently making a path very slippery – the owners of the property have said the trees were in place before the houses – however the facts are that the tree’s are causing ‘a nuisance’ and it’s the responsibility of the landowner to remedy the problem.

If you have problems with Conifer’s it’s WDDC  planning department that is responsible for high hedge enquiries under part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 – this is where the trees (more than 3 in a line constitutes a hedge) are causing a problem.

 

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Lent Lunch at Drimpton

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Really good lunch at Drimpton today – 4 home made soups to choose from, fresh bread and then cheese & biscuits – love the way the pictures make it look like there’s 2 of me!

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Catch up over Coffee with Sandra

014Met up with Sandra for coffee in Bridport on Saturday, we used to lived next door to each other in Marshwood, it seems so long ago now, we brought some old photo’s to share, the top picture shows my youngest daughter Katie (second from the right) with her big yellow Teddy Bear on Marshwood School’s Playing field enjoying a ‘Teddy Bears’ picnic, the middle photograph shows my daughter Tina (second from the left) sitting behind Kara (Sandra’s daughter) the bottom picture shows Katie again running in the toddler race with me behind her encouraging her to run – it’s hard to believe that all our daughter’s are grown up adults now with children of their own, one of the strangest coincidences is that back in the 1980’s in this small cul-de-sac of 8 houses 3 of us became Foster Parents. And now I am supporting the ‘Marshwood safe route to school’ initiative – having walked to & from Marshwood school with my own children twice a day from 1975 to 1987, many times having to jump onto the bank, sometimes with a double pushchair with foster children in it, cars just didn’t give way to pedestrian’s, and now in 2015 nothing has changed and there are far more car’s on the road’s and Agricultural Vehicles have increased in size.

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Snowman Drive at Blackdown Hall

Saturday 30th January Snowman Drive at Blackdown Hall

Saturday 30th January Snowman Drive at Blackdown Hall

On Saturday night I went with 2 friends to the snowman drive raising funds for Blackdown Church, it was nearly a ‘full house’ and so good to see so many children there – and yet this hall has no play equipment outside for out-door play when events are held in warmer months – this is something that needs looking into, as outdoor play is so important for our children, and with how many children live in the Blackdown area it’s essential, all the other Village Halls in my area have play areas with fantastic equipment, with Drimpton even having a football pitch.

But first the kitchen needs sorting out, most food is brought into any event fully prepared and then simply served at the Hall, the kitchen is not up to modern requirements, last night the hot water didn’t work (again) and the washing up water had to be heated in pots on top of the gas hob, the ‘Kitchen Refurbishment Fund’ started fundraising last year, however in January Mrs Teresa Carter had a wonderful surprise when she opened a letter from Australia and a cheque for £5,000 fell onto the floor – it was from Eileen Sandy who had lived in Blackdown with her first husband and her sister Rita, when Eileen’s husband died she remarried and moved to Australia, but kept the house in Blackdown where her sister Rita continued to live, Eileen came over on a regular basis every year staying several months at a time until the death of Rita two years ago – please read her letter below;

imagePlans have been drawn up by a local architect (these plans were produced ‘free of charge’) – those plans now have gone out to several local building companies for ‘estimates’, let’s hope other businesses in the area are generous as well, as soon as the costs of the proposals are known, the committee hope to put a thermometer outside the hall with the target on, the ‘fund raising committee’ will be meeting again shortly to plan their next event, the first event was a 60/70’s evening was very well attended and made £500 – and as Eileen says in her letter “donations from any unzipped wallets” will be gratefully received by the Blackdown Hall Committee, please write on the back of any cheques Kitchen Fund

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Neighbourhood Plan meeting 7.30pm tonight

There is a meeting tonight to explore the possibility of producing a Neighbourhood Plan for Broadwindsor, the Parish Plan was completed in 2012 and a neighbourhood plan is the next step

A Neighbourhood plan establishes general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood, like:

where new homes and offices should be built
what they should look like
The plan can be detailed or general, depending what local people want.

Neighbourhood plans allow local people to get the right type of development for their community, but the plans must still meet the needs of the wider area. In most cases we expect this will mean that neighbourhood plans will have to take into account the local council’s assessment of housing and other development

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