Thursday, December 30, 2004

Earthquake Appeal

Far more important than anything else here, what can we do to help our neighbours across the world, who also live by the sea? Or used to. At the least, perhaps we should give the cash equivalent of one more Christmas present to help someone out . Or more.

In case you've missed details of the official appeal, money is urgently required by the12 charities that form the Disaster Emergency Committee,which is co-ordinating relief operations. We can donate online at or by telephoning 0870 60 60 900.

No time like the present.....

Friday, December 24, 2004

New Year's resolution?

Posted by K Roker

Wanted - a New years resolution for Swanage

This is the time of year when we all dutifully read those joke books we had for Christmas. There used to be a series "101 uses for a dead ..." and I often wondered whether I should offer to compile the volume for dead "family resorts".

Here is a suggestion for anyone who is good at thinking of New Years resolutions. Can you think of a better way of describing Swanage than "family resort". I cringe whenever I hear it.

Now that we have a government which thinks all our kids should get an education and not go on holiday in term time its only possible for the place to be a "family resort" for 6 weeks of the year plus half term. The income from this isn't enough to keep a cat alive.

Zero points for the slogan "let Swanage be your last resort" and please no references to "god's waiting room" as he has several of them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Swanage beach - sand from where, at what cost?

Where will the sand to replenish Swanage beach come from, and at what expense? It seems that there are plans to dredge Poole Harbour and dump 1,150,000 cubic metres of sand. I wonder if there are plans for Swanage to benefit. It would seem so easy for sand to be dumped in the tidal stream so that it ended up on Swanage beach. I have written to the contact provided to enquire further.....

This was published in the Echo on Monday 22 November 2004:

"Dredging is not likely to spur erosion"

AN environmental assessment has shown that dredging the main channel through Poole Harbour would have small effects on wave flow and erosion.

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) are seeking permission from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to deepen the approach channels from 6 metres to 7.5 metres.

They wish also to widen the Middle Ship Channel to 100 metres.

This would mean sucking up 1,900,000 cubic metres of material ranging from gravel to silts and clays.

Beaches at Poole, Bournemouth and Purbeck would benefit by receiving 1,150,000 cubic metres of sand replenishment.

And the rest would be dumped at an existing dumping ground off Swanage.

Work would take seven months and they hope to start in October 2005.

After the deepening there would be an increase in wave energy through the harbour entrance and a 1-2cm increase in wave height south-east of Brownsea Island.

There would be an increase in sediment in some of the channels, a small increase in tidal erosion in the harbour and a small loss in saltmarsh. More sediment deposits during dredging is not thought to have a lasting effect on shellfish beds.

Copies of the full assessment are available from PHC and a non-technical summary is available.

Comments need to be made by January 14 to Peter Gill, Marine Consents and Environment Unit, Room 309, East-bury House, 30-34 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TL.

First published: November 22

Thursday, December 16, 2004

PDC vision??

The Audit Commission's performance review of Purbeck District Council says they have a mission statement but absolutely no plans for how they will achieve it or priorities for the order of doing things. That was 6 months ago. This total lack of vision came over very strongly all the time Swanage Ahead was active. It is ironic that the town partnership has been told to do yet another visioning exercise when our politicians have none. Where is PDC's vision for the future and if they do not have one why don't they have one?
(posted by Anonymous 16 Dec 04)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Antisocial behaviour - corporate ASBOs?

Time for corporate Antisocial Behaviour Orders?

Oscar Wilde made the remark "youth is too good to be wasted on the young." I wonder if the same applies to ASBOs whose application round here seems to be restricted to rude and licentious youth. A couple of cases elsewhere make me wonder whether a wider range of antisocial activities could be dealt with in this way.

A farmer was in the news this week when he was hauled off by the police after his pigs escaped for what looked like the zillionth time in breach of an ASBO (on the farmer, not the pigs, in case you wondered). In another case a few months ago Camden obtained ASBOs against two large music companies for covering parts of the borough with flyposters advertising records on the grounds that the posters made the place look run down and depressed. The pig farmer's case looks a bit medieval and will surely cost him a groat or three, if not a ducking in his own pig slurry.

What is antisocial in Swanage and district? I am not getting into the perennial dog mess question but there are a few other matters. Every summer parts of the town are covered in discarded takeaway food wrappings. There is no doubt that this gives a highly adverse appearance to much of the seafront and as far as the pier. Takeaway food businesses should be held responsible for the litter their customers create. They have chosen to run their businesses in a way which results in a deterioration in the appearance of the area close to their premises. No doubt they would all claim that what happens to packaging after it leaves the premises is nothing to do with them is nothing to do with them. This is not acceptable. The line "am I my brothers keeper?" received its rebuttal quite some time ago.

All of us who do business in the town are responsible for running our businesses in a way which does not damage the place. Refusing to accept this is antisocial behaviour and should be so treated.

The matter of campervans parking on the ferry road is causing concern. I am all in favour of anyone being able to get a cheap holiday but there is a substantial fire risk from having so many so close together. Imagine the consequences if there was a heath fire there and a few camping gas cylinders exploded. Its our firefighters and other emergency workers who would be over there first and at risk and it doesn't seem right to expose them to this un-needed hazard.

The ferry company own the verge and if they permit the situation to continue its hard to see how they could escape liability if there was a disaster. Cynics may claim that they are tolerating a mess in the hope that they will be permitted to put their parking meters back into use on the ferry road. If so that sounds like antisocial behaviour to me.

That might lead us into a discussion of highly visible old buildings being allowed to deteriorate in the hope that this will pressurise the planning authority into permitting redevelopment. Theres a thought.

(Posted by K Roker 16 December 2004)

Friday, December 10, 2004

Vista swimming pool to close in winter?

Anonymous posted this on 10 December

There's a rumour that the Council wants to close the Vista pool in the winter. Does anyone know more about this?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Cheap flights from Bournemouth!

You (perhaps) saw it here first. Bournemouth airport's new airline, Thomsonfly, has today (8 December) started taking bookings for flights to Europe. Starting 22 March 2005, destinations include Amsterdam (£17.99), Paris (£19.99), Palma, Pisa, Valencia, Faro, Malaga.

More info at

Of course, perhaps we should all boycott such flights and demand that airlines pay and charge full whack to cover environmental damage they cause. Ho hum.

Wonder what Bath Travel will make of the competition?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

About this site..

Posted by Ian Lowson 7/12/04 under New Subjects

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Heartfelt congratulations from an instant admirer and would-be contributor to your new website! This is exactly what Swanage has long needed - a breath of salt sea air to disperse the mists and obfuscations and stultifications that have long plagued our town.
Tremble you tyrants! Here is democracy indeed, relegating at once the special interests, the dourly entrenched, the overweening authorities and the bureaucratic blimp to outraged silence. How the irresponsible and corrupt will be trembling in their shoes as your great dynamo of information and enquiry boots up. Only keep it judicious and mildly humorous. Don't let it get into spite and recrimination. Just keep it controversial and positive.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Swanage's future (Community Plan)

Do you have any views on the future of Swanage? As well as airing them through this blog you should get in touch with the Swanage Town Partnership. Meeting under the chairmanship of the mayor this brings together organisations and individuals to work towards a plan for the future of the town. You can find out more at the Townhall

Posted under New Subjects by Keith Roker 2 Dec 04

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Swanage Town Council website

Good news, the Town Council's website seems to have speeded up.

Bad news, it seems to take forever for information to be posted (eg most recent 'Best Value' minutes dated 16 April; most recent Council meeting minutes dated 27 September).

Does anyone use the site? Does anyone want to be able to see RECENT information?

I guess if no one's interested, there's little point the town spending money on havig the site at all.......