Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Reverse the rat race?

At 10:24 PM, Anonymous said...
why can't they make Church lane one way in the other direction,(upwards) so that you can access Durlston etc without going round town. I expect people will think this annoying because you can rat run all the way down from the top of Queens road to Co-op if you fancy. Shame- you could still get to town quick enough, down Townsend rd, along High Street and into Court Hill.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Culture in Swanage

At 8:26 PM, Peter John Cooper said...
May I remind people that I have now put a second version of our Culture in Swanage response to the PDCs Cultural Strategy on
Please feel free to read it. I'm hoping to send it soon. Thanks to Keith Roker I've put in a great deal more about the economic importance in cultural activities and their relevance to tourism. See what you think.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Swanage Residents Association

Minutes of the July Open Meeting: Meeting held at 7.30pm on Monday 25 July in Mowlem Committee Room
1.The SRA Chairman, John Leach, chaired meeting. Committee members present were: Stewart Borrett, Robert Owen, Rowland Hughes, and Mike Hadley
Apologies: Councilor Cherry Bartlett, Councilor Hilary O'Donovan, Councillor Colin Bright, David Price-Hughes.
Date of meeting: SRA chairman apologised that meeting fell at same time of regular Council meeting and gave assurance SRA would try to avoid this in future.
Present: about 80 people
2. Previous meeting
Minutes: published on www. and
Matters arising:
Dorset Schools: John Leach reported that he (and Rowland Hughes) had both written to the DCC education officer: response was that no meetings are likely to be held in Swanage unless or until there may be any proposals to change anything.
3. Policing in Swanage
John Leach introduced PC Dick Clapp, Community Beat Officer for Swanage, who spoke about a range of issues known to be of probable interest. He emphasised that he could not discuss personal issues or necessarily explain or affect policy decisions.
3.1 Lack of Police presence (esp. Friday/Saturday nights): Swanage police are trying to address this problem by changing shift patterns, and looking for volunteer Special Constables.
3.2 Long response time: calls are prioritised and judgment made on relative urgency.
3.3 Phoning Swanage police station: difficulty of phone contact is understood, and being reviewed. If the station line is un-manned all calls are diverted to a central switchboard. People can also write with any suggestions, comments or complaints, either to Swanage Police, direct to PC Clapp or phone 01202 222222.
3.4 Police Station unmanned? PCC noted there are officers on duty 24 hours, but they may be on calls or patrol, and front-desk enquiries only operate 9 am - 5pm.
3.5 Lack of police presence: the police are aware of this situation, but this is a function of resources and funding.
3.6 Police Community Support Officers: formerly Community Wardens, these now have more authority, there are four at present but hope to get more. Two have been on sick leave, one returning soon, to be sorted soon.
3.7 Crime prevention: a key difficulty concerning resource allocation is that it is difficult to quantify the effect of the presence of beat officers in limiting/preventing crime. PCC believes this has a significant effect but is unable to put figures on what crimes they have prevented.
3.8 Increasing lawlessness? While there are still troubles, it is better now than 4/5 years ago, having got rid of a number of key individuals. The police, who are working with other agencies to resolve problems and help those causing trouble, know most troublemakers.
3.9 Information: The police depend heavily on information received from the public. PCC stressed the strict procedures concerning protection of sources, that prosecutions may be dropped rather than break confidentiality. He stressed that people may always call him personally if they wished to report any problems or issues of concern.
3.10 Vandalism: PCC noted (and Rowland Hughes endorsed) that most youngsters are good and are involved with all sorts of positive things in the community. He also noted that it is not just youngsters who vandalise: pensioners have been responsible for daubing graffiti and for stealing flowers. PCC noted that one trouble seems to be that young people have no awareness of boundaries of acceptable behaviour any more.
3.11 Pubwatch: there is a new scheme being prepared, involving certain pubs and multi-agency groups, to monitor and control undesirable people and behaviour in pubs.
3.12 Operation Goodwill: this is another scheme operating, targeted at stopping young/binge drinking.
3.13 Radio Link: PCC noted that around 40 shops are members of this Chamber of Trade scheme, whereby the police, and each other, can be quickly alerted of any problems. For example, there are now counterfeit £50 notes in circulation in Swanage. Members of the public should feel free to ask participating shops (identifiable by window stickers) to use their radios if they wish to report any crime, potential criminal activity or to help with other problems, such as lost children or visitors from coach parties.
3.14 CCTV: PCC noted that these seem to have been very effective in reducing assaults and anti-social behaviour, now trying to get for the Lower High Street and King George's.
3.15 Young people: PCC noted that places where young people gather (egg Play in Swanage, Y-Axis skate-park) also tend to attract undesirable adults. He requested that he be informed of any suspicious behaviour or people.
3.16 ASBOS: PCC explained the process leading to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order): first, a warning letter; second, another warning letter; third, an ABC (acceptable behaviour contract), working with multi-agency groups and schools to help manage individuals' behaviour; finally an ASBO. This process is designed to help young people, and forces other groups to help also. PCC believes they are a big help.
3.16 School education: PCC explained how there have been initiatives to talk to Year 10 pupils about drink, drugs and anti-social behaviour. These have had good feedback; plan is now to extend to Year 9 and 11. PCC also mentioned the success and value of the Streetwise centre (In Wimborne) in illustrating dangers to younger children.
4 Questions from the meeting
4.1 Helicopters:
Q - why does it seem to spend so much time flying over Swanage at night?
A - if it's here, it's either providing valuable assistance to police on the ground, or perhaps returning from a call.
Q - why do helicopters seem to be using a flight path over the Grayseed estate?
A - he will look into this. (PCC reports that there is no set flight path)
4.2 Speeding vehicles
Q - why do the police do nothing to stop speeding in Ulwell Road and other roads.
A - people ARE stopped here, but lack of resources, means not as often as might be liked. Put complaints in writing to the police if you are concerned.
4.3 Police staffing
Q - How many police in Swanage, covering what area?
A - Area covers Kimmeridge, Corfe, Studland and Swanage. During the day there are usually 3 to 4 officers; Evenings, 2pm - 10pm, 2 officers; 10pm onwards - 1 to 3 or 4 officers. No custody sergeant in Swanage (doesn't have the facilities required by law), so prisoners have to be taken to Poole or Weymouth.
Q - Could Swanage not borrow police from other areas to show a presence?
A - Yes, it happens sometimes.
4.4 Police follow-up
Q - Why can't police get back to us and/or follow-up crimes?
A - Lack of resources. Some crimes dealt with 'remotely', a follow-up without contacting the victim.
4.5 Crime reporting.
Q - We are encouraged to report crimes - but how can a crime be reported if no one answers the phone?
A - point taken. But Swanage police station (422004) should be diverted to 01202 222222 if unmanned.
4.6 Informing the community
Q - Recent example of an armed house robbery: how can the community be made aware, so can take preventative action?
A - this not the meeting for Crime Safety, but Home Watch best mechanism for this.
4.7 Resources
Q - Are there enough police?
A – No
5 Any other business
5.1 Recycling
Moyra Cross explained difficulties in trying to recycle plastic bottles, owing to sites being on opposite sides of Swanage, not easily accessible by people without a car. She asked the Residents Association to pursue a suggestion that a central location be found, perhaps in Leo's car park.
5.2 Wheelie bins
Comment made that some other councils have done away with green boxes, providing two wheelie bins instead.
5.3 Ambulances
Comment that there seem to ambulances all day long coming from Corfe. Is there a problem with cover? R.Owen noted that an ambulance is based at Corfe to be more centrally positioned to serve Purbeck.
5.4 Seacourt
John Leach noted that no decision had yet been reached on the planning appeal. (Reports that Inspector has since turned down developers appeal)
5.5 Alcohol in public places
John Leach noted that this new Order was not designed to stop law-abiding people from enjoying their picnics, but was another tool for the police to prevent anti-social behaviour.
5.6 Community Safety
Karen Jaggs, Purbeck Community Safety Officer, spoke about the 'Working Together' scheme, involving a variety of bodies working together against crime, drugs, drink, discrimination, violence, etc and urged anyone to call her on 01929 557387 if they want to discuss any issues.
6 Next meetings
Committee meeting: Wednesday 28 September, 7.30 pm, at Rowland's house, 6 Argyle Road. Quarterly meeting: Monday 17 October, 7.30pm at the Mowlem committee room.
7 John Leach thanked PC Dick Clapp for joining the meeting, for his presentation and for answering questions; thanked residents for coming; and closed the meeting. The committee would also like to thank Phyllis Denton and Ida Verney for preparing the refreshments.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Studland Road

We took a bus to the end of the Ferry Road last night to eat at Shell Bay. If the bus driver had not “jumped” the queue the bus would have been stuck for ages and missed several ferry crossings. Cars had to duck into the occasional parking space to allow the oncoming wrong sided bus to pass. I understand that the whole affair is a nightmare for the bus drivers.This morning I cycled in the same direction and the car queue for the Studland beach began in the village!Surely some simple solutions would be to widen the road where vehicles wait to turn right into the main beach car park so other cars etc could pass. To remove the hard shoulder car parking say 1/2 mile from the ferry on one side to make a "bus lane". Maybe electronic warning signs at Norden, describing car parking, and waiting times to encourage people onto the train to Swanage and out to Studland on the prioritised bus?

Posted by nick storer to swanage view at 8/17/2005 02:58:32 PM

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Binge boozing

A binge too far?I was amazed to find that Swanage Carnival still has a binge drinking, or yard of ale, competition. What an example to set. An event supported and endorsed by every official body for miles says swallowing as much beer as you can in as short a time as possible is a laudable activity. Why are we tax payers coughing up for attempts to reduce disorder and crime, most of it booze related, when a semi-official organisation brazenly raises two fingers at the whole idea of discouraging this type of behaviour? Last years winner was a teenager, this year he came second. What conclusions do you think his peers will draw. What next, bear baiting, a smoking contest, dwarf throwing? Oh, I forgot, its a harmless traditional carnival activity and we have always done it.

Posted by Keith Roker to swanage view at 8/05/2005 05:51:39 PM

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Seacourt plans dismissed

The developers' appeal against PDC's rejection of their plans for Seacourt have been dismissed.
Primarily, apparently, on grounds of how the building woudl affect the privacy and quality fo life of the people opposite. Congratulations to all involved.
Anyone want to buy a grand old building with a large garden in the heart of Swanage? Someone might be open to offers.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


links only seem to work on the front page of a new subject

Purbeck cultural strategy

Comment on “A Cultural Strategy for Purbeck”

Purbeck District Council recently put out a “consultation draft” for a Cultural Strategy for Purbeck, with an appended “Draft Action Plan” for comment by “cultural stakeholders,” a term which would seem to apply to the whole population of Purbeck, so I take the liberty of responding.
The aim of the paper is unquestionably laudable. It is circumspect and liberal to a fault, exuding an almost pious political correctness; bending over backwards to accommodate “diverse” points of view. It is in short a sincere contribution to debate, presumably compiled by a committee of the Purbeck District Council, (the members are unnamed); but it is fatally flawed to my mind by its labyrinthine structure, by circumlocution and euphemistic jargon, which end up by rendering it virtually unreadable. It is a confusing mass of tautology, abstraction and tortuous platitudes. Take for instance the title, which exemplifies the authors’ mystic redefinition of Culture. The title is: “Castles, Carnivals, Coast, Heaths and People,” they might have added “Cabbages and Kings” for real portmanteau inclusiveness. The paper attempts gallantly to bridge the gap between such diverse concepts as: history, environment, anthropology, places, cultural figures, events and processes.
To preclude confusion you will find that, for what it is worth, the “scoping” of Culture is definitively defined in Section 1.4.1. Ultimately, anything they want to talk about is labelled “Culture”- in its broadest sense – sort of! This produces a strange juxtaposition of the sublime and the ridiculous, the pretentious and the mundane, so that after acres of verbiage, a kind of anti-climax occurs, it appears that what we are aiming at realistically is improved ping-pong and toilet facilities for minorities and people with disabilities in every Purbeck village hall. With very few exceptions, the writers have a horror of the concrete and particular. There is no mention of the lively cultural pursuits of theatre, opera, choirs, musical comedy, book clubs, creative writing, sculpture, local history, town-twinning, historical pageants, ballet and Morris Dance, to name but a few of Purbeck’s cultural pastimes. You wouldn’t think that Poole had a great tradition of pottery, or that Purbeck had an Arts Week with hundreds of exhibits; that Purbeck can boast creative furniture-makers or tapestry-restorers. Even in the much emphasized area of sports, there is no mention of scuba-diving, rock-climbing, jet-skiing, wind-surfing, yachting, fishing, shooting. All these pursuits are taken for granted, the authors will doubtless argue, and are subsumed under “Culture”, but each one deserves at least an acknowledgement in any outline of plans for the future, lest they be overlooked, and they are far less abstract, more immediate and relevant to the public than questions of “access” or “biodiversity funding”. Some of these unlisted activities could potentially change the face of tourism in Purbeck, and revolutionise its economy and culture. And how can we talk about “access” just in terms of bus services and wheelchairs, when the Ministry of Defense has denied access to the best of Purbeck to resident and tourist alike for 10 months of the year over a period of 65 years. I’m sure the army pays a peppercorn rent to the county for these thousands of acres, just as they pay lip service to environmental considerations while devastating the terrain, but the fact is that the Army Ranges constitute a blatant theft of Purbeck’s cultural resources, as flagrant and mercenary as BP’s theft of millions of tons of oil from under our feet.
It is ironic that Purbeck District Council should list dozens of Public-Private partnerships who might be persuaded to put a few coins in our yawning cultural bucket, without even a mention of these fatcat beneficiaries of Purbeck’s rich resources, who spend more on public relations and advertising than they do on their Dorset poor relations.
As I see it, there are at least three cultures in Purbeck – the vestiges of a rural culture, the culture of the tourist and tourist provider, and the culture of the unemployed, the retired and second-homer. The competition between these groups and their conflict of goals makes it very difficult to devise a single improvement strategy. However a few cultural measures that are in the common interest come to mind and should be added to the concerns of the Committee, which are legitimate despite the critique above and despite the tedious prose of the draft Strategy.
I think the draft should be redrafted in plain English so that anyone in Purbeck can understand its call for action. I believe the following measures would help to reverse our cultural slide:
Pedestrianisation of town centres to reduce congestion, noise and pollution.
Revision of Bye-laws to combat vandalism, littering and hooliganism.
Emptying public litter bins when and as needed, not just once a day.
Creation of an auxiliary community police force to combat disorders.
Creation of Public Works Projects for the unemployed and volunteeers.
Banning of alcohol consumption in public places.
Make shop-keepers responsible for cleaning the pavement outside their premises.
Provide a scrubbing machine and water to clean pavements
Council sponsorship of a non-profit Purbeck weekly newspaper, a public radio station and free municipal wireless internet service to improve communications.

Ian Lowson

Posted by ian lowson to swanage view at 8/03/2005 12:12:14 AM

Monday, August 01, 2005

Miracle in Swanage

Nelson's Eyesight Restored

If you can bring yourself to look up at the ghastly homolculous which has appeared on the column on the seafront you will see two eyes staring back at you. As the great man lost his right eye three years before he lost his right arm shouldn't the perpetrators of this monstrosity climb up and put an eye patch on in the interests of historical accuracy?

Posted by Anonymous to swanage view at 7/31/2005 01:53:42 PM