Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Our town council!

Well, the Gazette has spoken out strongly about our Mayor and our Council. Take a look at Page 13 of the June issue.


I must confess to being one of the old Brigade! One that still thinks that our way of life. Our society. Our institutions are sacrosanct. So I am angered by the verdict on those rich young yobs that defiled the floor of the House of Commons. To be given a slap on the wrist for behaviour like that, is unforgivable.For me, they should have spent some time in the jug. Bread and water diet, if nothing else to make them see there is another side of life beyond their pampered surroundings. That begs the question; there are armed police on guard round the house at all times. What then? if an armed policeman spotted one of these yobs and had him in his rifle sights……Would he be failing in his duty if he did not open fire? After all, his remit is to protect the House from terrorist and intruders… How are they to know the difference? Dancing Ledge
Posted by Anonymous to swanage view at 5/28/2005 06:03:44 PM

Note from your moderator: shoud we keep posts on this site to subjects that are clearly specific to Swanage? Or not? I suppose behaviour matters everywhere...and I'm reluctant to edit any comments. Just a thought.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


If you want to raise a new topic, post your comment in this section — just click first on Comments (bottom right), then on Post a comment (bottom left of the next window), and a new heading will soon be set up, allowing others to see and add their own comments. It seems it's sometimes easier to click on 'Post anonymously' than to open an account in your name - you can always add your name to your message.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Parish Assembly: notes of meeting

Some brief notes for those who might be interested (bearing in mind the minutes of the meeting won't be available for 12 months!). Do please post any errors or omissions and they will be corrected. Meeting was attended by all Councillors and about 40 members of the public (a significan timprovement on the previous year, when about 10 attended). The press were represented by The Purbeck Gazette.

1. Timing of Council meetings

John Wootton proposed (Mike Hadley seconded) a resolution that residents wished for all Council meetings to be held in the evenings, so that a/more people would be able to stand as councillors and b/more people could attend meetings.

The Town Clerk was unable to confirm the legitimacy of debating this resolution, so after some debate (during which the Mayor, Tony Miller, proposed revisiting the matter at the next parish Assembly in 12 months time). He also said that there was no point reviewing the matter so that other councillors could stand, until the next elections. Mike Hadley noted again the reference to making it easier for more members of the public to attend.

Michael Pipe said that if the matter of evening meeting times had been properly raised on the agenda, then perhaps it could have been considered. John Wootton agreed that this was perhaps one of the problems: there was no agenda given on the noticeboard outside the Town Hall. Mike Hadley said he had tried to find an agenda on the Council's website, and the last one posted was for 25th May 2004. Town Clerk said Agendas are no longer posted on website. (Why not? Was not asked)
After much acrimonious discussion, Councillor Suttle suggested the matter be debated at the next Council meeting.


Pier Head, Emmanuel Baptist Church, British Legion

Citing the refusal of planning applications on the above sites, someone (?) suggested that certain Swanage representatives on the Purbeck District Council planning board seemed set on stopping all development that might improve the town. Councillor Colin Bright noted that he and other officers have to follow many detailed rules on what is/is not allowed and do not always agree with PDC. Mayor said if Pier Head put forward a plan that was not 'gross over development' it would get approval.

John Wootton noted that the whole planning procedure was confusing, and not helped by the use of ambiguous terminology, such as the Town Council referring to 'recommendations' when it only has authority to make 'observations'.

3. Violence/unruly behaviour (Lower High Street)

Paul Brown (Chairman, Chamber of Trade) reported that there continued to be many instances of violent behaviour in Lower High Street in the early hours, and asked what was being done to stop this, for the police seemed notably absent. Mayor cited lack of police resources combined with the police use of statistical evidence that Swanage had no need of extra policing.

Mike Hadley suggested that perhaps the Council should take more control rather than always deferring to the Police: for example if the Council say a camera is needed, perhaps it should fund it rather than waiting for police funds to possibly be made available. The question was asked whether the Community Support Officers could do more. Apparently these no longer exist, now called something else...answer not pursued.

Councillor Tyrer (and the Mayor) emphasised that all crimes, however 'small' shoudl be reported to Crimestoppers (if not the Swanage police) and a crime number obtained to ensure the incident is logged, and so contributes to the statistics.

Andy Burnet referred to recent studies that giving chocolate to late night revellers can be useful in reducing aggressive behaviour, and suggested that perhaps his business (Chococo) could help in this regard.

4. Council communication

Pat Bizley said it seems there was a failure of communication between the townspeople and the Council, and (noting the workload) asked if the newsletter 'Swanage Matters' could be published again. Mayor said the Council had been told by the Chief Executive of Purbeck District Council not to publish at the time of the recent elections 'because of a letter from the Liberal democrats that this might be unfair". Mike Hadley said it didn't mean they couldn't publish after the election. But no commitment was made to another issue, so presumably there wasn't one waiting to be printed anyway.

5. Safety in Swanage Bay

Mike Hadley asked if it was time to consider new ways to ensure safety on the water Swanage Bay, mentioning that he had been nearly run down on two occasions (not necessarily by blue boats), and that the marine police had taken 3 hours to respond.

Mayor cited lack of resources, Mike Hadley said if the Council was happy to attract people to Swanage, it should do everything it can to ensure their safety, if the Council can spend £500,000 on the caravan park, perhaps they need to spend something on the holiday ark called Swanage.

Mayor noted that action was in hand to stop jet-skis launching at Ocean Bay, and others launching in the Bay would have to be licensed. Councillors Hilary O'Donovan and Cherry Bartlett recalled that the marine police had promised to be more active, and should be brought to task. Town Clerk also noted that new leaflets were being produced on water safety/zones in the bay, and that there is now a Hotline to phone if any incidents are observed. Also, the beach wardens have the authority to instruct cctv cameras to be trained on any incidents, to obtain footage which can be used as prosecution evidence.

6. Jurassic Coast bus

David Price-Hughes asked if anything had happened regarding getting the Jurassic bus to visit Swanage, a subject he had raised previously. Mayor said Council was pursuing this, agreed it was unsatisfactory the operators could find resources to run to Poole and Bournemouth (not even on the Jurassic route) yet won't come to Swanage. Mr Martin Cooke (of Durlston) said this was also being approached from their end.

7. Dangerous pavements

David Price-Hughes referred to dangerous pavements mentioned at previous public meetings: one outside Amusements, opposite Victoria Club, which ahs no room for a wheelchair or a pram; also there's often a car parked on pavement opposite East Bar, and no action ever seems to be taken against this. Mayor said these would be raises at a meeting taking place with DCC (Highways) tomorrow.

8. Skate park (Y-Axis)

Lorna Haines noted the success of the Skate Park and thanked the Council for its support, pointing out that there plenty of 'good' kids who are involved with things like this, and that all kids in the town should not be tarred with the same brush.

9. Sandpit Fields

Reg Noquet asked if a hand rail could be placed alongside the footpath here. Town Clerk said he would look into this.

10. Caravan Park

Ian Saunders asked what promotion was being undertaken to ensure the success of the caravan park restaurant. Councillor Suttle assured the meeting that there would be adequate promotion, and extolled the virtues of the park, and the money-generating opportunity it provided, both in increased rents (associated with improvements) and in the sale of caravans.

11. Litter

Mr Moles complained about the littered state of the town centre and criticised SITA. This was scoffed at from the Chair who said that Wareham councillors thought that Swanage was much cleaner than their town . Mr Moles confirmed his view and had some support from the floor.

12. Website

Mike Hadley asked if more could be done to keep the Council website up-to-date? Currently the last minutes of Public Participation time relate to 29 November 2004; last Public Meeting minutes are for 31 January 2005 (no Public Participation minutes listed for that date); last Best Value minutes were for 16 April 2004. Town Clerk said that WAS the last Best Value meeting: these now called something else. No answer given to the wider point.Parish Assembly, meeting at Town Hall on 16 May 2005Summary

13. Summary

John Wootton expressed disappointment in the way the meeting had been handled: saying that the procedure was improper, there should have been a proper agenda, and that the Council should have acted on his proposed resolution.

14. Anything else

If anything missed or incorrect, please post a comment and it will be addressed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


New Hotline to report trouble in Swanage Bay: lost children, first aid, marauding jet-skis, manic power boats...just call 423666. This goes to the Beach Wardens who have radio contact with police etc. But only during working hours (9.00 am - 5.00pm, 7 days a week in summer).

Otherwise Swanage Police are sometimes to be found at 422004 or
Marine Police on 01202 222 222 (ask for extension 3323)
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
or of course 999.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Best Value Perfomance Plan

If you want to see how Swanage Town Council has performed over the last year, you can get (free) copies of the 2004/5 Best Value Performance Plan from the Town Hall.

(You can download 2003/04 from the Council website..but not last year's)

Co-op stocking?

How can it be that in this age of computers and "just in time delivery" the Swanage Co-op is incapable of having the normal ranges of sliced bread and vegetables on the shelves throughout opening hours. Other supermarkets in other towns manage it.

Posted by Anonymous to swanage view at 5/13/2005 09:57:55 PM

Friday, May 13, 2005

Swanage Community Plan - update

This is the first draft of the outcome of work to date. More detail on www.swanagecommunityplan.blogspot.com.

Future action rests on whether the ‘Partnership’ and its Steering Committee can be developed into a strong community organisation that has ambition and commitment to work with local communities to plan and implement regenerative initiatives embracing social, environmental and economic issues affecting the daily lives of people in Swanage. This Partnership will rely upon the full support and co-operation of the Town Council and upon the absence of individuals pursuing their own agendas. It would seem that before community plan projects can be started or before MCTi plans can be progressed, there is a need to set a clear vision and mission for the ‘Partnership’ and then expand and deepen it whilst creating a strong and motivated Steering Committee.

6.1 Summary of Major Programme and Project titles
The following headings detail those subjects that arose as being among the most important, during the consultation process.

This is the first draft of the outcome of work to date. These major programme and project themes will be owned by the Swanage Town and Community Partnership Steering Group who will further define and develop them in liaison with statutory partners and others. They will then be actioned.

When practical community action is initiated this draft plan can be finalised and published, and a summary of the projects can be distributed to every household.

[N.B. More work is needed to review the detailed comments from the Public meetings in order to confirm and further define programmes and projects listed below. This will include checking the original meeting flip charts to clearly establish initial views on priorities. The following summary is very much a ‘work in progress’. It can only be undertaken as the ‘Partnership’ develops – see comment in Section 7 below.]

Theme: Access to Health


Project 1; Encourage Preventative Health Care
Project 2; Simplify Hospital Car system
Project 3; Identify need and location for First Aid Post then establish it
Project 4; Improve dissemination of services available
Project 5; Review need for additional ambulance cover
Project 6; Ease access for emergency vehicles at Church Hill – (see also Transport Road Usage Programme)

Theme: Crime and Safety
Project 1; Extend and develop Neighbourhood Watch
Project 2; Improve management of drinking related disturbances

Theme: Community Facilities
To include -
Working with Mowlem Trustees and Town Council to change terms of Trust to engage community in supporting Mowlem development.
Project 1; Communications Plan for Community Plan/MCTi Plan
Project 2; Establish a local community lottery (as in Ch Islands)
Project 3; Set up advertising for parents groups (believe this exists)
Project 4; Improve Toilet facilities in Town
Project 5; Set up educational facilities (early years/ based in school out of hours/ outdoor ed classroom)
Project 6; Build more sheltered seating on sea front
Project 7; Ice rink and Xmas market at Prince Albert Gardens
Project 8; Build a combined sports and community centre for all ages.

Theme: Housing and Jobs
Project 1; Set up a micro credit scheme
Project 2; Strengthen Planning Controls to retain the character of Swanage
Project 3; Strengthen Planning Controls to;
- reduce spread of flats
- loss of old peoples homes
- prevent dilapidation
Project 3a?; Lobby to retain second home council tax in Purbeck
Project 4; Establish programme to encourage small business development
Project 5; Project to regain ownership of old grammar school and develop it
Project 6; Create more affordable housing
Project 7; Co-ordinate development of Commercial Road area and publicise work
Project 8; Open Local Job Centre
Project 9; General Regeneration initiatives e.g.
- local food schemes, especially fish
- attract a Bournemouth University Annexe

Theme: Local Environment
PRIDE IN SWANAGE PROGRAMME – set vision, define strategy and objectives
Part 1; ‘Manage Better’
To look at;
- pollution (steam train, coach exhaust)
- litter
- stone pavement maintenance
- parking (see Transport)
- recycling

Part 2; ‘New Initiatives’
To look at;
- more tree planting
- street signage
- art displays
- task force to clean up lanes
- task force to clean up dog mess
- multi-purpose waste/rubbish bins
- involve schools/young in projects

Part 3’; ‘Modelling’ –
Benchmark good examples in other towns e.g.
- shuttle bus
- discount cards for visitors
- multi-purpose waste bins/collection

Part 4; ‘Planning’
- preserve green areas
- involve locals
- no new build without parking
- review Shore Road Pedestrianisation
- encourage alternative power
- sort out Mowlem
- sort out Pier Head

Theme: Older People
Project; Build a Community Centre – see Community Facilities Theme
- A place where young and old can drop in and mix and share facilities such as IT training.

Theme: Tourism
Project1; To review and improve publicity
Project2; Sea Issues, e.g.
- Planning gain from Pier Head to fund Pier
- Swimming raft for children
- Ban/control jet skis
- Safe anchorage to promote Jurassic coast trips from Swanage
- Build breakwater
Project 3; Visitor facilities e.g.
- open smugglers passage

Theme: Transport and Traffic
Programme: To review and improve parking in Swanage
e.g. level of charges; Ocean bay situation; residents scheme; holiday expansion; Station Road –one side?
Programme: To review and improve public transport
e.g. free transport for under 18’s; bring Jurassic Bus to Swanage; around town hopper to complement revised parking scheme; disability access on buses.
Programme: To review and assess need for alteration to aspects of road usage
e.g. close seafront year round; other pedestrianisation; traffic calming; review/adjust one way system; lower speed limits.

Theme: Young People
Project 1; Build/develop more Indoor facilities
e.g. Indoor play area; quiet rooms at Youth centre and Middle School
Project 2; Build self managed youth café and recording studio at King George’s Pavilion
Project 3; Build Children and family centre and nursery
Project 4; Lobby for no change of status for Middle School
Project 5; Organise regular one day events for youth, especially at Prince Albert Gardens
Project 6; Organise activities for little ones in library
Project 7; Build youth shelter at Herston

Want to advance the Swanage Community Partnership?

I see there are a couple of positions advertised in the Advertiser (May 12th, page 26), to push forward the work for the Swanage Town and Community Partnership, one for an Admin Agent, up to 30 hrs per month@ £6/hr; and also a Development Agent, up to 30 hrs per month@ £8/hr. Pass it on to anyone you think might be interested. Contact Suzanne Large on 01929 423636 or email s.large@swanage.gov.uk

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A dying business?

Should we have a crematorium in or near Swanage? Its quite absurd that funeral services here are followed by a dash to the outskirts of Poole. If we had a crematorium here funerals could be conducted on the premises like they are everywhere else with a bit more dignity and a lot less stress. Why has this never been done? is there some sort of minimum number of deaths a year a town has to have?At the risk of contemplating the mawkish there must be lots of people who love Swanage but dont live here but who would like to be cremated by the sea perhaps with their ashes scattered in it. We live in a post-church going age and should expect a wider range of ways of celebrating the life of a loved one.

Posted by Keith Roker to swanage view at 5/11/2005 02:19:48 PM

Too many street signs?

Do you ever think a place looks a mess simply because there are masses of signs giving different messages? Dorset County Council and other environmental bodies are addressing this increasing problem. If you wish to report a 'street sign clutter hot spot' call the Dorset County Council/Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty team on 01305 224279 or email them at

Seacourt appeal 24 May

Originally uploaded by m.hadley.
The Seacourt action group are looking for the continued support of the people of Swanage.Please attend the opening of The Public Enquiry on the 24th of May at ten o'clock to be held at the Mowlem at which the developer will appeal the the last two applications for a block of eight flats in the garden of Seacourt, the very special Victorian Villa much admired by the people of Swanage.Purbeck District Council Planning board will be represented by Colin Bright who is a member of that board ,he will defending the right to refuse. Their reasons were 1/Excessive mass and scale 2/Detrimental impact on the residential amenity of neighbours in Taunton Road,3/ Likely increase in highways dandger from additional traffic in Taunton Road and/4 Detrimental effect on the Conservation Area of removing and reducing the height throughout of the existing stone walling to facilitate access to the site.There is no pressure to stay for a long period at the hearing, I have been assured by the Inspectorate's office that the Public are free to leave whenever they wish.We as group would really appreciate a good turnout as we have been battling this for years now. We would like to congratulate and support the Councillors on the Planning Board that have rejected repeated applications for unsuitable development. The application to develop the house is not in dispute and is welcomed,it is the overdevelopment of the garden that is unacceptable. [More debate on this at http://swanageview.blogspot.com/2005/04/sea-court-taunton-road.html]
Bett Paxton-Brunning

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Education-the great debate

Purbeck education: the great debate

The consultation process is now entering its second phase, with further meetings scheduled. Clsing dtae for feedback is 1st July. There is also a document available to download, on the process so far. For more information, go to:


Second consultation

Members of the public are now invited to join in the Great Debate by expressing their opinions by providing feedback as part of the second consultation.
You are also invited to attend one of several public meetings.

Feedback, using either online or printed form is also welcome. The closing date for feedback in this phase of the Great Debate is Friday 1 July.

The online form for you to return your feedback to the Great Debate can be filled in by clicking the link. However, before you fill this form in, we advise you to download the Great Debate stage 2 consultation document - which contains notes and help in filling in the consultation form.
Alternatively, you can request both the document and a printed form. This comes with a Freepost envelope to return it. To request a pack contact Administrative Officer - Policy and Development
Robert Starling
Tel: 01305 224454
Email: r.j.starling@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Second round of open meetings

The second round of public meetings that form part of the Great Debate will take place across Dorset in late May and early June. These will meetings coincide with a second consultation.
For full details details of the second consultation, see website.
The second round of meetings will all commence at 18:30. The precise length of the meetings, and the agenda for those meetings have not been finalised yet. These details will be published on this web page when known.
The dates and venues for these meetings are as follows:

* Tuesday 24 May
Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester
* Thursday 26 May
Gillingham School, Gillingham
* Tuesday 7 June
The Sir John Colfox School, Bridport
* Wednesday 8 June
Ferndown Middle School, Ferndown
* Monday 13 June
The Purbeck School, Wareham

Friday, May 06, 2005

Design competition (X church)

You can build cafe but we'd rather you didn't”I may not be the greatest fan of the Local Planning Authority at the moment, but I must say the farce of the design competition for the Highcliffe café organised by Christchurch P.A. really takes the biscuit:

http://www.thisisdorset.net/dorset/archive/2005/05/05/ CHRISTCHURCH_NEWS_NEWS12ZM.html

Posted by nick storer to swanage view at 5/6/2005 05:58:52 PM

Mr. ModeratorI can't post this URL without a space in it (after the /05). Can you fix this for me or explain to readers to take out the space when they paste?TaNick.http://www.thisisdorset.net/dorset/archive/2005/05/05/CHRISTCHURCH_NEWS_NEWS12ZM.html

Posted by nick storer to swanage view at 5/6/2005 06:12:46 PM

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Election

Can we talk about the Election here? Surprised no one has done so yet. Anyone else finding it difficult to decide? As I see it., JIm Knight seems to have done a decent job for Dorset — but in all honesty, how can you vote for a party that lied to get us into war? And also how can you vote for someone who gets up to the tricks of the Tories, what with fiddling photographs and inventing dramas that they can pretend to solve -eg saying that places were going to close unless they saved them: like the Swanage police station, the coastguard, the hospital, St Georges school, etc. Yet if you vote for the Liberal Democrats is the vote wasted? Do they have a chance of getting in? Enlighten me, someone?

Posted by Anonymous to swanage view at 5/2/2005 10:24:13 AM


If you want to raise a new topic, post your comment in this section — just click first on Comments (bottom right), then on Post a comment (bottom left of the next window), and a new heading will soon be set up, allowing others to see and add their own comments. It seems it's sometimes easier to click on 'Post anonymously' than to open an account in your name - you can always add your name to your message.


Reders may be interested to visit:www.seacourtswanage.comto find out more about this old house.

Posted by nick storer to swanage view at 5/2/2005 09:34:39 AM

See the Mill Pond ducklings!

The Mill Pond is well worth a visit at the moment with 11 ducklings and a Moor Hen sitting on a cluth of 5 eggs.

Posted by nick storer to swanage view at 5/2/2005 09:33:17 AM

Trafffic wardens

YET AGAIN THE TRAFFIC WARDENS STRIKE. I was disgusted to see not 1 BUT 2 traffic wardens, whilst out in swanage, booking vehicles on a BANK HOLIDAY. Do they enjoy scaring the holiday makers away? If it keeps on thats what will happen.Where else in swanage is there parking for bikes. I love to see the bikes parked there and also other people can have a look and enjoy them too.Are they really doing any harm parked by the stone quay in swanage as most of them are there for a short period of time. I think that we should be privaleged that these bikers want to come to swanage an show there bikes off and spend their money in the town and on the accomodation that we provide as a town.i think that the traffic wardens should not be allowed to work on a bank holiday.If this was to happen i think that more visitors would come to swanage and enjoy themselves and not be worrying about whether the hav recived parking tickets.

Posted by Anonymous to swanage view at 5/1/2005 10:04:31 PM