Around 50 ? people attended the meeting, chaired by Councillor Gary Suttle. These are draft notes of the main discussion points (Please note any errors or omissions and they will be corrected):
1/ Town Partnership. Peter Clarke expressed some concerns having attended the recent meeting:
funding apparently ceasing, no secretary, no reports published, function seems to support just a few projects. John Wootton asked what feedback was given to the community.
Town Clerk (Alan Leeson) answered that funding was assured to keep this project going; considered an important government programme, part of the Countryside Agency and South West Regional Assembly. Councillor June Farrow noted the secretary's absence was temporary. Councillor MIke Pratt noted that other councils regarded Swanage's progress as an excellent model. Councillor Mike Hadley asked how anyone could say the Swanage Partnership was a good model if no report has ever been published, and reported that in response to a request he had made, minutes were now to be available at the Town Hall and the Library.
2/ Sand build up in bay. Mr Mole raised recent report by boat operator Roger Marsh of boats grounding near the old stone quay, suggesting this is caused by the recharge works. He said this could also lead to greater flooding in strong easterlies. He also noted the amount of sand blowing up Victoria Avenue. Councillor Gary Suttle said PDC engineers were investigating these issues now, and that the roads (and drains) would be cleared.
3/ Licensing, Lower High Street. Mr Owen raised issue of new 12.00am license application for snack bar in Lower High Street, concerned with excessive drinking in this area. Councillor Gary Suttle noted that new laws gave individuals greater powers than ever to have their objections/concerns addressed, and that all complaints/objections should be made to the licensing authority.
4/ Footpath/waymarking. Mr Mackenzie expressed gratitude (on behalf of the Ramblers' Association) for much improved footpath signage in and around Swanage. The Town Clerk said that this was in part owing to the efforts of the late Hilary O'Donovan, and was certainly council policy to continue.
5/ Pier jumping. Lorna Haines asked that signs could be put up to tell people that pier jumping was "at own risk". Mike Hadley suggested an area be provided where jumping could be allowed. Councillor June Farrow to take up with the Pier Company.
6/ Boat park. Questions asked why price rises so high, and could there be special (discounted) passes for residents whose boats have been displaced by refurbishment?Assistant Town Clerk (Martin) explained that (although he didn't have figures to hand) he didn't believe the increases were exceptional, that under Best Value the council had to try to maintain income so increase had to attempt to compensate for reduced spaces. Mike Hadley asked about proposal for barrier, and how this would work for people wanting to launch/retrieve their boats early/late. Town Clerk said barrier was deferred for the time being, though it was a balance between the need to provide security and access.
7/ Beach huts. Question asked if the possible reduction of the number of beach huts was resolved yet. Councillor Gary Suttle explained that after a review of all options, the existing number of huts would be maintained. Town Clerk said new licences would be going out soon. Councillor Colin Bright added that the council was arranging to provide new bases for all huts.
If I've forgotten anything, please add it as a Comment.