Thursday, December 31, 2009

Visitors to this site

I see that Swanageview has  more than 100,820 Unique Visits since I started this site started in 2004. Can someone tell me: does this mean 'visits to the site from different computers', so would pretty much mean different people?

Council Tax rise?

COUNCIL tax for Dorset County Council residents could rise by nearly three per cent in April.
Band D householders in towns including Blandord, Christchurch, Swanage and Wimborne could each pay an extra £33.75 a year if proposals for a 2.97 per cent tax rise are approved at a meeting of all councillors in February.

Climate Change: Questions and Answers


Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 5:19 PM

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The BBC's Radio Solent website reports Purbeck Council as exhorting residents to recycle christmas cards.
It quotes Councillor Martyn Colvey saying: "Cards can be recycled in January at WH Smith, Marks & Spencer and TK Maxx stores."
It seems to me to be somewhat daft as a "go green" message.
There are none of these national retail chains within the district.
The nearest are in the centre of Poole, some miles from the very easternmost part of Purbeck.
Perhaps the council is in some way trying to suggest that we do our shopping outside of the district.

Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 11:03 AM

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Buying books?

Just a thought, if you are out shopping for Xmas. If you want to keep a good bookshop in Swanage (for new and secondhand books), do please support Blanchards in Station Road. While Oxfam may do many good things around the world, their books are donated, their staff are volunteers and I believe the shop pays no rates. Hardly a level playing field. It would be a shame if its book shop drove Blanchards out of business, and then if Oxfam pulled out, where would we be?

New Town Councillor

Welcome to new Swanage Town Councillor, Angelo Wiggins, co-opted by the Swanage Town Council yesterday to replace Constance Gainsborough who recently passed away.

While it's good to have a young person on the Council, I think it is appropriate to say a few words, as others may be interested in the 'democratic' process of selection.

When a vacancy like this occurs, unless ten or more electors call for an election, the elected Council members can co-opt a member of the community without election. The Lib Dems volunteered NOT to call an election (and so save the town the cost of more than £5000) on the understanding that the majority Conservative councillors (nine or perhaps ten out of eleven) would select someone who had previously either stood for election  or had actually previously served on the Council.

The issue of co-option was tabled for a Policy and Planning meeting yesterday morning (Monday 21st).There were three candidates: Angelo Wiggins (Conservative), Philippa Keeling (Lib Dem) and Cherry Bartlett (Labour).

I initially called for this item to be postponed for the next full, evening, meeting of the Council, on the grounds that it would be more democratic for the debate to held at a forum that would have more of the public present (as well as perhaps all the other councillors). This was over-ruled. I then noted that the papers relating to the candidates had only been circulated at the beginning of the meeting. I observed my understanding that procedure required that briefing papers should be provided three working days before a meeting. This was also over-ruled.

I then proposed that it would be democratically proper for the Council to elect someone who had stood before the electorate previously and/or who had served the community. I initially proposed Philippa Keeling, who had gained around 500 votes at a previous election. I went on to propose that, if she were not elected, then Cherry Bartlett should be elected, as someone who has previously served with credit on the town council. Voting was held, and I voted for Philippa Keeling while all seven others there (Mike Pratt, Bill Trite, Lawrence Gloyn Cox, Mike Whitwam, Alison Patrick, Steve Poultney and Colin Bright) voted for Angelo Wiggins, who was duly selected. (Councillors absent were Gloria Marsh, Barry Audley and Gary Suttle)

While I wish Angelo well, I feel it is worth letting people know that this is how democracy works in Swanage. It may be legally acceptable but I personally think it is morally disgraceful and is another example of why and how the Council as a whole gets its reputation for doing as it wishes behind closed doors, exploiting its majority to its own ends.

Of course, the response I usually receive when I make such observations is that the councillors have been elected by the community to act on their behalf. Which, of course, is entirely true. So perhaps all of you out there who vote Conservative are perfectly happy. And yes, the town has after all voted for the council representatives it wants. Next town elections in 2011.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa makeover

Overweight Santa 'needs a makeover'

Santa is a public health hazard - promoting obesity and drink-driving, experts have claimed.

Images of a fat, jolly and somewhat tipsy Father Christmas send out the wrong message and could damage millions of lives, they said. Instead of sitting back in his sleigh and breaking the speed limit, Santa should get off and walk or jog. Obese Santa also needs to swap the brandy and mince pies left out by hopeful children for carrots and celery sticks stolen from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Dr Nathan Grills and illustrator Brendan Halyday, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, said the current image of Santa promotes obesity, drink-driving, speeding and a general unhealthy lifestyle.

Santa's universal fame means he is used by companies around the globe to sell all kinds of products, including unhealthy foods, they went on. For example, there is very high awareness of Santa among young children - higher than the McDonald's fictional character, Ronald McDonald. Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the authors said Santa used to also sell cigarettes but that has now been banned.

They went on to provide a full list of Santa's unhealthy behaviours, including encouraging fathers to step in and eat leftover mince pies, thereby expanding their own waistlines. With billions of homes to visit, Santa is also soon over the drink-driving limit due to too many brandies and sherries.
The authors conclude there is a need for Santa to undergo an image overhaul - one that promotes healthy living.

"We need to be aware that Santa has an ability to influence people, and especially children, towards unhealthy behaviour," they said. "Given Santa's universal appeal, and reasoning from a population health perspective, Santa needs to affect health by only 0.1% to damage millions of lives. We propose a new image for Santa to ensure that his influence on public health is a positive one."

(From The [London] Evening Standard 17.12.09

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I've just had a very brief chat with an Allotment holder and he says that they've all received a letter saying that all options are being considered.

Can anyone expand please?

Posted by Anonymous to swanageview at 1:36 PM

Add your name to 11 million-strong petition

With three days to go, the crucial Copenhagen summit is failing. Tomorrow, the world's leaders arrive for an unprecedented 60 hours of direct negotiations. Experts agree that without a tidal wave of public pressure for a deal, the summit will not stop catastrophic global warming of 2 degrees.

Click the link to sign the petition for a real deal in Copenhagen -- the campaign already has a staggering 11 million supporters.

Petition to world leaders:
We call on our leaders to go to Copenhagen and sign a global climate treaty that is:

AMBITIOUS: enough to leave a planet safe for us all.

FAIR: for the poorest countries that did not cause climate change but are suffering most from it.

BINDING: with real targets that can be legally monitored and enforced.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meteor shower Monday 14th

Anyone see the meteor shower last night? The 'Geminids'. I gather they may be seen again tonight. By my calculations, towards the East (in the constellation of Gemini)..Post you photos up here..

Swanage Bayview Transition (Series 2)

The story continues...
Previous posts can be found below and/or at:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Shell found on beach shock!

(not that kind of shell)

Shell blown up on Jurassic Coast

An unexploded device has been blown up after washing ashore on Dorset's World Heritage Jurassic Coast. A 650ft (200m) cordon was put in place on Chesil Beach, near Weymouth, after the 2ft (60cm) shell, thought to be a tank round, was found on Thursday. Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts destroyed it in a controlled explosion on Friday morning. Police had also closed the promenade around the site, close to beach huts in Hallelujah Bay. Police were contacted just before 1500 GMT on Thursday by a man who reported finding the object near the huts.The promenade was closed and a nearby cafe was checked and found to be empty. Failing light on Thursday evening delayed work to make the device safe.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Better Broadband for Dorset

(I received this today from Dorset County Council's Dorset Coast Forum. I think the bottom line is, please take part in the survey if you want to help increase our chances of getting better broadband in Dorset)

BT is the Tier 1 Communications Sponsor for the London 2012 Olympic and
Paralympic Games.  Part of their sponsorship contract involves the
installation of high capacity network connectivity to the Weymouth and
Portland National Sailing Academy for the Olympic games. This high
band-width fibre optic connection will support data, voice, media and
mobile communication during Games but could also provide a unique
opportunity to fast-track high quality broadband provision across Dorset.

BT, and other communication providers, will require a strong business case
of the potential on-line demand and usage in order to further invest in
Dorset's digital infrastructure. Team Dorset therefore need to generate a
substantial demand for hi speed connectivity in order to influence BT and
others to install and roll out these broadband services across Dorset. Team
Dorset are asking for your support by completing an on-line Connectivity
Survey. Available at:

Monday, December 07, 2009

Richard Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax

Now Richard Drax is drawn into "Tory toff" row

10:00am Monday 7th December 2009
comment Comments (8)   Have your say »

SOUTH Dorset’s would-be MP Richard Drax has been drawn into the “Tory toff” row, courtesy of his blue-blooded background and quadruple-barrelled name.
Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle Drax was labelled the ultimate “Dave’s de-toff” by a national newspaper, who detailed his privileged background and Elizabethan stately home.
It follows allegations that Conservative leader David Cameron has been trying to “de-toff” some of the poshest Tory candidates ahead of next year’s general election.
Former BBC reporter Mr Drax lives in Charborough House near Almer, Dorset, which is set in 7,000 acres of private land.
He was formerly married to the sister of Tiggy Legge-Bourke, who was nanny to Princes William and Harry.
He was unavailable for comment yesterday but Labour’s Jim Knight, the current MP for South Dorset, said he wanted people to allocate their vote to whoever they felt would best represent them.

Are Newcomers To The Swanage Area Welcome To Settle Here?

Having bought a property here during the summer, for our permanent home in such beautiful surroundings, my wife and I are undecided over whether we are actually welcome or not. Is it the same for all newcomers?

Most neighbours are friendly enough, (we bought an ex-local authority house which, incidentally, has been in private hands over twenty years) but sadly we have those who want to show us we are not welcome by such things as all night television at an unacceptable volume. Sad ain't it? We are all the same in our book, doesn't matter if someone rents or owns a property, we should all make the best of what we have and accept each other as equals. Presumably, we are all only on this earth once?

What do readers think?


Posted by Donkey to swanageview at 7:20 PM

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Funding for new Swanage

Jurassic coast gets climate fund

Charmouth landslip - February 2009
Charmouth has been named as a vulnerable area to erosion
Parts of Dorset's Jurassic Coast have been selected for a share of funding to help meet the challenges of rising sea levels and coastal erosion.
Dorset County Council has successfully bid for £365,500 from a government fund to adapt to climate change.
It formed a partnership with Devon County Council under the banner of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
Vulnerable areas include New Swanage, Charmouth, Seatown, Ringstead, Sidmouth and Preston Beach Road, Weymouth.
'Dynamic change'
The money has been offered by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through its Coastal Change Pathfinder Fund.
Work is set to start on preparing outlined work, must be completed by spring 2011.
Ideas proposed include developing a network of coastal change champions to shape debate around coastal change.
The council is working as part of a partnership with authorities including the Environment Agency and National Trust.
Councillor Hilary Cox, from Dorset County Council, said: "We are delighted that our bid has been successful.
"The coastal communities of Dorset and East Devon have lived with dynamic change for generations but it is clear that the risks and impacts from erosion, storms and rising sea levels are going to increase in future.
"The pathfinder funding will help take the future discussions we are having with the communities most at risk from these changes to a new level, helping us to visualise what change may look like and develop options to adapt."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Marine Conservation Areas

Natural England is now consulting on its proposed new Marine Conservation Zones

Natural England, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Countryside Council for Wales are undertaking a formal consultation on 10 possible marine Special Areas of Conservation and 2 potential Special Protection Areas in English, Welsh and offshore waters around the UK.
The closing date of the formal consultation is 26th February 2010.

More info at:

You can download documents about the Poole Bay to Lyme Bay zone at:

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Swanage Seen Art Trail

The new Art Trail is to be officially opened on Saturday 5th Dec. Panels already up include those at:
Prince Albert Gardens (small car park at top), Paul Nash (Heritage Centre), Shore Road (near Funworld), Denis Lowson (studio in Institute Road). Others, awaiting installation, can be seen on the day at Totally Local in Commercial Road. Congratulations to Carlotta Barrow for the inspiration of the concept, and the perspiration of getting it to happen. Also thanks to others: Cobalt Corporate Finance, Swanage Town Council, Keates Quarry, 4MattFramers, board sponsors, artists (and descendants) and writers involved in making this happen.

New Subject

If you want to raise a new topic, post your comment here — just click first on Comments below, then type in post a comment (top right of the next window). Can you choose a title for your post, please? Sometimes it's hard to work out what a comment is about and what the subject is. 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. We try to keep posts civilized. And any posts that become too provocative, insulting, threatening or otherwise unpleasant will be deleted.

Schools Review 2 Dec

Dorset County Council's Cabinet agreed this morning that :

a) the consultation on Primary schools should include only the option that retains both St George's and St Mark's (so St George's is officially safe)

b) that Officers should take further time (until the next Cabinet meeting on Jan 20th) to explore Secondary options in more detail and to consult with groups supporting both a twin-campus school and those supporting a single-site school.