Broadmayne Annual Parish Meeting 2017
The Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Steve Diamond, opened the Annual Parish Meeting held in Broadmayne Village Hall on Monday 15 May 2017, by welcoming local residents, members of the Parish Council, District Councillors Nigel Bundy and Alan Thacker, County Councillor Nick Ireland, Mrs Melanie Austin, head teacher of Broadmayne First School, and Mike Potter from Dorset County Council’s highways department. The Parish Council Clerk was in attendance. Approximately 50 people were present.
2. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from the Police Community Support Officer, Sarah Hart, and Mrs Cathy Woodrow
3. Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on Monday 23 May 2016
The minutes of the last meeting had been made available, and were signed as a correct record.
(a) Broadmayne First School: Mrs Melanie Austin, Head teacher
Mrs Austin said that the school had enjoyed another successful year which had included holding a tea party to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. There had been an Ofsted inspection in February at which the school had been graded good. No concerns had been expressed by the inspectors who had identified good quality teaching and progress across the school. In addition, the school had been graded outstanding in the Dorset Schools Music Service audit. Outdoor education was being developed with the help of an ‘Outdoor Classroom’ grant from a national supermarket, and all classes were now involved in a daily exercise routine.
Uncertainty about funding made financial forecasting difficult but it was hoped that national funding allocations would improve. Fundraising within the school therefore remained important, the swimming pool, for example, relied on parent fundraising. Mrs Austin urged everyone to support their efforts because swimming was an essential life-skill. Volunteers were also needed to help with reading and with craft activities.
In reply to questions from the floor, Mrs Austin said that the school was not pursuing the idea of joining a multi-academy trust (MAT) for the time being. She also said that 50% of the children in the school come from outside the catchment. This wider in-take allowed them to have single-age classes. However, children from within the catchment have priority. A number of other determinants are set by the local education authority.
(b) West Dorset District Council (WDDC): Cllr Nigel Bundy
Cllr Bundy reported that it had been a very busy year for the district council with work dominated by the possibility of local government reorganisation in Dorset. Of the ten councils involved (the county council, Bournemouth and Poole Councils, and the district councils across the county), six were in favour of reorganisation and three against. The submission had been made to central government but any decision had been delayed by the General Election that meant that a decision was unlikely before the end of the year which would make achieving the change in 2019 difficult. However, even if the major reorganisation did not take place there would be continuing and increasing partnership working across councils. Internally, WDDC had moved from an executive to a committee system of governance in May.
Planning remained the most controversial area of WDDC work. The Local Plan was the subject of a review in respect of the 5-year housing land supply. No extra land was being proposed for housing in Broadmayne but land at Crossways and to the south-east of Dorchester was being considered. Broadmayne though had not been exempt from planning related problems which were still being worked through. WDDC had been working with Parish Councils to try to improve the system and had introduced a paperless consultation system which would save money.
Other efforts to save money had included moving the Tourist Information Centre in Dorchester which had proved controversial, but support was being maintained for the Citizens Advice Bureau, and the old Shire Hall was being developed so that its potential for tourism could be promoted. Efforts also continued to try to solve the problem of the development of the Charles Street site.
In reply to a question from the floor, Cllr Bundy said that there had been a failure in the WDDC notification procedure in respect of a planning application for a property on Main Street. Not everyone who should have been notified was so notified and the result was that potential objectors were not able to raise their concerns. In the absence of any objections the case officer had granted planning permission under delegated powers and that approval could not be over-turned other than by judicial review. WDDC had admitted its mistake and the matter had now been reported to the Local Government Ombudsman. This had been a human error and WDDC had tightened its systems accordingly in the hope that such situations could be avoided in the future. The Parish Council had also introduced a new system for dealing with planning applications to try to increase public awareness of the process.
(c) Dorset County Council: Councillor Nick Ireland
Cllr Ireland had been elected on to the county council at the recent election so this was his first visit to Broadmayne as county councillor.
He said that the county council was still looking to make savings and he understood the great uncertainty that was causing, particularly in such matters as funding for schools. He was taking a particular interest in traffic issues, and he hoped that more could be done in terms of traffic management in places such as Broadmayne. He had already received a petition of signed by more than 200 Broadmayne residents expressing concern about the speed and volume of traffic travelling through the village, and the lack of footways, and he had met with the local community highways officer to discuss some of these issues. His own parish, Osmington, had recently purchased its own Speed Indicator Device (SID) which was making a difference to speeding and he suggested that Broadmayne should consider doing the same. Finally, he reported that the new bus service, the number 5, would begin service on 20 May.
A member of the public asked if local electors should be lobbying for the local government re-organisation. Cllr Ireland said that he believed that the matter was now out of local hands and rested with central government.
5. Presentation by Mr Mike Potter, Collision Reduction Manager, Highways Department, Dorset County Council
Mr Potter gave a presentation on the work which his department undertakes. The heart of the department’s vision is Keeping Dorset Moving. Safety underpins everything which they do and is pursued through engineering, education and enforcement solutions:
- Carriageway, drainage and winter maintenance
- Community highway inspections
- Community highway enforcement
- Civil enforcement (traffic wardens)
- Development control (commenting on planning applications)
- Road safety audits
- Traffic control
- Traffic regulations orders (speed limits, parking restrictions , etc)
- Highway improvements
His job specifically involves producing collision reduction information. This is obtained from:
- Collision data (obtained from the police in order to identify hot spots for accidents)
- Road safety audits
- Collision site and reduction investigation
- Community liaison
- The Dorset Road Safe Partnership (comprising the county council, Bournemouth and Poole Councils, Dorset Police and Dorset Fire & Rescue)
Solutions to problems are evidence led. The evidence comes from:
- Road traffic collision data, including information on injuries (provided by the police)
- Traffic flow and speed survey data
- On-line reporting by the public (there is a collision form)
There is outcome based accountability which involves:
- Assessing the impact of interventions
- Moving away from arbitrary measures of performance
Following representations from the Parish Council a number of safety measures are under consideration for Broadmayne. These include:
- Gateway enhancements on the A352 at the eastern and western ends of the village (possibly painting white the existing wooden ‘gates’ near the 30mph speed limit signs).
- Virtual footways (these are painted on the road and might be possible west of the Black Dog): detailed investigations will be needed before these can be provided.
- A review of the existing road lines throughout the 30mph zone (possibly removing the central white line).
This work will be undertaken to coincide with the resurfacing of the A352 which is due to take place in the autumn of 2017.
A number of additional matters were raised from the floor:
- On exiting Chapel Close visibility is very poor owing to parked cars to the west of the cross-roads. Could parking restrictions be considered there?
- Double yellow lines around the junction of High Trees and Osmington Drove were very faded and being ignored resulting in dangerous parking. (It was understood that this fading was not at ‘intervention’ level and it was suggested that the PCSO be asked to keep an eye on the situation if there was an enforcement issue.)
- How would any road closures necessary for the road re-surfacing be notified? (There is a standard procedure for this.)
- The pavement outside the shop is uneven and dangerous.
- On street parking in the vicinity of the shop for long periods of time causes problems for shop deliveries.
- Could anything be done to slow down the traffic passing through the village?
- Could a 20mph speed limit be imposed? (As the A352 is a strategic route this wasn’t a possibility.)
- Could rumble strips be used? (These are very noisy and not useful in residential areas.)
- Could a slow sign be introduced at Littlemayne? (This was being reviewed.)
- Could the heavy lorries be forced to use another route? (No – the route was a strategic link to the quarries to the east.)
All of the matters raised from the floor were noted for consideration
6. Parish Council Chairman’s Introduction to the Annual Report
The Chairman introduced the Annual Report, and thanked the delivery team for once again making sure that every household received a copy. He highlighted some of the key points in the report, and noted that there had been a brief period in the summer of 2016 when the council had its full allocation of seven councillors. Unfortunately since that time two councillors had resigned: Cllr Bob Hatcher who had done much work on the latest version of the Parish Plan, and more recently, Cllr Kelvin Jury, a long-standing member of the council who had worked on many projects including the community website and to whom the council was indebted. Both were thanked for their contributions to the council and the community.
The Chairman went on to say that two empty seats on the council meant that the council was 28% under-strength which put a considerable load on the remaining councillors and that load was likely to increase as more work presently undertaken at county and district council level was passed down to parish councils. More help was needed, and he put out a plea for anyone who might be interested in being a councillor, or helping out with other tasks such as the website, to get in touch with him.
Finally he thanked the Clerk and the District and County Councillors for their support throughout the year, and reminded parishioners to contact parish councillors with any concerns about village matters. The Parish Council couldn’t solve every problem but they might be able to tell you where help could be found.
7. Update on the Village Hall project
The Chairman gave an update on the village hall project. He said that in the summer of 2016 it looked as if it would be necessary for the Parish Council to take out a loan in order to undertake the hall extension. Following a public meeting at which there had been agreement to do this, the building job was put out to tender.
Six companies submitted estimates for the work and none necessitated seeking a loan. Two of the companies were invited to interview and the contract was subsequently awarded to Spetisbury Construction Limited who had commenced work on site on 5 January 2017. Work had progressed well and the phasing of the construction meant there had been little disruption to hall bookings. Phase 1 of the works (the new toilets, store room and entrance) had now been completed. Phase 2, the new kitchen, which would be double the size of the old kitchen would commence at the beginning of June and phase 3, the conversion of the existing kitchen to the chair store, would follow.
The Chairman thanked the team which had supported him with this work, in particular Ray McIntyre, who had helped oversee the building works.
8. Speedwatch update
Cllr Eaglestone reported that of the ten sites originally approved for Speedwatch monitoring all but two had been suspended by the police two years ago. All of the sites had now been re-appraised and some had been reinstated although not those at Bramble Drove, or the Black Dog, or on Knighton Lane.
The reasons that sites couldn’t be used were either that they were too close to the 30mph signs, or that drivers would not be able to see the monitors. Speedwatch could be recommenced using the limited number of permitted sites but only six members of the original team were now available. At least 20 people were needed for the scheme to operate properly (working in teams of four). Cllr Eaglestone said that anyone interested in becoming a member of the Speedwatch Team should contact him as soon as possible. Unless the requisite number of people could be found it would not be possible to re-launch the scheme.
9. Open Forum
A member of the public asked if Broadmayne was preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Chairman said that the Parish Council had not pursued that possibility which was both expensive and time consuming. It did however have a Parish Plan, and that was driving many of the present Parish Council initiatives, in particular those involving traffic and road safety.
The meeting closed at approximately 9.30 pm.