Month: February 2016

Committee

During the past two years the size of our committee dwindled, largely due to personal reasons, ill-health and also having served for a considerable number of years several members of the committee felt it was time to hang up the ‘agendas and minutes.’ It hasn’t been easy steering through these more turbulent times, particularly with many external issues having to be addressed with a contracting number of committee members. However, I am delighted to report that during the past few months, we have seen an upward swing in our committee members. I would like to welcome John Milton, Chris Watkins and Alison Mountford who have been ‘persuaded’ to join Parkstone Bay Committee. It won’t be long before we will have to seek larger premises, rather than the front rooms of committee members. That doesn’t mean we wish to put a halt on interest in joining our committee. We openly welcome interest in joining this ‘happy band.’ Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any committee members if you feel the slightest urge to contribute to our beautiful areas of residence. The contact details for each committee member can be found at the end of this newsletter. Thank you

‘Travellers’

As you will be aware (certainly residents of Baiter Park) Parkstone Bay Association fought a long and often contentious debate with the council and unauthorised parking by ‘travellers’ especially at Harbourside 2 car park. I was personally able to present a petition to a full council meeting calling for narrowing the entrance and exit to Harbourside 2 car park to deter unauthorised (we cannot say ‘illegal’) campervans and caravans from pitching up and outstaying any welcome. The petition was duly accepted and this was followed by permitting me to make a four-minute presentation to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. We received almost unanimous backing and the next stage was for the full council to debate our proposal. Along with a large number of residents, we attended the council meeting and thanks to the support of Cllr A. Stribley (Mayor) who presided over the meeting, our item was moved to the top of a very full agenda. Over thirty councillors voted to support our motion and only one abstained.

In a nutshell, the council WILL now narrow the access points to Harbourside 2 and I have received written confirmation from a senior council officer that it will be undertaken. We have now got to maintain pressure to ensure this takes place –as well as reinstating the bollard at Whitecliff car park, which I understand was removed some years ago to accommodate some temporary portakabins.

I would personally like to thank Cllrs Stribley, Challinor (Parkstone ward), Howell and Hadley (Poole Town ward) who spoke so eloquently on behalf of residents. It’s much more positive to engage with our representatives than to be negative…although we are prepared to verbally cross swords should the justification arise

Charging for Car Parks

The council has a ‘black hole’ to fill to close the growing gap with its finances and you may have read in the local press that proposals are in hand to implement parking charges in the council’s parks’ car parks. For us, it will impact on Whitecliff car park and also Baiter Park skateboard car park. This proposal has caused dismay among many residents who have contacted the committee and also among committee members themselves. It’s an almost no-win situation. The council has to find monies to fill the funding gap but in addition, residents feel that park car parks should be free for parking. I am personally aware that at the skateboard park, many residents park there in order to exercise their dogs along Baiter Park and Whitecliff.

The council also wishes to consult on extension of on street parking in roads near beaches –something that will affect us as residents

The council will open consultation on both issue and I exhort all of you to make your feelings known to our councillors and officers. I have written to Head of Transportation and he confirmed consultations will be opened during late February and run for six weeks so please keep an eye on the council’s website. I also believe that proposals to introduce charges for parking at Poole Park will not take place. However, Upton House –a firm favourite for residents across the borough is in the ‘pot’ for charges

Whitecliff Pavilion

Recently I met with Chris Dear – Recreation Development Officer for Poole Borough. The council is looking at ways to develop the capacity of the pavilion at Whitecliff, alongside Whitecliff Sports Foundation. Mr Dear is keen to hear residents’ views and ways to maximise usage and potential of the pavilion. It certainly requires internal modernisation and also storage is a big issue. In addition, changing room facilities require improving. Do you have any ideas, suggestions etc how the pavilion can be improved in keeping with demands of the 21st Century? For example –do you think additional catering facilities will attract custom? What about indoor short bowls or the pavilion to be used as a cycle hub? Also, how to improved disabled access. A facility to host events, meetings etc?

This is an opportunity to enhance the pavilion which has served well for a large number of years, but could serve even better. If you have any ideas, could you please forward either to committee members or directly to Chris Dear? This project could be a beacon for other council leisure facilities across the borough Many thanks.

Cycle Pathway

You may have noticed that a new cycle/pedestrian pathway has been created from Newfoundland Drive linking to the promenade between Baiter Park and Whitecliff (joining at the sluice gates). The cost of this venture has been around £60,000. I have walked this stretch of the pathway and whilst I personally do not have a problem with its installation, I still cannot understand why it was not installed closer to the railway line, running alongside the fence as now it appears to be further dividing the grassed area.

Poole Park

Following on from 2015, this year will see further consultations on the ‘Poole Park Life’ project. The five themes for improvement will be consulted upon in much more detail than previously with designs, plans and drawings being made available for each of the schemes. The programme will be made available from early March 2016 and will include workshops, drop-in events and wider activities so that as many people as possible can feel involved and also have their say. In addition there will be much more involvement with local schools and community groups and additional opportunities to volunteer and assist in looking after Poole Park. Crucially there is more fund-raising required to reach the total to provide the matched-funding for the Heritage Lottery fund. If you would like to help in any way then please contact pooleparkheritagegroup@gmail.com who will be extremely pleased to hear from you

Planning

A considerable amount of time is spent by members of Parkstone Bay Committee dealing with planning issues that affect residents and also the well-being of the local community. This is always a very sensitive area as often it can set neighbour against neighbour and resident against commercial organisations. It is with some pride that our committee has been successful in a number of cases in objecting to inappropriate and over-development that impacts on the community. However, we cannot deal with ‘small’ cases which may not appear insignificant to a local neighbour but can take-up a disproportionate amount of time in order to try and establish a satisfactory outcome for all concerned. We will help where we can, if we feel it is within the interests to do so, but we would encourage you to take up issues directly with your elected councillors who represent the interests of their ward. They will also have direct access to officers who can best address concerns.