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as seen by and in the opinion of
Colin Jackson

A full complement of Stratton Parish Councillors met on Tuesday 4th March 2014 in Stratton Village Hall for the second Council meeting of the year. Before we go any further into what happened and who said what, I'd like to acknowledge the wise words of one of my fellow 'members of the public' who attended the meeting. He reminded me that all Councillors are volunteers and they give freely of their time for the benefit of all parishioners.

In the Democratic Period that preceded the meeting proper, Mike Jury asked for an update on the provision of allotments. He was advised that having considered the matter, the Council had found that there was no suitable Parish Council owned land for such use and that possible sites identified on Wrackleford Estate land within the parish would not become available for consideration until 2017 at the earliest. Councillor Ted Every added that there was no obligation for the Parish Council to provide such amenities which is rather at odds with Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908. See paragraph three at

During the meeting, Dorset Police PCSO's Sarah Pilcher and Jane Goodwin joined the discussion about the available options in dealing with the perceived excessive speed of vehicular traffic using Dorchester Road particularly near the Wrackle Close junction. Be advised (and tell your neighbours) that it is very likely that speed checks, in one form or another, will be carried out at various locations in the foreseeable future.

Council Chairman Deane Parr explained that virtually no progress had been made on establishing a Flood Warden position within the parish but that moves to do so would continue.

Parish Clerk, Keith Hawkins, reported that there is no time limit on the completion of a planning application after permission has been granted. There is a time limit on the commencement of the project after permission is granted but not the completion.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts have been set up in the name of Stratton Parish Council. If you'd like to access these, search for @StrattonCouncil (Twitter), Stratton Parish Council (Facebook) and Stratton Council (LinkedIn). Each account is presently maintained by the Parish Clerk.

For some time now the Council has been trying to bring about the installation of safety barriers on the south side of the A37 on a section of road between the railway bridge and the Dorchester Road junction. Things have been somewhat slow in happening. The Parish Council now has to complete a document assessing the whole situation with a view to making a bid for funds. Councillors Gill Slade, Mike Bowman and Ted Every form the Sub-Committee overseeing the matter.

The Clerk mentioned income of £351.93 and outgoings of £1404.58 since the Council's last meeting on 21st January 2014.

The Council found that there is no legal requirement to enclose the childrens playground on the Village Green, with a fence. After a short discussion Councillors decided to obtain estimates for replacing the existing wooden fence on a like-for-like basis.

The dog fouling topic appeared again. This time a resident of Meadow Bottom brought the problem to the attention of the Council and quite independently, Councillor Jan Grocott spoke of the lower reaches of local public footpaths resembling dog toilets.

There was a discussion about the unauthorised pruning of trees on Council owned land and a decision was made regarding the Council's response.

Councillor Jan Grocott informed the Council that the Wrackleford Estate is to improve the signage on the footpaths and bridleways crossing the Estate.

It was decided to go ahead with the typographical corrections to the War Memorial but to postpone the previously discussed cleaning of the structure until 2018.

Councillor Gill Slade asked who was responsible for the cleaning of the red phone box outside St Mary's Church. It was thought that BT was the relevant agency.

The 2006 Stratton Parish Plan is being reviewed by a Council Sub-Committee in the shape of Councillors Gill Slade, Malcolm Wilson and Ted Every. A questionnaire similar to the one circulated in the parish in 2004 asking for views on various local amenities might well be forthcoming.

Stratton Village Hall is not available on Tuesday 9th September 2014, so the Parish Council meeting originally scheduled for that evening has been cancelled. There will be no September meeting. The date of the July meeting has been altered from the 8th to the 15th July 2014. All other advertised meetings remain in place and they can be found HERE

There was no mention of co-option of possible Councillors. The Council is still one member short. If anyone is of a mind to join the other volunteers they should contact the Parish Clerk who can be emailed at

I am grateful to Chris Boulton (another of the 'members of the public' present at the meeting) for the photograph below showing all Councillors and the Parish Clerk immediately before the meeting began.


Around the table from the left: Cllr Jan Grocott, Cllr Malcolm Wilson, Cllr Gill Slade,
Parish Clerk Keith Hawkins, Chairman Cllr Deane Parr, Cllr Mike Bowman, Cllr Ted Every.

My View Of Other Council Meetings

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