Sunday, October 29, 2006

Parks Department bulb sale

I received this note from the parks department:

End of Season Plant and Bulb Sale
Kings Park Nursery
Saturday 4th November - opens 10.30 a.m.
Last opportunity to pick some bargains, its still not too late to plant, go on make your garden look a picture this spring!!
Directions; Entry to Kings Park from Christchurch Road in Pokesdown, 400 yards on the right

Warnford Road/Southwick Road Development

Strangely, at the same time as hearing about the telephone mast appeal, I received a call from Dave Wells who owns the land upon which the mast is due to be sited.

Some of you may be aware that he had previously applied for planning permission for a development of flats on this land. He is now considering making an application for a residential development on this piece of property and wanted to obtain my opinion of the local mood.

I told him that I had spoken to only a few people in the locality and therefore I would need to speak to many more before being able to give him a good indication. But what I could tell him was that there was huge opposition to the mast going on the site, and that if it were to be placed there it would make the sale of residential properties there more difficult were he to develop the site.

I also made the point that a development of flats alone would not be acceptable, nor did I think anything over two stories high should be placed on the site and finally there should be sufficient parking on site for the people living in the development, as the surrounding streets are already busy with parked cars.

He has agreed to attend a public meeting if we arrange one in the New Year to listen to the views of local people before making any application. I hope this is a constructive way forward and I’ll be delivering letters to let the residents of Southwick Road and the bottom end of Warnford Road know in the next few days.

Southwick Road Telephone Mast - appeal lodged

An appeal has been launched by the telephone operator against the refusal of planning permission for the proposed mobile phone mast on the land adjacent to the railway line at the back of houses in Southwick Road. I’ll be bringing around the normal letters to allow people to object in the next couple of days. This is going to be a difficult one for us to oppose and therefore obtaining as much public support as possible will be imperative.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mmmm Chips in bins

Now I had said I wasn't going to say any more about micro chips in bins. No siree, nothing at all, my lips are sealed on the issue.


I was given this cartoon which made me laugh out loud.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Consultation on new town centre licensing policy

The Council has just begun a consultation exercise on its new Cumulative Impact Policy. This is a proposal put forward by the police to control the increase in licensed premises in the Town Centre.

In laymans terms this would introduce a prohibition on any new liquor licenses being granted within a defined area of the town centre, unless there are unique circumstances.

This is a map of the area of the town centre proposed. Essentially it runs from the eastern inner ring road across to the top of Poole Hill beyond the Triangle.

This is a map of the area proposed:

I clearly have a prejudicial interest in commenting on this document because I am the owner of three licensed premises in the town, two of which are within the boundary of the new area. I'm therefore afraid I can't offer an opinion on its introduction.

If you would like to comment you can do so here.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Casino Plans go on show

Should Bournemouth be granted a license for a casino by the governement, then it's likely that plans will come forward from the Trevor Osbourne Group who wish to build it on land next to the Pavilion.

The inital plans have gone on show this week.

I'm sorry to say I'm not impressed. I have my doubts about the concept of the casino anyway, although I see its benefit in drawing people to the town. It's for that reason that I voted in favour of the application being made in principal.

I'm not sure at all that the right place for it is in the location now being considered, which is next to the Pavilion and opposite the Royal Bath hotel. I'm even more sure that the design being proposed isn't acceptible. This part of town is already blighted by the IMAX building, the last thing we need is another carbuncle on Bath Hill.

There is some beautiful architecture in Westover Road and on Bath Hill, if there must be a building placed in this spot why can in not echo this, or at least compliment it? I hope we are asking the architects to go back to the drawing board if this ever comes before the council.

Winter Gardens concerns

I haven't seen the new plans for the Winter Gardens yet, my chance comes next week on Tuesday. However a statement made on behalf of the Conservative Group on Bournemouth Borough Council by our group leader, Stephen MacLoughlin, today gives a good summary of my concerns:

'The one good thing that came out of the glitzy launch of the new Winter Gardens (Echo report 17th October) was the exciting range of events suggested by the Bournemouth Council's arts partners. With the town centre practically taken over by bars and clubs in recent years, we certainly need a greater range of cultural activity to appeal to a broader cross section of people.

The town could well get precisely that if the the aspirations of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Dance South West, the Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Bournemouth University are made a reality. Of course, there is the risk that such 'high-brow' cultural events may not pay, which would almost certianly mean the public would be called on upon to subsidise them through their Council Tax. The Council would then have to take a view on how much it could afford in the years ahead.

However, the immediate questions for the Council Tax payers of Bournemouth are, 'Do we need a new building costing £15million? Are there existing facilities which, with some investment, could be used instead (e.g. the Pavilion complex)?'

The people of Bournemouth and the Council now need to take a long, hard look at the plans for the new Winter Gardens because any mistakes now could be very expensive in the future.'

Well said Stephen.

Time to go?

A friend has just sent me this, it's rather excellent....

Thanks Andy!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dorset Police Halloween Advice

As Halloween approaches Dorset Police have issued the following advice:

Dorset Police is issuing advice to all residents as Halloween approaches – highlighting the need for safety and common sense while still having fun.

This year Halloween falls on Tuesday, 31 October 2006, and Dorset Police is urging residents and visitors to the county to have an enjoyable Halloween, but to also be considerate and act sensibly.

Halloween is a time of year when people dress up and have fun. However, some people – especially those living on their own and the elderly – can find it quite a distressing time.
The message from Dorset Police is to please have an enjoyable evening but do respect other people’s wishes. If they do not want to open their doors or join in, then please move on and do not try to intimidate them in any way.

We recently ran a drawing competition in the local media for children aged between 5 and 16 to design our new ‘no trick or treaters’ poster. Chelsea Tiller, aged 11 from Bournemouth, won the competition with a fantastic design so if you don’t want to be disturbed on Halloween, then visit to download Chelsea’s poster.

A second design is also available, so if you’d like to use this version, then please visit There is also a poster available to download for general display in shops or locations that may be selling Halloween merchandise. then visit

Dorset Police is offering advice to trick or treaters, to parents and guardians and also to residents.

Advice to trick or treaters:

  • Make sure that a parent or guardian knows where you are – trick or treating should also have adult supervision.

  • It is recommended that you call only on friends, family or neighbours, and ideally this should be arranged in advance.

  • Respect the rights of others who do not want to accept trick or treaters.

  • Do not accept money and be grateful for ANY treats.

  • Dorset Police recommend that no tricks are played – these can be frightening and could even be a criminal offence.

  • Dorset Police will take action against unacceptable behaviour.

Advice to parents and guardians:

  • Please be aware where your children are at all times and what they are doing.

  • All trick or treating should be supervised.

  • Respect people’s right not to accept trick or treaters.

  • Do not call on addresses after 9 pm.

Advice to residents:

  • You have a right to say NO to trick or treaters.

  • Use a door chain when opening your door.

  • Never give money as a treat.

I can assure you I won't be out Trick or Treating so if you hear a knock at the door for once it's certain not to be Jane, Claire or I. Instead I'll be out celebrating my Dad's 79th brithday!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Telephone Masts

Mast outside Tescos on Castle Lane

I’m very pleased to say that the revised application for this mast, which would have replaced a lamp post, has been turned down again. The operator, O2, has been asked to consider the compound by the Cooper Dean Roundabout where there are already a number of masts as an alternative site.

Mast on the corner of Castle Lane and Chaseside

This is a proposal for a mast on the north western corner of the junction of Castle Lane East and Chaseside, essentially just by the recycling point in the Littledown Centre. It would, in my opinion, have been too close to some of the houses in Hatfield Gardens and Chandlers Close. The pre-site consultation has just been concluded and I am very pleased to report that the operator has agreed to re-site the mast closer to the Cooper Dean roundabout, away from residential properties.

Mast on the corner of Old Bridge Road and Christchurch Road

This is the proposal for a mast on the piece of land opposite the Iford Bridge public house. I expressed my view to the planners that this was a completely inappropriate location, not least because it is so close to the Little Bridges Nursery School as well as residential properties. I’m very pleased to report that the operator has been told by the Planning Department that they concur with this opinion and that if an application is brought forward then it will not be looked upon favourably.

I should stress that this does not stop the operator making an application, but does make it very likely that it will be refused should it be made.


I spent some time in the planning department this week looking at and discussing the plans that are being put forward at the moment for various schemes, including mobile telephone masts:

163 Harewood Avenue

This is the application to demolish one of the houses on the corner of Gainsborough Road and Harewood Avenue and replace it with 6 flats. An earlier application for 7 flats on the site has been refused by both the council and the Planning Inspectorate at appeal.

I’m very pleased to say that the planning department are of a mind to refuse this application as well. They agree with me that a development of this type would be completely out of keeping with the surrounding area. I understand that the formal refusal has not been issued yet but will be sent out in the next few days.

They also commented that they had received ‘hundreds’ of letters of objection. So thanks to everyone who had written in to object to the scheme.

77 Durrington Road

This is an application to build a house in the back garden of the house on the corner of Durrington Road and Warnford Road. The frontage would have actually been on Warnford Road. The site is very small, local people had been concerned about this and the traffic implications of the scheme.

The Planning Department confirmed that they too were concerned about these issues and are of a mind to refuse the development largely on the basis that the size of the plot is too small to take development. The house would need to be built very close to the boundary of the plot and to the back wall of the existing property on the site. Again, refusal has not been issued as yet but is likely to be forthcoming in the next few days.

1124 – 1126 Christchurch Road

This is an application to replace the two shops and two flats above them that stand next to the garage parking area on the corner where Hambledon Road, Holdenhurst Avenue and Christchurch Road meet.

The plan is to replace the building with one shop unit and six flats. Largely the scheme appears to be in keeping with the other developments along this part of Christchurch Road. The only concern the planners, and I, have is the lack of any parking spaces. Unfortunately this is not a reason to refuse the application unless the highways department raise a concern. They are therefore awaiting a response from the highways people before making a decision on the application.

Lack of posts

Sorry for not posting for a couple of weeks.

I didn't actually make it to the Conservative Conference, even though it was here in Bournemouth. The evidence as to why is in the photo above.

Completely out of my natural habitat I was doing DIY for 5 days solid at St Mary's Church in Springbourne. There we had volunteers from the local community and the conference (including very many MPs and most of the shadow cabinet) helping transform the church in to a community centre for the neighbourhood in just five days.

The project was completed on time and left a superb legacy from the conference for the area. I was very proud to be part of it. Well done to everyone involved.


The results of a recent survey carried out across the whole of the Borough demonstrate that our residents continue to be very concerned about crime, especially violent crime, but also anti-social behavior and graffiti.

Graffiti affects all of us, and is a blight on our community. Criminal damage in the form of graffiti is a common type of anti-social behaviour, particularly where the graffiti is of an obscene, personal or racist nature. Victims of such behaviour are often left traumatised and unable to cope. Yet if the graffiti is not dealt with promptly, it inevitably encourages others to leave their own 'trademarks', causing greater distress for victims and increasing damage to the building and residential environment. This is commonly known as the 'broken window syndrome'.

I firmly believe that it is the Council's responsibility to take the lead and help our residents in this battle. Two of my colleagues, Peter Charon and Cllr David Smith have been lobbying hard on this matter at the Safer and Stronger Communities Forum for some time.

Some initiatives are being pursued but invariably these are connected to graffiti on public property, and do little to help anyone else, be it at their home or place of business.

Other Local Authorities have made the eradication of graffiti a top priority, so why can't we? Some Councils have introduced a 'zero tolerance' policy, and given residents a freefone telephone number, and a pledge to attend and remove offending graffiti within 24 hours, irrespective of where it is. A pipedream? No, it's no pipedream.

I am delighted that we have secured a promise that this will become a firm commitment that a new Conservative Administration will seek to implement just as soon as resources permit.

We're lucky not to have too much graffiti here in Littledown and Iford, although I'm receiving complaints about it at the Skate Park. I was going to illustrate this story with a photo of it, but then I realised that none of the photos I had included a shot without something obscene written in it. I've therefore written to Parks and Neighbourhood Management to ask them to arrange for the offending writing to be cleaned off without delay.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"and my thoughts are also with Nick King..he must be feeling crushed by these events...but he'll bounce back."

....these are the words of one of the supporters of the hospital's expansion scheme on to Wessex Fields, and by definition therefore an objector to the Troika Development.

I know this person reads this blog on occasion, for which I am grateful and slightly humbled.

I'm also very grateful for the good thoughts expressed in the comment.

I want to make it clear though that I am not in the least bit disheartened, rather I am energised to continue our fight. My opinion is, always was and will remain that the Planning Board made the correct decision in turning down Troika's application in February.

The application took no serious note of its potential for over intensification of development. The effect of additional traffic on Castle Lane, local roads and the Cooper Dean roundabout by the construction of an office development for 3,500 workers, which provides just 900 parking spaces was ignored.

Be sure that I will be attending and speaking at the Public Enquiry and I'll continue to do everything in my power to ensure that sensible, proportionate development takes place on Wessex Fields.

Conference Challenge to Bournemouth Conservatives

I'm not going to get to the conference much this year, here's the reason:

As a practical illustration of this year’s Party Conference David Cameron has tasked Bournemouth Conservatives to and run a local community project in Bournemouth.

The project identified is St Mary's Church in Springbourne, now a major community centre but lacking in basic facilities required to fulfil its potential. Despite being deconsecrated over 10 years ago, the church building has altered little due to a lack of funds. Thanks to the generosity of Conservative Party donors, local businesses and volunteers, the church building will undergo a significant face lift during the four days of the Conservative Party Conference.

Party Members and MPs (including David Cameron and other members of the Shadow Cabinet) will each be devoting a few hours over the four day Conference period to assist with a whole range of DIY tasks in order to convert the church into a working community centre. The project includes painting, decorating and carpeting a number of the function and arts rooms, installation of a kitchen and dining area and erection of a stage, complete with a curtain system in the main hall.

Each day the Party Conference will view a video update of progress. When complete, the building will be handed back to the Bourne Spring Trust, the charity who will manage the building for around thirty volunteer organisations and local groups who will use the facilities.

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am totally cack handed. I'm therefore in charge of volunteers - i.e. finding things for people to do and making sure everything gets done. I'll try and post updates here from the Church over the next few days.

Yesterday was very successful. Help came from local church groups, local conservatives and Alan Duncan MP and David Davies MP.