Cllr. Simon Christopher’s Report On Common Water Lane – Sept 21

At Monday night’s Group Parish Council meeting, Cllr. Simon Christopher delivered 3 separate reports: a general one, one on Waste Management (Click HERE) and this one – on Common Water Lane:

Dear Councillors and Helen

I thought I would send you a separate report in respect of Common Water Lane for Helen to distribute please.

Earlier this Summer I met with a solicitor at a practice that I have worked with for almost 30 years. The solicitor in question is a specialist in public rights of way and access to land.

I took this decision as I am clearly not the font of all knowledge on these matters and would be beneficial in an attempt to move matters forward and the meeting and written advice to me would not involve a cost to the parish council. It was said of him in the Chambers UK solicitors guide that: “His knowledge on public rights of way is vast“.

His is also honorary adviser to the Green Lane Environmental Action Group  (Until April of this year Prince Philip was Patron of this organisation). Within the legal directory , the Legal 500 he is considered “an industry leader in his own area of expertise public and private rights of way and access to land and leaving no stone unturned”.

I was advised by the solicitor that the power to  a Traffic Regulation Order exists under the Road Traffic Act 1984 and Regulations made under Statutory Instrument 1996/2489.

The question arose as to whether it would be appropriate to make a TRO while allowing private access. The power exists to do so if Dorset Council accept that any one or mor of the of the specific powers listed in as 1(1) of the 1984 Act applies to the Lane. From the explanations that I gave he concluded that those powers or at least those first six powers listed in section 1(1) of the 1984 Act do apply there should it his opinion be no issue that a TRO would be appropriate.

I have to say at this point that as a Dorset Councillor I commented that the present position is in my opinion unsustainable and needs urgent control. We concluded that for the same reason that it is both appropriate and a priority there can be no doubt about necessity.  We then went on to discuss the physical possibility of installing barriers , which prevent unauthorised use but which allow private access to land and property served by the Lane but also public non vehicular use, principally on horseback and on foot.  The solicitor after considerable comment about the benefits to adjoining land owners and local residents, horse riders and walkers  then examined what the thoughts of more learned persons at Dorset Council might be if the struggle is continued!!!

His opinion was that Dorset Council would no doubt want/ need to make 3 specific assessments as to:

  1. What is precisely the current highway status of the Lane?
  2. As to what is its true legal width?
  3. What private rights can be shown to exists?

With respect to the first assessment it was the opinion of the solicitor that “the likely answer  was that the status of the Lane is an Unclassified Road (UCR) – probably no surprises for the reader there it may he said have been a RUPP (Road Used as a Public Path) in 1949, but others may be able shed light on this.

One of the more interesting points to observe is that the solicitor did point out that even if the Lane is a Unclassified Road there is, in his opinion , “no guarantee that public vehicular access exists in a UCR. It depends upon an assessment of all the available evidence of status , as to what the public status is.“  Further he added “One needs to be absolutely sure about this question of status before proceeding.

That research would need to include research of such things as The Object Names Book, The Finance Act 1910, map and book entries, the Handover Map 1929 , the list of streets and the Definitive Map and parish survey . It may also be necessary to go back further , to tithe records and inclosure records

With respect to the second assessment he added: “The width of a highway is  a notoriously difficult question to be sure of. Put simply , the width will encompass not only the metalled strip down the middle but also the verges wall to wall as it were, BUT the latter point is not certain and depends upon whether the boundary features in question which bound the Lane were put in by reference to the highway or for other purposes

With respect to the third assessment:  “Private rights will normally benefit all properties and fields having access off the Lane.  The rights will either be expressly contained in the deeds of the property or field and or have arisen by long use . If the latter the purposes will be only be for the purpose for which it was exercised during the long use period . Thus for houses the private right will normally be for residential purposes only; for agricultural property normally for  agricultural purposes only”.

He essentially finished his advice by adding that the spending of public money will be a key factor in Dorset Councils decision making process!

I look forward to meeting with, perhaps, a working party of parish councillors to discuss further if you decide this is appropriate.  Clearly to arrive at a satisfactory position in respect to the Lane is even more difficult than I might have thought!

Best regards


Simon Christopher
Dorset Councillor Marshwood Vale
077988 33715

Edited by: Wendy Shields.


Cllr. Simon Christopher’s Report On Waste Management – Sept 21

Following Dorset Council‘s announcement last week about the difficulties they are having, mainly due to the national HGV driver shortage, Dorset Cllr. Simon Christopher issued this report at Monday night’s BWGPC meeting:

Dear Councillors

Having supplied  a report devoted to Common Water Lane, I now report separately on a most important matter. Central to the work of Dorset Council is the collection of waste.  The National lorry driver shortage is impacting on kerbside collections and litter bin emptying across Dorset.

Indeed the effects of the National HGV driver shortage added to the continuing impact of Covid are starting to be felt across Dorset Council’s waste services as collection rounds feel the strain.

As recently reported in the National  the impact of the driver shortage is being felt by councils across the county . In Dorset some crews are regularly having to work overtime and often at weekends, which is not sustainable. These pressures come on the back of a year of increased household waste amounts as more people have been working from home.

Dorset Council Senior officers recently briefed local MPs on the issues currently impacting Waste collections , street cleansing and bin deliveries in the hope that a long term solution can be found.

Recruitment of drivers in Dorset has always been challenging particularly due to high local housing costs but the current wide scale staff shortages across all depots are unprecedented. The Council currently has multiple vacancies and drivers and Loders across their waste team, along with some absence due to sickness and others on planned annual leave.

All employees across waste services  are working hard to ensure that key waste services continue to run throughout this challenging time.

Dorset Council are having to temporarily suspend or delay some garden waste collections so that crews can be ready deployed to support vital rubbish food and recycling collections.

If any garden waste collections have to be cancelled stood down Dorset Council will automatically apply a discount to next years subscription fee.

Litter bins are being emptied less frequently in some parts of the county and new bin deliveries are also being delayed.

Councillor Jill Haynes portfolio holder for Customer and Community Services has said  “We are proud to provide one of the best kerbside collection services in the Country under normal circumstances . Bit I’m afraid the current situation is both unprecedented and un sustainable”.

Council Haynes has added   “While we will continue to ensure that Dorset’s waste is dealt with as best as we can there and do whatever is necessary to address local concerns we need actions to be taken by central government to address the National drivers shortage and help to mitigate the continuing effects of the pandemic”.

I want to thank the hard working waste services crews and admin  staff , who are doing a brilliant job  under very different circumstances “.

I also want to thank the people of Dorset for their patience and understanding as we tackle the issues at hand, most of which are outside of our control “.

Rather than continuing the commentary I would ask that you please e mail if you have queries for me to answer. If I do not know the answer myself I will contact the portfolio holder, the excellent Councillor Jill Haynes!

Best regards


Councillor Simon Christopher
Dorset Councillor Marshwood Vale
077988 33715

Edited by: Wendy Shields.

Read Cllr. Simon Christopher’s Report on Common Water Lane by clicking HERE.



Gladis’s Law Campaign Success

Success for Cameron Farquharson and his team!

Fundraising continues…

Cameron is offering a weekend at his farm for £400 per couple to include a dinner cooked by Cameron, a three rosette chef, at Redlands Coppice and a day with his Highland cows at Eggardon Hill, before returning to Redlands Coppice to meet the nine newest cows to the farm and the man who gifted them, Stan Sadler.

To arrange your visit to the farm or for more details, please email:


Broadwindsor Parish Group Council Meeting – Monday, 13th September 2021

A face-to-face meeting of the Parish Council will be held at 7.30 pm on Monday 13 September 2021 at Blackdown Village Hall.  SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES WILL BE IN PLACE. All are welcome to attend.

The full agenda is available to download HERE. Minutes of previous Group Parish Council meetings can be found online HERE.

Lots for the councillors to address this month, including six Planning Applications.

They begin by disclosures of personal and prejudicial interests from Councillors and employees on matters to be considered at the Meeting together with any dispensations and any updates to the Register of Interests.

After any matters arising, parish residents are invited to give their views and ask questions of the Parish Council on issues on this Agenda.

Reports include the Election Broadwindsor Group Parish Council Vacancy, Burstock Ward.

A variety of issues received on Correspondance & Notices:

a. Broadwindsor Group Parish Community Land Trust, Request for Grant of £600.00 towards administrative costs.
b. Broadwindsor Resident, Maintenance of Back Lane.

c. Broadwindsor Resident, Comrades Hall Entrance/Exit Safety Concerns.

d. DAPTC, Notice of Annual General Meeting 13 November 2021.

e. Beaminster Museum, Gardens and Allotments Exhibition.

Item 8. Accounts include To approve payment of £5410.00 for Small Engine Services (Ariens Apex 52 Model 991315 Mower).

Item 9. Planning Applications Received for consideration this month are:
(Please click on the Planning Application Number for further details.)

Item 11 on the agenda will be an update on the Community Pub proposal.
Item 17 considers the request for a beehive on the Allotments.
Item 18 – the highways addresses the following:

a. Report from the Footpaths Officer, Cllr. Dorothy Rowe.
b. Verge Management in the Grouped Parish Area.

c. Back Lane, Broadwindsor.

d. Common Water Lane Update.

e. Fly Tipping on Hursey Common.

f. Fingerpost Maintenance Tender Update.

g. Adopted Telephone Kiosks Update.

h. Old Shop, Broadwindsor.

i. Road Surface in Littlewindsor.

Item 21 an invitation for Residents to give their views and ask questions of the Parish Council on any outstanding
issues on this Agenda or raise issues for future consideration.

After agreeing the date and venue of the next meeting, the meeting will then close.

The press and public are invited to attend.  Under the Openess of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014, members of the public may now film, photograph and make audio recordings of the proceedings of the formal Council meeting, though not, under current legislation, of the Public Participation session, as this is not part of the formal agenda of the meeting. Recording activity should be respectful to the conduct of the meeting and behavious that disrupts the meeting (such as oral commentary) will not be permitted.  Any member of the public shall not speak for more than five minutes.  A question asked by a member of the public during Public Participation shall not require a response or debate during the meeting though the Chairman may direct that a written response will be provided subsequent to the meeting.

There are currently 14 Elected Councillors (Burstock Ward vacant) – Click HERE to identify them.

The contents of this post are compiled by Wendy Shields, with information taken from the Broadwindsor Group Parish Council’s website.
Download the full agenda HERE.


Save The White Lion Website

Village resident and member of the Steering Group of the White Lion, Luke Pickering has just launched a new website to keep all informed of the progress of their negotiations. There is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes.  The Steering Group aim to keep everyone updated.  Please visit:

The new website currently doesn’t list the members of the Steering Group which can be found HERE.


SEND Support For Back To School

Dorset Council’s Local Offer for children and young people from 0 to 25 years with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provides information, advice and support for children and their families.

They offer information and how to access:

  • Early years & Childcare.
  • Education & Learning.
  • Activities & Short Breaks.
  • Social Care.
  • Preparing For Adulthood.
  • Transport.
  • Health Services.
  • Money


Contact West Dorset’s SEND team:

Tel: 01308 425241

There is also a Family Information Directory helping you to access local services:

  • Starting School – Click HERE
  • SEND Support in Schools – Click HERE.
  • Moving to Secondary School – Click HERE

Read the full latest newsletter HERE.


Memories Of The White Lion

Village resident Annie Collins shared a memory today on social media of ex Landlord and Landlady of The White Lion in Broadwindsor, Dick and Pam Corbett. Another village resident, then barmaid Rita Haggett is in the background.

The photograph shows Annie celebrating winning the ladies Rosebowl Singles Table Skittles competition. Annie cannot recall the year (in the 1980’s) as she won that compeitition ten times in all!

You are invited to send your Broadwindsor pub photographs, memories and stories in via Messenger on Facebook HERE or email to:  They will be collated and published later in the year. 🙂

It prompts comments from those who remember when Broadwindsor had three pubs: The George. The Cross Keys. The White Lion.  Now we are struggling to hang onto and reopen the last remaining pub in the village – The White Lion.
You can read the latest on the White Lion HERE.

Look out for Annie on Broadwindsor’s Fun Day when she’ll be roaming the area capturing the fun of the day 🙂

Dorset Homechoice – Closed To New Applications

Without any notice from Dorset Council or our Dorset Councillor, Simon Christopher, Dorset Council’s housing register, Dorset Homechoice, is now closed to new applications. If registered, you can still bid for properties and view your feedback by logging into your account as normal.

Both Dorset Council and BCP Council are changing how properties are allocated and how people can apply for housing. From October 1st 2021, they will be introducing a new Dorset Council Home Choice website and allocations policy. This means there will be some changes to how applicants apply for social housing and some of the assessment criteria.

To view and download the Draft of their new Housing Allocations Policy 2021 – 2026 – Click HERE.

Dates of note:

  • 26th July 2021 – Existing applicants who are registered with Dorset Council were invited to apply to join the new housing list.
  • 23rd September 2021 – Last advert date for properties in West Dorset (& Weymouth & Portland, East Dorset, North Dorset or Purbeck).
  • 1st October 2021 – New applicants will be able to apply to join the new Dorset Council housing list.

Former District Councillor & Local Parish Councillor, Jacqui Sewell has already submitted an email to a Dorset Housing Officer with many questions including what will happen if a CLT tenancy comes up before then & there is no-one on the housing register who qualifies, but the CLT are aware of an individual or a family that are not yet on the register but do qualify to apply for a CLT property?  Additionally, as there is a list of 21 disabilities as per RPWD Act 2016 , it is hoped that Dorset Council consider every applicant’s needs and capabilities.

If you have concerns, please contact our current Dorset Councillor – Simon Christopher:

Address: Hawthorne Cottage, Ryall Road, Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, DT6 6RH
Home: 01297 489582
: 07798 833715


Election: Broadwindsor Group Parish Councillor – Burstock Ward

Click below for the active links shown in the document:


The Parish Clerk, Helen Cudmore may be contacted at


Go For It With The White Lion!

Village resident and local parish councillor David Leader led the Public Meeting with the majority of his Steering Group in the Comrades Hall last night concerning the future of the White Lion Pub.

David began by introducing the Steering Group, all village residents, to those present…
From left to right in the photograph:

  • Luke Pickering – Over 10yrs experience of running pubs. Currently senior management at Screwfix.
  • Chris Edgerley – Very much involved with the village shop & the Comrades Hall. “We rely on him massively for lots of the good work that takes place in our community“. Chris recently rebuilt the wall in Bernards’ Place (read more about the wall HERE).
  • David Leader – Parish councillor, retired police officer, Chairman of the Comrades Hall Committee & runs a small holiday cottage with his wife in the village. (Does an immense amount of work for this community!).
  • Susannah Newall – A director of Specsavers, Bridport. Was up until recently Chairman at Bridport Leisure Centre.
  • Fraser Hughes – Parish councillor and a key figure in establishing the village shop. Retired from a career in marketing.
  • John Heys – Also very involved with the village shop. An engineer by profession in charge of multi-million pound projects,
  • Sandra Burrows – a lifetime of running customer based businesses, a key member of the shop committee and “well versed in all things to do with finance

Four members of the group were absent:

  1. Susannah’s husband, Chris Newall.
  2. Charles Ouin – A lifetime’s experience in law as a solicitor, Charles is helping the group with legal matters.
  3. & 4. Andrew & Margery Hookings – who were not present nor acknowledged as being on the Steering Committee at the time.

David Leader explained how, approximately two months ago, he had been approached by Palmers, as a member of the Parish Council after they had failed to find tenants to replace Spike & Vikki, enquiring whether the venture of a Community Pub could be considered. The Steering Group was established to investigate all the aspects of taking this on.

Many meetings and conversations with Palmers have taken place over this time.  Their first priority was community feedback to find out what was wanted.  Fraser Hughes then delivered the statistics from the data analysis:

  • There had been a 58% return from the 356 questionnaires distributed.  This was thought a good representation for the village compared to general and local election poll turnouts and taking into account second home owners and those on holiday.
  •‘s headline of 95% say Yes! Keep Our Pub said it all – it’s more attractive to property seekers, confirmed by estate agents.
  • Attendance41% stated they’d visit the pub once a week or more; 17% stated once a fortnight or more; 35% stated occasionally.
  • The main reason for visiting the pub27% stated for food and not drink. Palmers confirmed that this was the upward trend compared with 23% going to the pub for just a drink.
  • Opening hours: 33% were happy for Thursday – Saturday opening compared with 20% who would like it open every day. Food would be preferred on Friday & Saturday evenings and Sunday lunchtime.
  • Although not included in the questionnaire, a significant amount of people had commented about including a  Tuesday night to accommodate L&F’s catering (the chippy van) business – this would be included in their plan.
  • 87% wanted a traditional pub atmosphere, 85% wanted it to be family friendly & 65% wanted a garden or outside space. 54% wanted it to be pet friendly.  The other things on offer? Some were more popular than others but it certainly wasn’t the main reason people went to the pub.
  • It was felt that the Comrades Hall met most of the requirements for the other social occasions we have.
  • What needs to change? The decor was at the top of the list, described by Fraser as “a tired, dark and dismal pub in need of change”. Improvements in the food offered was second. 18% requested Guest ales but unfortunately, Palmers will not entertain this idea whatsoever.

Fraser stated that the situation with Palmers was, if the pub wasn’t taken on, planning permission would be applied for; it would eventually be converted into accommodation on Palmers’ portfolio and lost, like so many rural pubs, forever.  To go ahead with this project, the minimum that has to be raised is £30,000*.

David Leader
then spoke of how he was cynical and wary of Palmers initially, particularly as their initial offer was totally unaffordable with a full repairing lease.   It was fair to say that Palmers had moved their position considerably.  They are confident that they have “reached an agreement ‘ in principle’, that allows the pub to survive and provide a financial working model that means that we can make it work…as a community enterprise, we don’t need to make huge profits.

David reiterated that although they had asked Palmers several times to sell the pub – this was not an option they were prepared to consider.  The Community Pub will be tied to Palmers’ beers, wines & spirits but their stocklist was far more extensive than they had realised, giving greater scope than they had been aware of. This had to be accepted for the project to move forward.

Luke Pickering then took the floor to discuss the models they had looked at. Information had been provided from Palmers and from previous landlords, Spike & Vikki.  “A hard way to make a living… but as a community model, it can work.” He proposed the pub being open Tuesday night, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
What would make us exclusive from other community pubs is that the community would be the tenant.  A salaried manager would be employed. He had completed a business plan which demonstrated that recent figures could generate enough profit to “keep it ticking over“.

David then returned stating that moving forward, there was a huge amount of work to do: there needs to be a government strategy and many legalities to be resolved before any work can take place. The village shop was a model that could be replicated in the pub with the combination of paid staff and volunteers. With the support of the community – a similar success story could take place. It would have to be used or else it would fail!  All opportunities and suggestions would be explored to try and make it the best possible place it can be.

*The £30,000 would cover essential refurbishment work, provide working capital to get it going, to do all the legal aspects and all that they are unable to do themselves.  All potential funding sources would be explored and considered, including Crowdfunder to get the project started.

The Steering Group then invited questions from the floor, responses included…

  • The Rent – involves a 3yr renewable lease. Substantial discounts have been offered by Palmers for the first two years with a lower rate than most for the third year.
  • Palmers’ take – If the project goes ahead, it starts with a very favourable deal from Palmers. Afterwards it would be approx. 8% of turnover.  Palmers began by requesting the Parish Council rent the building and take on a full repairing lease for this 300yr old listed building which was an impossible and unaffordable situation for the Parish Council to take on.
  • If the arrangement goes ahead, Palmers would be responsible for the entire building and all the services in it.  The community, as tenant would be liaible for all interior decoration. Palmers intend to decorate the exterior of the pub in September 2021.
  • Occupancy of the premises above the pub would depend on the employed manager.
  • There appeared to be a misunderstanding of the survey figures by some as the figures involved were representing households and not individuals.
  • Luke confirmed that there were not enough people in the village alone to keep the pub going…. unless we all become alcoholics! The pub has to be somewhere you want to go to.
  • Volunteers will be essential.
  • A chef would also be employed.
  • Drimpton‘s Royal Oak was given a plug and as an example of how good food can attract visitors by Drimpton resident Steve Chubb.
  • Although all want the project to succeed – what if the project should fail? – There is a 6 month Break clause in the agreement which operates both ways.
  • We have to be viable – otherwise we walk away.” – David Leader.
  • There will be a governance process that has to be worked through but they are not at that stage yet.
  • If successful – the $64 million question… When will the pub be open? A good question but not one they are in a position to answer completely at this time.  Of course they want it open as soon as – but it will take some time: the legalities; the refurbisment; the staff; the produce and more.
  • There is no point in opening the pub in its current state.
  • The living accommodation could not be rented out in its current state. Access would also pose a problem to renting it out separately.
  • History has shown that the wealthy benefactor type scenario doesn’t work in this community. What does work in this community is lots of people giving little bits of both financial help and time help – it’s certainly worked and will continue to work. ” –
  • Shareholding has been discussed and remains an option once it has been confirmed that they will proceed with the project.
  • It is estimated that the annual turnover has to reach £150,000 to make it work.

David stated that initially he was very cynical of Palmers for many reasons, their first offer being shocking. Over the past two months however, following several communications with Tenanted Trade Director of Palmers, Jim Jones, he was convinced that he was working very hard and pushing boundaries to make this project work and to get a deal for the village first and foremost.  If it can be made to work here, Palmers have many struggling rural pubs that may adopt this model.

Of note if successful – The White Lion, Broadwindsor will be the first Community Tenancy of a Pub. The White Lion was also Palmers first pub in Dorset – Definitely worth hanging on to!

All those present voted unanimously with a show of hands for the Steering Group to proceed with their negotiations with Palmers and keep the White Lion in Broadwindsor. will keep you informed of further negotiations and public meetings.

Fingers Crossed will keep you informed of further negotiations and public meetings. Not everyone has or uses the internet and/or social media – please discuss and/or share this information with your neighbour 🙂