Chairman's Blog

Some thoughts and words of wisdom from your Chairman.


Thought for the day!

Communities (and individuals) typically respond to disaster by first going through a ‘heroic phase’, full of energy and self-sacrifice. This eventually burns itself out, and is followed by a ‘disillusionment phase’, which may contain much mutual blame and suspicion. Only as the disillusionment phase loses its force can realistic, hopeful rebuilding take place

A quote from the Church newsletter written by the Dean of St Pauls.

Chairman's Annual Report to the Parish Assembly. April 18th 2019

We started the year off in May, finalising our presentation to Natural England, regarding the proposals for the route, through the Parish of the National Coastal Path, the section from Highcliffe to Calshot. Having held an information meeting, we were later able to assist some parishioners with their objectives.

The annual mention of the non-rollout of high-speed broadband, for the Parish, continues. However, further underground cabling and ducting finally commenced along the B3054 and the High Street in January and later in March.

Proposals for a road closure, to resurface the B3054 and High Street in the May Bank Holiday week, caused concerns amongst retailers and hoteliers. However, with discussions between the Parish Council and Hampshire Highways, we managed to move the works to October. Palace Lane and Lyndhurst Road took longer than anticipated due to subsidence issues with the pavement. Work in the High Street was moved to February, which was more acceptable.

I Chaired a meeting of the traders in January to discuss the January and February road and pavement closures and measures we could take to avoid a reduction in trade. Due to the good  co-operation from the HCC contractors, there were no major problems.

Traffic in Palace Lane is still causing residents concern. A speed watch group has been formed , including the participation,  from one of our Parish Councillors, in this group. The Parish Council CCTV has been used by law enforcement agencies during the year.

The July meeting of the Council was particularly well attended, by interested local residents, regarding camping at Hazel Copse. Following a frank and open presentation, by the new operators of the camping enterprise, most residents were satisfied with the plans. The Parish Council supported the granting of planning permission.

In September, following warnings about the dangerous Asian Hornet, invading the UK, it promptly turned up in our Parish at Thorns Beach and made for much reported Parish news.

Because 2018 marked 100 years since the end of World War 1, the Parish Council together with the Beaulieu Twinning Association, decided to combine with the Village School and place 109 handmade poppies in the Twinning Garden, 1 poppy for each pupil. Twenty Six of the poppies were marked with the names of the First World War Parishioner's. Another Poppy marked with the name of our twin village was taken to France, in December, and planted at their war memorial. A full Civic Reception in the Marie was given to our village representatives.

Meanwhile, back at home, in November, I laid the Wreath for Remembrance Sunday on behalf of the Parish Council.

We made application to the Common Good Trust in November for a grant of £500, to purchase the Clerk a computer and printer. This was granted and In January the clerk took delivery of same which has been professionally installed and connected to her home.

We funded a further deployment of an SLR in Palace Lane and managed to get an extra deployment from NFDC for Christmas and New Year, with the further promise of a "black box" in March.

During the Year I am grateful for the activities of Councillors, outside of our regular Council meetings. Undertaking such duties as attendance at New Forest consultative panel, NPA Quadrant meetings, going on site visits for planning applications, attending information meetings, such as the Living Waters Project presentation, helping to make 109 poppies, maintaining the Twinning Garden, risk assessing the playground and working with our grounds man, ensuring data protection regarding our CCTV, checking the defibrillator on a regular basis and raising and lowering our civic flags when the occasion arises.

Looking forward to next year, let us hope we can draw a successful conclusion to the proposed car park in Haywards Field which is anxiously awaited by some.

The general housekeeping of the Parish Council continues in an unmarked fashion. Many of the things we do, you would not notice until we stop doing them. We are a Country Parish Council , waving the pitchfork for democracy.












Chairman's Report


This year I regret to start on a sad note but we have lost two regular attendees of our meetings. One was John Beaumont, a parishioner, who died in May and was always keen to have his say during public participation.

We also lost a great friend and champion of our parish. He never tired in listening to us and was immensely helpful in helping with projects and funding. Always polite and well-mannered, he was a gentleman of distinction, prepared to go the extra mile to assists. I refer of course to Alderman Ken Thornber. I was always amazed at his energy and dedication attending a PC meeting in Beaulieu, driving directly to Beaulieu from Winchester having had a long day in chamber leading the County Council.

The ongoing battle to roll out broad band in Beaulieu continues. In June I was invited by Cllr Michael Harris to attend a meeting at NFDC to meet with BT Openreach to discuss roll out in the Forest. I did manage to engage them and to commit to the green cabinet, Beaulieu 1 going live in September and this they did. The scoping exercise for the Village was supposed to be concluded the end of March but we still await news.

The CCTV went live in May with 5 cameras two of which are for number plate recognition and 3 for street scene images. We have got a code of practice, a data controller and a widespread number of warning notices.

I am pleased that newer councillors took on some rolls outside our regular meetings. Cllr Sami Blastock joining the New Forest Consultative Panel and Cllr Mark Grindrod covering for me at NPA Quadrant Meetings.

At our July meeting the proposed details of the Coastal Path became known. Although the Parish Council is not a land owner it was felt that we should comment on the vast spreading room and that no consideration had been given to the impact of increased car parking in our community.

Car Parking in the village continues to be an unresolved problem. In May we agreed to allocate a sum of £1500 to enable a joint funding with NFDC to undertake a study of traffic flow and parking to enable some traffic control orders to be put in place. Without the provision of an alternative parking arrangement for existing vehicles the NFDC are unable to proceed at the moment due to fears of creating displacement parking.

In July we deployed a SID in Palace Lane following concerns of traffic speeds. In July I attended a Green Halo meeting in the Chamber at NFDC.

Planning. We decide not to meet in August last year in common with many other Parish Councils. This probably was a mistake for two reasons. 1 We suddenly got a bundle of applications that did require some attention but we managed to resolve these by email.2 One of the most controversial and complex applications finally got passed, in August, and that was for Thorns Beach. I felt we spent a disproportionate amount of time on this one but it was challenging.

In November I had the honour of representing the Parish at the wreath laying on Remembrance Sunday and reading out the names of the Parish fallen. We had a guest speaker at our meeting Holger Schiller, Partnership & Community Officer National Park. Developments on the Coastal Path front were discussed as  a ferry link between Buckler’s hard and Gilbury were discussed, quite an imaginative idea to negate some of the spreading room and pressure on the village of Beaulieu.

In December I attended as exofficio trustee of the Common Good Trust a disbursement meeting of grants. I have during the year maintained links with the Twinning Association by attending their meetings. December also brought a plague of rats into the village and problems of drainage 7 waste water at the village hall. At the request of the Chairman of the Village hall I attended a meeting with Beaulieu Estate who were going to undertake tests.At the December meeting our local police mentioned how useful the cctv was as it gave them another line of enquiry.Lack of progress on the parking in the village was voiced. In December I found myself in the Chamber at the NFDC for an awards ceremony.

The January meeting was enlivened by a visit of residents from Palace Lane regarding traffic issues in the lane. Following that meeting we raised the matter with the Executive Member for Environmental and Transport at HCC.At the residents Association meeting I pursued this matter with the guest speaker Dr Julian Lewis. MP.

The general housekeeping of the Parish Council continues in an unmarked fashion. Many of the things we do you would not notice until we stop doing them.

We are a country Parish Council waving the pitchfork for democracy.

Beaulieu Parish Council Annual Assembly April 20th 2017.

Chairman’s Report.

This year there has only been one change of personnel on the Parish Council.

We welcomed Sami Blastock to the Council at the end of 2016 by means of co-option enabling her to fill the casual vacancy and thus enabling us to field a full council.

In re-reading last years report to council I notice I started my report 2 years ago with optimistic remarks about the imminent roll out of high speed broadband only to add last year that the project continues to be beset with problems due to the unique and sensitive nature of the New Forest National Park. In October I therefore made a presentment at the Verderer’s Court regarding the installation of Beaulieu 1 Cabinet. The Verderer’s did not object and permission for Beaulieu1 was granted. Beaulieu 1 is now somewhere on the BT work stack, yet to be delivered. I am still trying to get clarification regarding the High Street in Beaulieu. During the year the Buckler’s Hard high speed broadband cabinet opened for business.

April saw the presentation by Councillor Steele of her updated report on parking in the village. At that Parish Council meeting Colin Read and Edward Heron were in attendance. Following that event it was decided to form a working party of councillors and representatives of Beaulieu estate, Beaulieu traders and residents. This working group met on the 4th July followed by a second in August and a third on the 15th September. Progress has been slow but so far Beaulieu estate mounted some temporary signage in the high Street regarding restricted waiting. This has proved successful. They further permitted land west of Patrick’s Patch to be gravelled for use as an off the street parking for Fairweather’s staff. We have been able to arrange for a change in our village car park. NFDC have agreed to change eleven unrestricted bays to 3 hour parking only. A further commitment has been made by Beaulieu estate for 20 spaces for residents and traders parking in Haywards field. To enable this to work the council will be looking for further short term kerbside parking in the High street. Keeping Beaulieu Village viable is very important to the Parish Council and maintaining a high turnover of parking in the High

Street, keeping it fluid rather than it going solid, will hopefully help to achieve this objective.

Not only do we want a vibrant community we want to keep Beaulieu safe. Neighbourhood watch never attracted much support from the community. Following discussion on council it was decided to consider CCTV.

In 2014 we contacted local residents about our proposals for cameras, after some objections, unfortunate events in the community gained us support. Two cameras were mounted on the North face of the Montagu Arms for a trial period. This proved unpopular with the conservation officer at the NPA and we were advised to take them down and repair the damage we had occasioned to a listed building. However due to determined efforts by Councillor Fairweather an application to grant planning permission due exceptional circumstances was submitted in December with good local support. Planning permission was granted and installation will take place on the 11th May 2017.

Other matters, speed of traffic in Palace Lane amongst other places is becoming a problem again. During January we paid for a deployment of a ‘SID’ in Palace Lane within the 30mph limit. It established of 4000 vehicles leaving the village on the B3054 only 500 were keeping to the speed limit.

We managed with partners to get the High Street cleaned for the Victorian Christmas Fair. I am grateful to those councillors who oversee and help with the three gardens and raise and lower our civic flags.

In November I had the Honour of laying the Parish Council Wreath on Remembrance Sunday. During the year I attended the NPA Quadrant meetings and some of us attended the NPA planning workshops. Several site visits were undertaken during the year by the councillors.

The general housekeeping of the Parish Council continues in an unmarked fashion. Many of the things we do you would not notice until we stop doing them.

Beaulieu Parish Council Assembly

Thursday April 21st 2016.

Chairman’s Report.

This year we experienced some changes of personnel on and around our monthly council meetings.

We said good-bye to Cllr Nick Weis and District Councillor Paul Vickers both of whom have faithfully attended our meetings. We welcomed on to the Council Mark Grindrod as a Parish Councillor. Following success in the elections we welcomed Michael Harris as the New Forest District Council representative. The Police representation to the Parish Council changed with PC Yates being replaced by PC Jason Underwood.

Last year I started out with optimistic remarks regarding the imminent delivery of high speed broadband. This project continues to be beset with problems due to the unique and sensitive nature of a national park and has yet to be rolled out. I admire the tenacity of the Hampshire county councillor and his officers in their attempts to overcome these problems.

In May I attended the 30 years celebration of the twinning with Hautvilliers in France. I delivered a speech in their town hall. This was followed by a cake cutting ceremony and champagne toasts. At this occasion Lord Montagu was made a freeman of the town.

In June I found myself in the NFDC Council Chamber before the licensing sub-committee in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the granting of a full club licence to the Cricket Club. Also in June ideas were being floated about a life buoy on the village green .Patience was beginning to run out with our resident vagrant who had been with us 3 months. PC Underwood was becoming very proactive with this matter and together with NFDC was beginning to get this matter resolved.

July brought proposed County Council proposed boundary changes and a visit from Brian Bryne from NFDC who guided us through procedures when dealing with rough sleepers and vagrants. Also at the same meeting we were addressed by Geraldine Spencer from New Forest Advice an outreach service which is a cross referral tool between 5 organisations offering a tell it once service.

At our August meeting we had invited Sharon Ellis of GIS partnership to attend. They offer an overlay mapping service which is available to Parish Councils.

Early September took me and the Vice Chair to a meeting regarding CCTV for the village with the NPA conservation officer. The officer was opposed to us mounting cameras on the Montagu Arms a listed building. A suggestion was made to mount the cameras on poles. During September 3 of us attended a NPA planning workshop. There was no regular council meeting in September.

Art the October meeting, following complaints, the problem of parking in the Village were discussed. Cllr Steele volunteered to undertake a survey and compile a report regarding this problem.

November problems in the playground were resolved and on Remembrance Sunday I had the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the Parish Council in recognition of those from the Parish who gave their lives during the two world wars. At the November meeting important changes regarding our local fire brigade were discussed and our views expressed to the senior management of that organisation.

In December after a leaflet campaign we managed to clear the High Street of parked vehicles for operation “ Road Sweep “ and I am grateful to Nigel Collins and his team at NFDC for undertaking this project. Discussion at this meeting took place regarding the proposed English Coastal Path.

In January we managed to hit the streets again with a clean sweep and Hampshire County Council undertook drain clearance in the High Street.

In February I attended the NPA Quadrant Meeting which I do routinely throughout the year. At our February meeting we ran an information meeting regarding the ECP which was well attended by residents and a team of 3 officers was fielded by English Nature. After a presentation questions were invited. There appeared to be concern about people roaming from the proposed national trail and the lack of car parking that would be required to meet the demand these proposed coastal paths may attract .Further concern was expressed about trail maintenance. After this item on the agenda was concluded discussion turned to provision of a bench in the courtyard of the village hall.

In March I attended the NFDC/NPA healthy Walking talk day at Lyndhurst. The following day a meeting with our County Councillor, two of us from the Parish Council and Lord Montagu met to discuss parking issues in the Village. I am grateful to Cllr Knight who attended the FC enclosures meeting on that same day.

The general housekeeping of the Parish continues in an unmarked fashion. Many things we do you would not notice until we stop doing it !