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News and Changes

June 13

News -
The next Highcliffe Beach Clean is on Sunday June 24, meeting at 10:30am at Groyne H5, which is about halfway between the Cliffhanger and the (still closed) ZigZag.
More details on the group Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/events/2215693425333946/


While on the subject of beach cleaning. A group of managers from Co-Op stores in the area got together on Sunday and did their own clean up of Highcliffe Beach, and collected about 15 bags of rubbish and plastic.
Well done to them for a sterling effort.
(Click picture for bigger version)


Good news about the Zig Zag Path at Highcliffe Castle.
You may have seen the front page article in this weeks Christchurch Times about the Planning Application submitted by Christchurch Council to rebuild the zig-zag path.
The ‘Residents Group’, who have been working tirelessly with the Council to bring about the rebuilding of the path, are pleased to see the Application now submitted and would ask Highcliffe residents to likewise support the Application by putting up an affirming comment against the Planning Application on the Christchurch Planning web site.
The Application reference is 8/18/1215/FUL.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=110823

Alternatively ‘drop a line’ to ‘The Planning Department, Christchurch Borough Council, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Christchurch, BH23 1AZ’ quoting the Application reference number.


Changes - What's On page updated

June 11

News -
The now annual beach replenishment work at Friars Cliff and Avon beach, which starts today, is supposed to be complete by Friday 29 June.
As usual, they have waited until the sun is shining and people want to use the beaches before starting work.


Changes -

June 8

News -
I'm pleased to say that the proposal to cut down the 62 trees along the A35/Hoburne Farm border has been rejected by planning authorities at CBC. The trees all have preservation orders on them anyway, but there were 74 letters of objection which would have helped the decision enormously. Well done everyone who made the effort.

It's definitely one in the eye for a large company thinking they can act with impunity, with no consideration for public opinion, and also for those with what I call "church bells syndrome", people who move somewhere and then try to get everything changed to suit themselves.

To see the ruling in detail, go here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=110714



Changes -

June 6

News -
On May 11 we mentioned that the Jesmond Avenue proposed building development was causing anger among locals, especially regarding the high hoardings around the site.
Quite rightly, as the developers were making claims that were at best confusing, at worst untrue.
One resident was writing to MP Chris Chope about the situation.

We're not sure if that was the catalyst, but a new planning application has been received by CBC, retrospectively seeking permission for the hoardings, and I recomend all interested parties take a look quickly, as you only have until June 13 to make comments.

See the plans here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/(X(1)S(2tjdpccjgqqybfkxztfd1xiv))/plandisp.aspx?recno=110680

Some residents have already sent objections, including the one below, which may help others compose their own comments.
(Also remember that if couples both object separately, it counts as two objections, not one.)
Jesmond Avenue Hoardings


With reference to the development of Pine Beach in Southcliffe Road.
I can confirm that the work about to start is as passed by CBC in 2016. The developers are sending me the CGI when it is complete (very soon I'm told) so we can see what it's going to look like.


Changes -

June 5

News -
I'm not sure how none of us spotted this before, but one of the oldest houses in Highcliffe is to be demolished.
The Old Hoy, the thatched cottage just along from Castle Lodge B&B, and it's neighbouring property (167 and 169 Lymington Road) are to be demolished and replaced with seventeen flats (yup! 17 to replace two houses).
Plans were passed a while ago, with comments closed on 26 March.

See the plans here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/(X(1)S(2tjdpccjgqqybfkxztfd1xiv))/plandisp.aspx?recno=109600


You may remember the saga of planning applications relating to the old care home at Pine Beach, in Southcliffe Road. Permission was granted in 2016 for demolition and building of 10 apartments. Developers then got greedy and reapplied for an even bigger building. This was refused at every level last year.
Now signs have appeared by a development company called Jacksons to say that work on new apartments is starting soon.
I've searched the planning website but there's no further information about work. The guess is that the building will be as permitted in 2016, as there is no new application since the amended refused plan of 2017.
If anyone knows for sure, please email.


Dorset Police are asking for volunteers to knit teddy bears for children in distress.
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page below.

Changes - What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page


June 1

News -
Here's a date for your diaries.
The Planning meeting to decide on the Hoburne proposal to chop down the trees along their A35 border (as previously discussed) takes place on Thursday, June 21 at 6:00pm.
As many people as possible need to be there to ensure committee members are in no doubt as to public opinion on the matter.

Reference the Highcliffe Tandoori.
The estate agent sign in the window describes it as a "Development Opportunity" so the suspicions many had about another demolition and building of flats would seem a likely outcome.

Changes -

May 31

News -
First some good news. Back in November, we mentioned a joint planning application by The Christchurch Life Saving Club and The Beach Hut Cafe. I'm pleased to say that the plans have finally been passed, and improvements to the popular club, and to the busy cafe can now go ahead. The cafe (Best Breakfast Award for the whole BH area) wanted to complete the work last Winter before the area got busy with visitors, but CBC was extremely tardy as usual, so now they must plan the work carefully, probably not starting until September at the earliest.
Interestingly, I heard today that the owner of the cafe phoned the Christchurch Council a couple of weeks ago to see if any progress was being made on the application. The response was that they were waiting for approval from the cafe's landlords.
Guess who the landlords are! When it comes to CBC, you really couldn't make it up.

Details of the work can be found here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=108717


Not such good news is that two cars were broken into last night in Gordon Road, and considerable damage was caused as the crooks tried to start the cars using drill bits (don't ask me - I have no idea about such things).
It appears that the culprits were also drinking heavily, as numerous beer bottles were strewn about.


Another theft, happily foiled this time, took place on a train at New Milton.
A local resident was with his family returning to Hinton from Ashurst, after a cycling trip in the Forest. His cycle had to be stored away from the rest, and on returning to his family, he noticed a scruffy, shirtless youth, who aroused some suspicions.
The next time he saw the youth, he was riding along New Milton platform on our resident's bike. Luckily the train was still stationary, and the thief was chased down, and with the help of the guard, the bike was recovered.
After issuing threats the yob casually strolled out of the station.
What made it easy for him was that apparently you are not allowed to lock your bike when transporting it on a train.
So if you are in this situation, I would suggest you stay in sight of your bike if at all possible.


On May 11, we had a story about the Jesmond Avenue planning application, and asking what "temporary" means with regard to the fencing, and how the developers are calling it a "development site" despite no permissions being granted.
I'm pleased to say that it appears that our MP is getting involved, so watch this space.

Changes - What's On page updated

May 28

News -
McColl’s in Somerford Road was robbed at knifepoint early last Thursday morning. Cash was grabbed and the thief ran off. So far noone has been apprehended as far as I know.

Highcliffe Beach, Friars Cliff Beach, and Avon Beach are all Seaside Award 2018 winners. The Awards are judged and presented by the charity Keep Britain Tidy, and recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and water quality.

There's several scam reports come in, including one aimed at TSB customers, which is widespread.
See the Neighbourhood Alert page for details.

On May 15 I mentioned the car park behind shops off of Stanley Road, and a spate of No Parking signs that had appeared.
It's getting silly now, and one resident is thinking about contacting the Guinness World Records people - how many signs can you get in such a small area?

Another resident is getting very frustrated with CBC, and with Gary Foyle (Community and Recreation Team Manager) in particular.
She first pointed out an error on the council website last year, about where dogs are allowed on Highcliffe beach, but got no response. This year she has tried again as the error has not been corrected, and as yet has not received as answer this year either.
The problem is that there is a discrepancy between the website text and the interactive map, so it needs clarifying which is correct, especially as the enforcement officers are so keen on doshing out fines to anyone they consider breaking the rules.

The Local organisations page is temporarily off-line until it complies with the new EU GDPR regulations regarding personal information.


Changes - What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page

May 22

News -
Last Sunday's beach clean at Friars Cliff had an amazing number of volunteers attend.
90 people turned up, including 16 first timers, and a huge amount of rubbish was collected, and taken away for analysis.
The next clean will be on 15 July at 09.30 (note the earlier start). Although there will be one before that at Highcliffe.
(The date for that has not yet been announced.)

The new laws about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will affect this site, at least in the short term.
Everyone who has their contact information listed has to give permission, so the Local Organisations page will probably be taken off line for a while, along with various other pages, until I can get those permissions.
Organisations that have their websites listed are not affected, and their links will remain available.

Changes - What's On page updated

May 16

News -
Here's an interesting one. Despite yesterday's BBC news item about a huge decrease in the numbers of UK wild rabbits, the population around the green at Friars Cliff (between Medina Way and the beach huts) is rocketing.
The problem with this is that rabbit holes/diggings are appearing all over the place, quite often hidden in the longish grass.
I know of at least one broken leg caused to a lady who stepped into a near invisible hole in the grass, although there may well be other injuries we don't know about.
I only only surmise that all the rabbits missing from other areas have moved here for the Summer.


Changes - What's On page updated

May 15

News -
The dorsetforyou.gov.uk website, which of course included Christchurch Borough Council, has been completely rebuilt.
This means that all the links on this site to parts of dorsetforyou have had to be changed.
I think I've got them all, but if you spot any links not working, please email me.

Sunday's Highcliffe Beach litter pick was a great success. What I hadn't realised was that there were 30 free parking permits available (on a first come/first served basis).
Don't forget that this coming Sunday sees another beach clean, this one at the more established Friars Cliff location.
10:30am start as usual, meeting at the Wave Wall.

A little more on the Highcliffe Tandoori story. Apparently all fixtures and fittings were removed last Friday.
As it was 11:00pm, someone called the Police, but it seems that it was being done legally.

Here's an interesting situation. Parking restriction signs have appeared in the private parking area off of Stanley Road. Apparently a woman representing the company which has leased the old Nat West Bank building understands that her company owns the whole of the car park.
I can imagine that there may be some conflict brewing, as her opinion is being questioned.

You will have noticed that coloured flags and pennants have started to appear in the village, notably near Sea Corner. Royal Wedding preparations?


Changes -

Various links amended to relect new Council website.

May 11

News -
URGENT - My mistake, but we only have a week to object to the removal of the trees along the A35.
The longer eight week period is when the planners have to make their decision by. So get those objections in as soon as you can.

Here is a copy of the notice being distributed locally, in which it is suggested that we also lobby all Highcliffe councillors. It is a suggestion I certainly agree with. Please do it now.
A35 Trees Notice


It seems there are some inconsiderate and selfish dog owners around the village centre.
Apparently, some nice person is picking up their dog poo in Lymington Road, but leaving the bags in the BreadHeadz doorway. Nice! (Especially as they probably walk past a bin to do so.)
At least one other person is not picking up at all, leaving the mess to be walked in by others. Also nice!
It might not be a bad idea to use the CCTV cameras to spot them, andmaybe displaying their photos in the street.


Some interesting questions have been asked about the proposed building development at the Jesmond Avenue site, which seems to be giving CBC some problems when it comes to actually making a decision. Two years on now, and still nothing decided.
Here's the questions/comments I've seen:
----------------
The Jesmond Ave application dragged on for ages before rightly being rejected.

However the hoarding that has been erected had a retrospective application (8/16/0080) made in March 2016 for ‘temporary’ hoarding around development site. The application was never approved & subsequently withdrawn.
Firstly, it is not a development site as it does not have permission to be developed.
Secondly, what does ‘temporary’ mean over two years on?

Lastly, when will CBC take enforcement action to remove the hoardings that have been erected illegally?

Maybe our newly ennobled MP might like to take more of an interest in local proceedings……..
-----------------

Changes -


May 10

News -
As expected, Hoburne have applied to chop down the lovely trees along the A35. (See News on April 18 and 12 for the story.)

Using Treecall Consulting Ltd from Poole to do the dirty deed for them, the application is 8/18/1104/TTPO.
To see the precise application go to
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=110714

However, I strongly suggest that you email
treeteam@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk
making your comments for the attention of Carolyn McPhie (the case officer) and quoting the application number above.
Unbelievably, the application was entered on May1, and the planning website already says that comments have closed, but I'm told that comments can still be made to the above email address.

It is an outrageous situation! First we had to find the less than publicised application, then CBC decided that the public should only have a few days in which to make comment.
Sounds to me like another example of trying to get an application through without the public having the chance to
make their feeling known. Luckily, some tenacious residents discovered that we still have a few weeks to make opinions known by using the above email process.


If you want to see the proposals for the redevelopment of the old Christchurch Police Station, you can see them at the Kings Arms Pavilion on Tuesday May 15, from 11:30am until 8:00pm.

Changes - What's On page updated

May 4

News -
A couple of enterprising residents have written to Yellow Buses, asking if they would consider running a
circular bus service from Highcliffe to Sainsbury's, where people could then get a bus to Christchurch
and Bournemouth, and thus shop at the Meteor Park without having to go to Purewell Cross and change
buses.
What would be an extremely useful service will be even more popular, with the big increase in building
going on in the area.

I add the reply they received in full below. To encourage the powers that be to actually do something, we
should all follow the advice given and contact Councillor Geary (CBC's Champion for Transport). His email
address is linked in the text.
Contacting other local politicians probably not go amiss either. (See Local Politicians page.)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear .... – thank you for your letter regarding buses to Highcliffe. I have been asked to respond to you
on behalf of the Managing Director, David Squire.

We have considered whether we can serve the Highcliffe and New Milton area with our services that
terminate at Somerford Sainsburys. Unfortunately, it is likely that the most usage will come from
concessionary fare holders for whom we get paid very little. As a result we need some sort of kick
start pump prime funding. We believe that we could provide an hourly service with one bus, but in
order to set it up we need around £200,000 that we would spread over 3 years to cover the cost
as the revenue builds up.

As you quite rightly point out there are developments happening all the time around the Highcliffe
area, but what needs to happen is that funding in the form of planning gain needs to be allocated
to public transport when the application for the development is granted.

I have written to every Councillor on the Planning Committee asking for this to happen and also a
Councillor Geary whom is also the Champion for Transport in the Borough. His email address is 'cllr.ngeary@christchurch.gov.uk'.
Can I ask that you also email him and get anyone else that you know to do the same and ask
him to ensure that public transport is considered between now and whether the Council stops
being the planning authority and that the funding is placed in a pot for public transport improvements
in Christchurch?

Together with the council we can then look to create a route similar to that you suggest.
The route could be part of the legacy the council leaves to its residents.

We are happy to try something, but we need to secure the funding to do something first.

Many thanks,

Simon Newport

Head of Commercial
Yellow Buses
Yeomans Way
Bournemouth
BH8 0BQ

www.bybus.co.uk
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm pleased to say that as previously reported, a new team has been created to conduct beach cleans at Highcliffe, to extend the events already taking place at Friars Cliff on a regular basis. Chloé has taken on the task of leading the team.
Below is the announcement of the first meet.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm delighted to announce that the first Highcliffe Beach Clean will take place on Sunday 13th May at 10:30am. The meeting point is Groyne H5 - about half way between the Cliffhanger Café and the Zig Zag at Highcliffe Castle (this route to the beach is currently closed!). Chloé will be leading the clean along with the help of Graham and Amelia.

Chloe has created an event on Facebook called 'Highcliffe Beach Clean'. Please share amongst your social media platforms if possible.

Thanks

Chloé Walker-Panse- Highcliffe Beach Clean Group Leader

Email: highcliffebeachclean@gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

One more piece of follow up news, about the Highcliffe Tandoori.
I've been told that that the landlord would not renew the lease because the building has serious structural
damage, and the building is now completely empty. There are Solicitors letters from the owner in the window
basically warning anyone to not enter the property, or face possible prosecution. Some items from the
Tandoori have been removed without permission.
Also, as previously mentioned, people have been spotted in recent weeks with surveying equipment taking measurements. Groups of "suits" have also been noted studying the outside of the building.


Neighbourhood Alert page reports theft of anchors.

Changes -
What's On page updated
Community links page amended
(Highcliffe Beach Clean added)
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
May 2

News -
For any of you with investments of any kind, you may be interested in a new website added to Useful Links page.
Commodity.com advises on everything from how to spot investment scams, to how to choose a broker, to info about crypto-currency.

Yet another scam reported on the Neighbourhood Alert page. This one is a Facebook page that states that Dorset Police are advising middle aged women to carry a new safety device. It's a complete lie of course.

Some changes to the St Mark's Church information. These's a few changes to the Church services details, and the new Churchwarden is Mrs Sue Lyonette, who takes over from the long serving Tony Parkinson.
There's also Breakfast every Sunday at 9:00am.

Highcliffe Rotary would like to point out that they now meet at Highcliffe Golf Club, rather than at Hoburne.
They would also like to make a plea for helpers at the Annual Village Fete (on Saturday July 28).
There is a concern that with the Rotary's ever aging membership, the popular event may not be able to be held in future years.
It sounds to me that there is also a need for new (and slightly younger maybe) members for this organisation that does so much good work for the community.


Changes - What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page updated

St Mark's Church page updated

May 1

News -
There's a planning application in for a stretch of Lymington Road. It involves the buildings from the currently empty 375 (the old Bay Tree Letting Agency) to the also empty 359 (the old Barclays Bank).
It involves demolition, the building of flats and houses, and changes of use.
There are obviously businesses operating there (HP Music, New Image Hair Design, and Izit Design (on the first floor). I currently don't know how these plans affect those, but it's impossible to see they won't be facing major upheaval. I'll try to find out.
Take a look at 8/18/0619 FUL at

http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=110229&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

An empty shop is soon to be occupied. The old Full Of Beans premises at 337 Lymington Road is to host The Tile Emporium, an established business from Ringwood.

Still in Lymington Road. The Highcliffe Tandoori Indian Bar and Grill is now shut, and the premises appear to have been taken over by the landlords. Sounds like a story, so if anyone knows more, please email.


STILL in Lymington Road. Following a litter pick along the Golf Club to Hoburne Roundabout stretch by a member of Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs Interest Group, when a total of 8 sacksof rubbish and 2 car wheel trims had to be taken to the Recycle Centre, the Council's Community and Recreational Team Leader (Gary Foyle) was contacted, and asked that when he next gives a talk at Highcliffe School, it would be an opportunity to ‘put in a word’ about protecting the environment, as it's clear that students are regularly throwing away sweet wrappers, crisp packets, and cartons as they go home. Ever hopeful, but you never know.


Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
Accommodation page updated


April 27

News -
Here's something most would never have epected to see. Highcliffe Medical Centre is to open seven days a week.
Highcliffe, The Stour Surgery, and the recently-merged Christchurch Medical Centre, have already received provisional backing from health chiefs for the move, which will see them operate on a rota basis, taking on each others patients at weekends.
Dr Ravin Ramtohal, from the Highcliffe Medical Centre, said: “We are staffing it with our own GPs, no locums, and our own nurses - everyone is keen. It will be a local service for local patients.
Full story on the Echo website:
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/16182084.GPs_to_work_seven_days_a_week__
including_Bank_Holiday__to_cope_with_demand/?ref=eb


I have a report of another telephone scam. It purports to be from BT, and says that ypur BT internet has been subject to multiple attacks, and that you should press 1 on your keypad.
It's a scam so don't! Thanks to Gerry for pointing this one out.

A new self catering holiday business has been added. White Havens is in Stanley Road.

See the Neighbourhood Alert page for a couple of new alerts, including the latest Dorset Road Safe Newsletter.



Please note that there will be no updates for a few days. Keep the info coming in though. Normal service will be resumed next week.


Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
Accommodation page updated


April 23

News -
Fantastic turnout at yesterday's Beach Clean at Friars Cliff. An amazing 110 people turned up, including 46 who were there for the first time. Hopefully, the next one on Sunday 20 May will be just as successful.

Incidentally, the plan to create a Highcliffe specific group is coming to fruition. It is hoped the first event will be in May, and date(s) are to follow. The team will be led by Chloe Walker-Panse.


The latest Neighbourhood Alert offering gives dire warnings for anyone tempted to buy Football World Cup tickets from non authorised sources. Unsurprisingly, the scammers are out in force just waiting to fleece anyone trying to get tickets on the cheap.
The Alert also has information about a new Dorset Police initiative, whereby they are recruiting 31 Police Community Support Investigators (PCSIs) to better meet the demands of modern policing.
Most of these will be recruited from existing Support Officers (PCSOs). It's quite an interesting read.

The White House B&B in Lymington Road is now closed for business. Landlady Ann decided it was time to retire, so her and her husband will now have time to follow their other interests.


Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
Accommodation page updated


April 18

News -
The Highcliffe Food Festival has a new website, which replaces the old one ( highclifferevivalfoodfestival.co.uk ) which no longer works. The new one is:
https://www.highcliffefoodfestival.co.uk/ and it is full of information about this year's festival, which is on the weekend of 2-3 June.

Last week I mentioned the large fir trees along the A35 bordering the Hoburne Farm Estate, which residents in the newly built houses want chopping down. You may remember that they are complaining that the trees block their light, and make a mess when they shed pine needles. You may also remember that some people (me included) think that, as the trees have been there a lot longer that the new houses, purchasers probably should have considered the trees before buying.

It now turns out that there is more to this story.
It appears that the residents in question had a meeting with a Hoburne representative last week to discuss their desire to have the trees removed.
They were told that Hoburne will remove the trees and take care of the necessary planning, but only if each house pays £8,000.
Hoburne also offered to gift each of these houses the land behind their houses, up to the Council Boundary Line, which would make their gardens considerably bigger. This land currently contains these pine trees.
The residents are feeling agrieved, as prior to the meeting they believe that they had been told that Hoburne would be paying all costs for the trees to be removed.

I would just like to point out to everyone involved, the people clamouring to get rid of the trees, Hoburne Estates, and the other residents who want the trees to stay right where they are, that these trees are are all protected by Tree Preservation Orders, and to date, no application has been made to do anything to them, let alone chop them down.
So the builders were completely out of order telling people that they would remove them at all, much less for the price quoted.
It might be time to contact your councillors to ensure they know what discussions are taking place.
(See Local Politicians page.)



Changes - What's On page updated

Community links page updated
April 13

News -
There's been a couple of questions wondering what happened to the previous Minister at Highcliffe Methodist Church, Reverend David Hollingsworth).
It seems David has had a year as a pioneer minister working in the community. He has had a stall on Christchurch market each Monday, and has been also working in local schools.
He is to leave our area in August, and is to work in a Methodist centre in East London.

Talking of the Methodist Church, the April/May Newsletter is now available. Here is a copy.
Methodist Church Newsletter

A reminder. As part of The Great Dorset Beach Clean on the weekend of 21-22 April, there is a beach clean at Friars Cliff on Sunday 22, meeting at 10:30am at the Steamer Point Wave Wall as usual. You can see all the weekend's events below. (Details also on the What's On page.)
http://www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk/litter-free-coast-and-sea-week/


Changes -

April 12

News -
I hear that the developers at the Hoburne Farm Estate are in discussion with CBC, proposing that the conifers along their A35 boundary be felled. Their reasoning is that they are a danger to the new properties which have been built on the outer edge of the estate, and are claiming insurance issues, as the trees are too close to the houses.
I also hear that similar views are being put forward by residents in the newly built Larkspur Close, and the like, bemoaning the lack of light, and the mess caused by falling pine needles.

It's probably just me, but as the trees have been there for generations, and the properties have only just been built, should the location of the trees not have been taken into consideration before they attempted to squeeze as many houses into the space as possible?
Also, when purchasing a new house, should prospective buyers not take into consideration the fact that very large trees are just outside the boundary fence, and might well affect light levels, and also deposit (in this case) lots of pine needles in their gardens.

Luckily, all of the trees are protected by Preservation Orders, and so far at least, I can find no trace of any applications on the CBC planning page relating to them.

Nor can I yet see any revised plans for the ludicrous Jesmond Avenue scheme, which was rejected out of hand by planners. (8/17/0763/OUT) See below for the many reasons for that rejection.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=106735

Another one you might want to keep an eye on the the plan to demolish 167 and 169 Lymington Road and build 17 flats. This is currently under consideration. (8/17/3637/RM)
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=109600


Changes -

April 10

News -
Scammers are still at it. Someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement phones up, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription. Presumably mainly aimed at businesses, it's worth knowing these things are going on.
See the Neighbourhood Alert page (link below) for details. There are also a couple of really useful links included at the end of the report, including one giving advice about cyber security.

Changes to the Methodist Church page, including - finally - details of Minister David Ellis (who took over some months ago from Rev David Hollingsworth).
There is no longer a Focus Mens' Supper Club, and there is a new Womens' Fellowship contact.


Changes - What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page updated

April 5

News -
Sadly, I've been told that a house in Carisbrooke Way was broken into while the residents were away for a few days.
Entry was gained by smashing conservatory windows and a casement door.
Apparently, the crooks didn't make too much mess, and seem to be looking for jewellery.
(Probably more details available when it appears in the next Neighbourhood Alert offering.)

These criminals are very adept at knowing when houses are unoccupied. Make sure you do everything possible to make it less obvious when you are away, and make sure your near neighbours are on the lookout.



Changes -


April 4

News -
We are privileged to have the following information, provided by the Castle Heritage Team for us.
It summarises what has been happening over the Winter, and provides information about how to keep up with the ongoing work.
Highcliffe Castle Heritage Centre

Also, with this year's Food Festival rapidly approaching, the organisers have produced the following two releases to keep us all informed about what treats we have in store. Interesting reading.
Food Fest Information 1

Food Fest Information 2


Changes -
What's On page updated

April 3

News -
I hope everyone survived the spate of April Fool pranks. (I was fooled by the Eddie Izzard story, which turned out to be true!

The dead Christmas trees in Lymington Road are still in place, despite residents and businesses pleading with CBC to remove them.
It has been pointed out that visitors are starting to turn up now, and are less than impressed to see things like this:
(You'll need to click the pic to get a better view)


Changes -
What's On page updated

March 24

News -
There are aggressive door step sellers moving our way. They have been moving East across East Dorset and Bournemouth, and apparently have been quite abusive when people don't buy.
The latest Neighbourhood Alert update tells you how to deal with them. (See link below.)



Changes -

Neighbourhood Alert page updated

March 23

News -
Christchurch Housing Association have applied for planning permission to build nine (two bedroom) flats on land at Greystones in Waterford Road.
The application is 8/18/0119/OUT and the details can be viewed here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=109728

Christchurch Borough Council has been asked, as a matter of some urgency, to remove the dead Christmas trees that are still being displayed along Lymington Road.
It will be interesting to see how quickly they respond, if at all.

An elderly lady has been robbed of £38000 by crooks using a telephone scam.
We must all try to ensure that elderly or vunerable people we know check with someone they trust before giving out information. Details of this incident on the Alert page (link below).

Changes -
What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page updated

March 21

News -
There's still time to order your Spring/Summer plants from Highcliffe Scouts.
They have been selling high quality plants annually for years now (supplied by The Dorset Plant Company) - all at very competitive prices, and with free delivery.
Go to their website for all the details. (You can order and pay on the site as well.)
www.highcliffe.christchurchscouts.org.uk


Changes -


March 20

News -
Highcliffe Castle reopened on schedule last Saturday, following the closure for renovation work (and for the normal Winter break).
The main heritage centre is now open Sunday to Friday, from 10.30am until - 5pm (last admission 4.30pm).
Saturday opening is variable, and depends on weddings. Keep an eye on the website for Saturday times.
www.highcliffecastle.co.uk

Tours are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. They are limited to parties of 16, so booking is advised.
They cost £5.95 or £3.95 for season ticket holders, entry to the Castle included.

Restoration work will continue until Spring 2019, but as part of the Heritage Lottery Funding works, the new gift shop has now opened.


Only just announced, a burglary has taken place in Nada Road. It happened between last Thursday and yesterday, while the property was empty, with the a rear dor being forced. Some jewellery was stolen.


This Sunday sees the annual Palm Sunday Procession, starting at St Mark's Church at 10am.
The same evening they are showing the original film of Jesus Christ Superstar, starting at 6:30pm.
Visit their website to see their full Easter program - communion, craft workshops, music and much more.
www.stmarkshighcliffe.org.uk

Changes -
What's On page updated

Neighbourhood Alert page updated

March 19

News -
Yet more snow. But someone has made the most of it. This beauty was spotted outside of Morton Court in Waterford Road. (Thanks to the good people who sent the photo.)
(Click picture for bigger version)

Anyone interested in the work being done at Lakewood, and the next restoration projects planned, can hear all about it
at a meeting on Wednesday April 4, at 7:00pm. Although billed as the group's AGM, the meeting is open to all interested parties. Find out more at:
https://www.facebook.com/Lakewood-restoration-136753646532864/


Changes -
What's On page updated

March 16

News -
On February 20 I said that The Beach Hut Cafe and The Paddle were both in the final five in the Bournemouth and Poole Tourist Associations competition for the Best Breakfast Award in the whole BH area - an amazing achievement for both.
The BH is a huge area, running from the Purbecks (including Wareham and Swanage) to New Milton, and then beyond Verwood to the North) so containing a massive number of candidates.

I'm amost loath to say (as it is already very popular and sometimes difficult to get a seat) that following secret visits by judges, The Beach Hut was voted the winner at last night's award ceremony at The Lighthouse in Poole.

Seriously, many many congratulations to the team at the cafe. They deserve it. Not only for the food and service, but for their huge fund raising efforts on behalf of Macmillan Caring Locally.

Here's a picture of the actual award ceremony, plus some of the team dressed in their finery, and the Award itself.
(Click pictures for bigger version)


Good traffic news. The traffic lights in Lymington Road outside the old Post Office building site have gone.

Telephone scammers are at it again. The latest scam involves people pretending to be from well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.
All complete noncense of course.
Details on the latest Neighbourhood Alert report (link below).

Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

March 13

News -
There's a new website relating to road safety.
I quote from the announcement:

Dorset Road Safe brings together the police, fire service, health and local authorities to work in partnership to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads through education, enforcement and engineering.

Members of the public can also contribute by reporting areas of concern, including dangerous or speeding driving.
Locations of mobile speed cameras will also be shared.
The site is:
http://www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk/


Changes -
What's On page updated


March 8

News -
Correction to the article about the theft of building materials. Ittook place at Greenways, not Greystones.
The warning is still the same though.

Chewton Bespoke Homes, that I added to the Builders business listings yesterday, also offer a complete design service as well (and having looked at their website, some of their designs are stunning).
Therefore I have added them to the Architectural services page as well.

Changes -


March 7

News -
I've heard from a builder doing work at Greystones that when they had to leave the site during the extreme weather last week, having locked up everything before they left, they returned to discover a garage had been broken into, and equipment, including a brand new whacker plate, had been stolen.
It is believed that the thieves broke into the rear or the garage being used for storage at about 8:00pm on Thursday evening, and used a white Transit van to remove the stolen goods.
The victims want to warn all local tradesmen, and anyone having work done, that thieves are active in the area.

Later in the month (Saturday 24 and Sunday 25) Highcliffe Castle is the scene of an Americal Civil War re-enactment.
The days events run from 10am until 5pm, but the times of the actual battles is still to be announced.

There are lots of events planned for the Castle over coming weeks and months, so it's well worth keeping an eye on their website.
http://www.highcliffecastle.co.uk/

With all the work being done by Virgin contractors in the area, there have been a lot of complaints about the ruination of grass verges that have not been repaired and left a complete mess.
Councillor Lesley Dedman would like to hear about any complaints on this subject. She has been dealing with Virgin on the matter, with a level of success, so if you have a issue please contact Lesley.
See the Local Politicians page for contact details:


Changes -
What's On page updated
Chewton Bespoke Homes added to the Local Builders page

March 6

News -
It's National Pie Week!
The only local place I know that's celebrating this is The Amberwood in Walkford.
Here is their poster with all the details.
The Amberwood - National Pie Week

Reference Bentley's Barber Shop mentioned yesterday.
The owner is Francis, who is a Highcliffe resident, and for twenty years had a hairdressing business in what is now the Thai Massage salon.
Francis only left in 2011 when the lease expired, and the building was gutted and renovated. He is now back in Highcliffe, and offering haircuts for only £6.50 at present.
It's good to see a local filling a previously empty shop.

I hear rumours that someone is moving into the old bank building at 372 Lymington Road (next to Flowers by Design).
If anyone gets any concrete information, please let me know.


Changes -
What's On page updated


March 5

News -
The temporary lights in Lymington Road (the new ones at the building site where the Post Office used to be) are causing long delays in both directions.
The works that have moved up and down Lymington Road over the past weeks have finally gone, but I guess "they" think we can't live without sitting in our vehicles waiting for a green light, so some more would be in order.
Some would say it's about as exciting as life gets in Highcliffe in Winter. Creates a bit of pollution, and gives us something to moan about.

The old Fire and Ice cafe at 348 Lymington Road has a new occupant.
Bentley's Barber Shop is now open. That's all I know at present, as it had a "Back in 5 minutes" sign on the door when I visited, but I didn't wait.

The latest Christchurch Residents Newsletter is available. See below:
https://mailchi.mp/dorset/christchurch-residents-e-newsletter


Changes -
What's On page updated
Business listings and village plan have the new barber added

March 1

News -
There was a burglary in Hinton Wood Avenue last night, a bit North of Holmhurst Avenue. It took place between 7:00 and 11:00pm.
Details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.

Talking of which, you can see the latest Watch newsletter below. It's well worth a read.
Our Watch Newsletter, February-March 2018


Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
On the Dentists business listings, Hoburne Dental have a smart new advert

Feb 27

News -
There's several litter picks in the area over the coming weekend, organised by Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, rather than the normal beach cleans we are used to).
The one at Highcliffe Beach on Friday is hosted by Highcliffe Rotary. All bags, pickers, and gloves are provide.
Below are the details:
---------------------------
Friday 2 March 10am-12pm
Highcliffe Beach Clean (meet at the Cliffhanger- hosted by the Rotary Club)

Saturday 3 March 10am-12pm
Mudeford Quay- meet in the car park

Saturday 3 March 10am-12pm
Stanpit Recreation Ground- meet in the car park

Saturday 3 March 1-3pm
Christchurch Quay- meet near the Bandstand.
-----------------------------

I notice that shop fitters are in the old bike shop in Waterford Road. Does anyone know what or who is planning to move in?

Changes -
What's On page updated

Feb 21

News -
Some seriously great news! We're getting the Zig Zag Path back!
Below is the press release from the team that have worked so hard, and fought CBC tooth and nail to make them see sense.
----------------------------
‘Fantastic news, Council Members, at the Full Council meeting yesterday evening approved additional funding of £239,500 to allow the rebuild project to proceed. This sum does include sizable contingencies which are unlikely to be required.

The Residents Group (Bob Hutchings, Nigel Brooks, Ian Nichols, Angus McMillan and Andy Rogers) worked tirelessly with the ‘Task and Finish Group’ (comprising Members and Officers) to bring about this successful outcome.

If you were able to sign the Petition back in October or have come along to support the campaign at Council meetings (or worn the Zig-Zag badge!) you are warmly invited on FRIDAY morning around 10.30AM to come to the Highcliffe Castle, Castle Kitchen where Bob and Nigel would like to buy you a nice cup of coffee (with a cake) to celebrate our success.

There’s lots more to do before the path finally re-opens but at least we’re now underway and we can chat to you about how we hope to move forward in the coming months’.
-----------------------------------------

More good work being done by local people comes from the team at Highcliffe Hawks Football Club.
They already spend a huge amount of time and effort to support youngsters' football teams, and now they are trying to raise money to install a defibrillator at Wingfileds Recreation Ground in Smugglers Lane North.
This will benefit anyone who uses the area, both locals or for sports.
As part of this effort, Kevin Adams (one of the coaches) is taking part in the Bournemouth Bay Run to help raise funds.
You can help Kevin by going to his Just Giving page:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kevin-adams-3

(Until the aim has been achieved, the above link will also be on the Community Links page.)

Changes -


Feb 20

News -
I hear that the Beach Hut Cafe at Friars Cliff, and The Paddle at Sea Corner, are both in the top five cafes in a competition to find the best breakfast in the whole of the BH area.
This is a competition being run by Bournemouth and Poole Tourist Associations, and the winner will be selected by secret and unannounced visits by members of the associations.
When you consider the huge number of eateries in such a vast area, it's quite amazing that we have two of the best right on our doorsteps.

Talking of cafes. I hear that the Noisy Lobster's application for a first floor extension was passed at the council meeting a few days ago. Needless to say the CBC Planning website is out of date, and says that the application is to be considered on 15 February.
I'm guessing that noone will be surprised that this hotly contested plan, which has been refused a couple of times, was eventually approved.
If you want to keep an eye on it, it's 8/17/3034/FUL at
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=109006


Changes -
What's On page updated

Feb 17

News -
The story about the ram raid on the back of the Co-Op last week finally has some detail.
The van used was stolen from Practical Van Hire at New Milton Station, and was first used to rob the Londis Store in Marlow Drive at St Catherine's Hill, before hitting the Highcliffe store at about 6:10am last Thursday.

The incompentant crooks were soon arrested however, and have been charged with all the crimes, including the breakin and stealing relating to the aquisition of the van.
They are Alan Smith of New Milton, and Ian Smith from Bournemouth. The report does not indicate if they are related.

Changes -


Feb 16

News -
Try this for good news.
The Highcliffe Zig-Zag Path Task and Finish Group are unanimously recommending to Full Council on 20 February that additional funds be agreed for the reconstruction of the zig-zag path.
See the full press release below.
https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2018/02/12/task-and-finish-group-recommend-zig-zag-path-be-rebuilt/

This doesn't mean that the full council will approve it of course, and we still need as many as possible at the Civic Offices next Tuesday afternoon at about 5:45pm, to make sure they know the strength of local feeling on the matter.
Of course, they all should know by now, but their track record of listening to local opinion is not great, is it?


Changes -
What's On page updated

Feb 12

News -
PLEASE - put the following date and time into your diaries, and do your utmost to be there.

The Task and Finish group set up by the Borough Council to look at the Castle Zig Zag repair are reporting their findings to the full council meeting on Tuesday, February 20th at the Civic Offices.

We need to get as many people as possible to the meeting to let the Council know that the Zig Zag is very important to local people - be there, if you can, by 5.45pm.
More detailed information will be available after the meeting.


This one hasn't appeared in Neighbourhood Alerts yet, but a friend of mine experienced an attempted scam this morning.
The culprits pretended to be from the tax authorities, saying they were dealing with the victim's tax avoidance.
Obviously trying to get him to part with money to settle the supposed debt, they hung up when he insisted on seeing the allegation in writing.

What has appeared in the latest Alert is that The Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner is currently recruiting for independent members of the public to sit on police misconduct panel hearings across Dorset and Devon & Cornwall Police. (The linked website also has lots of info about all kinds of voluntary opportunities to do with police and crime related matters.)
Details on the Alert (link below.)
There's also a warning about the dangers of carrying knives, and what to do if you suspect that someone is carrying one.


Changes -
What's On page updated



Feb 8

News -
I hear (as yet unconfirmed) that a ram raider attacked the rear of the Co-op this morning at about 6:10am. I also hear that the culprit was caught. More to come on this I'm sure.

Because of the huge success of the latest Beach Clean at Steamer Point on January 14, and the massive number of people who turned out in poor weather, the powers that be (our local councils and Litter Free Coast and Sea) have agreed that there will be more dates allocated of similar events this year.
This also alters some dates already agreed.
See What's On for the new/changed dates (in April, May, July, September, October, and January 2019).

Great job, and well done to everyone involved.


Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


Feb 7

News -
It looks like most people are being sensible and staying in out of the cold.
Except the scammers of course. One that has just been reported is targeting prospective holiday planners. It is targeting people looking for flights.
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.

As are details of upcoming courses on the use of drones, which aim to help people be responsible, and stay within the law.

With people now actively looking for breaks in our area, a link has been added to the front page for self catering accommodation - the places I know about anyway. (If you want to add yours, just email me.)

Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


Feb 5

News -
A nasty scam has occurred against an lady in Rothesay Drive, which almost succeeded
in robbing the lady of several thousands of pounds. Only the suspicious staff in her bank foiled the plot, which involved people pretending to be the police investigating a crime.
They even sent a taxi to pick her up and take her to the bank to withdraw money!
There are reports of several similar attempts in the area, so make sure you, and anyone you are responsible for, is aware.

All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.



Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
Village plan and business listings amended (G & T removed)


Feb 1

News -
If you have a couple of hours free here and there, the really good people at Highcliffe Friends In Need could do with your help. Their main aim is to help local people, so a seriously good cause.
There's no committment,
other than a little time when you can spare it, and any phone calls or petrol costs are reimbursed.
Find out what it's all about, and what is required, by clicking on the link below.
Highcliffe Friends In Need - Please Help.

Yet another telephone scam. This one pretends to be from a debt collecting agency, or baliffs, etc.
It goes without saying it's a scam, but if they get a person at the wrong time, it could cause problems. As usual, contact ActionFraud if you get this one.
See the Neighbourhood Alert page for details.


Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Jan 30

News -
Local author Robert Dee, who has written a couple of very funny books, has produced another.
Fiddleswick Manor is all about Lord and Lady Fiddleswick, and the goings-on within their family home, where time seems to have passed them by.
The book is available in some local outlets, including The Castle Kitchen, or directing from Robert through his website

http://www.beachmeetsforest.co.uk/

Robert also produces excellent local photographic scenes which are printed on canvas. These can be seen displayed at The Castle Kitchen, and are for sale.

The latest Neighbourhood Alert report has more anti scam advice, and an item aimed at businesses regarding fake Bank of Ireland notes.

Surveyors have been spotted working at the building housing the Highcliffe Tandoori. Is this another one for the chop I wonder, to be replaced by yet another block of flats? We'll see.

Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
Lots of changes to lots of pages, correcting, adding, and deleting links.

Jan 22

News -
Another burglary in the area. This time in Dunlin Close in Mudeford - a little too close to home for comfort.
Use the Neighbourhood Alert link below to see the details.

There is also news on the Alert of an interesting new service from Dorset Police.
AskNED provides information about lots of non emergency problems which can crop up, and we don't know the right people to contact. Issues like noisy neighbours, parking problems, animal welfare, and many others are all covered.


Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Jan 19

News -
It seems that another house has been broken into. An elderly resident of Falcon Drive returned after being out for a short while to discover the damage.
This happened between 4:00 and 7:30pm on Friday, January 12, but has only today been publicised by Neighbourhood Alert.
Use the link below to see the details.



Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


Jan 15

News -
A follow up to to the item about the Avon Beach hut owners getting in touch with the Avon Beach Company with regard to the reduction in rents offered. (See January 9 below.)

It seems the response was less than sympathetic. Basically, the company is saying the offer was only a good will offer, and in any case it was based on 2017 rents.
They point out that 2018 rents are subject to an annual increase, and are maintaining that the hut owners will be benefitting from the "from the much improved promenade facility".
Their answer to huts not being available until Easter (rather than January as originally planned) is that it's nothing to do with them. It's all the Council's responsibility.
Along with the refusal to renegotiate, they have issued a less than veiled threat about future rents in 2019.
Quote:
"Before we consider what the ground rent for 2019 will be, we will be taking into account the overall costs incurred by Avon Beach Ltd to achieve this much improved facility as a result of this scheme."
(Those costs are quoted as being in excess of £30,000.)

Make of this all what you will.

A lot more encouraging is the result of last Sunday's beach clean (sorry - litter survey) at Friars Cliff. Probably not surprising after recent storms, but a huge amount of rubbish was collected.
The good news is that a record number of people turned up to help. Organisers say that over 150 volunteers were present, described as far and away the best turn out ever. Well done everyone involved.

Take a look at this lot. (Click picture for bigger version.)




There's still time to add your comments to the consultation about the Dorset Police Precept (the cost to residents of running the Police service). There's also a live web chat on the subject TOMORROW (Tuesday) evening, and a website to visit afterwards to see what happened and what was said
All the links are on the latest Neighbourhood Alert update (link below).

Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


Jan 10

News -
The G&T closing down sale (it's a Retirement Sale) is in full swing, and stock is disappearing at a great rate of knots.
Everything - already cheap - is now half price, so if you are thinking of going, I recommend not hanging about.



Changes -


Jan 9

News -
Now another crime. A house in Smugglers Wood Road was broken into on Sunday afternoon, between 3:05pm and 6:05pm.
See the Neighbourhood Alert page for details, and for incident reference for anyone with information.

The Alert also warns of a school fees scam, relating to private education.


Hut owners at Avon Beach are not only rightly aggrieved at the disruption being caused by the work they consider uneccessary, but they are demanding a bigger reduction in their rents than the £90 offerered.
They point out that the reduction was based on the work being done in November and December, and taking six weeks (as specified on the earlier notice boards).
Now, the time frame is for twelve weeks work before they get their huts back at Easter.
Seems perfectly reasonable to want to renegotiate the rental situation.


I'm told that Stones Cycles are going to be providing a mobile sales/rental/repair service in future, after deciding that their latest rent demand would make their business a lot less profitable.
I don't blame them. And as someone has pointed out, with the ridiculous business rates situation, many landlords are quite happy to leave their premises empty, rather than offer a sensible rental opportunity.


St Marks Church has started a weekly Sunday morning breakfast event.
It's called Breakfast@9. Obviously starting at 9:00am, and running until 9:45am, everyone is most welcome, and it promises family fun, food, and fellowship. Below is the flyer with the details
Breakfast @ 9


Changes -
Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated
Lots of corrections, deletions, additions to business listings.


Jan 8

News -
Spoke too soon - as usual.
On the very day I reported that nothing was happening (last Thursday) we had some criminal damage to cars taking place in Woodhayes Avenue. This happened during the day, between 6:20am and 4:30pm.
See the Neighbourhood Alert page for details, and for incident reference for anyone with information.

It's worth taking a look, as the Alert also mentions the restrictions along Avon Beach promenade, in place due to the preparation for the work about to start. Work which we all know about already, so I won't bore you with details.


Stones Cycles, the bike shop at 7 Waterford Road, has closed, and now stands empty.
This appears to have happened without warning, but we'll see if we can find out anything more.
If anyone has any info please email.

The What's On page is looking a bit sad. If anyone has any upcoming events, please let me know about them.

Changes -
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Jan 4

News -
Apart from the storm, it has been pretty quiet on the Highcliffe front.
Even the Neighbourhood Alert people have apologised for lack of updates, and said there has just been nothing to report.
Unless you know differently of course!

The good people from the Beach Hut Cafe presented the bulk of the money raised from their Christmas Day opening, and sales of calendars etc, to Macmillan Caring Locally a couple of days ago. With still more being raised, the amount was nearly £7,500 - quite astonishing.



Changes -


Dec 29

News -
The Beach Hut Cafe's annual opening for charity on Christmas Day, raised a quite astonishing more than £5000 in two hours.
Along with sales of calendars etc, the total going to Macmillan Caring Locally is already nearly £6900, with more donations coming from people who couldn't make it to the Christmas Day event.
Absolutely amazing.


Also amazing, although sadly not in a good way, is news that the work to raise the prom at Avon Beach is set to start in January.
Let's have a look at the situation for a minute.

When first announced, this unnessary project was announced to be going to cost £120,000.
Many of us were incredulous, and asked councillors to give the breakdown of the estimate, as it did not make any sense. I assume that like me, people were treated like idiots, and told that the figures came from CBC's highly qualified engineers. Basically we were told "What do you know about anything?
(The breakdown requested was never revealed.)

Eventually, the plan reached the Resources Committee, who were concerned about the scheme, as the estimate was now up to £540,000. Work out the percentage difference for yourselves. It would seem to suggest that the CBC "experts" who came up with the original figure were slightly less than competent.
The Committee decided to return the issue to Full Council.

By the time it reached Full Council, some £65,00 has mysteriously been shaved off of the figure, so the scheme under discussion was around £475,000. (Remember the original estimate, which itself caused much public disquiet?)
This is where it gets really silly.
Instead of councillors pointing out that this was a ridiculous situation, especially given CBC is apparently too broke to fix things that actually need fixing, and throwing the whole unnessary plan in the bin, they approved it!
What more can I say?

(Except that affected beach hut owners have been offered a reduction in their rents - of under £100 - as they won't be able to access their huts for an unspecified amout of time.)

Changes -


Dec 22

News -
A reminder about one of the area's most popular Christmas traditions.

Between 11:00am and 1:00pm on Christmas Day, the Beach Hut Cafe at Friars Cliff will be open for hot drinks, mulled wine, and mince pies, all provided by the family and friends of the owners.
It's all donations only, and as usual, all money raised will be going directly to Macmillan Caring Locally, based at Christchurch Hospital.
Anyone who has been before will know how popular the event is, and how chaotic the parking can be. (I'm assuming the good old council will once again refuse access to the larger Steamer Point car park.)
I would suggest the earlier you get there the better, but whenever you arrive, you'll get parked somewhere. It's worth the effort.


Changes -


Dec 21

News -
The Neighbourhood Alert people are sending out so many scam warnings at the moment, I can barely keep up.
Take a look at the latest updates on the Alert page. It also includes an opportunity to give your views on drink driving limits, and information if you are getting someone a drone for Christmas.


HP Music in Lymington Road is going from strength to strength, with their artistes (both new and existing) doing extremely well. Many thought it was a strange business to set up in Highcliffe (I'm not one of those) but led by the extremely talented Harrison Perks, the company is proving to be a huge success.
Take a look at the News section of the company website.
https://www.hp-music.co.uk/


Changes -
What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


Dec 11

News -
A man's body was found on the beach yesterday at about 8.20am. Foul play is not suspected, and net of kin have been informed.
The story so far can be seen below:
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15712641.Police_called_after_body_found_on_beach/


If anyone has not seen the leaflet recently arriving about the upcomng referendum on future council changes, take a look at the images below. There's some interesting information contained, which is sure to trigger questions for many.

(Click the images for bigger versions.)


Changes -


Dec 6

News -
Drivers under 25 make up about 12% of Bournemouth area drivers, but are involved in over 25% of traffic accidents.
With this in mind, Bournemouth Council has joined forces with SafeWise Safety Centre, Borough of Poole, and Dorset County Council to offer the Life Drive course to drivers aged 17-25 who have passed their driving test within the last four years.
The course is free of charge and offers theoretical and practical training. Participants also receive a £50 Amazon voucher on completing the course.
All the details here http://www.safewise.org/education/life-drive/

Since CBC put the locked gate on the jetty on Mudeford Sandbank, visitors, hut owners, and boat users have complained that there is nowhere to just drop off and pick up.
The owners of the Beach House have taken the initiative, and are proposing a seasonal temporary jetty for that purpose.
It will be interesting to see if the Council does their normal thing, and stands in the way of actions for the benefit of normal folks. Details of the plan below.
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15704233.
Unveiled__a_new_jetty_could_be_coming_to_Mudeford_Sandbank__without_a_gate_/?ref=eb


Changes -


Dec 1

News -
It's been pointed out that I did not report the damage caused at the Cliffhanger Cafe last Friday night/Saturday morning. I was away and missed it.
But between 1:00 and 5:00am, 48 windows and doors were smashed with a hammer, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. The full story can be seen below.
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/News/15687483.
Hammer_attack_leaves_caf___with_48_broken_glass_windows_and_doors/



More on the Avon Beach fiasco (the latest one manufactured by Christchurch Borough Council).
I'm sure that many, like me, wrote to CBC and/or councillors at the time of the announcement (February 2017) asking to see a breakdown of the costs, as none of us could see how the proposed work could be completed for the published figure of £120,000.

I'm assuming also, that again like me, everyone received an extremely condecending reply, basically saying that CBC's expert engineers had worked out the cost, taking into account various grants and donations, and that we members of the public were not in a position to question their figures. (Obviously, only those connected to CBC know anything about engineering or building, or posess any common sense).
I wonder how those more than slightly smug councillors and council officers are feeling now.
The new estimate for the work is £540,000, just the 450% more than the "experts" quoted.
The report below is going to the Resources Committee at the December 6 meeting.
Avon Beach Promenade Raising the Height and Widening Project

We can only hope that the competency of those responsible for the original estimate will be questioned. (If not, why not?)
We can also hope that common sense will prevail, and that the whole project is dropped as unnecessary, and any money available is diverted to other more worth while projects.


Popular Highcliffe Hawks Football Club, who provide brilliant support for local youngsters from Under 7 to Under 14, has a brand new website.
http://www.highcliffe-hawks.co.uk/

Please note that the Girls section (The Chicks) has been taken over by New Forest Soccer, and if any young ladies want to get involved in football, all the information can be found at:
https://newforestsoccer.co.uk/


Changes -
What's On page updated
All references to Highcliffe Hawks now include links to their new website.


Nov 24

News -
Apparently there is a story doing the rounds that the popular Room 298 shop in Lymington Road has ceased trading.
I'm assured that this is not true.
The shop is temporarily closed due to illness, but Sally will be reopening as soon as possible.

I'm also told that the erroneous information appeared on Nextdoor (which used to be Streetlife).
Any users of that system might want to put them right.


A reminder.
There's a couple of annual Christmas events next week (see What's On page).
On Friday (Dec 1) there's the Amberwood Christmas Lights switch on at 5:30pm, with Santa, mulled wine, mince pies, and Christmas music from CODA. Free entry.
On Saturday (Dec 2) there's the Christmas Fayre at Highcliffe St Mark Primary School, from 11:00am until 1:30pm.
With a Grand Raffle, Santa's Grotto, Games, Stalls, Cakes, and fun for all the family. Adults 50p, kids free.

Changes - What's On page updated

Nov 20 (b)

News -
Reference Avon Beach.
I have just received the following from CBC.
------------------------
Tenders for the Avon Beach Promenade project have been received and evaluated. The cost of the project is greater than the funds available so the Council’s Resources Committee will decide on 6 December whether to recommend that Full Council approves additional funding at its meeting on 12 December.

If additional funding is approved by Full Council, construction will start in mid-January and be completed before the Easter weekend.
------------------------
It looks like those of us that were dubious about the financial estimates for the planned work were right to be suspicious.
It will be interesting to see what the actual figure turns out to be. Perhaps they will scrap the idea, and use the money to repair the Zig Zag Path.

Changes -

Nov 20 (a)

News -
As expected, the developers wanting to build on the Jesmond Avenue site have entered an amended plan.
This one is only for 23 houses, 15 flats, and a 68 bed residential/nursing home.
You only have until Saturday December 2 to add your comments. See the application below:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=106735

The Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach have also reapplied to etend, after their previous attempt was turned down.
They say they are taking the concerns of the Planning Inspector into consideration this time.
You only have until Wednesday (December 22) to comment n this one.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=109006


I am trying to find out when work is actually going to start on the Avon Beach Prom raising fiasco. Hut owners were told that it was to be immediately after half term, but all that has happened is the removal of the information boards.

Changes -

Nov 18

News -
Reference BRAVE.
They managed to open today, as they had hoped. Although this morning final touches were still being attended to by a band of enthusiastic people.
Yesterday I omitted to mention contact information. Anyone wanting to telephone should call Warwick on 07866 986752.


Changes -

Nov 17

News -
A new business is about to open in Lymington Road.
BRAVE is at Number 401 (the old Lifestyle Concept premises) and the plan is to open tomorrow (Saturday) if at all possible.
They will be selling all things relating to skateboarding, and for all levels, from complete novices to expert.
Novices of all ages can get lessons, enabling them to have a little confidence when they actually hit the skateparks or streets. They even have a half pipe in store to help with that.
Good luck Guys. It's probably Highcliffe's only shop aimed at younger people.

Any disappointed customers of the now closed Full Of Beans, can still buy goods online.
Email fullofbeanshighcliffe@outlook.com for details.

I can't say I was suprised by the closure of Fire and Ice Cafe. Not because it wasn't a friendly place serving good coffee and food, because it was.
But owner Mark has for a long time now had to become heavily involved in a family business, which has him driving ridiculous distances all over the UK for most of the week, so he is only in town on a Monday, and not always then.
I have no idea where the van and taxi drivers will get their early morning drinks and sarnies now. It was the area's only cafe open early.


There are loads of internet and telephone scams doing the rounds at present, and the latest Neighbourhood Alert updates (see link below) give lots of good advice on the subject. It's well worth reading them.


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated

Village Plan and business listings amended.

Nov 15

News -
You may have noticed that Mayor David Flagg is proposing that, rather than be forced into a giant super council with Bournemouth and Poole and others, investigations take place that would allow Christchurch to be part of Hampshire once again.
Older ones amongst us will remember having no say in 1973 when we became Dorset residents rather than Hampshire Hogs.
This time there's a chance to have your say. There is a public meeting at the Priory Church on Monday next (November 2
) starting at 6:00pm. Also being discussed is the current proposal.
It's a chance to hear the arguements before the referendum.
More on the story below.
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15661674.Christchurch_to_begin_talks_on_
rejoining_Hampshire_instead_of_super_council_plan/?ref=eb




Changes -

Nov 13

News -
I've been out of town for a few days, so was not around for the official Post Office opening.
However, the nice people at HQ sent me some photos, and a press release.

(As usual, clicking the pics will show bigger version)




Press Release - Highcliffe Post Office

We all heard the rumours, and they were all true. Highcliffe institution G&T's is closing.
Plans are in to build flats on the site, in a four storey block. Take a look below:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=108967



Changes -

Nov 9

News -
The Yellow Bus X37 route is up and running.
The route takes it from New Milton to Bournemouth, and tours around Highcliffe a bit (rather than runnning straight through).

The route and times can be seen below:
https://bustimes.org.uk/services/x37-new-milton-bournemouth



Changes -

Nov 8

News -
On September 11, mention was made here of a plan to rebuild the Life Saving Club premises at Friars Cliff, in order to make it more able to cope with it's increasing popularity, and more suitable for it's needs.
Following discussions with Christchurch Council, some amendments were made to the scheme, and formal planning application has now been made.
Having looked at the documents, I can see little that could cause objection, so would encourage as many people as possible to support the club.

Not that long ago the club was all but defunct, and kept alive only by a couple of dedicated volunteers. It is now thriving, with an ever increasing demand from local youngsters, and providing a really worthwhile outlet for kids of all ages.

Take a look, and support the application if possible.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=108717

Comments can be made until November 28.


Changes -

Nov 7

News -
Our new Post Office will be opened officially on Friday morning at 12:30pm.
The ribbon cutting will be performed by MP Chris Chope.

As we all now know, the Post Office will be in Occasions in Lymington Road, run by Postmaster Stuart Brittan.
It will be open from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday, and will provide all the services found in a modern main post office.
Why not turn up and show your appreciation for Stuart and Jocelyn?

Here is the Post Office official announcement.


Police have released a cctv photo of the suspect in the incident last Tuesday, when a male demanded money from staff at the Honeymoon Chinese takeaway in Lymington Road, before escaping empty handed on a bicycle.
Here is the Echo link with the photo.


Changes -

Nov 4

News -
You may remember that in August Police were investigating an alleged rape in woodland near Hinton Station.
A 30 year old male was detained, but later released. Police have now said that no further action is to be taken.
Read all about it in the latest Neighbourhood Alert update.

The update also offers advice to anyone - male or female - wishing to report an incident to the police.


You may also remember that a while ago CBC received a planning application for Poppy Close on the Hoburne Estate, where it was proposed that a currently open green area in Primrose Way be destroyed, and have parking and garages built on it.
The Council quite rightly rejected the application, as out of character with the area, and an opening for many other of the open areas of the estate to also be paved over.
Unsurprisingly, the applicants have now reapplied with a slightly different plan. This one has removed the garage block, but still wants to turn the green into a tarmac parking area.
Hopefully, everyone who objected last time (successfully) will do so again, as the arguements are exactly as before.
Not only would this be an eyesore for residents opposite in Primrose Way, but would be a not very thin end of an very big wedge.
Many of the open green areas of the estate, which is it's main attraction, would certainly be open to similar applications.
Details below:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=109028&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Nov 3 News -
People at this morning's gathering at Highcliffe's Castle Kitchen for supporters of the Zig Zag Path Action Group were rewarded, not only with coffee and biscuits, but also with information from the group's work in getting more realistic surveys and quotes about the work and costs of reinstating the path.
It all reinforced the commonly held view that the original decision to demolish the path was taken far too quickly, and based on unsubstantiated and unscrutinised calculations from Christchurch Council officials, who then gave advice to elected councillors which was never questioned.
At least, not until the Action Group got going, using their considerable technical expertise and experience.
On a positive note, at least some councillors realised that the original decision had been taken far too hastily, and have now agreed to look deeper into the matter.

This is not a "U Turn" as described in today's Advertiser, but rather an agreement to investigate the matter properly.
There is still no guarentee we will get the path fixed, but at least a future decision will be based on fact.


On Saturday morning, the local Mudeford/Highcliffe/Walkford Neighbourhood Police Team will be at the Christchurch Day Centre in Lymington Road, between 10am and 2pm.
This "Meet The Team" event gives us a chance talk to the team about any concerns, and to actually see what they look like.


There are a lot of changes to the business community in Highcliffe, especially in Lymington Road. Before I change the business listings, I need to spend some time investigating. Watch this space.

Changes -

Nov 1 News -
The CBC meeting last night about the future of the Zig Zag went better than could be hoped. Council agreed to recind their original decision to close the path permanently, at least until they have investigated the fantastic work done on our behalf by the Action Group.
they agreed to fully investigate alternative ways to proceed and then seek tenders for the work.

The actual motion can be seen below.
Notice of Motion – Revised Motion (Highcliffe Zig Zag Path)

The Action Group are so pleased with residents support that they have organised a "Thank You" event.
Thay would love to buy you a nice hot cup of something. It's at The Castle Kitchen from about 10:30am on Friday morning (November 3).
By the way, the new people at the Castle Kitchen have been very supportive of efforts to get the path reopened, so good on them.



Changes -

Oct 27 News -
Everyone who cares about the future of the Zig Zag path should make a little time on Tuesday evening.
A full council meeting is taking place, and on the agenda are the proposals from the group of local professionals created to form a viable plan for the path's restoration, within the council's published budget, which CBC's so called experts say cannot be achieved.

As much local support as possible is needed at the meeting, so that councillors are left in no doubt about the strength of opposition there is to their plan.
Once again CBC is proposing to act against the wishes of local people, and is trying to steamroller opinion and protest.
Please turn up and show them how you feel.

The meeting is a Full Council Meeting, starting at 6.00pm, on Tuesday October 31.

Below is the Group's latest information release.
Notice to Supporters


Changes -

Oct 24 News -
Halloween is almost upon us. Dreaded by most, especially elderly and vunerable residents, it can be a time of stress and concern.
As in previous years, Dorset Police are providing various posters that might help, including a "No Trick or Treaters".
To see what is available, and to print a copy - either for yourselves, or for relatives or neighbours - go to the link below.

https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/safety-in-your-community/
anti-social-behaviour/halloween-safety/



There are several items on the latest Neighbourhood Alert offering., including warnings about various scams, and a link to the latest Neighbourhood Watch newsletter.


I'm hearing that the residents of the roads near to Hinton Station (Cranemoor Avenue/Close for example) are not at all happy. It seems that commuters using the station are parking in those streets, partially blocking roads and driveways, and generally making life difficult for residents.
If you are one of the culprits, please reconsider, and think how you would feel if someone was parking in an inconsiderate way outside your house.

Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Oct 18 News -
Almost missed this one, and it hasn't appeared in Neighbourhood Alert yet.

At 2:45am on Monday, a number of offenders broke into Walkford Stores on Ringwood Road.
They used a dark-coloured Toyota pick-up truck to try to pull out a cash machine, but this was unsuccessful and they left the scene in the truck, heading in the direction of the A35.
The truck was found abandoned nearby, and subsequent enquiries have revealed that it had been stolen.

A full search of the area was carried out, assisted by the NPAS helicopter, but no suspects were located. A full investigation is underway.

Detective Constable Andrew Burley, of Bournemouth CID, said: “I am appealing to anyone who was in the Walkford area in the early hours of this morning, and either witnessed the incident or saw a pick-up truck being abandoned, to please contact Dorset Police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 55170161444.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.


For you Twitter users out there, CBC is asking for you to tell them what you love about Christchurch and East Dorset.
Follow them using @cb_edd_councils.
Include a photo and the hashtag #loveCED and be in with a chance to win one of lots of prizes, with all kinds of things on offer across the Borough.

Highcliffe Castle has a Jazz and Swing concert on Monday October 30, with old favourites Swing Unlimited.
Tickets are £12.50 (£11.50 to season ticket holders) and it starts at 7:30pm
Full bar will be available.

Changes - What's On page updated


Oct 16 News -
At 9:03am today Police were called to reports of a woman's body in the water just off the beach near The Black House on Mudeford Sandbank.
Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the death and the identity of the woman.

The lady who was killed on Friday afternoon at Mudeford has been named as Pat, an 85 year old resident of Avon Reach Care Home. She was on the pavement when hit by a BMW driven by a 94 year old local man.

Lots of Portuguese Men Of War have been washed up along the coast from Swanage to Keyhaven, apparently driven across the Atlantic by Hurricane Ophelia.
They look like jellyfish but are in fact not a jellyfish but a siphonophore, which are not a single creature, but a collection of individual organisms.
More to the point, they can give a very nasty sting, even when dead, so don't touch them, and don't let kids or animals near them. Report finding to the local council.


Even more interesting is the huge amount of work that has been going on behind the scenes regarding the Zig Zag Path.
A team from Rothesday Drive Residents Association and the Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs, have put together a team of experienced retired professionals with geology, civil engineering and construction project management backgrounds, all Christchurch residents.
Here is the current situation in the Team's own words.
-------------------------
We have met with David McIntosh, Christchurch Council’s (CBC) Chief Executive and his ‘top team’ as well as held ‘Technical Meetings’ with Lindsay Cass CBC Head of Property and Engineering, and colleagues, and put forward, what we believe, is a viable rebuild solution within their ‘signed off’ financial budgets.

We have also introduced to CBC’s Property and Engineering team a national specialist ‘design and build’ contracting company that we believe can deliver a rebuild project. These discussions are continuing.

CBC’s Consulting Engineers, AECOM, solution and CBC’s own ‘build up’ figure £1.25m is the Council’s ‘back stop’ solution. We know Council Officers as well as Council Members will not support it on financial grounds.

Our next step is to talk to Councillors to convince them that at the next Full Council meeting on Tuesday 31 October at 6.00pm, they must rescind the decision to abandon the path and agree to properly investigate the alternative solution we have proposed.
-------------------------

Changes - What's On page updated


Oct 14 News -
As mentioned on October 10, The Lakewood Restorationteam have produced a 2018 calendar, with the wildlife photos taken by a local professional photographer.
It is now available at Much Loved Pets, and at PMTs, both in Lymington Road. Other outlets are to be announced soon.

Also mentioned a few days ago that the Life Saving Club is applying for permission to improve their facility.
The application has been delayed a little, as CBC have asked for more information.


Changes - What's On page updated
Please note that Amberwood jazz nights (first and third Tuesdays) now start earlier at 7:30pm

Oct 12 News -
There was an attempted burglary last night. It took place at a property in the Laurel Close/Woodfield Road area of West Highcliffe, between 8 and 10pm.
(Laurel Close is off of Smugglers Wood Road.)

The two offenders made off, and are described as late teens/early twenties, one wearing grey clothes, the other wearing black clothes.
Details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.


Changes - What's On page updated

Oct 10 News -
The good folks who spend so much time and effort getting the lake at Lakewood Road back to it's former glory have a fun dog show coming up. It's at Stanpit Village Hall on Saturday October 28, starting at 12 Noon.
They also have produced a 2018 calendar, with photos taken by a local professional photographer. This will be available in several local shops net week. (More details when I have them.)

Finally on the subject of Lakewood, a specialist company is to dredge the lake of all the rubbish, dead leaves and wood, and whatever else has accumulated over many years. This is weather dependent, but will take place during the last week of October. Because of the machinery operating, and the resultant mess, we are being asked to keep clear while the operation is in progress.
More about the restoration work can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Lakewood-restoration-136753646532864/


St Mark's Church have several changes coming up to their scheduled services.
As from November the Healing service moves to the first Sunday so will be on Sun 5th Nov at 6.30pm (it was previously on the second Sunday of the month).
Also as from November they start a new Taize service at 6.30pm on the third Sunday - 19th November.
(But in December neither of these take place as they have Advent Carols at 6.30pm on Sun 3rd, and 9 Lessons & Carols on Sun 17th.)

All details will be on the Church website http://www.stmarkshighcliffe.org.uk/


Changes - What's On page updated

Oct 7 News -
The long awaited planning application for the so called improvements to Avon Beach are now in.
Needless to say Christchurch Council is only giving us a few days to prepare any objections/comments, as the planning meeting is on Thursday October 12, at 6:00pm
The application number is 8/17/1748/FUL and details can be seen below:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=107720

Anyone wishing to speak at the meeting should contact the Democratic Services Officer on 01202 795054 or by email to democraticservices@christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk

Don't forget that CBC meetings are now available on uTube. See News on September 17 for links.

Changes - What's On page updated

Oct 5 News -
The wonderful Highcliffe Friends In Need, who do so much ferrying of those less mobile residents to hospital, doctors, and other appointments, are in need themselves.
Although they always need volunteer drivers, their immediate need is for someone willing to take telephone calls and book drivers on a Friday morning, from 9:30am until 12:30pm. (Any telphone expenses are reimbursed.)

If you can help with this, or can spend some time as driver (working at your convenience) please call Cressida on 01425 279328.

Anyone who likes classical music (or show tunes) will be interested in a charity concert arranged by The Friends of St Marks Church on Saturday October 21. Classically trained Nicole Young will be performing at St Marks, starting at 7:00pm, and tickets are only £5 for adults (£3 for under 18s). You can get your tickets at the door.
(to find out more about the Friends, click on their name above.)



Changes - What's On page updated

Oct 2 News -
Starting tomorrow, Highcliffe Castle is holding an exhibition of artworks created by the patients in the Lewis Manning Hospice, which offers palliative care to those with life limiting illness in the surrounding area.
Part of the care comes from the classes they offer, including art.
The exhibition runs until October 31.


Changes - What's On page updated

Sept 25 News -
Confirmation that following last Monday's visit to court, the MCA sucessfully got the travellers who had broken into the site at Steamer Point evicted. They moved on peacefully.
The entrance is now blocked with massive concrete blocks.

Highcliffe Sports and Social Club now has a new website which is being maintained and is up to date, including the Entertainments page.
It is http://www.hsandsc.co.uk/

Here's an interesting item, which may be of benefit to some.
A local driver challenged a fine received for parking in Wortley Road, and won. Here's the story in his own words.
--------------------
You may have noticed that CBC brought in 24 /7 30 minute parking in Highcliffe a few years back now enforced by Dorset County Council. This was not to ensure free moving traffic but to simply raise revenue.

At the Highcliffe Food Festival I picked my wife up a late afternoon on a Sunday and was given a ticket in Wortley Rd. I was taken aback as there is only one small sign introducing their spiteful regime.

I complained and was told to cough up by Dorset CC or the fine would double. I felt unfairly treated due to both their methodology of fund raising and that the Dept of Transport recommends signage every 30 metres rather than their one sign.

I took the matter to the matter to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal whom quashed the ticket agreeing with me that the signage was inadequate.

Perhaps CBC and DCC should refund everyone whom has illegally had money purloined by their aggressive Parking Services Dept in Wortley Rd.
--------------------

Changes - Local links page updated.
What's On page updated

Sept 21 News -
Just a reminder that there is a Beach Clean coming up.
It's on Sunday, October 1. As usual, it's at Steamer Point, and meeting time is 10:30am at the Wave Wall.


Changes -

Sept 17 News -
Presumably as part of their aim of more openness, Christchurch Borough Council have decided to start live streaming Council meetings via YouTube.
You'll also be able to catch up with meetings that have already taken place. The link is below.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5RAdcFzN77w0zcfAUnlEDQ?utm_source=Christchurch+Borough+Council+news
&utm_campaign=43084a7c58-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_09_07&utm_medium=
email&utm_term=0_6a9ff78b4a-43084a7c58-437320929



SafeWise, the road safety people, are running more of their popular practical and/or theory driving courses, aimed at more senior drivers, mobility scooter users, and also those who have only recently passed the driving test.
Details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.


Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Sept 12 News -
There's more positive news on the Zig Zag path situation. Several councillors (named on the document linked below) have issued a notice to rescind a previously taken decision, using "Notice of Motion Under Procedure Rule 15".
I won't bore you with details, as you can read it for yourselves, but it does appear that at least some councillors have been listening.
Click here for the Notice of Motion

The improvement works at Nea Meadows continue apace. To follow the completed bridge repairs, and work on the paths and fences, will be improved access for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchiars, etc.
Extra parking, seating, and bike racks are also to come over the coming months.
All works are approved by Natural England.


Changes -

Sept 11 News -
Sorry Everyone. I've been walkabout for a few days. I don't appear to have missed too much though - except for a new traveller invasion on Saturday, when they broke into the empty ex MCA site at Steamer Point.

One resident reports seeing people with a black car changing registration plates on a number of traveller vehicles.


By coincidence I'm sure, but this weekend has also seen several thefts of building materials from the various sites around the Friars Cliff area, along with young males (usually with a white van) being discovered and challenged in private gardens. Their response is that they are looking for scrap.


Better late than never item.
Tonight at the Beach Hut Cafe is an informal planning preview about the proposals from the Christchurch Life Saving Club to improve their facilities, with a view to making them more suitable for the great work they do with local youngsters.
My personal view is that the plans don't impact on any other local residents, and that the benefits the Club brings to the community should be supported and encouraged, but peple should make up their own minds.
So why not go and take a look?


With regard to the Zig Zag path, there seems to be a fair bit of wriggling going on down at Civic Offices.
Having categorically stated that the path would not be repaired due to cost, since the huge petition against the proposal (which would have been much bigger with a little moretime) they are now admitting that they don't actually know what repairs would cost, as there has been no tendering process.
Councillor bath is reported as saying that "We don't have enough information on the cost of repairs, or the economic impact of not repairing the path, to decide now."
She goes on to say that "We are seeking the views of residents." I wonder what she thought the petition was about then?
We all just need to ensure that there is no doubt in CBC's or Councillors' minds what residents views are.

Changes - What's On page updated

Sept 1 News -
The Petition, objecting to the decision not to go ahead with the rebuilding of the Zig Zag path, with now over 3,000 signatures, will be presented to the Christchurch Full Council meeting next Tuesday evening, September 5, at the Civic Offices in Bridge Street.

Please be encouraged to go along for a Press 'photo call' at 5.35pm and to attend the meeting, which commences at 6.00pm.

Let's make sure that CBC know we think they are wrong - again - and that once again they are not acting in the interests of residents and visitors.


The popular Highcliffe Short Mat Bowls Club now has a smart new website.
http://www.highcliffesmbc.btck.co.uk/

Changes - Above website added to Local Organisations page.

Aug 30 News -
This morning, the Post Office have published a press release about the opening of the Occasions based new facility in Lymington Road. It's good news, so take a look below.
Reopening of Highcliffe Post Office

Hampshire Police have published their Summer edition of Rural Times, which is about their efforts to protect people and property in the countryside. Anyone interested can see the publication below.
https://www.hampshire.police.uk/about-us/publications-and-documents/rural-times/

Christchurch Police Station is now closed, and local Police have moved to their new base in the Fire Station in Fairmile Road.
It won't make much difference to anyone though, as the Police Station has been closed to the public since March 2015,
and at least officers are still based locally.

Changes -

Aug 29 News -
The outrageous proposal to build a monster house and double garage in Poppy Close (with the garages being planned for currently open green space) have been amended. They don't look much different to me. Take a look application 8/17/2037/FUL at:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=108010

Better news is that it seems Highcliffe is to get a replacement Post Office in October. The 16th is the date I hear.
As reported before, the owners of Occasions Cards in Lymington Road applied for permission, having had the necessary experience in the past, and after the cogs of beurocracy turned etremely slowly, will soon to be in a position to open.

Changes -

Aug 25 News -
Yesterday, representatives from the Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs and the Rothesay Drive Residents Association handed to the Borough Council a petition demanding that the Zig Zag path be reopened.
The petition contained an amazing 2,506 signatures, with more coming in all the time.

You would think that such strength of feeling locally might cause a rethink among the people who are allegedly representing residents, but we need to remember that CBC and elected councillors do not have much of a track record in considering local opinions.
We shall see.

It's worth noting that the committee that recently decided to get rid of the path were split down the middle, and only the deciding vote of the committee chair (Councillor Sally Derham-Wilkes) condemned the path. I'm guessing that her vote was just protocol, which would be sad.

It's also worth noting that getting rid of the path, and the work necessary to fix and secure the resulting exposed cliff face, will cost nearly as much as repairing the path.

At the risk of repeating the obvious, what makes this situation even more ludicrous is that CBC are saying lack of finance is the reason behind the decision, while at the same time they are planning to spend a fortune on totally unnecessary work at Avon Beach.


Travellers have once again set themselves up in the overflow area of the Crow's Nest car park near the Cliffhanger.
Apparently, they are only staying a couple of days.
I don't suppose they'll be paying for parking like everyone else has to though. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Changes -

Aug 23 News -
In a few weeks time, on Saturda, September 16, there is a free Community Road Safe theory education session for drivers in Dorset. These sessions are funded directly from course fees generated when motorists break the law on Dorset’s roads.
This one is at Christchurch Fire Station, and you can get the details, and register to attend, at:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/community-road-safe-morning-christchurch-fire-station-tickets-35626074548



Changes - What's On page updated
(Includes all the Cliffhanger pre-Christmas events. New Year's Eve is already sold out.)

Aug 21 News -
Highcliffe Castle Golf Club had a burglary over the weekend. A groundsmans hut was broken into and several thousands of pounds worth of equipment was stolen.
Details on the
Neighbourhood Alert page.


Some prat, or likely prats, thought it would be fun to set fire to wooden table and benches outside of The Cliffhanger.
I wonder what it's like to have an IQ in single figures.

The Pets page now has the correct phone number listed for The Friends of the Strays of Greece.

Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Aug 14 News -
The Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs - FOHBAC (click for their website) and the Rothesay Residents Association, have combined to raise a petition against the Council's outrageous plans to not reopen the Zig Zag path.
The petition is being distributed at various businesses around the village, and volunteers are canvassing around the Castle Kitchens, and along other coastal areas.
I urge everyone to seek out the petition and sign it. It is vital that CBC be made to reconsider.
This path is essential to all the people who cannot use the steep steps, or want safe and sensible access to the coastal path.

It seems to me that once again the Council is not thinking about residents, be they elderly or infirm, or young families with pushchairs or prams. They are pleading poverty, while at the same time planning to complete a totally unnecessary, and extremely expensive, project at Avon Beach.


I hear that The Beach Hut Cafe is having a quiz Night this coming Thursday. I'll try and get more details.

I'm assuming that people are organising various pre Christmas events. For free publicity, just email me details.
(Link at top of the page.)

Changes - What's On page updated


Aug 12 News - There's been a burglary a couple of days ago in Yarrow Close on the Hoburne Estate.
Entry was gained through an open window, and we're reminded by the NPT to ensure that everything is locked up, and alarms are set, even if only going out for a short while.

On Sunday August 27, Highcliffe is saying goodbye to popular Methodist minister, the Rev David Hollingsworth, with a service at 10:30am.
The following week at the same time, the new minister will be welcomed. I understand that the Rev David Ellis thought he had retired, and was surprised to find himself Methodist minister for Highcliffe.
(The latest Church newsletter is now available through the Methodist Church page.)

This is out of our immediate area, but there's a Coastal Comedy night coming up in October, starring Ben Norris. (They Think It's All Over, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Mock The Week, Etc.)
It's at the Lymington Centre, in New Street, Lymington, on Saturday, October 21.
See the flyer for all the details.

Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Aug 10 News - As you have probably seen, CBC is inviting residents to give their views on the coastal strategy at Highcliffe Castle.
The date is Tuesday, September 5, from 11:00am until 7:00pm, and the exhibition is in the Dining Room, and I would every person to get along and make your comments known. Details below.
https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2017/07/26/christchurch-coast-post-suggest/

However, some people are concerned that the idea seems to be that we should add our views and comments on post-its, which would be open to mis-interpretation and possible "losing" post-its. It certainly doesn't feel like a transparent or efficient way of dealing with such an emotive issue.

Among those concerned about this is the group Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs -FOHBAC. (Click for their website)
They have decided that a written response is much more likely to be taken into consideration, and want to encourage all of us, not only to visit the exhibition, but also to write to CBC. At the very least they suggest we write to Judith Plumley (Head of Community and Leisure at CBC) stating that we agree with the comments made in their comprehensive letter, already sent on August 8.
A copy of that letter is below, and I strongly suggest that everyone reads it.
Coastal Strategy - Letter to CBC


The latest Neighbourhood Alert update includes some local news, and also an invitation to get involved in being an Independant Custody Visitor. There's a live online chat about it TONIGHT starting at 6:00pm, and also a website link to find out more.

Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated

Aug 5 News - CBC have finally applied for planning permission for the Avon Beach prom raising scheme.
Please be aware that closing date for comments is next Friday, August 11. (Nice of them to give us so much time.)
The application number is 8/17/1748/FUL.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=107720

Bad news about the Zig Zag Path. It now appears that the cost to repair it has escalated to £1.25 million, and the CBC financial officer is recommending that the work does not go ahead, meaning that the path will be closed permanently.
It seems that they are happy to spend a fortune on unnecessary work at Avon Beach, but not to repair the only access to the beach from the Castle area suitable for disabled people, or those with pushchairs or prams.
Ah well. As long as The Noisy Lobster is happy.

The restoration of the lake at Lakewood continues to enhance the area, and the water is now teeming with fish.
On Saturday August 19, the team are organising a free fishing sessions (2 hours) for under 16's accompanied by parent or guardian. All tackle and bait will be supplied, and trained coaches will give instruction. More info below (where you see the type of fish you might catch).
https://www.facebook.com/Lakewood-restoration-136753646532864/

There's a press release from Tracey Beesley, of the now closed Lifestyle Concept. Tracey is now operating Destination Happy - a new lifestyle/Girl Friday service. Her ideas include social events every month for fun-loving ladies of all ages, and much more.
Take a look at her website http://thelifestyleconcept.co.uk/
And remember, as Tracey says "From acorns an Apple Tree grows". (Her words, not mine).


Changes -

Aug 1 News - Many, many apologies everyone.
I'm afraid not only has life been fraught with family problems, but I've had no internet access, and a broken computer for the past couple of weeks.
I've got both of those back today, and should be providing normal service by the end of the week, or start of next week at the latest.
Please bear with me for a few days.

Many thanks for all those who have emailed enquiring about my wellbeing. I've only just seen the mail, and your concerns are extremely humbling. Thank you very much.

Changes -

July 17 News - More items to come (probably tomorrow as it's such a nice day today), but I hear that The Noisy Lobster was broken into last night, and among items stolen was the safe - the whole thing!

Interestingly, that's exactly what happened when Highcliffe Castle Tearooms was broken into a couple of years ago, and I don't believe those culprits were ever caught.



Changes -

July 12 News - Another annual, and very popular, event coming up is the Rotary Club's Grand Community Charity Fete.
It's on Saturday July 29, from 10:30am until 4:30pm, and is in the Recreation Ground as always.
All the usual activities and stalls, with the addition this year of the Ringwood Pipe Band, who will be playing at 12:15 and at 14:30.
Entry is free, but please remember the aim of the day is to raise money for local charities.
Programs are available at various shops in the village. (I got mine from Full Of Beans.)

Talking of which. Both of the latest businesses in the village have been given 01202 telephone numbers.
I'm not sure why, and nor are the businesses concerned. Interesting though.

One of those new businesses (Driftwood) is still not open, despite being expected to start last Monday. I don't know why, as there has been noone at home when I've passed by.
I did notice however, that they have applied for an alcohol license.

For those who have noticed the very similar theme in the decor and fittings to The Paddle just up the road.
It's probably because the same shop fitting company has been used, and it would appear to be their favourite (or maybe only) design idea.



Changes -

July 11 News - The hearing for the outline planning permission of Hoburne Farm's latest (final?) house building project, adjacent to Roeshot Hill and the A35, is due to be heard by the CBC Planning Committee on Thursday July 20, at 6:00pm.
This public meeting will be in the Council Chamber, at the Civic Offices in Bridge Street.

This application has generated a fair number of objections, and the meeting might be interesting. Anyone wanting to speak at the meeting can get the details from the Planning page on dorsetforyou. The application number is 8/17/0195.http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=106169

There's another of HP Music's musicians releasing a record.
Take It From Here is Amy Knight's debut EP, and a launch party will be held on Saturday July29 at The Barrington Theatre in Ferndown. Doors open from 7.30pm and the event finishes at 10.00pm.
Amy already has a single available on iTunes. It's called Get Away.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/get-away-single/id1250830335

I'm still chasing the local Neighbourhood Police team for a working email address. No luck yet though.

Someone has recommended an impressive art exhibition. John Lloyd's coloured pencil drawing exhibition called 'Wild Hengistbury' is well worth a visit. It is situated upstairs in the Hengistbury Head visitor centre, and runs until August 3.

The next Beach Clean at Friars Cliff is on this coming Sunday (July 16). It starts a little earlier than usual at 9:30am.

Changes - Changes/additions to Places to eat page.


July 10 News - Last week I reported the change of STA Chartered Surveyors to MBA Architecture.
Unfortunately, I misunderstood the information behind the change.
The surveyor partner did not die. He had a heart attack, and decided to discontinue his involvement with STA.
Many apologies to all concerned.


There's quite a few events coming up soon.
Apart from the famous RNLI Fun Day on Sunday, July 30, there is also the Mudeford Arts Festival on the weekend of July 22 and 23.
http://mudefordlifeboatfunday.org/

http://www.mudefordartsfestival.net/

There's also the Highcliffe Charity Players Summer show, Made In Dagenham - The Musical.
That's at The regent Centre, fromWednesday July 26 until Saturday July 29.
Details on their website:
http://www.highcliffecharityplayers.com/
Tickets from The Regent Centre:
http://www.regentcentre.co.uk/

There's even a Highcliffe's Got Talent show coming up on Sunday August 6. This 14 hour event starts at 2:00pm.
All the details can be found at
http://www.highcliffecastle.co.uk/events/highcliffes-got-talent-variety-performance/

Mudeford Lifeboat have removed their old website, and replaced it with a well maintained Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/RNLI-Mudeford-lifeboat-152051348201424/


Changes - Neighbours links page updated.


July 8 News - CBC have set up a website, explaining their plans for the ZigZag path, and asking for comments. It also says that £350,000 has been set aside for the work.
Take a look, and ad your comments. (This is of course in addition to the public meeting at Greystones next Saturday morning. See NEWS item on July 2.)
https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2017/06/30/residents-views-sought-zig-zag-improvements/

The planning application for the plans for the rest of our stretch of coast are still not available for us to see, and I'm told by the Dorset Coastal Connections team that it could be another two weeks before they appear. Watch this space.

The popular Highcliffe Hawks footbal club are actively recruiting players for both their boys and girls teams. Players for all teams from Under 11 (school year 6) upwards, and anyone interested should contact David by email at davidgvines@hotmail.com

I was very sad to hear that local historian, and Methodist Church stalwart, Sheila Herringshaw has passed away at 89.
Sheila's book, A Portrait of Highcliffe, sits in my ofice, and is often browsed. She was a lovely lady, and will be missed greatly by all who knew her.

Changes -


July 6 News - STA, the chartered surveyors and architects at 306 Lymington Road, is now MBA Architecture.
Sadly, the surveying side of the business has ceased since the untimely death of one of the partners.
The architect Matt Bell now provides a unique service in Highcliffe.

Our councils never cease to amaze. This time it's East Dorset (I believe) who are responsible for emptying the area's rubbish bins.
Just as the area is starting to get really busy with visitors someone has decided it would be a really good idea to:
a) remove all the rubbish bins from Wortley Road car park
b) reduce the number of bins in the Avon Run Road car park to one, when even the two there before were often overflowing
c) any other examples?

Changes -


July 5 News - The old Tulips cafe in Lymington Road, which has been closed for quite a while, and undergoing a facelift, is to be called Driftwood, and I'm told it should be opening on Monday next. It's still a cafe/coffee bar, just with new owners.

There's a couple of items on the latest Neighbourhood Alert offering.
One is about a nasty online scam pretending to be selling pets.
The other is from Martin Underhill (Dorset Police Commissioner) asking for public opinion on the use of force by his force.
There's a short survey to complete.

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


July 2 News - Here's notice of an important meeting coming up.

Dorset Coast Forum are holding a public meeting at Highciffe Community Associations(Greystones House in Waterford Road).
They will be presenting plans for the zig-zag path at the Castle, and are wanting comments and suggestions from the public.
We all need to get involved in this, or risk yet another decision being taken behind closed doors.

We're told that the Coastal Forum is an organisation independent from government or councils, so it's still possible that the public consultation could be ignored by local politicians, but the organisation has a good track record in influencing government, both local and national, so let's go and tell them what we think.

The meeting is being held on Saturday, July 15, at Greystones House, starting at 10am.


Changes -

June 28 News - I heard a slightly odd story today.
A while ago I reported that the Beach Hut Cafe at Friars Cliff was not only staying open later on weekend evenings, but that they intended to allow customers to take their own alcohol (with no corkage charge) to enjoy with their evening meals. A great idea.
However, our good old council in their wisdom, has refused permission for this. One would have to wonder which beurocratic spoilsport decided it was such a bad thing to do, and for what reasons.

The same day, I was wandering along Avon Beach, and was surprised to see beer pumps in the fish and chip shop. Being nosey, I asked about them, and was told that as from next week, draught lager, cider, and bottled wine will be available to customers. I was also told that to comply with licensing regulations, the drink must accompany food.
So far so good. But then I was told that if customers did not want food, staff have been instructed to give them a chip (yup! just the one) which would then make the alcohol sale legal.

Hey Ho. I do believe I have a strong smell of hypocricy - again. Wouldn't like to say where it was coming from though.
But I do suspect that some people have friends in the right places, and some don't.

Talking of which, the Aramark Castle Kitchen is now open at Highcliffe Castle.

I'm trying to find out when the council will apply for planning permission for it's coastal "improvements" plans.
By contacting the Dorset Coastal Connections Project Co-ordinator directly, I discovered that the registration process is underway, and the plans will soon be available. The lady also said she would let me know when the process is complete.
Interestingly, not only did she respond in 24 hours, she apologised for being so slow in answering. Maybe CBC and it's personnel should take note.


On a more entertaining note, local rock band Saints of Sin are just about to release their first full length album, Welcome To The Circus.
This Friday (June 30) they are taking over The Talking Heads venue in Southampton to throw a special preview party.
I've seen this band. They're good, and they have strong connections with HP Music in the village, so get along if you can.
Here is the press release, giiving all the details.


Changes -

June 26 News - Reference the enlarged plans for the Hoburne site in Lymington Road.
It has been pointed out that no planning notices have been displayed locally, on lampposts or elsewhere.
(The CBC spokesperson reckons that people remove them. Seriously?)
Anyway, click below to see the notice that should have been displayed. You will notice that comments and objections need to be in before July 15.
Planning Notice for 261 - 275 Lymington Road

I understand that the planning application from CBC to itself for it's beaches plan was supposed to be submitted last week. This follows the public consultation that took place recently.
Can anyone find the application, because I haven't been able to yet? The application is due to be considered at the planning committee meeting in September, as they intend to start work in October.
This seems to imply that they will not have any problem passing their own application. No surprise there I guess.
So the sooner we get to see what they intend to do the better, especially with their recent track record.

I'm told that the old Tulips cafe in Lymington Road, which has been closed and undergoing renovation for quite a while, will be a similar business when it reopens. No details yet.

Changes -

June 22 News - You have probably heard of the plan to complete a Dorset Coastal Path, which would involve joining up all the gaps between Lyme Regis and Chewton Bunney.
Obviously, the last stretch is of major interest to us, and the Government website about the matter was most recently updated yesterday. There is a LOT of information, maps, proposals, etc, etc, and it takes some sifting through.
The site also allows comments and objections to the plans.
Go take a look (when you have some time to spare).
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-improving-public-access-to-the-coast

The What's On page now has details of the Summer Fayre on July 1, at St Mark Primary School, in Greenways.
Organised by the Friends of the School, we are assured of something for everyone, from a Grand Raffle, to stalls selling all manner of things (including plants) not to mention plenty of fun for the kids.


Changes -

June 21 News - Reference the Hoburne application to change the Lymington Road development.
Here it is. (Thanks Dave.) Don't forget you have to click the Accept button the Disclaimer page first.)
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=107226&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Also thanks to everyone else who provided the application number (8/17/1254/FUL ).


I'm pleased to say that the new and vastly improved, Highcliffe Castle website is now online. It is so much easier to find information. It was worth waiting for.
http://www.highcliffecastle.co.uk/

Sadly, the long awaited Sports and Social Club's new site is still not available, so is hopelessly out of date.
So the only place online to find their upcoming music events is on our What's On page.

The Neighbourhood Alert page is updated again. There have been attempts to break into garages in Mudeford.
Speaking to our PCSO recently, it was good to hear that their work has seen a dramatic decrease in anti social behaviour from some local youths, especially those that gather around the green at Friars Cliff (behind the Beach Hut Cafe.)


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


June 20 News - After reading that Hoburne are revising their plans for their office block development in Lymington Road, and intend to increase the number of dwellings (by 5) over their previously approved plan (number 8/16/1459) I have been trying to find a planning application
Unfortunately, any seach for Lymington Road, with or without the building numbers) seems to crash the Council website with a server error.
If anyone knows the new application number, please email me.

Police are looking for this fine looking gent, who has breached the terms of his probation, following release from prison.
(Click picture for larger version)

Anyone who sees Lee Hogben should dial 999 immediately. Anyone else with other information should call 101, quoting occurrence number 55170083747 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

The latest issue of Neighbourhood Watch newsletter is now available through the Neighbourhood Alert report (link below).

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


June 18 News - Sorry, the Dorset for You website has changed recently, and you can no longer save the planning search results page.
You now need to go to this page:

https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/contactus?formid=3556232

Then hit the Planning and Environment button, then the appropriate search buttons, until you reach the page for entering search details (one of application number, street, address, etc).
In the case of Roeshot Hill the number is 8/16/2932/OUT.




Changes -

June 17 News - I have received a response to questions about the plan to raise the Avon Beach prom by a metre, along the entire 200m length.
The questions were simple.
How will such a big project be completed for the published figure of £120,000?
Why is public money being spent to protect the investment of a single private business?

Firstly, it seems that the £120K is only the CBC contribution. Most of the cost will come from a government grant provided for coastal protection work for our area. The rest will come from a considerable contribution form the Avon Beach lease holder.
Secondly, I'm told that the work is for the benefit of the whole town and (I quote) "to prevent further erosion of the cliff supporting Avon Run Road".
My only comment is that since the building of the concrete wall along that stretch many decades ago, I'm not aware of any erosion of that cliff face. In fact, even in the "Great Storm" the only damage was to the old green beach huts, rather than the cliff itself, and that would not have happened if all the advice about removing the huts in Winter had been taken.
I just can't help thinking that the money would be better spent further along, where there is no wall protecting the cliff.

I only gave half the phone number for the new mobile pet grooming business yesterday.
The whole number is 07935 254397.

Anyone interested in the development of the land at Roeshot Hill should take a look at this Planning Application.
(8/16/2932/OUT)
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/search.aspx


Changes - Food and Drink page updated
Pets page updated
Homes page updated (Crafty Wood finally removed)

June 15 News - Had a few days off - hence no updates since last week.
However, I don't seem to have missed too much.

Still no response from the NPT guys with an email address that actually works. I'll try them again.

There is a new business in town. Based in Walkford, Pooch & Ponies offers a fully qualified and very experienced mobile pet grooming service. The brand new van, superbly kitted out, comes to you and treats your pet on your drive. All you do is provide an electrical socket.
We tried it out. Our dog was far lessed stressed than when taking him to a traditional palour. The result was great, and it was even cheaper than normal.
Sarah-Jane can be contacted on 07935 254397, or by email at info@poochandponies.co.uk.
There's also a Facebook page - www.facebook.com/poochandponies - and a website www.poochandponies.co.uk

The latest Methodist Church Newsletter is now available. Link is on the Churches page

I also have some information about the plans to raise the Avon Beach propm by a metre, which goes some way towards answering many of the questions raised by many. See the next update.

A couple of Neighbourhood Alert reports have arrived as well. I'll see if anything is relevant to us. Again, see the next update.

Changes - What's On page updated


June 7 News - The email address that the local NPT gave me, and which I published yesterday, does not work.
I have asked them to check what is wrong, so hopefully we'll have a working address soon.


I'm pleased to say that the new wholefood shop, Full of Beans, in Lymington Road is planning to open tomorrow.
Owned and run by locally born and bred Phil Long, much of the produce on sale will be sold loose, so you buy as little or as much as you require. Great idea.
Also, the shop intends to sell more fruit and veg that originally planned, which given the lack of any other such outlet in Highcliffe, also seems to be a good idea.


How about this? Popular local band, State of Undress, is playing at Glastonbury this year. Incredible news, and further indication that Highcliffe really is a hotbed of musical talent.
Click here to see the press release.

(Click picture for larger version)


Changes -

June 6 News - In the previous entry I mentioned that the local Neighbourhood Police team were suggesting that anyone going to be away from their property for a while should inform them.
I now have the secure Police email address we should use. It is nptmudefordandhighcliffe@Dorset.PNN.Police.uk

As reported before, The Lifestyle Concept at 401 Lymington Road (just along from Sea Corner) is to close.
I can now confirm the closing date is to be Friday June 23.

Bread Headz, on the other hand, is opening tomorrow (I'm told by the lady working inside).
This is the sandwich, snacks, and drinks outlet, owned by Daniel's of fish and chips fame.

Full of Beans, the wholefood store is looking very close to opening as well, with much of the stock already in place.
Unfortunately, there was noone there to ask this morning.

Finally! Elephant Walk has had a big facelift, a coat of paint, and the long dead bamboos have now gone.
It is now called Highcliffe Tandoori. It describes itself as a "Unique Indian bar and grill". I notice that it opens at lunchtime now, as well as evenings.

We are warned of wedding service fraudsters in the latest Neighbourhood Alert. (Link below.)

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


May 31 News - There's been a burglary in Braemar Drive, which happened while the owners were away.
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page (link below).
One very good point made is that we can notify the local Neighbourhood Police Team if we are going to be away.
What they don't say is how we should do this, as the team website does not contain any phone numbers or email links, and we obviously don't want such information on Facebook or Twitter. I'm trying to find out.

When I reported that Room 298, the clothes agency in Lymington Road, had opened, I didn't have a phone number, or other contact details.
The phone number is 01425 837120 (and there's a Facebook page coming soon).

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


May 30 News - You may have noticed from the What's On page, and various posters at St Marks, that there is a three day festival next week (friday 9 - Sunday 11) at the church.
It's a celebration of arts, crafts, music, and much more. I now have the timetable of events, which you can see by clicking the image below.
(Click picture for larger version)


It seems that the scam of smishing is currently rife. Smishing is a crime using SMS messages to your phone (and not just smartphones).
It would be easy to fall for this one if you're not thinking clearly, so I suggest reading the latest Neighbourhood Alert update.

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


May 27 News - Tomorrow, Sunday 28, at 6:00pm, there will be a presentation at The Amberwood, of a large cheque (£2380) to Macmillan Caring Locally. This is the result of the pubs recent fund raising efforts.
Fantastic job. Well done to everyone involved.
A representative Coda Music Trust will be also present, as that is the next charity The Amberwood will be supporting.

Apologies, I forgot to tell everyone this. The Beach Hut Cafe at Friars Cliff now stays open later in the evening. Even better news is that they now have a license that allows people to consume their own drinks.
So not only can you enjoy an evening meal right on the sea front, but can enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple at the same time.


Changes -

May 26 News - Apparently, Highcliffe is Chris Evan's favourite place on earth. On his morning programme yesterday, he played a "Good Morning" message from a local lady, and said that he loves it here.
Oh Great! Even more tourists. :-0

To actually hear it, go here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08qq4ky

Those crooks pretending to be from Microsoft are really busy again. Even telling them I don't have a computer, or that I only use Apple doesn't put them off.
Just to be clear, Microsoft will NOT be telephoning you. These people are scammers trying to get access to your computer.
You know what to do.
It's so common now, that the Neighbourhood Alert page has a piece about it, and how to deal with it.



Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated


May 22 News - An amazing weekend! Outstanding job by everyone involved with organising the Festival. Many thanks to you all, for giving us a great event.
Even the weather was fairly kind (very kind on Sunday) apart from the short sharp storm on Saturday lunchtime, which damaged the music marquee at the Cliffhanger, and put paid to several of the performances, including that by up and coming local singer Brogan.

While wandering up the street, it was good to see a couple of the empty shops are soon to be opening to new business.
The old Fry Days chippie finally has it's signs up, and should be opening soon (as a sandwich/snacks/drinks shop).
It's called Bread Headz. (Although I'm sure I'm not the only one to grit my teeath at the z. It's almost as bad as the incorrect use of the apostrophy in the Take's Care sign.)

Also soon to open is Full of Beans in the old Southern Wines shop. They will be selling (mostly loose) wholefoods, herbs and spices, world foods, teas and coffees. I'm looking forward to that opening.

Also, across the road, the old Tulips cafe premises is having a serious facelift, but I haven't yet heard what's planned for there.

Th those who have asked who was responsible for the renovation of the old finger signpost at the Milestone Roundabout (Eastern end of the village). I believe that Councillor Colin Jamieson was the driving influence.
Two more of the historic signs still to be renovated. Both are a little further down Lymington Road, and it seems that The new Charitable Trust is taking an interest in those.


Changes - What's On page updated
Methodist Church page updated (with several changes to church personnel.)

May 16 News - It seems that we can stop asking about the reopening of the Zig Zag Path. Here is the latest press release.

---------------------------
Highcliffe zig-zag path to remain closed until 2018

The zig-zag path at Highcliffe Castle is to remain closed until 2018 while a full rebuild is carried out.

Having been monitored for over a year, the path was closed for public safety in March as surveys showed a failure of the retaining timber support is potentially imminent.

The council has set aside funds of £350,000 and was also recently awarded approximately £280,000 towards the rebuild as part of the Dorset Coastal Community Bid although until the work is tendered the actual cost will not be known. Specialist design work for the rebuild, which must have disabled access, is ongoing. Because of the value of the works a full tendering process must take place once the final design is approved and it is likely that building works will commence in the autumn. Depending on the weather it is likely that building work will take up to six months meaning the zig-zag path could reopen in time for Easter 2018.

Matti Raudsepp, Strategic Director, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “We had hoped to be able to reopen the zig-zag with a temporary solution for the summer season. However, recent surveys have shown that the cliff is no longer secure enough to enable a temporary solution to work successfully.

“We understand the closure has impacted on local residents and visitors but the safety of the public has to be our priority. The recent period of dry weather has further exacerbated issues in the area, and recent cliff falls locally demonstrate why it is essential we do not reopen the zig-zag path until we are confident that it is safe. We would like to thank people for their patience while the path remains closed.”

The council is looking at ways to better secure the closure of the footpath down to the beach until it is once again safe to use to ensure people to not try to use the zig-zag while it is closed. It is also looking at options to improve the signage for the public to alternative routes and to provide information about the closure at the start of other routes which end at the Castle.
---------------------------------


Changes - Community links page updated (with new Highcliffe Library entry)

May 15 News - I'm told that the works taking place in Lymington Road (currently outside of Priory vets) are supposed to be complete before the Food Fest next weekend.
We all hope so, not only for the festival, but also as the work is currently causing long traffic queues.

The old Fry Days chip shop, which has been taken over by Daniel's, who intend to open it as a sandwich bar, looks like it's getting closer to opening. The "wet paint" signs are up at least. No signs up yet though.

The old Southern Wines shop has been aquired, but noone seems to know what the plan is for it yet.
(If anyone knows, lease email.)

There's another series of the Safewise Driving Course, aimed at drivers over 65.
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.
Along with this, there are also courses aimed at 17-25 year old (with a £50 Amazon voucher for anyone completing the course).
There are also courses fo mobility scooter users (sounds like a good idea) and for cyclists (sounds like an even better idea).
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated


May 10 News - It seems the recent Neighbourhood Alert report on how quiet it's been on the crime front was a little premature.
There were two burglaries, probably connected, on Saturday morning.
One was in Walkford, and the second in Waterford Gardens.
At the second incident, the thief was disturbed and was chased, dropping items as he ran.
He was caught and arrested, and has already appeared in court.

All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.


Changes - What's On page updated

May 8 News - The item about car park tickets on Friday has been altered slightly.
Email comments are welcome on the matter.

People power strikes again!
The ugly and ridiculous concrete blocks along a long stretch of Avon Beach are to be moved futher away from the beach huts, and covered with sand. The council has (amazingly) taken on board the comments of the public. They think that this action will still offer a measure of protection from any Summer storms.
This is to be done in three weeks during June.

They still plan to raise and widen the entire 200 metres length of this promenade by a metre as well, with work starting in the Autumn.
Again amazingly, they still think that this work can be carried out for £120,000. Yeah! Right!

Also a surprise, considering the over budget fiasco last time they did it, is that beach replenishment is also planned for June. This will presumably last about as long as the last lot did, until the first decent high tide.


Changes -

May 5 News - The beach cleans held regularly at Steamer Point (or litter surveys as they are properly known) are very well supported. There were over 40 volunteers at the most recent one last Sunday.
Now there is some interest in running similar events along Highcliffe beach, and the Council organiser would like to hear from anyone wanting to get involved.
He plans to convene a meeting to try to set things up (and threatens to hold it in a Highcliffe hostelry).
To find out more, or to register your interest email GrahamHigley at friarscliff.beachcare@gmail.com
or phone 0780 126 1537 or 0775 846 1926.


I have received an interesting email pointing out some changes to car park tickets in Christchurch, changes which presumably apply across the borough. Below is the email:
-------------------------------
I've noticed that Christchurch BC Parking (who in my experience either ignore e-mails or "pass them on to "another Department") have recently replaced the ticket machines at Bank Close (behind Marks & Spencer) in Christchurch and probably other sites.

They now issue you with two tickets which initially appear identical. The difference is that one is headed EXPIRY TIME, DAY & DATE with REFUND at the bottom and the other is headed REFUND VOUCHER with BANK CLOSE at the bottom.

What they seem to have done is scrapped the long running refund sticker (where you can claim back up to £1 at some, now relatively few I believe, stores in Christchurch, if you spend over £10) and combined it with the ticket. This is presumably to make them more accountable where they were redeemed and to stop people using stickers obtained on previous visits as they are not dated and timed?

However, I imagine it will cause some confusion, for a while, for example with elderly (or in my case easily confused!) customers. I wonder whether there will be fines if the 'wrong ticket' is unwittingly displayed. Also, due to the similarity of the front of the two tickets, I wonder if some will try and abuse the system?

There didn't seem to be any information regarding this new dual system on the ticket machines or on the website and I wonder if some people are just taking one ticket and unwittingly leaving the second one behind, possibly for somebody else to pick up?

The solution would be information on the machines and a distinctively different front to the refund version e.g. the date and time of issue, ticket number (the same for both sections), location and 'REFUND VOUCHER, DO NOT DISPLAY THIS IN YOUR VEHICLE or NOT VALID FOR DISPLAY IN YOUR VEHICLE.

There is CCTV in the car park but this new scheme should be 'interesting'!

(Click picture for larger version)
---------------------------------------



Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated

May 4 News - A little while ago I mentioned that, following several incidents of anti social behavior, some residents suspect that this year was going to be one of those where small numbers of youths cause more than their share of mayhem.
I mentioned the green at Friars Cliff (behind the Beach Hut Cafe) as being a usual locationfor these people to gather.

The latest Neighbourhood Alert report, while saying how quiet it has been on the crime front recently, specifically mentions the green as a cause for concern, with extra patrols taking place.


A while ago, there was concern about a planned development in Wharnecliffe Road, which proposed knocking down four bungelows, and building nine houses. Following rejection by CBC planners, the developers appealed.
I'm glad to say that the Planning Inspector in Bristo;l also rejected the scheme.
I don't suppose we've heard the last of the story though. It's almost inevitable that the developers will come up with something else.

It seems that CBC are up to their, now expected, sneaky tricks. It has been pointed out by a sharp eyed resident, that our recent council tax statements had an increase in Adult Social Care Precept of 3%. Closer inspection revealed the actual increase to be 255%.
I wonder what else we'll find with a closer inspection. You can see a discussion on this matter at:
https://news.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/2017/04/06/your-council-tax-bill-explained-
adult-social-care-additions/comment-page-1/#comment-322432



Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated

April 28 News - The very popular Hinton Admiral Gardens will unusually be open to the public for three days this year.
On Saturday May 13, and Sunday 14, opening will be from 11:00am until 5:30pm. Tickets are £6pp.

Then, as part of the National Gardens Scheme, they will be open on Sunday May 21, from 1:00pm until 4:40pm.

It's well worth making the effort. There used to be a very nice website showing the gardens, but it seems to have disappeared.

Changes -
What's On page updated

April 26 News - The long awaited clothes agency (for both ladies and gentlemen) in Lymington Road is now open.
It opened on Monday, is called Room 298 (a clue to the exact location).
Owner Sally, a Highcliffe resident, impressively did almost all of the internal decor herself, using rescued, renovated, and scrounged materials.
Sally was for many years the manager of Age Uk, two doors down, before branching out on her own, and many will probably recognise her.
Specialising in quality clothes, the customers are already flocking in, and the gentlemens' range is proving to be very popular.
(A bonus is that Sally takes a smaller commission that other agencies, so you'll get a better return on anything sold.)

Changes - Village Plan and Clothes page updated.
What's On page updated

April 21 News - Many apologies for the lack of updates. I've had a totally unexpected stay in Poole Hospital.

I haven't had time to find out what I've missed yet, but I notice a couple of things.
First, Highcliffe Medical Centre is holding an open day in a couple of weeks, on Saturday May 13.
The day is to provide information about healthcare and services available to local people, along with information sessions on dementia and nutrition.
With over 15 external organisations taking part, a “Bandage the Bear” station for children, and a raffle at 2.30 pm to raise funds for medical equipment (with lots of prizes), there will be something for everyone.
Click here for the poster
or visit the Centre's website http://www.highcliffemedicalcentre.co.uk/2017/04/11/save-the-date-patient-open-day-on-saturday-13th-may/


CORRECTION to earlier item. The beach clean at Friars Cliff is a week later than almost all other places., on Sunday April 30. Timings as as stated.
Meet at the Steamer Point Wave Wall as usual.

There's a beach clean this Sunday all along the Dorset Coast. It's part of the Great Dorset Beach Clean, and runs from 10:30am until 12:30pm.
Details can be found here:
http://www.litterfreecoastandsea.co.uk/litter-free-coast-and-sea-week/



I'm hoping to have good news very soon about the Highcliffe and District Charitable Trust. Watch this space.


Changes -
What's On page updated

April 11 News - It looks like the bad guys are back in town I'm afraid.
There have been two burglaries One in Holme Road,, and the other in Hurstbourne Avenue.
All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.

Talking of bad guys.
I've already heard that it looks like this year's crop of teenagers is going to be a problem, or at least, a small but a nuisence making number of them. It's been good for a couple of years, but this year there have already been several incidences of anti social behaviour, including the seemingly harmless game of knocking of elderly residents' doors and running away. Not so harmless if you are the elderly person targeted.
On one occasion, the culprits were followed back to one of their favourite haunts, the field behind the Beach Hut Cafe and Life Saving Club, which was smothered in their rubbish (obviously still there after they had left).
We've also had ghetto blasters in the street, at all hours.
Police are already aware, and hopefully we won't have the problem with drugs that we had a couple of years ago, with these holidaying school children openly using in public open spaces.
We'll see.



Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated

April 10 News - I should have known better I guess.
The day after I said that Tracey's good work for the village included work with HELP, I discovered that she had resigned that position. I'm told that this was because of lack of support from people who had previously said they would help.
(Although I did see at the weekend a couple were busy painting the black bollards with undercoat, ready for the top coat of brighter colours.

The long awaited planning application for the Jesmond Avenue development has now been put in.
You'll remember the feelings that were generated when a mass of trees and wildlife habitat was destroyed some months ago. It seems that they want to put 40 houses and (another) old folks home on the site.
See all about it here:
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=106735

A site regular came across a tweted item from the full January CBC meeting.
It seems that there was a council tax surplus of £450,000, most of which has been donated to Dorset County Council, with only £5000 being retained by CBC.
Which begs several questions I think.
Why, with a large surplus from council tax, have they yet again raised the rate this year?
Why isn't some of the money being spent locally on some of the projects CBC always maintain they haven't any money for?
Why do CBC consider it necessary in future to charge for Winter parking on previously free car parks, despite universal objections?
Why do CBC feel it necessary to be the only council more or less anywhere to charge disabled drivers to park? It doesn't happen just along the road in any direction, and with such a large surplus, surely it would be an opportunity to do something for at least some local residents.
Finally, despite continuous cries of poverty from CBC, they have squeezed us so much they've made a huge excess.
Does this not indicate our council tax bills are too high? If you haven't done so, compare our figures with the much lower bills paid by our neighbours just the other side of Naish. However you look at it, we are being ripped off.


Take a look at the plan for the £5.6 million government grant allocated for coastal improvements.
Christchuch and Highcliffe are in line for a share of this money, but I can find no mention of the breakdown of funds, and exactly what projects will receive.
maybe you can dig more out of it that I can. In the meantime I'll ask our representatives for more detail.
https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/dorset-coast-forum/coastal-community-team


Changes -

April 6 News - Last Friday, Tracey, owner of The Lifestyle Concept in Lymington Road, but who also works tirelessly to make Highcliffe a better place to live and to visit, put on a fashion show in the Memorial Hall in New Milton
Seven models showed off The shop's Spring/Summer collection, which was very well received, but more importantly, £1850 (so far) was raised to boost the Rotary Club's charitable works.

(Tracey is an important part of not only the Highcliffe Food Festival team, but also of HELP (Highcliffe Environmental Litter Pickers) who do so much to keep the village clean, and maintain flower beds, and even paint our bollards bright colours, rather than their original boring black.)
Well done indeed.
(Click picture for larger version)



Changes -

April 4 News - There's a very nasty, but sophisticated, email scam doing the rounds at present, which would be very easy to fall for as the email contains an amount of personal information about the recipient.

All the details are on the latest Neighbourhood Alert update, which also includes some very good advice..


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated
What's On page updated

March 31 News - Gifted, the garden centre in Lymington Road, which helps people with learning disabilities, is to get a coffee shop in May. Gifted is well worth supporting for all kinds of reasons, lot l;east of which is the quality of their goods.
Take a look at this leaflet for more information. Gifted 2017

The Lakewood Restoration Group is holding its AGM on Monday 10 April, upstairs at the Sports and Social Club, starting at 7:00pm.
Everyone is welcome, so if you want to know about the ongoing work, or are interested in fishing, or getting your children to learn how to fish, it will be well worth attending.
https://www.facebook.com/Lakewood-restoration-136753646532864/#


I think I must be misunderstanding who works for whom when we talk about Christchurch Council.
We all know about employed officers doing secret deals, and refusing to show emails, even to the investigating elected councillors looking into their actions, but something in the Christchurch Times yesterday actually jumped off the page at me.
In an article about the possible referendum into the future of CBC, apparently the employed executive, David McIntosh, has "demanded" information from his employers, our elected representatives, and gave them a 48 hour deadline to explain themselves.
What IS going on here? I don't know about the rest of you, but I know what would have happened if I had treated my bosses in such a way. It just seems to reinforce my long held view that many council officers have completely forgotten that they are employed to serve the community, not the other way round. It's time they were put straight on the matter.


Changes -


March 30 News - Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the Castle for a preview of a new exhibition.
Natural Highcliffe - Photographer of theYear 2017 is on show in the Library area, and is definitely well worth a visit.
The photos are stunning, and cover our area, with views, wildlife, storms, and more. Give it a go.

(You won't find details on the Castle's website, as that is about to be replaced by a brand new site, so isn't being kept up to date.)


Changes -


March 28 News - Just about the only thing I've heard following the meeting between Aramark and Castle employees last Friday is that they plan to rename the Tearooms "Castle Kitchen". (I wonder what they will call the kitchens in the castle, currently being renovated.)
If there was anything else of interest at the event, I'd like to hear about it.

I've heard that the long term closure of part of Mill Lane is causing the residents a lot of grief, as Dorset Waste Partnership will not empty the bins as they cannot get their normal truck to the affected properties.
Given that many of the occupants of the 14 properties concerned are elderly, I would have thought DWP could have come up with some kind of solution. Something as simple as using a small truck for the duration of the works, which could use the road (which is still open for access to the houses) would seem to be an obvious answer.
Or - heaven forbid - the bin men might consider walking the few yards to do the collections.

I notice that Tulips Cafe has gone from Lymington Road. A pity.
Also gone is Belvoir Lettings from number 302, and has been replaced by Hunters Estate Agents.

By the way, in case anyone didn't already know, the Zig Zag Path is closed again, with currently no date available for it to be reopened. It's apparently for safety reasons.


Changes - What's On page updated
Various business listings and village plan amended. (See above items.)


March 24 News - There have been lots of rumours flying around about a meeting today between Aramark and all the Highcliffe Castle volunteer work force, and the reasons behind it.
Obviously the rumours were fed by the ill feeling and suspicions of secret deals between CBC officers and Aramark, which led to the recent protests.

However, I'm assured there was no secrecy about this particular meeting, and I have a copy of the letter sent to the volunteers. I attach it below.
I'm also hopeful of hearing how the presentations were received, so watch this space.
----------------------------------------------
Dear Volunteer

We would like to invite you to come and meet the team from Aramark UK, who are taking over the operation of the Tea Rooms from 1 April. We are really excited to be working in partnership and Aramark UK would welcome the opportunity to present their new and exciting plans for rejuvenating both the premises and the catering offer, to our loyal volunteers.

This special volunteer event will take place on Friday 24 March at 12pm in the Castle Dining Room. Aramark UK will take the opportunity to introduce themselves to you all and talk through design proposals for the refurbishment and interim plans whilst the works take place. Executive and Development Chefs from Aramark UK are also attending to present their menu ideas, and more excitingly for you, there will be an opportunity to sample their food offering. The Chefs will also be on hand to mingle and would really like to hear your feedback and thoughts.

Aramark UK are keen to talk to you about how we aspire to be part of the local community and our plans for sourcing local produce from local suppliers. We will also be only too pleased to answer any questions that you may have.

We have allocated two hours for the event and appreciate that some of you may be volunteering on the day. With this in mind we will aim to provide some temporary cover to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to attend. To help us to gauge numbers it would be really helpful if you could indicate to Kate or Inga whether or not you will be able to attend the event.

Look forward to seeing you there

Paul Rutter and Chris Pepin (Aramark UK)
------------------------------------------------------------



Changes -

March 20 News - If you want to keep abreast of what's happening with the Food Fest, keep an eye on the website and/or the Facebook page. (Links below.)
This year there are many more entertainers, I believe over 50, so there is going to be something for everyone.

There two stages in the Lymington Road, and the Cliffhanger is hosting lots of music acts of all kinds.
The good people from HP Music, despite only coming to the village recently, are heavily involved I'm told.
Not only are they supplying the sound systems, and their expertise, for the Lymington Road stages, they are actually organising all the Cliffhanger music events.
You can see a list of confirmed acts so far by using the links below. Take a look to see if any of your favourites are coming to perform.

http://www.highclifferevivalfoodfestival.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/highclifferevival/


Changes -

March 17 News - The new vape shop at Sea Corner (where the greengrocers used to be at 401 Lymington Road) opened on Following the meeting on Tuesday of the CBC Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee, the Friends of Highcliffe Beaches and Cliffs Interest Group (www.fohbac.org.uk) have deciphered the proceeding, and issued a "Key Points" document,which I found to be extremely interesting.
The document seems to agree with my view, that CBC have basically absolved all those officers and councillors who were involved in the deceit and secrecy connected to the Beach Huts fiasco.
Take a look and make your own minds up.
Highcliffe Beach Huts- Final Report of the Task and Finish Group

We are always asking for people to look out for their neighbours, including watching for suspicious activity when people are away from home.
Yesterday, someone did just that, and Police arrested a burglar.
Read all about it on the Neighbourhood Alert page (link below).


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated

March 14 News - The new vape shop at Sea Corner (where the greengrocers used to be at 401 Lymington Road) opened on Saturday.
Vapourtrade.com already have three other shops in the Bournemouth/Poole area, so are well established in the trade, and it's good to see another previously empty property open for business.
(No idea what business category I'm going to put them in though - might have to start a new one.)



Changes -

March 10 News - The report by the CBC Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee into the infamous beach hut fiasco is now available.
It's a 48 page document, but I highly recommend reading it. It will be presented at next Tuesday's Committee Meeting.
It's in the Council Chamber, starting at 6:00pm for anyone wanting to attend.
Here's a link to the document.

http://moderngovcbc.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/documents/
b2978/Scrutiny%20Policy%20Overview%20Committee%20-%20Highcliffe%20Beach%20Huts%20Final%20Report%
2014th-Mar-2017%2018.00%20Scru.pdf?T=9


You will notice that secrecy still surrounds the deal, and even the Committee have not seen many of the emails between council officers and Plum Pictures, which is quite astounding. We actually pay these people, and they won't even tell their employers what they've been up to.
I think we all know what would happen if this situation arose in a proper business, but sadly the people involved are still in their highly paid positions, and almost certainly will remain so, until they decide to retire on their inflated pensions.


There's also an article in today's Echo.
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15144198.Beach_huts_fiasco_report_to_go_
before_council_next_week_____but_contract_remains_top_secret/


Changes -

March 9 News - Highcliffe Castle Tearooms is selling off all the furniture and equipment.
It all has to go by the end of the month, due to the Council deciding (for reasons I suspect we'll never know) to throw out the leaseholder of 17 years, and install the American multinational, Aramark.

For example, tables and chairs are selling for £30 a set. There are also fridges, freezers, and other kit for sale at similar very low prices.
Either call in to the Tearooms, or telephone Mr Kearney (Sean) directly on
07721 991 119

Incidentally, having now seen the Aramark tender documentation for the concession, I am more convinced than ever that certain CBC officers had their plan done and dusted way before the lease ever went to tender. There is no way the documentation I've seen could have been used to score Aramark more than double the current leaseholder.

Once again, we need to insist that our elected representatives get a grip on council officers (our employees) and ensure that future deals and contracts have full council approval before proceeding behind closed doors.
In that way, we should at least have a modicum more confidence that our best interests are being considered.

There's a interesting radio program that you might be interested in, which can be related to the Tearooms situation.
Click the link below, and go to 15 minutes in.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08gy87s#play


Popular local pub, The Amberwood, is having what it calls March Madness, with 25% off ealy evening meals (weekdays), and special deals on beer. There's also plenty of entertainment coming up.
Click here to see the poster.

Changes -

March 6 News - Exciting times for local musicians I think.
Following Brogan's debut single and video release last Friday, I have news that very popular local band State of Undress is confirmed to be playing at Glastonbury this year.
I'm guessing it won't be on the main stage, but just to be invited is some special achievement.

Dorset Police are appearing on a Jeremy Kyle documentary tonight. It's on ITV at 8 pm, and focuses on various dangers caused by drivers.


Changes -

March 4 News - Last night saw an event probably unique in Highcliffe's history.
At an evening crammed with many talented local musicians, the release of Brogan Murphy's first music video was celebrated in style at HP Music in Lymington Road.
The video was also produced and filmed by the people at HP Music, and the musicians were also from there.
(A seriously talented bunch they are.)

The video was recorded at Highcliffe Castle, on a freezing cold night. Drummer Josh Rose (of the famous State of Undress family Rose) described it as the coldest session he had ever done.

The video, a cover of Ella Eyre's Home, was well received - to say the least.
If you go to the YouTube link below you can see why.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeZSjzgRy-w

Brogan is already working on her own material for an upcoming album.


Changes -

March 3 News - Do you want your say about the work planned for Highcliffe's beaches and paths?
CBC is preparing plans for spending the grant from the Coastal Communities Fund, and have set up public discussions.
Visit the link below to see what's intended, and have your say.
http://www.christchurchyoursay.co.uk/

From recent experiences, I'm dubious about anything anyone connected with CBC says, but they appear to have surpassed themselves with the plan to raise the Avon Beach promenade by 900mm along its entire 200yard length.
For a start, they state that the work (which was approved by full council on Tuesday last) is to bring long term benefits to residents. How is that possible? Residents are already protected by a 15 feet high bank, and are not going to be affected by tides, however high.
Even the beach hut people themselves are up in arms, as they no longer have direct access to the beach, cannot keep an eye on their children playing, and are almost certainly going to block the prom with their chairs and beds.
Most ridiculous of all is the statement that the work (please think about what is involved here) will cost £120K.
What!? I like a joke, but that is just fantasy. Maybe if a couple of zeros are added it might be closer.

The truth of the matter is that this project is to protect the investment of the current leaseholders at the Noisy Lobster, and noone else.
Even the devastation in 2014 would have been no more than a very stormy day, if the company has done what the previous tenants had done, and removed the huts during the Winter months. The damage was caused by the company not bothering to follow suit, and by leaving the huts exposed to Winter storms and tides, despite just about all locals telling them it was risky.

My big objection to this plan is that we council tax payers will be asked to foot the bill for protecting the Noisy Lobster's investment, and for no other reason than they won't do the sensible thing, and remove the huts in Winter.
I have no problem with the work being done, except that it will certainly close the prom for long periods.
But if the Noisy Lobster company wants to do it, let them pay for it. They didn't even pay for the work to erect the hideous concrete wall, only for the blocks themselves.

Planning permission is expected to be applied for soon, and we can only hope that there is someone representing taxpayers that sees the obvious flaws and misleading information relating to this scheme.
Don't hold your breath though.


Local author, Robert Dee, is about to publish a new book. His previous two, about life running a local hotel, were very funny and well received, so we can expect a few more laughs with this one.
It's about the lives and times of Fiddlewick Manor, a 1684 country house in the Borough of Christchurch.
I'll let you know when and where.

Changes - What's On page updated

March 1 News - Happy Ash Wednesday.

Here's something that might be of interest to many Highcliffe residents.
Safewise, the road safety people, are organising safety awareness courses for users of mobility scooters. These courses include practical and theoretical aspects, and include the legal requirements.
Find out more on the latest Neighbourhood Alert update.

The Christchurch group of Cancer Research UK are organising a barn dance at Highcliffe School.
It's on Saturday March 25, at 7:30pm.
The tickets are £12.50, which includes fish and chips and tea/coffee. You can take your own drinks and glasses.
For tickets ring 07925 974 174.
If you've never been to a barn dance, they are a lot of fun, as I discovered when I was dragged to my first one.

Christchurch Angels is looking for volunteers in Highcliffe (and Mudeford).
The group offers short term befriending to isolated and vunerable patients registered in the area, so if you have a little time (which is completely flexible) to spare, and want to make a real difference to people, call Jan Childs on 07443 476 798 to find out more.
Or visit their website www.christchurchangels.org.uk

Also looking for volunteers and the good people at CODA.
They are looking for musicians to work with the elderly, as part of their music therapy initiative.
Find out more by visiting www.coda.org.uk, or by phoning 01425 276161.


Changes - What's On page updated
Christchurch Angels added to Community links page.


Feb 27 News - Sorry for lack of updates, but a few computer free days was in order.

Some good news from local police.
A Poole man was recently arrested in Sway while breaking into a house, and during questioning he owned up to lots of other similar crimes, including several in Highcliffe.
Which could account for the big drop in recent burglaries in our area.
See the latest Neighbourhood Alert update.

Unfortunately, the update also details quite a lot of anti social behaviour in the stretch from Steamer Point to Mudeford.


Well known food writer and chef, Lesley Waters, is coming to the Food Fest, and will be hosting lunch at The Cliffhanger.
Also announced is that both Jennifer Williams of Naked Jam, and Kerry Witt of Chocolate by Miss Witt fame, will be at the festival


Changes - What's On page updated

Feb 21 News - Well Well!
Take a look at this Echo report into the Christchurch Borough Conservative councillors chucking out both their leader, and deputy leader (Ray Nottage and Claire Bath respectively).

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15105397.
Christchurch_council_has_a_new_leader_after_vote_of_no_confidence_in_Ray_Nottage/#comments-anchor


Former Mayor David Flagg is their new leader.


Now that the Food Festival runs over two days, organisers are looking for even more entertainers.
If you know someone who would be interested, or that way inclined yourself, please contact Mark at Fire & Ice Cafe in Lymington Road. Email is probably the best way, as I know mark is on the move a lot these days.
mark.sullivan3369@yahoo.com

Maybe exciting new local talent, Brogan Murphy, should give it a go. Brogan is the subject of the HP-Music video we mentioned on Feb 15. I understand the video, her first, is to be released on March 3.

Also on the same date, I mentioned the Great British Spring Clean on the weekend of March 3 - March 5, and that the nearest event was in Burton.
Since then, HELP (Highcliffe Enviroment Litter Pickers) have organised a clean up of Lymington Road.
HELP of course are always working around the village, and don't need a formal event to do their great work, but decided to tie in with the County wide effort this time.
http://www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk/home/2684?utm_source=Christchurch+Borough+Council
+news&utm_campaign=7050754820-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_02_13&utm_
medium=email&utm_term=0_6a9ff78b4a-7050754820-437320929


To find out more contact Helen Kennedy at helenlizkennedy@gmail.com, or by dropping into The Foot Clinic in The Precinct in Highcliffe, or into The Lifestyle Concept, and speak to Tracey.



Changes - What's On page updated

Feb 15 News - That's interesting. I thought I'd advertise, and probably take part in, the Great British Spring Clean on the weekend of March 3 - March 5.
However, when I looked for local events, the only one anywhere near us is at Burton Green, nothing else at all in Christchurch or Highcliffe, nor any other locations anywhere even close.
Quite surprising, given how well the beach clean initiatives are supported.
(Talking of which - I notice that the Dorset Litter Free Coast and Sea team is homed in Dorchester, an interesting location for that particulat team.)

The newly opened Creative Hub in Lymington Road (https://www.hp-music.co.uk/) are already getting involved in Highcliffe life, in addition to working with some very talented local performers.
A few days ago, they were working in Highcliffe Castle, producing their first music video. I guess it will be a while before it's ready for us to see, but it is good to know that their talent seems to be starting to bear fruit.
(Click picture for larger version)

A quick summary of what they offer is:
-- Recording
– Videography / Photography
– Artist Development
– Music Lessons
– Production / Songwriting
– Music Distribution
– Digital Media Design

Pretty quiet on the crime front in our area. At least, I have had no reports of the recent spate of burglaries continuing at present.
If you know differently, please let me know.

Also, if anyone knows what happened on Monday teatime-ish, near the Naish entrance, please let me know.
There was an road accident which caused long traffic queues. There were several Police vehicles in attendance, along with paramedics, but I can find no information about the incident.



Changes - What's On page updated

Feb 13 News - Some of you may have missed the news about Council reorganisation. See Echo report below.

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15083472.
Decision_to_abolish_Dorset___s_nine_councils____could_happen_within_weeks___/?ref=mr&lp=14


The arrogant way our senior council officers behave (along with a few councillors) is starting to make me think that we might be better off if CBC disappears.
But I guess that at least we know who we are dealing with at present.

The reality is that it doesn't matter what the electorate wants. Change will be forced on us anyway, again by people who don't actually care about us.


Changes - What's On page updated.
Neighbourhood Alert page updated with info about Doorstep Crime Awareness week - which starts today.

Feb 9 News - Click below to see a copy of the letter sent to all councillors, and to selected council officers, following the public meeting on Tuesday. (By the way, there were 87 residents at the meeting, crammed into a room designed for many less than that.)
Click here for the letter.

I also hear that our MP, Chris Chope, is showing the same kind of concerns that he showed last year with the beach hut fiasco, as it appears - yet again - that normal council decisions, which should be decided openly by elected committees, are being pushed through in secret by council officers, and one or two portfolio holders.
For anyone involved in last year's fight, it will come as no surprise that the portfolio holder for Highcliffe Castle is Councillor Vicki Hallam, a leading light in trying to push through the Plum Pictures deal.

On that subject, I also now know that their plans to build a small number of beach houses was, as many of us thought, merely the thin edge of a very big wedge. The actual figure they planned to build was much nearer a hundred than 12.
I remind everyone that at the time it was being claimed (including in the national press) that Natural England was in agreement with the plan, whereas in fact they knew nothing of it at all, and were extremely unlikely to approve it.
And they wonder why we don't believe anything they say or do in their secret meetings and deals.

I also hear that the present incumbant of the Tearooms is being bullied and harrassed by a senior council officer, with regard to letting Aromark officials into the Tearooms.

I've said it more than once, but have no hesitation in saying it again. This situation stinks. It stinks of secrecy, lack of openness, lack of respect - for just about everyone - and total contempt for Council, and for residents and taxpayers.

It's such a shame there isn't a local election coming up.

Changes -

Feb 8 News - Standing room only at last night's meeting, which alone shows that people are concerned about the way the issue of the Castle Tearooms contract has been handled.
In attendance were our Mayor, and several councillors.
All the points and concerns raised are being summarised by the Friends of Highcliffe Castle Tearooms, and will be presented to CBC officials and Councillors as soon as possible.
As was pointed out strongly, the whole (so called) tendering process was not only flawed, but fundamentally wrong., which is why so many of our elected representatives are showing their concerns.

There has been a load of tosh on Streetlife about the subject, with a few people trying to support Aromark, and saying the current leaseholder is no different from Tesco's, as he doesn't actually work behind the counter, and other such nonsense.
Maybe these people are deliberately being arguementative, but if not, they are completely missing the point.
This is NOT about the current leaseholder, and the way he's being ejected in favour of a multinational catering company.
It IS about the way some council officers wheel and deal in secret, without any attempt to even keep their employers in the picture (in the shape of our elected representatives) much less us taxpayers (who pay their wages).
We saw the same arrogance and contempt last year, and we're seeing it yet again with this issue.


The Oakhaven Charity furniture shop in Lymington Road was apparently broken into last night. Not sure if anything at all was stolen, or even what the thieves were expecting to find, but the stock is intact. Some very odd people around.


Changes - What's On page updated

Feb 7 News - Any members of the Sports & Social Club out there that haven't yet renewed their membership?
If so, you've only got until February 28 to do so before your membership lapses.
(They are a quite tolerant bunch at the Club, as membership runs from January 1 until December 31.)

Anyone not a member and wants to join, it only costs £19 a year for full membership, and only £14 for over 65s.
Junior membership (under 18) is only £2 pa.


At long last,Police are cracking down of drivers using their phones while on the move. In a week they've issued tickets to 91 offenders.
Details on the Neighbourhood Alert page.

Don't forget tonight's meeting.

Changes - What's On page updated

Feb 5 News - URGENT - from the Friends of Highcliffe Castle Tearooms


18:30 to 20:30, 07 February 2017
Old School House, Lymington Road, Highcliffe

A public meeting has been organised, by residents, for residents, on Tuesday to enable residents to express their views and comments in respect of Christchurch Council's Tender/Tender result, and the proposal to award a Catering Concession, from April, to a US $ billion Facilities Management conglomerate company. Many negative comments have been registered on Streetlife and the Bournemouth Echo on-line. This newly formed 'Friends' Group is to enable you to have your say and collectively give feedback to Christchurch Council, in the strongest terms, as well as Aramark themselves. We do hope you can attend the meeting. Thank you.


Changes -

Feb 4 News - Outline planning permission has finally appeared for 835 houses to be built at Roeshot Hill.
http://planning.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/plandisp.aspx?recno=105892

We knew this was coming, and as expected, there is no provision for any services such as medical centre or school.
Which given that that number of houses could easily generate a population of 2000+, and maybe 1000+ children.
I've already objected to those missing services.

Also, bearing in mind the Hoburne Farm development on the opposite side of the A35, there is no plans for a roundabout, only slip roads for the new development (and no access to the A35 at all from Hoburne Farm).
A roundabout serving both developments would not only make logical sense, but would have the added benefit of slowing traffic in the area of Roeshot Hill, which as we all know is a notorious accident blackspot.


The popular dixieland jazz group, The Tony Robinson New Jazz Aces Quartet, is now resident every Thursday night from 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm, at The Willow Restaurant, Gore Road, New Milton, BH25 6SJ. (Used to be the Milton Barns.)


I know there are people in Mudeford and Friars Cliff that read this page. So for them - be aware of a Borough Council election coming up, triggered by the resignation of Andy Barfield.
It's on Thursday March 2.

The deadline for requesting a postal vote is 15 February at 5pm
The deadline for arranging a proxy vote is 22 February at 5pm
For anyone not registered, you can do so by going here
https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote?utm_source=Christchurch+Borough+Council

Changes - What's On page updated


Feb 3 News - As regulars will know, I have been long protesting that some of our employees at Christchurch Council treat both councillors and us residents and tax payers with complete contempt.
They do secret deals behind closed doors, following their own agendas, and for their own reasons.
They did it last year with the beach hut fiasco, and now the same people have been at it again with the secret deal with Aromark. (There's probably many other examples as well.)
I have said all along that as these people actually work for us, there is no way they should be doing deals that our elected representatives (their bosses) know nothing about until it's too late.

I'm pleased to say that this time, many of our councillors actually agree with my views completely, and below is the content of a couple of emails received by other concerned members of the public. I have removed the names - for now at least.
--------------------------------------------------------
Please be assured that most of the Christchurch Councillors are very concerned about the result of the Highcliffe Tea Rooms lease renewal bids. Yet again except for a few Portfolio holders and the Leader, we Councillors were only made aware of the winning bid, very shortly before the public notices were published!

Although not on the agenda, the Scrutiny Committee that met on Wed evening discussed the matter of the Tea Rooms. We will be taking the matter further.

We are concerned also that despite the fact that we are elected to put forward the wishes of our residents, decisions are by being made that pass us by, and are being taken ‘from the top down’

Thank you again for your email, and please keep emailing, writing and phoning your concerns to Councillors and the press. it really does help us to support our residents.
---------------------------
Many thanks for this information. The Councillors were not given the name of the winning bidder (or the names of the other bidders) The process was a matter for the Officers to deal with ( Judith Plumley) and questions must be asked as to how this could be acceptable! Having been made aware now of ARAMARK as a bidder – and indeed the winning bidder- we are learning more about the company. I had heard that they own Subway but as yet have not checked that.
Thank you again for the information which I will send to fellow Councillors.

We also have to wonder why such a large corporate company is interested in a small local English Tea Room! These Companies deal with million Dollar profits and successful as the Tea Room has been, I cannot see it generating enough profits for Aramark. At least not in it’s present form. From our initial discussion at the Scrutiny Meeting it seems the lease is for 15 years, with no ‘out’ clause after a ‘probationary’ period. We did ask the legal team also who will monitor their performance. Without further investigation, initially it seems that Aramark will monitor itself. Again though – we have not had time to check the details of the contract.
You are correct in that the APPLICATIONS for ANY bids for ANY business/contract MUST be offered INTERNATIONALLY. That is applied to the UK through the EU. It has been applied into British law by whatever Parliament of the day was in control at that time.
----------------------------

I am one of many that believes that the tendering process was a sham, and that is was deliberately intended to ensure that Aromark got the contract. The whole thing was deliberately intended to ensure that no local or small business could comply with the requirements, which is why almost all interested parties dropped out without even bothering to tender.
We all know - just common sense tells us - that Aromark are not just interested in a small village tearooms. Which begs the question. What are they really after? Maybe someone like Judith Plumley could tell us.

Now all we need is for the repeat offenders to be dealt with properly. It still hasn't happened over the Plum Pictures deal, and I'm guessing that even after this, those same employees will still be in place, and probably still doing their own thing with our money.


Changes -


Feb 2 News - The latest action foisted on us by CBC officials - the Castle Tearooms fiasco - has unsurprisingly made the national press. Here's what the Times online has to say.
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/storm-in-a-tearoom-as-big-business-takes-over
-h5jdgw9p2?shareToken=ee33afe3c89c7041083d2cf01155165c


However, the hard copy newspaper was more comprehensive, and well worth a read if you can steal a copy.


Different subject.
The memorial SRDE plinth, that was removed from the historic site at Steamer Point after damage by a vehicle during a water sports event, and which we were told would most likely not be replaced in the same location, and maybe not at all if funding for repairs could not be found, IS going back where it belongs, although to one side rather than centrally.
Here's the CBC response:
----------------------------
We are in the process of having the plaque cleaned and refurbished, once complete we will reinstate the plaque, mounted on slab of Purbeck stone to one side of the old concrete base.

By situating the plaque to one side we will avoid damaging the original concrete base and it will not be as vulnerable to accidents such as the one that caused it’s recent demise.

I estimate the works will take another few weeks but please be assured will be completed as soon as possible.
-----------------------------------


Changes -


Feb 1 News - The request by Dorset Police last week to help locate a convicted murderer who was out on license (!!) but had absconded, ended with a satisfactory conclusion, when Jamie Frater eventually handed himself in, and has been returned to jail.


Changes - What's On page updated
Neighbourhood Alert page updated.

Jan 31 News - The email address for Councillor Geary (North Highcliffe and Walkford) was incorrect on the Local Politicians page.
It is now fixed.

The petition, created by customers of the Castle Tearooms to protest about the shocking way the leaseholder of the Tearooms is being treated by officers of Christchurch Borough Council, has been delivered to the council offices in time for the Full Council meeting tomorrow.
In just a few days, hundreds of people signed, with many making the trip in appalling weather just to add their names.

It really is time that some of these council officials were reminded that they actually work for us, and that when they come up with these sneaky and underhand secret deals, they really must get them approved by their employers first (in the shape of our elected representatives).
Once again, councillors were among the last to know what was being planned behind closed doors. In any real business, some of these people would have been sacked after last year's beach hut fiasco. Unfortunately, they are still in place, and still following their own agendas, regardless of the wishes of the electorate.

Changes -


Jan 30(a) News - More apologies.
The Dorset Police/Home Watch event at Greystones is on Saturday 4th, NOT Friday.
All other details are as reported earlier.

Changes -


Jan 30 News - Apologies. I had not heard about the death of Don Percival at the age of 90, until a kind person pointed it out to me.
Don was best known for his support and service to the Highcliffe Sports and Social Club for many years, but he was also well known in golfing circles, having been born and raised at Highcliffe Castle Golf Club, where his parents were the golf professional and stewardess.
His funeral took place at St Marks on Friday.
(There is an interesting obituary on page 12 of the most recent edition of the New Milton Advertiser for anyone who would like more information about Don's life.)

For anyone who missed this news elsewhere, it's good to see that our recently departed postmaster, Rob Coates, has now started hisown oven cleaning business, and is part of the Oven Wizards franchise.
Rob can be found at www.ovenwizards.com

At the Castle Tearooms there is currently a petition running to protest about the shocking way the current leaseholder is being treated, following 17 years of good service to the local community.
He is at pains to stress that he has nothing to do with this petition, and that regulars and staff made the decision.
He is however, extremely touched and grateful at the overwhelming show of support.

Next Friday, there is an interesting event at Greystones.
Dorset Police , with Home Watch, are running a community safety event. It runs from 10 am until 2 pm.
In the morning, there will also beguided ttouurs of this listed building, and refreshments will be available.
Along with advice, there will also be a selection of security products on sale, not to mention a fire engine to look over.

Next Friday (February 3) the popular Highcliffe Community Association Cinema is showing "Bridget Jones Baby", with Renee Zellweger and Colin Firth.
Doors open at 6:30pm, and film starts (sharp) at 7:00pm. Tickets are £4.50 from the Association, or by calling 01425 271604.


Changes - What's On page updated


Jan 27 News - Urgent!
The contract with Aromark for the Castle Tearooms lease has not been signed yet. But is due to be on Wednesday February 1.
If, like me, you think this whole situation stinks, and has the same aroma of underhand and secret dealings, which will be to the detriment of Highcliffe, it's residents and taxpayers, and most definitely to the detriment of local businesses/suppliers, then contact your councillor right now to demand - at least - a postponement, so that the whole situation can be examined by Council.
This did not happen with the beach hut fiasco, and we (NOT CBC officers) nearly ended up with a big legal bill.

This situation is very similar. The deal is being done by mostly the same council officers (our employees) as almost got away with their self interested plans last year.

At least most of Highcliffe's councillors are as concerned as we are about this situation, and presumably don't want to be presented with the same kind of fait accompli as they were last time.
So make sure they know the level of concern out in the real world, and give them some encouragement to sort this out before it's too late.
http://www.highcliffedorset.co.uk/political.htm

Also, ask yourself this. Why would a multinational American company, used to dealing with major events such as the Olympic Games, be interested in a little village tearooms? I'd be surprised if you come up with a different answer from me.


A different subject. There have been items in the News on this website, and discussions elsewhere, about the state of the paths in Steamer Point, and around the castle grounds.
You may find this planning documant very interesting. I know I did.
http://moderngovcbc.christchurchandeastdorset.gov.uk/documents/s5956/T-15-0303%20Highcliffe%20Castle.pdf

Changes -


Jan 25 News - I've had my trusty pen out again, the one I use to write to my councillors. I invite you to do likewise.

First, on the secret dealings that CBC have been undertaking (on our behalf of course - Ha!) which have led to the existing leaseholder at Highcliffe Castle Tearooms being usurped in favour of a multinational American company, who are probably still wondering where on Earth is this Highcliffe place. Rumours have been doing the rounds for a while, but one one was true. See the story below.
thttp://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/15041869.Popular_tea_rooms_to_be_handed_
over_to_catering_giant_that_provides_prison_food_and_school_meals/?ref=mr&lp=1


I would remind everyone that the existing leaseholder has built up this business over many years, is a major local employer of local people, and - with his Selfridge initiatives - has helped put Highcliffe Castle and the village on the map.
Even if Christchurch Council decided, for whatever secret reasons of their own, to not renew the lease , they could at least have looked at other local businesses (of which there were several) who might have an interest in the location, the customers, and local taxpayers.

Highcliffe councillors' contact details can be found here:
http://www.highcliffedorset.co.uk/political.htm


Second - now that the facts about the missing Steamer Point SRDE memorial have finally been uncovered, another letter was required.
The plinth and plaque were removed from the site after being damaged last year during one of the water sports events, when visitors take over the public open spaces at Steamer, courtesy of CBC.
It seems that the damage was caused by a vehicle, and the memorial was removed. Not only is it quite possible that it will not be repaired or replaced, as funding is required, but if it is repaired, it is likely that it will be placed somewhere else, away from it's historical site.
WHAT? So we let people move in for private events, and when they cause damage to a unique local site, we locals are supposed to pay for the repairs. I've come to the conclusion that CBC could not run a wotsit in a brewery.
Why on earth are the event organisers not responsible for damage to the site?

For anyone who doesn't know, this site was the first satellite early warning station on Earth, and much vital research was undertaken, which led to SKYNET instant telephone communications being used to quickly help areas of the world stricken by natural disasters - something we now take for granted.
http://www.srde.co.uk/frames/satellite_comms.htm
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMBFG3_Steamer_Point_SRDE_Christchurch_Hampshire_UK


Changes -


Jan 24 News - We finally know what's happened to the SRDE memorial plinth at Steamer Point. Apparently it got damaged during one of the water sports events,, when the area was full of trucks and campers. Here's the full response given to the chap who first raised the issue.
----------------------------------
The concrete was damaged last year following a windsurfing event, probably backed into by a large vehicle. It was consequently inspected, and sadly declared unsafe. CBC were told to either repair or remove the concrete base. As it is intended that more events will be allowed to take place there, it was decided to remove it.

The bronze plaque is temporarily in the Council Offices and the Council’s plan is to re-install into a new interpretive project on or near the site which informs the public of the history of the site. At present the officers are planning the project, and looking for funding.
------------------------------------
Which probably means that they have no intention of replacing it. My suggestion would be to charge the organisers of these events and/or make them responsible for any damage they cause.

Police are looking for a convicted murdered who has disappeared while out of jail on license (!!!).
See Neighbourhood Alert page for details and a photo.
Also on that page is a request from Christchurch Police for info on anti social behaviour. Some may want to complete ther little survey.

Just in case anyone was thinking that the long awaited report on the beach huts fiasco, from CBC's Scrutiny and Policy Overview Committee (SPOC), has conveniently been forgotten, it seems we were wrong.
Apparently, the report was delayed by ongoing council reorganisation discussions, but will be presented at the SPOC meeting on February 1.
I'm thinking that we will then witness some high class council sweeping under carpets time. It would be amazing if anyone actually was brought to book over it all.


Changes -
Accommodation page updated with a new bed and breakfast establishment.
Neighbourhood Alert page updated.
What's On page updated
Includes Twinning Association events (Feb 5, Feb 28, March 21)

Jan 20 News - Tomorrow there is a Fun Dog Show at Stanpit Village Hall, with all proceeds going to the Lakewood Restoration project.
There are all kinds of categories, with prizes and rosettes on offer.
There is also a photo competition, so if you have pictures of your dogs you think others will like, why not go alonge and try to pick up a prize?
It runs from 12 noon until 4:00pm.


Changes -


Jan 16 News - I understand that contractors should be working around the Castle grounds within a couple of weeks, repairing all the many potholes in the various paths.
It seems we have a more proactive team running the place these days.

Talking of which, the Castle has been nominated in the 2017 UK Wedding Awards, under the category of Best Castle Venue.

No answers forthcoming as to why the SRDE Memoroal Plinth has been removed from Steamer Point.
As with all of my recent attempts to get information from CBC officers or councillors, people trying to find out why/where it's gone, have been met with complete silence.
I can't help but wonder if there is a deliberate policy in place to completely ignore any questions from residents.
(We such a bunch of inconvenient trouble makers after all.)

Changes -


Jan 12 News - I have an answer regarding the tree felling behind the Castle.
It is connected with the plans from 2015, relating to the Heritage Lottery Application that was made.
Part of those plans were to increase car parking, connect the Zig Zag Path with the path through Steamer Point nature Reserve, which starts at Common Gate (which has been removed).
More info at http://highcliffecastle.co.uk/hlf_award
I'm told that there are still a few trees that are rotten at the base, which will also need to be removed.

I'm also told that, as suggested, the resultant wood chippings are being used (starting yesterday) on the muddy paths and other locations around the site. A little common sense prevails, which is god news.


Dorset Police now have a new website specifically about fraud, and how to handle the many threats facing us all.
Go to https://www.dorset.police.uk and follow the "Fraud" links.


Changes - The Neighbourhood Alert page updated.

Jan 11 News - If you like walking among the trees behind the Castle, between Steamer point and the open green area, you'd better do it soon. The trees are disappearing very quickly. They are being felled in large numbers, and although some are obviously near end of life, many appear to be healthy.
Email attempts to find out why so many are being removed have been completely ignored. Also, the chippings are just being piled up in the bushes (same as last time) when they could be used to cover some of the muddy paths.

Talking of emails being ignored. Over the past few weeks, I have made polite enquiries on a range of subjects, from the Council Communications Officer, my councillor, and a Castle contact. Unless everyone connected with CBC is on holiday, I am being totally ignored, with not even an acknowledgment.
Maybe they haven't read the statement on the CBC website about being committed to openness.

There's an opportunity to take part in a free Community Road Safe session, aimed at improving road safety for all of us.
(The sessions are funded by the fines of people who have broken motoring laws.
There is advice from a range of organisations, such as the Emergency Services, and even Kwik Fit.
Free refreshments, a goody bag, and vouchers will also be available.
Take a look at the Neighbourhood Alert page.


Changes - What's On page updated
A new site about the old SRDE site at Steamer Point ahas been added to Neighbours Links page
The link to Yellow Buses website is now correct on the Useful links page.


Jan 7 News - Further to the article about the Community Association's appeal against the refusal of their planning application.
Apparently the original application was rejected by only two voters. There was one vote for, and all other councillors on the committee abstained. Hardly democracy in action I'd say.

It seems that the Planning Officer's opinion was that if passed, the result would be that Historic England would want a public enquiry. I don't suppose for a minute that planners actually asked them though.
Also, nothing that Historic England would be interested in would be destroyed or damaged by the extension planned.

I ask again, if there's anyone with the necessary experience required for an appeal, please give the Association a call or email.


Changes -


Jan 6 News - The Community Association at Greystones needs your help.
They quite rightly plan to appeal the rejection of their plans to build an orangery at the rear of the property, in order to increase the number of activities they can provide for us residents.
The Association have been advised by council to appeal, but as a charity, money is an issue. So they are looking for people with the expertise to offer professional advice to help them with the appeal.

On the face of it, their case is very strong, so if you think you may be able to help, please contact the Association.
Email the Chairman Leslie Newman at lesleyalison53@msn.com or telephone Greystones on 01425 271604, and they will put you in touch with the right people.


Telephone and email scams galore going on at present, Not only the well known Microsoft one, but we also have BT, Norton, Amazon, PayPa, and others. If you just assume that all such phone calls and emails are criminal, and ignore them (or tell them their fortune) you won't go far wrong.

The What's On page is looking a bit bereft atpresent. If you have anything coming up over the coming months, and want some free publicity, please email and let me know

Fancy a job as a call handler for 999 and 101 calls? Take a look at the item on the neighbourhood Alert page (link below).


Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated.
New Mobility aids page has been added

Jan 3 News - Happy New Year Everyone. Let's hope that we don't have so many things to concern ourselves with this year.
Unfortunately, with organisations like CBC operating, I suspect that might be a forelorn hope.

Sadly, we start with some bad news straight away. The burglars are still operating in the area, and there have been two more breakins over the holiday.
One was in Elphinstone Road, and the other was in Rook Hill Road. All the details on the Neighbourhood Alert page

Changes - Neighbourhood Alert page updated

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