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Chairperson - Sue Fotheringham

Your Residents Association Newsletter

Community Matters - September 2022

We are run by a committee of volunteers and a team of helpers who give their time free of charge in an effort to protect the environment that we all enjoy whilst living in this beautiful area
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
If you can't see our logo above and at the end of the newsletter, make sure you have clicked the link to download pictures

Household Support Fund
Catch the Bus
Beryl E-Bikes
Furure of Druitt Hall
BCP Council Funding Gap
Future Places
Christchurch Baptist Church
Christchurch u3a
Xmas is coming!
Monday roadworks chaos
If you want to read the newsletter as a Word document, click here

The Late Queen Elizabeth’s passing has been an immensely sad time for The Royal Family and many other persons from all walks of life. Jumpers and St Catherine’s Hill Residents Association wish King Charles lll the greatest support and good health in his new role.



Household Support Fund

Support for pensioners via supermarket vouchers

Under BCP Council's Household Support Fund scheme, we are working with Citizens Advice BCP to distribute supermarket vouchers to pensioners to help with the increase in cost of living.

Citizens Advice BCP are encouraging anyone who knows a pensioner who may be in need to let them know about the scheme and help them apply if necessary.

There is a time limit in place so please apply as soon as possible to make sure your application can be processed.

Find out more about the Household Support Fund




Catch the Bus Month continues ...

BCP Council is supporting our local bus services provider Morebus, during 'Catch the Bus Month'.
Travelling by bus is an efficient, environmentally friendly way of getting around and helps to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.  
More about 'Catch the Bus Month' from Morebus

E-bikes added to Beryl scheme

The UK’s leading micromobility provider, Beryl, is now offering users in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) even more forms of sustainable travel.

Beryl, in partnership with BCP Council, are now providing 20 e-bikes for use across the existing scheme area. 

The move makes BCP only the second area in the country, after Norwich, to offer three forms of sustainable transport (e-scooters, push bikes and e-bikes) under the same scheme. 

One of the main benefits of using an e-bike is that electric assistance kicks in once the rider begins to pedal. This extra power can open up cities, enabling riders to tackle hills and undertake longer journeys. It is also useful for commuting, helping to reduce physical exertion and allowing workers to arrive at work clean and ready to go. 

Beryl CEO and co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “By boosting people’s options and making our scheme even more accessible, we can hopefully continue to get more people out of the car and onto two wheels.  

“E-bikes can help us break down even more barriers to sustainable travel and that can only be a positive thing as we work with BCP Council to help reduce congestion, improve public health and boost air quality.

“We have launched a small initial fleet, but we hope through working with the council we can ramp those numbers up, if the e-bikes prove to be popular.

“So with the warm weather, long days and sky-high petrol prices, now is the perfect time to saddle up and give e-bikes a try.”

Councillor Mike Greene, BCP Council’s portfolio holder for transport and sustainability said: “Beryl bikes and e-scooters are proving to be an incredibly popular and efficient way of getting around locally and I’m delighted that even more people will be able to enjoy travelling sustainably and actively using these brand new e-bikes.

“They offer a range of benefits including enabling people with disabilities to enjoy cycling, and helping people ride further and with less physical exertion. 

“BCP Council is a trailblazer for micromobility in the south and I’m looking forward to seeing the e-bikes in action this summer.”

Beryl’s annual Demographic Survey ran in August 2021 and generated over 1000 responses from users. Findings from the survey showed that, while pedal bikes and e-scooters are more popular (than e-Bikes) for leisure riding, e-bikes are preferable for commuting, shopping or running errands. This showed that e-bikes have a complementary journey profile to pedal bikes and e-scooters.

The survey also showed that people using three modes of micromobility are also more likely to have reduced their usage of cars. Of those respondents who used three forms of micromobility, five per cent said they had completely stopped using their car and 30% said they had used their car less often since using Beryl vehicles. 

In areas where users just rode bikes, no respondents said they had completely stopped using the car and 25% said they had used it less often. 

You can hire a Beryl e-bike through the Beryl app, available for free download on the App Store for iOS, and the Google Play Store for Android users. 

For more information on Beryl’s innovative bike share scheme, please visit


Yellow Buses ceased trading

BCP Council worked hard to support the Administrators and private bus companies to explore a number of different solutions to safeguard  residents’ and visitors' ability to travel. "We’re saddened and disappointed that no new owner has been found for the bus operations side of Yellow Buses, despite everyone’s best efforts."
Check before you travel and visit the Morebus website to find about what extra routes are running.




A CONSULTATION is set to begin into the future of a community hall in Christchurch.

Members of the public will be given their say on Druitt Hall with a six-week consultation period set to begin in October.

The survey seeks to determine if Christchurch residents want to keep the popular facility, or have it replaced.

Detailed plans for the consultation were outlined in a Christchurch Town Council meeting on Tuesday, September 6.

According to the meeting minutes, the public will be asked: “Do you want to retain Druitt Hall, as it is, with appropriate improvements? Or would you like to see a new build Community Hall in its place?”.

Druitt Hall has remained a subject of discussion for the ancient borough, with some councillors and residents calling for improvement works, and others asking for it to be replaced completely.

Thousands of pounds have been spent on improvements to the building over the past few years, with further refurbishment works proposed for the hall earlier this year, including a window replacement scheme.

However, these were put on hold in June when the council decided to consult the public and hear their views.

Councillor Lesley Dedman said: “The way that the town council plan to consult the community has been put together really fairly, with all the options out.

People will have their say. It will be what the public want.

At the meeting on September 6, a resident raised concerns that the council could be leaning more towards demolishing Druitt Hall to then rebuild it.

The town clerk responded: “The Town Council has not expressed any resolved intention to rebuild the hall. A committee previously committed sums for the windows to be replaced, however this decision was re-visited by Full Council and replaced with a commitment to consult the public on the matter of refurbishment or rebuild.

Dismissing the idea of a rebuild at this stage inherently presupposes what the consultation outcome maybe. It has been the policy of council to consult the whole community of Christchurch prior to any substantive decision.”

The consultation period will begin on October 1, with an online survey and hard-copies available across the town and its five wards.

Daily Echo - 18th September

DRUITT HALL – A personal Perspective

Chris Guest, a Trustee of Druitt Hall Community Association (DHCA), has written this article for JSCHRA.









First, we want to say – We are both appalled at the utter financial mess BCP Council is in. Many of you may have heard or read about the situation. If not, we provide some information here - as we see it as your Ward Councillors.

We consider that for our previously solvent, well-run town of Christchurch to be forced into such a shocking financial and reputational position by the current leadership, after such a short time, is absolutely shameful. 84% of Christchurch residents told us they did not want to be merged into BCP council. We agreed with them, and they were right. BCP Council is now verging on bankruptcy.


In February this year BCP Council voted by a majority to approve the Conservative administration’s budget for 2022/23. The facts are - as your Ward Cllrs neither of us, nor any Christchurch Independent Cllrs. voted for this budget. It was carried through by the Conservative majority led by Cllrs. Drew Mellor and Philip Broadhead.


That budget was only going to balance by use of a Special Purchase Vehicle (SPV), whereby the Council planned to sell off, to itself, (forming an SPV Council owned company) the beach huts, which it owns anyway. A Government scheme existed until the end of March 2022 for flexible use of capital receipts (FUCR), which meant that capital received from selling assets could be used as revenue to be spent on certain things. One of these was “transformation” (putting the 3 Councils’ services into 1) which is mostly what the Council wants the money for. The sale would have generated around £54m. We were told that the Government was sure to extend the scheme past March 2022 but at that time in February had not actually decided yet.


Many opposition Councillors, including Christchurch Independents, pointed out that should the FUCR scheme not materialise there would be a big hole in the budget, and there appeared to be no “Plan B”. We were all told at Full Council in February, by the Leader Drew Mellor, that a draft report existed from consultants KPMG supporting the proposal, but we couldn’t see that report because it was not finalised.


Therefore, in February Councillors were asked to vote through a budget, having seen no evidence to support a dubious plan for the Council to sell its beach huts to itself, via a Government scheme which might be removed in March 2022, with no backstop Plan B. We did not vote for that budget but the majority administration voted it through.


What happened next

The Government looked at the proposed scheme for the Council selling beach huts to itself to obtain £54m. Councillor Mellor had told everyone that the plan was in line with Government FUCR rules. Levelling Up Minister Greg Clark wrote to the Council saying that he could not countenance use of the scheme for “dodgy deals” and he changed the regulations to close up the loophole so that the Council could not form a company (SPV) to sell the beach huts to itself.


This has left a gaping hole in the Council’s 2022/23 budget. BCP Council now faces a funding gap not only for the current financial year but for the following two years as well.


The Chief Financial Officer has produced a report pack on 2022/23 budget monitoring quarter 1, setting out the situation and scenarios, which you can download here:


It is not easy reading. The Financial Officer says that any of the scenarios presented will leave a material funding gap in the revenue budget for 2023/24. He also says “as a Council we have little financial resilience as the reserves are low and there is little room to manoeuvre”.


A Loan from the Government?

The administration has now asked the Government for a loan called Exceptional Financial Support (EFS), of £76m over 3 years, which will come from the Public Works Loan Board. Government Minister Paul Scully wrote to the Council leader on 2nd September stating - “In respect to your Council’s request for EFS, after careful consideration, I am minded to offer the Council in-principle support of up to £20m in the form of a capitalisation direction for the financial year 2022/23”.


However, he goes on to say that the “in-principle” offer is subject to certain conditions:


• “That the Council produces a full plan for addressing its budget gap in 2023/24 and beyond, and shares this with my department by the end of September 2022. This plan should seek to utilise all the resources available to the Council to close the budget gap, be fully within the spirit and intent of all local government guidance, and aim to eliminate any amount of exceptional financial support required going forwards;

That the Council undergoes an external assurance review of its finances and governance arrangements. This review will advise on the amount of support required, help to ensure that the Council is on a sustainable footing going forwards, and ensure that policies and procedures are in place for robust decision making and accountability. This review will take place in Autumn 2022 and my officials will be in contact with your officers about this in due course.”


The Council also applied for support for 2023/24 and 2024/25, and that is yet to be determined, but not for several months.


The Financial Future?

With or without further loans, the Council may have to use both earmarked and unearmarked reserves, and likely try to use the FUCR scheme legitimately (rather than via a dodgy SPV deal), by having a fire sale of some non-strategic assets to bring in funds.


The report from the Financial Officer also assumes for 2023/24 “the full Council Tax increase and continued increases in fees and charges for all services.”


At the same time, the Council has agreed a massive Capital Investment Programme (CIP) that also calls on reserves and extra borrowing. The Budget Report is really too short in timescale to show the benefits of this programme on future revenues, so the longer-term position of the council is unclear.


Put this against a background of the rising Dedicated Schools Grant deficit, high inflation, economic stress and uncertainty, and the risks to the council look high.


We don’t know the answer to this mess and certainly did not vote for any of it. Perhaps an alternative approach would be to concentrate council resources on reducing its costs first. Once the budget can be balanced without calling on reserves, that might be the time to increase the Capital Investment Programme. This would reduce risk, but also push away the forecast benefits of all that capital investment. It also requires Council decisions to be reversed.


This Council cannot continue to live beyond its means. It seems to us that BCP is currently not breaking even, so it is using reserves to cover the shortfall in revenues. This cannot continue.


A solution could be to cut operating costs via the very expensive Transformation Programme. However, the supposed benefits of this programme have already been assumed in the Budget. Without the Transformation savings being delivered as forecast, BCP cannot balance its budget. Not a good situation to be in.


In our opinion, the administration needs to rein in its spending, stop concocting “dodgy deals”, and concentrate on making sure that core services are delivered to its residents. You don’t pay your Council Tax for the administration to squander it on consultants and speculative deals.


Both Margaret and Vanessa as your Christchurch Independent Commons Ward Councillors, will continue to work on behalf of all residents, as we try to chart a course through this financial fiasco, which we did not vote for.



On 26th May 2021 the BCP Council Cabinet agreed to form a private development company, BCP Future Places Ltd. (FP) with an approval for a 3 year Service Level Agreement with them. The stated “Ambition” relates to the Council’s “Big Plan to deliver regeneration at a pace and scale not seen before across the BCP area”.


The company is wholly owned by the Council and will provide regeneration, development, and project management services to the Council. The FP team would be made up of a mixture of directly employed key staff and seconded Council staff. The company is financed from BCP Council funds.


There was an initial grant to FP from BCP Council of £3.4m for setting up. The Cabinet then agreed a further £8m working capital loan facility which can be drawn upon as regeneration/development schemes come forward. There is a list of 14 council owned sites across BCP which FP will pursue as their initial portfolio. One of which is the Christchurch Civic Offices site.


Following Freedom of Information requests, it was revealed that the three main Executives in Future Places are earning £150,000; £145,000 and £100,000pa. Two of the Directors of the Company were the Leader and Deputy Leader (unpaid). However, the Deputy Leader has now stepped down and been replaced by an Independent Chairman, who we understand is Lord Kerslake. According to a report in the public domain he will receive between £18 to £30,000pa. His hours of work are not known but he will certainly be part time. The Leader will apparently step down as well once 2 more Independent Non-Executive Directors are appointed, who will of course be paid employees.


Future Places was formed as a Teckal Company which reduces the need to go to competitive tendering (they will get their business from BCP), but that also limits the ability of the company to trade with third parties (and hence to pay back any debt). Being a Teckal Company means that FP must do over 80% of its business with the Council. Without outside contracts, the question must be asked, how FP can repay this debt to the Council? It’s staffing costs are extremely high before they even start to do any operational business.


Also, BCP has a large hole in its budget and is having to borrow from the Government just to try to stay afloat - and then also fund Future Places. It is difficult to understand why 3 staff are being paid so much and how that can be justified in the current economic climate. It would be interesting to know if what FP is being lent millions of £s to do, could just as easily and more cheaply have been achieved by employing competent staff directly to BCP. We question whether Future Places is value for money.


To Contact Us:

Cllr. Margaret Phipps – - Tel: 01202 478266

Cllr. Vanessa Ricketts – – Tel: 07760 391467




Planning Applications

Christchurch Baptist Church

51 Bargates Christchurch BH23 1QE

Demolition of Existing Building. Construction of New Church Building

To view this application, go to
Application number 8/22/0552/FUL. 
Consultation ends 26th September to make your comments.



Why not browse our website Christchurch U3A and find a new interest or re-kindle an old one. If you are no longer in full time work you are eligible, age isn't important.
u3a members draw upon their knowledge and experience to teach and learn from each other for pleasure; learning is its own reward. 

u3a is a good way of making friends, meeting people. And importantly, you know that you’re meeting people with a shared interest. 

Christchurch u3a's Autumn Term has now started but there are plenty of places available in many of our Groups. All our Groups are listed on the website including these new ones which weren't in our printed Programme.
  • Discussion Group Informal light-hearted discussion of a wide range of interesting topics from Conspiracy Theories and UFOs to Relationships and the Environment.
  • French Literature, Poetry and Culture Reading and discussing stories, poems and humorous prose by outstanding French authors from the past and more recent times.
  • Social/Events Group Meeting on the first Friday of each month we are re-introducing a social programme incorporating holidays, coffee mornings and local social events
  • Introduction to Computing This course is very basic for members with very little or no computer skills. The course is designed to give students confidence with computing so they can progress to a more advanced group.



Barrack Road heading into town centre closing for five days

MOTORISTS are set for a week of traffic chaos and prolonged journeys as one of the main roads into Christchurch closes for emergency roadworks.

The two eastbound lanes of Barrack Road from the traffic lights with Stour Road to the Fountain Roundabout will be blocked off for five days from Monday, September 26.

This is to allow SGN engineers to address a leaking main under the road, which has been located following reported gas escapes.

Engineers are expected to carry out extended hours to ensure the closure does not face delays, with the possibility of some night working.
Jason Lewis, Daily Echo


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Community Matters is produced and edited by a team of local residents who try to present you with the facts that will both keep you informed and enable you to make up your own mind on local issues
Jumpers and St Catherine's Hill RA
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Jumpers and St Catherines' Hill Residents Association
83 Hillside Drive
Christchurch, Dorset BH23 2SZ
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