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Your Community Matters Newsletter

October 2023

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
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


BCP Council Update
Christchurch Living Advent Calendar
A338 closures
Strategic Transport Priorities Consultation
Water Works Knapp Hill
St Catherine's Community Hall events
The Big Sleep Easy

Links and Contact Details

If you want to read the newsletter as a Word document, click here



Another month gone and another update from us.  We made you aware last month of the legacy left after the May elections by the previous BCP administration, which resulted in a Government Best Value Notice sent to BCP in August setting out recommendations for improvements to running the Council.  Also, the External Auditor’s Report in September identified significant weaknesses in the Council relating to financial sustainability, governance, efficiency and effectiveness.
The new Three Towns Alliance administration has already started to try to improve the situation.  Finances are a huge problem with a £44m gap currently identified for the 2024/25 budget.  The reality of the situation is that we could well see future cuts in some services.  There is much work to be done to restore the credibility of the Council.  Assets need to be sold, one of which is the Christchurch Civic Offices, as they try to improve customer service and service delivery.  The decision has been taken to wind up Future Places and this will be welcomed by many, as it will save money and also move the administration of regeneration projects back inhouse to the Council.
The BCP Local Plan
The new BCP Local Plan, which will replace the three current Plans for Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole, is progressing. To engage with and inform residents, there will be a number of drop-in events as follows:
  • Monday 6 November - Kinson Library - 10am - 7pm
  • Tuesday 7 November - Christchurch Library - 10am - 7pm
  • Thursday 9 November - Poole Library - 10am – 6pm
  • Friday 10 November - Boscombe Library - 12.30 – 5pm    
You will be able to see how far we have got with the Plan, leave comments, and speak directly with a Planning Officer if you wish. 
If you can’t make it to any of the events, you will have another opportunity to comment on the fully published draft Plan in the New Year.  Any comments will then be passed on to an Independent Examiner from the Planning Inspectorate for consideration as part of the formal examination process.
As an absolute first, the new Plan will contain 33 Ward policies, each one specific to each Ward in BCP.  All Councillors, including us both for Commons Ward, have had the opportunity to shape their Ward policy.       
Two Planning Committees
The new Administration is still on schedule towards having two BCP Planning Committees instead of one, by May 2024.  They are likely to be East and West.
We continue to work hard for Commons Ward at BCP in challenging circumstances.  If you need to contact us our details are below.
Cllr. Margaret Phipps –  - Tel: 01202 478266
Cllr. Vanessa Ricketts – – Tel: 07760 391467


As you receive this, Christmas will be approaching fast. My fellow Town Councillors and I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.  I hope many of you will come to the Christmas Lights switch-on on Saturday 25th November. The High Street will be closed all day for the festivities including live music, festive treats to eat, fairground rides and, of course, a visit from Santa! Starting at 11.30 am, with the lights switching on at 5.30pm.
The CLAC (Christchurch Living Advent Calendar) will be operating throughout Christchurch during December, up until Christmas Eve, from 6-7pm (except 24th, at 2pm). Run by the Rotary Club for the benefit of many local charities, the details of each event can be found at Please come along and support your local good causes.
On Thursday December 14th at 7.30pm is the Priory’s Christmas Carol Service. Come along and join in raising all our voices in our favourite carols to put us all in the mood for the Christmas Spirit.
So, once again, I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to meeting up with many of you during this festive season.
Cllr Viv Charrett
Town Mayor

A338 to see temporary closures next month


Five miles of highway maintenance will be done on the A338 Spur Road, between Ashley Heath roundabout on the A31 and Blackwater junction at Christchurch Road. 

Temporary restrictions will be put in place between Monday, November 6 and Friday, November 10. 

The closures will be from 9pm to 6am with the southbound carriageway shut on November 6 and 7, and the northbound closed on November 8 and 9. 

It is expected to fully reopen on November 10 at 6am.

Dorset Council says a signed diversion route will be in place via the A31 Ringwood Road to Ferndown and then onto New Road. 

After that, signs will take drivers to Christchurch Road and then Parley Lane past the airport and back to Blackwater junction. 

The council warns fines of up to £1,000 will be handed out to drivers who drive on Spur Road during the overnight closures. 

Source -  Matt Simpson, Daily Echo
Article here


Strategic Transport Priorities Consultation


We need your views on our transport priorities



We are reviewing our strategic transport priorities and we are seeking your views.

Your valuable feedback will ensure that when funding becomes available for major scale transport schemes, we’re able to set out clear priorities shaped around what you’d like to see, which in turn will enable us to work more quickly and efficiently.

Have Your Say

We need you to help us decide what type of schemes and which clusters we should prioritise to have the greatest impact on the BCP area:

  • Please read the information document before completing our online survey to give us your views
  • You can download a paper copy of the survey here and return it to us at the address below
  • You can also collect hard copies of the survey and information document from any of BCP's libraries.

Please send completed paper copies of the survey to the following address: Strategic Transport Priorities Consultation, BCP Council, Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, BH2 6DY; or drop them into the 'Have Your Say' boxes in any of BCP's libraries

The consultation will close at midnight on 31 October 2023. If you have any questions or need the survey in a different format, please email



Planning approved for Christchurch's Knapp Mill water works


South West Water has had planning permission granted for improvements at its Knapp Mill site in Christchurch. The company proposed to invest £73m in an advanced chemical treatment process.

It submitted a scheme for a complex of 16 'large-scale buildings' and tanks, along with around 19 smaller chemical tanks at the northern end of the existing site.

The plans also involve underground pipelines, surface water drainage, vehicular access, car parking, delivery areas, as well as landscaping.

Once implemented, the changes would allow for a new water treatment process in which water is filtered through ceramic filters within a new enclosed structure rather than open tanks.

South West Water says the process upgrade will “deliver vital improvements in terms of the treatment process and greater water supply security through more resilient infrastructure that is better equipped to manage the impact of global climate change”.

Source -  Georgia Revell, Daily Echo
Article here


Events at St Catherine's Hill Community Hall

Marlow Drive, BH23 2RR


Saturday 4th November

10.00am - 4pm

Contact Gillian Michaels on 07732 400 455 for more information



General Knowledge Fun Quiz night with Chris Pine
 Saturday 11th November

Doors open 7.00pm for 7.30pm

Entry with pre-paid ticket only

Maximum 6 per team please - If you haven't a team, come along and make up a team with others

Price £3.00 per person - Bring your own drinks and snacks

Any queries contact John Spittle Tel 07713 740628, or email

Tickets available from Phil the Print in the Grove and the Launderette adjacent to the Hall and online via the Website 

“The Big Sleep Easy” on Saturday 14th October 2023 at Talbot Heath School.

Spot our own Sue Fotheringham in the front row!


MORE than £16,000 has been raised to support vulnerable homeless people across Dorset.

YMCA Bournemouth’s BIG Sleep Easy 2023 saw more than 80 people from 14 firms spend a night sleeping outdoors, in shelters they had built themselves.

The event, held in the grounds of Talbot Heath School, aims to promote awareness of the harsh conditions faced by the homeless community all year round.

The money raised directly supports the YMCA’s work across the county.

It is the charity’s biggest fundraising event of the year, and the annual event has helped raise more than £100,000 to date since it first started.

Roughly one in 366 people across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are homeless, according to a study by Shelter.

The charity helps tens of thousands of individuals across Dorset and runs over a dozen sites.
These include dedicated supported accommodation for men and women, community hubs, and Children’s Centres.

Sheena Dayman, events manager for YMCA Bournemouth, said: “The dedication, teamwork and generosity of the people who take part in this event is a heart-warming reminder of what we are able to achieve when we come together.”

“Without their efforts in supporting BIG Sleep Easy, it simply would not be possible to raise this funding to support our work with vulnerable people in our area.”

These include dedicated supported accommodation for men and women, community hubs, and Children’s Centres..

Donations to YMCA Bournemouth’s BIG Sleep Easy 2023 can be made online until December 1.
The YMCA Big Sleep Easy is back for 2023 - YMCA Bournemouth

Links and Contact Details


Councillors | Christchurch Town Council (

BCP Council Commons ward -

FSCH - Friends of St. Catherine's Hill
Website and Programme of Events

HOTH - Hall on the Hill
Website and Upcoming Events

West Christchurch Neighbourhood Policing Team

Team for Christchurch West 



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