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Your Community Matters Newsletter

December 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


3rd Christchurch Brownies 
Macmillan Caring Locally
BCP Council Update
CTC news and events
u3a Christchurch
Vintage Brass Carolling
Christmas Tree Recycling
Christmas bin collection dates
Win on Waste
The Mudeford Ferry
Post Office closure
Christchurch BID

Links and Contact Details

A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all the residents of Christchurch from your 'Community Matters' newsletter editors Eileen and Sue.

Dear Sue and Members of Jumpers & St Catherines Hill Residents Association,

What a wonderful surprise we had at Brownies last Thursday 14th December.  I was in complete shock at the amount of the cheque that Malcolm passed to me at the end of our Brownie Meeting.  I had to read it twice, before being able to announce that we had been given £1,500.00 from yourselves in support of all our activities.

When I was asked in the summer for a "Wish List" I never dreamt that we were about an amount of this nature.  Thank you so very much for this gesture of goodwill and support for us.  We can now buy everything on our "Wish List", and have enough left over to protect the long term future of the Brownie Pack.

This year has definitely been a year to remember - moving into the Hall on the Hill in February, helping at the Coronation Tea Party, losing Jean a valued Team Member and now receiving this donation from your Association we certainly have a secure and bright future to look forward to.  Please pass on our very grateful thanks to the Committee and your members for voting for us to be recognized in this way.

We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   Thank You Everyone.

Best Wishes
Annette Bowden
Voluntary Leader - 3rd Christchurch Brownie Pack

Third Christchurch Brownie Pack receiving the cheque from Jumpers and St Catherine's Residents Association at their end of term meeting at the Hall on the Hill. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all from everyone at 3rd Christchurch Brownies.  We thought you might like us to review our activities in this our 70th birthday year.   We have had a truly memorable time and planned two adventurous activity days at Foxlease.  In March the Brownies became Archers and tried out the Crate Challenge and in September by popular demand the Crate Challenge was re requested and we zipped down the wire and climbed the abseiling tower as well as having a BBQ lunch (cooked by two parents) and a campfire to finish with, where Mums, Dads & siblings joined in the action songs and toasting their marshmallows alongside us.  It was a lovely way to remember Foxlease the Girlguiding Training Centre at Lyndhurst because sadly yesterday, the centre was closed with all the staff taking time out of their day to have one final flag ceremony. 

In May we went on Pack Holiday – we had a weekend away with the Brownies at Dudsbury and explored all the brownie traditions and uniforms and of course a “Midnight” Feast was involved!!   The Brownies are extremely pleased with themselves because their feast didn’t get discovered by Brown Owl!!  3 Brownies achieved their Gold Awards and were presented these by our County Commissioner.
We enjoyed the Coronation by helping you, the Residents Association  with the Afternoon Tea and becoming Holy Dusters in Christchurch Priory on the Monday at the Big Help Out.  We also acted as Welcomers and cleaned and polished the pews and Eagle Lecturn.  It has never shone so brightly!    Brown Owl and Louise became radio stars as they were interviewed by Radio Solent about “volunteering”.
We took part in Christchurch Carnival where the theme was “Growing Girlguiding” with flower head dresses.  Louise was in charge of Bill and Ben, the flowerpot men, pushing her wheelbarrow around Christchurch.!!

Our service project for the year was to make quilts for the Project Linus group, an organization that supplies local hospitals with quilts for children to use and keep whilst in, and after their stay in hospital.  We made 17 quilts altogether and these have now been passed on to Southampton General Hospital, Childrens Ward.   We hired the hall especially on two Saturdays to achieve this with some Mums, Nannies and Grandmas coming along too, lending their machines, supporting and supervising the stitching, and occasionally patiently unpicking a wonky line!...   For many of the girls this was their first time using a sewing machine and sewing in a straight line!  We are extremely proud of our efforts.
None of these adventures can take place without my Team, Angela, Louise.  I thank them wholeheartedly for their support and enthusiasm. Naturally we miss Jean and will always remember her, but wonder with excitement what 2024 will bring us and thank you all, the Jumpers and St Catherines Hill Resident Association for your generous “Donation” in support of all our activities and adventures. 

With Best Wishes,

Annette Bowden – Voluntary Leader  3rd Christchurch Brownie Pack

Macmillan Caring Locally Trust Secretary, Neal Williams, was presented with a cheque for £2,776.89 at the Coffee Morning held at the Hall on the Hill on 14th December.

Neal gave us a very informative presentation about the history of the organisation and its future aims.. “Macmillan Caring Locally” formerly The Macmillan Cancer Trust was formed in 1974 and evolved from the fund raising committee for the building of the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital, the first of its kind in the country.

The donation will be supporting - "Brick By Brick – Why we need a new building".




We would both like to thank you for your continued support and wish you a very Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2024
Just a few things to tell you about in this last Newsletter of 2023 –
This application has now been appealed by the applicant due to non-determination by BCP. We questioned this and are told by BCP that because they failed to make a decision within the correct timeframe the applicant could appeal to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision, and this is what they have done. The Council will be preparing an Appeal Statement stating that it would have been recommending refusal on a number of grounds.
All representations which were made on this BCP Application No. 8/23/0294/OUT (Advertising Corner) will automatically be sent to the Planning Inspector, however if you want to make a new or further representation, these are the details:
Appeal reference: APP/V1260/W/23/3333238
You must make any comments by 11th January 2024
Last time we told you that there is also an Appeal in progress against refusal of the above application.  Comments on that appeal have now closed, but the Appeal Reference for information is APP/V1260/Z/23/3328695
You may be aware that Margaret is the Lead Member for delivering a new BCP Local Plan, which will replace the 3 previous plans for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. She has been chairing a cross party Working Group throughout the summer, reviewing every chapter of the new Plan, and with a lot of work being put in by Strategic Planning Officers, a draft Plan will now go before Full Council on 9th January.  If Council agrees, it will go out to residents for a six week consultation in late January.  All feedback will be passed to a Government Planning Inspector who will examine the Plan during 2024.
Currently the 3 legacy Plans which are in place, have over 300 policies.  The new BCP Plan will reduce that to under 90 policies which will be simpler for everyone.  You will know that the current administration is called the Three Towns Alliance and it aims to reflect the three distinct towns and their communities, within BCP.  With that in mind, we have been very progressive and included individual Ward Policies within the Plan.
Overall, the new Plan has 11 chapters and is divided into 2 parts.  Part 1 is the Strategy and General Policies covering a wide range of topics.  Part 2 contains 33 individual Ward Policies, one for each Ward within BCP.  Councillors from each Ward have been able to feed into shaping their Ward Policy.  The inclusion of Ward Policies has never been done before in this area as far as we are aware.  Both of us, as your Commons Ward Cllrs. have had input into our Commons Ward Policies.  A copy of the draft Plan which went to Cabinet in December can be seen at Item 8 here - BCP Council – Democracy    An amended Final Draft of the new BCP Local Plan will be available when published on the BCP website with the Agenda for Council on 9th January 2024.
As always, you can contact us on any BCP or Ward related issue.

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 am organising a concert at the Priory on 9th February to raise funds for my two charities, SSAFA and the Water Lily Project, both benefitting people in Christchurch. The concert will feature the Christchurch and District Town Band and friends, and I am most grateful to Beagle Aircraft for their help with the funding, and support from PP printing for the posters. It should be a terrific evening entertainment so I hope we can fill the Priory for a very enjoyable evening of great music. Tickets are available through the Christchurch Priory booking office online.
Cllr Viv Charrett
Town Mayor

Mudeford RNLI hosts first ever Christmas carol concert

The new ‘Carols on the Quay’ event at Mudeford Quay provided an evening of music and entertainment for hundreds of people.

Guests were welcomed by RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager Tim Hewett before the new event was officially opened by the Mayor of Christchurch.

The inaugural concert featured local choristers The Choir Engine who led the audience through an hour of carol singing.

The RNLI’s Rookie the Reindeer and Stormy Stan were also on hand to entertain the audience as people queued up for burgers and mulled wine at the Haven House Inn and Café.




January, the start of the New Year and a new term for Christchurch u3a. What will this year bring?

Here are a couple of events for January:
Sunday 14th - Sunday Lunch - 1pm. The cost will be based on how much you eat.

Saturday 20th - Quiz - 7pm. £2 per person plus £1 raffle. Bring your own drinks and nibbles.

Our Monthly Meeting will be on Monday 8th January. Ian Schulz will talk on the following subjects; Scams - how to recognise and hopefully avoid a variety of common scams, with examples shown. More on Google - some fun and useful features of Google that many people are not aware of. And finally, some useful, fun and free apps for tablets and smart phones, with demonstrations.

The Holiday Group still has a few places left for their Scottish Holiday if you want to take advantage of those.

Let's socialise, let's get happy, motivated and fit for 2024 and I wish you all a very Happy New Year.


Christchurch u3a The Epicentre,
27a High Street, Christchurch. 
Tel:. 01202 480027  Email:

Free Event


Where to recycle your Christmas tree in the BCP area

Garden waste service from BCP council

If you can cut up your Christmas tree and place it in your garden waste bin, then BCP council will collect it for you.

They say: "If you've signed up to our garden waste service for 2024, you can cut up your Christmas trees and place them in your garden waste bin ready for the first collection from the end of January 2024."

You can sign up for the council's garden waste service on the website here.

Diverse Abilities

The Dorset disability charity Diverse Abilities will be offering a Christmas tree collection service in the BCP area.

They will do this for a small donation of £10 on January 5,6,7 and 8 in 2024.

You can book your collection on their website here.

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care will be offering Christmas tree collections on January 11,12 and 13 from postcodes BH1 to BH23.

This will be for a suggested donation of £10 and can be arranged through their website here.

Dorset Mind

Dorset Mind will be offering a Christmas tree collection service on January 4 and 5 for the postcodes BH1-BH18 and BH23.

This will be for a small fee of £10 and can be booked through their website here.

Recycling centres

The recycling centres at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole will also accept Christmas trees for composting.

BCP Christmas and New Year bin collection dates for 2023

  • Monday, December 25 collection will take place on Wednesday, December 27
  • Tuesday, December 26 collection will take place on Thursday, December 28
  • Wednesday, December 27 collection will take place on Friday, December 29
  • Thursday, December 28 collection will take place on Saturday, December 30
  • Friday, December 29 collection will take place on Tuesday, January 2
  • Monday, January 1 collection will take place on Wednesday, January 3
  • Tuesday, January 2 collection will take place on Thursday, January 4
  • Wednesday, January 3 collection will take place on Friday, January 5
  • Thursday, January 4 collection will take place on Saturday, January 6
  • Friday, January 5 collection will take place on Monday, January 7
  • Monday, January 8 collection will take place on Tuesday, January 9
  • Tuesday, January 9 collection will take place on Wednesday, January 10
  • Wednesday, January 10 collection will take place on Thursday, January 11
  • Thursday, January 11 collection will take place on Friday, January 12
  • Friday, January 12 collection will take place on Saturday, January 13

Win on Waste at Druitt Hall

Saturday 6th January 10-11.30am.

Bring along a wide range of hard-to-recycle waste (items accepted are listed on our website at and we will make sure that they are responsibly recycled, or passed on for reuse. 


THE Mudeford Ferry could remain out of action until the beginning of Summer.

Despite repairs to the landing pontoon being "prioritised", BCP Council warns there are “various elements” which could influence when the service resumes.

The ferry which operates between Mudeford Quay and the Beach at Mudeford Sandbank has been out of action since the end of November.

It was closed following ‘significant damage’ suffered to the pontoon at the harbourside beach of Mudeford Sandbank during Storm Ciara.

Mudeford Ferry typically runs every day from early April to late October, operating only at weekends in the winter - weather-dependent.

The pontoon is also used by Bournemouth Boating Services, which offers self-drive motorboats and vintage ferries between Tuckton and Mudeford Beach.

On November 24, operators of Mudeford Ferry announced that the pontoon would be closed and the ferry service halted.

BCP Council says it “recognises the importance” of enabling boat and ferry services between Mudeford Quay, Mudeford Sandbank and Christchurch town centre, and is “prioritising work” to repair the damaged pontoon.

The authority hopes to reopen the pontoon in advance of the 2024 summer season but said there are “various elements and approvals” which could influence the timeframe and are “beyond the council’s control”.

Daily Echo

Christchurch: Post Office to close its Barrack Road branch


Stourvale Post Office will be closing down in March 2024 with an exact date to be confirmed. 

Bosses at the branch inside the One Stop on Barrack Road made the “difficult” decision to close due to “challenges of the economic climate”. 

One Stop will run a ‘drop and collect’ service in the meantime. 

This is described as a “lighter branch format” that offers services from a handheld device to “allow customers to maintain access to bill payments and prepaid parcel services”. 

“However, it is important that any future service is sustainable for the postmaster operating the service, and for Post Office Limited. 

“We would welcome any applications from potential retail partners interested in running a branch locally on our behalf.  

“The vacancy will shortly be advertised on our website and applications will be carefully considered.”

Daily Echo

Christchurch BID

Tis the season to be jolly and spread good tidings to our friends and neighbours, but let's not forget the many businesses that are the life blood of our High Street and community. We have may successful and thriving enterprises in Christchurch, from cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, estate agents and cornucopia of other professionals, that we must keep honouring with our custom. Christchurch BID has an aim to keep our town vibrant and interesting, so to keep abreast of the latest events and initiatives you can follow on social media @christchurchbid or go to the website It is a great way to keep up-to-date with what our business partners are doing.

A BID is a business-led and business-funded body formed to improve a specific commercial area, in this case Christchurch town centre. Our BID is governed by a board made up of businesses who represent the BID area, which means that businesses and organisations have a genuine voice and decide and direct what they want for the town.

If you have a local event you would like to be included in the Monthly Newsletter please email it to

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 

Before reporting a roadworks issue, please check the roadworks map below. This is continuously updated with the latest current and future roadworks information for the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.
Roadworks (


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