Local organisations are lifeblood of community

council grants
Lyme Regis councillors and town clerk John Wright (back row, far left) with a cheque for more than £37,000 for local organisations

WE believe local organisations, and the volunteers who run them, are the lifeblood of this community. That’s why we’ve pledged more than £37,000 to 25 community groups this week, in recognition of the contribution they make to our town, improving the lives of both residents and visitors.

To demonstrate how much we value this contribution, we set aside money in our budget every year to give out grants of up to £5,000. That’s in addition to the £90,000 in major grants we’ve already committed to organisations including Lyme Regis Football Club, The Hub and Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.

A wide range of organisations will benefit this year, including sporting, youth, music, entertainment, and senior citizens’ groups. Projects we will help to fund include replacing old sailing dinghies at Lyme Regis Sea School, installing a defibrillator outside St Michael’s Primary School, and upgrading publicly-accessible toilets at the Town Mill.

Events we’re financially supporting include Guitars on the Beach, Lyme Regis Jazz Festival, Lyme Folk Weekend and Lyme Regis Pantomime, which are all fantastic attractions for the town and help to boost the local economy.

The power of volunteering shouldn’t be underestimated. There are dozens of groups and clubs in and around Lyme Regis, probably hundreds of dedicated volunteers who make them work, and thousands of people who benefit from their efforts.

There’s one more thing worth noting here – town councillors are also volunteers. You may not agree with everything we do, we might not always get it right, and we often disagree with each other.

But we do have one thing in common – we’re all here to give something back to the community and to do the best we can for Lyme Regis.

New rules will help tackle seagull problem

THE council welcomes the introduction of new rules which will help tackle the seagull problem in Lyme Regis.

West Dorset District Council (WDDC) has drawn up regulations which mean people who intentionally feed seagulls could face a penalty of up to £100.

Seagulls are becoming more and more aggressive and daring as they scavenge for food, and it’s an issue we have been trying to address in recent years.

Our ‘seagull action plan’ has included increased signage on the seafront to discourage people from feeding seagulls, and issuing a leaflet to every DT7 property with advice on the law relating to wild birds and nesting seagulls.

We felt more needed to be done, but the law surrounding wild birds is complex and we were limited on what we could do. So when WDDC announced it was looking to introduce Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO), we felt it was the perfect opportunity to further tackle the problem.

We put this suggestion to WDDC in 2016, and two years on, we finally have these new rules which will make it a civil offence to feed seagulls in certain areas of Lyme Regis and West Bay.

The rules will come into effect on April 23 2018 and the town council’s enforcement officers will be able to hand out fixed penalty notices to anyone caught intentionally feeding seagulls. The penalty is £100 if paid within 28 days, reduced to £75 if paid within 14 days.

Although there’s not much we can do about seagull ‘thieves’, we hope the threat of a fixed penalty will encourage people to think twice about deliberately feeding them.

Michaela to continue as mayor

COUNCILLOR Michaela Ellis will continue as our mayor for a second year, with Cllr Steve Miller continuing as her deputy.

Mayors and deputy mayors are traditionally offered a second year in office, and Cllr Ellis and Cllr Miller were duly voted in at the recent Full Council meeting.

Lots of changes are taking place in local government in Dorset and the district and county councils will be looking to pass on many services to town councils like us. One of the mayor and deputy mayor’s priorities for their second year of office will be to make sure Lyme Regis gets the best deal possible.

They’ll continue to represent the town and the council by attending as many civic events as possible, and the St Michael’s Parish Church tower repair fund will remain as the mayor’s charity.

Seafront toilets to get state of the art revamp

WORK starts this month on refurbishing the Marine Parade public toilets.

Builders will arrive on site on April 23 and the works to transform the toilet block into unisex facilities with state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings are expected to take eight weeks.

A temporary toilet block is already in place in front of the Jubilee Pavilion, and as toilets go, they’re pretty luxurious!

Although they’re not in the ideal position, this was the only place along Marine Parade where the toilets could be connected to sewerage, water and power.

We appreciate the main toilet block will be closed during the two Bank Holidays in May, but we hope the temporary toilets will help cope with demand, and there are of course several other toilets nearby.

Waiting until after the summer to do this work was an option, but we didn’t want to let another busy season go by with inadequate toilets, denting the reputation of our otherwise beautiful town. Please bear with us during the works.

When you see the finished results, we hope you’ll agree it was worth the disruption.

Classic film to be screened in gardens

FILM fans will be able to watch a movie under the stars as an open-air cinema comes to Lyme Regis this month.

Lister Gardens will be transformed for the evening on Saturday 21 April, when a pop-up cinema will screen 80s classic ‘Dirty Dancing’.

The audience will be able to grab a drink from the bar and a bite to eat from the hot food stall, before settling down for the film as night falls.

We think this will be a great addition to the events’ calendar and if the first event goes well, it is planned to hold two other film nights later in the year.

In exchange for use of the gardens, organisers DNT Events will be making a donation to the mayor’s charity, which this year is the St Michael’s Parish Church tower repair fund.

Tickets can be bought in advance at eventbrite.co.uk or on the night.

Work continues on cash points

WE’RE continuing to work on getting cash machines in the town.

Before the machines can be installed on and below Bell Cliff, we need to arrange a power supply and get a phone line installed.

We’re meeting on-site with Western Power Distribution in mid-April to work out how this can be done, and we hope BT will attend the same meeting.

The above is promoted content written and provided by the town council

Woodmead Halls

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