CHARMOUTH has been described as “a can-do” village by the television company which filmed the three-part BBC programme ‘Beach Live: Jurassic Coast Revealed’, starring Dan Snow and Lucy Cooke.
Reporting on reaction to the programme, which provided invaluable publicity for Charmouth, at Tuesday’s parish council meeting Councillor Paul Oatway, chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee, said the production company was impressed with how the arrangements were handled.
He said he had received an email from the executive director thanking the parish council for their co-operation, saying Charmouth was “a can-do village which makes things happen”.
He also informed the council that Dan Snow had congratulated works manger David Humphrey and the council staff for their co-operation. Council chairman Peter Noel said he was delighted with the comments, adding: “Well done Charmouth. I’m not surprised because it’s a great village.”
Parish council rejects boundary proposals
CHARMOUTH Parish Council has rejected the proposed warding arrangements suggested by the Boundary Commission for when the new Dorset unitary authority comes into being in May 2019.
The commission favours dividing the existing Marshwood Vale into two wards – one for Lyme Regis and Charmouth with one councillor, and one for the rest of the Marshwood Vale, also with one councillor.
At the moment, the county council ward links all three communities with one councillor – Daryl Turner. On West Dorset District Council Lyme and Charmouth are represented by two councillors, siblings Daryl Turner (Conservative) and Cheryl Reynolds (Independent).
At Tuesday’s parish council meeting, Councillor Paul Oatway presented a paper for consideration on the proposed arrangements.
Councillor Oatway said a second option to the preferred Boundary Commission proposal was for Lyme, Charmouth and the Marshwood Vale to become one ward with two councillors.
Public consultation over the proposals is currently taking place with an end-of-August deadline for comments to be left on the Boundary Commission website.
Councillor Turner was asked for his views. Stressing that these were his personal views and not those of the county council, he said: “Concerning the current Marshwood Vale division, as you are aware the commission is looking at breaking up the Marshwood Vale division into two parts – Lyme and Charmouth and the rest.
“My belief is it should be a one area ward with two members. The percentage difference against the average would be improved. The operation of a unitary authority with the potential for ‘area boards’ based on principle towns is increasing in popularity and working with the more rural areas from the principal towns makes complete sense.
“In this case Lyme Regis would become the ‘hub’ for a large proportion of the Vale offering trained and equipped staff to the smaller parish councils.
“I feel this would be a better fit for the future operations, engagement with communities, which would offer a more local connection.”
Councillor Reynolds was also present at the meeting but did not feel it was appropriate to make a comment.
The parish council favoured Councillor Turner’s proposal and it was agreed to write to the Boundary Commission supporting such a proposal. n
Improvement in condition of toilets
MEETINGS have taken place with West Dorset District Council over the state of the public toilets on the foreshore at Charmouth.
The district council has accepted that the condition of the toilets is poor and discussions have taken place acknowledging all the issues with new contractors.
At a meeting of the Foreshore Committee a discussion took place about how to publicise the fact that Charmouth Parish Council was not responsible for the toilets and was trying its very best to work with WDDC to monitor the situation to get on top of the problems.
It was agreed to write to WDDC to ask how much it would cost for the existing cleaners to undertake a deep clean as soon as possible to improve matters throughout the summer season and encourage people to look after the facilities.
The committee agreed for £500 to be released from the car park maintenance reserves for the deep clean.
At Tuesday’s full meeting of the parish council, Foreshore Committee chairman Judith Sheppard reported there had already been a big improvement.