County & District Councillor’s October Blog

Summer is normally a quiet time for local authorities and councillors, a time just to catch up with normal life, but this August has been different. It has been different because of the work to set up the Dorset Council, the new unitary authority for the rural County of Dorset. We continue to have have fortnightly Organisational Transformation Board Meetings about the aims, and progress towards meeting those aims. In a nutshell what we want to achieve is doing what the Council needs to do for its residents as efficiently, effectively and economically as possible, amalgamating and reducing duplicating areas of activity which should save money. What it needs to do is deliver those services which it must in law deliver and also endeavour to ensure residents access services which improve the short and long term quality of their lives. It wont be perfect, it wont meet with everyone’s approval but we will do the best we can to build the foundations for the new Council to build on. We cannot commit the new Councillors as to what they do and how but we can provide a basis to work on. Steps are being put in place by the political parties to find councillors to stand for election in May next year and of course anyone can stand as an Independent Councillor. We will be in the interesting position of the new authority legally being in place on 1st April but the existing Councillors continuing to be legally in power until the 5th May, the day after the local elections.

Meanwhile business continues as usual in all the local authorities and in scrutiny we are working towards an Enquiry Day into how the local authority delivers help and support to those with special educational needs and also how the new Youth Clubs are operating after the closure of the Youth Centres – or not. My own committee of Safeguarding Scrutiny has two more meetings to go which will be used to finish pieces of work, notably about school exclusions, and to tie up loose ends.

As well as the work coming directly from the local authorities there is also the locally generated work. Following the closure of the SturQuest Office In Sturminster, and the decision of the Town Council not to continue the employment of the Community Resource Worker, I have been trying, as County Councillor and a Town Councillor to ensure that several of the pieces of work Jacqui had been responsible for did not just come to a sudden end. As well as continuing KnowStur which works with migrants to the town, there are several relatively new projects to move forward. We plan to launch a new Chamber of Commerce in the New Year to bring the businesses of Stur and the surrounding area together to work to improve their economic situation. The existing Chamber of Trace, Commerce and Hospitality (SNATCH) has worked well over the years to promote retail and service businesses in the centre of town but participation has dropped off and it has now become predominantly an information mailing list plus has raised funds for the Christmas tree. The remaining SNATCH Officers are part of the team planning the new body. As said previously a Literary festival is planned on 15th June 2019 to bring people to the town to commemorate the work of Thomas Hardy, William Barnes and Robert Young. A monthly opportunity for the owners and worshippers of classic and vintage cars and motor cycles and indeed any interesting vehicle, to meet and admire will be held in Station on the first Saturday morning of each month from October onwards, with a special price of £5 for a bacon roll and coffee from Poets Corner Cafe. Also on the first Saturday in December we will have our usual day of Christmas events and I am looking for volunteers householders or businesses to decorate a special Christmas Window that everyone can look enjoy during December. Whilst all of these activities are centred on Stur. they will, hopefully, benefit the surrounding area.

I notice that a number of our lanes have had fairly large areas of patching done on their surfaces, which is better than nothing and thanks to the Highways team for doing this. It may not be the total makeover people would like but it does mean the money can go that bit further. The Highways team are also working with the various town and parish councils to try to find ways of reducing the speed of vehicles passing through, although that basically comes down to bad drivers.

I will not be doing my regular Saturday Councillor’s activities during October due to other commitments but will be happy to see people at other times by arrangement and of course am on the end of a phone or an e.mail.

Preferred e.mail address –
Phone – 01258 472583 Twitter @paulinebatstone Facebook Page – Councillor Pauline Batstone
Facebook – Councillor Pauline Batstone


Burns Night at Glanvilles Wootton

In January, before the snow and ice, a hearty crowd of revellers toasted the bard of Scotland and enjoyed an absolutely delicious meal. Tales were told, laughter was heard and very discrete and moderate drinking took place. Louise Dutton and her band of slaves were entirely responsible for the great success of the event. You’d only get sad if you missed next year’s bash …

The evening raised £1,200 for the Sherborne Deanery Rural Chaplaincy project, headed up by the Rev Richard Kirlew.

Music for a Summer’s Evening – Sunday 17th September

The very charismatic violinist, Andrew Bernardi, Sally Clarke’s brother-in-law, very generously offered to come down from West Sussex to play his Stradivarius to help raise much needed funds for our church. The date was set, posters printed, leaflets delivered and adverts placed and what a response we got. The concert was completely sold out with people sitting in every available space. As someone remarked “so lovely to see the church full other than for a funeral or a wedding”! The pieces Andrew played included J.S. Bach movements from the “Sonatas and Partitias for unaccompanied violin”, Sir Edward Elgar’s “Salut d’Amore”, Fritz Krielser’s “Prelude and Allegro” and Ralph Vaughan Williams “The Lark Ascending”. Accompanying him quite beautifully on piano was Amanda Slogrove from Sherborne.

Andrew had been quite happy to play for the entire evening but the committee thought that a pure violin concert may be a little too much for some so we search around for a singer/choir. How lucky were we find Amelia Kelly-Slogrove who, at only 15 years old, has a wonderful voice. Her pieces included Henry Purcell’s “If Music be the food of Love”, “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz and “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. Amelia is currently studying for her GCSEs at The Gryphon School in Sherborne and is planning to audition for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain in November so we wish her all the best for her future music career.

During the interval we were treated to a glass of Prosecco from Waitrose (they did us a good deal!).

We cannot begin to thank Andrew enough for not only performing so brilliantly but for all his advice and support in the lead up to the concert. Finally I would like to thank the committee of Richard Clarke, Pat Harris, Lucy Parrott and Louise Sandy who worked so hard to make this such a success and put up with me being rather bossy!

Village Barbecue

After having been postponed by poor weather, the barbecue at the village hall held on Sunday 23rd July was a great success with many people joining in the fun. Welly throwing, skittles and horse-shoe tossing were just some of the activities taking place. The Sherborne branch of Waitrose very kindly contributed burgers and sausages for the event.

Flood Alleviation Scheme






Some of you may have noticed groundworks happening on Home Farm this spring.  Before the start of these there were 3 x 300mm pipes going into a chamber and 1 x 300mm pipe going out thus water backed up and flowed down through the village causing flooding at Mead Corner.  A new 500mm pipe has now been laid and the outflow is further down Home Farm’s ditch system.  We must thank Ian Sargent and Jerry Curtis for giving many man hours to the project.  Now we must await the rain to see if this is going to finally resolve the water issues we have in this village!

Did you know?

There are Church Recorders at St Mary’s Glanvilles Wootton.

During the year 2016/2017 at 11a.m, every Thursday morning from April to November a group of people can be found in the porch of the Church having their coffee break!

They are members of the Church Recorder Group affiliated to NADFAS (The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies)  and  are there to undertake a survey recording all the fittings and artistic artefacts that are to be found in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin which is a  Church  with a 14 Century tower, a 19th  Restoration of the main church and with an ancient Chantry Chapel.

The project is fascinating and the amount of information that has been discovered is so interesting.  Everything is described, measured and noted down with drawings and photographs. This includes textiles, metalwork , paintings ,library, windows, stonework, woodwork and memorials.  All this will eventually be put together in a bound book to enable the village now and future generations to discover exactly what is contained in their beautiful Church.

Barn Dance

On Saturday 18th February there were hijinks in the village hall with a very successful Barn Dance.

Our caller for the evening was the splendid Ruth Thompson and music provided by the talented Chris Toyne on squeeze box.

Village Defibrillator

We have a defibrillator!

Someone of you may have notice our defibrillator is now in place by the entrance to the village hall. It is ready for use.

It is accessible in an unlocked, but alarmed, box. The use of the defibrillator is straightforward, it gives verbal instruction and will not function if not being used correctly, thus you cannot harm ‘the patient’. The ambulance 999 service has been made aware of its existence and will direct callers to the defib in appropriate circumstances.

Training is not required but some residents attended a presentation in the village on Monday 30th January to make themselves familiar with the defibrillator and its use. Our thanks go to Dr Tuke who discussed its use and techniques that work alongside it.

Our thanks go to those who have made donations towards the provision of this potentially life saving resource.

Local retired G.P., Dr Tuke recently gave a training session in cardiac resuscitation in the village hall.