Saturday, 28 February 2009

Residents speak out against travellers' site.

Dozens of angry residents have warned of a crime wave if plans for a gypsy and travellers site near Bournemouth hospital are approved.

Sue Bungey, a public governor of the hospital said: "Dorset Police have been cut by 50%, they haven't got the strength and the man power to say to these people you've been on this site for an hour and you've got to leave now."

Ward councillor Jane Montrose is also against the plans: "This new temporary transit site gives police powers to move illegal incursions on within the hour. My concern is once these pitches are full, these illegal conversions can't be moved on anywhere."

The proposed site which is situated on Riverside Avenue is next to a home for retired nurses who are also protesting against the plans.

Mrs Montrose described how elderly women at the nurses home were particularly concerned: "They have come to me and put their objections to me. They are very, very nervous about this site being put in there."

The home was established by former nurse Fanny Thompson in 1934 and is now home to over 50 former nurses; it is also the only home of its kind in the country.

Chris Bridget, a life member of the Nurses Home's League of Friends is worried that it may impact on the future of the home:

"Why should they have people who have very often done unpleasant things in the area or on their doorstep?

"I'm sure that in Bournemouth there must be a better location."

Cllr David Shaw, from the adjacent Strouden Park ward, would like to see the site moved to Canford Arena in Wimborne and away from the nurses' home:

"I'm certainly not for it, all those elderly defenceless people."

Cllr David Smith the Cabinet member for Environment who presented the plans said: "There is no provision in Bournemouth where gypsies and travellers officially have to go.

"They turn up in our borough and just park wherever they want, they go on parks on the seafront and that causes a lot of distress and aggravation to the town."

Mr Smith who was reassuring worried residents at the meetings added: "I personally think it would be wise to give it a go for a year and see what happens.

"If it does turn out to be an unmitigated disaster and they do wreck the site down there and cause a lot of disturbance to the nurses, it shows that it hasn't worked."

Further public meetings are to be held on Tuesday March 3 at the Townsend community centre and on Wednesday March 4 at the Littledown centre.

Man admits text harassment

A Bournemouth man confessed to sending over 50 text messages of harassment to his ex girlfriend and her 19-year-old daughter at Bournemouth Magistrates court yesterday.

Jason Stephen Hayle, aged 34, from Randolph Park in Parkstone admitted sending 53 text messages to Barbara and Ursula Byfield between the 27 November and December 17 last year.

Lee Turner, prosecuting, said Hayle, who used to live with Mrs Byfield had been involved in "sending numerous text messages and phone calls to both victims," which also included "not only references to her but to her family."

Mr Turner then read out a statement from Barbara Byfield which said: "I simply want him to leave us alone."

Rob Nicholas, defending, told the court that "Mr Hayle does suffer from depression and has be referred to a councillor."

"The reason he sent this number of messages was to get a response" he added.

Mr Nicholas also said that Hayle was largely unaware of the impact the messages were having on Mrs Byfield and that when the messages were read out "the defendant was shocked and surprised."

Presiding magistrate, Mr Eric Watson, summarised by saying "aggravating factors were the large number of texts, 53, and that you were consuming alcohol."

Hayle was issued with a 12 month restraining order not to contact the family or go within 200 metres of the family home.

He was also given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £60 of court costs.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Orchid Society to mark 50 years in the sun

Bournemouth Orchid Society is set to celebrate 50 years in bloom with a large show at the Carrington House Hotel.

The event is set to attract traders from across the globe and show secretary Michael Powell said: "we've got ten or eleven traders who will be selling everything from baby orchid plants through to orchid Jewellery.

They are expecting over 1,500 visitors over the weekend and Mr Powell added: "We're hoping a lot of people will come along who are not fanatical growers, people who just like seeing them in the shops and would like to know a bit more about it."

With over 22,000 types of Orchid species worldwide the variety of flowers is something that clearly appeals to society members and to Mr Powell: "there are orchids that don't grow bigger than your finger nail and there are some that grow to over a tonne, if you see a daisy then they all look alike."

Friendly competition is also a central part of the society's activities and this weekend there will be four trophies up for grabs.

Categories include Best Amateur-Grown Plant, Best Professionally-Grown Plant, Best Floral Arrangement and the Best Plant exhibited by a Bournemouth member.

Mr Powell said: "all the plants on display will be judged whether they're from traders or from amateurs there will be trophies, rosettes awarded for first and second place and there is a special trophy for Bournemouth members."

The Orchid society was established in Bournemouth and Poole in 1949 by seven or eight professional orchid traders and two founding members who will be honoured guests at this weekend's event.

Former Chairman, Graham Smith said: "It's something that for some reason grabbed me by the throat… it's the variety I think, the incredible shapes and colours and the challenge of growing them."

Mr Smith who has been a member of the society for 35 years passion for orchids was confirmed while on a visit to Sri Lanka.

Mr Smith said: "I had to go out to the West Indies for a month, Jamaica in fact and I spent my spare time up in the mountains looking for orchids.

"That reinforced things so I joined the society."

The 50th Anniversary show is being hosted by the Carrington House Hotel which boasts the largest banqueting suite in Bournemouth: The Ambassador suite.

The Banqueting and Conference Manager Catherine Barker said: "we're directly under the Pavilion and the BIC and have the largest hall within a hotel in Bournemouth."

With a capacity of up to 800 guests at any time the facility should have ample room for the hundreds of flowers that will be on display.

Orchid secretary Ken Griffiths said: "It's a big society as orchid societies go; we have currently about 120 members and have shows biannually in Bournemouth."

Members of the society have taken their flowers to events all over the world during the years.
Mr Griffiths said: "We have been abroad on several occasions; to Dijon four years ago and to Miami last year for the world Orchid congress."

He added: "I've always been interested in plants, when I was a kid I used to grow cactus plants and sort of evolved into orchids… It's kind of like a disease, it's addictive!"

The Bournemouth Orchid Society's 50th Anniversary show runs from Friday 22 until Sunday 24 of February at the Carrington House Hotel.

For more information on the Orchid society visit and to contact Carrington House Hotel call 01202 369940 or visit

Broadstone to back conservation

The people of Broadstone are set to have their say on the plans to extend the conservation area within the town later today.

Poole Borough Council is hosting the first of two public meetings at Broadstone Methodist church on Lower Blanford road this afternoon from 2pm until 7pm.

Poole conservation officer Margo Teasdale hopes residents will come to the meetings and feels there is strong support for the plans.

"I think generally there is consensus that it is positive and forward looking" she said.

The plans would mean that future building would have to match Broadstone's historic image.
Ms Teasdale said: "Any planning applications will have to be reviewed and assessed for the impact on the character and appearance of the area."

"We would like to improve the area, give it more of an image and recognise its importance" she added.

The Broadstone residents association, whose 3,300 members make up over half the population of the area, are supporting the plans.

Planning officer Pat Talbot said: "Particularly with planning we are most concerned that we should maintain the character and appearance of the whole of this area."

"In my mind, extending this as they are, is in all honesty nothing but good. If you want to do something then convert with taste" he added.

Mr Talbot also felt that it would benefit local business: "We all try within the village to work closely as a community and are fortunate to have an active chamber of trade… we are very blessed with the facilities we have."

Immigrant workers supporting the Dorset economy?

During a time of economic hardship many people will argue that Europe needs to protect its workers from cheap immigrant labour.

However is this actually in the best interests of the economy?

Earlier this week the EU revealed plans to tighten its immigration policy but is there a danger of the European Union becoming an exclusive club cut off from the wider world?

In Western Europe, expecially, many societies have an ageing population that need immigrant work to support local businesses.

Bournemouth MEP Graham Watson is correct to highlight the situation: "Reports have shown how very hard pressed we would be here in the South West without a pool of immigrant labour."

Mr Watson adds "We must not turn Europe into a fortress." In my opinion he has hit the nail on the head.

Recent concerns in the mining community calling for 'British jobs for British workers' must be aware of the wider picture and that it is unrealistic to ask Gordon Brown to put up barriers within the European Union.

Illegal immigration is something that needs to be controlled by the authorities but we must not link this with the genuine taxpaying workers from other countries.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

So Attractive Men...

A Bournemouth man is set to launch a series of talks tonight aimed at improving the mental well-being of men across Dorset.

Event organiser of the So Attractive Men… talks Tim Chaloner said: "There is always an opportunity for people to look at themselves, especially in the current economic climate, and to say how can I present myself in a more attractive way?"

Mr Chaloner who has been working on his own self development for 2 years added: "Part of the reason why I wanted to do this was because I belong to the Mankind project and after speaking to some guys there I was inspired to set my own group up."

The So Attractive Men… talks are aimed at giving men help becoming more confident and raising their self esteem.

Mr Chaloner said: "My understanding is that there is plenty of support for women and I thought it would be interesting to have talks exclusively for men."
Tonight's speaker, career consultant David Carey, said: "Emotional intelligence is really all about how to be successful in life."
Mr Carey added: "That mix of an average traditional IQ and a high emotional IQ will tend to make you more financially successful in life."

However Mr Carey insists there are other areas of improvement that are just as important as professional success adding: "but it also means you'll be more successful in other areas, in relationships and dealing with people."

The first talk is being held this evening at the Bar So rooms in the Exeter hotel at 7.30.

To find out more about the So Attractive Men talks you can visit or phone 07727844258.

To get more information on the Mankind project visit

Friday, 6 February 2009

Green loans are worthless

Bournemouth entrepreneur Kresse Wesling claims EU plans to introduce low interest loans is not what is needed to help green businesses.

Miss Wesling, the Co-founder of Bournemouth based Eako accessories said: "Bank loans are only at one end of the spectrum and it does not make sense."

Earlier this week the EU announced it was backing plans for Union members to give state loans at lower rates to green businesses.

Miss Wesling added "you can get a low interest loan anyway, look at the Bank of England rate. Paying a lot less VAT, 5% or something, would be more interesting."

Eako, based in Bournemouth since August 2007, turns used fire hoses into luxury accessories and handbags.

Miss Wesling said the government needs to look at their own spending if they want to promote green businesses: "the primary thing is procurement, government should look at how they are spending. What they are buying isn't green."

Miss Wesling added "imagine if all the NHS hospitals were run on green energy."

The aim of the EU initiative is to support green businesses during the economic downturn.

A statement from Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The measure would ease the credit constraints on businesses affected by the current economic situation, provided that they invested in products that were more environmentally friendly."

The French government have already announced that they will take up the initiative.

Meanwhile the Bank of England announced yesterday that it would slash interest rates to 1% in an attempt to lift the British economy.

To purchase Eako products visit

To visit the EU website go to

For information relating to the Bank of England interest rates visit

BIC denies 'concert crunch'

The doors of the Bournemouth International Centre will remain firmly shut tonight after the former lead singer of Texas, Sharleen Spiteri pulled her show.

In a statement Spiteri's promoter Live Nation said: "It is with regret that the Sharleen Spiteri show at the Bournemouth BIC on Friday 6th February has been cancelled. Due to the current economic climate the ticket sales for the show are just not strong enough to ensure successful shows."

A spokesman from the BIC said: "They've completely refunded everyone who had tickets, no one's lost any money from it."

However the BIC insist that sales for its other live events are not being hit by the economic downturn: "We have been selling as well as any other time, people still want to see shows."

In the case of Scottish born Spiteri it may simply be the location of the concerts that led to poor ticket sales. Gigs across Scotland including Glasgow and Edinburgh in January were all sold out and events in Manchester and Sheffield also attracted large crowds.

The BIC spokesman added: "She hadn't done as well in Bournemouth and the south as in other places."

This may be the more likely explanation than a 'concert crunch'. Spiteri has also cancelled other concerts in the south.

Live Nation added: "The Plymouth show has also been cancelled but the remainder of the tour will take place as planned."

Spitari will perform at the Symphony hall in Birmingham on the February 8 and at The Royal Centre in Nottingham on February 9.

To contact the BIC regarding a refund or upcoming events call 0844 576 3000 or visit

For more details on Sharleen Spiteri's upcoming concerts visit

To see other events promoted by Live Nation visit

Snowy Pictures in Bournemouth as University is forced to close!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Pope mars Holocaust for remembrance

The actions of Pope Benedict XVI just days before Holocaust Remembrance day have sparked angry reactions from the Jewish community in Bournemouth.

Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication of four bishops on Saturday, including the notorious British Holocaust denier Richard Williamson. Rabbi Adrian Jasner from Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation said: "It's sad and leaves a dirty taste in the mouth."

The Jewish community across Bournemouth joined with the travellor and gay communities on Tuesday to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Rabbi Jasner who leads worshipers at Wooton Gardens added "What is the Catholic church trying to prove here? To what extent will they go to bring everyone back in? It casts a real stain on the souls of those who were murdered by the Nazi at Auschwitz."

When interviewed by a Swedish TV station, Richard Williamson claimed that there were no Nazi gas chambers. Jasner said: "It's incredible and appalling with the facts laid bare."

Pope Benedict, himself a former member of the Nazi youth, made a statement on Tuesday in an attempt to smooth things over, describing his "full and indisputable solidarity" with the Jews.
But Rabbi Jasner said "I find it hard to come to terms with a statement like that."

The Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman, Barry Hudd tried to explain the reasons behind the move: "The removal was more of a bureaucratic thing, it was important for negotiations for them to return to the Catholic church."

Hudd added "It had been planned for a long time but in view of the circumstances the timing was unfortunate."

To contact the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation visit

To contact the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth visit

To contact the Pope visit

To lean for green?

EU meets to discuss transport emissions during economic downturn.

The Bournemouth based Yellow Buses Company, owned by Transdev, has announced it has invested £1.2m in developing greener public transport during 2008.
Head of marketing Jenni Wilkinson said: "Yellow Buses is passionate about green issues and further investment is planned this year."
In September 2008, Yellow buses launched a new scheme called 'Carbon Stoppers' and now donates a proportion of its income to green charities.
Wilkinson added: "To date more than one thousand pounds has been raised. The Yellow Buses Company has guaranteed its involvement in the project until the end of 2009."
The European Union have been meeting this week to discuss whether the credit crunch will stop transport companies from reducing CO2 emissions.
At a conference with the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, Janez Potocnick, the European commissioner for science and technology said: "CO2 reduction will bring both environmental benefits and re-enforce competitiveness."
However public transport is clearly only a small part of the problem. Currently, 50% of Europe's road transport emissions come from road haulage, with private cars being the next largest contributor.
In Brussels the research council is optimistic and hopes: "Stimulating demand for low-emission cars during the downturn should help bring idle capacity in the sector back into action quicker."

EU website:

Transdev Yellow Buses website:

European transport research website: