Dorset

Live in Dorset? Love your local area

Dorset For You - Wed, 04/08/2020 - 15:25

Residents from across Dorset are being urged by BCP Council, Dorset Council and Dorset Police to stay at home over the Easter break, with any exercise taken directly from their front doors.

Leader of Dorset Council, Councillor Spencer Flower, said, “We know how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful part of the country but our enjoyment of that, for now, will have to wait. Our beaches, parks, beauty spots and countryside will all still be there for us to enjoy when this crisis is over. There will be more summers, more bank holidays, and more sunny days in the future, but now is not the time for venturing out, driving to the places we know and love.”

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council said, “Many people are using their daily exercise time to explore their own neighbourhoods on foot, looking out for rainbows or teddy bears in windows, and discovering an amazing community spirit right on their doorsteps. This is a great way to get to know your local area better, which I hope will help to build local support networks – a wave from a window or smile at a front door today could be the foundation for closer communities in the future.”

Chief Constable James Vaughan, of Dorset Police, said: “I fully appreciate the impact the Government restrictions are having on us all. However, we must not lose sight of why they are in place – to reduce the spread of the disease, protect the NHS and save lives.

“There has been much discussion around what the legislation does and doesn’t specifically prohibit. The legal aspects of the legislation are based upon whether a person’s actions are reasonable or not.

“The key to making this work for everyone in Dorset is for everyone to be reasonable. If you can exercise with a run or a walk near your home, it is reasonable for you to do so. Our interpretation is that it is not reasonable, for the majority, to drive to a specific place such as a beach or beauty spot. It is also not within the spirit of what we are trying to achieve, regardless of whether that is “lawful” or not. Please stay at home.

“I would like to reiterate my thanks to the public for working with us and supporting our efforts to enforce the new Government restrictions. Our Dorset communities have been fantastic at following these rules and I am certain our combined effort in this county will make a difference to combatting this terrible disease.”

Local people can sign up for updates from their local council’s that include latest advice along with a whole host of ideas and activities to do safely during the covid-19 outbreak.  Sign up now at www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/emailnews and www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/e-news.

The post Live in Dorset? Love your local area appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Grades for exams due to be sat in summer 2020

Dorset For You - Mon, 04/06/2020 - 18:33

The summer 2020 GCSE, AS and A level exams are cancelled in order to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

Students due to sit the exams will be awarded a grade by their school or college:

  • their teachers will make the judgement on what grade they think a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year
  • this will be based on a range of evidence, including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessments
  • they shouldn’t have to complete any additional mock exams or homework tasks in order to get their grade

Schools and colleges will be provided with government guidance on the grading process to ensure all students are judged fairly. Grades will also go through an external standardisation process.

This will apply to the following qualifications:

  • GCSEs
  • AS and A levels
  • Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ)
  • Advanced Extension Awards (AEA) in Maths

Results will be given as soon as possible and won’t be delayed after the dates they were expected in August.

Grades will have equal status to those awarded in other years and will enable students to move on to the next stage of their education or employment. The government are considering what can be put I place to allow students to appeal the grade they’re given.

Students who feel that their grades do not reflect their ability will have the opportunity to take their exams in autumn this year, or summer 2021.

Read the full government guidance on summer 2020 grades

The post Grades for exams due to be sat in summer 2020 appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Leader pays tribute to staff and communities

Dorset For You - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 17:54

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, has paid tribute to officers, elected members, communities and partners for the ‘spirit, dedication and comradery’ shown in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter to staff on Friday (3 April) Cllr Flower acknowledged how many members of staff

Cllr Flower

have moved teams, volunteered to take on new roles and are working round the clock to help vulnerable residents, whilst trying to juggle work, home-schooling, childcare and caring for their own relatives.

Cllr Flower also acknowledged the genuine partnership working being seen across the county, with many partnership organisations coming together to help the people of Dorset at this unsettling time.

Here’s his letter:

Dear All

This week, Dorset Council turned one. We deliberately chose not to make a big deal of this publicly – as there are far more important things going on at the moment.  I would, however, like to tell you how incredibly proud I am of our employees and our local communities as we reach this milestone.

When Dorset Council began, I described us as ‘a can do’ organisation, an organisation that puts our communities first. The last few weeks has shown that we are a ‘can do’ county and I’m truly humbled by the spirit, dedication and comradery that’s happening both in our local communities and amongst our own workforce.

Colleague officers have moved teams, taken on new roles and are working round the clock to help our most vulnerable residents – and I know many are doing this whilst trying to juggle work, home-schooling, childcare and caring for their own relatives. Here’s a few examples of what we’ve seen:

  • colleagues are helping the most vulnerable people, delivering food parcels and medicines
  • we are working closer than ever with schools, nurseries and childcare to make sure the most vulnerable children and those of key workers are cared for
  • social workers continuing to visit families whilst practising social distancing
  • people from highways and countryside re-training to keep waste collection services running
  • our gritters are helping to make sure the roads are clear for key workers
  • housing colleagues helping discharge people from hospitals, making sure families in temporary accommodation are supported and that homeless people are safe
  • community patrol officers helping Police enforce social distancing
  • the revenues and benefits team supporting Dorset’s suffering businesses and individuals
  • IT is refurbishing laptops and mobiles for vulnerable children to access online learning resources
  • library colleagues volunteering to help customer services
  • outdoor education centres making videos for YouTube to keep children entertained

We’re also working very closely with partners in the NHS, Dorset Police, Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue Services, town and parish councils and voluntary and community services to make sure we are joined up in all we are doing in Dorset and helping each other where we can.

We now have more than 2,500 colleagues working from home and carrying on with some of our ‘business as usual’ work. Whatever your role – on behalf of my fellow members and myself a huge thank you from us all.

I’m also delighted to see local Ward Councillors and local communities pulling together to support each other during these difficult and unprecedented times.  I know that you are making phone calls, doing shopping, cooking meals, collecting prescriptions and putting rainbows in your window to brighten people’s days.  I’d expect nothing less from the wonderful people in Dorset. The community spirit during this crisis has been absolutely amazing and a credit to you all.

I know we still have some way to go and there will be difficult times ahead, but it’s clear that the people of Dorset are there to support each other #DorsetTogether

With all best wishes, stay safe and well.

Spencer

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council

 

The post Leader pays tribute to staff and communities appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Dog controls on beaches and Covid-19

Dorset For You - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:59

On many of the county’s beaches including Weymouth Beach, the start of the spring and summer restrictions for dogs will begin next week.  These restrictions are contained within public spaces protection orders (PSPO) and look to protect public health. Dorset council has been asked if these restrictions can be changed due to the Coronavirus situation. These restrictions can only be changed following a legal process including a public consultation.

As in previous years, dog owners can exercise their dogs in the designated areas taking account of the social distancing requirements. People should not travel to beaches to exercise their dogs, Government guidance is to stay local.

Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said:

“We recognise that many fewer residents will be visiting the beach at the present time due to the social distancing restrictions. While there should be many fewer dogs accessing the beach, the PSPOs remain in force and they are there for the safety of visitors. We are currently carrying out a consultation about them and I invite those who have not completed it, to do so.”

We are currently running a consultation asking people’s opinions to inform the PSPOs for the future. Give us your views.

Find out more about designated areas on beaches for dog walking

The post Dog controls on beaches and Covid-19 appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Hotel is helping people leaving hospital

Dorset For You - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:43

As part of the efforts to help people get out of hospital when they are fit to do so, a new model is being launched in South Dorset.

The Best Western Hotel Rembrandt on Dorchester Road in Weymouth will be repurposed during the coronavirus crisis and will be set up as a base for people who can’t go directly back to their own homes when they are ready for discharge from hospital.

The hotel will offer 31 beds from Monday 6 April and will be staffed by Abi Live-In Care.

Using a model that has been proven in other areas, this new base aims to assist people to recover and regain their independence outside of hospital, offers more capacity to the health and care system across the area and adds to our ability to respond to the current situation. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are fully in support of this and are helping to get it set up as quickly as possible.

We are also in negotiations to open a second base, likely to be in the Sherborne area, from the middle of the month.

Cllr Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for adult social care and health at Dorset Council said:

“It’s a great success, showing the dedication of partners across the system to get this set up in just a few days. We’re hearing nationally about the shortage of hospital beds, and so we want to be ahead of the curve by providing alternative solutions. We can then make sure that the most critically ill people can get the right help and support at the right time”.

The post Hotel is helping people leaving hospital appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Temporay closure notice – Classified shellfish bed

Dorset For You - Fri, 04/03/2020 - 14:31

Due to Covid-19, Dorset Council are unable to access samples for the purpose of monitoring marine biotoxins, phytoplankton and E-coli. In the interest of protecting public health, Dorset Council, in line with advice from the Food Standards Agency, have taken the decision to temporarily close the following classified shellfish beds.

Classification area Species Area classification Lyme Bay – SY66577393 Razor Clams (Ensis Spp) Class A Fleet Oyster Farm– SY66477627 Pacific Oysters – (Crassostrea Gigas) Class B

Collection of affected animals from an area which is temporarily closed amounts to the commission of a criminal offence under regulation 19 of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 S.I. 2013 No 2996. On conviction, a fine or imprisonment for a term of up to two years or both might be imposed.

As there might be a risk to health, private individuals are strongly advised not to gather shellfish, specified above, from these areas for their own consumption.

Dorset Council will keep its decision to close the area under review and intend to reopen the bed as soon as circumstances allow.

 

The post Temporay closure notice – Classified shellfish bed appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Dorset schools plan to keep local provision going and continue to provide free school meals over Easter

Dorset For You - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 16:44

Dorset schools are working hard to stay open and will provide additional free school meal vouchers over Easter to help support families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dorset Council has been working with schools to make sure vulnerable children and those whose parents are critical workers continue to be cared for over the school holiday.

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked schools across to stay open over Easter to help make sure key workers could still do their jobs. Schools are working together in local clusters to make sure children who need to go to school can. This may mean bringing children from several local schools together into one school depending on the number of children and the amount of staff cover.

Cllr Andrew Parry, portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said:

“Schools and childcare settings across Dorset have been brilliant and have really pulled together to support children and families in their local communities. They are working hard to provide childcare over the Easter holidays and we are very grateful. I know many school staff have children and loved ones to care for themselves, but are still committed to supporting their pupils during this time, so I’d like to thank them for everything they are doing.”

The council is also keen that families whose children normally receive free school meals continue to receive vouchers over the Easter holidays.

“We’re working with schools to make sure families whose children receive free school meals continue to do so over Easter. We know this is a difficult time for many families so want to make sure we continue to support them during the holidays too. I’d like to thank our schools for agreeing to help with this and we will make sure they are reimbursed for this additional support.”

Most schools are issuing vouchers to families who receive free school meals taking them right thorough the Easter break.

Individual schools are making plans for Easter provision and will share this information with parents.

More information is available on our website, including a list of childcare settings (such as nurseries and pre-schools) that are still open for children of key workers.

The post Dorset schools plan to keep local provision going and continue to provide free school meals over Easter appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Grants available from our Leisure Development Fund – apply now!

Dorset For You - Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:41

Grants are available to help improve the lives of people living or working in Dorset.

Cultural, sporting and community organisations can now apply for money from Dorset Council’s Leisure Development Fund.

Wimborne History Festival received an LDF grant in 2019

Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said: “We hope to see many applications for these grants. There are grants available for up to £5,000. We know that this can significantly impact one-off or capital projects. Community groups and not-for-profit organisations can apply for these grants.

“We appreciate that the current COVID-19 outbreak has put many projects on hold.  We still have the funds available to support these projects for when the outbreak is over and we can all return to normal life!”

The closing date for applications is 15 May.

Please click here to apply online. Or, you can contact Dorset Council’s Leisure Department by email: or call: 01305 252250.

The post Grants available from our Leisure Development Fund – apply now! appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Living well with neighbours

Dorset For You - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:51

We are all spending much more time than we normally do within our home boundary due to Coronavirus.

This means we are spending more time with the people we live with and also those who live close by, our neighbours

Bonfires

With an enforced stay at home and a bout of good weather many people have been gardening. The council has had to close Tips (Household recycling centres) as part of the Governments clamp down on the Coronavirus so many people are turning to bonfires to remove the garden waste they have produced.

Grass is not suitable for burning due to its high-water content. You will need to dry it out if you want to burn it – you can do this by spreading it out thinly to dry in the sun. Instead, you can use grass clippings around veggies and plants to deter slugs and snails.

Bonfires can upset neighbours and cause breathing problems for those with underlying medical conditions or suffering from the virus. Also, Bonfires can get out of control quickly.

If you want to burn garden waste, try to let neighbours know (pop a note through the door) pick a quiet time of day where other people are less likely to be outside. Ensure you have the proper equipment.

If only dry garden waste is burnt, your bonfire should not cause a problem. Never burn household waste – this will pollute the air with harmful toxins.

Here’s some more advice

  • Site any bonfire well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures.
  • Have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control.
  • Don’t light a bonfire on a windy day, as it could flare up more than you expect.
  • If you’re planning a substantial bonfire, stay with it at all times to ensure that it remains safe.
  • Never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire.

There’s more information and how you can inform Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue if you are planning a large bonfire on their website

Composting

Leaves, grass cuttings, unwanted plants and clippings, twigs and pruned branches, tea bags and coffee grounds can all be turned into compost – which is great for your garden.

If composting, avoid grass cuttings turning into a stinky, black, slimy mess by mix it with prunings and shredded newspaper/cardboard. It shrinks down very quickly.

Grass cuttings will also naturally compost in its separate, open pile – for instance in a corner of your garden or the back of a flowerbed – and add to it as you mow your lawn. This will also be great habitat for grass snakes!

Noise

Many people are working at home so you should be considerate about the level of noise you create. Consider the impact you might have on your neighbours because of directed noisy activities or through party walls.

  • Reduce TV, gaming or music volume, in particular reduce the bass.
  • Consider the use of headphones if you wish to listen to high volume or music outside.
  • Think of the time you might carry out DIY in home, garden or on vehicles.
  • Do not allow your dog to excessively bark.
  • If children are playing outside consider time, length of time, and what they are doing.
  • Where music practice is occurring think of when that is in the day, and for how long.

Services

Environmental Health Officers are contactable via e-mail or telephone, although their ability to access emails and data files on the council’s network may be limited because they are working from home.

Please consider what you might be doing that may cause distress or upset.  Everyone is in the main confined to their homes this can cause stress, anguish and frustration.

The post Living well with neighbours appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Essential road surfacing works will restart

Dorset For You - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 16:32

To help keep life-saving medicine, equipment, supplies and key workers travelling safely across the county, road resurfacing works will be restarting.


Highways construction sites have been closed and programmes of planned repairs paused since Monday 23 March, when social distancing measures were introduced.

Following the Government’s guidance for construction activity – that it should continue where it fits with both the current Public Health England requirements and in accordance with industry safety guidance – Dorset Council will be restarting a programme of surfacing works from Wednesday 15 April.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We are operating in unprecedented times. In collaboration with our private sector partner Hanson Contracting, we have adapted our ways of working so that we can not only adhere to highway works health and safety, but we can also ensure the safety of our workers and residents by sticking to social distancing guidelines.

“Our revised list of surfacing sites is made up of roads that pose a risk to the safe movement of essential goods and services due to their deteriorating condition.”

Taking into account the current reduction of traffic flows of between 50 to 60 per cent across Dorset Council’s road network, roads have been selected with the following in mind:

  • normally busy roads will be quieter
  • reduced school traffic and public transport
  • fewer pedestrians

Current traffic flows will also allow for extending working hours to reduce overall costs and the duration of works. The roads being resurfaced will be away from hospitals and emergency services to ensure access to these is not disrupted.

Additional safety measures are also being taken to ensure the health and safety of workers, including:

  • single person vehicle movements both to and from site
  • maintaining current social distancing requirements at all times
  • daily toolbox talks to share the latest safe working guidance and COVID-19 updates
  • daily health screening involving temperature checks and general well-being
  • no high-risk workers on site
  • revised working practices to reduce the number of staff on site while still maintaining health and safety standards when working on the highway
  • changes to site welfare, including additional toilet facilities and hygiene provision

Cllr Ray Bryan added: “We are working closely with other highway authorities across the south west and with industry bodies to share knowledge of new ways of working. One thing is very clear, this essential maintenance will only be carried out if it is safe to do so and the health of our workforce is included within that.

“Please be considerate to our workforce, they are working within the guidelines laid out by the Government for construction works, and we are proud to be able to contribute in these extraordinary times by ensuring the safety of Dorset’s key workers.”

Over the last three weeks, highways work has focussed on repairing safety defects and carrying out inspections – which are statutory activities to ensure the safe condition of roads, pavements and bridges.

Up to date information on planned road works across the Dorset area can be found online.

 

Roads scheduled for resurfacing

Dorchester Road, Upton – 15 April
two-way lights 9am to 4pm

A350, End Farm, Sturminster Marshall – 16 April
road closed from 9am to 4pm

Hogshill, Beaminster – 20 to 24 April
road closed 7pm to 6am

Fleet Street, Beaminster – 24 to 25 April
road closed 7pm to 6am

Tunnel Road, Beaminster – 27 to 30 April
road closed 8.30am to 5pm

Portland Road, Weymouth – 30 April to 5 May
convoy working 7pm to 6am

The post Essential road surfacing works will restart appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Businesses invited to access grant funding

Dorset For You - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:18

Eligible businesses in Dorset are invited to access grant funding which the Government announced recently.

The grants from central Government will be administered by Dorset Council to eligible businesses in the Dorset Council area.

There are two new grant funding schemes. First is the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and secondly the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). Full eligibility criteria is available on our website.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said:

“We hope this funding will offer some welcome relief to business owners during this very challenging time. I would appeal to all business owners, having checked their eligibility criteria on our website, to complete our e-form as soon as possible.  Our revenues and benefits team will be working very hard to process the grants and we will continue to lobby the Government for further support for Dorset.’’

To ensure the right businesses are supported correctly and no fraudulent claims are made, businesses are being asked to provide information via an e-form. In some cases, additional checks may be necessary to confirm eligibility.

For more information, please visit:  https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/business-grants

 

The post Businesses invited to access grant funding appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Keeping Dorset’s roads flowing

Dorset For You - Wed, 04/01/2020 - 14:01

Who is a Dorset Council key worker? There are too many job titles to list, but the general rule is if you see someone carrying out a frontline task it’s because it is essential.

Cars parked in an area with restrictions in place (single yellow line)

Our parking attendants play a vital role in keeping traffic moving – which is more important than ever as we continue to enable key workers, emergency services and essential goods to travel freely through our roads.

This is becoming increasingly challenging as we do our part and stay at home and cars compete for parking spaces on residential roads – some of which will have restrictions in place which should still be observed.

We also need to monitor that essential dedicated parking bays for disabled drivers, ambulances, police vehicles and loading/unloading are not abused by inconsiderate drivers, and that taxi ranks and bus stops are not blocked.

Our attendants also spend a lot of time helping the public with local information, directions and advice about other council services.

They are acting under guidelines from The Government and Public Health England. You can challenge a parking ticket online.

Please be more mindful of how you talk to our workers. Thank you.

The post Keeping Dorset’s roads flowing appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Public rights of way and Covid-19

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 15:43

Dorset has almost 3,000 miles of rights of way criss-crossing the county, giving access to the countryside via footpaths, bridleways, trailways and cycleways.

These provide a very useful resource for people under the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions to complete their one form of daily exercise, while social distancing. Maintained by Dorset Council and landowners, these paths should not be blocked or obstructed and cannot legally be closed to the public.

Many of these paths cross agricultural or forestry land. So, if you are using them be mindful of the restrictions, keep to the Rights of Way, ensure gates are closed, dogs are kept under close control and on leads where required and you clear up after your dog – taking your dog’s waste home with you to place into your household dustbin. Dog’s faeces can carry germs that are harmful to livestock.

Travel for  exercise is not essential travel and you should use paths that you can access from your home. Where rights of way pass close to, or through residential and agricultural properties, it is important that the existing Government advice regarding social distancing and hand washing is followed.

If there is a particular problem with people gathering on rights of way or cycleway/ walking trails, then the Police should be informed. They have the power to disperse any groups behaving in such a way.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“We are incredibly lucky to have easy access to miles of countryside. But please use with care. Always follow the countryside code and government guidance for coronavirus (COVID-19).”

Dorset Council is working with Dorset Police and other agencies to take any further actions necessary in the event of any changes to legislation or Government guidance, however, at this time there are no plans nor legal means to close public rights of way or the cycleway/ walking trail networks for COVID-19 related reasons.

View the rights of way map – whereto walk, ride and cycle

 

The post Public rights of way and Covid-19 appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Syrian refugee families volunteer to help during Coronavirus outbreak

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 12:19

During this uncertain time of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it’s a comfort to know people want to help support our most vulnerable residents.

Over the last few days, Dorset Council has received heart-warming messages from Syrian refugee families who have settled in Dorset and now want to help their local communities during these difficult times.

Jenny Willoughby who works as a refugee resettlement programme officer for Dorset Council, said: “We are incredibly lucky to have an army of volunteers across Dorset who help Syrian refugee families to settle in to their new communities, make friends, go shopping, help with children, etc.

“And to see the Syrian families they once helped now want to give something back and help them in return is amazing.

“Many of our older volunteers will now be isolating or shielding –so the Syrian families offer of help is very welcomed.

One of the Syrian refugees, Walid, said: “My family and I took refuge in this beautiful country.  That is why I want to offer my services to help the community. I can help to deliver food and other essentials to vulnerable residents in my area.

“I strongly believe in the responsibility of citizens to help each other in crises.  May God protect this country.”

Dorset has welcomed 82 Syrian refugees as part of the national resettlement scheme in nine different locations across the county.  The most recent family arrived on 3 March. However, all resettlement is now suspended due to the coronavirus.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Portfolio Holder for Education, Children and Early Help at Dorset Council, said:

“This is a wonderful example of how helping others pays dividends to our communities later, with people coming together in this time of crisis. I think we all need a bit of this right now.”

Volunteers are needed across the county to help support the most vulnerable people during the crisis. Cllr Parry added:

“Many people will need extra support, like help with shopping, walking the dog, picking up prescriptions or just checking in with them to have a chat over the phone.

“We are encouraging people to join the growing band of brilliant volunteers, helping and supporting everyone across Dorset so that people can get through tough times together.”

If you want to help but are not sure where to start, register with the Dorset Volunteering Centre in the first instance.

#DorsetTogether

The post Syrian refugee families volunteer to help during Coronavirus outbreak appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

How is Dorset Council helping homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak?

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/31/2020 - 09:41

Find out what Dorset Council is doing to help people sleeping rough who are unable to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

Our housing officers have teamed up with partners including The Lantern Trust and Julian House to find accommodation for 24 people that we have identified as sleeping rough in the Dorset Council area.  

We have helped, or are in the process of helping, 14 individuals into accommodation, and we are making sure they get the support they need.  

Accommodation has also been found for the eight homeless people who were supported by the Bus Shelter project in Weymouth. 

Some rough sleepers have been offered accommodation but for personal reasons have refused the offer and wish to remain where they are for now.  

Housing officers and support workers will continue to work with these people and discuss alternative options.  

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio holder for housing at Dorset Council said:  

“I would like to thank all our partners, housing officers and local accommodation providers who have worked together to make this possible and provide safe and secure accommodation for our rough sleepers during this challenging time.” 

A couple of rough sleepers have been a bit more difficult to locate and speak to, but our officers have made contact and we understand that they do not want help or support at this time.   

Where possible well being checks will be made on these people. 

If you are aware of someone sleeping rough who is not being supported, please report this online at streetlink.org.uk 

If you think the person you are concerned about is in immediate danger or needs urgent care, please call 999.

More information about rough sleeping in Dorset. 

To stay up to date on this topic and get the latest Dorset Council news, sign up to our e-newsletters 

The post How is Dorset Council helping homeless people during the coronavirus outbreak? appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Waste services: Important new rubbish and recycling guidance for all Dorset residents

Dorset For You - Sun, 03/29/2020 - 18:43

As Dorset Council’s waste services begin to feel the pressure from coronavirus (COVID-19) employee absence and the need to introduce new safety measures to protect our workforce, we are asking residents to help us by changing the way they deal with their bins, litter and recycling.

Lower priority services such as bin deliveries and garden waste collections have now either been suspended or are on the verge of being halted. Therefore, due to these reduced staffing levels, we are now implementing the next stage of our plan to keep essential collections going.

  • We will no longer return to empty any missed bins until your next regular collection day. If your bins are missed, please bring them back in. Store your waste safely and put it out on your next appropriate collection day
  • We will pick up extra black bin rubbish only if your previous rubbish collection was missed. We will continue to pick up food waste weekly. You can also put out extra recycling provided it is separated correctly
  • Do not try to report missed collections to us. Visit our service disruption pages online to check if you are in an affected area
  • Remember to crush and flatten items (not glass) before throwing away, as this will help create space in your bins and our collection vehicles
  • Please continue to observe public health guidance on handling your waste. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please double bag your waste and store for 72 hours before placing in your bin or blue sack. You should also wash your hands both before putting your bins out and after taking them back in
  • We recommend rinsing dirty rubbish and recycling items before placing in bins to reduce unpleasant odours.

As we have had to redeploy employees to higher-priority services, our street-cleansing, household recycling centres and recycling banks in car parks have also been suspended. Therefore: –

  • If you go out to exercise, take your litter home with you, especially dog waste. Street and dog bins are not being emptied on a regular basis. NEVER place household waste in a street litter bin
  • Do not travel to a household recycling centre (HRC, or ‘the tip’) or any recycling bank in a car park as these are all now closed and are no longer being serviced. Any items left at these sites will not be cleared away and will be considered as fly-tipping.

Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said:

“We appreciate that these new measures will cause inconvenience and frustration for some people, but these are unprecedented times and the changes are vital. We need everyone to show patience and understanding and work together so we can keep collections going for as long as possible.

Thank you to everyone supporting our front-line employees by following our guidance. We will monitor how things are going and take further action if we need to. In the meantime, please stay at home and keep an eye on our webpages, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and local media for further updates.”

The post Waste services: Important new rubbish and recycling guidance for all Dorset residents appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council suspends charges in their car parks to support key workers and residents

Dorset For You - Sat, 03/28/2020 - 14:26

Dorset Council has taken the decision to suspend parking charges in its car parks across the county during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Following calls from the general public and Dorset’s elected members, the Council will no longer require payment for the use of any of its car parks that remain open at this time while public health measures are in place.

However, on-street parking charges and restrictions will remain in place in order to keep roads clear and traffic moving.

The decision to suspend off-street car park charges will help residents to park for free while residential roads are full of vehicles during the current “lockdown”. The aim is to get people not parking in the side roads whilst they are staying indoors, so they can move their cars from the road to the car parks.

By encouraging the movement of the cars from the street to these car parks we can provide better access for NHS workers, social carers and volunteers supporting the vulnerable in their communities. It will improve access for emergency and bin collection vehicles and provide options for residents who need to travel to buy essential food and groceries.

Beach car parks will remain closed for this weekend (28 and 29 March) but will re-open as free on Monday. However, Dorset Council will continue to ask people not to drive to tourist spots and/or congregate in groups in order to comply with public health guidance and not spread the virus.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“We have listened and taken action. This is a positive use of Council assets and by suspending charges in our car-parks we can support Dorset residents during these unprecedented times.

We can ensure those who are on the front-line delivering vital services have parking options, and we can help keep traffic moving while residential roads are full of parked cars.

However, it is still important that people heed central government advice to stay at home and only travel when it is essential. Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home). If outside, ensure you stay 2 metres away from others.”

The post Dorset Council suspends charges in their car parks to support key workers and residents appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Co-ordinated community response – Update

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/27/2020 - 16:41

Dorset Council residents continue to support those most vulnerable in their local community during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

Work continues with several key voluntary organisations to support our local communities’ efforts in response to the outbreak.

Volunteering guidance in Lockdown
On Monday 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lock down in all non-essential travel. Following official guidance from Government, Volunteer Centre Dorset have issued the following advice after consulting with their national body NVCO “volunteers responding to the COVID-19 crisis would be regarded as essential support services, and could continue to do what they have been.”

Safeguarding  when delivering food

Dorset Council are working with colleagues at Public Health Dorset and have produced some simple but important tips for volunteers when delivering food to vulnerable residents.

This can also be downloaded from our Community Response webpage.

 

Funding to support our communities’ efforts
71 grant funds have been made available to support local community groups.

In addition to this our local Dorset Community Foundation have launched their own Community Fund for those who would like to make a donation or want to apply for funding. Dorset Community Foundation will also be administering the National Emergencies Trust – Coronavirus – Funding for Dorset. They will be working with officers at Dorset Council to ensure the funding is shared fairly across the Dorset Council (and BCP) areas. More information on this will be shared once funding becomes available.

What’s going on in our communities?
The Dorset Council Community Response webpage includes a link to Help and Kindness who are recording all of the community actions to identify any gaps and share good practice.

Pharmacy delivery of prescriptions procedure and advice from Public Health Dorset
Public Health Dorset has been working with Volunteer Centre Dorset and community pharmacies (through Dorset’s Local Pharmacy Committee) to put in place a system of matching willing volunteers with community pharmacies who have a need to deliver medications to people who are self-isolating.  The system went live across Dorset and BCP council areas on 25 March and volunteers have already started to be placed with local pharmacies.  If there is a need for pharmacies to adjust the number of volunteers they have in their team, then they are able to request further volunteers over time. There is an expected initial flurry of activity over the coming days as pharmacies make their requests and volunteers are matched.

Further to this, Dorset Council are issuing good-practice guidance, both for the volunteers who are delivering medication, and for the pharmacies working with those volunteers.

Services funded by Dorset Council that support people with issues with alcohol or other drugs have been trying to alter prescriptions and get people their medication directly so that they can practise social distancing and not have to go to the pharmacy so often, when these services are already under huge pressure.  Dorset Council staff and vehicles have been redeployed to support this effort, meaning that nurses and other treatment staff can concentrate on directly supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community.  One nurse described the drivers as a ‘Godsend’, saying the service ‘couldn’t do this without them’.
People can volunteer to help in their local communities here

Volunteer update
At the time of writing, over 620 volunteers have registered their availability with Volunteer Centre Dorset (VCD) and also 105 organisations have registered specifically for the community response for COVID-19. The VCD team are busy matching volunteers to vacancies and working with the pharmacies to deliver prescriptions.
Register with Volunteer Centre Dorset.

Age UK North, South and West Dorset update
Age UK North, South and West Dorset are fully up and running (now working remotely) taking 200 calls per day from isolated people and are directly supporting in signposting to the right agencies and are linking in with our Adult Social Care teams for those that identify with care requirements.
Contact information can be found on the Dorset Council Community Response webpage.

Official isolation posters
Two self-isolation posters have been made available stating the household is self-isolating or has an immune disorder. They do not identify if the person is alone or vulnerable. Residents are encouraged, where possible, to use these and not use any unofficial ones which may identify people living alone or sensitive data.

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “ The response within the community has been outstanding. I would like to encourage those who are well and willing, to register with Volunteer Centre Dorset to further support the efforts in their local community.

“There are a number of resources available on our Community Response webpage which includes information on safeguarding, how to access support for yourself or for loved ones, contact information for queries on foodbanks as well as information on access to funding available for community groups”.

You can find more information on how to access support, registering your interest to volunteer and also guidance for those who are currently volunteering on the Dorset Council Co-ordinated Community Response web page.

The post Co-ordinated community response – Update appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Exercise close to home

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/27/2020 - 16:04

Dorset Police and Dorset Council are asking people not to drive to a beach, park or local beauty spot this weekend to stop people congregating and not observing social distancing.

Last weekend saw record numbers at beaches and parks around the country and the agencies are keen for there not to be a repeat this weekend.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council Portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said:

“Following our recent video on facebook and twitter I want to stress to all our residents and potential visitors I ask you to please, please, do not come to Dorset this weekend, please don’t go out to our numerous beauty spots.

“Even if you feel well now you could be carrying the virus.  We all want to enjoy Dorset in our futures please do not take that opportunity away from yourselves and your loved ones”.

Beach and harbour car parks will be closed to everyone but existing permit or season ticket holders.and the Police will intervene with all gatherings of more than two people in public.

The advice is to stay home and exercise from there.

List of closed car parks

The post Exercise close to home appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Shielding Dorset’s vulnerable residents from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/27/2020 - 14:44

Find out what’s happening in Dorset to protect people who are at most risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Vulnerable people in Dorset will have recently received a letter from the NHS, telling them they are at high risk of catching coronavirus and advising them to stay at home and strictly self-isolate for 12 weeks.

Community Shield

We know that living under such restrictions will cause concern for people who do not have any nearby support, and we want to give reassurance to any Dorset residents who this may be affecting.

We are rapidly putting plans in place with our partners from across public, voluntary and community and charity sectors to give you the help you need.

A Dorset COVID-19 Response Hub has been set to help people:

  • have enough food, basic household items and access any necessary medication
  • continue to receive support from our help and support services in a safe way
  • feel supported and know how to access help 

I am staying at home because of coronavirus. How do I get help?

If you have been identified as someone at high risk, you should follow the advice given in the letter you received from the NHS. You should talk to family, friends or your support network to see if they can help you get food and medicine.

Central Government is sharing information with us about people who have registered as extremely vulnerable because they do not have anyone close by who can help them. We will be making direct contact with these people very soon.  

Dorset Council’s COVID–19 Response Hub

If you don’t have family, friends or a support network that can help you get the things you need, the response hub has a dedicated helpline that can provide additional help and information.

From Monday 30 March, you can call 01305 221022, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Alternatively, you can email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

Dorset Council portfolio holder for Health and Adult Social Care, Cllr Laura Miller said:

“We are doing our very best to make sure that those people who are identified as extremely vulnerable because of the coronavirus will be fully supported.

“If you, or someone you know, is vulnerable because they are self-isolating and cannot get access to food or medicine, they have care needs or are at risk of loneliness and isolation call the helpline and trained staff can help you get the things you need.”

If you do not receive a letter from the NHS but still need help and support to get essential supplies, you can find more information on volunteer organisations on our website www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/coronavirus or by contacting Age UK on enquiries@ageuknswd.org.uk or 01305 269444. You can also register to volunteer on the website.

The post Shielding Dorset’s vulnerable residents from Coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Pages