Dorset

Upper Marshwood Vale steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

Dorset For You - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 10:29

A final version of the Upper Marshwood Vale Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to Dorset Council for examination.

Have your say on Upper Marshwood Neighbourhood Plan.

The plan was created by local people, and was approved by the Upper Marshwood Vale Parish Council which is made up of the parishes of Bettiscombe, Pilsdon, Stoke Abbott and Marshwood. The Parish Council feel confident that the plan reflects the hopes and views of the local community.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example, the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

Dorset Council is required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination can take place. Following the examination, if the plan is approved and supported by a local referendum, then it will be used to inform future decisions on planning applications. Consultations will start on Monday 19th August and will run for eight weeks.

View the Upper Marshwood Vale Neighbourhood plan

The plan can be viewed on the Dorset Council website: dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/upper-marshwood-vale-neighbourhood-plan,  and via the Upper Marshwood Vale website: uppermarshwoodvale.org/home/neighbourhood-plan/.

Hard copies will also be made available at the council offices at South Walks House, Dorchester.

Please contact the Upper Marshwood Vale Neighbourhood Plan group, or view their website: uppermarshwoodvale.org/home/neighbourhood-plan/ for the locations of reference copies and dates of public events that will be going on around the area throughout the consultation period.

Comment on the plan

Those who live, work or run a business in the Upper Marshwood Vale neighbourhood plan area have until 14 October 2019, to raise any concerns they may have about the plan. These will then be passed on to an independent examiner to consider. Anyone commenting on the plan should let the council know if they wish to be kept informed of the progress of the Upper Marshwood Vale Neighbourhood Plan.

Comments on the plan can be emailed to: planningpolicyteamb@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Alternatively, they can be posted to: Spatial Planning, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester DT1 1UZ.

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Categories: Dorset

Join in the Pokémon fun at Weymouth library

Dorset For You - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 12:43

The weekend will be packed with activities for Pokémon trainers of all ages.


The newly refurbished Weymouth library will host the fun-filled family weekend celebrating all things Pokémon. Events take place 9.30am – 3pm on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 August.

Put on your detective hats to find the hidden Pokémon in our scavenger hunt, try to catch them all in our all ages Poké Bingo and challenge trainers on ‘Pokémon Go’ for your spot in our Pokémon Hall of Fame in our ‘Pokémon Go’ Gym Leader Challenge.

All trainers are invited to come dressed up as their favourite characters from the franchise. We want to see your colourful Charizard’s, perfect Pikachu’s and totally awesome trainer costumes for our ultimate Pokémon cosplay battle. Costumes will be judged in categories (Children 0-10, Teens 11-17, Adult 18+) Children under 8 must be accompanied by a parent of carer.

Running order:

“Who’s that Pokémon!” – Scavenger Hunt
Friday and Saturday: 9:30-15:00
Put your detective hat and find the mysterious Pokémon hidden throughout the library. To participate collect your sheets from the helpdesk.

Poké Bingo
Friday and Saturday: all day
Race to catch them all in this game of Poké Bingo – open to all ages. Sessions will be run throughout the day with a maximum of 25 trainers per session. Please book your slot at the helpdesk – small prizes will be awarded to our winning trainers.

Pokémon Cosplay Battle
Saturday only: 13:30 – 14:30
All trainers are invited to come dressed up as their favourite characters from the franchise. We want to see your colourful Charizard’s, perfect Pikachu’s and totally awesome trainer costumes.
Judging categories: Children 0-10, Teens 11-17, Adult 18+

Pokémon Go Gym Leader Challenge – winners announced
Saturday only: 15:00 – Phone app events
The six trainers that have control of our Pokémon gym in-game at 3pm will be added to our Pokémon Hall of Fame and awarded their prizes. Challenge trainers throughout the day in the ‘Pokémon Go’ app for your chance to win!

Find out more about this event

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Road Fix – September sites

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 17:05

Dorset Highways maintenance gangs are out across the county continuing to repair road damage.

Due to the large equipment used, the area of the road being worked on will be closed. Daytime road closures are 9am to 4pm and night work is usually from 7pm to 6am.

In September we will be repairing sections along the following roads:

Manor Farm Lane, Winterbourne Abbas
daytime closure, 2 Sept

A350 / A354 Blandford Bypass
Wimborne Road Rbt, Hill Top Rbt & Sunrise Rbt
night closure 8pm to 6am, 2 Sept to 9 Sept
See press release for full details

Hill View, Maiden Newton
daytime closure, 3 Sept

Toller Fratrum Road (from A356 Whitesheet)
daytime closure, 4 Sept

North Street, Wareham
daytime closure 5 & 6 Sept

Albert Road, Corfe Mullen
daytime closure, 9 Sept to 11 Sept

A37 Weirs Roundabout, Dorchester
night work 8pm to 6am, 10 & 11 Sept
B3147 closed from Loders Garage to Weirs Roundabout
Two-way temporary lights on A37

Westham Road, Weymouth
closed 9.30am to 3.30pm, 12 & 13 Sept

St Thomas Street, Weymouth
closed 9.30am to 3.30pm, 16 & 17 Sept

Maiden Street, Weymouth
closed 9.30am to 3.30pm, 17 & 18 Sept

A350 / B3067 Poole Road, Upton
night closure 9pm to 6am, 19 Sept to 25 Sept

All scheduled roadworks can be found on the online roadworks map.

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Categories: Dorset

New permit scheme for roadworks in Dorset

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 15:37

Anyone wishing to work on the highway will soon have to apply for a permit to carry out  work on Dorset roads.

Dorset Highways is working with Saanchi Solutions Limited to develop and implement a permit scheme for works on the Dorset Council highway network.

At the moment, work promoters have a statutory right to work on the highway and tell the council when they will be working on the road.

Under a permit scheme, work promoters will be asking for permission to work on the highway and will need to provide clear start, end and duration details – any alteration to these during the work could incur a fee.

Permit schemes were introduced by the Government to:

  • reduce disruption on the road network
  • improve overall network management
  • reduce delays to the travelling public
  • reduce costs to businesses caused by delays
  • incentivise work promoters to collaborate

Implementing a permit scheme will ensure the council has accurate information about the work taking place on its network, which will allow better co-ordination and management of works.

Also, with a permitting scheme in place, working on the highway without a permit becomes a criminal offence.

The permit scheme will be cost neutral when it is live – with the cost of permits funding the administration of the scheme.

Activities likely to need a permit

Although Dorset Highways is currently developing it’s permit scheme, activities likely to need are permit are:

  • breaking up or resurfacing any street
  • opening the road, footway, verge or cycleway
  • the need for any form of temporary traffic regulation order or notice, or the suspension of pedestrian crossing facilities
  • reducing the width of the existing carriageway

Exact details will be known later this year.

The legal bit
  • Permits were brought into existence through the Traffic Management Act 2004
  • In 2015, statutory guidance for permits were introduced to give consistency across the country​
  • The Department for Transport has now said Local Authorities must have a permit scheme in place by April 2020

If you have any question about the scheme, please contact our traffic team: dcpermitscheme@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

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Categories: Dorset

Portland steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 09:39

A local community has taken a significant step closer to having greater influence over planning decisions in their area.

Portland Neighbourhood Plan

A final version of the Portland Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to Dorset Council for examination.

The plan has been drawn up by local people, and approved by the town council, who feel confident that the plan reflects the hopes and views of the local community.

What is a neighbourhood plan?

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011. They aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

If the neighbourhood plan is approved following examination, and supported by a local referendum, it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Dorset Council is required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination can take place.

View the plan

Copies of the plan will be made available at the council offices at Commercial Road, Weymouth and South Walks House, Dorchester.

Reference copies are also available at Portland Town Council Offices, Portland Library and Osprey Leisure Centre.

The plan can be viewed online at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk and on the Portland Neighbourhood Plan website: portlandplan.org.uk/

Comment on the plan

People who live, work or run a business in the Portland neighbourhood area have until 9 October 2019, to raise any concerns they may have about the plan. These concerns will then be passed on to an independent examiner to consider.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:

“It takes a tremendous amount of work in order to pull together a Neighbourhood Plan. I congratulate all involved in getting to this stage.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future development of Portland, to view the plans and submit any feedback they may have.”

Comments on the plan can be emailed to planningpolicyteamb@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

Alternatively, they can be posted to Spatial Planning, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester DT1 1UZ.

Anyone commenting on the plan should let the council know if they wish to be kept informed of the progress of the Portland Area Neighbourhood Plan.

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Categories: Dorset

Blandford roundabouts resurfacing

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/15/2019 - 09:14

Three busy roundabouts on the Blandford Bypass will be closed in succession for surfacing works in early September.

Six nights work will start on Monday 2 September, with north-south A350 traffic diverted through Blandford town centre each night from 8pm to 6am the following morning. Southbound drivers will be signed on to White Cliff Mill Hill and northbound drivers will be signed on to Bournemouth Road at Badger Roundabout.

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

“It’s unavoidable that there will be some delays and disruption for drivers during these works but, by doing the surfacing overnight, we hope to keep it to a minimum.

“We’ve also tried to keep as much access open as safely possible to help local drivers.”

On Monday 2 September and Thursday 5 September, Sunrise Roundabout will be surfaced overnight. Drivers on the A354 Salisbury Road and B3082 Wimborne Road will be able to access and exit the Blandford Bypass but will need to travel through the town to continue north towards Shaftesbury. The C13 will have restricted access and traffic will be controlled with two-way lights, drivers should plan for delays to their journey if using this road.

On Tuesday 3 September and Friday 6 September, Hilltop Roundabout will be surfaced overnight. The bypass will be closed between the C13 Higher Shaftesbury Road and A354 Salisbury Road. Drivers using A354 Salisbury Road will be controlled using two-way lights and will only be able to travel south using the bypass. Drivers wishing to use the C13 will only be able to access the road from the west.

On Wednesday 4 September and Monday 9 September, Wimborne Roundabout will be surfaced overnight. The bypass will be closed between B3082 Wimborne Road and A354 Salisbury Road. Access onto B3082 Wimborne Road will only be from the south and controlled with two-way temporary lights. Drivers using Salisbury Road will only be able to continue north on the bypass.

On each night there will be no access into or out of the town centre at the roundabout being worked on.

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Categories: Dorset

Local communities back neighbourhood plans

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/14/2019 - 15:19

Two local communities are just one step away from having approved neighbourhood plans for their area.

Neighbourhood plans backed by residents

Final versions of the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan and Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan were submitted to Dorset Council for examination and referendums were held. Residents voted on whether to accept or reject the plans on 8 August 2019.

In both areas, residents voted to accept the plans.

75 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan.

90 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan.

Both plans were drawn up by local people with support from Dorset Council’s Planning Policy Team.

What is a neighbourhood plan?

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example a neighbourhood plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

What happens next?

Both neighbourhood plans will now be taken to Dorset Council Cabinet, where councillors will decide whether to formally adopt them.

If formally adopted, the neighbourhood plans will be used to inform decisions on planning applications in the area.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:

“I am pleased that communities are coming together to influence future development in their area.

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to bring a Neighbourhood Plan forward and have it supported at a referendum. I look forward to presenting these plans to members and am confident of positive outcomes.”

View the referendum results and neighbourhood plans

View the full result of the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan referendum

View the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan online. A hard copy of the plan is available at the council offices in South Walks House, Dorchester.

View the full result of the Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan referendum.

View the Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan online. A hard copy of the plan is available at council offices in Nordon Lodge, 58 Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum and South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester during normal opening hours.

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Categories: Dorset

Temporary lights will remain until return of ferry

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 09:57

Temporary signals set up at the Studland Road junction to help keep drivers safe will stay in place while the Sandbanks Ferry is repaired.

Temporary lights were put into action last week following an extraordinary Studland Parish Council meeting, where Dorset Council Cllr Ray Bryan and Cllr Cherry Brooks listened to residents’ and parish councillors’ concerns that increased traffic at the A351 / B3351 junction would lead to a serious collision.

Highway engineers have now confirmed that, following an initial trial of temporary lights being used from 2pm to 6pm on the A351 junction with the B3351 to Studland to help control the flow of traffic and keep drivers safe, the signals will remain in place until the ferry is back in service.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“We have deployed a specialist set of lights at the junction, which has let traffic travelling on the A351 to flow in both directions, followed by a period of ‘stop’ time to allow drivers from Studland safely out on to the road. This set-up has really helped the situation.

“We’ve adjusted the timings and vehicle actuation and, from Thursday (8 August), we will be stepping up the use of the lights to 24-hours-a-day.

“We’d like to ask drivers for their continued patience and to plan their journeys ahead as delays are possible. We are doing everything we can to safely manage the increased traffic at this busy junction.”

Sandbanks Ferry is a private enterprise and Dorset Council has no authority over the company or involvement with the ferry service.

The Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Act 1923 sets out the exact terms of operation, including the service stopping to carry out necessary repairs or machinery works, as has happened at this time.

The company has been keeping its website up to date with the progress of these repairs and everyone involved has is working incredibly hard to return the service as quickly as possible.

Dorset Council, as the highways authority for the Isle of Purbeck, is doing everything

possible to mitigate the impact of the lack of ferry service on local roads.

Should an occasion arise where the temporary signals make the situation worse, highways operatives are nearby and can turn them off.

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Categories: Dorset

AONB landowner fined for serious planning breach

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/07/2019 - 09:46

A Dorset landowner has been prosecuted and fined after failing to rectify a serious breach of planning control within the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Aerial view showing the scale of the excavation works at Broad Oak Farm.

Robert George Coles of Broad Oak Farm, East Melbury, Shaftesbury, pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates Court on 5 August 2019 to an offence contrary to S179(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Significant excavation works discovered

Planning enforcement officers discovered significant excavation works had taken place at Broad Oak Farm, located at the base of Zig Zag Hill in Melbury Abbas, in October 2014.

The works, which caused ground levels to change as a result of the spreading of excavated spoil, affected 3,700 square metres of the 150,000 square metre farm.

The council informed Mr Coles that the excavation and resultant works taking place were not permitted development, but were an unauthorised engineering operation that required planning permission.

Chances to remedy works not taken

Prior to an enforcement notice being served in October 2018, Mr Coles twice made promises to the council that he would rectify the breach and return the land to its former condition. But he failed to do so.

Mr Coles was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay the full claim for prosecution costs in the sum of £1,323, making a total of £4,123.  He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30.

The sentencing magistrate said that the offence was particularly serious because the unauthorised development was in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and because so much time that had passed without the situation being remedied.

Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr David Walsh said:

“I would like to thank our planning control officers for conducting an excellent investigation and working with our legal team to bring this case to a successful conclusion.

“Court proceedings are a last resort and we always try to work with landowners to remedy planning breaches when possible.

“However we have a duty to protect Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we will address breaches to ensure the integrity of the planning system is not undermined.”

More information about planning enforcement, including how to report a possible unauthorised development, is available on Dorset Council’s website www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

More news about planning in Dorset.

 

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

Durweston flood arch replacement – 31 July

Dorset For You - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 16:52

We’ve been on site at Durweston for just over four months and the work is continuing to progress according to schedule.

Thanks to the fantastic efforts of the team on site, the A357 reopened a day ahead of schedule on Saturday 21 July.

There are around four to six weeks left of construction work before we start demobilising from site.

Thank you for your patience during the road closure and the continued temporary lights – not long to go now!

Work so far
  • Culvert replacement – demolition, installation and waterproofing – done!
  • Embankment widening and road re-construction, utilising over 200t of recycled material – done!
  • Gabion retaining walls, 300 individual units formed and filled – done!
  • Road drainage, new improved system installed for larger flows and is easier to maintain – done!
  • Durweston Bridge RTC repair – done!

Remember you can catch up on all the action by viewing our online timelapse camera.

Works ongoing

Bridge parapets are around 40 per cent complete, with the steel reinforcement now finished on the downstream side of the structure.

Upgrades to the permanent traffic lights on the A350/A357 junction are 75 per cent complete with the new loops cut (vehicle detection equipment).

All the new kerbs have been laid and the kerb lines are 70 per cent complete.

Coming up…

On Friday (2 August) the team will be pouring 30m³ (66 tonnes) of concrete to complete the downstream parapet bases and vehicle restraint system (VRS) supports, we’ll then start work on the upstream parapet foundations and VRS supports.

The kerb line will be ‘backed up’ and strengthened over the coming days with a concrete haunch, the verges will be reinstated and the site has started to, and will continue to be, cleared.

The metal parapet system will be installed by a specialist contractor towards the end of August.

Waiting for concrete – the reinforcing for the vehicle restraint system Lovely new surface – kerb line almost complete

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Categories: Dorset

Temporary lights in place for drivers’ safety

Dorset For You - Wed, 07/31/2019 - 15:25

Three-way temporary signals will be used during the peak afternoon and early evening period at the Studland Road junction to help keep drivers safe.


Starting today, Wednesday 31 July, for an initial trial period of four days, three-way lights will be set up on the A351 junction with the B3351 to Studland from 2pm to 6pm each day. These will be operated manually by a member of staff from Dorset Council Highways who will also ensure the traffic flows as it should.

Increased traffic at the junction, due to the Sandbanks Ferry being out of action, has led to drivers becoming frustrated and putting themselves – and others – at risk of injury.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said:

“As a result of the Sandbanks ferry breakdown, Studland Parish Council called an extraordinary meeting last night, which I and my colleague Cllr Cherry Brooks attended.

“Residents and the parish council are very worried that there is going to be a serious collision at the A351 / B3351 junction. After listening to local people’s concerns, we have responded swiftly and have agreed to the trial of three-way temporary traffic lights at the junction.

“Many drivers have chosen not to follow the signed optional one-way system which we put in place last week which is there to help keep traffic flowing by minimising right-turns on to the A351 at the junction.

“We would appeal to all drivers to be patient and plan their journeys ahead as delays are possible.”

Following the trial period of four days, Dorset Council Highways will assess the effect on traffic and decide whether to keep three-way signals in place at the junction, between 2pm and 6pm only, until the ferry is back in service, currently likely until October.

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Categories: Dorset

Letter from Cllr Parry to Secretary of State

Dorset For You - Tue, 07/30/2019 - 15:53

This letter has been sent to the Secretary of State for Education following the motion that was approved at Full Council on 18 July.

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BT
Date:
25 July 2019

Dear Mr Williamson

Firstly, may I congratulate you on your appointment as Secretary of State at the Department for Education and I hope you will be in a position to urgently review a matter that has proven to be highly contentious.

The purpose of my letter is to explain that Dorset Council remains concerned about the arrangements to academise Budmouth College in Dorset.
Further to the letter from Dorset Council’s Executive Director for People – Children, Mrs Sarah Parker, which reflected the views and concerns of the Cabinet and Members, and the response received from Lord Agnew, we continue to have reservations about the process around academisation of Budmouth College at this juncture.

At the recent full council meeting, a motion (see attached), regarding Budmouth College received cross-party support. It was resolved that I should seek your support to delay the timetable for academisation of Budmouth College. This is so that progress since the last Ofsted report can be assessed, and consultation and engagement is undertaken with the local community, the wider council and wider stakeholders.

I will also seek confirmation from the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) of the reasons for the choice of Aspirations Academy Trust as the school’s provider and seek evidence of the adequacy of the due diligence carried out to ensure the appropriateness of the chosen organisation supplying the service.

I would like to state clearly that we are not in principle opposed to the academy conversion process but we do have continuing concerns around the visibility and accountability in this process, which have failed to be addressed to date – regardless of our representation to your office and the RSC.

We feel the local community deserves to be more fully involved and consulted on the future of their school than is currently provided for in the academy conversion process for sponsored academies.

Finally, may I extend an invitation to visit Dorset at your earliest convenience. In particular we feel there would be benefit in you seeing for yourself the educational provision in the South and West Dorset area.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Andrew Parry
Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help

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Categories: Dorset

Health concerns surrounding 5G

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/29/2019 - 13:01

Public Health England (PHE) takes the lead on health matters relating to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (radio waves) and 5G. PHE’s advice is informed by the work of expert bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s opinion, based on reviews of the evidence, is that exposures to radio waves below the limits recommended in international exposure guidelines do not appear to have any known consequence on health.

The WHO has been undertaking an extensive review of the evidence for health effects arising from exposures to radio waves, including the sort emitted by 5G networks.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which is formally recognised by WHO, independently produces exposure guidelines for exposure to radio waves.

Public Health Dorset statement on health risks of 5G, July 2019

We have been in touch with Public Health England (PHE) for the latest advice and guidance regarding 5G technology in Dorset.

Public Health England summarises its position on radio waves and health relating to mobile phone base stations on its website, and this has been updated to include information relating to 5G as this technology develops.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-phone-base-stations-radio-waves-and-health

The health effects of exposure to radio waves have been researched extensively over several decades. Independent expert groups in the UK and internationally have examined the research and their conclusions support the view that health effects are unlikely to occur if exposures are below international guideline levels.

PHE’s main advice about radio waves from base stations is that the guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) should be adopted for limiting exposures. ICNIRP guidelines relate to frequencies used by both existing mobile systems and those intended for 5G.

PHE advises that it is possible there may be a small increase in overall exposure to radio waves when 5G is added to an existing network or in a new area, but the overall exposure is expected to remain low relative to exposure guidelines and therefor there should be no consequences for public health. ICNIRP guidelines apply up to 300 GHz, well beyond the maximum (few tens of GHz) frequencies under discussion for 5G.

Public Health England (PHE) continues to monitor the health-related evidence applicable to radio waves, including in relation to 5G, and is committed to updating its advice as required.

For a balanced view on the health risks associated with 5G, the BBC has written a useful piece https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-48616174

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Categories: Dorset

New volunteers swell Digital Champions’ ranks

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/29/2019 - 12:31

Four new recruits have joined Superfast Dorset’s army of Digital Champions.

The latest volunteers mean Dorset’s councils can offer help with computers, tablets, smartphones and getting online at even more locations across the county.

David Jones has over 30 years’ experience in IT and will be helping people at Charmouth library, near Lyme Regis.

He said: “I ran similar sessions in Wiltshire for some years before moving to Dorset. People really do get a lot out of it and I see it as a way of giving something back to help others now that I’m retired.”

Meanwhile John Howes will be providing free help at Sherborne Library.

He said: “Digital skills are useful in many aspects of modern-day life. I’m a bit of a computer buff and see this as an opportunity to help people who want to learn something new.”

“Being online has the potential to reduce isolation and could be life-enhancing for so many people.”

The four new faces join a network of 70 volunteers who run free, one-to-one computer help sessions in libraries and other venues across the county.

They can help with everything from switching on a computer and using the internet safely, to managing email and digital pictures. So far they have supported over 1339 people.

The latest research shows that there are still around 150,000 Dorset adults needing help with digital skills and 70,000 are offline completely.

If you would like help from a Digital Champion, call 01305 221048 and we will match you with a volunteer in your area.

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Categories: Dorset

Ragwort – do you love it or loathe it?

Dorset For You - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 11:46

Love it or hate it, common ragwort is thriving this time of year, and it looks beautiful throughout Dorset. But it is a plant which people either love or hate.

Owners of livestock spend many hours each year pulling ragwort from their paddocks and fields to remove it and avoid allowing it to take seed.  Ragwort contains particular toxins in its leaves which can be harmful to ponies and cattle if eaten.

But, while it can be dangerous to ponies and cattle, it is a great plant for other reasons.

As well as adorning our fields and wildflower verges with splashes of yellow, ragwort is a wonderful nectar source for many bees, hoverflies and butterflies. In Dorset, through careful management of our land, we do what we can to attract these pollinators and help boost their dwindling numbers.

It also the food of choice for cinnabar moths which use bright colours – or aposematism – to warn others that they are toxic. The yellow and black stripes of the caterpillar and red and black markings of the moth are clear warnings to would be predators that they are poisonous.

Ragwort with cinnabar moth caterpillar

Clearly ragwort should be pulled or cut where a hazard to livestock exists,  but where there isn’t, we would encourage people to let it grow to feed many of our insects.

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Categories: Dorset

Want to win £1000? Respond to your household enquiry form online, by phone or text

Dorset For You - Fri, 07/26/2019 - 10:30

Household enquiry forms for the electoral register are coming through letter boxes in Dorset soon. Look out for an envelope addressed ‘To the occupier’.

Your household enquiry form is coming

Dorset Council is posting household enquiry forms to all residential properties in your area.

The form shows who is currently registered to vote at your address and asks you to check if those details are correct.

It is a legal requirement that you respond to the household enquiry form.

You can save time, and expense to Dorset taxpayers, by responding promptly soon after you receive it.

Respond online, by text or by phone to win £1000

We are offering a £1000 prize draw to encourage people to respond digitally by 12 August, rather than returning a paper form.

Responding online, by text or phone quick and easy for you.

It also saves Dorset Council time and money that can be spent providing essential services to residents.

We estimate that it costs us 20 pence per elector to process digital registrations.

Returned paper forms, on the other hand, cost approximately £2.50 per elector. More than ten times as much.

“You could be a winner”

Matt Prosser, Chief Executive of Dorset Council said:

“Please keep an eye out for the household enquiry form coming through your letter box soon.

“We have to send this form every year to all households in Dorset.

“We need you to respond so that we know who is eligible to register to vote.

“By responding as quickly as possible via digital methods you will be helping us reduce the costs linked to gathering and processing this information.

“Respond online, by Freephone or by text by 12 August and you could be a winner.”

Terms and conditions apply.

Find more information about the annual canvass, including answers to frequently asked questions.

More about Dorset Council’s current financial position.

 

The post Want to win £1000? Respond to your household enquiry form online, by phone or text appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council Cabinet asked to support funding agreement

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 16:58

A paper is being presented to Dorset Council cabinet on 30 July which will ask members to support the council entering into a funding agreement with Homes England which will secure up to £6,310,000 of Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF).

Following a successful bid by North Dorset District Council to Homes England for HIF Funding, Dorset Council has the opportunity to access money which will enable it to design and construct the main road within the Welbeck area.

In January 2018, Welbeck Strategic Land LLP made an application for outline planning permission to construct an urban extension to the south of Gillingham between Shaftesbury Road and New Road. This will include up to 961 dwellings and up to 2,642sq.m of retail, community, health, and leisure uses.

The development will also include new and enhanced pedestrian/cycle routes, open spaces, roads, car parking and vehicular access.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said:

“If Cabinet supports the recommendations, it will mean the development in Gillingham is likely to be completed seven years quicker than if we don’t enter into this funding agreement. The grant from Homes England will help provide the vital infrastructure this development needs, which in turn will help provide much needed affordable housing and benefits for the local community.”

The land forms part of a wider development site allocated for development by North Dorset District Council. The wider development site has the potential to deliver a further 749 homes and incorporates land controlled by CG Fry and Son Limited and Taylor Wimpey.

The council must recover the HIF funding from the developers with the agreement that any sums recovered may be reinvested in housing projects across Dorset.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council reports on current financial position

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 16:58

A report being presented to Dorset Council Cabinet on 30 July outlines its financial position and forecasts at the end of the first quarter of the financial year.

Significant savings have been achieved over recent months as a result of Local Government Reorganisation. Despite this, the council is currently forecasting an overspend for this financial year of £7.1m on directly controlled budgets, and up to £5.5m on funding for schools and education.

The forecast overspend is mainly due to a growing demand for the following services:

  • support for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): the number of children requiring an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has risen by 67 per cent since 2013, but there has only been a seven per cent increase in funding.
  • the rising number of children taken into care to keep them safe from immediate risk of harm. Residential care placements are required for highly vulnerable children or those who might present a danger to themselves to others. Costs range between £3,000 and £8,250 per week. There has been an increase in these placements in the first three months of this financial year, 2019-20.
  • social care support for vulnerable and frail older people and people with disabilities.

Extensive work is underway to address the forecast overspend and to deliver a balanced budget by the end of the financial year. This work includes:

  • ongoing work to reduce staffing and associated costs as a result of bringing six former councils together
  • work to improve social care services provided for adults and children while reducing costs
  • development of a council-wide transformation plan for 2020-24, which will identify new ways of delivering council services (for instance, with greater use of digital technology) to meet the needs of Dorset residents while enabling the council to live within its means.

In addition, the council has reserves of around £29m – an improved position since the 2019-20 budget was agreed in February thanks to savings made by all six former councils. The minimum recommended level of reserves for Dorset Council is £14.5m. This means there are sufficient reserves available to cover additional budget costs this financial year if required.

Since the creation of the new council on 1 April this year, significant savings have been made or are in progress. These savings have been reinvested into council services:

  • reduction in the number of councillors from 204 to 82 has produced £400k in savings
  • reduction in the number of senior manager roles, and in staffing costs for areas where there is duplication and overlap like finance, HR, and IT is anticipated to achieve savings of £5.2m in 2019/20 and £10m in total
  • savings have been made on insurance, audit fees and other activities where the council now only pays for one organisation rather than six.

Cllr Peter Wharf, Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for Corporate Development and Change, said:

“This financial year is challenging for us. But I am confident that the local government reorganisation and the creation of Dorset Council put us in the best possible position to manage our financial position. We will continue to push for better funding for social care from Government. In the meantime, I have confidence that officers across the council will work hard to improve our financial position throughout the year.”

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Categories: Dorset

Camp Bestival traffic management 2019

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 15:39

Camp Bestival returns to East Lulworth from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 July.

Traffic management measures will be introduced for the safety of event-goers and road users for the event.

11.59pm Monday 22 July to 11.59 Monday 29 July
  • B3070 – one-way system between The Whiteway Road (for Tyneham Village) and the ‘miltary bypass’ in East Lulworth (traffic can travel eastbound only)
  • B3070 – temporary signed speed limit of 20mph through East Lulworth
  • B3070 – temporary signed speed limit of 40mph between Botany Farm and the deregulated speed limit signs (towards East Lulworth)
  • B3071 – temporary signed speed limit of 40mph between the Burgate Junction and New Buildings Road
  • ‘Military Bypass’ – temporary signed speed limit of 40mph between the B3070 to the B3071 (Burngate Junction)
  • B3071 – clearway / no parking between Botany Farm and the junction with White Way and between the Burngate junction and the junction with New Buildings Road
  • Coombe Keynes Road – clearway / no parking between B3071 (The Triangle) and Manor Yard, Shaggs
  • Coombes Keynes Road – temporary signed speed limit of 30mph between B3071 and B3070
  • B3070 – temporary prohibition of pedestrian movements between the white gates at the entrance to Lulworth Castle and to the B3071 (Burngate junction)
New Buildings Road – between 7am Thursday 25 July and 5pm Sunday 28 July

One-way system between Burton Cross and B3071 (traffic can travel southbound only)

New Buildings Road – between 5pm Sunday 28 July and 5pm Monday 29 July

One-way system between Burton Cross and B3071 (traffic can travel northbound only)

Holme Lane – between 7am and 7pm; Thursday 26 July, Friday 27 July and Monday 30 July
  • Temporary signed speed limit of 30mph between West Lane/Grange Road and B3071

Travel updates will be available on Twitter @TravelDorset.
View restrictions on a map
Download a copy of the Public Notice

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Categories: Dorset

Find out the latest from our foster carer Amanda – Two mother and baby placements.

Dorset For You - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 15:12

So July, how did we get here already? I think I’ve stumbled through June in a haze of sleep deprived semi consciousness. Why ? Because my lovely cat decided to give birth to three kittens under my foster son’s bed. During a visit from his case social worker no less.

I didn’t think leaving the new family under the poor boy’s bed would quite comply with hygiene recommendations so under my bed they went. Mummy cat was not quite ready to give up her life of partying so we had to shut all the windows (in this heat !) and try and keep her from escaping.

The second mother and baby? Ah yes, I bought a fish to help my foster son relax. Said fish gave birth to millions of baby fish which were being unceremoniously eaten by the bigger fish. So a fish pen was brought in , but not one survived. Luckily my foster son was more interested in his Lego.

Tell me more about the renovations I hear you shriek! No doubt you’re actually bored stiff by my efforts to land a slot in ideal home  magazine but I will graciously tell you that this month the plumber (aka my ex husband) has been replacing three bathrooms and I have been building a playhouse in the back garden (with a little help from yet another builder)

Non stop madness that’s done little to lift my heart as we come into the last few weeks of my eldest foster son’s stay. Why do we foster if we find it so hard to let go? Because you can’t foster properly without giving a little bit of your heart to each child who comes through your door.

By the way we passed our panel review. Building regs were acquired on time yay. I think half the panel wanted to question my insanity but politely refrained from this.

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

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