Nothe sign restored

Dorset For You - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 14:53

The ‘Nothe Gardens’ sign, overlooking Nothe Parade, has been painted, uncovered and lit up. This means it can now be seen from Weymouth Esplanade.

Nothe Gardens

The sign, which can also be viewed from the harbour, has had very low energy bulb uplighters fitted. These replace the energy hungry sodium light source. In preparation for the unveiling, the surrounding vegetation had to be cut back to make the sign visible.

Councillor Kate Wheller, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Community Facilities, said: “The Nothe Garden sign is very eye catching. It highlights the beautiful gardens from as far as Weymouth Esplanade.

‘beautiful gardens highlighted’

The borough council’s arborists and engineers have worked together to achieve this successful project. I am sure it will attract lots of visitors to this beautiful open space.”

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Categories: Dorset

Residents and businesses urged to attend ferry toll increase inquiry

Dorset For You - Tue, 09/04/2018 - 11:55

Purbeck District Council is encouraging businesses and members of the public to attend a public inquiry on proposed toll increases for the Studland Ferry.

An independent Inspector has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport to hold the public inquiry. It will take place at 10am on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 September 2018 at Studland Village Hall.

Purbeck District Council, together with Swanage Town Council; Corfe Castle Parish Council; Studland Parish Council; Wareham St Martin Parish Council; and Worth Matravers Parish Council, has instructed a barrister to present their case at the hearing.

Anyone wishing to speak at the inquiry should arrive at the start of day 1 and indicate to the inspector that they would like to speak. The Inspector will set out at the start of the inquiry how proceedings will run and who he will hear from.

In early 2018, The Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company applied to increase the tolls for the ferry crossing from Sandbanks to Shell Bay.

Members of Purbeck District Council voted unanimously to object to the proposed increases, and the Leader of the Council wrote to the Department for Transport to make the Council’s objections clear.

In his letter, Councillor Gary Suttle expressed the Council’s concerns that the proposed increases would only benefit the Company and have a detrimental impact on local residents who rely on the ferry to get to and from work, the local economy and the district’s already-congested roads.

Councillor Suttle said: “All members of the Council were concerned that increased profits would merely result in enhanced dividends to the company’s shareholders and not be used for the proposed new ferry.  Members were also in agreement that the proposed increases would have a detrimental impact on local residents and businesses who rely on the ferry”.

“The only alternative route to the ferry is a 20 mile round trip on a road that passes through several villages that are already congested at peak times, and particularly in the summer months. The additional road traffic will contribute to increased pollution, and would contradict the Government’s policy of improving air quality.”

The five local councils that have joined with the District Council in objecting to the proposals share these views and are working together to present the strongest possible case to the inspector.

Councillor Suttle continued: “We urge anyone who is concerned about these proposals to attend the hearing.”

Press release – 26 March 2018

Letter from Leader of the Council


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Categories: Dorset

Peninsula development to make Weymouth stand out

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 15:27

Dorset’s popularity as an international tourist hotspot is heating up, according to latest figures from VisitBritain.

Artist’s impression of the Weymouth Peninsula site.

The Jurassic Coast, the county’s rich heritage, and world class beaches are among the top attractions to draw global guests to the area. As one of Dorset and Great Britain’s most loved seaside towns, Weymouth welcomes more than one million visitors from home and abroad every year.

The Weymouth Peninsula development has the potential to boost the town’s appeal while complementing nearby attractions and providing leisure facilities for local people and visitors alike.

Independent studies, community consultation and decisions made by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council over a period of years have shown that a leisure led development is the best way to fulfil the potential of the iconic site.

Public engagement in March this year showed that 52 per cent of people felt that the draft scheme was overall ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 27 per cent felt it was fair – with the most popular elements including undercover attractions, which the town so desperately needs when the sun isn’t shining.

This will not only keep tourists in town and draw new types of visitors during the summer, but will also help turn the site into a year-round destination for visitors, local people and families to enjoy; while supporting existing attractions on the beach and in the town centre.

Potential indoor attractions and leisure facilities

Although no exact uses have been decided upon yet, potential attractions could include soft play centres, adventure mini-golf, trampolining, and indoor rock climbing. This will complement and bring added appeal to a revamped Pavilion and the existing Jurassic Skyline.

As part of the Town Centre Masterplan, the Peninsula development will complement the beach and Esplanade, while also allowing scope for existing festivals, markets and events to take place.

Just as the aim is to complement – not compete with – existing hotels, restaurants and attractions, the Weymouth Peninsula development will sit neatly alongside other top class tourist destinations in the nearby area.

These include; the beaches, walks and fossils of the Jurassic Coast world heritage site, museums and cultural attractions in Dorchester, water sports and fishing activities at various locations along the Dorset coast, and the county’s flourishing foodie scene.

An estimated 6,400 visitors a week

VisitBritain’s figures of July 2018, showed that a record 396,000 visitors from abroad came to the county in 2017 – up four per cent on the year before, contributing £226m to the local economy. The latest Weymouth Tourist Summary shows 1.24million visits annually, with an expenditure of nearly £52million – working out at 3,400 visitors per day spending just under £42 each on average.

Recent independent studies for the council have estimated that 6,400 visitors and residents a week would visit the Peninsula after development – bringing in about £61 million over 10 years.

A vibrant Weymouth Peninsula – alive with people of all ages – will help turn the town into a 21st century, year-round resort with leisure facilities for locals and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.

To stay up-to-date with Council news please subscribe to the resident newsletter and follow us on twitter.

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Categories: Dorset

Fund to support community organisations in Dorset re-opens for applications

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 15:08

Dorset County Council has today (3 September) re-opened its Community Innovation fund to back inventive community projects that can help improve local people’s lives.

There is a total of £75,000 available to Dorset-based community organisations that can show how their project would help achieve the outcomes for local people set out in the county council’s corporate plan.

These are grouped into four key outcomes: making sure people in Dorset are safe, healthy, independent and have a prosperous economy.

The fund aims to support community groups to deliver services that meet local people’s needs.  Successful projects will be those that target people with the greatest needs and reduce demand for the council’s services by giving people the support they need early on.

Groups are invited to bid for grants of up to £8,000. There is also a ‘Micro’ grants fund for smaller amounts of up to £2,000 as the council wants the fund to be able to reach all parts of Dorset’s communities.

Cllr Rebecca Knox said

“We want to support community projects that can demonstrate how they support the council’s top priorities for local people.

“For example, as part of our aim to ensure people in Dorset are healthy we want to make sure people adopt healthy lifestyles and lead active lives.

“The important element is that the projects must be resident-driven with evidence of the benefits for people and the contribution they will make to helping improve the lives of people in Dorset.”

Apply for a grant through the Community Innovation Fund, view the application guidance and support materials.

This round of the grant will close on Friday 21 September.

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Categories: Dorset

Residents help councils reduce costs

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/03/2018 - 14:55

Residents who confirmed their voter registration online, by text or by phone have helped their councils reduce costs.

Winner Sarah Burton


It would have cost an extra £86,000 if these digitally-minded residents had responded the old-fashioned way, by post.

Every year councils have to write to all households to check who is eligible to vote. Each person who responds online or by text, rather than writing, saves their council £2.30 in postage and processing costs.

This means huge thanks are due to around 37,400 people who responded digitally to North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council.

The councils ran a competition earlier this summer to encourage residents to respond digitally. Residents who responded online, by text or phone to the letter, which is known as the annual canvass, were automatically entered into a draw for £1,000.

‘Much easier confirming details digitally’

The winner was Sarah Burton from Shaftesbury. She said: “I am amazed, I didn’t believe it at first, I was in complete shock! I am really delighted as I don’t usually win. I’m so thankful to have won and I am sure to be taking my mother out to a lovely dinner with the winnings!

“It was much easier confirming the electoral registration details digitally than posting a letter. I’d encourage anyone to go online, text or phone as it is much less bother. It is also good to know that by making these changes we are helping to reduce our councils’ costs.”

Councillor Piers Brown, Access and Customer Services Portfolio Holder at North Dorset District Council, said: “Congratulations to Sarah for winning the draw and thank you to everyone who responded digitally, they saved their time and also helped reduce costs. It is good news that so many people have made the change, we all need to do our bit to help reduce costs.”

Councillor Peter Barrowcliff, Corporate Portfolio Holder at West Dorset District Council, said: “Doing business with your council digitally is generally easier and saves resources, thank you to everyone who responded this way.”

Cllr Alison Reed, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Corporate Affairs and Continuous Improvement Brief holder, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who helped us reduce costs by responding online, by text or by phone. It is great news that we do not have to spend £86,000 on dealing with postal forms.”

‘We didn’t have to spend £86,000 dealing with forms’

In North Dorset around 12,500 residents (59 per cent of respondents) responded digitally. In West Dorset about 15,700 residents (45.8 per cent of respondents) replied digitally. In Weymouth and Portland around 9,200 residents (47 per cent of respondents) replied digitally.

If anyone has not yet responded to the letter asking them to check their voter details, please do it digitally! More information is available here.

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Categories: Dorset

5 things you should know about the Weymouth Peninsula development – part three of three

Dorset For You - Fri, 08/31/2018 - 10:59

The final instalment of the Peninsula Development frequently asked questions is now live! As the official planning process progresses, we answer some commonly asked questions.

View of the existing Peninsula site from the Nothe Click to catch up with part one and part two.
  1. How high will the buildings be?

The Peninsula Development is a ‘low-rise’ scheme, which means it will be no higher than existing buildings on the site, such as the Pavilion. The initial plans have been drawn up to allow views of the Nothe through the new buildings on the Peninsula to help it become part of the vista.

2. How is the heritage of the Peninsula being considered?

The rich history of the Peninsula will be celebrated by the commemorative plaques near the Ferry steps and at other locations on the site. The plaques may be re-sited, but they will be retained, along with any memorial benches currently on site.

3. Will a large-scale ferry ever come back to Weymouth?

The council has explored the possibility of a ferry operator returning to the town and has concluded that this is unlikely in the short to medium term.

We cannot stall development of the Peninsula indefinitely in the hope that an operator will return at some stage, so have taken the initiative to breathe fresh life into the site with an alternative use.

4. What will happen to the Merlin Tower and the Pavilion?

The Jurassic Skyline has been given planning consent to remain on site until 2022, while the Pavilion is to undergo a £250,000 facelift with funds that have been provided from outside the scope of the project.

We are keen to work with these partners to make the new development as successful as possible.

5. Will there be more or less parking?

We recognise the need for parking on the site, especially for families and Pavilion Theatre visitors. In the recent public engagement process, there were arguments for and against parking. The results showed that many people preferred fewer cars or none at all.

The council aims to balance the need of parking with the requirement for feasible development on a site which has a finite amount of space. The intention is to ensure sustainable transport is built into proposals for the scheme.

To stay up-to-date with Council news please subscribe to the resident newsletter or follow us on twitter.

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Categories: Dorset

VIDEO: Meet the goats of Verne Common!

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 12:41

You may recall that we recently introduced goats from Fancy’s farm on to the Verne Common Nature Reserve.

Find out why they play such an important role to restoring the reserve, why the reserve is so special and more below, in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust…

Only have 38 seconds?

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Categories: Dorset

Company fined after worker injured

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 12:22

A luxury bedroom furniture company has been fined £113,000 after health and safety breaches resulted in one of their employees being injured.

Council acts after incident left worker injured

Representatives of And So To Bed Ltd appeared in Poole Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 28 August after being prosecuted by West Dorset District Council for breaches of Sections 2(1) and 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and of Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company entered guilty pleas to both charges.

Fall from height

The court heard how, on 1 February 2017, a member of staff working in the company’s warehouse at Pymore, Bridport, fell around seven feet from a make-shift mobile elevated working platform. The platform was attached to a forklift truck and was open sided.

The employee involved sustained injuries to his knee and face but the incident could have resulted in death or life changing injuries.

Poor health and safety practice

An investigation at the time of the incident by Environment Health officers working for West Dorset District Council found that the company had poor health and safety practices associated with this work activity including insufficient risk assessment. There was inadequate personal protective equipment provided for employees and no safe system to address the risk of employees falling from the platform.

A health & safety audit report from as far back as 2006 commented that use of the make-shift platform was “unacceptable”. However the investigation found that despite a safer system being purchased by the company, the dangerous platform had continued to be used on an almost daily basis.


And So To Bed Ltd of Pymore Mills, Pymore, Bridport, Dorset was fined £113,000 ordered to pay costs of £6,924 and a victim surcharge of £170.

In mitigation the judge found that after the accident the company had addressed its health and safety failings and implemented a new health and safety regime.

The Judge thanked the council for a well presented case.

Cllr Anthony Alford, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “I would like to thank our officers for investigating this matter. The health and safety practices of And So To Bed Ltd were simply not good enough. This accident should never have happened and could have been avoided”.

“Employers should be aware that they have a duty to protect the health and safety of their employees. The district council will consider the option of taking enforcement action when investigating health and safety incidents.

“Good health and safety practice makes good business sense. If you want more information and advice please visit:

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Categories: Dorset

Have your say on future waste plan

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/30/2018 - 10:03

A new Waste Plan which includes sites for future waste and recycling facilities is nearing completion. The plan has been worked on by Dorset County Council and covers Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.

The Waste Plan considers what kind of waste is being produced in Dorset, how it is currently being managed and how this might change. It also identifies sites to meet the need for new waste management facilities in the future.

The Plan includes new or improved household recycling facilities or transfer stations in five areas:  Blandford, Gillingham, Dorchester, Wareham and Woolsbridge.

Four sites are also included to manage black bag waste; Mannings Heath and Canford Magna in Poole, Parley, Christchurch and Binnegar Environmental Park near Wareham.

In addition, an extension to the Maiden Newton sewage treatment works is proposed.

Land at Bourne Park, Piddlehinton, is being included in the plan for green waste composting.

The Secretary of State appointed Inspector Nicolas Palmer to conduct an examination to consider whether the Waste Plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements and whether it is sound.

Public hearing sessions were held earlier in the summer to consider the proposals. Dorset County Council, with Bournemouth and Poole councils, is now encouraging people to consider the issues discussed and the changes that are proposed to the Waste Plan.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said quote:

“We strongly encourage people to give us their views on the proposed changes over the next six weeks. This is people’s final opportunity to have their say on proposals…’

The consultation will run from 31 August to 15 October 2018.

 Residents can find out more by going online

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Categories: Dorset

Help with balancing work, school and childcare

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:55

Do you find arranging the school run, childcare and your own working hours feels like a juggling act? Are your working hours longer than your child’s school day and do you find it difficult to get time off to cover childcare for the holidays?

Here are just a few options which could help with balancing work and childcare when your child is at school.

Flexible working

Making a flexible working request to your employer could help. Flexible working involves making changes to the way you work to suit your needs, such as having flexible start and finish times. All employees have the right to request flexible working if they have been in their role for at least 26 weeks. Employers must consider the request but can refuse if they have good reason for doing so.

Find out more

Out of school care

Out of school childcare covers the hours before or after school, or during the school holidays. Depending on what you’re looking for, out of school clubs, childminders and home childcarers can help with covering these hours for school aged children. Here’s a brief overview of what each can offer:

Out of school clubs:

∙  provide childcare for breakfast, after-school and holiday times

∙  are generally for school aged children, but some accept younger children too

∙  sometimes run specific activities, such as sports or crafts

∙  can provide a more social environment for children, allowing them to learn new skills or take up a new hobby


∙  can sometimes offer school drop offs and pick-ups for an extra cost

∙  mostly work from their own home, which can mean they offer flexible hours

∙  offer a homely environment that some parents and children may prefer

There are also some registered home-childcarers who provide this in the child’s own home.

You can find local childcare, including out-of-school clubs and childminders, on our Family Information Directory. Filter your search by type of childcare, location and your child’s age to help find what you’re looking for.

Search the directory

Could you get help with the costs?

Depending on your circumstances, there could be funding options which could help you with the cost of childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare is for working parents with children under 12 years (or 17 for disabled children). It involves parents opening an online account to pay for childcare. For every £8 parents pay in, the government will add £2, up to £2,000 per year per child (or £4000 for disabled children). Parents can use this to pay for registered childcare, which can include out of school clubs, childminders and home childcarers. If you’re not eligible, you may be able to get help through Working Tax Credits or Universal Credits.

Find out more

If you’re unable to find suitable childcare, or you would like any more information, please contact Dorset’s Family Information Service.

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Categories: Dorset

Local Plan Review: Myth busting North Dorchester

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/29/2018 - 12:16

Residents, businesses and local organisations have until 8 October to have their say on the ‘Preferred Options’ for West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland’s Local Plan Review.

North Dorchester ‘Preferred Option’ Boundary

One of the ‘Preferred Options’ is for 3500 homes on land North of Dorchester. Below, we’ve provided some information to address some of the key issues you may have heard about.

Why always Dorchester for large developments?

Following an Inspector’s Report in 2015 to review the soundness of the draft local plan, it was highlighted that more development would be needed in Dorchester.

Cllr Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:

“If we fail to include suitable development around Dorchester, we might not get this Local Plan approved by the Planning Inspectorate. This could mean the council would have a reduced say on applications, including what infrastructure is provided.”

Dorchester has almost twice as many jobs than economically active residents. 15,100 jobs compared to 9,195 economically active residents. The proposal for this new ‘urban extension’ to the north of the town would help improve the balance between housing and jobs in the area.

Many workers commute in from nearby towns and from the surrounding rural area, reflecting its historic position as the county town.

The development fulfils one of the visions outlined in the Local Plan. Ensuring that in 2036 Dorchester is a place ‘where more people can live and work locally, without having to commute’ that has ‘a balanced population meeting the housing needs of younger working people and families as well as the old’.

Poundbury has long met the town’s housing needs and will continue to do so until the early 2020s. In planning to 2036, more development on large sites at Dorchester will be required.

Dorchester is not the only town which is helping meet the housing needs of the area. Existing and proposed developments at Chickerell, once completed, would also see  61 per cent growth in the total number of new homes since 2011.

What about affordable housing?

It is well documented that more affordable housing is needed across West Dorset. Currently, homes in the area cost more than 12 times the average wage according to National Housing Federation figures.

If this North Dorchester site is developed as intended, up to 3500 homes will be provided. 35 per cent of these homes will be affordable and prioritised to people with a local connection. This equates to up to 1225 affordable homes of mixed tenures, for example shared ownership or discount to open market.

Poundbury has been providing a consistent flow of affordable housing since work commenced on site in 1993 and will continue to provide this until its completion in early 2020s. West Dorset will need another large development underway to continue this supply and meet the needs of local residents.

Will there be GP surgeries, schools and suitable roads?

If this site goes ahead, it will be built over a period of years – estimated at about 240 homes a year – with infrastructure factored into the process.

There will be new roads servicing the development, including a new A35 to A37 link road.

Other facilities would include GPs, dental surgeries, employment land for business growth, shops, community facilities and a school campus for first, middle and secondary age children.

The proposed development is an opportunity to encourage the construction of good quality homes of mixed tenures, especially for younger working people, of which the town is desperately in need.

Will there be a Masterplan for this development?

The site will be developed in accordance with a masterplan produced for the site.

By taking control of development through the Local Plan and by master planning of the site, the council will retain as much control as possible and can focus on ‘place making’. This will create a cohesive and balanced community where people will want to live and feel at home.

It means the council can say what it wants to see on the site in consultation with the community.

The masterplan will be adopted as a supplementary planning document and will be used when considering planning applications related to the site.

Isn’t this site where the Water Meadows are?

West Dorset District Council are keen to ensure development is built in the right areas with sensitivity towards the environment.

The new urban extension would be built beyond the water meadows so a green gap would be maintained between the town and new development.

As part of the master planning process, the council would insist on amenities. This could include a local nature reserve, nature trails, open space and landscaping within the development as well as cycle routes, public transport links and walkways for sustainable travel.

What about flood risk?

The aim is for development to be built away from areas of flood risk.

However, flood risk, drainage and watercourses would all be taken into account during the planning process.

Engineering work would be carried out as part of the development to manage any issues.

 What about Dorchester’s unique Heritage?

Dorchester’s history stretches back millennia, and one of its strengths has been its ability to evolve over time without losing its identity.

Current areas of the town such as Castle Park or even Victoria Park were green fields once. Fordington was once a separate village but today retains its character while remaining part of Dorchester.

Development of Dorchester is a necessity for the future growth and prosperity of the town and its people.

The council is very aware of the unique heritage of the county town and does all within its power to protect and promote it.

As part of the development there may be opportunities for enhanced attractions on the water meadows or an expanded Hardy Trail.

The new development may offer opportunities to enhance the town’s special character and unique appeal for tourists and local people alike.

If the proposal does go forward, statutory organisations will also be consulted along the way – such as Historic England – and impact studies carried out into such matters as transport, landscape and heritage.

There will also be ongoing public consultation.

Have your say

Cllr Ian Gardner added:

“We can’t not put forward development sites, as we need to provide for the future needs of the area. This review is a chance for you to have your say on all of the ‘Preferred Options’ and tell us if these options are supported.”

Have more questions about the North Dorchester site? Come to our roadshow event at South Walks House in Dorchester on 31 August. The event starts from 10am and will go on until 7pm. Planning Officers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Further roadshow events have also been arranged. Find out more.

You can read all about the North Dorchester site in our ‘Preferred Options’ document.

When you’re ready to have your say, you can fill in our consultation response form online, via email or via post.

o    Online:

o    Email:

o    Post: South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1UZ

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Categories: Dorset

Go to the park, take a photo and you could win £100!

Dorset For You - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 13:58

Time is running out to enter a photography competition that celebrates the beauty of Weymouth and Portland’s parks and gardens.

Winning picture from last year’s #loveweyportparks photography competition

People are being asked to go to their local park take a photograph and post it on Twitter or Instagram using #loveweyportparks2018

The best snap will be awarded £100. The competition will run until 30 September 2018.

Cllr Kate Wheller, Community Facilities Briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “Weymouth and Portland’s award-winning parks and gardens are among the best in the country. Enjoying them is free, so why not go to your local park, take a snap and you could win £100!

Our parks are among the best in Britain

“We are very fortunate to have so many beautiful public parks, gardens and green spaces that we can walk, play and relax in. As a borough we can all take pride in our parks.

“The aim of this competition is to get more people to enjoy these beautiful places on their doorstep. It couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is go to the park, share a quick snap and you could win £100!”

Councillor Wheller added: “We are also very lucky here in Weymouth and Portland to have so many dedicated volunteers and Friends Groups who work hard to help us make our parks and gardens such special places.”

There are 10 parks and gardens in Weymouth and Portland and they host a programme of community events including art exhibitions, park runs, concerts and outdoor shows.

There is one prize of £100 which will be awarded to the best photograph taken in one of the borough council’s parks or gardens. Photographs can also be emailed in or posted to Parks Photography Competition, South Walks House, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ.

Full details of the competition and the terms and conditions are available here.


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Categories: Dorset

Get active this September for £1

Dorset For You - Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:09

Purbeck Sports Centre, Wareham is giving people the opportunity to try a range of sports for £1 per activity on Saturday 15 September.

The fun starts at 9am and there is a huge range to choose from.

Activities include: a gym taster (mini safety induction included); soft play for children; Zumba; Pilates; Banana Yoga; Super Circuits; core conditioning; badminton; climbing; racket sports; archery; tennis, virtual classes; and more. All for £1 each.

There is also the chance to make some membership savings – sign up the Sports Centre Centre’s Gold Card membership and pay no start-up fee, saving £24.

Membership includes gym, swimming, exercise classes and sauna plus discounts on Pilates and Yoga.

Michelle Goodman, Sports Centre Manager, said: “After the long hot summer, this is a great way to ease into autumn and try something new.

“Why not get some friends together, or bring the family, for five hours of active fun this September.”

Please book in advance to avoid disappointment, although some spaces may be available on the day.

See all the details.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset families could miss out on up to 30 hours free childcare

Dorset For You - Fri, 08/24/2018 - 10:13

The deadline is approaching to claim up to 30 hours free childcare from September and many Dorset families are at risk of missing out. Eligible parents of 3 and 4 year olds need to apply and get their eligibility code by 31 August in order to claim from September.

Most working parents, whether they work part or full-time hours, will be eligible to claim up to 30 hours free childcare. However, if they miss the deadline they won’t be able to claim until the following term (January 2019).

Parents can use the hours with childcare providers who are signed up to offer the scheme, including childminders, pre-schools, nurseries and out-of-school clubs.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for education, learning and skills, said:

“It is important that all eligible parents apply or reconfirm their eligibility before the deadline to ensure they get the childcare that can support their family lives.”

Almost 200 parents who are already claiming 30 hours free childcare also need to reconfirm their eligibility before 31 August to continue receiving the funding. To reconfirm, parents need to sign in to their online childcare account.

Find out more and apply

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Categories: Dorset

Theft from Weymouth Cemetery

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 18:05

Historic landscaping kerb stones have been stolen from Weymouth Cemetery.

Stones stolen from Weymouth Cemetery

The theft, near the Old Chapel, was discovered by borough council staff on Thursday morning (23/8) and has been reported to Dorset Police.

The 36 missing kerb drainage stones are believed to date from the 19th Century.

Cllr Kate Wheller, Brief Holder for Community Facilities at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “Stealing from the cemetery is like stealing from everyone, it is very sad that someone has done this.

“I would urge anyone who knows anything about this to contact Dorset Police immediately.”

The theft dismayed staff who believe it most likely occurred on Wednesday night (22/8).

The stones are about 30cms (12 inches) square by 12cms (4 inches) high.  They are a dark blue in colour like engineers bricks and are shaped to make a water gully.  They could possibly be used on a driveway, path or in a garden.

A total of 36 have been taken so a stretch of about 36 foot in length. They have a historical value and cannot be replaced easily.  A vehicle would have been needed to move them as they are heavy.

If anyone knows anything about this theft please contact Dorset Police, quoting Crime Number 55180136534  by calling 101 or visiting their website.

Stones used for landscaping have been stolen from Weymouth Cemetery

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Categories: Dorset

All welcome at Service of Remembrance

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 14:28
Weymouth Crematorium will host its annual Service of Remembrance on Sunday 9 September at 2pm.

All welcome at the Service of Remembrance


This special remembrance service provides a time of reflection to remember a loved one, friend or colleague regardless of where or when their funerals took place.

Local civil celebrants, Caryl Lewis and Michelle Carpenter, will perform the service. It will include music, hymns, readings and poems as well as an opportunity to light a candle in memory of a loved one.

Cllr Kate Wheller, Brief Holder for Community Facilities at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “All are welcome to attend this service to remember loved ones who have sadly passed on. The service offers a time of reflection for anyone regardless of faith or belief.

“Once the service ends, there is an opportunity to walk in the grounds of the crematorium and enjoy the gardens in a peaceful atmosphere of collective remembrance.”

The chapel is open for private prayer from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm when no service is in progress.

A Book of Remembrance is situated in a room to the rear of the cloisters and is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4.30pm, and on weekends and Bank Holidays 10am to 4pm.

Find out more about Weymouth Crematorium.

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Categories: Dorset

2,500 households around and near Purbeck to have their bin collections changed

Dorset For You - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 11:50

The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) is sending letters to 2,500 households near and around Purbeck inform them of bin collection changes in September.

Recently the DWP has faced unforeseen challenges to the way they carry out their rounds in Purbeck, resulting in delays and disruption to bin collections for some residents.

While they have implemented temporary measures to ensure that bins are still collected, some households are still experiencing delays to their service.

To deliver a more resilient service going forward, the DWP will be making changes to some of their collections to balance the rounds and help improve the reliability of the service.

This will result in around 2,500 Purbeck households (including 534 nearby West Dorset properties) experiencing a change to their current collection day. These new rounds take effect from w/c Monday 17 September.

There will be no reduction in service and any significant gaps in collections will be bridged with additional measures until the new rounds are bedded in.

The DWP will be sending letters to each affected household from Wednesday 29 August, clearly explaining what is happening. If a resident hasn’t received a letter by Monday 3 September, they should assume their collection day is unchanged.

Please note that just because a household is currently experiencing delays doesn’t necessarily mean their collection day will change.

Mike Moon, Head of Service (Operations) at the Dorset Waste Partnership, said:

“I’d like to apologise to any residents in and around Purbeck who have recently experienced delays to their collections. As soon as it became clear that some people’s bins weren’t being emptied on time regularly, we began urgent work on finding a long-term solution.

These changes should bring collections back to normal, restoring the high-quality service that residents deserve and have come to expect.

So please keep an eye out for a letter from the Dorset Waste Partnership, which will provide full details of what is planned and what to do. If you don’t hear from us, please continue to put your bins out on the usual collection day. We thank you for your patience and co-operation.”

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Categories: Dorset

Councillors hear concerns from residents over Clinical Services Review

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 15:37

Today there was a meeting of the task and finish group that were convened to consider concerns from residents about the NHS Clinical Services Review.

Representatives from local groups including Defend NHS Dorset, Healthwatch Dorset and individuals were able to give their views on proposals and how they would be implemented.

Dorset County Councillor Ray Bryan, Chair of the task and finish group, said:

“We have had a positive meeting where everyone has had an opportunity to share their thoughts and they have been listened too.

“We have received very detailed and useful information which we will consider in depth.”

The task and finish group will receive evidence from Dorset’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  All the information will then be collated and referred to Dorset’s Health and scrutiny committee which will reflect upon what has been gathered.

The committee scrutinises the way health services are provided in Dorset (excluding Bournemouth and Poole). It’s made up of district, borough and county councillors and is hosted by Dorset County Council.

They can make recommendations to various health bodies, including the NHS, and Dorset County Council.

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for September, but this will be postponed for a month to give the committee time to consider the reports.

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Categories: Dorset

Simplified planning for Dorset Innovation Park moves a step closer

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 12:11

A Local Development Order (LDO) has been submitted as a proposed means of simplifying the planning process for a key Dorset employment site, with further consultation taking place this August and September.

Purbeck District Council led on the preparation of an LDO for Dorset Innovation Park, near Wool, which will help streamline planning for the site, developing its identity whilst respecting the local environment.

The LDO has been prepared by a team of consultants over the last 8 months, with feedback from residents and interested parties received in early 2018.

During late August and September, there will be an opportunity for the local community to comment on the LDO. Purbeck District Council will also be consulting with statutory consultees

The LDO, once approved, will enable the fast-tracking of planning approval for employment development, subject to a number of conditions which are proposed within the Order.

Public consultation will run between 28 August and 25 September 2018. The LDO, LDO/2018/0001 and its related documents, are available online at:

A questionnaire in response to the consultation will be available online from 28 August 2018 at

Public consultation drop-in events, staffed by project team representatives will be taking place in Wool during September on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 4 September:  D’Urberville Centre, Wool, 12pm to 8pm
  • (Thursday 6 September, for site users only at Chesil House, Dorset Innovation Park 10 am to 4pm)
  • Friday 7 September:  D’Urberville Centre, Wool, midday until 8pm – public consultation
  • Saturday 8 September: the gatehouse Dorset Innovation Park (DT2 8ZB) between 1pm and 4pm, including escorted tours of the site by minibus for interested members of the public. Anyone interested in taking the tour should sign up on the day at the gatehouse.

Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone is Dorset’s second largest strategic employment site. It is an advanced engineering and manufacturing cluster of excellence for the South West, building on strengths in, marine, defence and energy technology.

Significant investment in the whole site by Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is providing a new opportunity for businesses by offering attractive Enterprise Zone benefits such as business rate reduction, simplified planning and full fibre broadband connectivity.

Councillor Cherry Brooks, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council member and portfolio holder said: “Having a Local Development Order means we can enable co-ordinated development at the site, speeding up the planning process, whilst safeguarding the special qualities of this sensitive area.”

Councillor Brooks continued: “We believe that an LDO will be a unique selling point for the site, reducing risk for developers and enabling appropriate development to proceed smoothly, thereby creating quality jobs and boosting the local economy. This will address two of the Council’s corporate priorities of improving the local economy and infrastructure and protecting and enhancing the local environment.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, welcomed the LDO proposal for Dorset Innovation Park. He said:  “The Local Development Order is the key that will unlock rapid investment in the site by target sector companies, reducing the planning process from several months to less than 28 days.

The LDO will benefit those wanting to expand their existing businesses on site, relocate to take advantage of business rate relief, or respond quickly to newly awarded contracts.

This will all lead to new highly skilled employment opportunities and an increase in employment productivity for Dorset.”

Following the public consultation, the LDO, with any resulting changes, will be considered by Purbeck District Council planning committee before the end of November 2018.

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Categories: Dorset

New memorials brochure for Weymouth Crematorium

Dorset For You - Wed, 08/22/2018 - 11:04

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Crematorium is introducing a new memorials brochure.

New memorial brochure available

Memorials provide a personal way to remember loved ones and celebrate their life, for this reason Weymouth Crematorium offers a range of memorials that can be placed within the Garden of Remembrance, and its four cemeteries located in Melcombe Regis, Portland, Weymouth and Wyke Regis.

The choice of memorials include roses, trees, shrubs, seats, wall tablets, boulders, marble vases, leather plaques, sanctums and books of remembrance.

The final resting place of a loved one is often a difficult decision to make and the brochure has been designed to assist customers by presenting the various services the Crematorium provides.

Cllr Kate Wheller, Brief Holder for Community Facilities at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, comments; “The new memorials brochure presents the wide range of options in a clear and sensitive way which is essential for anybody experiencing the loss of a loved one.

We also have a very caring and committed team in the Bereavement Service who will offer support and are dedicated to providing a high quality service.”

If you would like any advice or support on choosing a memorial or would like to arrange a visit to the crematorium, please contact the Bereavement Services Team on 01305 786984.

Alternatively, to request a brochure, email

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Categories: Dorset