Southill students design school ‘park and stride’ scheme

Dorset For You - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:04

Children at Southill Primary School in Weymouth have designed a park and stride scheme to encourage students and their families to be more active and environmentally-aware.

The Year Six students planned and mapped the route along traffic-free paths, with no roads to cross, before walking along it to assess how long it took.

 Year Six students designed the route to help them get healthy and make their school’s streets safer.

The aim of the scheme is to help to keep the streets close to their school clear of cars – reducing congestion and pollution, and creating a safer and more pleasant environment.

The scheme was launched on 31 January when the whole school, children and staff met at the shops and walked to school together.

Headteacher Paul Mason said: “As a school that encourages its pupils to lead active and healthy lifestyles, we are pleased that it is the children themselves who are taking the lead in encouraging their family and school community to walk to school. They know that this will help make the school a safer place and that everyone will feel the health and social benefits of walking to school together.”

It is part of a nationwide project run by charity Sustrans, which encourages people to travel by foot, bike or public transport for more of the journeys we make every day.

Jonathan Dixon from the charity said: “By asking people who drive to school to park at the shops in Southill, we hope to reduce the number of cars near the school at the start and end of the day. This will make the streets around Southill Primary School much nicer for everyone.

“It will also help people to get the exercise they need every day to keep healthy, and research shows that pupils who do more exercise are better learners in the classroom. Let’s not forget that it can be fun too.”

Sustrans’ work in Dorset is funded by Dorset County Council.

David Harris, county councillor for Westham said: “The park and stride scheme produced by the Year Six students at Southill is a fantastic follow-up to their earlier success with the NHS fitness trial, which was designed to encourage people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which they won last year. These young people are setting a superb example.”

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Categories: Dorset

Landlord licensing – have your say

Dorset For You - Fri, 02/01/2019 - 10:17

People in Weymouth ae being asked if a landlord licensing scheme should be introduced to improve rented housing.

A consultation starts today (1/2) to ask whether a Selective Licensing Scheme should be introduced for private rented housing in part of Melcombe Regis. The consultation, which will be carried out by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, will end on 12 April 2019.

The scheme would aim to address levels of deprivation experienced by many tenants in the area through improving the way housing is managed. Landlords would for example have to make sure that properties were well managed and maintained and will need to pass a fit and proper person test in order for their property to be licensed.

Councillor Gill Taylor, Housing Briefholder at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “We have a some really good landlords in Weymouth but we also have some who are not so good. Poor  Poor housing affects people’s physical and mental. Everyone who rents should be able to live in a decent home. This is why we are considering introducing this scheme to improve housing standards. I believe that good landlords will support this scheme, as will tenants.

“The consultation is quick, easy to complete and confidential. Please take the time to have your say and complete it. Your views will be considered.”

The consultation is available here: 

The scheme would effectively mean that private rented accommodation in most of the Melcombe Regis area would be subject to licensing, with conditions attached to the licence requiring landlords to adopt good management practices.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council currently works with landlords to improve housing. Current schemes include ‘Heat Melcombe Regis’, which sees free central heating made available as well as other measures to tackle fuel poverty. The borough council also supports and works with landlords through the Landlords Local Authority Partnership, which is a free to join forum providing information and impartial advice to landlords.

More information on the council’s work with landlords is available here.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Youth campaigners claim two regional awards

Dorset For You - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 16:12

Dorset Youth Council and a team of Dorset’s young researchers have won two regional (South West) awards.

The team of young researchers has claimed the British Youth Council’s (BYC) Youth Voice Star Award for Young Campaigner of the Year and Dorset Youth Council has claimed best Youth-led Organisation or Project for its ‘Dorset Youth Voice Summit’ project.

Laurence Hayward MYP
Finley Wyer – Dorset Young Researcher
Melissa Garanowako – Member of Dorset Youth Council

Both awards mean that young people from Dorset will be invited to London to take part in a national awards ceremony, for which both projects have now been shortlisted as a result of being a regional winner.

Last year 24 of Dorset’s Young Researchers surveyed nearly 3,000 young people for their views on social isolation, their own aspirations and volunteering, before presenting their research to 87 decision-makers including local and national politicians, directors of services, budget holders, headteachers and businesses.

As a result, and based on what young people wanted:

  • a new staff member was hired to look at social isolation in young people with learning difficulties and disabilities
  • family information services have made their websites more youth-friendly
  • there has been a successful bid for funding to support building academic resilience in secondary schools, offer employability skill sessions, and create additional information and resources for parents, young people and schools to support their careers decision making

The researchers are continuing their good work this year by asking nearly 5,500 young people what matters to them in 2019 when it comes to mental health, emotional wellness and healthy relationships.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for Education, Learning and Skills said: “We are immensely proud of the work that Dorset Youth Council and Dorset’s young researchers are doing with young people across the county.

“Their projects help shape services and give young people a voice on decisions that affect them.”

Dorset Youth Council and the Dorset Young Researchers are supported by Participation People and funded by Dorset County Council.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset County Council suspends transport for Friday 1 February

Dorset For You - Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:41

Following an emergency planning meeting about the amber weather warning in place until tomorrow evening, the county council has taken the decision to suspend all DCC transport for schools and adults services tomorrow (Friday 1 February). This includes school buses, SEND buses and taxis, and adults’ services to day care centres etc.

Car in snow

We have not taken this decision lightly but have made it in the best interests of everyone’s safety and is based on information from multiple sources which all indicate that the weather is going to be severe this evening and possibly into tomorrow, across the whole of Dorset.

To keep updated please see our severe weather page

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Categories: Dorset

More car-free travel choices for Bridport

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 17:50

Work will start next month to build a new cycleway and toucan crossing along Burton Road in Bridport.

The new path will start at Crown Roundabout and join up with the old railway line that leads to West Bay, providing a traffic-free route between the two towns. It will also become part of a wider walking and cycling network that will eventually connect these areas to Maiden Newton as part of the West Dorset Trailway.

Vegetation clearance to help visibility at the new crossing will start on Monday 4 February and last two days. Cycleway construction work will start on Monday 18 February and take around 13 weeks to complete.

Work will start at Crown Roundabout and work towards the old railway line. As the gang progresses along the road different traffic management will be needed.

Traffic management phases

Crown Roundabout to Crown Inn entrance
road narrowing

Crown Inn entrance to Chestnut Road
two-way temporary traffic signals (9.30am to 3.30pm)

Chestnut Road junction
three-way temporary traffic signals (8am to 4pm)

Chestnut Road to Roundham House
two-way temporary traffic signals (8am to 4pm) and footway closures to install the toucan crossing

Roundham House to old railway line
road narrowing

Chestnut Road junction resurfacing
three-way temporary traffic signals (8am to 4pm)

Burton Road toucan crossing resurfacing
two-way temporary traffic signals with a convoy system to reduce speeds to 10mph through the works (8am to 4pm)

This scheme is being funded by the Coastal Community Fund.

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Categories: Dorset

Busy Blandford junction gets an upgrade

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 17:40

Badger Cross, in Blandford town centre, will be getting an extensive upgrade to improve the junction for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Dorset Highways will start work on Monday 18 February and will be working alongside SGN, as it replaces gas pipes in Salisbury Street and Salisbury Road from the middle of March. This will minimise disruption by sharing traffic management.

The junction signals were originally installed in 1980 and are in need of replacement. As well as the signal heads and poles being updated, all the underground ducting and cabling – which connect the signals to the controller and the detector loops in the road – are being replaced with the latest low-voltage equipment.

Due to the nature of the work, with 75m long trenches in the road and the islands being reshaped, there will be temporary signals in place throughout the upgrade to control the traffic – with pedestrian crossing facilities provided on Park Road and Salisbury Road.

Some sections of road will also need closing at times, drivers should look out for dates and times on the works road signs.

The new junction will take around 12 weeks to complete. It will provide pedestrian crossing facilities on each arm of the junction and the crossings will be of the modern ‘Puffin’ type which has the red and green man on the push button.

New detectors will ensure that pedestrians have enough time to cross while minimising delays for motorists, and cyclists will be provided with advance stop lines – giving them a segregated area in which to wait for the signals to change.

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Categories: Dorset

Work on north Dorset route continues

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 15:31

Work started on 7 January to improve the HGV pinch point on the C13 through Melbury Abbas.

As part of Dorset Highways’ A350/C13 route management scheme, a new pull-in and vehicle activated signs (VAS) are being installed for HGVs travelling through Melbury Abbas village.

Work is currently on programme with activity on site focussing on:

  • trenching and ducting for the northern end of the traffic signals
  • duct boxes for the traffic signals, detection equipment and cables
  • peckering out the road surface in the narrow section of the hollow through the traffic signals to allow trenching and ducting

The gang is progressing through the narrow section of the traffic signals, working towards Parham’s Farm. This will be followed by installing the traffic signal islands at the southern end of the traffic signals.

Please remember

The road remains closed – from the top of Spreadeagle Hill (White Pit Lane) to the C13 junction with the B3081 – 24 hours a day, for the duration of the work.

There have been reports of drivers taking risks and driving through the construction area, especially at night. Anyone doing this is risking injury to themselves and others, and damage to their vehicle.

Please respect the safety of the workforce and do not enter the road closure. If you are accessing your property, please drive slowly through the works area.

Additional traffic management has been installed to increase the visibility of the road closure.

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Categories: Dorset

Time capsule buried in oven at Highcliffe Castle

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 12:58

A time capsule has been buried inside the oven of the kitchen at Highcliffe Castle. The Count Rumford Oven, which is no longer in working order, is part of the original kitchen layout and dates back to when the castle was first built in the 1830’s. The oven has recently undergone careful repair and preservation along with an Eagle range which is also situated in the kitchen.


The team involved in the restoration work decided that the oven would be an ideal place for a time capsule and would leave a legacy of the present-day.


The contents in the time capsule include: Castle memorabilia, castle literature and a short piece on the history of the castle as well as current money, photos of the project team who worked on the development of the East Wing, the current staff team and the team of volunteers.


Kate Ingham, Heritage Team Leader at Highcliffe Castle said, “We decided to mark this recent phase of the work to the castle by burying a time capsule for a future generation to discover.  This is an exciting time for the castle and its team and we are looking forward to the opening of the East Wing from early April onwards, with an official opening in late May 2019.”

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Categories: Dorset

Holocaust Memorial Day marked at Captains Club in Christchurch

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 12:34

Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 has been marked in Christchurch with a memorial ceremony held at the Captains Club, before a wreath was laid at the Holocaust Memorial on Christchurch Quay.

The Reverend Canon Charles Stewart, from the Christchurch Priory, alongside Rabbi Michaels from the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation led the memorial ceremony. The ceremony was attended by local residents and school children from Christchurch Priory School, Christchurch Junior School, St Joseph’s Primary School, Highcliffe St Mark School and Burton Primary School.

Canon Charles Stewart opened the memorial service speaking compassionately about those who were murdered in the Holocaust and genocides around the world. He spoke of the hope that the atrocities would end and peace could be achieved.

This year’s theme- “Torn from Home” was marked with a series of moving speeches by local residents whose families were affected by the Holocaust.

Ben Thomas spoke movingly about his mother, Gisela Freiberg-Thomas, who was forced to flee from Nazi occupied Germany. He shared the experience of young Jewish people living in Germany, and told the story of his mother’s escape from Germany.

Mrs Thomas set sail on the St Louis, in the hope of gaining refuge in America, but was denied entry to America, as well as Canada and Cuba, before being sent back to Germany. Ben Thomas told the story of how his mother was among hundreds on refugees on board, and many hundreds of her fellow passengers were murdered by the Nazis. She was fortunate to escape and eventually found refuge in England, where her family eventually settled in Mudeford.

Josephine Jackson recalled stories from her cousin Julian. His family took in three young Jewish refugees from Austria, who came to England on the Kindertransport rescue train to Sunderland.

Betty Billington-Smith, a local resident in Christchurch, read a poem and explained how hundreds of thousands of Roma gypsy people were murdered across Europe and throughout the world.

Wreaths were laid by Lesley Dedman, Mayor of Christchurch, Ben Thomas, on behalf of his mother Gisela Freiberg-Thomas, the children from the schools in attendance, the Royal British Legion and the Royal Navy Association.

Rabbi Michaels concluded the memorial service with a prayer of mourning sang to the congregation in Hebrew.

After the event, Cllr Lesley Dedman, Mayor of Christchurch said: “It was important that our commemoration was able to show the school children of Christchurch the true impact of the Holocaust.

“The children were able to hear real accounts from people directly affected by the horrific events, and they could appreciate that it happened to real people, rather than just see it on television or read about it in books.”

The Christchurch Holocaust Memorial was unveiled in 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, with the message “To keep the memory alive

For more information about Holocaust Memorial Day visit


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Categories: Dorset

Win a family day out!

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:25

Enter our competition for your chance to win a voucher for a fun-filled day at Avon Heath Country Park!

Your voucher will include your parking for the day and a children’s treasure trail which is available during half term, from 16 to 24 February 2019.
Take the treasure trail for a family adventure across the heath, through the woods, collecting clues on your way. You’ll follow the clues to unravel wildlife riddles, which will earn you a prize at the end!

Once you’ve completed your adventure, you can take advantage of the fantastic play area at the park. The play area will have plenty to keep the kids (and perhaps some of the big kids) happy. It features a zip wire, climbing wall, tree house, trampoline and much more.

While at Avon Heath Country Park, you can explore the acres of unspoilt heathland and woodland areas, which is also a haven for unique and rare wildlife.

Follow the link to enter. You will need to give your email address to enter, but rest assured we’ll only contact you to let you know if you’ve won the competition.

Enter the competition

You can sign up here if you want to get our monthly parent e-newsletter to hear about future competitions, as well as information on childcare, funding, schools and much more.


Terms and conditions

  • Dorset County Council staff will be excluded from the competition
  • entry is open to Dorset residents only and if a winner provides a postal address outside of Dorset the prize will be forfeited, and a new winner chosen at random
  • vouchers can only be redeemed during Avon Heath Country Park’s opening hours which can be found at
  • prize includes parking for one day and a free children’s treasure trail only: food, drink and transport will not be included
  • winner must comply with Avon Heath Country Park’s terms and conditions. For details, please email
  • vouchers are valid during the treasure trail event at Avon Heath Country Park from Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February
  • 2 winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries and contacted via email from Dorset County Council to request a valid postal address
  • if winners do not respond to Dorset County Council within 7 days of the first notification, then the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be chosen at random
  • vouchers will be sent by post to successful entrants, Dorset County Council will not be responsible for vouchers which are lost, stolen or damaged during transit
  • only the official vouchers provided can be used to redeem the prize, Dorset County Council will not be able to replace lost, damaged or stolen vouchers
  • no cash alternative is available for the prize and it cannot be exchanged
  • prizes are not for resale and are not transferable
  • Dorset County Council reserve the right to cancel, amend, terminate or suspend this promotion at any time with no liability to any entrant
  • if for any reason (beyond the control of Dorset County Council) the promotion does not function correctly, then Dorset County Council retain the right to cancel, modify or suspend the promotion
  • Dorset County Council’s decision in all matters relating to the promotion is final and binding
  • if there are grounds to believe there has been a breach of these terms and conditions by an entrant, Dorset County Council retain the right to disqualify the entrant from the promotion
  • your data will not be used for anything other than contacting you in relation to this competition and will not be shared with any other third-party organisation. See our full Data Protection statement to for how we use your data

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Categories: Dorset

Day closures at Wareham Level Crossing

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:23

Dorset County Council is working with Network Rail and STM Group to prevent further closures of Wareham Level Crossing.

Following a number of near misses at the level crossing, the responsible attendant has been suspended and STM Group, the company contracted to supply crossing attendants, has been unable to cover all his shifts – resulting in the crossing closing at short notice.

This has now been exacerbated by the sickness of another attendant, with the crossing having had to close due to staff shortages on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Councillor Daryl Turner, Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment said: “Unfortunately it is not as straight forward as deploying our staff to cover this shortage; anyone working on a live railway has to be accredited by Network Rail, which is why we have to employ this company for our attendants.

“Last week we instructed STM to reduce the operation of the crossing to 8am to 6pm when there is only one attendant available to ensure that the crossing was open for the majority of users until full staffing of the crossing is back in place, but this attendant is now unwell and we are speaking with all concerned to try and agree a resolution.

“We appreciate that this puts anyone needing step-free access in a difficult situation, which is the position we have been trying to avoid for many years.”

The current level crossing by Wareham Railway Station has a long history and, following safety improvement requirements in 2009, has had a safety attendant monitoring the crossing and operating pedestrian gates between 6am and 1am (the following morning) when trains are scheduled to pass.

In the latest bid to provide step-free access over the railway line, highway engineers worked with Network Rail to design access ramps to add to the existing Grade II listed railway footbridge. This was refused planning by Dorset County Council’s Regulatory Committee on 14 June.

Network Rail is working collaboratively with the county council and their providers to resolve this matter as soon as possible.

A sign is being displayed at the crossing when it is closed and @TravelDorset Twitter account is also being updated.

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Categories: Dorset

Christchurch Play Project set to begin

Dorset For You - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 23:28

An ambitious £1.2 million investment to refurbish a number of play areas across Christchurch is set to begin. The first phase will commence in February.

As part of an initiative to improve facilities for children in Christchurch, councillors agreed to fund the project to increase usage of the sites across the borough.

An important aspect of this project was engaging with local school children, to see what children wanted to see in their parks. Over six schools and one hundred children took part.

Councillor Margaret Phipps, Christchurch Borough Council said:

“I am so pleased that we were able to speak to local children so we could understand what is important to them. We took their feedback, and incorporated some of their fantastic ideas in the design specifications”.

A total of 15 play area sites are set to be refurbished or completely renewed to help ensure a lasting legacy for future generations.

The project also identified nine small and poorly used sites, which will be decommissioned and returned to public open spaces. These will include the following plays areas:

Priory View, Campbell Road, Endfield Road, Darwin Ave, Melbourne Road, Bellflower Close, Saffron Drive, Vetch Close, Upper Gordon Road.

Work is set to continue on the next phase of the project, with designs and contracts agreed. Priory View play area in Burton is the first site to be closed, with work set to begin on 4 February.

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Categories: Dorset

New draft Purbeck Local Plan progresses to next stage

Dorset For You - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 09:59

A new Local Plan to help guide and shape future development in the area currently covered by Purbeck District Council has been submitted to an independent planning inspector for examination.

The Council engaged with town and parish councils, individuals, residents’ groups and planning professionals to produce the draft plan. It has also been the subject of public consultations in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council, said: “We started reviewing the Purbeck Local Plan Part 1 in 2015, and many people expressed concerns during the 2016 consultation particularly about the number of extra homes in the plan.

“We listened to their feedback and pledged to undertake a full review of the plan. The people of Purbeck are passionate about their local area and rightly so. Throughout the process, local opinions and views have been of paramount importance in shaping the plan we have submitted to the inspector. We thank all who have been involved.”

Using feedback received from the consultations and technical information gathered, the Purbeck Local Plan was prepared in 2018 and an opportunity provided last autumn to comment on the draft. Representations received have now been forwarded to the inspector to consider as part of the examination process.

The Council has also reviewed the Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule which will be examined alongside the local plan. The levy raises funds from qualifying new development to provide new infrastructure.

The examination process

An inspector (appointed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary of State) will now conduct an examination of the Purbeck Local Plan and CIL schedule. It is anticipated that the examination will include public oral hearing sessions.

If the inspector considers changes are needed, there will be a further opportunity to comment prior to adoption by Dorset Council

The plan will then be used to determine planning applications and secure funding within the area of the new authority currently covered by Purbeck District Council.

Keep up-to-date at

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Road Fix – February sites

Dorset For You - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 09:29

We’ve got three repair gangs in action from January, through to the end of March, thanks to extra funding.

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.

“Just to thank you so much for the excellent job your engineers have done on Denhay Lane.”

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

Chewton Common Road, Christchurch
daytime work 30 Jan (new date)

East Weare Road, Portland
daytime work 31 Jan

 Chamberlaynes, Bere Regis
daytime closure 31 Jan & 1 Feb

Verne Common Road, Portland
night closure 1 Feb to 5 Feb

C21 (Giant Steps Road) (A30 Sherborne Road to Copse House & Frith Farm Cottages) daytime closure 1 Feb to 5 Feb

Elder Road, Bere Regis
daytime closure 4 & 5 Feb

Copse Hill, Sturminster Newton
daytime closure 4 Feb to 8 Feb

A30 Sherborne Causeway, Shaftesbury
daytime closure 6 Feb to 12 Feb

Dorchester Road, Weymouth (Morrisons to Grove Avenue)   
night closure 11 Feb & 12 Feb

Culliford Way & Canberra Road, Weymouth
daytime closure 11 Feb & 12 Feb

Bell Street, Shaftesbury
daytime closure 13 Feb

River Crescent & Mill Street, Dorchester
daytime closure 13 Feb

Blandford Road, Corfe Mullen
daytime closure 13 & 14 Feb

Icen Way, Dorchester          
daytime closure 14 Feb to 17 Feb

Lanehouse Rocks Road, Weymouth (Nutgrove Avenue to Portland Road junction)      
night closure 15 Feb to 21 Feb

Frome Terrace, Dorchester
daytime closure 18 Feb

Hanham Road, Corfe Mullen
daytime closure 18 Feb & 19 Feb

Coburg Road, Dorchester  
daytime closure 19 Feb to 22 Feb

Piddle Lane, Cerne Abbas
daytime closure 21 Feb

Hilling Lane to Wheelrights Junction        
daytime closure 22 Feb to 25 Feb

Beacon Hill, Lytchett Matravers (C26 to C5)        
daytime closure 25 Feb to 27 Feb

C20, Duntish to Hazelbury Bryan
daytime closure 25 Feb to 28 Feb

Mudeford Lane, Christchurch
daytime closure (8am-4pm) 28 Feb to 8 Mar

You can check the exact locations and diversion details on our roadworks map. Remember to use the tabs to customise the map to show road closures and diversion routes, as well as for the dates you’re interested in.

Dates can be subject to change due to adverse weather or the need for gritting duties to take priority during cold weather.

Five area-based hand-patching gangs, a NuPhalt Thermal Repair patching team and a Velocity patcher gang are continuing to fix smaller potholes and road defects, as they are reported, across the county council area.

Find out about the additional funding.

Velocity patcher in action

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Categories: Dorset

End of an era: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra thanks Dorset County Council for 50 years of vital support

Dorset For You - Thu, 01/24/2019 - 16:43

Dorset County Council has celebrated its last event as an authority with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Councillors were invited to a performance featuring internationally recognised pianist Benjamin Grosvenor at Poole Lighthouse on Wednesday 23 January to acknowledge the authority’s continued support over the last 50 years.

Left to right: Dougie Scarfe, BSO chief executive; Cllr Hilary Cox, DCC chairman; Terence O’Rourke MBE, BSO chairman

The county council will cease to exist on 30 March as all the county, district and borough councils in Dorset move to becoming two unitary authorities – one in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and one for rural Dorset.

The council’s financial support for the BSO over the years has helped the orchestra to run various community outreach projects, including:

  • A dementia-friendly programme at Dorset County Hospital
  • BSO Resound – a disabled-led ensemble and a world first for a professional symphony orchestra
  • Dorset Youth Chamber Orchestra

Both council and orchestra have been keen to ensure classical music reaches as many people in the community as possible.

Resound – the professional ensemble made up of disabled musicians – is a world-first initiative that has gone from strength to strength, and this year BSO Chief Executive Dougie Scarfe is taking the model to America with the message that everyone can benefit from music in their lives.

Dougie said: “It was a pleasure and an honour to host and thank Dorset County Council for its remarkable support of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years and to share a united passion to continue putting culture at the heart of our communities.”

Chairman of the county council, Cllr Hilary Cox thanked the BSO for its contribution to Dorset:

“This work really inspires and touches people of all ages – residents and visitors alike.

“And the work that the BSO does in smaller groups of musicians in the many community and school settings around the county is so important. Bringing music to people who can no longer, or cannot easily, access it is an example of the true passion for and commitment to local people that this orchestra has.

“On behalf of the county council, I would like to thank the BSO for all its support for the people of Dorset over the many years that the council has had such a warm relationship with it, and to wish the orchestra all the very best for its continuing success through great music, innovation, finding new ways to reach people of all ages across the county and being such a good, responsive and respected partner.”

It is hoped that this continued partnership will continue to thrive between the BSO and the new Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

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Categories: Dorset

5 things you need to know about the upcoming sea defence work at West Bay

Dorset For You - Thu, 01/24/2019 - 12:43

The Environment Agency and West Dorset District Council have partnered up to work on new multi-million pound sea defences at West Bay, Bridport, West Dorset.

On Thursday 17 January, West Dorset District Council Planning Committee unanimously approved the proposal to install new sea defences at East Beach and West Beach.

1. Why are sea defence works needed?

The beach defences protect 148 residential properties, 112 commercial properties and caravans at Parkdean Holiday Park. Waves over-topping the Esplanade at West Beach caused significant flooding of properties and utilities in 2014. Each winter, stormy seas damage East Beach. To address this, a more robust defence against flooding and risk of breaching is needed.

2. How have we come up with the scheme?

West Dorset District Council., the Environment Agency and other key agencies have worked closely together and with the public through several local consultations facilitated by Dorset Coast Forum. We aimed to come up with the best scheme to provide defences for the whole of West Bay.

3. What is going to be done and when?
  • West Beach – building of a new, low wall at the back of the Esplanade     FEBRUARY – JUNE 2019 
  • East Beach – installation of a buried solid rock core       APRIL – JUNE 2019 
  • West Beach – construction of a new rock groyne     APRIL – JUNE 2019 
  • West Beach – importing extra beach shingle         MAY – JUNE 2019 
  • Improvements to the River Brit bank along Parkdean Holiday Park have been designed and are included in the planning submission. [It is hoped these improvements will go ahead later, once funding has been agreed between the council and its tenant. These will then take place over the winter period November 2019 – February 2020]

The contractor’s main site compound will be on the car park behind East Beach. A secondary compound will be located at West Beach. There will be restricted areas for public access at each beach during construction, and these will be clearly signposted. Beach marshalls will be recruited from the local community to assist with managing public access and maintaining public safety at all times.

4. Who is paying for it?

£5m of the funding is being provided by central government under the DEFRA Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid. WDDC is providing £3m. £1m has been granted from Local Levy by the Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committee.

5. What will be the impact for local residents, businesses and visitors?

Major construction will take place starting in February 2019 and substantially completing by July 2019. We recognise the importance of the holiday trade to local businesses. Our contractors will liaise with those directly affected to ensure minimum disruption.

Construction works will not take place during the 6 peak summer weeks from late July through August. Ancillary works, landscaping and site demobilisation will be completed by late October.

Large rocks will be delivered by barges to the beaches in April, and we believe these activities will be of great spectator interest. The rock deliveries will be governed by tide times and we are working on the schedule of this element of the project right now. We will communicate the tide times and what will happen as soon as these are confirmed.

Beach closures

There will be a two-week period in March/April when both beaches must be closed for safety reasons. Once we know exactly when these dates are [as there are factors that will indicate the precise dates that are as yet unknown] we will communicate them clearly.

Every effort will be taken during construction to minimise disruption, noise and dust. Site notices will be erected displaying contact information if members of the public need to make contact.

Vital works to ensure safety of the community

The team regrets that some inconvenience may be caused to the community and members of the public for this relatively short period of time.  However, the works are vital to ensure the safety of residents and local businesses who are at continued risk from floods and also the continued economic viability of West Bay.

Cllr John Russell, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection and Assets, said: “For safe tidal working in the marine environment, it is necessary to carry out these beach works outside the stormy autumn/winter period.

“Inevitably, that means some inconvenience during those seasons when we all want to be ‘on the beach’. We understand that, and will do everything practically possible to minimise public loss of enjoyment of West Bay’s wonderful beaches. We are also aware of local events such as the power boat racing that we will halt our works for.”

Significant investment in West Bay

Cllr Anthony Alford, leader of West Dorset District Council, said: “These flood defences works are part of an exciting multi-million pound investment in to the infrastructure and public realm in West Bay. We have some significant projects taking place.

These include three Coastal Community Funded projects which are part of the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio:

  • An enhanced seating and community space/welcome hub
Site of the new welcome hub
  • A new boardwalk to allow easier and safer access to the top of the East Beach shingle bank

    Start location for the boardwalk for East Beach

  • Improved cycle access on the existing bridleway between West Bay and Bothenhampton.

    Cycle path to be improved and widened

“We also recently invested a considerable sum improving the car parks, too.”

Internationally important World Heritage site

West Bay is internationally important for its World Heritage Site (Jurassic Coast), Chesil Beach and other environmental designations. We have taken great care in working  closely with the conservation and heritage organisations. These include Natural England, Jurassic Coast Team, Historic England, the Marine Management Organisation as well as Dorset County Council. We’ve obtained all the necessary permissions to ensure the works are carried out safely and with minimum disruption. The local community, wildlife and the environment are our priority throughout these works.


We are currently planning an exhibition that will showcase all of the above information. We will have engineers and project managers on hand to talk through the works and to answer any questions you may have. We will communicate the dates of this exhibition shortly.

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Categories: Dorset

Average speed cameras arrive in Dorset

Dorset For You - Wed, 01/23/2019 - 15:28

Dorset’s first permanent average speed cameras will be installed next week.

Six average speed cameras are being erected on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road to support the new permanent 50mph speed limit, which came into effect in August 2018.

Three cameras will be positioned on the southbound carriageway between the Blackwater Junction and Cooper Dean Roundabout, with three further cameras mirroring these on the northbound carriageway.

Councillor Daryl Turner, Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment, said: “These cameras will help make the Blackwater slip roads safer and easier to use by regulating the speed of traffic through the area.

“By travelling at a consistent speed, drivers will also be helping to improve the flow of traffic as well as reducing emissions.”

During the day on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January two speed cameras will be set up on the southbound carriageway.

There will be overnight lane one closures on the northbound carriageway between Cooper Dean Roundabout and the Blackwater Junction on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 January, from 8pm to 6am each evening, to install the three northbound cameras and the final southbound camera.

Gary Powell, the senior responsible officer for the A338 Improvements, said: “We welcome the idea that the Bournemouth Spur Road will be the first road in Dorset to install such cameras and we look forward to seeing the benefits these permanent average speed cameras will bring.”

It will take two to three weeks for the cameras to be tested before they become operational. The cameras will initially be set to enforce the temporary 40mph speed limit in force during the current roadworks.

The cameras will be managed by the Dorset Police.

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “We are grateful to our council colleagues for the addition of average speed cameras. Hopefully this will be the first of further similar systems to be introduced that will assist in road safety and to contribute to a reduction of the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads in Dorset.”

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Categories: Dorset

Milborne St Andrew Parish Council submits Neighbourhood Plan

Dorset For You - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 16:04

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

Neighbourhood plan set for consultation

Milborne St Andrew Parish Council has submitted a neighbourhood plan to North Dorset District Council.

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 plans can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

The Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan sets out a range of planning policies, including a policy that allocates a site for development.

It has been submitted to North Dorset District Council who will now arrange an independent examiner to assess it.

The district council is required to publicly consult on the plan. The plan, supporting documents, and response form can be accessed online.

You can also view the plan at the Council’s Offices at Nordon Lodge, 58 Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum and the Council’s Offices at South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester during normal opening hours.

All comments must be received by 4pm on Friday 1 March 2018. These comments will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan. Depending on the examiner’s report, a referendum will be held for the residents of Milborne St Andrew to decide whether the plan should be approved.

Huge amount of hard work

Cllr David Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning at North Dorset District Council, said:

“It is good news that the Milborne St Andrew Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to the District Council. Its submission is the result of a huge amount of hard work by all those involved in producing the plan.

“I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in the future of Milborne St Andrew to have their say on the submitted plan.”

Cllr Emma Parker, North Dorset District Council Ward Member for Milborne St Andrew (Abbey Ward), said:

“Neighbourhood Plans provide a strategy for local people to set-out how their village should look and feel. By identifying what matters to residents we can help protect areas of importance and ensure that we have greater influence over the type of development in the area.

“I would like to thank the Neighbourhood Planning Group for their hard work in establishing a village plan for Milborne St Andrew. I am confident that this plan will be supported by the residents and the local community.”

Cllr Jane Somper, North Dorset District Council Ward Member for Milborne St Andrew (Abbey Ward), said:

“After the enormous work carried out by the volunteers on the Neighbourhood Plan Group, I am delighted that the plan has now been submitted.

I am sure that many of those living and working in Milborne St Andrew will be supporting this plan”

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Categories: Dorset

Further grants for local community projects in North Dorset

Dorset For You - Tue, 01/22/2019 - 13:49
Cllr Sherry Jespersen, North Dorset District Council’s portfolio holder for community and regeneration, said: “There are some really exciting community projects underway across North Dorset. It gives me great pleasure to support these initiatives which will all bring long and short term community and economic benefits  to our area.” Stalbridge Hub extension project

An agreed grant of £70,000 will go to Stalbridge Town Council. The project will enhance the current multi-purpose centre. This currently has a community run library, community office, meeting rooms  and Town Council office.  The extension will provide a larger multi-use room, improved catering facilities and smaller rooms. These will allow for outreach medical consultations and other support work.

This extension will also enable a current space in the existing building to create a heritage centre space. This would be for exhibition and museum archive purposes. Estimated costs of the project stand at £300,000-£350,000. A grant of £70,000 from the District Council would be a significant contribution. This grant would also help the Town Council to secure other funding. Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, leader of North Dorset District Council, said: “This extension will make sure the Stalbridge Hub can really expand the services and support the Hub provides for the people in Stalbridge and the surrounding villages. I am very pleased that the District Council has supported this project.” Gillingham Town Gateway project An agreed grant of £70,000 will go to Gillingham Town Council. Gillingham is the largest town in North Dorset and growing. It is home to many businesses, and has a vibrant community. The money will contribute to improvements at the gateways into the town and help attract future investment. The project comprises improvements to a total of 7 locations. This includes one project at the station, which is also an important Gateway. Estimated total project costs are £97,000. Blandford Market Place enhancement An agreed grant of £70,000 will go to Blandford Forum Town Council. The Town Council are developing the weekly markets, to bring more people into the town centre. The area used by the market provides a space for the twice weekly markets as well as being an important venue for open air events. It also provides a valuable frontspace to the historic Corn Exchange and adjoining Georgian facades.  This project would improve this area. Anticipated total cost of the project is likely to be between £220,000 and £340,000. The grant of £70,000 from the District Council would be a significant contribution. It will also act as match funding for other grants. Redundant supermarket Feasibility Study in Shaftesbury An agreed grant of £70,000 will go to Shaftesbury Town Council. The Town Council has placed a bid to buy a redundant supermarket in the town.  The aim is to develop this space with a mix of retail, commercial offices, start-up offices, commercial leisure and affordable flats. This would be in partnership with a local community enterprise organisation. This is an ambitious project backed up by sound business planning. Financial support will contribute towards the redevelopment costs. If Shaftesbury Town Council is not the favoured bidder then a grant of £50,000 will be allocated to a tourism signage improvement project in the town.

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Categories: Dorset

Holocaust Memorial Day to be marked in Christchurch

Dorset For You - Fri, 01/18/2019 - 10:17

Holocaust Memorial Day 2019 will be marked in Christchurch, with a commemoration service at The Captain’s Club Hotel followed by a Wreath Laying ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial site on the Quomps at Christchurch Quay.

The event will be held on Monday 28 January at 10am.

The Vicar of Christchurch, Reverend Canon Charles Stewart will begin the memorial before leading prayers alongside Rabbi Jesner, from the Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation and the Bournemouth Reform Synagogue (BJCR).

Guests from the Royal British Legion and Royal Navy Association, along with school children from Christchurch Junior School, Priory School, Burton Primary School and Highcliffe St Mark School will also join the Mayor to lay wreaths at the Holocaust Memorial site.

Those in attendance attendees will have the honour of hearing first-hand stories from Benjamin Thomas. His mother was a refugee who was taken from her home in Germany on the St Louis, but was refused entry to the United States of America. Benjamin’s story captures the theme of Holocaust Memorial Day this year (‘Torn from Home’).

Reverend Canon Charles Stewart will lead the ‘Power of Words’ message, to help understand how language has impacted our lives in the past and up to modern day.

Cllr Lesley Dedman, Mayor of Christchurch said “I would ask that people in our comfortable Borough of Christchurch not only remember the horrors of the past Holocaust but think of those in our own time. I ask that we think of the victims slaughtered in present genocides, and also of people forced out of their homes by persecution, and that we reflect on their efforts to rebuild their lives.”

All are welcome to join the memorial event.

Further information about Holocaust Memorial Day can be accessed here:


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Categories: Dorset