Recognising local people in our community

Dorset For You - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 10:50


East Dorset District Council Chairman, Cllr Mrs Toni Coombs is pleased to announce the launch of the Chairman’s Community Awards 2019.

This will be the last Community Awards before the abolition of the existing district council and Cllr Mrs Coombs wants to make this the finest Community Awards initiative ever!

Cllr Mrs Coombs, said: “It is important that we recognise volunteers and businesses that put so much value back into our communities. “I would like to thank the sponsors, without whom, this initiative would not be possible.”

The Awards are being supported by Blackmore Vale Media, D R Smith Properties, Evans & Traves LLP, Hoburne Ltd, Mondoricia Ltd, Nicholas O’Hara Funeral Directors Ltd and Remedy Oak Golf Club.

Successful nominees will be invited to a special presentation evening at Remedy Oak Golf Club in February next year. To nominate someone in your local community download the form below and return your application before New Year’s Eve.

Nomination Form



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Categories: Dorset

Join Kate Adie in a debate about Remembrance – its meaning and the future

Dorset For You - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 15:01

A ‘Question Time’ style debate will discuss what remembrance means. The free event is being held at Dorset History Centre on Friday 9 November.

The panel will be chaired by Dr Fiona Cosson of Bournemouth University’s Public History course. Kate Adie will be joined by Stephen Boyce, head of the South-West Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Symon Hill of the Peace Pledge Union and David Willey, curator at the Tank Museum.

The event will reflect on four years of national commemoration of the First World War and its achievements. And to ask, ‘what remembrance means in a modern context and what it may mean in the future.’

The evening will start with a short introduction from the county archivist, Sam Johnston. Audience members are invited to gather at 7pm for light refreshments before the debate commences at 7.30pm

Book a free place via Eventbrite or call 01305 228920

If you are attending the event, and would like to submit a question for the panel, please send your question to

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Categories: Dorset

Wool bridge open to pedestrians

Dorset For You - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 13:38

Old Wool bridge is now open to walkers and cyclists while work continues.

Wool bridge rebuilt voussoir stones and stone cladding to the reinforced concrete wall

The reinforced concrete retaining wall – to stop future erosion and help support the bridge – was finished in mid-October.

The dry-dam was removed last week as the stonework is now above the waterline of the river. The temporary scaffold footbridge has also been removed. This ensures that all six arches of the bridge are free for the river to flow through as this time of year there is a greater risk of increased water flow and potential flooding.

Work is now continuing to put back in place the original courses of bridge stonework – with a scaffold platform installed to enable this, and part of the bridge remaining closed for working space.

The new stone has been supplied, cut and tooled by W. J. Haysom & Son and Lander’s Quarries in Langton Matravers, Swanage, to ensure a sympathetic restoration.

To further retain the character of the Grade II listed structure, the original lime mortar has been chemically and microscopically analysed so that its unique ‘recipe’ can be replicated. This is being used on all the rebuilt stonework.

All repairs will be finished by the end of November, with the bridge resurfaced as the final part of the work.

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How we are supporting local Armistice Day projects?

Dorset For You - Fri, 11/02/2018 - 11:44

We are delighted to support local events and projects commemorating Armistice Day on Sunday 11 November across West and North Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

Beacon lighting event

Our events team have been busy organising Weymouth’s part of the national Beacon lighting event. It will take place at the Nothe Fort with free entry to the public. The event starts at 6pm with the Beacon Lighting at 7pm and featuring a variety of performances. These includes feature the Bovington Military Wives Choir and the popular Decadettes. The evening will be hosted by the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Cllr Gill Taylor.

In our communities

Our community development team have been working with 6 primary schools in Weymouth. Children made 120 thank you letters to veterans, pictures and hand-made poppies.

Dove making sessions have been held in residential homes, schools and community groups and organisations, churches and The Veterans Hub.


3,700 doves are currently hanging from the ceiling in St. Mary’s church in Weymouth.

Cllr Jon Orrell, Briefholder for Social Inclusion, said “We have seen the community come together to create some wonderful things to remember all those who died in war. The doves of peace are very moving. I wish to extend a big thank you to the volunteers from local churches and housing associations, who have helped with the installations.”

The church will be hosting an event on the 3 November 10.30 – 2.30pm. Local modern day veterans are coming along to share their stories, and The Veterans Hub will be providing a delicious lunch.

Pages of the Sea

Lyme Regis – 11am onwards

Weymouth – 12.30pm onwards

Pages of the Sea is director Danny Boyle’s commission for 14-18 Now to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.  Communities are gathering across the country at beaches as part a unique moment to say goodbye to the millions of men and women who left their shores during the war, many never to return. Large scale portraits of individual soldiers will be created in the sands on the day. Just released information on who will be drawn in to Lyme Regis and Weymouth’s beaches is available here

Learn more about this moving dedication here.  

Royal British Legion

Once again, the ‘Let’s Make it’ Group have raised over £2,000 for the Royal British Legion by selling knitted poppies.

West Dorset

Cllr Peter Shorland, Chairman for West Dorset District Council, made a fund available earlier this year. He says: “I wanted to ensure that we supported community projects that wishes to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War. We awarded over £8,000 to a variety of projects taking place across West Dorset . I will be unveiling the commemorative plaque at St. James’ Church, Puddletown on Saturday 10 October at 3:30pm.”

Organisation Project description  £ Allington Hill, Cooper’s Wood and Field Community Group To hold a commemoration in memory of the 153 local men who lost their lives during WW1.
The group have registered to have one of the official beacons on top of Allington Hill lit. An open air service at dusk will be  include tree planting and be followed with by food and music. £400 Dorchester Town Council A one-day free access event on 7th November at the Corn Exchange called ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ which will take place between 10.30am – 4pm. £500 Broadwind-sor WI Had a commemoration event earlier in the month. £500 Cattistock Parish Council A commemorative booklet for every household in the village, providing information on Cattistock during the Great War, renovations of the war memorial and lots of other activities including a dinner dance and commissioned Requiem and lighting of a beacon. £500 Sydling St Nicholas Parish Council Over 35 members of the village are knitting 1,000 poppies which will be sewn onto netting and then displayed in the church. An exhibition and an evening of Remembrance  will be held on 10 November. £250 Evershot Parish Council A display on 11 November in St Osmund’s Church in Evershot of handmade poppies together with photographs of resident’s relations who served in the First World War, as well as books, documents, paintings, photographs that are relevant to WW1. The village will also light a beacon. £350 Char Valley Parish Council Activity took place on the weekend of 24/25 March at Whitchurch Canonicorum Village Hall and was titled 100 years on – The Whitchurch Men who went to War. £250 Drimpton Village Hall The village is organising a week of events and activities which will culminate in a commemorative show. As part of this they will be holding various art and craft workshops which will be focused on creating poppies in a variety of forms. £350 Owermoigne Parish Council A planting programme to replace a stand of mature beech trees in the playing field that are gradually being lost to age and disease. A commemorative plaque will be played by the trees. £250 Puncknowl-e & Swyre Parish Council Install and dedicate a sunken trampoline at the village playing field that is used by many children. The Parish Council will place a plaque next to the sunken trampoline with the inscription “On this hundredth anniversary of the ending of the First World War, 1914 to 1918, this trampoline is dedicated to those who gave their lives in that conflict that we might live, work and play in freedom”. £500 Eype History Society To hold a 5-day exhibition at St Peter’s church in Eype to display the results of four years’ research into the Eype men who served in WW1. A sponsored poppy trail and set up an education area with maps, WW1 explanations, trench cake and bully beef and will invite local schools to learn and explore. £500 Bridport Arts Centre To develop a special youth theatre production for the public at Bridport Arts Centre featuring the centre’s own youth theatre. The production will be a contemporary response to the struggle and conflict (both emotionally and physically) that the young men going to war faced a century ago. £500 Bridport Town Council A wall clock for the Town Hall and a plaque will be unveiled by the oldest community member who has connection with Bridport town during WW1. A maximum of 100 members of the community who have similar connections with the town (the hall holds a max of 100) will be invited to the event, which will include afternoon tea (WW1 style preferred) and poetry and prose readings by poets and writers of the time. £500 Benefice of Abbotsbury, Portesham & Langton Herring A lunch (after the Remembrance Service at St Peter’s Church in Portesham) to commemorate the armistice and remember those who died for their country from the 3 villages and to give thanks for those who returned. £500 Piddle Valley Parish Council The Parish Council would like to plant a tree, along with a plaque, to commemorate the WW1 centenary. It is hoped that the oldest resident of the Valley will attend the event and help to plant the tree. £500 Tolpuddle Village Hall and St John’s Church, Tolpuddle It is proposed to commission a memorial plaque to be placed in an appropriate place within St John’s church/churchyard. It is hoped that the unveiling would take place on Saturday 10 November and be followed by an event at the village hall. £500 Stratton Parish Council To erect a short length of metal railing fence with two supporting posts behind the existing War Memorial. The metal railing will have appropriate hooks so that wreaths being presented can hang securely from the fence. A permanent plaque will be attached to the railing – expressing the memory of the people of Stratton at the centenary anniversary of the ending of the Great War, along with metal symbolic Poppies attached to the railing. £250 Bridport Heritage Forum An exhibitions entitled ‘War, Peace and New Beginnings’, a pop-up exhibition at West Bay, lectures, talks, schools projects and the publication of a book. £500 Parish of the Winterbournes A 3-stranded Armistice Commemoration in Martinstown to be held in November, and will focus on poetry and music from the era. £450 TOTAL AWARDED: £8,050


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Categories: Dorset

New charges and ban on overnight parking in West Bay

Dorset For You - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 15:29

On Thursday 1 November, members of West Dorset District Council’s strategy committee met to discuss a report relating to parking in West Bay. Members were asked to approve:

  • The removal of free overnight parking in the Station Yard car park
  • Consequential changes to the current hours of operation [to prevent parking between 10pm and 8am]
  • Remove the restriction of a maximum stay of 3 hours in The Mound car park
  • Introduce charges of £2 per hour for every hour after 3 hours in The Mound car par

Cllr John Russell, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection and Assets said: “I’m really pleased with the committee’s decision today. West Bay is an incredibly popular destination for visitors, but we have received complaints from local residents and businesses about the significant increase in the number of motorhomes parking overnight in this car park.  Today we have addressed this issue by banning overnight parking. Patrols will be carried out to ensure that this ban is being enforced.”

Removing overnight parking for all vehicles

There is no standard definition of a motorhome or a campervan. This makes it difficult to prohibit only these types of vehicles as vehicles of all shapes and sizes can be adapted and converted to provide sleeping, camping and cooking facilities. Therefore, members have agreed to prohibit any vehicle from parking overnight.  The definition of overnight is not specific enough to use as a restriction. Therefore, members have agreed thapt the parking restriction is set between the hours of 10pm and 8am.

The East Beach car park is open for cars and motorcycles only to use at night. Therefore the closure of the Station Yard car park will not prevent visitors to West Bay from being able to park late.

Supporting the Bridport Harbour Divers Air Station

Cllr Mary Penfold, Portfolio Holder for Enabling, said: “By removing the restriction at The Mound car park we are supporting the Bridport Harbour Divers Air Station. This facility allows visiting divers and diving clubs the opportunity to fill up quickly and easily. West Bay has access to dozens of wrecks. It also plays host to an abundance of varied marine life. By extending the times at this car park it allows divers the best location possible to park their vehicle for a half or full days diving.”

Changes to tariffs: our legal requirements For any changes to the tariffs to be implemented, the Council has to publish a Notice of Variation. This Notice has to be displayed in the affected car parks and a local newspaper at least 21 days prior to the changes being enacted. There is no formal consultation required for such a change, however if the Council receive strong opposition to the published notice, this has to be considered prior to implementation.

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Moors Valley Country Park golf course to reopen

Dorset For You - Thu, 11/01/2018 - 10:34

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils are pleased to announce the re-opening of the Moors Valley Golf Course.

Members of East Dorset District Council Cabinet unanimously supported plans for the golf course at Moors Valley to be run in-house at their meeting on 31 October.

Following the liquidation of Mack Trading on 3 October the council has worked closely with the insolvency practitioner to ensure a satisfactory and timely solution which ensures the golf course is able to reopen as quickly as possible.

The golf course booking line, 01425 479776, will open from 10am on Monday 5 November 2018 with the course reopening to Moors Valley Golf Season Ticket holders from 9am on Tuesday 6 November.

The course will also be open to customers wishing to pay and play from 9am on Monday 12 November 2018.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Performance, East Dorset District Council, said: “I am very pleased that the council has been able to react so quickly and effectively to this totally unforeseen occurrence.

“We would like to thank local golfers for their patience and understanding through this uncertain time and are pleased we are able to offer a resolution swiftly.”

Health and wellbeing activities will also be run from the golf centre from early next year to combine the two offers that are available to the public.

As a special offer, a round of golf will cost just £10 between 12 November and 31 December 2018.

Any local clubs and societies wishing to discuss opportunities moving forward can email

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Friends of Durlston receive Volunteer Group of the Year award

Dorset For You - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 17:16

The Friends of Durlston Country Park have been crowned one of the Dorset Volunteer Groups of the Year.

The group’s contribution to reimagining the Victorian landscape of Durlston Park has been recognised in the Dorset Volunteer Awards.

The award, which was presented by Lady Emma Fellowes, also celebrates the 30 years of work by volunteers who work alongside Dorset County Council’s ranger team to support the ongoing running and development of Durlston Country Park.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for the Natural and Built Environment said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to the Friends of Durlston who work so hard behind the scenes to keep it such a special place.

“Durlston has become a vital asset for the local community as well as visitors, and it’s lovely to see volunteers’ work there being recognised with this award.”

Founded in 1988, the group now has over 800 members who have contributed over 10,000 hours of volunteer time to the park and national nature reserve, with duties including dry stone walling, visitor services, running activities for children and fundraising.

While many Friends live in the local area, members come from all over the world and range from young families to people in their 90s – and they come together to conserve and enhance Durlston for wildlife and people for generations to come.

The group was instrumental in the successful redevelopment of Durlston Castle and is a a key supporter of the new Durlston Pleasure Grounds project, which will offer many new opportunities for volunteering and training, especially for people with disabilities, older people and teenagers.

Chair of Friends of Durlston, Catherine Olive, said: “This award is a great tribute to the many people of all ages and backgrounds who give up their time to volunteer. Durlston is home to a wide variety of wildlife and provides a perfect escape in our busy world. I feel very proud to be part of it and to see just how much Friends get out of volunteering.”

If you’re interested in volunteering at Durlston click here or call 01929 424443.

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Helping your child with choosing their GCSEs

Dorset For You - Wed, 10/31/2018 - 09:56

It is important to think carefully about GCSE choices, even though your child’s career may seem like a long way off!

Your child’s GCSE option choices may affect their education and career options post 16. Most colleges, apprenticeships, universities and jobs will require a certain number of GCSE passes and may need specific GCSE subjects and grades.

1. What age will my child have to choose their options?

This usually happens in Year 9 (age 13 to 14), although some schools do this in Year 8 (age 12 to 13).

2. What if my child doesn’t have a clear idea about what they want to do in the future?

Taking a broad range of subjects will help to keep their options open. English, maths and science are compulsory and all students will have to take them at GCSE level. There may also be extra subjects that your child’s school decides to make compulsory.

For their optional subjects, schools must offer at least one option from four subject areas (although your child doesn’t have to take a subject from every area):

  • arts, such as art and design, music, dance, drama and media arts
  • design and technology
  • humanities, such as history and geography
  • modern foreign languages
3. How many GCSEs should my child take?

Up to 9 or 10 subjects is common, although some children do as many as 12. The right number will depend on your child’s academic abilities and their school’s recommendations and limits. Sometimes a higher workload can lead to lower grades overall, so be sure to balance quantity with quality.

4. What if they can’t take all the subjects they want to?

Your child may not be able to take all the subjects they would like, either because certain subjects aren’t offered or because of timetable clashes. If this happens, you could consider other ways to supplement their learning, such as:

  • out-of-school clubs
  • activities like sport, dance, music or drama
  • voluntary work
  • work experience
5. How can I help?

If your child has a specific education or career goal in mind, check online to find out whether there are specific GCSE requirements.

If your child is unsure about their future career, read course material for available subjects and encourage them to think about:

  • what subjects they enjoy
  • what subjects are they good at
  • which subjects best suit their learning style
  • whether they would like to study languages or work abroad in future
6. Need more advice?

Many schools host options evenings, giving parents and children the chance to chat with teachers and careers advisors. Alternatively, you may be able to arrange an appointment to discuss options with your child’s teacher.

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New rules on dogs in North Dorset after listening to your views

Dorset For You - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 15:08

More than 800 people have had their say about where and when dogs should be allowed in public places.

New rules for dogs in public in North Dorset

North Dorset District Council has carefully considered the views’ of dog owners and the concerns of other residents who use public places such as parks.

After considering 859 responses the council has attempted to strike a balance. The result is the new North Dorset Dog Related Public Spaces Protection Order 2018, which will replace the existing order.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the district council’s cabinet and then approved by Full Council earlier this month. (19/10) The new rules will come into effect later this year.

Councillor Andrew Kerby, Community Safety and Wellbeing Portfolio Holder at North Dorset District Council, said: “Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to share their views on how dogs should be managed in public places in North Dorset. We have looked carefully at the results and have tried to strike a balance to suit the interests of all.

“North Dorset District Council encourages responsible dog ownership. Most owners are very responsible, unfortunately a small minority who do not clear-up after their dogs do cause a problem.”

The new North Dorset Dog Related Public Spaces Protection Order 2018 will be available shortly here.

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Dorset County Council bids farewell to its Chief Executive

Dorset For You - Tue, 10/30/2018 - 14:24

Dorset County Council has announced the departure of its current Chief Executive, Debbie Ward, after six years at the helm.

Dorset County Council’s Staffing Committee has today agreed that Debbie Ward, who also holds the statutory responsibility for the Director for Adult Social Services, will end her term as Chief Executive on 30 November 2018. The decision is in line with legal requirements and the County Council’s redundancy policy.

Debbie Ward

Debbie Ward joined Dorset County Council in 2010 as Director for Adult and Community Services, before taking up her position as Chief Executive in 2012. During her tenure, Debbie led a council-wide transformation of the way the County Council delivers its services. This programme delivered multi-million pound savings, modernisation of working practices, closer strategic working with public sector partners and improved services for Dorset residents. Debbie has also played a leading role in achieving greater integration between local government and health services in Dorset, championing a number of nationally innovative initiatives.

Debbie Ward was one of the original officers in support of the case for change to local government in Dorset, helping to drive the reorganisation of Dorset’s nine councils into two new, unitary authorities.

Debbie Ward said:

“Six years ago, I had the privilege to be the first woman to become the Chief Executive of Dorset County Council and, I had no idea at that time, I would be the last ever Chief Executive.

Those six years have flown by and I have enjoyed working with fantastic people both inside and outside of the Council. They have also been the toughest years Dorset County Council have ever seen, with massive budget reductions and, as Chief Executive, I set out my ambition for us to travel that journey and go Forward Together, putting services, communities and transformation at the heart of our thinking, as we did what we had to.

As my role is coming to an end, I would like to thank everyone for their hard work, support and challenge that has made a difference and achieved so much for the county. I have been inspired and have enjoyed working with all colleagues.

Having led us to this point where I believe a strong and sustainable future for our public services can be delivered, I am grateful to the members of the County Council’s Staffing Committee for agreeing that now is the right time for me to step aside and handover the ambition for the future to the new Dorset Councils. It has been agreed today that I will be leaving the County Council at the end of November.

Between November and April, work will continue to establish the new organisation and many colleagues from all the authorities will be working hard to ensure a safe and legal transfer and shape the services for the future.”

Leader of Dorset County Council, Cllr Rebecca Knox said:

“I would like to thank Debbie for the huge contribution she has made over the past eight years to Dorset County Council. As Chief Executive, she has led the organisation through a period of modernisation which has improved our efficiency, transformed the culture of the organisation, and enabled us to deliver better services for residents.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Nick Ireland said:

“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Debbie over the past year since becoming leader of the LibDem group at Dorset County Council. In this period of uncertainty as we transition to the new unitary council, I’ve found her to be friendly, hard working, professional and always focused on achieving the best outcome for the residents of Dorset.  I wish her well in her future career.

Following Debbie Ward’s departure from the County Council, Mike Harries, Corporate Director for Environment and Economy, has been recommended by the Staffing Committee for the role of Interim Chief Executive of Dorset County Council through to 31 March 2019.

Nick Jarman, Corporate Director for Children’s Services, will take on the responsibilities of Statutory Director for adult social care (DASS) – this is in addition to his current role as Director for Children’s Services. These recommendations will be considered at the Full Council meeting on 8 November.

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