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News from Dorset council
Updated: 9 hours 54 min ago

Have your say on future Minerals Plan

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 15:56

A new Minerals Plan which includes sites for future quarrying is nearing completion. The plan covers the Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council areas.


The Mineral Sites Plan identifies sites to meet the need for sand, gravel, stone and ball clay in the future.

The plan includes seven sites for sand and gravel, a site in Purbeck for the production of crushed rock, five small scale Purbeck Stone quarries, three extensions to building stone sites in north and west Dorset and a site for the production of recycled aggregates near Poole.

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

Public hearing sessions were held in the autumn of 2018 with a further session in February 2019 to consider the proposals. Following these public sessions, changes to the plan were made and the councils are encouraging people to consider the issues discussed and comment on the proposed changes.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Planning said:

“We strongly encourage people to give us their views on the proposed changes during this consultation. This is the final opportunity to comment on proposals.”

The consultation runs until 20 June 2019.

Visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/mineral-sites for more information

 

The post Have your say on future Minerals Plan appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing update – 21 May

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:57

Over the next two weeks, our surface dressing gang is continuing to treat roads in the west of Dorset.

As we head into more rural areas, and work on lesser-known roads, please remember you can check where we are working by using the online roadworks map.

Work completed week starting Monday 13 May:

  • Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Dual carriageway (northbound) – Bere Road to Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Link from Northmoor Way to A351 (opposite golf club entrance)
  • Timber Hill, Lyme Regis
  • C18 – from B3164, Birdsmoorgate to entrance to Lower House Farm, Bettiscombe
  • C18 – entrance to Lower House Farm to Mutton Street at Marshwood Cross
  • Beaminster Tunnel to A356 Road – Jct C67, Beaminster Down, to Jct A356, Toller Down

Work scheduled week starting Monday 20 May:

  • C37 – Curry Hole Lane, Halstock to entrance at Furlongs, Corscombe
  • Back Lane, Evershot
  • Fore Street – Back Lane to Summer Lane, Evershot
  • The Common – Summer Lane to Park Lane (access to Melbury Park), Evershot
  • East Hill – Park Lane to Blind Lane (footpath), Evershot
  • Frome St Quintin Road – A37, Horchester, to Charity Bottom, Chalmington
  • Frome Lane – link section at Cruxton Lane Jct, Frome Vauchurch

Work scheduled week starting Tuesday 28 May:

  • Back Lane – C28 to end of road, Maiden Newton
  • Back Lane/Cruxton – C28 to end of road, Maiden Newton
  • C19 – A37, Folly Hill to Marr’s Cross, Sydling St Nicholas
  • Up Sydling Road – C19 to end of road, Up Sydling
  • Batcombe Road – from C45, Leigh to Calfhay Lane, Crocker’s Knap X-Roads
  • Brister End and part section High Street, Yetminster
  • Bailey Ridge Lane – from C69, Holm Bushes to C45, Stake Ford Cross
About the work

Our surface dressing gang is working 9am to 4pm in urban areas and 8am to 4pm in rural areas.

Surface dressing doesn’t take long and the road can be driven on as soon as it’s finished. Depending on the length of the road you live on, the road will be closed for around 1-2 hours while the treatment takes place.

There will be an advisory 20mph speed limit after the work while the loose stones ‘bed down’ into the bitumen. Travelling at this reduced speed will prevent skidding on the loose chippings, help ‘bed down’ the material and will save your paint work!

We sweep the road one to two days after the work to get rid of excess stones.

White lining reinstatement will follow on from this and is generally a week or so later.

Sorry for the inconvenience

We cannot work overnight as surface dressing relies on the evaporation of water from the bitumen binder (glue) for it to set, and it needs traffic to travel on the new surface for it to ‘bed down’ and lock onto the old surface.

We also cannot work in wet weather – any amount of rain or surface water dilutes the bitumen and so doesn’t hold the chippings in place – which is why our surface dressing programme runs from April through to September.

As this treatment is so weather dependent, dates are subject to change.

The post Surface dressing update – 21 May appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Vote in the European Elections on Thursday

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:27

Elections to the European Parliament are taking place in the UK on Thursday 23 May.

Cast your vote in the European Elections on 23 May

If you are registered to vote this will be your opportunity to influence who represents your region in the European Parliament.

In the UK, there are currently 12 European electoral regions.

Dorset is part of the South West region which will elect six Members of the European Parliament.

See who is standing for election in your region.

How do I vote?

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.

If you recently voted in the local elections in Dorset it is possible that your local polling station might be in a different location this time around.

Check where your polling station is online.

When will I know the results?

Although the poll is taking place on Thursday, results will not be announced before 10pm on Sunday 26 May when counting across all member countries has taken place.

We will post results on Twitter, Facebook and on our website www.DorsetCouncil.gov.uk as they are announced.

Find more information about the European Parliament elections.

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Categories: Dorset

6 things to know about Tax-Free Childcare

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 16:38
I’m already claiming 30 hours free childcare, can I get Tax-Free Childcare too?

Yes, you can claim Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 15 or 30 hours free childcare for your 2, 3 or 4 year old.

Here’s what you can and can’t claim at the same time as Tax-Free Childcare:

I’m claiming childcare vouchers, would I be better off getting Tax-Free Childcare instead?

The best scheme for you will depend on your family’s circumstances. To find out if you’d be better off claiming Tax-Free Childcare, use the childcare calculator to find out how much you could get.

Use the childcare calculator

If you aren’t already claiming childcare vouchers the scheme is now closed to new applicants.

Can other people pay in to my child’s Tax-Free Childcare account?

Yes, you can only open one Tax-Free Childcare account per child, but multiple people can pay in to it. You will receive the government contribution in the same way for payments from other people.

Do I have to pay in a certain amount each month?

You can pay in to your childcare account as and when you like. This gives you the flexibility to pay in more in some months, and less at other times. This means you can build up a balance in your account to use at times when you need more childcare than usual, for example, over school holidays.

There’s no limit to what you can pay in, but government contributions are limited to £2,000 per child, per year, or £4,000 if your child has disability.

Do I need to be working full time to claim?

No, most working parents including those working part time hours can claim if they meet the eligibility criteria.

See full eligibility criteria

Can I withdraw money from the account if I want to?

If your circumstances change or you no longer want to pay into the account, then you’ll be able to withdraw the money you have built up. You can only take out money you have put in, not the government contributions.

The post 6 things to know about Tax-Free Childcare appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Bridport steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 15:02

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

Bridport steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan (Photo courtesy of Teresa Rabbetts)

A final version of the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan representing the communities of Allington, Bothenhampton & Walditch, Bradpole, Bridport & West Bay, and Symondsbury has been submitted to Dorset Council for examination.

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

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

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

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

View the plan

A hard copy of the plan will be made available at the council offices in South Walks House, Dorchester.

Bridport Town Council also has also made reference copies available at its Town Council Offices, Bridport Library, Bridport Tourist Information Centre and from all partner parish clerks.

The plan can be viewed online at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/bridport-area-neighbourhood-plan  and on the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan website: bridport-tc.gov.uk/projects/neighbourhood-plan/

Comment on the plan

People who live, work, or run a business in the Bridport Area neighbourhood area have until 28 June 2019, to raise any concerns they may have about the plan. These concerns will then be passed on to an independent examiner to consider.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council ushers in new era by declaring climate emergency

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 14:16

South Walks House in Dorchester was packed full today for the first meeting of the brand-new Dorset Council.

82 newly elected councillors, senior officers and a full public gallery filled

Whole council

the committee suite at South Walks House to debate the business of the new council and vote in its new Leader and Chairman.

During a lively public questions session, there were statements read and questions asked about the new council’s approach to environmental matters and specifically climate change, including questions from climate change group Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth.

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

“We have an opportunity and an obligation to demonstrate leadership – thinking globally about the implications of climate change and acting locally to help address it in our communities.

“The crucial need to tackle climate change is something that we can all agree on. It is an issue which transcends party politics and after discussions with the other group leaders we have agreed on the need to create a cross-party Panel on Climate Change to develop a policy for Dorset Council.”

Further to this, a motion was proposed by Cllr Nick Ireland, leader of the Liberal Democrats which asked for the council to recognise that climate change is happening and that the council agrees to declare a climate emergency.

69 councillors voted to pass this motion, two voted against and 6 abstained meaning Dorset has officially declared a climate emergency.

New positions on the council

Cllr Pauline Batstone has taken up the position of Chairman. This role was previously held for the Shadow Dorset Council by Cllr Hilary Cox.

Cllr Batstone began the meeting by thanking Mrs Cox for her work and dedication over the past five years as Dorset County Council Chairman and latterly as the Chairman of the Shadow Dorset Council.

Cllr Batstone went on to say: “The next year is vital for setting the tone of the new council and the manner in which it operates as a 21st century council.

“The aspirations and ambitions of this new council are for Dorset to be a place where people want to live, visit, learn and work and I am delighted to be able to play a key role in that.”

Cllr Spencer Flower was then voted in as Leader of Dorset Council. He thanked the Chairman and members for putting their faith in him to be the first leader of Dorset Council.

Cllr Flower went on to say: “This is a great honour and an immense privilege. As Leader I want to promote a collaborative approach to the delivery of quality public services, whilst dealing with the known challenges of rising demand and severe financial pressures.

“We need to create a ‘can-do culture’ within the council that puts the interests of our communities first. A member led council, making a real and lasting difference in Dorset. This is a big job, but with the support of members in this chamber we really can make the difference our communities deserve.”

Following the election of the Chairman and Leader, Cllr Flower announced the members of the Dorset Council Cabinet, as follows:

  • Leader / Governance, Performance and Communications – Cllr Spencer Flower
  • Deputy Leader / Corporate Development and Change – Cllr Peter Wharf
  • Finance, Commercial and Assets – Cllr Tony Ferrari
  • Housing – Cllr Graham Carr-Jones
  • Economic Growth and Skills – Cllr Gary Suttle
  • Children, Education and Early Help – Cllr Andrew Parry
  • Adult Social Care and Health – Cllr Laura Miller
  • Planning – Cllr David Walsh
  • Highways, Travel and Environment – Cllr Ray Bryan
  • Customer, Community and Regulatory Services – Cllr Tony Alford

A further debate on the issue of climate change is on the agenda for the next meeting of the full council.

 

The post Dorset Council ushers in new era by declaring climate emergency appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Resurfacing Zig Zag Hill

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 12:51

A busy north Dorset road will be closed from Monday while resurfacing work is carried out.

Zig Zag Hill on the B3081 will be closed 24 hours-a-day from Monday 20 May to Friday 31 May, with the C13 through Melbury Abbas also remaining closed.

Drivers will be signed onto the A350 as a diversion route.

Listen to Senior Site Agent David Clegg explaining the work on the Shaftesbury community podcast – This is Alfred.

Resurfacing the bendiest road in Dorset

Resurfacing Zig Zag Hill presents difficulties not only with the nature of the road itself but also with the depth of the reconstruction needed.

It’s due to these deep excavations that the only safe way to carry out the work is under a full 24-hour closure – it is just not safe to reopen the road between shifts.

The road is being resurfaced from White Pit Lane up to the top of the hill.

C13 works near an end

The C13 through Melbury Abbas has been closed since January for a new pull-in and vehicle activated signs (VAS) to be installed for HGVs travelling through the village, as part of Dorset Highways’ A350/C13 route management scheme.

Although the resurfacing through Melbury Abbas will be finished on Friday, 17 May, work is continuing to put the new signals into operation.

The decision has been made to keep the C13 closed while surfacing Zig Zag Hill to avoid diverted traffic using the C13, rather than the signed route on the A350.

 

The C13 and B3081 will reopen together at the end of May. Dorset Highways will then assess the surrounding minor roads for repairs caused by diverted traffic using them during the closures.

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Categories: Dorset

West Bay sea defences – did you know?

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:03

If you live near West Bay, you will know that Dorset Council and the Environment Agency are working on £10 million sea defences, but did you know:

  • 148 homes and 112 businesses will be protected
  • 40,000 tonnes of granite is being used
  • the largest rocks used weigh 10 tonnes

Hear more from Nigel Bennetts,  Environment Agency Project Manager.

Programme of works updates and more detailed information will be on display near the beaches and drop-in sessions will also be held at the Salt House, West Bay, on 16 May, 30 May, 13 June and 27 June from 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing heads west

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 12:04

This week we’re surface dressing the last few roads on our list in Wareham then the gang is heading west.

We had another short week and changeable weather so we didn’t quite finish our work in Wareham, but we still managed to treat plenty of roads.

Works completed week starting Tuesday 7 May:

  • Nordon Drive, Wareham
  • Middlebere Drive, Wareham
  • Fairway Drive, Wareham
  • Seven Barrows Road, Wareham
  • Wellstead Road, Wareham
  • Stockley Road, Wareham
  • Burns Road, Wareham
  • Tarrant Drive, Wareham
  • Great Ovens Drive, Wareham
  • Stour Drive, Wareham
  • Sherford Drive, Wareham
  • Avon Drive, Wareham
  • Tantinoby Lane, Wareham
  • Daniel Drive, Wareham
  • Willow Way, Wareham

As we head into more rural areas and work on lesser-known roads, please remember you can check where we are working by using the online roadworks map.

Work scheduled week starting Monday 13 May:

  • Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Dual carriageway (northbound) – Bere Road to Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Link from Northmoor Way to A351 (opposite golf club entrance)
  • Timber Hill, Lyme Regis
  • C18 – from B3164, Birdsmoorgate to entrance to Lower House Farm, Bettiscombe
  • C18 – entrance to Lower House Farm to Mutton Street at Marshwood Cross
  • Beaminster Tunnel to A356 Road – Jct C67, Beaminster Down, to Jct A356, Toller Down
  • C37 – Curry Hole Lane, Halstock to entrance at Furlongs, Corscombe

Work scheduled week starting Monday 20 May:

  • Back Lane, Evershot
  • Fore Street – Back Lane to Summer Lane, Evershot
  • The Common – Summer Lane to Park Lane (access to Melbury Park), Evershot
  • East Hill – Park Lane to Blind Lane (footpath), Evershot
  • Frome St Quintin Road –  A37, Horchester, to Charity Bottom, Chalmington
About the work

Our surface dressing gang is working 9am to 4pm in urban areas and 8am to 4pm in rural areas.

Surface dressing doesn’t take long and the road can be driven on as soon as it’s finished. Depending on the length of the road you live on, the road will be closed for around 1-2 hours while the treatment takes place.

There will be an advisory 20mph speed limit after the work while the loose stones ‘bed down’ into the bitumen. Travelling at this reduced speed will prevent skidding on the loose chippings, help ‘bed down’ the material and will save your paint work!

We sweep the road one to two days after the work to get rid of excess stones.

White lining reinstatement will follow on from this and is generally a week or so later.

Sorry for the inconvenience

We cannot work overnight as surface dressing relies on the evaporation of water from the bitumen binder (glue) for it to set, and it needs traffic to travel on the new surface for it to ‘bed down’ and lock onto the old surface.

We also cannot work in wet weather – any amount of rain or surface water dilutes the bitumen and so doesn’t hold the chippings in place – which is why our surface dressing programme runs from April through to September.

As this treatment is so weather dependent, dates are subject to change.

The post Surface dressing heads west appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Group leaders announced

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 11:58

Leaders of political groups for Dorset Council are voted in

At their first meetings following the local elections on 2 May, members from the Green group, Alliance for Local Living (ALL) group, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have voted in their respective leaders.

The Green group have voted in Cllr Clare Sutton as their leader.

Councillor Claire Sutton, Leader of the Green group

Cllr Sutton said: “Although we are relatively small, it is a privilege to lead such a talented and committed group of people. Jon Orrell, Brian Heatley, Kelvin Clayton and I will be working as a close-knit team, and of course with other councillors, to make Dorset a greener, healthier and more prosperous place.”

 

The Alliance for Local Living group have voted in Cllr Les Fry as their leader.

Councillor Les Fry, Leader of the Alliance for Local Living group

Cllr Fry said: “I am honoured to be nominated as the leader of the ALL (Alliance for Local Living) Independent Councillors.  Although we only won four seats, we bring a range of experiences in our previous roles to the council.  We are keen and determined to help make a positive difference to the county and its residents.”

 

 

The Labour Group have voted in Councillor Paul Kimber as their leader.

Councillor Paul Kimber, Leader of the Labour group

Cllr Kimber said: “As Labour Group Leader on the new Dorset CounciI, I, along with Kate Wheller, will work hard to represent the people that voted for us. We are both very humbled to be elected to the new Dorset Council.

“These elections were tough on local issues, we were on the front line facing the consequences of nearly a decade of austerity. Since 2010 councils have lost over half their central funding, with Dorset Council’s Revenue Support Grant now at zero.

“We welcome all enquires and concerns from residents, please call us on 01305 822121.”

The Liberal Democrat group have re-elected Councillor Nick Ireland as their leader.

Councillor Nick Ireland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group

Cllr Ireland said: “I’m pleased and proud to have been elected to lead the substantial Liberal Democrat group on Dorset Council and look forward to working with the other opposition parties to ensure that not only are our existing services protected, but also improved and extended where possible.

“Cllr Flower has stated his intention to work ‘together as a team’; with 48% of the councillors and a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience, I’m sure I echo the sentiment of the leaders of all the opposition groups in trusting that he will follow through on that pledge for the benefit of all our residents.”

The Leader of Dorset Council will be elected at the first full council meeting this coming Thursday 16 May.

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Categories: Dorset

Lights, camera, action ……

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 11:33

It’s all go for Amanda’s family with shows, painting and panel to think about. Here’s the latest installment of her fostering blog

The show I was directing and dancing in was about to start in two hours. I mentally listed the things I needed to do before I costumed up ‘feed kids, sort builders out, ring electrician, book in plumber, write notes for matching meeting, clean house’ and then it happened. I moved a cast iron radiator away from the walls of the new extension so I could paint,  then dropped it on my toe.

A hour before curtain up, my youngest foster sons were stressed about being babysat by my parents (never left them before) and oldest foster son was trying out different make up techniques on my hubby. (who was Belle in the princess rap battle). My toe had turned purple and didn’t want to fit into my dancing shoes.

Broken toe or not curtain went up and we managed to get to the end.

So on to the building work. Well we have two rooms but predictably behind schedule and it’s needs to be done before our panel date in June!

I’m getting up at 6am to fit in an hour of painting, wallpapering and ranting ‘who the hell would start a renovation and a new job with seven kids?’ Then getting to work/ cleaning the house and continuing trying to become a candidate for ‘ideal home’ in the evening.

On a more serious note my littlest foster boys have struggled with getting their own rooms because although it’s exciting it’s also suggesting permanency, a possible ‘never going home again.’ I hope that the excitement will win through.

So the results of my attempt at being painter and decorator? These are the forest room with the offending radiator grrr

and this is the ocean room. Yeah I know a great big shark is not relaxing but my foster son loves it. The turtle kind of balances it.

So next month it’s onto turning my foster son‘s old room into a unicorn room for my youngest daughter, getting ready for panel and hoping the builders have finally stopped waking us up at some ungodly hour to start drilling.

The post Lights, camera, action …… appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Students learn how to build a career in construction

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 15:47

More than 100 students from Thomas Hardye in Dorchester and All Saints in Weymouth spent a day learning about careers in construction.

The ‘Building Careers for the Future’ event in Poundbury highlighted the wide range of job roles available in the construction industry, including challenging gender stereotypes and building links between education and the workplace.

The event was hosted by several employers and organisations including; Dorset Council, Construction Industry Training Board, Duchy of Cornwall, CG Fry & Son, Ford Civil Engineering Ltd, Magna Housing, The Careers & Enterprise Company, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership and Weymouth College.

Pupils were split into groups and shown around the live construction site. As they watched industry professionals do their jobs, representatives from the businesses talked through the different opportunities available and shared career journeys of their current employees.

Between tours, students asked the construction employers and training providers questions and found out more about the different options available.

Jay Martin, Director at Ford Civil Engineering said:

“I think the event proved to be a great success and we’re very proud to be part of it. We all have an obligation to ensure that the younger generations continue to enter the building trade, to maintain the traditions previously set. This industry is so incredibly diverse with the opportunity to forge a lifelong career for literally anyone who is prepared to commit, engage and work hard.”

Kris Thorne, Head of Construction and Building Services from Weymouth College said:

“We were really pleased to see so many people – both school students and adults – interested in learning more about the many career and training options available locally in the construction field.  It’s an event we will definitely be looking to repeat and build upon.”

Robert Firth, Enterprise Coordinator at Dorset Council said:

“This event is part of a wider programme to help inspire and prepare local young people for the fast-changing world of work. It’s great that we have so many employers supporting their local schools and colleges by offering pupils the chance to learn about different careers from people doing the jobs every day, so they can think about what they’d like to do in the future.”

 

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Categories: Dorset

Sink hole in Dorset

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 13:51

A huge sink hole has opened up in Dorset. 

A small hole around the size of a dinner plate was first reported beside the Inland Coast Path on Bronkham Hill, West Dorset, in February this year.  

It was investigated by Dorset Council’s Ranger Team and then geologists, who found that the small hole was covering a chasm that has the potential to be up to 30 metres wide and 15 metres deep. A barrier was put up and the restricted byway was temporarily closed.  

That small surface hole has since opened up to a huge sink hole. While it may look alarming, the hole does appear to be stable, according to assessments. 

John Sellgren, Executive Director for Place at Dorset Council said: “When this hole was first reported we took action as we knew it could indicate a chasm of unknown depth. Safety precautions were taken, and an investigation was carried out.  

“I am happy to report that the sink hole now appears stable and the National Trail is open. Sink holes occur naturally, but our advice is always take care and if you have concerns report them to Dorset Council. 

Sink holes are rare in Dorset, but have occurred throughout history at Bronkham Hill, which is north-east of Portesham. They occur naturally when the surface layer of land collapses into ancient hollows formed during the last ice age. This particular sink hole is believed to have been caused during the last major glacial period where meltwater dissolved the rocks below.  

At Bronkham Hill, which is part of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), rainwater seeps through the surface flint and gravel and dissolves the porous chalk beneath.  

Around 200 steep-grass lined pits can be found nearby, known as ‘elliptical dolines’. These are sink holes of the past which have now grassed over.  

Find out more about the South Dorset Ridgeway 

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Categories: Dorset

A350 repairs update

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 11:23

We appreciate that work on the A350 seems never-ending and work is currently scheduled to finish on 24 May.

A quick recap
  • The road was first reduced to single lane in mid-December 2018 after a section of embankment was found to have slipped away, dangerously weakening the road above
  • Barriers were put in place and two-way traffic signals were set up to move traffic onto the opposite side of the carriageway
  • While inspecting the road damage, engineers discovered a major gas leak and SGN confirmed emergency repairs were needed
  • With road damage on the northbound side and the leak under the southbound side, the road was closed during the gas repair as there was no safe space for traffic
  • Following SGN repairs, the two-way lights were set back up to keep vehicles away from the slipping northbound carriageway during highway repairs
Repairs underway

Work to thrust two new culverts under the road and to stabilise the embankment has all taken place below road level – which means drivers are unable to see the extent of damage or the work progressing.

Work to date includes:

  • Building an access road to keep construction traffic off the A350
  • Building temporary platforms for the specialist boring machinery
  • Thrust-boring two new culverts under the road
  • Building concrete headwalls for the new culverts, at each end of the pipes
Preparation work for the thrust-boring operation Two new culverts have been pushed under the road to replace the old, collapsed pipe

Work has now started to rebuild the slipped embankment, at a new gradient, to support the road. When the new bank reaches the level of the slipped section, the area will be shuttered and the void under the road will be filled with concrete.

The embankment on the southbound side is also being re-regraded as this side of the road shows early signs of slipping.

After this, work will focus on installing kerbing, post and rail fencing and verge planting.

The works area in private fields will then be returned back by reinstalling stock fencing, realigning the existing watercourse due to new culvert, completing various ground and verge work including gate and post replacement, and soil and seeding.

Working on one of the culvert headwalls Work starts on rebuilding the slipped embankment, which has undermined the road What the completed work will look like

The post A350 repairs update appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Find out if fostering is for you

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:44

If you’re interested in fostering, now is the time to find out more. During Foster Care Fortnight (13-26 May), Dorset Council’s fostering team is out and about at a series of drop-in session and events across the county.

The team will be answering questions about fostering, as well as raising funds for The Fostering Network, a charity which offers information and support for anyone involved in fostering.

The council welcomes foster carers from all walks of life, whether single or married, and regardless of cultural background or sexual orientation. Eligibility criteria includes being over 21 years old and having a spare bedroom. The council offers its foster carers weekly fees and allowances, and full training and support.

Gillingham resident, Suzanne Latham, specialises in caring for youngsters with disabilities. She explains:

“Many of my children are non-verbal. I use several ways to communicate with them. One girl can only use her eyes so uses eye glaze to enable her to communicate with us. For children who are autistic, I structure their day to help them to stay calm.”

“If you feel you have enough love in your heart and space in your home, go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose by enquiring.”

Sarah Parker, Executive Director of People – Children, said:

“We desperately need people in Dorset to look after children of all ages and abilities. Fostering could provide these vulnerable children with safe and caring homes, either for a short period or through to adulthood.

“Our drop-in sessions and events are the ideal opportunity for people to find out more in an informal way without any commitment. So, if you think you could make a difference to a child’s life, pop along and chat to our friendly team.”

You can find the fostering team in Oliver’s Café Sherborne on 13 May and in the High Street Bakery and Café in Shaftesbury on 20 May.

You can also find them:

  • 14 May in Coffee #1, Weymouth
  • 16 May at The Hollow, Verwood
  • 17 May inChocolate Café, Bridport
  • 21 May inCloisters, Wimborne
  • 22 May at Love Cake, Swanage
  • 23 May at The Hive, Bovington

Find out details about fostering, or call Jo Thomson our Fostering Engagement Officer on 07387 269779

The post Find out if fostering is for you appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Youth councillor helping teens deal with exam stress

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:49

A Dorset youth councillor has put together a series of videos to help teenagers deal with exam stress.

Stasia Smith, aged 15, goes to Ferndown Upper School and is a member of Dorset Youth Council. They’re a group of 11-19-year-olds who represent the views of children and young people across the county.

Run by Dorset Council and Participation People, the youth council helps shape and improve services for young people.

Stasia Smith, member of Dorset Youth Council

Stasia, a former Deputy Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Dorset, is about to sit her GCSEs and wanted to help her peers prepare for their exams. She said:

“I watched some of my older friends go through their GCSEs and I remember wondering why they were so stressed. Now that I’ve been studying for mine, I realise how stressful they are. A lot of the resources to help you get through exams are old-fashioned leaflets and often get stuffed at the bottom of the bag. I wanted to create something that was easy for young people to access at a time that suits them.”
Stasia’s videos, known as #StasiaSays, cover things like revision tips, how to stay healthy and what to do the night before. She added:

“I hope people can watch these and prepare for their exams, but also realise how important their mental health is. A little bit of stress is good, but we all need to know our limits and look after ourselves. GCSEs are important, but if you don’t get the grades you want – it’s OK. Your best is the best you can do and there are lots of different options available, whatever your results.”

Young people are now expected to stay in education or training until they’re 18, but it doesn’t have to be at school. There’s a wide range of education, work and training options available, including:
• full-time study in a school, academy, further education college or with a training provider
• full-time work or volunteering combined with accredited training
• an apprenticeship or traineeship
Stasia plans to stay on in sixth form to study Spanish and French. She hopes to work in the tourism industry.

Here are the links to her videos:

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Categories: Dorset

New Leader for Dorset Council Conservatives

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 14:17

Councillor Spencer Flower has been declared as the new Leader of the Conservative group this morning (Tuesday 7 May).

At their first meeting following the local elections on 2 May, Conservative group members voted in Cllr Flower as their Leader.

The Leader of Dorset Council will be elected at the Annual Council Meeting on 16 May.

Councillor Flower said:

“I am delighted to have been given the support of colleagues in what will be a very demanding role.”

Councillor Flower has appointed Councillor Peter Wharf as Deputy Group Leader.

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing sites this week

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 14:07

Our surface dressing gang is back in action in Wareham following the early May Bank Holiday weekend.

Please help us by moving your car off the road before 9am and by keeping speeds down immediately after the work, which will allow the material to ‘bed down’.

Remember, you can check for all works in your area using our online roadworks map.

Works completed last week (starting 29 April):

  • Johns Road, Wareham
  • Carey Close, Wareham
  • Walls Veiw Road, Wareham
  • West Mill Crescent, Wareham
  • Link from Wessex Oval, Wareham
  • St Marys Close, Wareham
  • Wessex Oval, Wareham
  • Humber Chase, Wareham
  • Egdon Road, Wareham
  • Mistover Road, Wareham
  • Carey Road, Wareham
  • Courtney Close, Wareham
  • Admirals Way, Wareham
  • Drax Avenue, Wareham
  • Northport Drive, Wareham
  • Trent Drive, Wareham
  • Bourne Drive, Wareham

Some sections of West Mill Crescent, Wessex Oval and the Wessex Oval link Road will be left untreated. Due to scheduled SSE cabling work. We will surface dress these ‘bare’ sections during next year’s surface dressing programme.

Work scheduled for week starting 7 May:

  • Nordon Drive, Wareham
  • Middlebere Drive, Wareham
  • Fairway Drive, Wareham
  • Seven Barrows Road, Wareham
  • Wellstead Road, Wareham
  • Stockley Road, Wareham
  • Burns Road, Wareham
  • Tarrant Drive, Wareham
  • Great Ovens Drive, Wareham
  • Stour Drive, Wareham
  • Sherford Drive, Wareham
  • Avon Drive, Wareham
  • Tantinoby Lane, Wareham
  • Daniel Drive, Wareham
  • Willow Way, Wareham
  • Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Dual carriageway (northbound) – Bere Road to Northmoor Way, Wareham
  • Link from Northmoor Way to A351 (opposite golf club entrance)

Work scheduled week starting Monday 13 May:

  • Timber Hill, Lyme Regis
  • C18 – from B3164, Birdsmoorgate to entrance to Lower House Farm, Bettiscombe
  • C18 – entrance to Lower House Farm to Mutton Street at Marshwood Cross
  • Beaminster Tunnel to A356 Road – Jct C67, Beaminster Down, to Jct A356, Toller Down
  • C37 – Curry Hole Lane, Halstock to entrance at Furlongs, Corscombe
  • Back Lane, Evershot
About the work

Our surface dressing gang is working 9am to 4pm in urban areas and 8am to 4pm in rural areas.

Here are a few things you can to do help us, and yourself:

  • please move your car off the road before 9am
  • please keep children and pets away – for safety and cleanliness
  • please keep to the temporary speed limits and avoid heavy braking to allow the surface to stabilise and ‘bed down’
  • check your shoes before entering your car or home
  • remove stains promptly with a cleaner for removing bitumen/oil which can be purchased from any motoring store

Surface dressing doesn’t take long and the road can be driven on as soon as it’s finished. Depending on the length of the road you live on, the road will be closed for around 1-2 hours while the treatment takes place.

There will be an advisory 20mph speed limit after the work while the loose stones ‘bed down’ into the bitumen. Travelling at this reduced speed will prevent skidding on the loose chippings, help ‘bed down’ the material and will save your paint work!

We sweep the road one to two days after the work to get rid of excess stones.

White lining reinstatement will follow on from this and is generally a week or so later.

Sorry for the inconvenience

We cannot work overnight as surface dressing relies on the evaporation of water from the bitumen binder (glue) for it to set, and it needs traffic to travel on the new surface for it to ‘bed down’ and lock onto the old surface.

We also cannot work in wet weather – any amount of rain or surface water dilutes the bitumen and so doesn’t hold the chippings in place – which is why our surface dressing programme runs from April through to September.

As this treatment is so weather dependent, dates are subject to change.

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Categories: Dorset

Election results – Here’s what we know

Fri, 05/03/2019 - 19:29

Dorset had an overall turn-out of 37.9%.

The Conservative’s took the majority of the votes and as such is the first party to take control of Dorset Council.

Out of the 82 seats up for grabs, 25 are new councillors – they were not members of the Shadow Dorset Council previously – and 57 seats have been taken by members who have previously served as a councillor in Dorset. There are 27 women on the new council and 55 men, meaning women make up 33 per cent of the new council.

There will be councillors representing four political parties and in addition there are four independent councillors on Dorset Council – 43 Conservatives, 29 Liberal Democrats, 2 Labour, 4 Greens, 4 Independent, and 0 UKIP councillors have been elected. This means the Conservatives are in control of Dorset Council.

We welcome all of our 82 new councillors, who are elected to represent our 52 wards.

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Categories: Dorset

Crucial sea defence work continues with the creation of new rock groynes at West Beach

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 12:38

Over the next two weeks, subject to weather and sea conditions, large rocks will be delivered by barges to West Beach so that new and improved sea defences can be constructed.

The Environment Agency and Dorset Council have partnered up to work on a new multi-million pound sea defence project at West Bay, West Dorset. As part of this crucial work, a delivery of rock arrived and is now anchored off of West Bay. The rock cargo, governed by tide times, will then be unloaded onto the beach over the next two weeks.

Full installation of the rock groynes and revetment will take approximately two months and involve the use of large excavators, dump trucks and bulldozers. 40,000 tonnes of rock and 10,000 tonnes of shingle is being imported. The largest rocks will weigh in the region of 10 tonnes each.

Why this work is important

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

How this will be funded

£5m of the funding is being provided by central government under the DEFRA Flood Defence Grant-in-Aid. £3m has been provided by the former West Dorset District Council, and £1m has been granted from Local Levy by the Wessex Regional Flood Defence Committee.

Beach closures

West Beach will be closed for the duration of works and access to East Beach will be restricted at certain times. We regret that some inconvenience may be caused for this relatively short period of time. The works are crucial 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.

Want more information?

We are continuing to hold a series of drop-in sessions at the Salt House to keep local residents, businesses and visitors updated with the latest on these important works.

These open sessions will have at least one representative – either from the Environment Agency or Dorset Council – to answer any questions you may have and to give an update on progress.

Open from 1:30 – 4:30pm on these dates:

  • Thursday 16 May
  • Thursday 30 May
  • Thursday 13 June
  • Thursday 27 June

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Categories: Dorset

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