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Come to the Weymouth Quay Regeneration public drop in on Monday

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 14:19

Want to find out the latest on the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project? Then come along to Weymouth Library and speak to the project team.

A public drop in session will take place on Monday 18 November from 2pm until 7pm.

The drop in takes place from 2pm – 7pm  on Monday 18 November at Weymouth Library

The team will talk you through the initial concept drawing for the scheme. They will also show you the timeline of the project which aims to transform a redundant quayside area of Weymouth.

The Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project aims to sustain and create jobs in Weymouth by:

  • delivering a harbour ‘centre of excellence’ building for small-medium enterprises
  • improving the harbour’s facilities
  • increasing visitor numbers to the area

Here is the timeline  for the project.

Karyn Punchard, Dorset Council Corporate Director for Place Services, said:

“This is a great opportunity for people to find out about the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project and to give their views on the scheme.

“Anyone with an interest in the outcome of this project should come along to the event on 18 November.”

Weymouth Quay Background

In March 2019 Dorset Council, in partnership with the Weymouth Area Development Trust, was awarded £3.79m of investment from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund.

The bid was submitted on behalf of Weymouth’s Coastal Communities Team.

Earlier this month, Dorset Council appointed Austin-Smith:Lord as architects for the development.

To stay up to date on this topic and other Dorset Council news, sign up to receive our e-newsletter or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

If you need the concept drawing or timeline in a different format please email us:

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Categories: Dorset

What’s the difference between the Dorset Council Plan and the Dorset Local Plan?

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 12:48
Two plans are being talked about for the Dorset Council area, so we’ve put together a short guide below to explain the differences.

The Dorset Council Plan

We are currently asking residents what they think of the draft Dorset Council Plan. It sets out what the council needs to focus on in the next four years to make Dorset a great place to live, work and visit. We have identified our priorities as:

  • Economic growth – delivering sustainable economic growth, increasing productivity and the number of jobs in Dorset, creating great places to live, work and visit
  • Unique environment – helping to deliver sustainable development whilst protecting and enhancing Dorset’s environment
  • Suitable housing –facilitating the availability of more affordable, suitable and decent housing
  • Strong, healthy communities – working with residents and partners to build and maintain strong communities where people get the best start and live fulfilling lives
  • Staying safe and well – working with all our residents to have a good quality of life

We want to know what you think about the plan, so have your say by 20 December.

The Dorset Local Plan

We have also started work on the Dorset Local Plan.

From 2024, it will guide all building development in Dorset. It will identify sites for homes and business and will include policies to guide decisions on planning applications.

The Local Plan will cover the needs of Dorset residents and businesses through housing, jobs, improving transport networks and actions to reduce the impacts of climate change. It will also take into account the work carried out by the district and borough councils that made up Dorset Council (East, North, Purbeck, West and Weymouth & Portland).

We will work closely with local communities in the coming months to make sure the plan best meets their needs. We’ll be asking everyone in the Dorset Council area for views in late 2020. Keep up-to-date with the plan’s progress or get involved by visiting our web pages.

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Categories: Dorset

Works to repair Lyme Regis beach

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 12:45

Work to repair storm damage on Lyme Regis beach has been successfully completed.

Works to restore Lyme Regis beach have been completed successfully

Dorset Council engineers carried out the works earlier this week (11-12 November). Sand which had been washed away in the recent storm was replaced using two large dump trucks and two excavators.

Rob Clarke, Dorset Council Engineer, said: “I am pleased to say we have now completed the works to reprofile Lyme Regis beach.

“It is now looking much more healthy in terms of flood protection, which it is designed to provide. We expect to carry out works like these as storms do occur and certain wave conditions do create these issues. I would like to thanks residents for bearing with us.”

The works were co-ordinated with Lyme Regis Town Council.

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Categories: Dorset

The Weymouth Promenade Artistic Lighting Scheme is complete, and don’t they look great!

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 12:42

28 Computer-controlled LED strips have successfully been installed along Weymouth promenade between the Pier Bandstand and the Pavilion. Testing of the Weymouth Promenade Artistic Lighting Scheme completed earlier this week and from today, Weymouth bay will be lit up by a series of lighting programmes inspired by the local community.

The lighting artwork amplifies the natural rhythms of Weymouth; programmed using an astronomical clock, the lights will turn on for 30 minutes each day in time with the rising and setting of the sun. In the evening, the lights will remain on until 11:30pm in the winter and 1am in the summer, they will cycle through 10 unique active scenes that celebrate the elements and activities of Weymouth, with gentle ambient scenes in-between.

Image source: Tonkin Liu

Now complete, Dorset Council will be gifting the lights to Weymouth Town Council who will be responsible for operating and maintaining the lights.

Jane Biscombe, Weymouth Town Council Clerk said: “The lights look fantastic in the tests and we’re very much looking forward to the lights becoming a key feature of our town. They’re a great, modern addition to the seafront and are truly unique to Weymouth.”

The Weymouth Promenade Artistic Lighting Scheme is part of Dorset Coastal Connections, a portfolio of 18 connected projects managed by the Dorset Coast Forum, which aim to improve physical, digital and emotional connections to the coast in Dorset, supporting and growing the local economy. The Dorset Coast Forum have engaged extensively with the Weymouth community to feed into the design brief which Bounce Back Arts, as local artistic lead, developed. Local stakeholder knowledge and community feedback have all been taken into account to help build the lighting design with designers Tonkin Liu. Dorset Coastal Connections is a partnership portfolio supported by the Coastal Communities Fund.

The project attracted highly skilled designers and lighting specialists that worked closely with the community, councillors and officers to design and install the new lighting scheme.

Peter Christie, Dorset Council Project Engineer, Assets & Property said: “The collaboration to deliver this partnership project has been fantastic. Following a comprehensive consultation period and development of twelve different lighting scenes designed by Tonkin Liu, Dorset Council and Town Council officers have been working with A.C. Special Projects and Intratest over the past eight weeks. Despite the recent weather challenges we’ve completed the project one week ahead of schedule – and on budget.”

Claudia Moore, Chief Operations Officer at Weymouth BID said: “We Are Weymouth are incredibly proud to have been part of the collaboration that has made this project happen. The designers’ work has been informed by the natural rhythms, heritage and culture of Weymouth and this beautiful and adaptable lighting scheme works well with the technical constraints that they faced.”

Nicky Whittenham, Founding Director for Bounce Back Arts said: “This is a significant project for Weymouth and an important milestone in an ongoing journey to enrich the cultural legacy of the town. As an exciting chapter in the ongoing story of the promenade’s lighting, Tonkin Liu’s scheme will serve to delight and entertain audiences, whilst celebrating the rich heritage of our prom in a simple and contemporary way. Bounce Back Arts is proud to have been involved in this successful collaboration with project partners and thrilled to have helped bring this important and unique public artwork to life. Night-time strolls along the sea front will once more be rich with magic and atmosphere!”

Mike Tonkin, Director for Tonkin Liu said: As a child visiting Weymouth, the seafront was all about the activities and the weather. Tonkin Liu are delighted to be involved in the rejuvenation of Weymouth’s Promenade through the new lighting that celebrates and amplifies the people’s activities and the ever changing weather in the evening’s lighting with a series of scenes that tell stories about the people and place.”

Chris Little, Project Manager for A.C Special Projects Limited said: “A.C. Special Projects is proud to be involved in helping to deliver the Weymouth Promenade Artistic Lighting Scheme. The aspirational scheme utilises lighting in an innovative and creative way which enhances the seafront experience for locals and visitors. At the same time, the discreet installation is respectful of the seafront’s heritage.”

Officers from Weymouth Town Council and Dorset Council are working together to arrange a celebratory event, to be held in December once the general election has taken place. More information will be shared in due course.

The final cost of the project is £265,000, with £200,000 of this provided through a Coastal Communities Fund original grant. Other contributors are Dorset Council (£50,000) and Dorset Coast Forum, Weymouth BID and Weymouth Town Council (£5,000 each).

Image source: Tonkin Liu Coastal Communities Fund

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset is best in Britain for food safety

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 10:30

Dorset is the cleanest place to eat out in Britain – its official!

Dorset Council works with businesses to improve food safety standards.

A new hygiene map has revealed that the Dorchester (DT) postcode area has achieved the top food safety score for eating out.

Restaurants, hotels and takeaways across the area, which includes Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Blandford Forum, Beaminster, Sherborne and Sturminster Newton, achieved an average rating of 4.85 stars out of five.

This is according to data gathered by Claims Direct. They collected information from 450,000 food businesses across the UK. They found that the Dorchester postcode area was top, while parts of London scored the worst.

Tamsin Horsler, Dorset Council Food Safety Team Leader, said: “It is great news that Dorset food businesses are the cleanest in the country.

“We work closely with local business offering advice and guidance on food safety and training, as well as carrying out food safety inspections. We have already carried out hundreds of inspections this year. A total of 812 inspections have been done in the Dorchester postcode area since 1 January 2019. Generally standards in Dorset are very high, which is good news for everyone gearing up to enjoy a festive meal out.”

Dorset Council inspects food businesses that supply to customers and rates their hygiene standards. Inspectors usually work with businesses although they can also take enforcement action, such as serve hygiene improvement notices, request the premises close voluntarily or serve a prohibition notice. If necessary the council can also prosecute for food hygiene offences.

The rest of Dorset, the Bournemouth BH postcode area, also scored highly, achieving an average food safety score of 4.71 out of five. This was higher than the national average, which was 4.52.

You can find out the hygiene rating of any Dorset food business.

More information about the work Dorset Council does to improve food safety is available here.

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Categories: Dorset

Oil spill training exercise

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 14:59

An oil spill training exercise will be held in Weymouth next week.

An oil spill training exercise will take place in Weymouth

The exercise will be held on Tuesday 19 November in Weymouth Harbour, near the Ferry Steps.

The Weymouth Harbour Team arranged the event, which is called ‘Exercise Bowser’. It is part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s three-yearly requirement to test if services and other organisations can respond effectively to a fuel spill.

Keith Howorth, Weymouth Harbour Master, said: “I would like to reassure people that this is just an exercise. It is important that these training exercises are carried out to make sure we are prepared in case the worst occurs. We hope any inconvenience will be minimal.”

Use of the harbour will not be restricted. Harbour users have been asked to be careful near the exercise, which might involve booms and other equipment.

Organisations taking part in the exercise include the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Marine Management Organisation,  the Emergency Services, Portland Port, the RSPB, the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.  Adler & Allan Ltd Marine Response Team will be running the exercise, on behalf of the Weymouth Harbour Team, who will be taking part.

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Categories: Dorset

Countdown on parking permit survey

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 12:06

Parking permit holders in Weymouth have got two weeks left to have their say and help change conditions for the better.

Over the last five weeks, Dorset Council has been asking residents with permits in Zones A & C in the Park District to get involved and share their views on the future of their permit scheme.

Following a petition by local residents frustrated with parking conditions in the Park District, the council launched a survey to reshape the permit scheme with help from residents.

Residents are being asked to have their say on a range of permit-related questions, including if there should be free permits for ‘green’ vehicles, if they would pay more for a permit that covered parking in a car park, removing one-hour spaces and restricting business parking permits.

Residents are also be asked if they think incremental charges should be brought in, with each additional car permit costing more.

Paul Hutton, Dorset Council Parking Services Manager, said: “We’ve had a relatively good response so far, with over 150 completed surveys, but we really do want to hear from as many people as possible. The results of the survey will directly impact on the future of the residents on-street parking permit scheme in the Park District.

“We know that the main problem in the area is the significant difference in the number of spaces available and the number of people wishing to park their cars. We can’t create additional space on the road, but there are other options available to help better manage the situation.”

For anyone unable to access the online survey, members of the parking services team will be available at the Park District Community Centre, Chelmsford Street from 4pm to 8pm on Tuesday 19 November.

The survey is available until Sunday 1 December.

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Categories: Dorset

Right of way reopens at Lodmoor Nature Reserve

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 10:13

The right of way across the Lodmoor Nature Reserve in Weymouth has reopened this morning following completion of maintenance works.

Engineers replaced a failing culvert system to help reduce upstream flood risk. This allows the RSPB to better manage the reserve and meet their objectives set out in the Country Stewardship Agreement by Natural England.

The new infrastructure supports the RSPB’s plans for important ecological work at the reserve. More information can be found here.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council calls on businesses for their views on Council’s Economic Growth Strategy

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 15:40

Dorset Council is seeking the views of local businesses on the council’s vision and strategy for economic growth at a series of Business Breakfast events during November and December.

The events will take place across the council’s area and representatives from businesses of all sizes and all sectors are invited to inform and influence the council on future economic growth and investment opportunities.

There will be an opportunity to meet key council representatives and hear more about how the council’s plans to support businesses in the area.  Business support organisations will also be there to discuss local business needs and networking and a welcoming breakfast are on the agenda too.

The event dates and venues are:

18 November – The Exchange, Sturminster Newton

27 November  – Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy

2 December  – Dorford Centre, Dorchester

5 December – Springfield Country Hotel, Wareham

12 December – Queen Elizabeth’s School, Wimborne

13 December – Amsafe, Bridport

David Walsh, Economic Growth and Regeneration Manager said, “Sustainable economic growth is a key priority for the council and we recognise that this can only be achieved if we are working in partnership with, and with support of businesses and relevant organisations across the area.

The Business Breakfast events offer the opportunity for the council to gain views and responses to our draft Economic Growth Strategy. All the information gathered will then be taken into consideration prior to the final strategy being published in the new year.”

Book your place

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council appoints new lead for children’s social care

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 13:31

Alison Montgomery has been appointed as Dorset Council’s Corporate Director for Care and Protection.

Alison is currently the Head of Strengthening Families at the City of Wolverhampton Council. She has more than 17 years’ experience of working with children and families, as well as 11 years’ experience of working for the police.

Alison has worked in local authorities in England and Scotland and has also spent time with Children and Family Court Support and Advisory Service (CAFCAS).

Married with a 17-year-old son, Alison currently lives in Derbyshire. She said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for me. It’s great to be joining the new Dorset Council at a time when they’re transforming the way they work to provide the best possible support for families. I’m looking forward to moving to Dorset and making sure the needs of children and young people are at the heart of what the council does.”

Dorset Council’s Staffing Committee finalised the appointment today and Alison will join the council in spring 2020.

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

“I’m delighted that Alison will be joining the team here in Dorset. We’re working hard to improve the lives of children and families, so it’ll be great to have Alison share her knowledge and expertise with us.”

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Categories: Dorset

8 things to know about 30 hours free childcare

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 15:32

To claim up to 30 hours free childcare from January 2020, parents should apply now to get their eligibility code.

1. How do I apply?


You, and your partner if you have one, will need your:

• National Insurance Number

• Details of one or more of the following: your UK Passport, tax credits, P60 or a recent payslip

If you have any trouble with the online application, call the Childcare Funding helpline on 0300 123 4097

Apply now

2. What should I do once I receive my eligibility code?

If you’re not already using childcare, you can use our Family Information Directory to find a childcare provider who is signed up to offer free early education and childcare. If you already have a childcare provider, you will need to check that they offer 30 hours free childcare.

You will need to take your code and National Insurance number to your chosen provider to be checked and to reserve your place in good time.

Find a childcare provider

3. What will I need to pay for?

The 30 hours free childcare offer does not cover the cost of additional services, activities or consumables, such as lunch, nappies, trips or music classes and your childcare provider may charge extra for these. However, you shouldn’t be required to pay any fee as a condition of taking up a 30 hours place, and should be offered alternative options, such as choosing to provide your child’s own lunch.

Find out more

4. I only work part time hours, am I eligible?

You don’t need to be working full time hours in order to be eligible.

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn at least the equivalent of working 16 hours a week at your national minimum wage. You must be earning under £100,000 per year to claim.

If you are a working parent, it is likely you will be eligible and you should check whether you can claim.

Check full criteria

5. Do I have to use all 30 hours per week?

No, you can choose as much as you like, up to a maximum of 30 hours per week over 38 weeks. Some childcare providers may allow you to use your free hours over more weeks by using less hours each week. For instance, you could take 22 hours a week for 52 weeks. Speak to your childcare provider about how they offer 30 hours.

Find out more

6. Can I use more than one childcare provider?

You can split the entitlement between multiple providers, for example between a childminder and a session at pre-school. However, you cannot use with more than two providers in one day.

If you’re struggling to find childcare, Dorset’s Family Information Service can help. If you’ve been unable to find what you’re looking for on the Family Information Directory, contact us and we’ll do all we can to help.

Contact the Family Information Service

7. I’m not eligible, what other help can I get?

All 3 and 4 year-olds are eligible for 15 hours a week free childcare. Details of all funding options can be found on the Childcare Choices website. There is also a Childcare Calculator so you can find out which options work best for your family.

Visit Childcare Choices

8. I’m already claiming, do I need to do anything else?

Yes, you need to reconfirm that you are still eligible every three months. You must do this even if your child hasn’t started their 30 hours place.  If you’re claiming 30 hours, you’re likely to also be able to get Tax-Free Childcare. You can claim this for all children under 12 years old.

How to reconfirm eligibility

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Categories: Dorset

Ridgeway Singers coming to Weymouth Library and Learning Centre

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 12:12

As part of their annual Christmas concert series, The Ridgeway Singers and Band will be performing at Weymouth Library on Wednesday 11 December.

This exciting event is the largest to date and forms part of Dorset Council’s ‘Libraries as Cultural Hubs’ programme. The performance from the Ridgeway Singers and Band will include locally collected folk songs and carols as part of their annual Christmas concert series.

Simon Bailey, Head of Customer Services, Libraries and Archives, said:

“Weymouth Library and Learning Centre is a brand new venue for the band this year. Our flexible, new layout enables these popular annual concerts to perform at a venue in the heart of Weymouth and easily accessible by public transport. I hope this marks the start of many future concerts at Weymouth Library for the Ridgeway Band.”

The Ridgeway concerts are a sell-out success every year and tickets, priced at £8 each can be purchased through Eventbrite or directly from the library.

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Categories: Dorset

New digital taster sessions at The Tangerine Cafe

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:10

A new local volunteer is offering free one to one courses of a digital flavour based at his own café.

Digital sessions are being held on Monday and Tuesday afternoons at The Tangerine Café in Beaminster, a comfortable and relaxing community space which Chris Sims owns with his poet wife Sue.  Book your first session or simply turn up at the café and if you find your first session useful book more – all for free.

Around 21% of people are not confident using the internet – that’s around 150,000 people across Dorset. And 70,000 of these have never been online.

Chris said:  “I can offer help to people of all abilities. There is no escaping digital so if you are nervous about joining the digital age and you have a problem my aim is to help you get the best use of digital that you can.  I also gain a lot of enjoyment from sorting out more complicated issues working through solutions forensically!

“So many government and public services require you to have the skills to access essential services on the internet, such as NHS repeat prescriptions, booking appointments, Universal Credit, passports, UK Citizenship, or Government pensions. With the closure of bank branches, it is becoming essential to be able to use online banking safely and securely and I can help with that.”

“Digital can also bring joy for example by bringing friends and family together, Skype makes it easy to stay in touch with loved ones as if they were there beside you.”

Chris is one of a band of more than 75 Dorset Digital Champions who help and support people in the local community to use the internet and gain basic online skills such as:

• learning to use a device (laptop, smartphone, tablet etc)
• setting up email and contacts
• sharing photos and managing photo storage
• online safety
• using search engines such as Google or Bing
• printing
• updates and backing up
• using apps
• finding cheaper utilities
• online banking and Paypal
• connecting to wifi

With a lifetime of business and IT skills at his fingertips gained during his career as a finance director Chris has a wealth of lifetime experience he is ready to share.

Call us on 01305 221048 and we will book you in for a session with Chris or match you with a volunteer Digital Champion in your own area.

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Categories: Dorset

We’ve been shortlisted for LGC Awards!

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 14:25

The 2020 Local Government Chronicle Awards (LGC) shortlist has been unveiled and we are delighted to announce we have been nominated in four of the categories.

The teams have managed to beat hundreds of submissions to reach the finals. The shortlisted projects include:

  • Business Transformation – joint submission with BCP for the creation of two new unitary councils
  • Driving efficiency through technology – Education Health and Care Plan tracker
  • Environmental Services – Low Carbon Dorset
  • Housing Initiative – Healthy Homes Dorset pilot project and the Warm Homes Fund Innovation strand

The Awards have grown to be the biggest celebration of excellence in local government and recognises the hard work of teams and individuals. This year, a record 700 entries were received, so well done to the nominated teams.

The next step is to complete presentations and interviews to a specific judging panel that is made up of senior and influential figures within local government.

The winners of the Awards will then be announced at a prestigious ceremony at Grosvenor House, London on 18 March.

The full list of finalists can be seen here.

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Categories: Dorset

25 years of helping young people

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:56

Jackie and Mike have provided supported lodgings for  young people in their home for 25 years.

Supported Lodgings is a service that provides a young person with a room of their own in a private home to help prepare them for living on their own.

They explain how they became supported lodging carers:

“We got into providing a supported lodging by accident. We put our details on an accommodation list at the local college and we had a call asking if we would take a homeless young person to live with us and it has evolved since then.

The Hardings provide a safe and supportive environment to help and support young people to gain skills for independent adult life.

“Our kids have been very accepting, and we’ve only had a couple of placements that didn’t get on. Mostly young people lodging with us integrate with the family, have friends over and everyone mucks in together.”

Every young person who has stayed with them has different experiences and needs. Families who provide lodgings are not on their own with support from social workers and other professionals to help the young person become independent.

“We work with them to learn every day skills like budgeting, cleaning and cooking.”

Chloe is 19 and is lodging with Jackie and Mike. She has spent a lot of time within the foster care. She says:

“It’s the best placement I’ve ever been in… it’s home. It’s lovely knowing that you’re not moving on. I can do my college course without worrying.

Chloe is taking a performing arts course at college and she’s working in a care home part-time to earn money to pay for driving lessons and a holiday.

If you have a spare room and think you can help a young person become independent then visit our website to find out more 

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Categories: Dorset

Smallholder sentenced and banned from keeping animals

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:11

A man who caused suffering to goats, ferrets and poultry by failing to properly care for them on his smallholding in North Dorset has been prosecuted and disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years.

On Wednesday 6 November, at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court, Dennis Thorne (aged 43) of Kington Magna, Gillingham was sentenced to 14 weeks’ imprisonment – suspended for 12 months – and a Community Order to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation. He was also ordered to pay £600 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £115.

Thorne had pleaded guilty on 14 October 2019 to six offences under animal health and welfare legislation following an investigation by Dorset Council Trading Standards.  This included four offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing unnecessary suffering to a flock of 30-40 poultry, two goats and two ferrets, by failing to provide them with appropriate care and one offence of failing to inspect his animals at regular intervals.

He also pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to tag his two goats, which is legally required to prevent animal disease spread.

Back in March this year, officers from the Trading Standards team visited land Mr. Thorne rented at Okeford Fitzpaine, near Sturminster Newton. They discovered the carcasses of around 20 ducks, chicken and geese littering the animal enclosure. The few surviving poultry were emaciated and in filthy conditions. Two emaciated goats were also found in a small pen with no clean water or dry lying area. In a nearby barn were cages containing the carcasses of two ferrets. The cages were filthy and all of the drinking containers were empty. Despite having received previous advice from the team, the goats were not tagged.

All the animals remaining in Mr Thorne’s possession were seized by Trading Standards under the Animal Health Act and then cared for by the RSPCA. Thorne later agreed to give up his ownership of them.

The court was advised that Thorne had received a formal caution from the RSPCA in 2009 for causing unnecessary suffering to a horse.

Ivan Hancock, Service Manager for Trading Standards at Dorset Council, said:

“Our Trading Standards team work with livestock keepers to improve the welfare of their animals, but when advice and basic animal husbandry is ignored, formal action is considered.

“All livestock keepers have a clear responsibility to ensure conditions they keep animals in, and the care they are given, is adequate. Where there is evidence of unnecessary suffering we will intervene and consider formal enforcement action.”

For health and welfare advice on keeping farmed animals or to report an animal welfare problem Dorset residents can call the Trading Standards animal health line on 01305 224475, or email

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Categories: Dorset

Weymouth harbour works update 

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 16:02

Work to maintain Weymouth’s historic harbour is continuing.  

Harbour works are continuing

Storm delays and difficult ground conditions means the contractor will work on Saturdays, starting on 9 November, to keep the project on track.

Nearby residents on Customs Quay have already been informed about the Saturday working, which will take place between 8am and 2pm.

Peter Christie, Dorset Council Project Engineer, said: “The project team are working hard to keep things on track. This work is vital to maintain our harbour walls. Saturday working is within the contract, but only used when absolutely necessary. In this case, the contractor is keen to not prolong the piling period and to complete the project before Christmas.

“I’d like to thank residents and businesses for bearing with us and apologise for any inconvenience.”

The work has been planned and paid for by Dorset Council and is being carried out by a contractor, Knights Brown.

The work involves replacing 76 metres of quay wall. Engineers are driving a new line of sheet steel piles, which are like an interlocking steel barrier, into the ground in front of the existing harbour wall.

The piles are now being driven into the ground. The hammering in, which often causes the most noise, will only be done for short periods of the day, but the duration is dependent on the ground conditions. The gap between the new and old piles will then be filled with concrete. The new structure will be capped with concrete and the quayside restored with equipment for mooring vessels.

Around £1.9 million has been allocated to maintain this section and another section of harbour wall near Nelson’s Wharf, which is also in need of repair.

Please email enquiries about the works to:


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Categories: Dorset

New guides to help with housing problems

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 14:41

New guides have been launched for homeowners, tenants and landlords.

The first guide helps you tackle damp, condensation and mould issues which can appear, or get worse, when it gets colder. Our other new guide explains how to resolve on-going safety or repair issues with rented homes.

As the temperature drops, you may notice problems with damp, condensation or mould in your home. If so, get our new guide on how to identify and control these common problems. It’s a practical step-by-step guide to recognising what’s causing the problem and what to do to prevent and control damp, condensation or mould.

The guide explains the importance of keeping your home well maintained, properly heated, ventilated and insulated to help prevent problems.

Dealing with landlords

If you’re renting your home, the guide tells you what to do if you feel it is in disrepair or your heating or ventilation isn’t adequate. If, after you’ve taken the steps outlined in the leaflet and your landlord still hasn’t acted, the Council can provide further advice and help.

Get information and advice on controlling damp, condensation and mould here.

If you’re a tenant struggling to get your landlord to make your home safe or do necessary repairs, our new Housing Standards guide will give you advice on how to get the problem sorted.

Keeping a rented home up to a good standard is a joint effort between tenant and landlord. Landlords are required to make sure that the homes they rent are in good repair, safe and in good condition. The new Housing Standards guide explains how to report a problem and what you need to do. If you have an on-going problem with your rented home that your landlord is not progressing, our guide gives you useful information and advice on how to help resolve the issue.

If you’ve taken the steps outlined in the leaflet and your landlord still hasn’t acted, the Council can get involved to help you sort the problem out.

Download the Housing Standards guide here.


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Categories: Dorset

Council agrees to consult on funding to voluntary and community sector organisations

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 10:38

Officers sought approval from Cabinet on Tuesday (5 November) to consult the voluntary and community sector (VCS) on a range of funding options for 2020-21, and to review the level of funding to the VCS for future years.

At the meeting and following public statements from a variety of voluntary organisations, members of the public and Dorset Councillors, Cabinet agreed to carry out consultation as set out in the paper, but for an extended period of time. After some debate, Cabinet members also agreed to continue with current funding agreements.

Dorset Council currently spends £1.8m funding the VCS in Dorset and recognises the valuable contribution this sector makes to local communities, particularly in terms of helping people early on when they are facing problems, before they reach crisis point.

Cllr Tony Alford, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Regulatory Services said:

“It’s so important that we listen to our partners and colleagues in the community and voluntary sector. This is especially so in times of change. Dorset Council is seeking to establish a basis of funding support that is not only fair and equitable, but also transparent. We will therefore encourage the sector to give us their views and we will take them into consideration. The funding arrangements currently in place will carry on until the new approach is adopted.”

Prior to the creation of Dorset Council on 1 April 2019, the previous district, borough and county councils provided various levels of funding for the sector with some areas benefiting more than others.

The proposed review of VCS funding seeks to address this inequality across the Dorset Council area and deliver some modest savings (between £0 and £160k) for the council’s 2020-21 budget.

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Categories: Dorset

Picture This! Rita puts her new digital skills at the great-grandkids fingertips

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 16:09

Anyone wanting to improve their digital skills to stay in touch with friends and family can book for free, one to one help ahead of Christmas.

Dorset Council has a network of 75 volunteers who run free, one-to-one computer help sessions in libraries and other venues across the county. They can help with everything from switching on a computer and using the internet safely, to managing email and learning to use video calls.

Rita, a learner in her 80s, who lives in Verwood, has taken all she has learnt from her Digital Champion one step further and is now teaching her great-grandchildren how to create photo albums.

Rita said:  “My digital skills were very “hit or miss” when I started.  I had a new tablet but I didn’t understand which buttons to press and on a scale of ten I scored about one!

I heard about help from the Digital Champion at Verwood Library and I thought I could only improve!

“My friends and family were very knowledgeable and I felt left behind.  My great granddaughter would take lots of photos but I couldn’t join in. But now I am taking lovely photos of family and also of my holiday cruises and storing them in different albums and sharing them – and they can’t do that!   They think I am quite clever – I am one step ahead!”

Rita is also using her Digital Champion’s expertise to help her prepare for the years ahead, in case she finds she is less able to get out.  She has learnt how to do online shopping, how to use the doctor’s website to order medication and can now renew and order books from the library.

Rita added: “My next challenge is to keep in touch more regularly with my friend in Australia.  I haven’t seen her for many years and I wish I could do Skype – we ring each other once a year.”  Rita’s friend already uses Skype to keep in touch with family in the UK, so Rita is planning to be skyping her soon!

Cllr. Gary Suttle, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Skills , Dorset Council said:  “We all recognise the link between having strong and meaningful social connections and living a healthy and successful life.  Skype is one of the digital tools we are encouraging people to use more.  It is more personal because you can see someone close up to have a regular catch up.  You may be unlikely to travel to Australia but you can keep in contact with friends and family wherever you are which is good for our overall health.”

Rita added:” It is so much easier to learn when you have one to one support and it is free.  The Digital Champions help you at your own pace and they are very patient.”

If you would like help to keep in contact digitally with friends and family this Christmas, take and share photos, book a doctor’s appointment, renew your library books or just switch on the computer then please call 01305 221048 or visit your local library and we will match you with a volunteer in your area.

Further enquiries:  Gill Patterson, Communications Officer (Interim) Superfast Dorset & Digital Inclusion

Further information:

Get help with computers with Superfast Dorset

LearnMyWay A couple of examples are – using email – or how to use GP services online –

For anyone who uses a computer and wants to practice email or look up GP services themselves, could use “LearnMyWay” which is provided by a national digital inclusion charity.

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Categories: Dorset