Dorset Destroyers doing “wheelie” well

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:57

Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club was founded in March 2014, due to a lack of clubs in the South of England, with the nearest being in Southampton. Sue Coombs, Nick Coombs and Paul Sutherland founded the club after they recognised demand for wheelchair sport and wanted to do something about it. With grant funding support and advice from Dorset County Council and a cash injection from the 2012 Health & Wellbeing Legacy Fund of just over £11,000, the club has developed into an incredible success story.

Dorset Destroyers in action

Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils, the Steve Bernard Foundation and Sport England, amongst many others have also provided support and funding to this initiative.

From small beginnings the club now has an established team in the national league. They have raised funds of over £120,000 to develop the club, purchased 20 specially adapted rugby wheelchairs and is now competing in the new version of Wheelchair Rugby (which they have helped to develop) called Wheelchair Rugby 5’s.

The club is a great example of how we can work together to help community clubs and ventures. With a little support to get things started, the passion and enthusiasm to be part of something special has flourished. This has created a social environment providing a real sense of belonging and achievement for those who otherwise may have limited opportunities.

The club is now one of the largest in Europe and is currently planning a minimum of a 24-hour Wheelchair Rugby Marathon on Saturday 17 March, with ambitions of achieving a world record. The club wants to raise further funds to purchase more rugby wheelchairs and to set up an ex-services military personnel wheelchair rugby team.

And it doesn’t stop there! Not only do they run a wheelchair rugby club, but they have also set up other wheelchair sports including tennis, badminton, self-defence and disability shooting. Last month saw the launch of The Dorset Devils Wheelchair Basketball Club, to great success.

Founder, Nick Coombs, is excited for the future. “We are planning a Centre of Disability Sporting Excellence in Poole. Run by the same bunch of mates who started it all up and run by disabled people for disabled people. We spend nothing on staff or costs, we run it on a very tight budget, but it works. Watch out for the next four years, if you thought the first four were good!”

For more information visit:

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Categories: Dorset

Easter Fun at the Castle

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:40


Over the Easter weekend from the 30 March – 2nd April, Highcliffe Castle hosts their popular Easter Trail through the Castle grounds. The trail sees you take a journey through the woodland, and recently opened Rothesay Park, answering questions as you go. Best of all, there is a prize for everyone at the end!

Jack Hartwell, Events and Functions Coordinator at Highcliffe Castle commented: “We really enjoy hosting the Easter Trail here at Highcliffe Castle.  It has always gone down a treat with all the family and it allows visitors to explore our lovely grounds.  

“This year is especially exciting as visitors will get the chance to see the newly opened grounds and natural children’s play area.”

The trail costs £2 each and is open from 11am – 4pm, a perfect family fun activity.


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Categories: Dorset

Weather warnings for the weekend

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 14:01
Weather Warnings

The Met Office has forecast a wintry spell of weather over the weekend (March 17 and 18).

There is the potential for drifting snow, especially over hills and moors, along with cold winds, high wind chill and widespread icy conditions.

A yellow warning for snow is currently in place for the weekend. However, there is still the potential for snow and ice to remain until Tuesday 20 March. Read more about your local area here.


We operate a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol. This means if the weather is close to freezing for three nights we can place anyone who is homeless in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation. We are putting this in place for the next three nights.

If you have concerns about anyone who may be sleeping rough, you can contact Streetlink on 0300 500 0914.

Challenging road conditions

Roads are being prepared. Our Highways teams are monitoring the forecast and will adjust plans accordingly. They expect to work through the night on Saturday and Sunday and will be carrying out gritting at various times over the weekend.

Take a look at our gritting map to see the network of roads we treat and plough during the winter.

Check the Travel Dorset pages before making any journeys.

Winter driving top tips…

  • Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible
  • Move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip
  • Maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front, leaving as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap
  • Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear
  • Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary
  • Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer
  • Make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front

Up-to-date information about which schools are closed can be found on our website. But please check with your school to confirm.

Transport is still planned and we will update the Dorset For You webpage on Monday. Transport may operate slightly slower than usual, but we have no plans to cancel anything at this stage.

Check on your neighbours

If you have elderly neighbours who might find these wintry conditions challenging, why not call round to see if they are okay and warm enough? Find out more information on keeping warm and well. 

Rubbish and recycling

Cold weather may disrupt your bin collections. We will update the severe weather disruption page as we get more information.

Household recycling centres (HRCs) may close at short notice if conditions on-site are considered to be unsafe. If you intend to visit an HRC in the next few days, please check online before setting off.

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Categories: Dorset

Council thanks community and businesses following Weymouth Peninsula events

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:50

Hundreds of residents and businesses were involved in initial discussions about ambitious plans for Weymouth Peninsula this week.

Artist’s impression of what the Weymouth Peninsula development could look like.


Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has thanked everyone who attended the three engagement sessions this week for their constructive views about the proposal.

The council unveiled initial ideas for the landmark to more than 200 residents and businesses.

All-weather attractions, new walkways and harbour improvements were among the most popular proposals in new plans to breathe fresh life into Weymouth Peninsula.

Vibrant destination

The project is part of plans to transform Weymouth and Portland into a vibrant, year-round destination for visitors and provide more leisure facilities for residents.

Proposals include under-cover leisure attractions, car parking, restaurants, a ‘boutique’ hotel and a larger mid-range hotel, and improved harbour and marine facilities.

They would complement Weymouth Pavilion and Jurassic Skyline attractions already on the site as well as other facilities and businesses in the town.

People are able to have their say on the proposals in an online survey, which is open until Friday 6 April.

Constructive and insightful

Speaking after the events, Councillor Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and briefholder for finance and assets, said:

“The council has been considering how to best use community assets to launch a regeneration of the offering to the community, visitors and businesses, for some years.

“Since 2015, we have taken a conscious decision to move away from aiming for the maximum price to ensuring we create legacy sites which remain accessible to the community but also raise our game as an all year round destination for visitors.

“The peninsula proposals are the first fruits of this new ambitious approach and will shortly be followed by new plans for the North Quay site and for Commercial Road.

“I was delighted to see so many people come along and give their views. And my personal thanks to everyone who came along from local businesses and the wider community for contributing both constructive and insightful views.

“It’s clear that we are all equally committed to the development of the iconic peninsula site and the future of the borough.

“This development and the other plans we have will go a long way to transforming the borough into a year-round destination of choice and to improving on our reputation as one of the top coastal tourist resorts in the country.

“This is crucial for the future growth and prosperity of the community and local economy and for the generations to come.”

Bigger plans for town

The Weymouth Peninsula redevelopment scheme is part of the Weymouth Town Centre Masterplan, which outlines the regeneration of five key areas with new homes, jobs and top quality cultural and leisure facilities.

The peninsula project aims to appeal to families and new visitors. It also aims to appeal to those who use the harbour for fishing and yachting.

Some buildings and the redundant ferry terminal on the peninsula are due to be demolished, and work and repairs will also take place on a section of the Harbour Walls.

All views welcome

We will consider the views expressed at the events and in the online survey before submitting an outline planning application to establish principles of development on the site.

The outline planning application will focus on the scale and size of the development.

The council has not yet decided the exact type of indoor leisure attractions and hotel and restaurant operators. If the planning committee approves the outline plan, we would draw up a more detailed scheme. We will use comments and suggestions from the current engagement exercise to develop the final designs, which will form the formal planning application.

Cllr Cant added: “This is very much a community asset and all views are important.

“I encourage anyone who was unable to visit the exhibition to catch up with the plans at Weymouth library or online and fill in our survey.

“With such a large and complex project we won’t be able to deliver everything everyone wants. But we are committed to consider all suggestions before we submit an outline planning application later in the spring.

“We intend to deliver a redevelopment that the community can be proud of.”

The exhibition boards and visuals from the exhibition are on show in Weymouth library until Friday 30 March.

The online survey will be available until 6 April at

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Categories: Dorset

Council builds for future with housing company

Dorset For You - Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:10

Councillors have backed ambitious plans to help tackle housing shortages in West Dorset by building a mix of new homes.

West Dorset District Council launch Local Authority Trading Company.

These will include open market sale, shared ownership sale, open market rent and affordable/social housing for rent.

Members of West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee approved a recommendation to set up a Local Authority Trading Company with initial funding of £4m from council reserves.

This funding will be used to operate the business, acquire sites and fund development.

The move is part of the council’s innovative Opening Doors campaign, which aims to seize the initiative to meet housing need at a local level when faced with a lower number of active developers that can typically be found in larger urban areas.

It comes 25 years after the district council transferred its housing stock to the then West Dorset Housing Association in 1993. That organisation has since become Magna Housing.

The council recognises that local housing associations do a great job but the area still needs more housing provision with 1,572 people on the council’s Housing Register.

The new company will:

  • Target areas of need that are not currently being served by locally-based housing developers
  • Work with community land trusts to deliver smaller sites
  • Acquire new land as well as developing the council’s own
  • Acquire sites that have been granted planning consent for housing but not brought forward
  • Work with other developers and housing associations where its involvement can unlock development that would otherwise have not taken place

Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We are determined to do everything in our power at a local level to tackle housing shortages.

“More good quality homes of all tenures are absolutely vital for the future of our communities and strength of our local economy.

“A Local Authority Trading Company will give us a degree of greater control over the tenure and location of housing developments whilst also offering significant potential to help ameliorate housing shortages.

“In addition to increasing the supply of housing locally, receipts from the sale of properties and rents would create revenue streams that in the longer term could be reinvested in further housing provision.”

Cllr Yarker added: “Opening Doors is about the council being proactive to tackle housing problems.

“We are one of a number of councils nationwide taking such an innovative approach and establishing a Local Authority Trading Company could be one of the most important steps we take.”

The council aims to develop the homes using local labour which could help create more jobs and boost the local economy.

Opening Doors aims to encourage the construction of a total of 20,000 good quality homes of all tenures by 2033 across the areas covered by West Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

The councils have also launched a Home Ownership Register to gauge demand for different types of homes and in what areas, and feed information to prospective buyers about new developments that they might be interested in.

For more details and to sign the register visit

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Categories: Dorset

Askerswell put forward Neighbourhood Plan

Dorset For You - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 13:44

Askwerswell have been preparing a neighbourhood plan that they want to be used when planning decisions are made.

Askerswell Neighbourhood Plan submitted to district council

The parish meeting has asked West Dorset District Council to arrange for its proposed plan to be assessed by an independent examiner.

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

“Neighbourhood plans are a great way for a community to help shape future development in their area. I would encourage people with an interest in the Askerswell area to have their say on the plan before 23 April.”

Consultation is currently taking place on the plan, details of which can be found on or by contacting West Dorset District Council’s Planning Policy Team by email at

All comments must be received by Monday 23 April. These will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan. The examiner’s report is expected later this year and, depending upon what this says, the district council will arrange for a referendum within the parish to decide if the plan should come into force.

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Categories: Dorset

£50k to improve Weymouth Town Centre

Dorset For You - Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:40

A report last week was approved by Management Committee at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

The committee agreed to allocate £50,000, from the one off project reserves budget to the Town Centre Management Budget. This money will support works to improve the ‘look and feel’ of Weymouth Town Centre.

The decision was also taken to allocate £40,000 from the one off project reserves budget to fund the salary of  a new Conservation Enforcement Officer. This role will be tasked with improving the condition of buildings and shopfronts in the conservation area. This is required to assist in the removal of the Conservation Area from Historic England’s “At Risk” list.

Enhancing the offer for residents, visitors and businesses

Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “We are committed to enhancing the offer of Weymouth for residents, visitors and businesses. Our Town Centre Manager Ed Warr [read his introduction here] has made great steps in establishing working relationships with key partners. These include Dorset County Council, the BID, the Chamber, Dorset Police, local businesses and others. We expect to submit our application for Purple Flag status for the town as part of our efforts to enhance the town centre visitor and community experience.  This would sit well alongside the current Green Flag status for our exceptional parks, and Blue Flag for our fantastic beach.”

Improvements List: Town Centre priority improvement projects

This money will support a number of key projects. These have been identified for the Council to improve the look and appeal of the town centre:

  • Ongoing management of the enhanced pedestrianisation of St Mary and St Thomas Streets (new bollards and daily locking-unlocking regime
  • Extension of the enhanced pedestrianisation to other town centre streets
  • Replacement of out of date visitor and pedestrian signage from the railway station arrival point and then throughout the town centre
  • High pressure washing of pedestrian areas
  • The installation of hanging baskets around the town by the end of April 2018 in time for the season
  • Physical refurbishment of the streets including:
    • Reinstatement of brick paviers installed in the 1980s at over 30 locations throughout the town centre where they have been removed for safety reasons and replaced with black tarmac
    • Refurbishment and replacement of 40 damaged litter bins and street furniture (12 bins already replaced)
    • Refurbishment of utility company fixtures and fittings
    • Carriageway repairs and replacement of faded road markings at 6 locations in the town centre

Our Town Centre Manager will be blogging for us every month from April with a progress update on the improvements list.

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Categories: Dorset

Christchurch Borough Council agrees next steps

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 20:22

Members of Christchurch Borough Council have reaffirmed their commitment to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Joint Committee at their Full Council meeting on 13 March 2018.

Members noted the legal opinion of the QC as to whether the decision of the Secretary of State and the process he had followed was challengeable. The opinion stated there was no arguable error in law and members have decided the best course of action moving forward is for the Leader and Deputy Leader to meet with counsel to seek further clarification and advice.

Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said: “It is important that following the legal opinion we meet with counsel to fully discuss the contents and explore any further advice and options that might be available.

“We are committed to the Joint Committee and will continue to work with our colleagues at Bournemouth and Poole to ensure the local government reorganisation secures the best possible outcomes for Christchurch residents.”

Members voted 14 in favour with seven against in support of the recommendation.

You can watch a recording of the meeting on youtube here.


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Categories: Dorset

New rules drawn-up for public places after listening to your views

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 17:40

More than 500 people have had their say about how public places should be managed in West Dorset.

Feeding of seagulls banned under new order.

After listening to your views, West Dorset District Council has drawn-up new rules about public places and in particular feeding seagulls. The rules on consuming alcohol in public remain largely the same, but the ban on feeding seagulls is new.

The result is the West Dorset Anti-Social Behaviour Related Public Space Protection Order 2018. These new rules will come into effect on 23 April 2018.

After considering 579 responses the council decided to simplify the existing regulations and replace the two existing orders.

The new rules aim to reduce the problem of aggressive seagulls and ensure anti-social behaviour remains low in West Dorset.

Councillor Alan Thacker, Community Safety & Access Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to have their say and let the district council know how they think public spaces should be managed.

“We looked carefully at the results and have tried to take a common sense approach, which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour still further and reduce the problem of aggressive seagulls.”

More information and maps will be available shortly here.


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Categories: Dorset

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils receive Gold Award for charitable giving

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 15:19

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils have been presented with Gold Award Certificates from Pennies from Heaven fundraising. The awards were received in recognition of the high percentage of staff participating in the scheme, with one in four members of staff donating each month.

Pennies from Heaven is a simple concept which means net salaries are rounded down to the nearest pound on a monthly basis and the pennies are then donated to charity. Over the last year staff across the Partnership have collectively donated over £8000 to charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Barnardo’s.

Matti Raudsepp, Strategic Director, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “Christchurch and East Dorset Councils are proud to continue to support this inventive scheme. The pennies deducted individually are hardly noticeable, but when combined, these small donations go on to make a big difference.

“It is fantastic that the collective generosity of our staff has been recognised with this Gold Award. We will continue to promote participation in the scheme as it’s great to be able to support such worthwhile charities.”

Pennies from Heaven thanked and congratulated Christchurch and East Dorset Councils for their support and continue to take the small change to make a big change.

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Categories: Dorset

Have your say on plans to revitalise Weymouth landmark

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/13/2018 - 09:36

Residents and the business community are invited to have their say on plans to transform one of Weymouth’s most prominent landmarks. This week, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will unveil proposals to breathe new life into the Peninsula.

Artist’s impression of Weymouth Peninsula site

The initial ideas – including new leisure facilities, hotels and restaurants – will be revealed at two public exhibitions on Wednesday March 14 and Thursday March 15, plus an additional meeting for business and hotel representatives.

These proposals will complement the Jurassic Skyline tower and Pavilion Theatre already on the site, as well as meeting the council’s Town Centre Masterplan objective of creating an all-year destination.

Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Leader and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:

“This is the first of three major regeneration projects. Our aim is to reposition the Borough as a thriving all year round destination of choice. The development of this site aims to blend the vigour of a working harbour town with a wider choice of all-weather attractions.

“We aim to fully engage with the community to ensure we deliver what is best for local businesses and residents. Together we know we can transform this area for present and future generations.

“Development of the town centre and the Weymouth Peninsula are vital for the future sustainability, growth and prosperity of our community”.

The council is holding two public engagement events to gather residents’ views before the initial ideas are developed further for an outline planning application later in the Spring.

The scheme is part of the Weymouth Town Centre Masterplan, which outlines the regeneration of five key areas of Weymouth town centre, resulting in new homes, jobs and top quality cultural and leisure facilities.

Leisure-led plans for the Peninsula were influenced from feedback in previous consultation with residents on the Masterplan.

Proposals include a mixture of indoor leisure buildings, a boutique hotel, a mid-range hotel, a number of restaurants, harbour and marine facilities and car parking.

And as well as providing additional tourism, harbour and leisure facilities there will also be attractive landscaping and improved pedestrian walkways to complement other attractions in the town. New harbour facilities intend to be provided where fisherman may be able to sell their catch direct to the public.

The council has already approved £250,000 outside of this project for a major external makeover of the iconic Pavilion Theatre which will remain situated at the gateway of the Peninsula. The Jurassic Skyline will retain its current position.

Some buildings and the redundant ferry terminal on the Peninsula will be demolished, and £2m worth of work and repairs will also take place on a section of the Harbour Walls.

Cllr Cant added: “These outline plans seek approval in principle for this type of development on the Peninsula and it is essential that residents and businesses play their part in ensuring we get the best result.

“Your views are important in influencing the final plans which will create new jobs and boost the local economy to the benefit of everyone. Please find time to engage with the public events and go online to express your views”.

Following public consultation Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will submit an outline planning application. If that is approved more detailed schemes and designs for the site will be put forward.

People can view the plans at the council’s offices in Commercial Road on Wednesday March 14 from 5-8pm and Thursday March 15 11am-2pm. The exhibition boards and visuals will also be displayed in the Weymouth library, after the event, until Friday 30 March.

An online survey will be available from 4pm on March 14 until April 6 at

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Categories: Dorset

Make the digital switch and we will donate £1 to charity for each new person who signs up

Dorset For You - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:35

As of today, we will be donating £1 to charity for each new person that switches to e-billing or signs up to pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit. This will run until the end of April 2018, when all money raised will be split evenly between two local charities – Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House.

Both Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House provide much needed support and services to local residents and families. This charitable activity aims to encourage residents in Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland to make the easy, digital switch to paper-less e-billing and Direct Debit Council Tax payments.

Cllr Peter Barrowcliff, West Dorset District Council Portfolio Holder for Corporate, said:

“Switching to e-billing is not only easy, it is also environmentally sound. We hope that residents opt in to pay their Council Tax by direct debit and make the switch to paper-less bills. It’s a convenient way to manage your Council Tax payments, and residents now have the added benefit of being able to donate to local charity in the process.”

Cllr Jeff Cant Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:

“Direct debit payment keeps things simple for taxpayers and the savings to the Council add to the funds we can reinvest in our communities. The added incentive of a donation to local charities we are offering on behalf of residents is a great way for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and the community to show support for the fantastic services that Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House provide.”

 Why switch to e-billing?

E-billing is the easier and greener way to receive your Council Tax bills. They are easy to access, more environmentally friendly and they reduce costs for your council, which means more money can be spent on vital frontline services.

Why pay your Council Tax by direct debit?

Paying your Council Tax by direct debit is simple, safe and more convenient. The payments are made automatically by your bank or building society.

You remain in control of your payments, as we will notify you at least 10 working days before any changes are made and you can cancel at any time.

To sign up today and make the switch to e-billing or to pay your Council Tax by direct debit head to

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Categories: Dorset

Nordon Lodge officially opened

Dorset For You - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:02

North Dorset District Council’s new Nordon Lodge office has been officially opened.

Nordon Lodge officially opened – ribbon cutting (L-R Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell,  Chief Executive Matt Prosser, Chairman Cllr Val Pothecary, Leader Cllr Graham Carr-Jones,  North Dorset MP Simon Hoare )

The district council moved to the nearby, smaller, more economical building and opened to customers on 15 February.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council, delivered a speech at the opening of the building:

“I would like to thank and congratulate all of those Officers and Members of the Nordon Project Board for a job well done. You’ve really excelled.

“The aspiration to provide a district council satellite office began in  2013 and was part of work commissioned by strategic delivery committee.offices for the old Sturminster Newton Rural District Council and Gillingham & Shaftesbury Borough Council were closed once Nordon had been enlarged to become the principle offices of North Dorset District Council in April 1974. This was following the reforms proposed in the Radcliffe-Maude Report in 1972, meaning the district council has been on the site for some 44 years and it has served the council well. 

“Our residents are the focus of everything we do across the spectrum of Dorset Councils Partnership. This move to the Nordon Lodge will not only see a significant reduction in our costs, it will help us to protect and continue to deliver vital services for our residents for the future.

“The Nordon Lodge symbolises our district council’s presence in North Dorset. While the engine room may well be based in Dorchester now, this little enclave will always be our spiritual home.

“When the new unitary council is born in may next year, this small, yet valuable asset will provide continuity and familiarity to our residents.”

Nordon Lodge Officially Opened Nordon Lodge Redesigned

The Nordon Lodge has been redesigned internally to make it more customer friendly and accessible.

There are touchscreen self-service computers and phones for customers to drop-in and use to access services. Customers will also continue to be able to meet directly with services through appointments and surgeries from duty officers.

The Nordon Lodge is easily accessible from Salisbury Road and clear signage is in place to direct customers.

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Categories: Dorset


Dorset For You - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 17:46


From Wednesday 14 March [for approx. 10 days] in West Bay and Monday 19 March [for approx. 2 weeks] in Lyme Regis our engineers will be dredging the towns’ outer harbours. We will also be replenishing their beaches.

Why do we do this?

Dredging maintains the entrance to the harbours and bulks up parts of the beach for flood defence. 

How do we do this?

We use a range of equipment including amphibious excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers and dredging pumps.

Why Lyme Regis and West Bay?

The wonderful, world-famous Harbours are fundamental to the prosperity of the towns.  We continue to maintain the Harbour for boat owners to have a safe and secure place to store and use their boats. Both have long waiting lists, with boat owners eager to join in the vibrant community both of these Harbours offer.

UNESCO world heritage Jurassic Coast

As a highlight of the UNESCO world heritage Jurassic coast, both Lyme Regis and West Bay provide delightful beaches, enjoyed by both tourists and local residents.

We know how much it means for our local economy to keep the beautiful beaches in peak condition. Therefore, only sections of sandy beach will be shut during duration of works.

If you visit West Bay or Lyme Regis in this time, why not let us know via the hashtag #DoYouKnowDredging.

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Categories: Dorset

North Quay car park to re-open

Dorset For You - Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:07

North Quay car park in Weymouth will be completely open to the public in time for the Easter weekend.

144 spaces available all day

All 144 spaces will be available throughout the day. Charges will be applicable between 8am and 6pm. This follows October’s partial re-opening of the car park.

Cllr Colin Huckle, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “We will be installing a new machine and tariff board. We expect this car park to remain open until we have found a new buyer for the site.”

Redevelopment plans continue

Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “Now that the dispute has been settled with North Quay Weymouth Ltd, we intend to continue with our plans for the redevelopment of the iconic North Quay site.

“Our present policy is to ensure that these major regeneration sites add enduring value to the Borough. This is for the benefit of our community, and for the generations to come.

“We have some very exciting ideas under way. These involve demolishing the current building and delivering a mixed use site to attract more footfall to that side of the harbour.

“As part of this we are considering a mix of residential, retail and office space, and improvement to the public realm to make the most of the views from this site.  As we develop our thinking, we will consult the community. This will include consulting on getting the right balance between delivering a viable development and addressing the ongoing issue of  local parking.”

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Categories: Dorset

Highways initiative for a personalised service

Dorset For You - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:30

Dorset Highways is working closely with town and parish councils to increase community involvement.

Gillingham Town Council sign highways agreement

The county council knows that residents would ideally like all roads to be in an ‘A1’ condition but, in the current financial climate, that is becoming increasingly difficult and the highways service has had to focus on targeting the most damaged sections of road and areas with safety issues.

Many of the ‘non-essential’ highway maintenance functions have been cut back in frequency – apart from on the priority network – including gully cleaning, verge cutting, white lining and sign cleaning.

Footways paved with slabs are now routinely repaired using asphalt (black material) to reduce ongoing maintenance and help the budget go further.

Recognising that many of the ‘nice-to-have’ services affect the look and feel of Dorset’s towns and villages, Dorset Highways has created ways for town and parish councils to supplement these activities and carry out additional highway work in their area.

Town and parish councils across the county council area have been invited to sign up to the Dorset Highways ‘working together’ initiative and have more control over highways services in their patch.

Options set out for town, parish and borough councils include:

  1. Organising volunteer teams to carry out work on the highway – with a supervisor, protective equipment and hand tools provided free of charge by Dorset Highways
  2. Commissioning a qualified contractor or in-house team to carry out additional work
  3. Commissioning Dorset Highways to carry out additional work
  4. Having an annual agency agreement with Dorset Highways for specific additional work

Andrew Martin, service director for highways and emergency planning, said: “The current financial climate – with our central Government grant reducing each year – means we have to continually evaluate the level of service we can afford to provide.

“We will continue to repair defects and maintain our network, to ensure the safety of road users – but we cannot provide the same services or frequency of services that we did five years ago.”

Councils that have signed up to an agency agreement include Blandford Forum Town Council, Sherborne Town Council, Wimborne Minster Town Council, Gillingham Town Council and Shaftesbury Town Council.

Six further councils are currently reviewing draft agreements and eleven more are discussing their individual needs with highway officers.

The key link in the initiative are the area community highways officers, who provide a friendly face for town and parish councils to discuss local issues with. Local councillors now also have direct access to Dorset Highway policy and performance documents for clearer information between the organisations.

Any resident can also report highway issues or defects online, these go directly to the community highways officer in the area – who liaises with town/parish and borough councils.

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Categories: Dorset

Piddle Valley Residents to vote on Neighbourhood Plan

Dorset For You - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 15:04

The Piddle Valley could have a Neighbourhood Plan if residents give it the go ahead.

Piddle Valley residents to vote neighbourhood plan

Councillors agreed at West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee on 8 February 2018 to go ahead with the referendum on Piddle Valley Neighbourhood Plan.

A local referendum will take place on Thursday 19 April 2018, with local residents going to the polls to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the proposals.

The plan was drawn up by local people, and agreed by the parish council.

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

If the plan is supported by the local referendum it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

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

“Residents of the Piddle Valley now have the opportunity to shape their community through the Neighbourhood Plan, as modified by the independent examiner.

“They may wish to ensure they are on the electoral roll if they intend to vote in the April referendum.”


How to vote

The referendum will be held on Thursday 19 April 2018. You have to be registered to vote by 3 April 2018 to vote in the referendum. You can check if you are registered to vote by telephoning 01305 838299.

Details of where residents can vote will be on issued Poll Cards. Residents with the code ‘EO’ can vote at Piddlehinton Village Hall and residents with code ‘EP1’ and ‘EP3’ can vote at Piddletrenthide Memorial Hall. Polling Stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 19 April 2018.

To vote by post or proxy in this referendum, you will need to have filled in an application form and sent it to the Electoral Registration Officer. Postal and proxy vote application forms are available online at or by contacting the district council.

Applications to vote by post must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 4 April 2018. To vote by proxy, application forms should be received by 5pm on Wednesday 11 April 2018.

View the plan

The plan can be viewed online or at South Walks House in Dorchester or Sherborne Town Council offices, Sherborne. The Parish Council also intend to ensure copies of the document are available locally.

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Categories: Dorset

American Civil War Re-enactment to showcase at Highcliffe Castle

Dorset For You - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:45

Highcliffe Castle is excited to welcome the American Civil War Re-enacting Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkAn) for a major 2 day event on 24 and 25 March 2018.

The weekend event at Highcliffe Castle will showcase life during the American Civil War with interactive displays, skirmishes and drills. Battle re-enactments will take place periodically throughout both days, offering the opportunity for visitors to learn more about the history of the American Civil War through experiencing a taster of life as it would have been in the military camps during this time.

SoSkAn is the oldest American Civil War re-enacting society outside of the United States. They aim to honour the fallen of the American Civil War by creating “living history” re-enactments, recreating realistic battle scenes and skirmishes, including artillery, cavalry and infantry forces.

Stephen Noble, Events Team Leader at Highcliffe Castle said, “We are looking forward to welcoming the Southern Skirmish Association to Highcliffe Castle for this living history event. This will be an exciting family weekend making full use of the newly opened grounds.”

The event is free to the public with displays taking place from 11am through to 4pm on both days.

For more information please contact function and event coordinator Jack Hartwell on 01425 278807 or via email on

Find out more about the Southern Skirmish Association (SoSkAn) on their website here:

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Categories: Dorset

#NAW2018 : Taking the next step – Jake’s Story

Dorset For You - Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:07

We asked previous Christchurch and East Dorset Digital Marketing apprentice Jake Mugatroyd – who is now a full time employee – on his top tips for success.

Moving from being an apprentice to a permanent role…

If there is the opportunity to be taken on as a full-time employee, start trying to get involved in the as much as possible.

This will demonstrate, to your employer that you are committed to the organisation and they will identify what an asset you are.

Top tips for people looking for an apprenticeship…

If you know what apprenticeship you want to do just apply for as many jobs as you can find, and then look beyond the apprenticeship, if you want to go down a certain career path think about what type of environment/company you want to work for in the long term. Then make a decision on which fits best after applying for the various apprenticeships.

Advice for people who are currently apprentices…

Often a job will not be guaranteed on completion of your apprenticeship, so start looking for jobs before the end of it, so that you don’t finish the apprenticeship and have no income. There may be opportunities within the current organisation that you can apply for just from gaining the work experience from the apprenticeship. They will already have invested in a relationship with you and know your strengths, which can will help at interview.

How to demonstrate you are committed to what you are doing…

Don’t get too comfortable and keep asking for work, show that you’re keen to learn new things. If you see opportunities to develop, like events or skills workshops ask your employer if you can go to them. You will gain vital knowledge that you can bring back and help support your team better.

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Categories: Dorset

Your Council Tax bill explained – Adult Social Care additions

Dorset For You - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 17:27

If you’ve received your council tax bill, you may notice some increases, including the Adult Social Care precept. This is the third year this has been added to bills. We explain more about what this is and what it means for your bill.

This year, the government has allowed councils, who are responsible for providing Adult Social Care, to increase their council tax by up to 6%. Dorset County Council has chosen to increase their precept by 2.99% (rounded to 3%) for general expenditure and by 3% which is specifically for Adult Social Care services.

These percentage increases are shown on the 2018-2019 council tax bills.

The government introduced legislation and guidance setting out how the Adult Social Care precept is calculated and shown on council tax bills. This has been followed when producing the council tax bills for 2018-2019.

Percentage increases shown on your bill

The figures relating to general expenditure and the Adult Social Care precept are each accompanied by a percentage increase figure. The percentages show how each element contributes to the overall increase set by Dorset County Council.

The percentage increase for the Dorset County Council element is calculated on the combined total of the Dorset County Council and Adult Social Care charges from last year’s bill and is an increase of 2.989% (3% rounded).

The percentage increase for the Adult Social Care element is calculated on the combined total of the Dorset County Council and Adult Social Care charges from last year’s bill and is an increase of 3%.

While we understand this looks different to how other percentage increases are displayed, the bills have been calculated correctly, in accordance with regulations and guidance, and should be paid as requested.

Council Tax example – band D property

The following example shows how the Adult Social Care precept has been calculated for 2018-2019 based on a Band D property.

2017-2018 Bill

  2018-2019 Bill

  Dorset County Council £1,264.65 £1,304.31 3.0% (rounded) Adult Social Care Precept £     62.22

  £   102.03 3.0% Dorset County Council – Total £1,326.87

  £1,406.34 5.99%

The Adult Social Care increase shown above for 2018-19 is calculated based on the total Dorset County Council charges for 2017-2018 (in this example, £1326.87 and highlighted in yellow).

The Adult Social Care precept increase is calculated as follows:

  • £1,326.87 x 3% = £39.81

This amount is then added to the 2017-2018 Adult Social Care precept of £62.22 as this is an accumulated charge:

£62.22 (last year’s Adult Social Care charge) + £39.81 (this year’s increase) = £102.03 (2018-2019 Adult Social Care Precept).

If you need further information regarding Dorset County Council’s spending plans for 2018-2019, further detail is available here.  Further information relating to all of the current year council tax charges is available here.

If you experience any difficulty in paying your council tax, contact your local council.

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Categories: Dorset