Development details approved for schemes in West Dorset

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 17:17

Two developments in West Dorset have been granted reserved matters approval by councillors on West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee.

Development plans approved

The two applications were for 49 homes on land next to Oaklands Park in Crossways and 108 units off Yeovil Road in Sherborne.

49 units plus eight commercial units on the site near Oaklands Park, off Warmwell Road, Crossways has been approved for development by Allenby Homes Ltd.

It includes 17 affordable homes to meet the council’s 35 per cent threshold for such schemes. Infrastructure and community benefits for the site are also due to include footways, public open space, landscaping and an estate road with turning and parking areas.

Details for the development of 108 homes on the Barton Farm development site have also been given a green light. 47 affordable homes and 61 open market homes will be provided once the scheme is completed.

Approvals welcomed

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

“We welcome the approval of these developments as they will contribute to satisfying the need for open market and affordable homes and the meeting of our housing targets.”

Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“Good quality housing of a mixed tenure is keys to the success of Opening Doors.

“West Dorset District Council, along with North Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, is keen to lead the way regionally to see more housing of this kind built for our communities.”

Home Ownership Register

Opening Doors has also launched a Home Ownership Register for those seeking to find a new home in north, west and south Dorset.

Visit the Opening Doors website at to sign the register and find out more about the campaign.


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Categories: Dorset

Temporarily re-opened car parks during Power Boat Racing event at West Bay

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 15:34

The Power Boat Racing event this weekend in West Bay is a fantastic annual event, and we have worked with the resurfacing works contractors in West Bay to make suitable provisions to make available parking for this weekend. The northern end of Station Yard car park will be open whilst the contractor finishes works in the main entrance. We will clearly sign post to direct cars in to this area. There is no demarcation yet but we expect room for a further 60  cars. This area will then close again after the event in order for works to be fully completed by the end of June.

New demarcation to suit families and the less mobile

Cllr John Russell said: “this ambitious scheme uses innovative design across all three locations. We have taken the utmost care to not disrupt the unique ambience that is ‘West Bay’. All the refurbished and new parking areas will have demarcation, whilst individual parking spaces are sized to suit families and the less mobile. Overall capacity will be increased as a result of the new works.

“We made a significant financial investment in to these works and we are certain that the benefits to West Bay will be enjoyed for many years.”

Innovative design

The design utilises natural and recycled materials to achieve an effective and safe engineered surface, whilst reducing rain water run off to ditches and streams and therefore improving flood risk to the surrounding areas.

Works complete by end of June

We still anticipate that the works will be completed by the end of June. All three car parks, Bridport Arms, Station Yard and West Bay Road will be back open to the public.


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Categories: Dorset

Events in our parks

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 14:43
Park events

This year Weymouth and Portland’s Parks and Gardens have some really exciting events planned from music to art to teddy bear’s picnics – there is something for everyone to enjoy! As most of these events are free, the whole family can come and enjoy a cheap and fun day out.

There are 10 parks and gardens across Weymouth and Portland so what better way to discover these beautiful spaces than to get involved in a variety of community events that run right through from June to December. More details of the parks and gardens can be found here.

Councillor Kate Wheller, Briefholder for Community Facilities at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “It will be lovely to see people of all ages getting outdoors and enjoying our beautiful parks and gardens. With such a fantastic range of events, people of Weymouth and Portland will be spoilt for choice!

“The wide and cultured programme of activities that includes art exhibitions, park runs, charity events and musical entertainment will give people the opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun as well as the chance to get involved in something new.”

Events in our parks


24th      Music in the gardens with The Quangle Wangle Choir, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

24th      Veterans Sunday – Forming of military vehicles, Lodmoor Country Park Car Park

30th      Macmillan Mighty Hike Jurassic Coast, Lodmoor Country Park



1st        Talking Newspapers, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

8th        Music in the gardens with the Weymouth Ukuleleans, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

14th      Art in the Park, Easton Gardens, (10am-4pm)

15th      Art in the Park, Easton Gardens, (10am-4pm)

15th      Music in the gardens with the Silhouettes, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

22nd     Weymouth Concert Brass, Radipole Park Gardens (12pm-2pm)

22nd     Music in the gardens with Tony Lowe, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

23rd      RNLI Fundraising Event, Nothe Gardens (6pm-10.45pm)



3rd        Teddy Bears Picnic, Victoria Gardens (11am-1pm)

5th        Party in the Park, Lodmoor Country Park (12-7pm)

5th        Music in the gardens with Tony Lowe, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

11th      Easton Community Group Summer Fete, Easton Gardens (10am-4pm)

12th      Summer Fayre with The Silhouettes and Twirl Academy, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

19th      The Mayor’s Concert, Dorset Wrecks on the Bandstand , Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

18th      Coffee Morning, Easton Methodist Church (10am-11.30am)

25th      Annual Big Event, Radipole Park Gardens (12pm-5pm)

26th      Music in the gardens with Tony Lowe, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

27th      Talking Newspapers, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)



2nd       Music in the gardens with Grand Re-Union, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

9th        Music in the gardens with The Decadettes, Greenhill Gardens (2pm)

23rd      Ironman 70.3 Weymouth



25th      Sparkle in the Park, Lodmoor Country Park (3.30-4.45pm)


9th        Christmas singing in the gardens, Greenhill Gardens (3pm)


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Categories: Dorset

Dorchester’s Wednesday market survey… the results

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:25
On 20 June, the Dorchester Market Joint Informal Panel met to discuss various reports relating to the markets of Dorchester. This included reviewing the results of a recent survey. The survey asked for current opinions on the Dorchester Charter market. The survey had two elements; one was a series of questions to answer if the respondent indicated that they do attend the market. The other option was a series of questions to answer if the respondent does not attend the market.
Valuable insights Dorchester Town Council and the District Council have recognised the importance of the success of the market to the economy of the town. This first hand data complements the various studies that are underway/ have been completed. 2,175 responses The aim was to understand current feeling towards the market. We framed this in a series of questions, including:
  • what could be improved?
  • what are your favourite elements of the market?
  • If you don’t go to the market, why not?
  • how likely are you to recommend the market to others?
In total, there were 2,175 responses. 73% of respondents indicated that they do visit the market. 27% of respondents indicated that they do not visit the market. What do we know about the respondents?
  • 50% of all respondents live in Dorchester, 11% in Weymouth, 5% in Bridport, 7% within approx. 8 mile radius of Dorchester. The vast majority of respondents live within the District of West Dorset
  • Fresh produce [83.8%] and plants [80.9%] are by far the most purchased products
  • 58% drive to the market, 24% walk
  • Overall, responses showed positive support for the market. Almost a third said they would be very likely to recommend the market to friends
  • The market finds more favour with the 60+ age group, whose likelihood to recommend was at 65% whereas those 39 and under 46% would be likely to recommend
We asked the question “would any of the following increase the likelihood of attending the market more often?” to those that do go to the market: Reason (all responses) Selections (number) Selections (%) Distinctly ‘Dorset’ offering (e.g. food and drink) 937 67.8% Wider variety of quality arts and crafts 633 45.8% Wider variety of goods 569 41.2% Enhanced parking facilities 379 27.4% Special events 350 25.3% Live music/entertainment 273 19.8% Children’s activities 105 7.6% Other 84 6.1% A more central location 40 2.9%

We asked a similar question to those that don’t attend, asking them what might encourage them to visit more often [as an open ended question] In summary:

  • 40% of the mentions related to improving the “offer” – about what was on sale
  • 22% of the mentions related to infrastructure improvements
  • 12% of the mentions related to running the market on a different day
How about those that answered they do visit the market? [1,588 respondents]
  • 52% live in Dorchester, 12% Weymouth, 3% Bridport and 14% within an 8 mile radius. This means that 19% actually travel further than 8 miles to attend the market. This would indicate that if 1/5 of users are travelling in that far, there must be a real destination feeling for these visitors.
  • 61% indicated they were 60+, 7% 39 and under and 28% aged between 40 and 59
  • 38% are in full/part time employment and/or education, 56% retired
  • When asked what they do before/ after the market on an ‘average’ day, there were 1,204 mentions that they would head in to the town centre to spend further time [for example in cafes, local museums, parks, Brewery Square, or at the cinema]

The most important elements of the existing market for those that visited could be summarised as follows:

  • 1,001 mentions were around the value and range of the offer of fresh produce [including plants]. This included mentions about the variety of traders and quality of certain food products
  • 682 mentions relating to the atmosphere of the market, in particular the friendliness and helpfulness of traders [which had 185 mentions] and the traditional market feel.
  • 160 mentions were about the ease of access to the market and the importance of it being located close to the rest of the town
  • 110 mentions about the importance of the market as a community offer [place to meet friends, valued historical importance etc]

When asked “what could improve the market for you?” 931 responses included:

  • 47% of the mentions related to improving the “offer” – about what was on sale
  • 22% of the mentions related to infrastructure improvements
  • 20% of the mentions related to keeping things as they are
What do we know about respondents in full/part time employment & education [935 respondents]
  • 43% of total respondents are in full/ part time work or education.

When those that answered that they don’t attend the market were asked why they don’t visit the market, the main mentions centred around:

  • The market being held on a Wednesday and closing before the end of an average working day.
  • There was nothing “unique” on offer [be it a ‘distinctly Dorset’ branded offer, takeaway street food, events or activities]
  • Perceived lack of quality and range 
What do we know about the regular visitors to the market?

i.e, those that selected the option that they go every week, or most weeks – 722 respondents:

  • Nearly two third of them live in Dorchester and two thirds of them are aged over 60, and predominately retired
  • Three out of ten are still working in some capacity
  • Half go to the market by car and most of the others walk
  • Two thirds spend under £20 and a third over £20, fairly typical of all market goers
  • They purchase more plants, food, drink and fresh vegetables than other groups of market goers but fairly similar amounts of clothes and household goods

When asked about what would increase the likelihood of attending more often (i.e. what might improve the market for those who already go regularly):

  • there was significant support for a ‘Distinctively Dorset offering (e.g. food and drink)’ with 2/3 indicating this
  • Next most popular was a ‘wider variety of arts and crafts’ with the support of nearly half.
  • This was closely followed by ‘a wider variety of goods’. This indicates that a more varied, more “local” offer would entice increased spend and visits.


When asked about their favourite thing at the market, atmosphere, value and range of produce [both plant and food] and the helpfulness/ friendliness of the traders were the top mentions

What do we know about occasional visitors to the market?

i.e, those that selected the options that they visit approximately monthly – 450 respondents:

  • Half of them live in Dorchester but they tend to come from a variety of areas, mostly in the West Dorset district
  • Half are retired but 38% are still working, either part or full time
  • Nearly three quarters spend under £20 and a quarter over £20, lower spending than the regulars

When looking at what might encourage the “occasionals” to become “regulars” the response was similar to other groups:

  • The distinctly Dorset offering was most popular
  • A wider variety of goods generally
  • A wider variety of arts and crafts


What do we know about those who don’t go to the market?

587 respondents took the survey that aimed to understand more about what barriers they felt were in place that stopped them attending the market.

When asked why they don’t visit the market [an open ended question with 805 recorded mentions], there were:

  • 266 mentions relating to the produce on offer [not enough variety, perceived lack of quality, not enough local traders]
  • 214 mentions related to the time and day of the market [closing too early, impossible to shop there on a Wednesday due to other commitments such as working]
  • 98 mentions relating to the environment [including thoughts of scruffy buildings, not in right location or feeling it was outdated]

When asked what might encourage them to attend more often, the 541 responses were:

  • 40% of the mentions related to improving the “offer” – about what was on sale
  • 22% of the mentions related to infrastructure improvements
  • 12% of the mentions related to running the market on a different day


  • 80% of respondents regularly or occasionally visit other Farmers Markets and 65% of respondents regularly or occasionally visit Craft/ Art markets. Only just under 20% never go to markets. This would suggest that the appetite for markets is strong with those who don’t currently visit the Dorchester market.
  • 62% said that they visit other markets because they like to support local traders
  • 45% knew what they wanted to buy [i.e. specialist food, plants]
  • 9% selected other, with a common thread here being that the market/s they attended were at the weekend when they didn’t work
Thank you again to everyone who took the time out to share their thoughts with us.

The report full report and analysis is available to view here [p.45 onwards], and will be available to view on by the end of the day.

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Categories: Dorset

East Dorset Civic Day 2018

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:35

The Chairman of East Dorset District Council, Cllr Mrs Toni Coombs and her escort Cllr Spencer Flower, welcomed civic dignitaries from across the county to Wimborne for the final Chairman’s Civic Day before East Dorset joins the Dorset Council in April 2019.

The day started in Wimborne Model Town followed by free time to enjoy the delights of the Wimborne Folk Festival.  After a talk about the Wimborne Physick Garden, the Wimborne Militia escorted the guests to their lunch destination at the atmospheric Walford Mill.  Entertainment at the Millstream Bistro was provided by ‘Steps In Time’ a junior country dancing group.  The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the parade, which was led by the Militia followed by the Chairman of Council, the High Sheriff of Dorset- Mrs Jacqueline Swift and Cllr Kelly Webb, the Mayor of Wimborne. Finally guests were able to see the unique sand mandala, which could only be described as astounding, created by Tibetan Monks in the Priest’s House Museum.

Cllr Mrs Toni Coombs said “The guests had an amazing time and I would like to publicly thank all the Folk Festival organisers for allowing us to take part, and in particular the huge amount of organisation which went into making the day such a massive success.”


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Categories: Dorset

Have your say on shelter improvements at Highcliffe Cliff Top car park

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/21/2018 - 10:04

Local residents in Highcliffe are being invited to have their say and contribute ideas for improvements which could be made to the popular cliff top shelter at the Cliff Top car park, near the Cliffhanger café.

The project, which is part of the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio, seeks to offer an enhanced visitor welcome at the site, but has an open brief in terms of what this might look like.

Dorset Coast Forum

Portfolio Co-ordinator Natalie Poulter explains: “We know this shelter is well-used year round, and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike, but over the years it has suffered from the exposed conditions it endures, and is now in need of a bit of TLC. We’d like to take a fresh and creative look at this shelter with the community, and make sure we’re planning improvements that will benefit local residents as well as the visitors who also make use of the site.”

One suggestion is that the location could offer better signposting towards the businesses in Highcliffe, as well as the recreation opportunities which are available locally, encouraging visitors to stay longer and do more while they are in the area, supporting the local economy. Providing an improved shelter, or renovating the existing one, is also likely to form part of the plans, though what form this might take has not yet been discussed as the project team want to hear the community’s ideas first.

Dorset Coast Forum will be running two drop-in events at the shelter in Cliff Top car park on

Thursday 28 June 1pm-6pm and Saturday 30 June 11am-2pm

Residents, businesses and visitors are invited to come along and contribute to the development of this project, which is receiving £60,000 grant funding.

The proposed shelter improvements are one of 18 projects within the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio, which is co-ordinated by Dorset Coast Forum. The portfolio also includes the completed promenade improvements at Avon Beach, ongoing improvements to the local cycle network, and the planned rebuild of the Highcliffe castle ‘zig zag’ beach access. In total, Christchurch and Highcliffe are benefitting from £473,000 investment from the Coastal Communities Fund through the portfolio, with local projects being delivered in partnership with Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset County Council and The Arts Development Company.

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Categories: Dorset

Weeds – we’re coming to get you!

Dorset For You - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 14:46

Starting this week (20 June 2018) Dorset County Council is beginning a programme of weed spraying on ‘sealed highway surfaces’ such as tarmac, kerbing, paving and concrete structures in urban areas across Dorset.

The spraying team, who use a quad bike and bowser attachment to spay these hard surfaces, is starting in Christchurch and will be making their way westwards, aiming to have covered the whole county within six weeks (weather depending).

The primary need to keep surfaces from weeds is to protect hard surfaces from deterioration. Perennial weeds can establish and expand, and can cause cracking in surfaces, allowing water to penetrate and damage the hard surface.

The weed killer is the latest glyphosate based product, has been made environmentally safer and, while it is still just as effective, broad-leaved weeds will take over a week to show signs of decline, the grasses much more quickly.

The county council is working in partnership with some town councils to complete this programme and a contribution towards costs has been made available for some town councils who are able to carry out additional treatments themselves.

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Categories: Dorset

40 new homes approved in North Dorset

Dorset For You - Wed, 06/20/2018 - 14:42

Plans for 40 new homes in Charlton Marshall have been approved by councillors on North Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee.

40 new homes approved in North Dorset

The outline scheme for 40 homes is on land south of Newlands Manor House.

The plans at Charlton Marshall include 16 properties as affordable housing with another 24 for sale on the open market. Also included are cycle parking, a new junction with footpaths on the A350 and a pedestrian crossing.

Opening Doors

The application comes as the council, together with West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, encourage more development under their Opening Doors campaign.

They are among a number of authorities nationwide taking proactive steps at a local level to tackle housing problems.

Their target is to see developers build 20,000 more good quality homes of all tenures across the council areas by 2033.

Cllr David Walsh, North Dorset District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“I am pleased that the committee approved this application, once complete the development will provide much needed open market and affordable housing for the area.”

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council, said:

“Good quality housing of a mixed tenure is one of the keys to success for Opening Doors.

“We welcome the involvement of developers and housebuilders of all sizes, from national PLCs to more local SMEs on smaller sites.”

Opening Doors has also launched a Home Ownership Register for those seeking to find a new home in North Dorset, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.

Visit the Opening Doors website at  to sign the register and find out more about the campaign.

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing in Lyme Regis

Dorset For You - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:34

Our surface dressing gang is in Lyme Regis this week and next week to treat residential roads to protect them from water damage and restore skid resistance.

Work completed last week (starting Monday 11 June):


Work planned (weather permitting) this week (Monday 18 June):


Work planned (weather permitting) week commencing Monday 25 June:


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

Look out for yellow signs two days before work starts – please move your vehicle off the road before 9am and check that the road you move it to is not also being treated.

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.

Premium surface dressing on some of our busiest roads is also underway.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset’s verges are positively flourishing

Dorset For You - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 14:05

You may have noticed that some roadside verges in Dorset are looking a bit wild at the moment. This is the exactly the look Dorset County Council had hoped for, following a bold and revolutionary approach to verge maintenance, which seems to be paying dividends.

Two pilot areas in Weymouth and Blandford are benefiting from a method, coined as ‘cut and collect’. Since 2014 we have been cutting and then removing grass cuttings in some urban and rural verges instead of allowing the freshly cut grass to decay on top of the cut area. This collection of clippings reduces the amount of nutrients which go back into the soil and, over time, replaces coarse, long grasses with short, fine grass which encourages the growth of some of our rarest plants.

The verge on Littlemoor Road, Weymouth is seeing some very positive results of this new approach. This week alone, Pyramidal Orchid, Bird’s-foot-trefoil, Kidney Vetch, Horse-shoe Vetch, Common Restharrow, Black Knapweed and Greater Knapweed have all been spotted. The Blandford bypass and its town roadside verges are also now home to an array of wildflowers.

In turn, these rare beauties are attracting a plethora of native wildlife species such as rough hawk moths and black medic moths, two of Dorset’s most notables. Pyramidal orchids are pollinated by butterflies and moths, so to see them increasing in numbers is a great way of knowing that our butterfly and moth populations are thriving too.

The verges in these pilot areas will continue to be managed in this way and forms part of our long term, sustainable strategy to encourage wildlife while also making savings by reducing the frequency of the regular cuttings. The next pilot area to benefit from this cut and collect method is Purbeck, starting after the summer.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Cabinet Member for Built and Natural Environment at Dorset County Council said:

“To see these wild flowers create an increasingly important refuge and habitat for bees, moths and butterflies is fantastic. Our countryside teams have worked really hard in the last few years to get to the point where we are starting to see the fruits of our labour with beautiful and rare plants growing happily by the roadside in these pilot areas. Of course, we must weigh up the safety of road users with the environmental work, and we feel we have got the balance right.

“Our verges are something we are very proud of in Dorset and it’s our aspiration that other councils will adopt our methods so we can all see more wild verges throughout the whole country.”

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Categories: Dorset

Could you help a refugee family?

Dorset For You - Tue, 06/19/2018 - 11:18

A programme that supports refugees in Dorset is calling for more volunteers to help families settle in the county.The Dorset Syrian Settlement Programme is made up of local authorities and charities, including the International Care Network. It offers support to families for five years and helps them find private housing, school places, jobs and local healthcare. At the end of that time they can either apply to stay in the UK for longer or choose to return to Syria if the situation has improved.

The call for more volunteers in Dorset comes as part of Refugee Week (18-24 June) which celebrates the contributions and resilience of refugees.

Steph Farr, Dorset Syrian Resettlement Programme Lead, said:
“There are so many ways that people can help these families. It could be helping them learn a new language, showing them round their new community or just befriending them. Volunteers offer a great deal of comfort to these families during a very daunting time and, in return, often make new friends themselves. These families have a great deal to offer – they just need a little bit of help along the way.”

The programme also needs more private properties that could be let to families. Steph added:
“It’s important that these refugee families have somewhere to live and call home for the time they are in the UK. We are looking for more private properties that can be let to these families. If you have a property and are interested in helping a family, we’d love to hear from you .”

Since December 2016, the county has welcomed nine families in Dorset. Cllr Steve Butler, Cabinet member for safeguarding at Dorset County Council, said:

“We’re very proud of the work being done to support refugee families that come to Dorset. The kindness shown by volunteers is just fantastic and just shows what great people we have living in our local communities. If you think you could help in any way, please get in touch.”

Read more about the programme, including how you can help. 

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Categories: Dorset

Spitfire flypast, military vehicle convoy and lots more for Armed Forces Day 2018

Dorset For You - Mon, 06/18/2018 - 14:32
We are making our final preparations for the Armed Forces Day Celebrations this Saturday 23 June to Monday 25 June

Once again, we are delighted to recognise the support of the Ministry of Defence. They have generously contributed £6,500 grant funding towards this years event. We are also delighted to confirm a Spitfire flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at 11am on Sunday 24 June. This will coincide with the start of the service of remembrance [subject to weather conditions].

A packed itinerary!

At 10am, an impressive Historic Military Vehicle Convoy will be showcased on the Weymouth Pavilion Forecourt. There will be a variety of ex-service association and charity stalls and displays on Weymouth seafront (Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm). This will be followed by a ‘1940s comes to Portland’ event from 1pm to 4pm at Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland. Stands and displays full of information from various veterans’ agencies and charity organisations will be on show for visitors to learn about the important role they play and how to support them. Visitors will also be entertained by ‘The Decadettes’ as they sing songs from the era.


Cllr Richard Kosior, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Tourism and Culture Brief holder, said: “Weymouth and Portland is very proud to have the event skills and community support to stage one of the country’s leading and most popular annual veteran’s events.

“The borough and its residents embrace every aspect of the celebrations and looks forward to giving a warm and hospitable welcome to many thousands of veterans, armed forces personnel and their visiting family and friends from around Britain and overseas.”

Celebrating our veterans

Veterans have made and continue to make a major contribution to our nation. The Weymouth and Portland Armed Forces Day Celebrations is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the tireless work carried out by veterans and their associations.

For further information go to

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Categories: Dorset

New play park for the Marsh

Dorset For You - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:21

Work on the installation of a new play area at the Marsh in Weymouth is underway.

Play area to be ready for summer


Contractors are on site removing old fencing and preliminary works for the installation of the play equipment will begin on Monday 18 June, with delivery of the new play equipment taking place early on Tuesday 19 June.

The play area will be suitable for children aged between 3-12 years and includes a climbing hut, a seesaw, trampolines, a combination swing, zip wire and much more.  The equipment is accessible to as many children as possible, balancing different needs according to abilities. This includes equipment suitable for children with motor, visual and hearing impairments, as well as those with learning difficulties.

New play area ready for the holidays

The work will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete and, weather permitting, will be open for the start of the school summer holidays.  The play area has cost £80,000 and the new galvanised bow top fencing an additional £11,650; the project has been funded by off-site developer contributions.

Councillor Kate Wheller, Briefholder for Community Facilities at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “The Marsh play area will include some really fun and inclusive equipment to offer all children the enjoyment of play.  It will provide families the opportunity to take their children somewhere safe to play near to their home, which was a request many made when we consulted local residents.

The provision of a play area is one exciting part of a larger improvement plan for The Marsh that the Borough Council’s Parks team has implemented.  Plans for more improvements will follow, including the installation of a skate park and a bmx track where we will work with young people to develop the project.”

To celebrate the opening of the new play area, the Friends of The Marsh will be hosting a Family Fun Day with details to follow.

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Categories: Dorset

Disability Confident accreditation for council

Dorset For You - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 11:01

Dorset County Council has been recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.

The scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents that disabled people  bring to their workplace.

The council recently achieved the Level 2 Disability Confident Employer status by proving its commitment to actively employ, retain and support disabled people.

Cllr Peter Wharf, Cabinet member for workforce at the council, said:  “There are nearly seven million working age disabled people in the UK, but less than 50 per cent are currently in work. That’s a lot of unused talent and potential.

“As one of the largest employer in the county, we have an obligation to lead by example and this is just one of the ways we do that.

“We are committed to ensuring disabled people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and we are proud to have been recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.  Part of this commitment is to offer a guaranteed job interview for all applicants with a disability who meet the essential requirements for a job vacancy, and for applicants to be considered for their abilities.

“Disabled people can face many challenges in finding work, and we strongly encourage other local employers to follow our lead.”



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Categories: Dorset

Weymouth blossoms with beautiful hanging baskets

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 15:00

New hanging baskets are being put up in Weymouth this week. 

Hanging baskets are going up in Weymouth

The new hanging basket service, which will guarantee an explosion of colour in our town centre, is being rolled out this week.

Many shops have signed up to the new service, which will see floral displays brightening up our high street.  There are 36 baskets in total that contain a range of vibrant flowers, including petunias, begonias, geraniums, and lysimachia.

The new hanging baskets have been made up by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s nurseryman. Unlike traditional hanging baskets, they have a reservoir in the base of the basket so there is no leakage, they minimise evaporation and only need to be watered once or twice a week.

Flowers will brighten up our high street

Local volunteers will be responsible for the watering of the baskets.

Siobhan Davis from Volunteering Dorset said: “Our volunteers are really keen to be active in their community and have been growing incredible edibles in different areas of Weymouth Town Centre.

“After speaking with Nigel from Weyprogress and the town centre manager regarding watering the plants we thought this would be a great way for our volunteers to meet new people and learn new skills whilst playing an important role within their local community.

“Volunteering is a great way of making new connections as well as keeping fit and the Volunteer Centre Dorset are at the forefront in supporting volunteers and organisations in making positive moves forward.”

Kate Wheller, Briefholder for Community Facilities at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “The baskets will be displayed along St Thomas and St Mary’s Streets and will certainly add a splash of colour to Weymouth town centre.

“I’d like to thank the Town Centre Manager for re-introducing the scheme and the shop owners for supporting it but, most importantly, I’d like to thank local volunteers for agreeing to water the baskets throughout the summer, their contribution is invaluable.”




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Categories: Dorset

Gillingham residents set to vote for neighbourhood plan

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 14:44

Gillingham could have a Neighbourhood Plan if residents give it the go ahead.

Gillingham residents set to vote for neighbourhood plan

Councillors agreed at North Dorset District Council’s Cabinet meeting on 29 May to go ahead with the referendum on Gillingham Neighbourhood Plan.

A local referendum will take place on 12 July, 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 town 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 David Walsh, North Dorset District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into shaping this plan and I thank everyone who has been involved with the project so far.

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

“Anyone who wishes to vote, needs to ensure they are on the electoral register.”

How to vote

The referendum will be held on 12 July. You have to be registered to vote by 26 June to vote in the referendum.

Details of where residents can vote have been advised on the Poll Cards which have already been sent out.

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 27 June and the postal packs will be with voters by the 1st of July.   To vote by proxy, application forms should be received by 5.00 pm on  4 July.

View the plan

The proposed plan and Examiner’s Report can be viewed online or at Gillingham Town Council’s Office or at Gillingham Library.

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Categories: Dorset

A fantastic turnout for the Visit Dorset Residents’ Week 2018

Dorset For You - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:42

The 13th annual Dorset Residents’ Week promotion took place from 23rd – 29th April 2018. Despite mixed weather conditions over the week it was the most successful event to date, with over 4100 vouchers redeemed across the 53 participating attractions, generating an estimated additional income value of more than £40k to the Dorset economy.

The week long event aims to encourage local people to explore Dorset’s fantastic variety of attractions.  ‘Word of mouth’ promotion is an important way of encouraging new visitors and a significant number of people stay with locally based friends and relatives for a holiday in Dorset. The dates of the promotion are chosen to avoid the main holiday periods when the attractions are already very busy.

Improvements made to campaign

The Visit Dorset team made some improvements to the campaign for 2018, primarily highlighting the Visit Dorset brand more prominently within the promotion and increasing the online content used to support the promotion.

The main distribution method was a four page feature in the Spring edition of ‘Your Dorset’ publication, produced by Dorset County Council and delivered to over 200,000 homes in Dorset. The feature included details of all participating attractions and discounts offered, together with five vouchers for residents to use.

Details of the promotion were replicated on the Visit Dorset website by creating individual event listings for each participating attraction, providing offer details, admission costs, opening times and a downloadable version of the voucher. All of the 53 offers were listed under a campaign page that provided an overview of how the promotion works together with a call to action to browse the promotional offer pages.

Week-long event

The week-long event was supported by a variety of promotional channels targeting Dorset residents, including social media, editorial coverage in local press, a radio airtime campaign with Wessex FM and promotional posters in the Dorset Tourist Information centres and Weymouth Esplanade sites.

Growing year on year

Nick Thornley, on behalf of the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, said: “We are delighted that so many of our local attractions continue to support this initiative and find it works well for them in terms of attracting new business. The Visit Dorset Residents’ Week continues to grow year on year.  This now well-established event provides an opportunity for local residents to visit the many high quality attractions we have that are an essential part of our visitor economy. I would like to thank all the attractions that took part for once again making it such a huge success”.

Fantastic feedback

Feedback from the participating attractions was positive, highlighting the extra visitors that this promotion brought through their doors:

“Although the weather has not been kind to us last week we were very happy with the numbers and the fact for many of those visiting us it was their first time to Forde Abbey.

“We are very pleased with the turnout and many visitors said they would not have visited if it wasn’t for the Residents’ Week promotion. The Keep Military Museum.”

For further details on the campaign please visit

The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership

The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership is made up of the district and borough councils from West Dorset, North Dorset, Christchurch, Purbeck, East Dorset and Weymouth & Portland. The tourism team of the Dorset Councils’ Partnership co-ordinates this activity on behalf of the other rural Dorset local authorities.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset’s ‘A’ roads about to get a facelift

Dorset For You - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 16:05

Premium surface dressing is about to start on some of the county council’s most used roads – will your route be affected?

Over two weeks, Dorset Highways contractor – Eurovia – will treat large sections of ‘A’ roads, protecting them from water damage and keeping them in a good condition for longer.

Many of these roads have already had patching completed on them over the last 12 months – repairing any defects – in preparation for this surface dressing treatment.

Work will be carried out off-peak between 9am and 4pm, with most sites using two-way lights and convoy working, where a vehicle – travelling at 10mph – will lead drivers through the works area.

Please be aware that this work is extremely weather dependent and dates may be subject to change.

Monday 18 June

  • A357* – Sturminster Newton to West of Puxey Lane junction
  • A357 – junction Gain’s Cross Lane, Shillingstone, to Parish Boundary at Enford Farm

*if ongoing gas main replacement works are not complete by 18 June, work on the A357 at Sturminster Newton will either be moved to the end of the premium surface dressing programme or be deferred until summer 2019.

Tuesday 19 June

  • A348 Ringwood Road – Longham Bridge to Lake Farm Close, Longham
  • A350 – junction Newton Road to A31 Roundabout, Sturminster Marshall

Wednesday 20 June

  • A354 Blandford Road, Basan Hill – A354 north roundabout, Puddletown, for 380m to Bardolf Farms track junction
  • A354 Blandford Road, Basan Hill – from Bardolf Farms to D20668 Jock’s Hill, Burleston

Thursday 21 June

  • B3390 – from junction Hurst Road to north of Waddock Crossroads
  • A352 – Broadmayne to Warmwell Roundabout

Friday 22 June

  • West Stafford Bypass

Monday 25 June – these works will need a road closure due to the width of the roads, a diversion route will be signed

  • Bridge by The Sun Inn to the wooded area north of Charminster
  • A352 – junction A37 to Charminster village boundary
  • A352 – junction Wanchard Lane to village boundary near 30mph signs

Tuesday 26 June

  • A37 – junction Sodern Lane to Weirs Roundabout

Wednesday 27 June

  • A356 – junction Toller Lane to junction Greenford View, Higher Frome Vauchurch
  • A356 – junction D12215 Higher Drove Chilfrome turning to junction Toller Lane, Toller Porcorum

Thursday 28 June

  • A356 – from junction Kingcombe Crossroads to junction D12215 Higher Drove Chilfrome turning
  • A356 – from junction Linnet Lane to junction Hooke Road, Rampisham Hill
  • A356 – from junction B3163, Toller Down Gate to junction Linnet Lane

Friday 29 June

  • A356 – from junction Hore Stones to junction B3163, Toller Down Gate
  • A356 – junction Corscombe Cross to junction Hore Stones, west of Toller Down Gate
  • A356 – junction Chedington Lane to junction Corscombe Cross

Saturday 30 June

  • A3066 – from Somerset county boundary to junction C56, Mosterton

Eurovia is an experienced, national company that carries out road surface treatments for highways authorities across the country.

Dorset Highways is continuing its work to surface dress many urban roads across the county.

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Categories: Dorset

Health walks launch – everyone invited!

Dorset For You - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 14:45

Everyone is invited to a celebration to mark the successful launch of free guided health walks in Weymouth and Portland.

Join a health walk today!

The ‘Walk for You’ scheme has seen more than 100 people pull on their walking shoes and enjoy a free guided health walk since it began in the spring.

The celebration, which aims to encourage even more people to try a free guided walk, will be held on 22 June. People are invited to meet at 10.30am at the Beach Office / Tea Cabin on the Esplanade to enjoy a walk and a light buffet.

Jon Orrell, Social Inclusion Briefholder at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “Guided walks are fun and free. If you’ve been meaning to do more exercise, why not come along and try one out.

Walks are fun

“Our friendly guides make it fun whatever your health needs. There is no such thing as too slow, or too fast, we always have more than one guide to cater for everyone. Everyone is invited so please come along, try a walk and enjoy the summer!”

Health walker Ken Whatley, from Weymouth, said: “The walks are great, everyone is friendly and you can go at your own pace. Many of the walks are on the flat and not too long, ideal for anyone wanting to get back into walking. Going on a free guided walk is very enjoyable. I’d recommend them to anyone.”

Health walks are enjoyable, on the flat (buggy friendly) and between 10 to 45 minutes long. Some walkers are recovering from illness or injury, others simply want to rebuild their fitness in an easy and fun way.

Details of the walks area available here.

If you would like a chat to find out more ring Julie Hursthouse on 01305 838497.

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Categories: Dorset

Win £100! Park photography competition

Dorset For You - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:00

A competition has been launched to celebrate the beauty of Weymouth and Portland’s parks and gardens.

Winning picture from last year’s #loveweyportparks photography competition


People are being asked to go to their local park take a photograph and post it on Twitter or Instagram using #loveweyportparks2018


The best snap will be awarded £100. The competition will run until 30 September 2018.

Cllr Kate Wheller, Community Facilities Briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “Weymouth and Portland’s award-winning parks and gardens are among the best in the country. Enjoying them is free, so why not go to your local park, take a snap and you could win £100!

“We are very fortunate to have so many beautiful public parks, gardens and green spaces that we can walk, play and relax in. As a borough we can all take pride in our parks.

We can all take pride in our parks

“The aim of this competition is to get more people to enjoy these beautiful places on their doorstep. It couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is go to the park, share a quick snap and you could win £100!”

Councillor Wheller added: “We are also very lucky here in Weymouth and Portland to have so many dedicated volunteers and Friends Groups who work hard to help us make our parks and gardens such special places.”

There are 10 parks and gardens in Weymouth and Portland and they host a programme of community events including art exhibitions, park runs, concerts and outdoor shows.

There is one prize of £100 which will be awarded to the best photograph taken in one of the borough council’s parks or gardens. Photographs can also be emailed in to or posted to Parks Photography Competition, South Walks House, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ.

Full details of the competition and the terms and conditions are available.


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Categories: Dorset