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Dorset Council is looking for the relatives of the WWII Ferndown Auxiliary Unit. This group of specially trained volunteers were members of the Home Guard and practised their drills at their secret Operations Base at the Belle Vue Bunker on Poor Common in Ferndown.
The bunker was recently rediscovered by the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team and an excavation of the site took place earlier this year. Sadly, due to its current state, it is not possible to rebuild and restore the bunker to its original condition. Most of the materials excavated have been replaced but a section of the bunker has been left exposed so visitors can see a small part of what lies beneath the ground.
Dorset Council would like to hear from relatives of any of the men from the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit and invite them to an official opening ceremony which will also be attended by representatives from the Royal British Legion and other local organisations and historians.
The names of the men in the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit were:
- Sargent John Geoffrey Tice – local garage owner
- Corporal Alfred Cecil Talbot – carpenter
- Private Eric Alfred May – sales rep and auxiliary fire service officer
- Private William Harry Feltham – baker
- Private Percy Lloyd Blic – architect’s assistant
- Private Douglas Gabe – engineer and local Scout leader
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said, “The Belle Vue Bunker is a significant historical find and we extend our thanks to Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team for bringing the bunker to our attention. It is also very important for us to remember the vital role the Home Guard played during World War II.”
If you are related to any of the men from the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit, please contact the Coast and Greenspace Team on 0790 0137881.
The post Search for relatives of WWII Ferndown Auxiliary Unit appeared first on Dorset Council news.
A specially trained ‘digital dozen’ team of volunteers are ready to help you claim Universal Credit and manage your claims online.
The volunteers are part of a group of over 75 Digital Champions who help and support people in the local community to use the internet and gain online skills.
Around 21% of people are not confident using the internet – that’s around 150,000 people across Dorset, and 70,000 of these have never been online. All Universal Credit claims and most job applications are now online.
Dugald Lockhart, Programme Manager, Superfast Dorset said: “Working with colleagues in Dorset Council’s benefits team and Citizens Advice we have trained up this new team with specialist skills. Tell your friends and family if you think they would be interested and book now.”
Digital Champions providing support with general digital skills and Universal Credit are based in:
• Cerne Abbas
Dedicated Universal Credit support and help to get back to work (CV, job search, company research) at:
• Job Centre Plus, Weymouth – (Mondays 10am – 12 noon)
• Job Club Bridport – Skills and Learning (within Bridport Children’s Centre) (Fridays 9.30 – 12.30)
• Dorchester Library – working alongside Citizens Advice (Wednesdays 10.00 – 12.00)
We are looking for more volunteers in Poole, Blandford, Wareham and Swanage. If you have good people and IT skills, patience and a desire to help people then we are waiting to hear from you. Travel expenses are paid.
Digital Champions can help with laptops, tablets, phones or smartphones. Come along with or without your device to get started. Call 01305 221048 or visit your local library to book.
The post Get help to claim Universal credit where credit is due appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Dorset Council is looking for your thoughts on how to financially support the voluntary community sector beyond March 2021.
A total of £1.9 million has been invested this year into the voluntary community sector (VCS) by all six predecessor councils in the Dorset Council area. Grants were given to a cross section of topics including advice, museums, heritage, community, leisure, arts, culture and environment.
The council are reviewing their direct financial contributions to these community resources. They want to gather opinions from the organisations themselves, the people that use them and also other Dorset residents.
The current funding arrangements are unequal, with some areas of Dorset receiving significantly more funding than others. This review will ensure grants are fairly distributed across the county. This consultation will provide the VCS with the opportunity to share their views about potential future options and to comment on the grant’s selection criteria.
Cllr Tony Alford, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said:
“We want to hear from people across the Dorset Council area. Not only from those involved with voluntary bodies working in the community, but also those who benefit from their activity and also those who have no direct connection
“We have already written to current grant recipients explaining what we are doing. Their funding has been extended for another year, giving us time to review and put in place a supportive grant system from April 2021.”
The post Give your views on future funding for voluntary organisations appeared first on Dorset Council news.
- The Wyvern Credit Union who received £1,500 towards modernising their IT infrastructure
- Kushti Bok – a Gypsy and Traveller led organisation received £590 towards a Memorial Day to remember the Gypsy Roma Holocaust
- Dorchester Youth and Community Centre who are supporting a group of vulnerable young people to learn cookery skills
- 1st Charminster Scout Group (£200)
- Charlton Down Cricket Club (£300)
- Domestic Abuse Intervention Training (£288)
- Dorchester Arts (£500)
- Dorchester and District Amateur Boxing Club (£300)
- Dorchester Ballet and Dance Club (£200)
- Dorchester Child contact Centre (£500)
- Dorchester Community Plays Association (£800)
- Dorchester Disabled Club (£500)
- Dorchester Men’s Shed CIC (£260)
- Dorchester Opportunity Group (£500)
- Dorchester Rugby Club (£664)
- Dorchester Social Stroke Club (£500)
- Dorchester Youth and Community Centre (£840)
- Dorchester Youth Extra (£500)
- Dorchester Youth Theatre (£600
- Dorset Blind Association (£250)
- Dorset MIND (£800)
- Dorset Search and Rescue (£200)
- Friends at Broadmayne School PTA (£500)
- Friends of Dorchester West Station (£200)
- Home-Start West Dorset (£1,000)
- Jurassic Coast Raptors (£700)
- Piddlehinton United Football Club (£100)
- Puddletown Cricket Club (£200)
- Puddletown FC (£200)
- South West Dorset Multicultural Network (£800)
- Volunteer Centre Dorset (£750)
A useful guide to help people take steps to protect themselves from cyber and identity crime is released this month from the British Computer Society.
The guide has been co-written and edited by Andy Taylor, a volunteer Digital Champion with Dorset Council who also works full time as an independent information security adviser following a career in the Royal Navy.
Andy is based at Sherborne Library on a voluntary basis, providing free support and advice to anyone needing help with basic digital skills. He is one of 75 Digital Champions volunteering in Dorset libraries to help people with computers, tablets, phones and more. Most have gained experience from their professional careers.
As Andy explains in his new book, information security fraud has evolved more rapidly than any other crime with the onset of computers and the digital world.
Andy said: “We mitigate against crime and injury everyday by following set rules and best practice. As an analogy, we drive vehicles and take a lot of risk going from A to B but we follow the rules of the road to stay safe. We can’t take the risks away, but we know where they are and take steps to avoid injury.
“The same applies to information security. Paying by debit card on a reputable website, carries a risk, but it is very small so we take it. The risks increase significantly though when connecting to an insecure Wi-Fi where the credentials are unclear.”
Take steps to protect yourself against cyber and information crime
• Consider using Paypal, it is very secure – https://www.paypal.com/uk/home
• Never put any financial information including banking or credit card details in an email, it is not secure.
• Be quick to install the latest versions (patches) in software. Criminals look for the weaknesses in the old versions to exploit.
• Always use websites with https:\\ the ‘s’ actually stands for security and will generate a padlock, make sure it is not crossed out. If the website does not have the ‘s’, do not shop there.
• Protect your documents. Always shred all discarded documents that contain personal information (including name and addresses). An advantage that identity and cyber criminals have on their side is the time to sift through and pull together information from everywhere.
To buy the book called Information Security Management Principles 3rd Edition go online to the BCS bookshop (https://shop.bcs.org) or visit any good bookseller including Winstone Books in Sherborne.
To get help from a Digital Champion simply call 01305 221048 and we will match you with a friendly volunteer in your own area who will help you feel right at home in the digital world.
Role Reversal: Alan Turing cracked code for good, now it is criminals doing it. Dorset Digital Champion pays homage to the father of computer science, image taken of ‘The Sherborne Community Mural’.
A Dorset landowner has been prosecuted and fined for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (13/1/20).View of the unauthorised dwelling (north western elevation).
Thomas William Gibbs (aged 69) of Willow Farm, Longbarrow Lane, Stoke Abbott, Beaminster pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates Court to an offence contrary to Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Mr Gibbs pleaded guilty on 5 August 2019 however sentencing took place on 13 January, after being adjourned twice, to enable Mr Gibbs to comply with the enforcement notice.Long running dispute
Planning enforcement officers first served notice on Mr Gibbs as far back as April 2008 after discovering he had built an unauthorised dwelling at Willow Farm.
The farm is located between Beaminster and Stoke Abbott and is in a protected area of countryside that falls within the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The enforcement notice required Mr Gibbs to cease the residential use of the land and to demolish and remove the structure.
Mr Gibbs appealed the notice which resulted in temporary permission for the dwelling being granted on the condition it would be removed by February 2012.
Sometime before February 2012, Mr Gibbs then went on to build a further unauthorised barn-like structure which was deemed harmful to the scenic beauty of the AONB.View of the unauthorised chicken barn (south eastern elevation).
Mr Gibbs applied for planning permission to retain the dwelling and barn but this was refused in September 2012.
A second enforcement notice was issued requiring residential use on the land to cease and the demolition and removal of the unauthorised buildings by June 2014.
A further appeal by Mr Gibbs was rejected and the second notice came back into effect requiring to him to comply by 23 January 2015.Residential use of building continued
Mr Gibbs did not comply however and a follow up investigation by planning enforcement officers in 2017 found that the dwelling continued to be occupied in spite of the enforcement notice.
Further inspections took place in 2018 and 2019, by which time the offending had continued for over four years.
Following a court summons being served in April 2019 significant steps were taken by Mr Gibbs to comply with the enforcement notice.
Demolition of the dwelling has yet to take place however because a bat roost had become established in the roof space of the building.
A licence has been granted by Natural England to allow the demolition to take place in a way that ensures the protection of the bats. This work is now expected to take place in the spring.
Mr Gibbs was fined £1000 and ordered to pay the full amount of the Council’s prosecution costs in the sum of £1,480. In addition a victim surcharge of £100 was ordered to be paid. The fines have to be paid within 28 days.
Mr Gibbs was told by the sentencing court that he could be prosecuted by Dorset Council again if he did not demolish the building as promised.
Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr David Walsh said:
“I would like thank our officers for bringing this long running case to a successful conclusion. We have a duty to protect land which is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“This case in particular shows how we use court proceedings as a last resort and where possible we will try to work with landowners to ensure planning law is respected and complied with.
“That said, we will not allow the integrity of the planning system to be undermined. We will take appropriate action to ensure that Mr Gibbs does not allow the demolition of the building to drift and delay.”More about planning enforcement
Dorset Council as the local planning authority has responsibility for taking whatever enforcement action may be necessary, in the public interest, in its administrative area.
Find out more about planning enforcement or report concerns about a possible unauthorised development.
Please help monitor Dorset’s changing coastline by sending in your snaps!CoastSnap – your coastline needs you!
Dorset Council has installed two ‘CoastSnap’ points at West Bay and is now asking people walking past to take pictures there.
The CoastSnap points feature special smart phone cradles that point in a particular direction. This means images taken there can be used to monitor Dorset’s dynamic coastline.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Environment, Travel and Highways, said: “This is an interesting project which anyone with a smartphone can get involved in.
“We are asking people walking by to take a quick snap, using the special smart phone CoastSnap cradle. I hope there will be some ‘Citizen Scientists’ out there who will be keen to help monitor Dorset’s ever-changing coastline.”
Dorset Council is working on this project with Plymouth Coastal Observatory, who will use the images to monitor ongoing coastal changes. The phone cradles mean the exact same image will be taken each time so they can be used to accurately identify coastal changes.
More than a dozen photos have already been submitted and the points were only installed last week.
Any photos taken at the CoastSnap points will help record the status of the beaches. Dorset’s beaches are constantly changing due to tides, weather and erosion.
All photo-senders will remain anonymous. If you send in a photo please note the time and the date it was taken.
Please email photos taken at the CoastSnap points to the Plymouth Coastal Observatory. The address, available at the CoastSnap points, is: email@example.com
More information is available here.
A sea of paper in every room, noise level up ten octaves and barely-open presents tossed on the floor. I’m still in my dressing room looking like an extra from the Gremlins and my husband is sat with five boxes of chocolates, a little overwhelmed at where to begin. Must be Christmas day.
This year we are greatly reduced in numbers as this is the first year without my mum and no one really wants to make a big thing of celebrating this year.
I knew I would probably over compensate in presents due to my lack of Christmas cheer and knowing that the boy’s parents had not sent gifts this year for different reasons. The trouble with overcompensating is watching all the children actually getting tired of opening presents and having a little melt down over not knowing what to play with first.
Christmas is also a time when emotions run high for our fostered children . ‘Will Santa know where I live?’ ‘Is it ok to be happy when mummy/ daddy are not?’ ‘Why did mummy/ daddy not buy me anything?’ ‘ Why did mummy/ daddy buy me something I don’t like?’ ‘ I wish mummy/ daddy were here too.’ Or ‘I hope my parents don’t see me being happy here.’ My boys cried a lot over the Christmas break, usually they did not know why they were crying.
So what else comes hand in hand with Christmas? Oh yes panto season ‘Oh yes it does.’ The boys, my daughter and my husband are on stage for the next week, strutting their stuff and trying to remember the script. My husband has left the lime light for the chorus this year so he can support the boy’s first ever show. Littlest boy is taking everything in his stride and filling the whole stage with his presence where oldest boy is a little apprehensive that people will laugh at him. Trouble is panto is full of laughs so the pressure is on to help him distinguish being laughed at to the audience laughing with him.
Here’s a picture of my middle daughter as Lolly in this year’s Dick Whittington.
So training this month. I was lucky enough to attend the ‘Play therapy’ course. I spent a whole day playing and meeting some lovely people from all parts of Dorset children’s team. I definitely recommend this course as it links in very well with PACE and helps with communication and interaction difficulties that children in care may face.
I also attended the meeting to discuss future plans for Dorset fostering services with Theresa. Still early days but we had nearly two hours of putting our points and needs across to hopefully strengthen the care service for all our fostered children. So I must away to find missing bits of costume and try and get the ridiculously sticky stage make off two little boy’s faces.
Please come and support us – Dick Whittington at the Mowlem theatre Friday 17 Jan uary 7.30pm and Saturday 18 2pm and 7pm. All money raised goes straight back into the Swanage drama pot to fund another fabulous show and to keep theatre in Purbeck going.
The post Oh! Yes it is – the January blog from foster carer Amanda appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Don’t miss the deadline to apply for school places for September 2020. With only eight days left to sign up, there are still over 600 families who have yet to apply.
Children born between 01 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 can start their school reception place in September 2020.
For the best chance of getting a place at their preferred school, parents must apply for their child’s place by 15 January 2020.
Parents whose child is due to move to junior or middle school in September 2020 must also apply by 15 January 2020.
To find out more, or apply now visit: dorsetforyou.gov.uk/school-admissions
The post The deadline for school places is fast approaching! appeared first on Dorset Council news.
At the start of the new year, many people take stock and consider making changes in their lives, including looking at a new career. Will 2020 be the right time for you to make a difference to a child’s life?
Becoming a foster carer can be a rewarding career. There are many types of fostering including short-term, long-term, respite and full-time. Many of which can work well alongside your job or you can see it as a role in itself.
Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio holder for children, education and early help, said:
“Our foster carers provide love, care and vital support for children and families who need it. If you think you have the qualities that could help children flourish, then get in touch.”
As a foster carer, you receive a weekly fee for your skills, plus a weekly allowance for each child you look after. There are also other allowances and benefits available. Learning and development are an integral part of fostering. You will have a free programme of learning and development from experts, training courses, learning on-line and other methods. These all help to develop skills and knowledge to equip you to keep children safe.
Find out more about fostering for Dorset or phone our Fostering Team on 01305 225568
Dorset Council and BCP Council are jointly consulting on supplementary planning policy aimed at protecting areas of sensitive heathland in south east Dorset.
The Dorset Heathlands are an extensive network of lowland heath that are internationally recognised for their importance for nature conservation.
Evidence shows that the heathlands are under significant pressure from an increasing number of people living nearby. As the population grows, human activity and damage caused by domestic pets, have the potential to cause ongoing adverse effects on these protected habitats and species.
‘The Dorset Heathlands Planning Framework Supplementary Planning Document’ (SPD) which covers the period 2020-2025, sets out an avoidance and mitigation strategy that will enable both councils to grant planning permission for new homes. The strategy ensures that urban pressures (visitors, fire, etc.) associated with new housing can be mitigated to avoid harm to the Dorset Heathlands.
Councillor David Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Dorset Council, said: “The Dorset and BCP Council areas have some of the most special and heavily protected heathland sites in the country. The SPD will help to ensure that development can continue to take place without harming their wildlife interests”
Councillor Margaret Phipps, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning for BCP Council said: “Heathlands are important and sensitive sites within the Dorset and BCP Council areas that we all want to preserve. As the population grows a balance has to be struck against managing modern development and protecting these internationally renowned sites. We have a legal duty to safeguard our environment which is why this SPD is vital to ensure we are upholding our responsibilities.”View the consultation document
The consultation runs from 3 January – 3 February 2020. You can view the consultation document on both council websites, in local libraries and at council offices.
BCP Council is collating the responses on behalf of both councils and emailed responses are preferred using firstname.lastname@example.org but you can send a response by post to Strategic Planning, Growth and Infrastructure, Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2NS. All returns should be made by midday on Monday 3 February 2020.
The feedback will be used to inform the final draft SPD which will is expected to be adopted from 1 April 2020.
The post Have your say on the future planning of Dorset Heathlands appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Dorset Council has submitted proposals for its 2020-21 budget in a report going to three Scrutiny Committees (People, Place and Resources) on 13 January. These proposals include:
- Increase in funding for adult social care of £11.7m, taking the budget from £111.2m last year to £122.9m to meet the forecast demand for social care for older and disabled people
- Increase in funding for children’s services of £10.3m, taking the budget from £63.7m last year to £74m to meet the forecast demand for support for children with complex needs and those in care.
The 2020-21 budget is set in a context of rapidly rising demand for both adults and children’s care both this year and into the foreseeable future.
This financial year (2019-20) the council is currently forecasting an overspend of £8.2m on directly controlled budgets, and £6.5m on funding for schools and education. This overspend is largely due to unprecedented and growing levels of demand for social care services, which, in turn, is the result of population changes such as more people living longer with chronic and complex conditions, and an increase in diagnosis of children’s special educational needs and disabilities. Dorset Council’s proposed increased budget for 2020-21 aims to address to the predicted growing demand.
Since 2010, central government grants to councils have been cut by nearly 60%. Dorset Council no longer receives any Revenue Support Grant from central government. This loss of funding has placed significant pressure on councils nationally, including Dorset Council, and on their ability to continue providing quality local public services.
In order to help fund the essential budget increases for adult social care and children’s services, Dorset Council proposes an increase in council tax of 3.996% for 2020-21. Of this increase, 2% is the social care precept agreed by Government in the September spending review to help fund growing demand for social care. This would generate £9.6m of additional income.
However, the council tax increase will not fully cover the forecast increased social care costs, so in order to balance the budget Dorset Council will need to continue making substantial reductions in its expenditure without affecting the delivery of frontline services.
Dorset Council has already achieved significant cost reductions over the past year as a result of Local Government Reorganisation. For example:
- A reduction in the number of senior officer roles, and where there is duplication and overlap across support services like finance, HR, IT and others, delivered savings of £10m.
- A reduction in the number of councillors from 204 to 82 delivered £400k in savings.
- Cost reductions have been made on insurance, audit fees and other activities where the council only has to pay for one organisation rather than six. A new single banking provider is anticipated to deliver a saving of £70k a year.
Next year’s proposed budget includes further multi-million pound savings through property rationalisation, reducing travel and transport costs, and a £3m reduction on expenditure through procurement. All savings are reinvested into frontline services.
Cllr Tony Ferrari, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Commercial and Assets, said:
“Over the last year, the creation of the new unitary Dorset Council has enabled us to make significant efficiencies by removing duplication across the former councils. As a result we’ve been able to continue to deliver all services previously provided by the district, borough and county councils despite the growing demand for and cost of adult and children’s social care services. However, we recognise that we need to increase our budget for the coming financial year in order to fund the continuing growth in demand.
“The council must – and will – deliver services sustainably within budget. We are developing innovative solutions to transform how we provide services with the aim of providing better services at a lower cost. However, transformation takes time, and residents of Dorset need services to be delivered in the meantime, so our 2020-21 proposals will enable us to fund additional demand over the coming year.”
Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, said:
“We would of course prefer not to raise council tax. However, we are left with no choice due to a steady decline over recent years in the overall funding from central government and the rising cost of adult social care and children’s services. The alternative would be to cut discretionary services such as libraries, highways and parks which neither I nor my colleagues wish to do.
“As an advocate for Dorset, over recent months I have lobbied Government for fairer funding – particularly for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and social care. As a result, we did secure a much needed additional £10m funding from Government in the autumn spending review. I will continue to make the case for Dorset with Government throughout the coming year.
“We have a statutory obligation to deliver many of our services. Looking after our most vulnerable residents is very important to us. And it is also important that we achieve a balanced budget through efficiency, not cuts.”
The council’s proposed net expenditure budget for 2020-21 is £305m. The diagram below outlines the proposed sources of the council’s funding for next financial year. Following discussion at the Scrutiny Committees on 13 January, budget proposals will then be discussed at the Cabinet meeting on 28 January and at the Full Council meeting on 18 February for final approval. These are all public meetings and members of the public are welcome to attend. Details of meetings are here: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/committeesDorset Council – sources of funding 2020/2021
The post Dorset Council to increase funding for adult social care and children’s services appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Dorset residents can continue to access the Somerley Household and Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) at Verwood Road free of charge without needing to register their vehicle.
We would like to reassure residents that they can continue to use Somerley HRC free of charge following an agreement between Dorset Council and Hampshire County Council (HCC). Residents do not need to register their vehicle or take further action.
In November last year Dorset Council reached an agreement with HCC to allow Dorset residents continued free access to the Somerley site. This arrangement is in place for the foreseeable future.
You can find out more information at Hampshire County Council’s website
The post Dorset residents can continue to access Somerley HWRC for free without registering their vehicle appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Moors Valley Country Park is replacing its restaurant furniture and is offering its current tables and chairs to members of the public for sensible donations, the proceeds of which will go to local charity, Hope for Food.
The tables and chairs from the Seasons Kitchen and Coffee Barn in the Visitor Centre, will be available for sensible donations, in a variety of sizes:
- Small square table and two chairs – guide donation of £15
- Medium table and four chairs – guide donation of £25
- Large table and six chairs – guide donation of £40
Moors Valley is hopeful that in addition to raising money for Hope for Food, donating the tables and chairs will provide people in need of inexpensive furniture the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends during mealtimes in their own homes.
Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment at Dorset Council, said: “Over the years, Moors Valley and Seasons have welcomed many visitors to enjoy an exciting menu of delicious dishes and drinks after a busy day of exploring the park.
“It’s wonderful to think that the furniture which has been a huge part of Moors Valley’s history, will continue to allow families to spend quality time together.”
While the Visitor Centre and Seasons will be closed from 13 – 17 January for annual maintenance, the takeaway kiosk will be open from 10am – 2pm, serving hot drinks and snacks. The park’s play areas, trails and footpaths are open as usual.
The post Restaurant furniture on offer at country park to raise money for local charity appeared first on Dorset Council news.
Elected members met on Friday 20 December at Dorset Council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Executive Advisory Panel to discuss progress on the Council’s Task and Finish groups, as well as hear updates on other climate-related work.
Officers from Litter Free Dorset came to present a proposed Dorset Council Single Use Plastic (SUP) Policy to the panel. They explained how the team is currently helping Dorset Council employees remove and reduce single use plastic across council offices. They also set out the proposed Single Use Plastic policy, designed to remove or reduce the amount of SUP used in wider services delivered by Dorset Council. Written and developed in conjunction with elected members and officers, the policy was given unanimous support by the panel and will be taken to the Council’s Place Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet for approval early next year.
There was a brief update on the launch of Dorset Council’s ‘Call for Ideas’, which has attracted over 200 responses from members of the public so far. Some of the more developed ideas will be selected for presentation at the panel’s forthcoming Inquiry Day. This will take place on Friday 21 February and will see people present their ideas directly to the panel. The session will be open for the general public to view and details will be publicised nearer the time.
The panel was updated on progress of the Buildings Task & Finish group. Councillors were given information on the current state of the Council’s emissions via its own buildings, as well as possible areas for action and opportunity in the future when looking at carbon reduction.
While the panel were satisfied with the progress being made, members remained keen to explore how the Planning system can help mitigate climate change by potentially introducing new incentives and regulations for future developments. Dorset Council planners will be invited to attend a future panel meeting and discuss how climate change is being dealt with as part of the emerging local plan, as well as clarifying national planning policy.
Panel members agreed that the continuing ambition is for Dorset to become “green” – reach a net-zero carbon emission state – as quickly as possible. There is also an aspiration for Dorset Council to produce its own green energy, rather than buy it in from external suppliers, although the door remains open to all green energy options in the meantime.
In other business, the panel reiterated their intention to visit local schools to talk to students directly about climate change in the new year, as well as continue to find ways to put pressure on central government to provide better support for councils who have declared a climate and ecological emergency. Members were also pleased to hear of the appointment of a new Corporate Sustainability Officer, who will have a lead role in pulling the Task & Finish groups’ work together and formulating the Council’s climate change strategy and action plan.
Cllr Ray Bryan, chair of Dorset Council’s Climate Change Executive Advisory Panel, commented: –
“When it comes to playing our part in tackling this climate and ecological emergency, we’re not interested in making empty gestures or vague pledges. We intend to take decisive action that will make a real impact in reducing our carbon footprint and give people something they can hold us to account for.
While I appreciate that a vocal minority may be frustrated with the amount of research and evidence gathering that needs to take place before we consider setting targets, we are holding steady in our plans simply because it is the right thing to do in the interests of the hundreds of thousands of Dorset residents we provide vital services for.
I would kindly ask that people who have strong views and ideas on what we should be doing to mitigate climate change to complete the Call for Ideas online form. Rest assured, we are continuing to treat this work as a priority and I want to make sure our strategy and action plan will see our fight against climate change become “business as usual” for Dorset Council.”
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The new benches designed by artist Michael Pinsky have been installed by crane at the West Bay hub. The benches are designed to reflect the curves and shapes of the local land and sea scape. They provide plenty of space for people to sit and enjoy local food with a great view; a place to relax with family and friends.
The open space in the centre allows for uninterrupted views across the harbour and river. In the middle, a bronze plaque made locally by Bridport Foundry has been installed, featuring points of the compass and signposting to locations in West Bay.
The benches also provide a backdrop to showcase the many motorbikes which regularly gather at West Bay.
Bikes are encouraged to park around the outside of the benches, keeping the inner circle free for visitors and residents to sit, relax and eat away from the traffic.
Sally King, project lead from the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty & Jurassic Coast Trust said “The final stage before we could open the site has been to lay the resin-bound outer surface, and hope for dry-ish weather to allow it to set. This has been a real challenge but thankfully the site is now open for everyone to enjoy over the festive period and for many years to come. We hope everyone will enjoy using this space in the heart of West Bay.”
Final touching up work on the benches will take place early in the new year.
The West Bay Welcome Hub project is part of the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio of 18 projects along the Dorset Coast which aim to support and boost the economies of Dorset’s coastal areas. The portfolio is funded by a grant from the government’s Coastal Communities Fund and partner organisations and coordinated by Dorset Coast Forum. The Welcome Hub project is led by Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Jurassic Coast Trust, working with artist Michael Pinsky, landscape architect Aileen Shackell Landscape Design and contractor Dorset Highways.
Working towards making home ownership a reality in Dorset, Opening Doors will now cover Purbeck and East Dorset.
Over the past two years, the Opening Doors project has been tackling the housing crisis by working with and encouraging housebuilders of all sizes, developers, housing associations, community land trusts and others to build more quality homes of all types – including for rent, open market sale and affordable properties.
The scheme initially covered North Dorset, West Dorset, and Weymouth & Portland but will now be covering the East of the county and Purbeck.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Housing Said: “I am delighted that we will be extending the reach of Dorset Council’s Opening Doors programme to cover Purbeck and East Dorset. This strengthens our aim of seeing 20,000 high-quality homes of a mix of tenures, built between 2016 and 2033.
“It is no secret that Dorset faces an increased demand for housing and people from different walks of life are struggling to find suitable properties, meaning they are having to move away from the area. This also has an impact on employers who find it hard to attract new talent to the area. Through our Opening Doors programme, we aim to meet this ever-growing need and make it easier for those who may be finding it difficult to stay in our beautiful county.”
One of the affordable housing projects supported by Dorset Council is a new scheme in Worth Matravers. If you have a connection with Worth Matravers and are looking to get on the housing ladder East Boro has a number of one and two bed properties soon to be available for purchase at 75% market value to people with a local connection to the area. For instance, already living in the parish or a family or employment link. You can find out more information on this development on the Opening Doors Affordable Housing Masterlist. There will be more developments advertised in the New Year including a soon to be completed development in Swanage.
Many people have decided to take home ownership into their own hands. A Self-Build and Custom Build Register has been set up for those people who want to forward their own scheme.
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Work to maintain Weymouth’s historic harbour is continuing.Work to maintain Weymouth Harbour continues
Weather and difficult ground conditions have caused delays, which engineers said from the outset was a risk. Engineers are doing all they can to reduce disruption and get the work completed – thank you to residents and businesses for your patience.
The work is now expected to be completed in February, although the noisiest piling bit has now been completed.
All current diverted traffic arrangements will remain in place around Custom House Quay over the Christmas and New Year period.
What is being done?
The work involves replacing 76 metres of quay wall. A new line of sheet steel piles, which are like an interlocking steel barrier, are going into the ground in front of the existing harbour wall. The gap between the new and old piles is being filled with concrete. The new structure is being capped with concrete and the quayside restored with equipment for mooring vessels.
Around £1.9 million has been allocated to maintain this section and another section of harbour wall near Nelson’s Wharf, which is also in need of repair.
Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “These works are essential to preserve our historic harbour for the future – without it they would be at risk of collapse. We apologise for any disruption, please bear with us as these works are vital.”
The work has been planned and paid for by Dorset Council and is being carried out by a contractor, Knights Brown.
Please email enquiries about the works to: WeymouthHarbourWalls@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
As the festive season begins, Dorset Council is pleased to inform residents of a brand-new partnership with The Salvation Army.
Many of us are giving and receiving gifts this Christmas; Dorset Council are urging residents to donate their unwanted clothing and shoes in one of the clothing banks.
99% of the clothing and shoes that are donated are re-used or recycled, sold in The Salvation Army’s charity shops and the money raised helps The Salvation Army fund its valuable work throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The Salvation Army believe that every person has the right to live a life of freedom and are committed to supporting people who are in need and helping them to live to their fullest potential. With all The Salvation Army’s services they provide, not only do they offer a place of safety but tailor-made programmes to provide people with the skills and tools to end the cycle of their previous situation and move on to a life of independence and freedom.
Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable items, please donate:
- Adult and children’s clothing
- Paired shoes
- Bed Linen
- No quilts or pillows
- No rags
- No Toys
- No Curtains
Louise Blank, from Salvation Army Trading Company, commented:
“We are excited to have started a working partnership with Dorset Council that will help us to provide resources to The Salvation Army and their services such as modern slavery victim support, supporting the homeless, addiction services and many more. Our goal is to collect clothing that can be reused to help raise funds and support the vital work of The Salvation Army”.
Cllr Tony Alford, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Regulatory Services at Dorset Council said:
“In England, we are putting a lot of clothes and shoes in the waste bin, much of it going to landfill.
It doesn’t need to be that way, and we are happy to be working with The Salvation Army so that residents can recycle their clothes or allow them to be reused.
We are inviting residents who get some new clothes over the festive period to recycle some old ones at any of these new textile banks based in car parks throughout Dorset.”
These banks will be available from early next week (w/c Monday 23 December) and can be accessed all year round. Find your nearest bank online.
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Through its Building Better Lives programme, Dorset Council is delivering new housing for vulnerable people in Purbeck. In the next stage of the plans for the former Middle School site in Worgret Road, Wareham, the temporary Relocatable Housing will be built in the new year.
ESS Modular Ltd is the Principal Contractor for the construction of the units. They will be on site to set up from Monday 6 January and should be complete by mid-April. The contractors have written to all residents within the immediate area to advise of their contact details and schedule of works.
There is still a growing need for social care housing in the area. These include people being discharged from long-term hospital stays, moving on from home, or currently living in housing that doesn’t meet their needs.
Relocatable, modular, housing can help with some of this short-term need. The buildings are made in a factory and lifted into position on site. They can be designed to meet specific needs, such as wheelchair accessibility.
Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Dorset Council said:
“This type of housing allows the council to use sites while medium and long-term plans are developed. There is a local need for housing, and we need it quickly.
Laura Miller, portfolio Holder for adult social care and health at Dorset Council added:
“Permanent housing will be developed alongside the relocatable housing, giving people the opportunity to see their permanent house being built and then move when complete, freeing up the relocatable housing units for craning off the site and to a new location.”
Currently, there are 33 local people who need accommodation in the next 12 months. This need is not something that can be met through traditional building programmes. Also, there are 41 people in Purbeck who have a need for housing in the next five years which will be addressed by longer term plans.
Plans are underway for the rest of the site, which will include a new health hub and GP Practice, dementia care home and affordable housing for key workers in the health and social care profession.
More information on this will be available in the new year.
You can find out more about the project on our Building Better Lives pages.
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