Council receives accolade for workforce commitment

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 12:56

Purbeck District Council has retained the Investors in People (IiP) award which is the benchmark of excellent people management.

The Council first received the accolade in 2008 and this latest successful assessment, which took place in March 2017, recognises the Council’s commitment to its workforce.

District Council Chief Executive, Steve Mackenzie, said: “The award is deserved recognition of the hard work and commitment of all staff here at the Council, especially during a time of continued financial challenges and uncertainty.

As part of a reassessment process, staff were interviewed by IiP Assessor, Jo Gillingham, who emphasised a number of strengths:

  • Real attempts are being made to engage and inform staff. Communication is effective and inclusive.
  • There is confidence in the Management Team to lead the Council through change. Although services face increased pressure and officers commented on increasing workload demands, there is a trust in line managers to support their teams.
  • Management style is viewed very positively and a willingness to support individuals is recognised.
  • There is an excellent sense of team work and common purpose, the Council has a strong culture of valuing and supporting colleagues.
  • Appraisal and Development Reviews (appraisals) and 1:1s are embedded across all teams and, importantly, are valued by individuals for the focus they provide.
  • There is a huge commitment from all staff to deliver the best service possible and ensure the Council is successful in achieving its purpose and objectives. Within reducing budgets and increasing workload, officers are working hard to deliver effective and efficient services to the community of Purbeck.

Steve continued:  “The positive feedback received and constructive suggestions for improvement will help us prioritise our plans going forward so that we can continue to deliver excellent services to residents and businesses.” 

Local government reorganisation has been a recent major focus for the Council and staff and this was recognised by the assessor. 

When summarising her review, Jo Gillingham said: “Given the extent of the potential change facing Purbeck District Council, feedback from this assessment was very positive.

The comments from people across different roles and services confirm that there is strong managerial leadership of the Council and people have confidence that the Management Team of the Chief Executive and General Managers will endeavour to support all staff through change.” 

Ms Gillingham continued. “Everyone I spoke to confirmed that they enjoy their role and, importantly, value working for the Council. Being a smaller council, people experience a real sense of team work and value the fact that they know colleagues well, including senior managers.”

Ms Gillingham also made a number of recommendations around supporting staff through change and these, together with other feedback from the assessment, will enable the Council further improve its working practices.

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Categories: Dorset

Wimborne History Festival supports Roman Day at Dumpton School

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:07
Year 6 pupils displaying the mosaics with Head of Latin Mr Sam Moulton and Artist Joanna Dewfall

Creative Year 6 pupils at Dumpton School, Wimborne have designed and produced three wonderful ‘Roman’ Mosaics as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded mosaic project with mosaic artist Joanna Dewfall.

The project was one element of an annual Roman Day celebration at the school, focussing on Romans and how they lived and worked.

Thirty Year 6 pupils worked in small groups to research and draw designs that would be typically found as a theme in Roman mosaics excavated in Dorset.

They were then taught how to cut tiles and create the mosaics. In order to make their mosaics more realistic the pupils decided to make them look like fragments that might have been excavated.

As part of Dumpton School’s Roman Day, Wimborne History Festival were also able to provide a ‘Roman Soldier’. He came to talk to the children about what is was like to be in the Roman Army. The children were able to try on armour and clothing and have a little taste of marching practice!

Head Teacher Mr Browning commented, “We are so proud of the mosaics made by our students – the children have shown great creativity and imagination.  We will be mounting them for permanent display alongside our new Arts Courtyard.”

Tracy Whitham, Director of Wimborne History Festival commented; “Wimborne History Festival have been thrilled to work with Dumpton School. We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Funding we secured for children to learn about the Roman History of Wimborne has resulted in such enthusiastic and creative results.”

For more information about Wimborne History Festival visit:

For more information please contact Tracey Whitham:


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Categories: Dorset

Half term sports in Purbeck

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/26/2017 - 10:02

Purbeck Sports Centre, Wareham has a week of sports and fun lined up this May half-term.

There’s a packed programme from Monday 29 May to Sunday 4 June for children and adults. 

Activities include Dance and Acrobatics workshop for 5s to 10s; cricket; AFC Bournemouth Football Camp; Junior Circuits for 8s to 15s; Tennis camp; Chinese Kickboxing for 11 years plus; and a Football Funday.

Families can also scale some heights with Family Climbing or make some moves with Zumba.

There is also an exciting Purbeck Action Adventure Day with multi activities and sports for 8s to 12s (please book in advance).

The pool is open all week and there are special swimming lessons plus a Diving workshop teaching children the basics from deck level to depths of 2 metres.

Why not try something with the teenagers too? 16 years and over can enjoy Insanity Max Interval Training; Circuits; or Spinning to the groove of disco music. Or, if you want to the leave teens to themselves, Active Youth Afternoons for ages 10 to 18 will get them playing racket sports and swimming for £4.50 pp.

See all the details on the Sports Centre webpages or telephone 01929 500 000.

Michelle Goodman, Sports Centre Manager, said: “Spring into action this half-term and join us for some sporty fun!

“Whether it’s splashing around in our 25m indoor pool, getting active with acrobatics or scaling our climbing wall, we guarantee sporty entertainment!”

The Sports Centre also offers a wide range of exercise classes and swimming sessions, modern gym, indoor and outdoor courts and all-weather pitches.  A relaxing drink or lunch can also be enjoyed in the onsite Allstars café bar.

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Categories: Dorset

Three Seaside Awards for Christchurch beaches

Dorset For You - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:01

Three beaches in Christchurch have again gained Seaside Awards for achieving the highest standards of beach management in 2017.

The team celebrate the awards


Avon Beach, Christchurch

Avon Beach, Friars Cliff Beach and Highcliffe Beach are the winners of the Awards, which are judged and presented by the charity Keep Britain Tidy.

The Award recognises and rewards beaches in England that achieve the highest standards of beach management and water quality.

Becky Beaumont, Community and Recreation Officer at Christchurch and East Dorset councils said: “For over 20 years our beaches have been recognised as clean and safe beaches and we are thrilled to be able to say that yet again we have been awarded Seaside Awards.


Avon Beach, Christchurch

“The continued success of our beaches is a testament to the Community & Recreation team and our fantastic volunteers who work hard to protect and continually improve our very special coastline.”
Visitors to Seaside Award winning beaches can be assured of a great day out and can have confidence that their visit will be both safe and enjoyable.

The team flying the flag

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Categories: Dorset

Spend 30 Days Wild with your class in June

Dorset For You - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:56

Schools across Dorset have signed up to 30 Days Wild, the UK’s month-long nature challenge taking place from 1 to 30 June.Since it was started by the Wildlife Trusts a few years ago, 30 Days Wild has become one of the leading environmental campaigns in the UK.  Last year more than 25,000 people got involved and 2,250 schools participated.

The challenge is to do a ‘wild’ thing every day in June.  Research shows we are happier, healthier and more creative when we are connected to the natural world – but we also know that people spend less time outdoors than ever before.

Last week’s  Outdoor Classroom Day (18 May) gave children a taste of what is to come. Staff and pupils at Damers School in Dorchester, got stuck in with a wide range of classes taking place around the school ground.  From maths and grammar to art and crafts as well as gardening lessons and treasure trails.  Every pupil at the school had a chance to spend a lesson learning in a creative way, in the open air.

April, age 6, said it was a lot of fun as she and her friends completed a mystery trail to find hidden objects.

Freia and Misha, 8 and 9, turned their talents to gardening for the lesson outside.   They said it was a really good day, and they loved the chance to be outside for one of their classes.

Edd Moore, one of the teachers at the school, said:  “We are lucky to have such a variety of outdoor spaces at the school, so it is very well suited as ‘outdoor’ classrooms.  The children much enjoyed the lessons, which took place outside throughout the day.”

Alison Jay, Sustainable Schools Officer at Dorset County Council, said:

“Play and outdoor activities teaches children teamwork and creativity, and is also vital to children’s enjoyment of childhood.

“It’s great to see so many schools pledging support for 30 Days Wild, so far more than 60 schools across Dorset have signed up to take part.”

Whether you take your class outdoors, or bring the wild into your classroom, making nature part of school life can open up new ways of learning and engagement for pupils.

It’s not too late to register for your interest and get a free 30 Days Wild schools pack.


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Categories: Dorset

Cllr Kevin Brookes becomes Mayor of Weymouth and Portland

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/19/2017 - 11:48

Cllr Kevin Brookes was sworn in as Mayor at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Mayor Making ceremony last night (18/5/17).

Mayor Brookes was handed the robes after Cllr Richard Kosior’s year in the post.

A bit of background

Born and raised in South Yorkshire, Mayor Brookes left school at 15 and joined the Army, training as a bandsman. After attending the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, West London, he later joined the 1st Battalion Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire in Cyprus in October 1971.

New Mayor for Weymouth and Portland May 2017 Kevin Brookes.
Picture By: Dorset Media Service

Postings to Northern Ireland, Dover, West Germany and Bulford then followed.

In 1979 he transferred to the Royal Military Police and again served in Germany, Hong Kong and Catterick.

He later joined the Prison Service and worked at Ashford Remand Centre, Feltham YOI and finally at Portland YOI. His 18 year prison service career ended after being attacked and injured while on duty in 2001 in Portland.

The ward member for Upwey & Broadwey has served as a councillor for a total of 10  years.

He was first elected in 2000 for the Preston ward, in 2004 for Wey Valley ward and for the Upwey & Broadwey ward in 2014.

The Mayor’s chosen charities

The Mayor’s chosen charities for 2017/18 are:

Prostate Cancer UK – in particular the local support group that helps men who have recently been diagnosed with the condition and those receiving treatment.

GO Girls Support Group – a Dorset based support group for women with gynaecological cancers.

Supporting roles

Reverend Philip Elliott will stay on as the mayor’s chaplain for the coming year.

The Deputy Mayor for 2017/18 is Cllr Gill Taylor.

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Categories: Dorset

New Leader for Dorset County Council

Dorset For You - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 21:15

Cllr Rebecca Knox was unanimously elected as the new Leader of Dorset County Council this morning (Thursday 18 May).

New Leader and Deputy Leader Cllr Peter Wharf, Deputy Leader of Dorset County Council Cllr Rebecca Knox, Leader of Dorset County Council

At their first meeting following the election on 4 May, county councillors voted in Cllr Knox as Leader. Cllr Knox subsequently appointed Cllr Peter Wharf as Deputy Leader.

Cllr Knox said:

“I know we are proud to have been elected to represent and serve Dorset’s communities. We want to make a difference, with commitment, clarity and courage. We are an inclusive council, one which listens to and understands its communities, recognising that each community within Dorset has distinctiveness and varying demands.

“The residents of Dorset have change in their own lives, both individually and as communities, and Dorset County Council continues to adapt and be flexible to that change. Financial constraints face us all, but this should not deter us from our collective aim to listen to residents and use evidence to make sure we are delivering the services that make a positive difference to people’s lives. But we can’t do that by ourselves: we will need to work even more closely with our communities, the voluntary sector and partners to support our residents to be safe, healthy and independent, and to make sure that Dorset is a great place to live and work.”

A new Cabinet

At the council meeting Cllr Knox announced a new-look Cabinet – the executive group responsible for the overall business of the council. Three new faces – Cllrs Peter Wharf, Daryl Turner and Tony Ferrari – join existing Cabinet members Cllrs Knox, Deborah Croney and Jill Haynes.

The new DCC Cabinet takes shape (from l-r): Daryl Turner, Tony Ferrari, Deborah Croney, Jill Haynes, Peter Wharf and Rebecca Knox A new Chairman for the county council

Cllr Hilary Cox was elected as Chairman – the civic and ceremonial head of the council, with Cllr Andrew Parry appointed as Vice-Chairman.

Cllr Hilary Cox elected Chairman of Dorset County Council, and receives her chain of office from former Chairman, Andrew Cattaway.

Cllr Cox said:

“It is a tremendous honour to be elected as Chairman of Dorset County Council. I see my role as a key part of local democracy – listening to and learning from people, promoting causes, and working with residents, staff and councillors for the health and prosperity of our communities.”

Committee Chairs were also appointed at the meeting – find the full list of county council committees at

Tributes were paid at the meeting to former Leader, Robert Gould, and former Chairman, Andrew Cattaway.

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Categories: Dorset

How will you be celebrating Armed Forces Day?

Dorset For You - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 16:51

Weymouth and Portland boast one of the UK’s leading annual veterans’ events, with a huge amount of activity going on!  Magnificent historic military vehicle displays, exhibitions, vintage music and evocative memorabilia will be on show. One of the highlights will be a major military parade with over 2,000 marching veterans.

Following on from last year’s success, we are delighted to support the ‘1940s comes to Portland’ event. The event will be held at the Osprey Leisure Centre. Displays, exhibits and performances from popular local vintage group ‘The Decadettes’ will really help to bring alive what life was like in the 1940’s.

New Grant

We are also delighted to recognise the support of the Ministry of Defence who have given a £7,500 grant towards funding this year’s event.

There will also be a number of veterans’ charities on hand to help educate and inform the public about the important role they play. You will also be able to  support them in their great work.

Timetable of Events

Saturday 17 June

  • 10am – 12pm          Static historic military vehicle display                               Pavilion Forecourt
  • 12pm – 4pm            1940’s comes to Portland                                                    Osprey Leisure Centre
  • Leaves 12:30pm   Historic military convoy to Portland                               Weymouth Pavilion
  •  All Day                   Ex-Service Association awareness and fund raising    Weymouth Seafront

 Sunday 18 June

  •  11am                     Open air church service, veterans parade and vehicle convoy    Weymouth Seafront
  • From 12:45pm   Sing-a-long with ‘The Decadettes’                                                     Ocean Room, Weymouth
  • From 1pm              Band Performances                                                                                  Pavilion Forecourt
  •  All Day                    Historic military vehicle static display                                             Weymouth Seafront
  • All Day                    Ex-Service Association awareness and fund raising                    Weymouth Seafront

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Categories: Dorset

Cllr Derek Burt sworn in as Chairman of East Dorset District Council

Dorset For You - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 15:25

Cllr Derek Burt has been sworn in as Chairman of East Dorset District Council at the annual meeting of East Dorset District Council, held at Allendale Community Centre on Monday 15 May.

Cllr Derek Burt, Chairman of East Dorset District Council

This will be his third term as Chairman, having previously held the office in 1977-79 and in 2011-12. Derek will be supported by his wife Janet and he succeeds Cllr David Shortell who has held the position for the past year.

Cllr Derek Burt is a true local man, born in the Victoria Cottage Hospital in Wimborne. He attended Wimborne Boys School and then Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in King Street, Wimborne. Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps he joined the Wimborne and Cranborne Rural District Council in 1966. In 1974, the council joined with Wimborne Urban Council to form Wimborne District Council which, in 1988 changed its name to East Dorset District Council.

Cllr Derek Burt, Chairman in 1977

Cllr Burt represents Corfe Mullen and outside of his commitments to the council, he has been Chairman of East Dorset Heritage Trust for nearly 30 years, President of the Priest’s House Museum for the past 22 years and is a Vice-President of the Wimborne MovieMakers. He has also served as a Governor on several local schools and he has maintained, since being a Boy Scout, a keen interest in the Scouting movement and has been Chairman of the East Dorset Scout District Council for many years.

On being chosen as Chairman, Cllr Burt said “It is a great privilege to be elected as the Chairman of East Dorset District Council for the third time and I look forward to representing the authority within the local community and across the county of Dorset. During the forthcoming year, I hope to raise funds for my chosen charities of Julia’s House, the children’s hospice which is in Corfe Mullen and the Poole based charity About Face which supports people who have been diagnosed with cancer of the head and neck.”

At the Council meeting Cllr Mrs Toni Coombs was elected to serve as Deputy Chairman.

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Categories: Dorset

Councils and college host successful teacher training event

Dorset For You - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:35

A teacher training day held at Bournemouth and Poole College has been hailed as a success by businesses and teachers alike.

The Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Teacher Training Day was arranged by Christchurch and East Dorset Councils with support from Borough of Poole and Bournemouth and Poole College.

This new event enabled leading engineering employers to highlight careers and developments in the sector to teachers and career advice professionals.

Delegates heard interesting and informative presentations from Aish Technologies Ltd, Cobham Aviation, WG Jones and Ishida Europe. Young employees from Cobham and Aish also discussed their current projects and career plans.

After the presentations, all those involved in the day were given a tour of the engineering facilities at The College and then had the opportunity to network.

Attendance to the event contributed to the teachers’ CPD (Continued Professional Development) and businesses showed how they are supporting young people to work and study, in order to ensure the future of the manufacturing and engineering industry in Dorset.

Duncan Newman, Economic Development Officer, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “The training day was a great success. We received lots of positive comments from teachers and businesses, and we are planning to hold similar training events in the future. The manufacturing and engineering industry in Dorset is constantly expanding and by working with local teachers we can encourage our young people to consider careers in a sector that they might not know much about.”

If you are a teacher or career advice professional and would like to know more about future teacher training events, please contact Duncan Newman, Economic Development Officer at Christchurch at East Dorset Councils on 01202 795528 or e-mail:

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset couple win great prize for recycling cartons

Dorset For You - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:45

A couple of keen recyclers recently won a year’s kerbside collection of their garden waste, just for recycling drinks cartons.

Kathy and Martyn Curtler of Wimborne regularly take their used cartons to a local bring bank for recycling, so when they heard the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) had launched a competition to win a year’s garden waste collections just for recycling used cartons, they decided to take part.

The pair wrote their name and e-mail address on a carton and popped it into the carton recycling bank nearby. Once collected, the winning carton was then selected at random by a DWP officer who contacted the couple to congratulate them.

As Kathy and Martyn already subscribe to the DWP’s garden waste service, they have chosen to wait until April next year to begin enjoying their prize.

The competition was launched to help promote the carton recycling banks, which are situated in around 20 different locations across the county.

Carton banks are currently at risk of removal from car-parks because they are under-used and often contain incorrect items, such as glass or regular cardboard. This means they are becoming too costly for the DWP’s contractors to continue providing.

As the cartons cannot currently be recycled at the kerbside, the DWP want to maintain the carton bank service by increasing the amount of cartons being recycled and reducing the amount of incorrect items being placed in the banks.

Gemma Clinton, Head of Service (Strategy) for the Dorset Waste Partnership, said:

Congratulations to Kathy and Martyn, and a big thank you for using our carton recycling service.

“There are still two more garden waste service prizes up for grabs. So if you have a carton to dispose of, don’t throw it in the rubbish bin. Flatten it down, write your name and e-mail address/phone number directly onto the carton, take it to one of our carton banks and pop it in.

“Residents can also take part by taking a photo of themselves placing a carton in one of the DWP’s carton recycling banks and sharing/posting it to the DWP’s Facebook page or Recycle for Dorset Twitter account. Good luck!”

Closing date for entries is Friday 30 June. Two more winners will be drawn in early June and July respectively. Read further details of the competition, including a list of carton banks and terms and conditions.

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Categories: Dorset

Highcliffe zig-zag path to remain closed until 2018

Dorset For You - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:44

The zig-zag path at Highcliffe Castle is to remain closed until 2018 while a full rebuild is carried out.

Highcliffe Castle Zig-Zag path

Having been monitored for over a year, the path was closed for public safety in March as surveys showed a failure of the retaining timber support is potentially imminent.

The council has set aside funds of £350,000 and was also recently awarded approximately £280,000 towards the rebuild as part of the Dorset Coastal Community Bid although until the work is tendered the actual cost will not be known. Specialist design work for the rebuild, which must have disabled access, is ongoing. Because of the value of the works a full tendering process must take place once the final design is approved and it is likely that building works will commence in the autumn. Depending on the weather it is likely that building work will take up to six months meaning the zig-zag path could reopen in time for Easter 2018.

Matti Raudsepp, Strategic Director, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “We had hoped to be able to reopen the zig-zag with a temporary solution for the summer season. However, recent surveys have shown that the cliff is no longer secure enough to enable a temporary solution to work successfully.

“We understand the closure has impacted on local residents and visitors but the safety of the public has to be our priority. The recent period of dry weather has further exacerbated issues in the area, and recent cliff falls locally demonstrate why it is essential we do not reopen the zig-zag path until we are confident that it is safe. We would like to thank people for their patience while the path remains closed.”

The council is looking at ways to better secure the closure of the footpath down to the beach until it is once again safe to use to ensure people to not try to use the zig-zag while it is closed. It is also looking at options to improve the signage for the public to alternative routes and to provide information about the closure at the start of other routes which end at the Castle.

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Categories: Dorset

Come to a community drop-in, in Melcombe Regis

Dorset For You - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 13:56


People are being invited to come to a community drop-in to find out what is happening in Melcombe Regis.

Everyone is welcome to attend the event and find out about the work being done to improve housing, employment, health, the environment and safety. Information will be available about the work of the Melcombe Regis Board, which has been set-up so that different public services can work together more effectively.

There will be also be a presentation followed by a question and answer session from 6.30-7.30pm and information stands from 4pm-7.30pm.

The drop in will be held from 4pm-7.30pm on Wednesday 17 May at the Park Community Centre in Chelmsford Street.

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Categories: Dorset

New committee structure proposed at Christchurch Borough Council

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 16:23
The Civic Offices, Christchurch Borough Council

Councillors are being asked to approve a new committee structure at their Annual Council meeting on Tuesday 16 May.

The new structure will see the Policy and Resources Committee disbanded and replaced with a Community Committee and a Resources Committee. The proposed Community Committee will deal with issues relating to the local area such as open spaces, the environment and street cleansing whilst the Resources Committee will deal with financial and policy issues such as council tax, corporate plan and policy and budget control.

The Portfolio Holder roles will also be removed with the responsibility for work carried out by Portfolio Holders being passed to committee chairs and other councilors 

Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said:  “Whilst we have had Portfolio Holder positions at the council since 2001 the role has changed over the years. Whilst Portfolio Holders have no decision-making power, some members felt that the council could be heading towards adopting a Leader and Cabinet system whereby the Leader and Executive Councillors would have decision-making powers. This is not something I think is right for our council.

“The proposal members are being asked to approve will ensure the committee structure is retained. This will see councillors debate and vote issues at public meetings, including Full Council, based on reports produced by council officers. The work undertaken by Portfolio Holders will be shared amongst other councillors including the committee chairs.”

Should the proposed structure be approved, committee chairs and vice-chairs will be decided at the first meeting of each committee.

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Categories: Dorset

Celebrate all creatures great and small at Highcliffe Castle’s Petfest

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 14:17
Fred the dog enjoying Petfest 2016

Following on from Highcliffe’s first ever Petfest last year, this hugely successful event returns on 4 June 2017 and is set to be even bigger and better.

Lots of events are planned throughout the day including a dog show, owl display and petting farm.

Experts will be on hand to answer your questions at a series of seminars including tropical animal experts from Magnolia House of Christchurch and a hedgehog rescue centre.

Stephen Noble, Events and Weddings Team Leader, Highcliffe Castle, said: “After the success of last year, we are really pleased the event is returning for a second year. People’s pets are a huge part of their everyday lives and this event gives us a chance to celebrate our pets and also learn more about other animals. Petfest is guaranteed to put a smile on your face so we look forward to welcoming everyone along for this fun-filled day out. If you didn’t make last year’s event I would encourage you to come along.”

Petfest takes place on 4 June between 10.30am and 4.30pm and entry to the event is £1.

pet fest 2017 flyer

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Categories: Dorset

Council meetings will now all be held at Allendale Community Centre

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 11:22

Following the recent full closure of the Furzehill Council Offices, the first East Dorset District Council meeting to take place at Allendale Community Centre will be Annual Council on Monday 15 May.

Allendale Community Centre

The recently refurbished Quarter Jack Suite at Allendale Community Centre is now available for all Civic meetings. Members and officers hope that the new location will see increased attendance from members of the public.

Richard Jones, Democratic Services and Elections Manager said “We look forward to welcoming people to the new venue in Wimborne.  The Quarter Jack Suite has been fully refurbished and I am pleased that the space is now able to be used by both East Dorset District Council and the wider community.

“Thank you to the team at the Allendale Community Centre for being so accommodating and allowing us to use the centre to host Civic meetings. We hope that both staff and visitors will see the benefits that the refurbished room, improved ICT equipment and newly installed wi-fi will bring.”

The full list of East Dorset District Council committee meeting dates can be found at

Whilst the council meetings move to Allendale Community Centre, the local council offices in Wimborne remain at Allenview House, in Hanham Road, known locally as The Teachers building. Allenview House is open to customers from 8.45am- 5.15pm on Mondays- Thursdays, and 8.45am-4.45pm on Fridays.

Full address Quarter Jack Suite, Allendale Community Centre, Hanham Road, Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1AS

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Categories: Dorset

New Strategy Committee up and running

Dorset For You - Fri, 05/12/2017 - 10:19

West Dorset District Council’s new Strategy Committee met for the first time today (11/5/17).

The new committee replaces the council’s former Executive Committee following a referendum held in December 2015 which asked voters how they wanted West Dorset District Council to be run.

New Strategy Committee: (from left) Cllr Matthew Hall; Cllr Peter Barrowcliff; Cllr Ian Gardner; Cllr Timothy Yarker; Cllr John Russell; Cllr Mary Penfold; Cllr Anthony Alford; Cllr Stella Jones; Cllr Alan Thacker. Cllr Susie Hosford was not able to be in the photo.

The Strategy Committee is politically proportionate. This means seats are allocated in accordance to the number of councillors from each political party.

West Dorset District Council currently has 30 Conservatives and 12 Liberal Democrats. The Strategy Committee has 10 members: seven are Conservatives and three are Liberal Democrats.

Members of the Strategy Committee were appointed during the annual meeting of the Full Council.

The new committee met immediately after Full Council to appoint members to portfolio holder roles.

Who makes up West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee? Member: Portfolio: Cllr Anthony Alford (Chair) Partnership and joint working Cllr Alan Thacker Community Safety & Access Cllr Mary Penfold Enabling Cllr Ian Gardner Planning Cllr John Russell Environmental Protection & Assets Cllr Peter Barrowcliff Corporate Cllr Timothy Yarker Housing Cllr Stella Jones MBE Equalities Cllr Susie Hosford Vulnerable residents Cllr Matthew Hall Sustainability

The committee will be responsible for most day-to-day decisions made by the council.  It will oversee the formulation of new policies and strategies. It will also consider reports and recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

The Leader of the Council is the Chairman of the Strategy Committee.

The Strategy Committee’s next meeting takes place on 30 May 2017 at 2.15pm.

Find more information about committee meetings, agendas and minutes online.


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Categories: Dorset

Chairman’s Spring Reception and Community Awards 2017

Dorset For You - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 17:24
The Chairman of East Dorset with Grace Hill, Winner of the Young Achievers Award

On Thursday 27 April Chairman Cllr David Shortell hosted a Spring Reception and Community awards evening at Furzehill Council Chamber. It was the last event to be held at the Furzehill venue as future proceedings will now be held in the Quarter Jack Suite in the Allendale Community Centre.

The successful event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, along with Mayors of Ferndown, Verwood, Wimborne and Christchurch. Also in attendance, and the guest speaker for the evening, was The High Sheriff of Dorset.

Chairman of East Dorset District Council, Cllr David Shortell said, ‘’It was a privilege to host this event. I believe it to be very important to recognise and acknowledge the hard work and achievements of all our nominees and winners, and celebrate them for what they do in our community.’’

Categories & Winners:

Adult Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Eric Burton, Coordinator & Chairman for Wimborne Neighbourcar scheme.

Young Achiever
Winner: Grace Hill, member of the House and School Councils at Ferndown Upper School and an elected National Youth Parliament Member.

Best Community Project or Community Group
Winner: East Dorset Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Supporting clients with budgets and re-socialising.

Best Business Supporting the Community
Winner: Lesley Shand Funeral Service part of FC Douch & Son (Funerals) Ltd, involved with numerous community supporting initiatives and support a variety of charities.

Winner of the Young Achievers Award Grace Hill commented: ‘‘I had a lovely evening and am very flattered to receive this award. I was not expecting it at all and could not have achieved this without the support of my family, friends and school.

‘’I think it is great to included recognition for young people at an event like this.’’

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Categories: Dorset

Purbeck District Council office holders re-elected

Dorset For You - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 17:23
At the Council’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday 9 May, office holders were re-elected for the municipal year 2017/18.

Cllr Bill Trite and Cllr Gary Suttle

Councillor Bill Trite and Councillor Wendy Meaden were re-elected to their respective positions of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Purbeck District Council.

Councillor Gary Suttle was also re-appointed as Leader of the Council, with Councillor Barry Quinn appointed again as Deputy Leader.

There were also no changes to Portfolio Holders for 2017/18, which are as follows:

  • Resources and Efficiencies – Councillor Barry Quinn
  • Environment – Councillor Peter Webb (Deputy: Councillor Graham Brown)
  • Housing – Councillor Laura Miller (Deputy: Councillor Hilary Goodinge)
  • Local Communities – Councillor  Bill Pipe (Deputy: Councillor Tim Morris)
  • Economy and Infrastructure – Councillor  Cherry Brooks (Deputy: Councillor Caroline Finch)

The District Council has 25 councillors. The political composition of the Council for the 2017/18 is:

Conservative Group – 20 members
Leader: Gary Suttle Deputy Leader: Barry Quinn

Liberal Democrat Group – 4 members
Leader: David Budd Deputy Leader: Fred Drane

Independents – 1 member

See details of all Purbeck District Council’s councillors

The Council’s municipal year runs from May 2017 to May 2018.

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Categories: Dorset

Wimborne footbridge will temporarily close for remedial works

Dorset For You - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 11:07

Crown Mead footbridge in Wimborne, which links the Crown Mead shopping precinct to Willow Walk, will close on Monday 15 May for approximately one week.

Crown Mead footbridge, Wimborne

Contractors, who installed the bridge in December last year, will be carrying out remedial works to the bridge.  The works will include improvements to the brickwork and block paving, and the application of coloured surfacing to the new footpath areas.

Lindsay Cass, Head of Property & Engineering said ‘’This work is being carried out by the contractors under the terms of our original contract, which provides for the correction of any defects that arise during the 12 month period following the opening. The temporary closure will allow for all the minor issues to be addressed.’’

Local noise disruption will be kept to the minimum necessary whilst the works are carried out.

Whilst the footbridge remains closed, the public will temporarily be required to use the road bridge in Park Lane.


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Categories: Dorset