Coast Road broadband to go from slow lane to ultrafast

Dorset For You - Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:34

A group of properties along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast are to get some of the fastest internet connections in the UK.

With advice from the Superfast Dorset project, people living and working in Coast Road – a stunning but isolated location between Burton Bradstock and Abbotsbury – have tapped into Government money to future proof their broadband.

On learning that they fell outside any commercial or publicly-funded plans for faster internet, locals applied to the national Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which funds full fibre connections for businesses and the homes around them. Their chosen network provider Openreach will fund the other half of the project as part of its Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) programme.

Openreach engineers will now extend fibre-optic cables from the exchange direct to properties in the area giving access to ultrafast download speeds of up to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) – more than 300 times faster than their current connections and fast enough to stream 200 HD Netflix movies simultaneously.

The Othona Community in Coast Road has been offering retreats, courses and holidays-in-community since 1965. Its visitors come from all over the UK and some from overseas.

Tony Jaques, who has overseen the growth of the community since 1995, said: “Until I arrived there wasn’t a single computer on site! And we still have an emphasis on trying to live simply. But today, of course, our good administration and communication relies on internet connection.

“To be honest, as a small business and a charity we really struggle with the existing copper network. So to have fibre-optics all the way to our buildings will be a dream come true. And help from public funding makes sense. Without it businesses like ours in outlying areas just get left behind.”

Under the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of gigabit-capable (1,000 megabit) internet connections, either individually or as part of a group.

Residents can benefit from the scheme too if they are part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim a voucher with a value of up to £500.

The scheme is only accessible through broadband service providers. More details and a list of locally active suppliers.

Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership programme is designed to help people in places not included in any current roll-out plans to bring fibre broadband to their local area, working with Openreach to co-fund the installation.

Emma Howarth, Programme Director for Openreach, said: “I’m delighted that we’ll be able to help the process of bringing ultrafast broadband to Coast Road.”

“Partnerships like this help us bring high-speed connections to those areas that broadband providers, for a variety of reasons, struggle to upgrade alone.

“That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of similar community projects across the UK, working in partnership with businesses, schools and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers.”

The UK-wide CFP programme is bringing fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas with more than 30,000 UK households and businesses already able to benefit from faster speeds. The figure is expected to double to 60,000 within 12 months.

Across the UK, more than 600 CFP schemes have already been agreed, with upgrades complete in more than 200 communities. Once Openreach has installed the infrastructure, residents can place an order for the new faster services with a provider of their choice.

Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment, said: “I’m pleased we have been able to support these homes and businesses, who can look forward to the very fastest internet speeds.

“Of course, around 96 per cent of properties in Dorset can already access superfast broadband – download speeds of 24 Mbps or more. But to benefit you have to contact an internet provider and ask to switch to fibre broadband.”

Check fibre broadband availability at your property and see the options if you are outside current plans.

More about Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership programme.

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Categories: Dorset

Purbeck Local Plan – statement from Purbeck District Council

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 17:07

Purbeck District Council has issued a statement to provide clarification and explain the next stage in the process of preparing the Purbeck Local Plan.

Public consultation

In early 2018, the District Council organised a public consultation on a number of options for meeting the District’s housing needs. 8,000 residents, along with businesses and other stakeholders, responded to a questionnaire and telephone survey. The findings have been used to help draft the Purbeck Local Plan which looks ahead up to 2034.

Next steps

The draft Local Plan will be considered by Purbeck District Councillors at a full meeting of the District Council on 9 October 2018.

At this meeting, Councillors will decide whether to agree the draft Plan for publication.

Opportunity to comment between 22 October and 3 December

Subject to agreement by Councillors, the draft Plan will be published for six weeks, between 22 October and 3 December.

During this period, people will be able to comment on the ‘soundness’ of the plan. This relates to the way the plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements. These comments will be submitted to an independent planning inspector for consideration.

Please do not attempt to make a response on the draft Purbeck Local Plan before this period starts. Any comments made to the Council before the formal publication period cannot be accepted.

Representations must be made in writing using the form supplied by the Planning Inspectorate (which will be published on the Council’s web pages). When requested, the Council will be able to provide people with assistance completing the form.

During the publication period, copies of the plan, all supporting documents and guidance on how to make a representation will be published on the Council’s web pages. Hard copies of the plan will also be made available for inspection at a number of locations across the District.


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Categories: Dorset

Dorset young carers treated to theatre trip

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/24/2018 - 15:13

25 Dorset young carers have been taken to see War Horse at Southampton’s Mayflower as a reward for their hard work and for some down time from their often demanding responsibilities.

There are currently 117 young carers in the county being supported by the Dorset Young Carers Service.

Over the past year, the service has provided a range of activities and services to these young people including:

  • one-to-one intensive support
  • group day trips
  • residential trips for the whole family
  • practical skills training, such as first aid and cookery

The service has also teamed up with charity My Time in Worth Matravers, which offers play days and short breaks.

Dorset Young Carers Service believes that many more young carers may remain hidden and strives to identify and assess potential young carers to ensure they have access to all the help and support available to them.

Councillor Steve Butler, lead member for Children’s Services said:

“Dorset Young Carers Service provides these unsung heroes with support and understanding as well as time-out from their home responsibilities.

“Young carers can feel isolated and face many challenges depending on their personal situation.

“These activities are an opportunity for young carers to relax and talk with each other.”

Carole Saunders from the service said: “Events like these are only made possible for our young carers by the ongoing support of charities such as the Careline Appeal, who funded the theatre trip.

“We continue to receive support from Friends of Dorset Young Carers, Rotary clubs, My Time charity, Careline and the Leonardo Trust. Without them we wouldn’t be able to offer such a great range of support and activities for our young carers.”

Information, support and access to other local services for young carers and their family members can be found here.

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Categories: Dorset

Are you the next Thomas Hard-ski?

Dorset For You - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 12:04

We’re asking residents to get creative and suggest Dorset-themed names for our 12 largest gritters.

After their hard work last winter, we think our dedicated gritting and ploughing vehicles deserve some recognition!

From Yeti-minster to Brrrweston and down to Cold Harry Rocks, wherever you live in Dorset, we need your help.

Be inspired by literature, landmarks or people – Dorset has got a rich history for you to work with.

Get your suggestions to us by Friday 5 October, either email, leave a comment below or tweet @DorsetCC with #DorsetGrit

Our winter weather heroes, the gritter drivers, will choose their favourite names and the vehicles will be renamed for the start of the gritting season on 1 November.

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Categories: Dorset

Award-winning partnership with Google Digital Garage returns to Dorset

Dorset For You - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:03

Our award-winning partnership with Google Digital Garage is returning to Dorchester on 19 October. Click here to register your free place. This is a NEW programme from the guys at Google, so if you came to the last one, there is plenty more to learn this time around!

Cllr Mary Penfold, Portfolio holder for Enabling, said: “Do you have a small or medium size business? Are you an aspiring digital marketer? Or do you just have an interest in expanding your digital skills? This one-stop shop will improve your confidence and maximise your marketing skills!”

Book your FREE tickets now by clicking here!  Three, one hour long workshops – plus lunch! Learn from the professionals 

The digital landscape constantly changes and evolves, so why not come and learn from industry professionals who have their finger firmly on the digital pulse?

Take a look at what attendees said about our first event, earlier this year…

Friday 19 October – on the day…

09:30 – 10:00 Coffee and Networking

10:00 – 11:00 Know your Business with Data

Take the guesswork out of digital marketing by learning how web analytics can empower you to make data driven decisions for your business. You will discover all the different insights available through Google Analytics, Trends Search and Social. Plus you’ll understand how to correctly interpret the data and use it to help your business grow.

11.00 – 12.00: Stay Safe Online

In this course for beginners and intermediates, you’ll learn to spot some of the common cyber threats out there – like how to shop and bank online securely. Our coaches will also share top tips on managing passwords and how family settings and controls can help keep unwanted content off your screens.

12:00 – 12:30 Break and Networking

12:30 – 13:30 Writing for Social Media

Finding the right words to describe your business isn’t always easy, and it’s even harder when you have limited space or characters. This compact course is great for small business owners, or aspiring social media marketers looking to develop their writing skills and produce slicker headlines and ad copy. You’ll also develop a tone of voice that means when you talk on social media, your customers will want to listen.

13:30 onwards – Lunch! 

Why not stay for lunch? Our economic regeneration team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about business in Dorset. We can advise on grants, offer advice on planning or financial queries. Or we can point you in the direction of our partner agencies that may be able to support you and your business.

Our Commitment to the Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy

The Western Dorset Economic Growth Strategy is a joint commitment between North Dorset District, West Dorset District, Weymouth and Portland Borough and Dorset County Councils. We pledge to keep economic growth at the forefront of our policy development and implementation. Our vision for Dorset is to thrive and prosper. We have committed to supporting this through 5 key strategic themes. Infrastructure, Homes and Employment sites, Employment and Skills, Business and Sectors, Assets and Policy. By 2033 the Economic Growth Strategy will have supported and delivered:
  • 20,000 new homes
  • 13,200 new full-time equivalent jobs
  • A minimum of 70 hectares of new employment land
  • An increase from 25% to 35% in the proportion of workforce with Level 4 qualifications or higher
  • An additional £564 million of GVA to the Western Dorset Area

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Categories: Dorset

Park repaired after vandalism

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 18:16

A swing at the Nothe Gardens in Weymouth has been repaired. 

 Swing repaired

The bird nest swing has now been repaired.  Unfortunately it was recently damaged in an act of vandalism. It is not thought that this damage was done by children as the structure is extremely solid.

The repairs cost over £600 and include extra support to further strengthen the structure.

Councillor Kate Wheller, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Community Facilities, said: “It is very upsetting that vandals would damage part of the gardens that is intended for the enjoyment of children.

“This results in costing the borough council money, which could have been spent elsewhere.

The council have dealt with this very efficiently and I am sure that the Nothe’s younger visitors will be glad that it is working again.”

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Categories: Dorset

Puppy rescued by council worker

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 13:04

An abandoned puppy was left fighting for her life before being rescued by the district council’s Dog Warden Service.  

Rescued puppy

The three-month old Lurcher pup was in a poor condition and seriously ill when she was collected by the council’s Enforcement Officer.

He took the puppy to Damory Vets in Blandford last week, who began emergency treatment for Parvo virus.

Mandy Walters, Head Nurse at the practice said: “She was terribly thin and in a very poor condition.

‘terribly thin and in poor condition’

“We all did our best for her, at first it was touch and go whether she pulled through. She was very lethargic, but clearly had a very sweet nature.”

The puppy, who was not microchipped and appeared to have been abandoned, was put on a drip and had to be hand fed liquid glucose.

Initial charges for her care were paid for by the district council and then Damory Vets took over the costs of her treatment.

Thankfully the puppy has now made a good recovery, she is bright, wagging her tail, eating well little and often and is putting on weight. She has been rehomed to a family of one of the nurses, who live on a farm. The lucky puppy will be their pet but have plenty of space to enjoy.

‘No dog should be abandoned’

Michael Roake, Environment Portfolio Holder at North Dorset District Council, said: “We are all very glad this story has a happy ending. I’d like to thank our dog warden service and Damory vets.

“No dog should be abandoned, people should always contact the dog warden for help and I would like to remind people that it is their responsibility to keep a stray dog safe and contained until it can be collected.”

More information about what to do if you find an abandoned dog is available here


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Categories: Dorset

Town Clerk for Weymouth Town Council appointed

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 11:50

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Jane Biscombe as the new Town Clerk for Weymouth.

Weymouth’s new Town Clerk, Jane Biscombe

Jane was offered the role after a rigorous recruitment exercise and will take up her role full time in January 2019.

She starts in a part time capacity from November.

Although the Town Council will not officially come into being until April 2019, Jane will be closely involved in managing the project to set up Weymouth’s new Town Council.

This will include supporting the first elections to the new council in May next year and developing its strategic plan.

Speaking about her appointment, Jane said:

“I’m delighted to have been chosen for this exciting role and am really looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead in setting up a brand new council for Weymouth, and taking forward the town’s ambitious regeneration programme.

“I’m a people, project and change manager, with extensive experience in local government, governance and service delivery.

“Weymouth has a fantastic natural setting with so much potential and I can’t wait to lead the town council through these exciting times of challenge and opportunity.”

Jane brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has been a Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer for over three years and is CiLCA qualified.

Working as the Town Clerk for Yateley Town Council in Hampshire since 2015, she was awarded the title of New Clerk of the Year in 2017 by the Society of Local Council Clerks. This is the body that recognises professional excellence amongst parish clerks.

Having joined Surrey County Council as a youth worker at the age of 18, Jane has worked for five district, borough and county councils. She has worked in service areas as diverse as community development, committee management and governance, highways, adult social care, project and change management and organisational development.

Rigorous recruitment process

A nationwide recruitment campaign led by the Local Government Resource Centre took place over the summer to find the right Town Clerk for Weymouth.

Over twenty applications were received for the position. Six candidates were initially shortlisted for the post and, over two days of tests, activities, interviews and presentations, this was whittled down to three outstanding candidates.

Cllr Alison Reed, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council briefholder for Corporate Affairs and Continuous Improvement said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to have found such a bright and energetic Town Clerk for Weymouth and confident we have made the right choice.

“Jane has a fantastic track record as a clerk and is someone who, I am sure, will build a positive relationship with councillors and residents to deliver on our aspirations for the town.

“We can’t wait to get started. In preparation for Jane’s arrival we are setting up a shadow Town Council to provide support and strategic advice.”

 The role of the town clerk

 Weymouth’s Town Clerk will be responsible for setting up one of the largest town councils in England and Wales. The new town council is likely to have a budget of around £2.5m and employ up to 50 staff.

A key requirement of the role is to provide strong leadership and build a wide range of positive working relationships with councillors, the council’s workforce and partner organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The town clerk will initially work with Weymouth’s ‘shadow’ Town Council to create the new council on 1 April 2019.

 A new council for Weymouth

A new town council for Weymouth is being established as part of the plans for local government reorganisation in Dorset. Without this, once the borough ceases to exist in April 2019, Weymouth would be the only area in Dorset without a town or parish council.

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council approved plans to create Weymouth Town Council in February this year. The new council will cover the whole of the borough except the area presently covered by Portland Town Council.

The first order which provide the legal framework for the new town council was approved at an extra ordinary Full Council meeting on 28 June. It was agreed that 29 councillors should be elected with the area divided into 12 wards. This number may be reviewed after a proposed Boundaries Commission referral after the council is officially established.

The borough council members and officers are now working to establish the functions of the new town council and will be responsible for the resources and assets it will need to support these.

A ‘shadow’ Town Council has been set up to help guide the process. The shadow Town Council is comprised of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s 29 current members. The first meeting of the shadow town council is set to take place on 18 October.

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Categories: Dorset

Six things parents should know about using a childminder

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 10:18

Are childminders the right childcare choice for your family? Find out what childminders can offer, how they can help with your child’s development and what funding schemes you can use to help with the costs. 

1. What are the benefits of using a childminder?

Children and families are unique; you should choose a childcare option that works best for you and your child. Some families will find childminders more suitable because they can:

• provide flexible care

• work with small groups of children

• offer care in a home environment

• look after siblings of different ages

• collect children from school and/or pre-school

• take children on outings to play parks, local attractions and libraries etc.

2. Can you use free early education for 2 to 4 year olds and other childcare funding schemes with a childminder?

Yes, many childminders offer up to 15 or 30 hours free early education. You can also use Tax-Free Childcare, the childcare elements of Tax Credits or Universal Credits with registered childminders. If in doubt, contact the childminder to ask if this is something they offer. If not, you can ask them to consider signing up to these schemes.

3. Will a childminder help with my child’s development?

Childminders follow the same standards as nurseries and pre-schools, as set out in the early years foundation stage. Your child will learn mostly through play-based activities, which encourage development in areas such as communication, physical development and building relationships.

Childminders are also registered and inspected by Ofsted to ensure they are meeting the required standards. They will receive an inspection outcome result (Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate). You can filter your childcare search on our Family Information Directory by Ofsted inspection results.

4. What about safety and staff checks?

To care for children on their premises, your childminder will have:

• a paediatric first aid certificate

• a Disclosure and Barring check for criminal convictions (DBS)

• public liability insurance

• received a visit from Ofsted to ensure their premises and any equipment are safe and suitable for childcare

• Ofsted inspections to judge the quality of care and education

If childminders have assistants working for them, they must ensure they are suitable to work with children.

5. Do childminders care for school aged children?

Yes, as well as caring for younger children, many childminders offer out of school care. This includes before and after school and during the holidays. Most will take and pick up children from school. Search our directory and contact local childminders to see what they can offer, including which schools they pick up from.

6. Are you related to your childminder?

If your childminder is either your child’s grandparent, uncle/aunt or brother/sister there may be differences to the way you can use your funding. If they are a registered childcare provider and they are caring for your child on their own premises, rather than in your home, you can use Tax-Free Childcare to pay, or claim tax credits if you’re eligible. Your child cannot receive their 15 or 30 hours free childcare from a relative.

Using our Family Information Directory, you can search for childminders and filter by:

 • location

• Ofsted inspection result (each childminder record also has a link to their Ofsted report)

• those who offer free early education for 2 to 4 year olds

• records with extra information about how they support children with SEN and disabilities

Search the Family Information Directory

If you’re unsure what to look for, these Five Steps to Choosing Childcare could help.


If you’re struggling to find the right childcare provider for your family, we’ll do everything we can to help. Contact us on

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Categories: Dorset

Innovative housing and care home development for Bridport

Dorset For You - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 13:30

On Tuesday 18 September, Dorset County Council presented proposals at a meeting of Bridport Town Council for an innovative housing and care home development on Flood Lane.

The scheme, known as ‘Bridport Gateway’, will contain:

a new care home for people with nursing and dementia care needs

a range of housing for older people including supported living, extra care, and respite care housing

housing for keyworkers such as social workers, carers                                                                   and nurses.

It is hoped that some social housing will also be provided as part of the scheme.

The county council is currently working to appoint a development partner(s). The preferred partner(s) will be submitted for approval to the new Dorset Council Shadow Executive Committee in January 2019.

Dorset County Council, Bridport Town Council and the Neighbourhood Plan Group will be part of the design team preparing the planning application. Consultation will form part of the planning application process, with Bridport residents invited to have their say on the proposed scheme. The aim is for Bridport Gateway to be completed in autumn 2021.

Councillor Jill Haynes, Cabinet Member for Health and Care at Dorset County Council, said:

“This development of housing aimed at social care clients and keyworkers, alongside a new care home focused on providing nursing and dementia care will provide much needed accommodation for Bridport residents. It will greatly enhance the area around West Bay Road and Flood Lane. More importantly, it will meet the future need for accommodation for health and adult care services, with residents benefiting through personal choice and the ability to remain at home.”

Cllr Haynes also described the innovative use of relocatable housing to meet the short term accommodation needs for adult social care by building 12 housing units on the Fisherman’s Arms site. This will enable the residents to move to their permanent location on site when the development is completed, minimising disruption. The relocatable units will then be moved to another site elsewhere in the county planned for development.

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Categories: Dorset

Getting Dorset’s roads winter ready

Dorset For You - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 13:09

Additional money is being invested in to Dorset’s roads by Dorset County Council to get them ready for winter.

The Shadow Dorset Council Executive Committee has approved the county council Cabinet decision to push an extra £1.4m into road maintenance this financial year, aimed at repairing more of the damage left by Storm Emma and ‘The Beast from the East’ earlier this year.

Between January and June this year 16,052 defects were reported and 14,538 were repaired, up from 12,240 reported in the same period in 2017, with 11,540 repaired.

An additional programme of patching and resurfacing work is being drawn up by county council engineers based on inspection information and reports by members of the public. The first of these repairs will get underway on Monday 24 September.

Alongside road repairs, the money will fund an extra gully emptier to carry out a programme of highway drain clearance across Dorset’s C and D class roads. This will help prevent flooding – ensuring rural communities remain connected during the winter – and will protect roads from water damage.

Councillor Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said: “For the first time in many years, Dorset’s highway network has seen an increase in the number of roads in need of maintenance.

“Our highway infrastructure is not only the lifeline of Dorset’s businesses but is relied upon by nearly every resident, however they travel, and we must ensure we maintain our roads as best we can within our current resources.

“Investing this additional money into our network will see an immediate improvement in the condition of many roads and will improve accessibility for all drivers.”

This year, Dorset County Council is already spending over £10m on highway maintenance, investing £4m in road resurfacing, £3m in road surface dressing, £1.8m in reactive repairs, £650,000 in planned patching works, £500,000 in drainage maintenance, £500,000 in footway repairs. Plus the extra £1.4m approved earlier this week.

On top of this, the Department for Transport allocated nearly £2.25m to Dorset County Council from its Pothole Action Fund following the extreme winter weather conditions. This has been invested in permanent patching or resurfacing repairs to damaged roads.

Cllr Turner continued: “We are committed to maintaining the condition of our network and will continue to focus on repairing the sections of road with the most damage, as well as prioritising our busiest roads and those that link to businesses or to market and coastal towns to help our economy thrive.

“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into investigating road damage and designing the right repair to maximise our resources, as well as the hard labour of the repair work itself, and I’d like to thank the teams within Dorset Highways for all their work under these difficult financial pressures.”

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Categories: Dorset

Smallholder banned from keeping poultry and pigs for ten years

Dorset For You - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 10:14

A West Dorset smallholder has been ordered to pay £530 and is banned from keeping poultry and pigs for ten years after causing unnecessary suffering to chickens following a court hearing in Weymouth.

On 17 September 2018, at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court, Richard Thomas Hansford, aged 67, of Weymouth pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007. These offences related to four chickens kept on a small patch of land at Lewell near Dorchester.

The Court ordered Mr Hansford to pay fines totaling £300, prosecution costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £30. The court also imposed a ten-year ban from him keeping any poultry or pigs.


In February 2017, Dorset County Council’s trading standards service received a complaint about Mr Hansford’s chickens and visited the land he kept them on just outside Dorchester. They found the chickens in a large, muddy pen with no coop or place that they could be protected from predators or the weather. At the time of the visit the weather was bitterly cold which meant that any water left out for them was frozen. The available water was not clean as all the containers had green algae growing in them.

The court heard that Mr Hansford had received numerous visits and advice on how to care for his animals over a ten-year period but had continued to ignore this. In January 2017 Mr Hansford had signed a formal caution for almost identical charges relating to pigs he also kept on the land.

In mitigation, Mr Hansford stated that he had been a gamekeeper for 19 years and had done his best to look after his animals. He told the court he had suffered from depression for several years.

Sentencing him, the chair of the Magistrates said that Mr Hansford had caused distress to the animals for a significant period and that this was compounded by not adhering to the advice given to him by Trading Standards.

Councillor Andrew Parry, Cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards said:

“The welfare legislation for animals sets out very clearly the acceptable standards that those keeping animals must meet. Any person keeping livestock must be in a position to adhere to these standards at all times. Our officers always try to work with keepers to ensure the standards are met but if this advice is repeatedly ignored we will have no option but to take formal action.”

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Categories: Dorset

Bridport Community Governance Review on hold

Dorset For You - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 10:02

A review looking at whether to change the parish boundaries of Bridport has been put on hold.

The review of Bridport’s parish boundaries is on hold. Photo: Bridport Town Council

Earlier this year Bridport Town Council asked West Dorset District Council to carry out a review of its parish boundaries. This is known as a Community Governance Review.

Over the summer local people were asked to give their views on the governance arrangements for their area, in particular the shared boundary with Symondsbury Town Council.

But at Tuesday’s Strategy Committee (11/9), the district council agreed to put the Community Governance Review on hold while the Local Government Boundary Commission for England carries out a review of the ward boundaries for the new Dorset Council.

The committee also recommended that Bridport Town Council resubmits its request to the new Dorset Council after its creation in April 2019. This would mean a wider review could take place and include other areas flagged by local residents during the consultation.

West Dorset District Council Corporate portfolio holder Cllr Peter Barrowcliff said:

“Thank you to everyone who took the time to give their views on this matter.

“We listened to the views expressed and decided it makes sense for a wider reaching review to consider all the options for changes to the Bridport Parish boundary.

“Unfortunately this is not something that can be done within the original timeline of the review.”

Find more information about the Review of Community Governance Arrangements for the Parish of Bridport and neighbouring parishes.

For all the latest news from Dorset councils go to

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Categories: Dorset

Thorncombe Woods is leading the way to wellbeing

Dorset For You - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 16:48

A programme of walks, branded ‘self-care stomps’ are the leading the way to emotional wellbeing at Thorncombe Woods this autumn.

Local therapist Emma Pritchard is using the Dorset County Council owned Thorncombe Woods as the perfect location to hold monthly walks to encourage wellbeing and mindfulness. Self-Care Stomps are open to people of all abilities and those who are less-able. The pace of the stomp depends entirely on individual abilities; nobody will feel like they can’t keep up.

The walks are aimed at people who have busy lives and who have limited time for themselves; anyone affected by a bereavement or loss; anyone looking to rediscover or redefine themselves; and anyone who has a caring role either within their job or family.

Emma said: “Self-care stompers have been able to use this woodland space to not only walk mindfully, but also to attach to their senses of sight, smell and listening, mirroring forest bathing – a practice developed in Japan during the 1980s and which is the cornerstone of Japanese preventative healthcare.

“Rushy Pond has proven to be a wonderful spot to carry out a 15-minute relaxation session. A combination of poems have ended our walks at Hardy’s Cottage, and we have then all enjoyed reflections and chats over refreshments at the friendly Hardy’s Birthplace visitor centre.”

Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment, said:

“It’s great to know that Emma is able to use our woodland for the benefit of her wellbeing clients. Our priority outcomes are focused on a Safe, Healthy, Independent and Prosperous Dorset. The healthy outcome includes reducing the commonness of mental health and increasing physical activity in adults. Emma’s walks do both these things, which is why we are happy to endorse this type of activity.”

The next Self-Care Stomp is on Friday 21 September at 10am. Visit Emma’s website or follow her Facebook page ‘self-care sparkle’ for more information. The first walk is free and there are more planned for Fridays 19 October and 23 Nov.

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Categories: Dorset

120 homes across three developments approved by Planning Committee

Dorset For You - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 15:07

On Thursday 13 September, West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee approved three applications that propose a total of up to 120 new homes.

Artist’s impression for the development west of Charminster

The first application approved is for development of land north of Pound Road, Thornford that currently forms part of a pasture field bordered by hedgerows. The outline planning application submitted by Sherborne Castle Estates includes development of up to 35 new homes, with 35 per cent of these homes marked as affordable housing.

The details of the layout, appearance, landscaping, and scale will be reserved for future consideration in a reserved matters planning application.

The second application approved by West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee is for full planning permission to build up to 52 new homes on land West of Charminster Farm. The new homes will be made up of 2, 3 and 4-bedroom properties, with 14 of these homes set out as affordable housing.

The proposed development will also provide new areas of public open space, and will retain the large veteran Ash tree within the site. The proposal incorporates green recreational space as well as new public and vehicle access and landscaping.

The Planning Committee also approved a third application – a reserved matters planning application for the construction of up to 33 new homes, associated garages and landscaping. The application, on land adjacent to Watton Park, Bridport is a revised reserved matters application which sought to overcome the previous reasons for refusal.

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

“The approval of these three applications, incorporating the provision of a number of new homes, will assist us in meeting the need for housing in our district and help us achieve our 5 Year Land supply target.”

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

“Like many areas, West Dorset has a housing shortage. West Dorset District Council together with Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and North Dorset District Council, want to see 20,000 more homes built in the combined area by 2033 under the Opening Doors campaign.

“We aim to encourage developers and bring more housing schemes forward. These approved applications will help to achieve this shared goal.”

The Home Ownership Register has provided us with essential insight on the local housing need. Find out more about Opening Doors or  sign up to the Home Ownership Register and receive regular housing development updates in your area.

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Categories: Dorset

Weymouth Peninsula regeneration moves a step closer

Dorset For You - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 11:34

Councillors have backed ambitious plans to breathe fresh life into the landmark Weymouth Peninsula site.

Members of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee voted in favour of progressing the regeneration scheme when they met today, Tuesday 18 September. 

Iconic site

The project aims to turn the iconic site – home to Weymouth Pavilion and Jurassic Skyline – into a year-round destination for residents and visitors with upgraded tourism and leisure facilities.

A 100-room hotel, a pub/diner with rooms and improvements to public space and a walkway around the iconic site are all proposed in the first phase along with repairs to harbour walls.

Exciting scheme to regenerate the town centre

All-weather, year-round leisure attractions, marine facilities and restaurants are proposed in the next stage. 

Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Leader and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said: “This exciting scheme is one of the most important elements in our masterplan to regenerate the town centre, improve the harbour and transform Weymouth into a year round destination.

 “Redevelopment proposals have been considered over several years, including consultation events about our town centre masterplan, workshops and more recently a public exhibition specifically about the Peninsula proposals.

“We’re committed to creating an impressive leisure destination which will strengthen the local economy and make Weymouth an even more attractive place in which to live and to visit.”Recommendations supported

Members of the management committee supported all recommendations – including approval for the business case, funding arrangements and demolition of the former ferry terminal  building for car parking.

The scheme now goes forward to the shadow Dorset Council formal Executive Committee October 1 (and then the Weymouth and Portland full council on October 11 when the council, as Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) will formally consider the proposal.

If the financial business case proposals are supported, and assuming the outline planning application for regeneration is approved, then a detailed planning application for the first phase of works will be lodged later this year to get the scheme underway. People will be able to have their say at this formal planning stage.

52% of people say ‘very good’ or ‘good’

The overall cost of the first phase is around £14,445,000, including funds already committed for the repair of the harbour wall near the rowing ferry steps.

If approved, the council would seek to borrow £11,441,000 from the Public Work Loan Board to progress the scheme.

More than 700 people – including businesses, residents and hoteliers – had their say about the proposals in consultation earlier this year.

Some 52 per cent of people felt that the proposed scheme was ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and 27 per cent said it was ‘fair’.

The Council has worked with advisors at commercial property experts Cushman and Wakefield over the past year to test and refine its business case for the redevelopment.

The council’s Harbour Management Board has already supported the Weymouth Peninsula proposals.

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Categories: Dorset

Undercover agents wanted

Dorset For You - Mon, 09/17/2018 - 14:11

Volunteers are needed to help Dorset County Council’s trading standards run test purchasing exercises.

Some products are age restricted to buy, such as cigarettes and alcohol. Trading standards are responsible for making sure retailers know all about these laws and do not sell these products to people under the legal age. One of the ways to check that this happening is by running test purchasing exercises.

This is when young volunteers go into shops or pubs ‘undercover’ to try and buy age restricted products. Trading standards will then advise or take action against sellers who are breaking the law.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for education, learning and skills, said:

“Keeping residents safe is an important part of trading standards work. By helping us to ensure traders adhere to laws, young people can gain a unique experience into our work.”

Volunteers are collected from their home by a police officer or trading standards officer and they will take part in the exercise in another area of Dorset where they will not be recognised.

Test purchasing takes place in the evenings and during half term holidays and sometimes at weekends.

Volunteers are about 14 or 15 and look their age. There is no payment for their time, but they can put the experience on their personal statements.

Interested teenagers should email with details of age, height and where they live.

Anyone interested who meets the criteria will be contacted by a Trading Standards Officer to arrange a convenient time to meet with their parent/legal guardian.  At this informal meeting it will be a chance to discuss the exercise further.

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Categories: Dorset

Children’s services in Dorset reaches final of national awards

Dorset For You - Fri, 09/14/2018 - 12:00

Dorset County Council has been shortlisted for two national awards for schemes that aim to improve the lives of children and young people.

The Children and Young People Now Awards highlight the dedication of organisations, teams and individuals working with children, young people and families.

The council is a finalist in two categories – early years and children in care. Here are details of the schemes:

  • Dorset’s Incredible Children aims to improve young children’s social and emotional development, reduce challenging behaviour and improve family relationships. Based in areas of deprivation, the council works with staff in pre-schools and nurseries to help them deliver sessions to parents.
  • Young Facilitators, run in partnership with Participation People, encourages and empowers young people in care to lead workshops, training and events for other children in care. They learn new skills, gain confidence and also influence how council services are run.

Cllr Steve Butler, Cabinet member for safeguarding at Dorset County Council, said:

“We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for two awards. Our staff are dedicated to improving the lives of children, young people and their families – so it’s great that their hard work has been acknowledged.”

“What’s particularly pleasing is that our young facilitators have been recognised. These young people are committed to making a difference and helping other children who are also in care. We value everything that they do and the fact that they’ve been shortlisted is a testament to their work. ”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in November.


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Categories: Dorset

Work starts on new school site for Wimborne First School

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:31

A ‘ground-breaking’ event has been performed in Wimborne to celebrate the start of the building works to relocate Wimborne First School

The existing school is located in the town centre and has a capacity for 300 children. There is limited potential for future expansion.

The new school is being developed by Dorset County Council with contractor Galliford Try as part of the Bloor Homes housing development known as Wimborne Chase 0.8 miles from the town centre.

The build will follow the ‘baseline design’ approach that has been developed by the council’s Dorset Property team. Baseline design is a standardised, repeatable design that provides innovative, practical and low-cost solutions, without compromising quality.

The new school will be able to accommodate 450 pupil which will help meet the needs of proposed housing developments in the Wimborne area, which are part of the East Dorset Local Plan.

Cllr Daryl Turner, county council Cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said:

“The newly built replacement school will offer the facilities for a modern educational environment. Our baseline design offers good quality and value for money.”

Headteacher, Sarah Hartley, said:

“On the 13th August I had the privilege of ‘breaking the ground’ on the site for our new school, it was a very exciting moment for everyone involved.  We are currently planning a series of events to celebrate our move from the existing site into the new school.  Our current school holds many memories for a lot of people in the local community and we want to make sure we celebrate with the children all the amazing times we have had.

“We will then be moving into the most fabulous school with state of the art facilities and lots of space!   We have many plans for the children, parents, staff and members of the local community to get involved.    Our first step is to take a group of children up to the building site, so they can report back to their classes on the latest developments!  We have some very exciting times ahead!”

The current First School, (which is rated good by Ofsted) will be relocating from its current premises in School Lane to the new premises when it is completed next year.

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Categories: Dorset

Blackwater works continue following project meeting

Dorset For You - Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:02

As preliminary works continue on the A338/Blackwater Junction, Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council met on Tuesday 11 September to discuss the impact the improvement works are having on residents and businesses.

The scheme has been designed to improve traffic merging around the Blackwater junction, and increase traffic capacity south of Backwater towards Cooper Dean to cope with ever increasing vehicle numbers.

These improvements form part of the £45.2m investment in Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport, unlocking employment land and stimulating economic growth

Since 3 September 2018, the southbound carriageway has been reduced to one lane from north of the Blackwater Junction towards the Cooper Dean Roundabout as the £5m improvement scheme got underway with a view to:

  • creating an extra southbound lane on the section of the A338 between Blackwater Junction towards Cooper Dean roundabout
  • improving the southbound ‘on slip’ to the A338 from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
  • improving the northbound ‘off slip’ to the A338 from the B3073 at Blackwater West Junction
  • carrying out B3073 bridge protection works and widening the carriageway over the River Stour bridge including new parapets and safety fences

Cllr Mike Greene, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste, said: “Although these works are being carried out by Dorset County Council, we have received extensive feedback from residents and businesses about their frustration with the works and we are sorry for the disruption being caused to people’s lives.

“We want to make sure that this feedback is taken on board. The meeting with Dorset County Council was to ensure they had fully considered and assessed all the traffic management options to see if everything is being done to ease congestion on the A338 and alternative routes around the conurbation. We are satisfied that this has happened and will continually monitor the works throughout the nine-month period.”

This Friday, 14 September, the A338 between Blackwater and Cooper Dean the lane closure will be removed overnight, with two lanes back in action by 6am Saturday morning.

For two weeks this section of road will be mostly free from traffic management with preparation work continuing away from the flow of traffic. There will be some off-peak daytime lane closures for material deliveries and associated work.

On Sunday 30 September, three nights of northbound and southbound road closures are planned for temporary steel barriers to be installed to create a safe working area and for essential maintenance along the A338 to be carried out.

The road will be closed between the A31 at Ashley Heath and the Cooper Dean roundabout from 10pm to 6am the following morning on Sunday and Tuesday. On Monday 1 October the closures will start later to allow football supporters to travel to and from the match.

When the steel barriers are in place the southbound carriageway will be reduced to one lane again, with lane 2 closed, and the northbound carriageway will run two narrowed lanes. Both carriageways will have a 40mph speed limit in force for driver safety as existing barriers will have been removed.

Daytime work will involve bridge works to join together the two bridges that carry the road over the River Stour, and make extensive repairs to these bridges. Night time work will mainly be earthworks to widen the southbound carriageway into the central reservation.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for the natural and built environment said: “Due to the extremely busy nature of this road – with around 6,000 travelling vehicles an hour during peak times – it is unavoidable that when lane closures are in place, traffic queues will occur.

“Due to the width of the road, and the work being undertaken, we have very few options of how to carry out the work. We will be doing what we can at night, and we will continually review traffic management to minimise disruption.

“Drivers should try to plan ahead, allowing extra time for journeys or finding alternative routes.”

There will be free recovery for breakdowns within the works area from 30 September. Average speed cameras will also be in operation.

The Blackwater Junction improvement works on the A338 are scheduled to last until June 2019. Road users are advised to sign up to the A338 travel blog to stay up to date with road news or check Travel Dorset on twitter for updates.

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Categories: Dorset