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News from Dorset council
Updated: 5 hours 17 min ago

Dorset Council elections 2019 – cast your vote on 2 May

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 10:51

Dorset goes to the polls on Thursday 2 May 2019 to choose the first representatives of the brand new Dorset Council. Elections to the town and parish councils in the Dorset area are also taking place on the same day.

Local elections are taking place soon

As preparations mount, we want to make sure you have all the information and support you need to cast your vote.

Who can I vote for in the Dorset Council elections?

Not sure who’s standing in your area? Information about Dorset Council candidates is live on whocanivotefor.co.uk

Type in your postcode to find out who your Dorset Council candidates are.

Details of candidates standing in the town and parish elections are also available online.

What ward am I in?

Dorset Council is a brand new council with brand new ward boundaries.

Your ward details are on your poll card but you can find them online too.

Enter your postcode to check your ward details.

Where’s my polling station?

The locations of polling stations have also changed in some areas.

Dorset’s polling station locations are now live on wheredoivote.co.uk

Anyone can search for their polling station by typing in their postcode.

How do I vote?

The Electoral Commission have produced a video to show people how to vote in the 2019 local elections in England.

If you need any assistance when trying to cast your vote, just speak to the polling station staff who will be happy to help you.

To be able to vote in any election you must be on the electoral register. It’s easy to register to vote online. All you need is 5 minutes and your National Insurance number.

Please note, if you haven’t registered by now you won’t be able to vote in the elections on 2 May.  But if you register to vote by Tuesday 7 May you will be able to take part in the European parliamentary elections.

How can I find out the local election results?

The election count for Dorset Council will take place on Friday 3 May 2019. The count for the town and parish councils will take place on Saturday 4 May.

Results will be published on our Twitter feed and on www.DorsetCouncil.gov.uk in real time as they are announced. We will also send a results summary to subscribers of our e-newsletter.

European Parliamentary Elections – Thursday 23 May

Further elections are planned to take place in Dorset on 23 May 2019.  These elections are for the European Parliament and for 14 parish areas in Dorset.

Brexit is causing some uncertainty about whether the European Parliament elections will in fact be held, but we have to work on the premise that they are going ahead.

We received instruction from the Regional Returning Officer to publish the Notice of Election on Friday 12 April and are making preparations to ensure Dorset residents can cast their vote on 23 May, should the UK not have an agreement to leave the European Union by then.

You have until midnight on Tuesday 7 May to register to vote in the elections on 23 May.

To stay up to date with Dorset Council news please subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Dorset Council elections 2019 – cast your vote on 2 May appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Sturminster Marshall have opportunity to shape future development

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 09:35

Dorset Council has approved a request from Sturminster Marshall Parish Council for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area, which is the first formal stage of preparing a plan.

White Mill Bridge in Sturminster Marshall

Residents of Sturminster Marshall now have the opportunity to shape their community through the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for the area.

Call for volunteers

Sturminster Marshall Parish Council and Dorset Council are calling for volunteers to help with the formation of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Those interested in helping with the preparation of the plan can contact Mrs Alison Clothier, Parish Clerk, by email at sturminstermarshall@dorset-aptc.gov.uk

Trevor Warrick, Dorset Council Spatial Policy and Implementation Manager , said: “This is a great chance for people who have an interest in Sturminster Marshall to set out future development in the area. I encourage anyone interested in this opportunity to contact the parish council to find out more.”

What is a neighbourhood plan?

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act which passed through Government in 2011.

A neighbourhood plan aims to give residents more control over their local area, when plans for new homes, shops and offices in their town or village are considered.

Once the plan is written, it will be consulted on locally and submitted to the council for independent examination. It will also be subject to a local referendum to make sure it has the support of local people.

More information on Neighbourhood Plans can be found at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Any parish council or parish meeting that might be interested in forming a neighbourhood plan should contact planningpolicyteamb@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk for more information.

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Categories: Dorset

Commercial space to let near Corfe Castle

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 10:55

Do you dream of running your own coffee shop or tea room?

Space has become available to rent as a café/shop at Norden car park, near Corfe Castle.  Following the recent refurbishment of the former office space, offers are invited from interested parties to lease the premises from Dorset Council.

Norden car park sits in a wooded area near Corfe Castle village. Along with a railway station, offering trips to Wareham and Swanage, the Purbeck Mineral and Mining Museum is on site, The area is the perfect gateway for cycling and walking, with paths leading to Studland and beyond. The site also hosts a picnic area, play area, cycle hire shop and public toilets. The car park can accommodate 350 vehicles.

The lease will initially be offered for 3 years. The space has a floor area of 16sqm= (172sqf). It is located opposite public toilets and is on the main thoroughfare to the railway station platforms.

As part of the lease agreement you would be required to restock toilet rolls and soap (supplied) in the adjoining public toilets during busy times and report any defects or maintenance issues.

If you are interested in leasing the premises from Dorset Council please email Bob.lockard@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk by 9 May 2019.

Expressions of interest should include a contact name, type of business and intended use. You should also state the annual rent you would be prepared to offer for the property. As a guide price the council would expect a minimum of £2,150.40 pa for the property. The successful applicant will be responsible for their own utility bills.

For further details, please contact Bob Lockard, Property and Estates Manager, Dorset Council 01929 557284 or email Bob.lockard@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

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Categories: Dorset

Last week Weymouth pupils were given an insight into the world of work

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 14:59

The ‘Inspiring Dorset’ launches were held in Weymouth, ‘Primary Futures’ on Wednesday at Holy Trinity School followed by the ‘Secondary Futures’ event held on Thursday at All Saints School.

These events help bridge the gap between young people and businesses in Dorset by bringing the young people together with volunteer employees from businesses all over the county to share their career stories.

Matt Prosser, CEO of the Dorset Council, attended ‘Secondary Futures’ and spoke to the young people about the importance of interacting with businesses and the opportunities that are available to them in Dorset. Matt also joined in with the ‘Speed Career Networking’ part of the event where he shared his career journey, from being in the forces to his current appointment.

Small groups of young people were given six minutes to talk to each volunteer and ask them questions about their job role and career experiences before volunteers switched places, allowing the young people the opportunity to speak to a variety of individuals from different businesses.

Matt Prosser said: “For me it was great to see the enthusiasm from the young people as they think about their futures, but also to meet with the businesses in Dorset who are keen to see the young people stay in Dorset.” Hear more about what Matt had to say about the event

According to research from the Education and Employers charity website, the Inspiring Dorset campaign is having a very positive impact on the young people of Dorset; following activities with Inspiring the Future volunteers, a 78% improvement in students understanding of the value of education and qualifications was recorded and an 83% improvement in understanding the world of work.

Matt also talked about some of the research that was shared at the event in his video; “We heard about how important it is for young people to have interactions with businesses and that those young people who have more interactions with business are more likely to be employed and get a better salary.”

Sign up to inspire young people with your story

 

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

Builders, bedrooms and birth families – the latest from our foster carer Amanda

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 11:02

So the first of March, I woke up and opened my curtains to embrace the first signs of Spring. I then shut them rather sharpish when I’d realised I’d forgotten the builders had started and I was seriously not appropriately attired.

My youngest borrowers are desperate to climb up the scaffolding to talk to the builders so a little talk about how three storeys of scaffolding is a little dangerous will be happening very soon.

A week later excitement has died down and an almost constant chorus of ‘is my room built yet’ starts at 7am. One of my littlies wants an ocean bedroom the other wants a forest, I’m hoping they will chose magnolia so they don’t realise my creative skills are scarce.

Fast forward to the end of March and Ive ordered cast iron radiators that I’m planning to paint/ disguise as part of an ocean and part of a forest.

Interesting discussions have followed the building such as ‘Is this my forever bedroom? ‘ ‘Will you give it to someone else when we are 18?’ ‘If I like my bedroom will I still get to live with dad?’ All highly emotive questions that warrant a well thought out answer. How on earth do you answer such questions without causing more trauma?

We sat down with each of them and explained that yes the bedrooms are for them but it won’t effect what happens with their dad. We drew a picture of two families who love them and are trying hard to work together.

We also tried to dispel the myth that 18 is when you get kicked out. Unfortunately many children in care worry about this but more local authorities are embracing the ‘staying put’ schemes. Hopefully more will follow as most children who have experienced difficult childhoods are not ready to embrace adulthood at 18.

I’m hoping all my children (borrowed and birth) will be staying put to their 40’s so I don’t get empty nest syndrome !

My husband ended the conversation with ‘I lived with my mum until I was 30’ which middle borrower replied to with ‘ yay I can play Lego in my room for ages then’

And so to April, will the bedrooms be finished? I’m not holding my breath.

Find out more about fostering.

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Categories: Dorset

Improved access to Borough Gardens in Dorchester

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 16:44

Dorset Highways will be starting work next week to provide safer access into Borough Gardens from Princes Street.

From Tuesday 23 April, for five weeks, there will be some traffic restrictions while the entrance to Princes Street is narrowed at its junction with Albert Road and a new raised table is installed.

The new raised section of road will slow vehicles and make drivers more aware of pedestrians and cyclists using the busy crossing point.

During the first week of work – from Tuesday 23 April to Tuesday 30 April – Albert Road will be closed to southbound traffic between Top o’ Town Roundabout and Princes Street from 9.30am to 3.30pm each week day.

This will provide a safe working space for the new kerb line to be installed on Albert Road.

Drivers will still be able to travel northbound on Cornwall Road up to Top o’ Town Roundabout.

For the duration of the work, Princes Street will be closed to eastbound vehicles – with drivers needing to enter the road from Trinity Street. Drivers travelling west along the road will still be able to exit onto Albert Road/Top o’ Town.

Matthew Piles, Service Director for Environment, Infrastructure and Economy, said: “These works will provide a safer and more attractive crossing for pedestrians and cyclists using West Walks or the wider cycling network.

“The narrowing of the road should also make crossing it easier for anyone visiting Borough Gardens.”

Pedestrian and cyclist access will always be maintained.

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing sites – 23 April

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 10:07

We’ll be kicking off our annual surface dressing programme in Wareham this year. We couldn’t get to these sites last year due to utility work in the area but – as promised – you’re first on our list this time round.

After surface dressing your road, we hope not to bother you again for another 10 years!

But there are a few things you can to do help us, and yourself:

  • please move your car off the road before 9am
  • please keep children and pets away – for safety and cleanliness
  • please keep to the temporary speed limits and avoid heavy braking to allow the surface to stabilise and ‘bed down’
  • check your shoes before entering your car or home
  • remove stains promptly with a cleaner for removing bitumen/oil which can be purchased from any motoring store

If a vehicle is left parked on the road, we will tow it away (to avoid it being sprayed black and chipped).

Roads scheduled for surface dressing next week, starting Tuesday 23 April:

  • Frome Road
  • Hardy Road
  • Barnes Road
  • Shirley Road
  • Stowell Crescent
  • Encombe Road
  • Causeway Close
  • North Causeway
  • Sandford Lane
  • Johns Road
  • Carey Close
  • Walls View Road
  • West Mill Crescent
  • St Mary’s Close
  • Wessex Oval

Some sections of West Mill Crescent, Wessex Oval and the Wessex Oval link Road will be left untreated. Due to scheduled SSE cabling work. We will surface dress these ‘bare’ sections during next year’s surface dressing programme.

About the work

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

Surface dressing doesn’t take long and the road can be driven on as soon as it’s finished. Depending on the length of the road you live on, the road will be closed for around 1-2 hours while the treatment takes place.

There will be an advisory 20mph speed limit after the work while the loose stones ‘bed down’ into the bitumen. Travelling at this reduced speed will prevent skidding on the loose chippings, help ‘bed down’ the material and will save your paint work!

We sweep the road one to two days after the work to get rid of excess stones.

White lining reinstatement will follow on from this and is generally a week or so later.

Sorry for the inconvenience

We cannot work overnight as surface dressing relies on the evaporation of water from the bitumen binder (glue) for it to set, and it needs traffic to travel on the new surface for it to ‘bed down’ and lock onto the old surface.

We also cannot work in wet weather – any amount of rain or surface water dilutes the bitumen and so doesn’t hold the chippings in place – which is why our surface dressing programme runs from April through to September.

As this treatment is so weather dependent, dates are subject to change.

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Categories: Dorset

Weymouth library transforming nicely

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 09:56

A refurbishment project is well underway at Weymouth Library. Dorset Council is working with partners and other agencies to bring together a range of services and teams into one shared building, as a ‘library and learning centre’. The library building in Great George Street in the town centre is being adapted to offer space for:

    • The town’s library
    • Skills & Learning – the local Adult Learning provider which offers a variety of high quality courses and learning opportunities to the local community and training opportunities to local employers.
    • Community Resource Team (mental health) – part of Weymouth & Portland Community Mental Health Team, who facilitate attendance at a range of social, vocational and educational activities to aid recovery
    • Citizens Advice – providing free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems.

Work is progressing well and the areas on the first floor are now complete. Some of the new spaces are being used to temporarily house other parts of the library while works continue throughout the rest of the building. The Adult Skills and Learning team will be moving in to the newly created classrooms ready for September.

Citizen’s Advice has moved into the main building and have a presence on the main reception desk. More areas will be dedicated to this service once the ground floor works are complete.

The next phase of works will see the creation of several small meeting/interview rooms, a new helpdesk, and an all-new children’s zone. A dedicated section for young people will include a relaxed environment for study and reading.

So that we cause as little disruption as possible to everyone wanting to use the library while the works are taking place, we’ve had to make a few changes to our usual schedules and use of the space. During the next phase, the children’s zone will be closed from Monday 29 April and will reopen on Thursday 9 May. A limited selection of children’s books will be available during this time, and the Rhyme Time sessions will also be cancelled for this short period.  There will also be a small reduction in the stock of general books, but the more popular titles will remain in place.

Over the next 3 months, new furniture, carpeting and decoration will put the finishing touches to the spaces creating a more vibrant and exciting feel to the library, while at the same time keeping a calming, safe space for everyone to enjoy and learn in.

The benefits of this project will provide easier access to services as they are based in one building, at a central location with good public transport links.

Find out more about the library at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/libraries.

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Categories: Dorset

Kings statue works complete

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 09:38

The renovation works have been completed on the Grade I listed Kings Statue in Weymouth this week. Our contractors won awards for the work that they carried out on the jubilee clock last year. You can read more about that project here.

The scaffolding will start coming down very soon, and the King will be back on view for all to enjoy.

Sarah Cairns, Dorset Council’s Assistant Head of Assets and Infrastructure, said; “Over 700 hours was spent restoring the structure to its former glory and it’s great to see the King’s Statue looking its best in time for the Summer season.”

Weymouth Town Clerk, Jane Biscombe said; “Thank you to Dorset Council for the time spent in restoring the statue, which both residents and visitors will now get to enjoy. Weymouth beach and the Esplanade are rich in Georgian history, and the King’s statue reminds us all that Weymouth held the title of King George III’s seaside resort of choice for many years, and it remains as popular today as it was with royalty in Georgian times.”

What have we done?
  • We have repaired and painted the unicorn. The collar, mane and tail have all been gold leafed.

  • The lion has had up to three layers of gold leaf applied as it was quite bare in places.

  • The king himself has been completely re-decorated and new gold leaf applied to areas previously gold finish.

  • The plinth on the Kings statue has been re-pointed where it was required. The lettering to the main lettering panel has been repainted.

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing 2019 kicks-off in Wareham

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:15

Dorset Highways’ surface dressing programme gets underway this month – with around 150 roads on the list for treatment.

On Tuesday 23 April, the surface dressing crew of around 20 people, two purpose built chipping spreaders, one spray tanker, six lorries feeding chippings and two suction road sweepers will gather in Wareham to kick-off Dorset Council’s five-month programme of work.

Surface dressing provides a seal against water damage, which is responsible for the freeze/thaw effect that causes potholes, and it restores skid resistance.

Matthew Piles, Service Director for Environment, Infrastructure and Economy, said: “Unfortunately it’s a bit of a misconception that surface dressing is a quick fix or low-quality substitute for surfacing.

“The reality is that this treatment is an ideal way to restore road surfaces where the road is in an otherwise good condition, rather than spending money on resurfacing and removing perfectly healthy layers of road.”

Due to the size of the equipment, and the number of vehicles involved, roads are closed during surface dressing – which takes one to two hours depending on the length of the road – but cars can drive on the surface as soon as the work is finished.

In urban areas, working hours are from 9am to 4pm and 8am to 4pm in rural areas.

Matthew continued: “If you live in Wareham, please look out for our yellow advance warning signs which will tell you the date your road is due to be treated and, if you park on the road, please move your car before 9am to ensure we can complete the work.”

Surface dressing can only be carried out when the road is dry. When it rains, the work must stop – changing dates across the whole programme of work. A weekly list of sites will be published online to ensure residents are kept up-to-date.

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Categories: Dorset

Motcombe has chance to shape the future of the area

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 12:06

Motcombe Parish Council has submitted a neighbourhood plan to Dorset Council.

Residents set to vote on neighbourhood plan

The plan sets out a range of planning policies including ones that seek to protect and enhance sites that the local community consider important, as well as allocate sites for a limited amount of new development. It has been submitted to Dorset Council to arrange for an independent examiner to assess it.

Dorset Council is required to publicly consult on the plan. The plan, supporting documents, and response form can be accessed online from dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/motcombe-neighbourhood-plan

The plan can also be viewed at Gillingham Library, Chantry Fields, Gillingham and Shaftesbury Library, Bell Street, Shaftesbury during opening hours.

Ed Gerry, Dorset Council Planning Policy Team Leader, said: “Neighbourhood plans are a great way for a community to shape their area. I would encourage people with an interest in the Motcombe area to have their say on the plan before 24 May.”

All comments must be received by 4pm on Friday 24 May 2019.  These will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan.  Depending on the examiner’s report, a referendum will be held for Motcombe residents to decide whether the plan should come into force.

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Categories: Dorset

Parents offered primary school places for September

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 09:29

Today (Tuesday 16 April), parents across the county find out which primary, first, middle or junior school their child will go to in September.

In Dorset, 95% of parents are receiving the good news that their child has a place at their first preference. This includes places for children starting school for the first time in reception, as well as those transferring to middle or junior school.

The school admissions team at Dorset Council processed a total of 5,095 primary and first school applications – including for children living in Christchurch, which is now part of the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.

Ed Denham, School Place Sufficiency Manager at Dorset Council, said:

“Starting school is an important milestone in a child’s life. We’re really pleased that the majority of parents were offered their first preference. We’ll continue to work with schools to make sure there are enough places in the areas where we need them and wish children the best of luck as they start or move school in September.”

Parents will be contacted by email or post and can also find out the outcome of their application online. Dorset Council will let Christchurch parents know the outcome of their applications for September, but then future school admissions for that area will be handled by BCP Council.

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Categories: Dorset

Win a Family Season Ticket or Day Pass to Kingston Maurward!

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 10:10

With the sunny spring and summer weather (hopefully) on the way, here’s your chance to win a family day out – or lots of family days out – at Kingston Maurward Animal Park! We have one Family Season Ticket and two Family Day Passes to give away.

Using your pass you can explore the 35 acres of grounds, lakes and gardens at Kingston Mauward. Family members of all ages will love meeting the furry and feathered residents at the park. The animals kept at Kingston Maurward range from farmyard favourites to more unusual critters. From saddleback pigs, runner ducks and Portland sheep to alpacas and wallabies, you can learn all about how Kingston Maurward is helping to conserve our animal heritage.

To be in with a chance of winning either the Family Season Ticket, or one of the Family Day Passes for your family, simply follow the link. You will need to give your email address to enter, but rest assured we’ll only contact you to let you know if you’ve won the competition. Competition closes Wednesday 1 May.

Enter the competition

You can sign up here if you want to get our monthly parent e-newsletter to hear about future competitions, as well as information on childcare, funding, schools and much more.

Terms and conditions

• Dorset Council staff will be excluded from the competition
• entry is open to Dorset residents only and if a winner provides a postal address outside of Dorset the prize will be forfeited, and a new winner chosen at random
• passes can only be redeemed during Kingston Mauward’s opening hours which can be found at http://www.kmc.ac.uk/gardens/plan-your-visit/
• for winners of Family Day Passes – prize includes entry to Kingston Maurward Animal Park for one day only
• for winners of Family Season Ticket – prize includes unlimited entry to Kingston Maurward Animal Park for 1 year
• winner must comply with Kingston Maurward’s terms and conditions. For details, please email familyinfo@dorsetcoucil.gov.uk
• three winners will be drawn at random from all valid entries and contacted by Friday 3 May via email from Dorset Council to request a valid postal address
• winners will be sent a voucher that will allow them to collect their pass on arrival at Kingston Maurward
• if winners do not respond to Dorset Council within 3 days of the first notification, then the winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be chosen at random
• vouchers will be sent by post to successful entrants, Dorset Council will not be responsible for vouchers which are lost, stolen or damaged during transit
• only the official vouchers provided can be used to redeem the prize, Dorset Council will not be able to replace lost, damaged or stolen vouchers
• no cash alternative is available for the prize and it cannot be exchanged
• prizes are not for resale and are not transferable
• Dorset Council reserve the right to cancel, amend, terminate or suspend this promotion at any time with no liability to any entrant
• if for any reason (beyond the control of Dorset Council) the promotion does not function correctly, then Dorset Council retain the right to cancel, modify or suspend the promotion
• Dorset Council’s decision in all matters relating to the promotion is final and binding
• if there are grounds to believe there has been a breach of these terms and conditions by an entrant, Dorset Council retain the right to disqualify the entrant from the promotion
• your data will not be used for anything other than contacting you in relation to this competition and will not be shared with any other third-party organisation. See our full Data Protection statement to for how we use your data

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Categories: Dorset

Superfast broadband . . . it’s the Norm in Dorset

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 16:35

A friendly new face is showing people in Dorset how easy it is to get better broadband.

Digital Norm is a fun character developed by the Superfast Dorset programme. His family switches to superfast broadband and saves money at the same time.

Norm has been appearing in town centres, local newspapers, on council buses and social media. And there’s an online animation showing how Norm and his family transform their home WiFi.

More than 97 per cent of Dorset premises can now get superfast fibre broadband and over half of homes and businesses have already switched, making it the norm in Dorset

These faster, more reliable connections mean everyone can be online at the same time, quicker downloads, TV and films on demand and video calling without the annoying lag.

But the uplift in speeds isn’t automatic – you must contact your internet provider and ask to switch to fibre broadband.

Superfast Dorset won Government funding to create the Digital Norm campaign including the short film, which can be seen on the Superfast Dorset website.

if you need a little help using computers or the internet phone 01305 221048 and Superfast Dorset will match you with one of its Digital Champion volunteers in your area.

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Categories: Dorset

Your Council Tax bill explained

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 11:29

You should have received your Council Tax bill for the year 2019/20 at the beginning of March. We’ve compiled answers to commonly asked questions that we know you’ve been asking, and hopefully have debunked some myths along the way.

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a type of local taxation which helps fund local services provided by Dorset Council, Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority and your Town/Parish Council.  Like other types of taxation (e.g. income tax) payment is required even if you do not personally benefit from some or all of these services.

Dorset Council is responsible for setting your Council Tax (based on the amounts that are needed to fund local services) and then passing on the funds collected to the organisations mentioned. Further information on the details included in your bill can be found online.

Why does the council collect Council Tax?

Council Tax makes up 82% of Dorset Council’s income. Like many councils across the country, we are continuing to face significant financial pressures. We no longer receive any funding from central government in the form of revenue support grant. This used to make a significant contribution to council income.

Our costs continue to rise due to inflation and increasing demand for social care for vulnerable adults and children, so we are more dependent than ever on the revenue we receive from Council Tax. 

What does my Council Tax pay for?

Dorset Council delivers over 400 services. Council Tax enables us to deliver and protect the most important services for residents. These services include maintaining roads, care and education of children, waste collection, housing, libraries, parks, social care for vulnerable, older and disabled people, and much more.

Why should I pay more Council Tax for reduced services?

Despite facing significant financial pressures, we have not cut any services. Nationally, councils are being squeezed by loss of central government funding, inflation and rising demand for social care and special educational needs support. This means that an increase in Council Tax is often necessary to provide and protect these services.

I thought that merging the councils would save me money?

By moving to one council, we are reducing duplication and management overheads, so we can ensure that resources are used where they are needed most – to provide the day-to-day services Dorset residents rely on.

Why did Dorset Council harmonise Council Tax rates?

From 1 April 2019, all residents in the new Dorset Council area will pay a standard Council Tax rate for their property band. This is called Council Tax Harmonisation. This is considered to be the fairest approach as everyone (in the same property band) will contribute the same amount for council services (previously, Council Tax rates varied across the five district and borough councils).

What important services are being invested in?

We’ve been able to invest significant extra money into social care services for the growing numbers of adults with dementia, children with special educational needs, and other vulnerable people in Dorset.

  • An additional £5.8m for the care and education of children
  • An additional £900k to increase the number of foster carers
  • An additional £1.372m for rubbish collection, recycling and street cleaning services delivered by Dorset Waste Partnership
  • An additional £1.5m for social care services for vulnerable disabled and elderly adults
  • An additional £150k towards tackling homelessness
How is Council Tax charged and valued?

Council tax is charged on the household and is based on the value of the property. The amount of Council Tax you pay depends on which property band your home is in, and any discounts or exemptions that apply. If you believe the band of your property is incorrect, you can appeal to the Valuation Office Agency.

If you have further questions about your bill, would like to sign up to e-billing or to pay your Council Tax by direct debit, then please check the Council Tax section of our website .

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Categories: Dorset

Taxis and your new Dorset Council

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 13:06

Residents will start to see the new Dorset Council logo gradually appearing on taxi and private hire vehicle licence plates.

 Taxi plates will change gradually

The change is being phased in as the vehicle licences are renewed, so licence plates showing details of our former councils remain valid until the expiry date shown on the licence plate.

Graham Duggan, Dorset Council Head of Community Protection, said: “Residents with sharp eyes will start to notice our new Dorset Council logo appearing on taxi and private hire vehicle licence plates. Old council logos will be replaced gradually as the licence plates come up for renewal, as this is the most cost effective approach.

“Most cost-effective approach”

“I’d like to reassure residents that existing plates are still valid until the expiry date shown on the plate.”

Licence plates showing the logos of our former councils (East Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council) remain valid until their expiry date. They will all be phased out by 31 March 2020.

More information is available here.

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Categories: Dorset

What will Weymouth’s new and improved toilets look like?

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:22
Background

Last year, Weymouth and Portland’s management committee agreed funding for improved toilet facilities in central Weymouth. These facilities will be a conversion of the ground floor area of the existing Beach Office. To maximise the amount of available space, works will also include an extension to the Beach Office at first floor level. They will also include a small extension to the northern end of the building. This will provide a lettable unit. This project has now reached the planning application stage.

What will be available?

Changing Places toilet [A specially adapted toilet for people including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy]                                  1

Accessible toilets        3

Family room                  1

Parenting room           1

Unisex toilets                20

Toilet cubicles               22

Beach showers

Lettable space

Beach office

How will it be delivered?

The new Dorset Council will be responsible for delivering the facility. The new Weymouth Town Council will then take on the management once it has been built.  We are aiming to begin work in October 2019. We hope to complete works in spring 2020. The work is being carried out over the off-season. This will minimise disruption to residents and visitors during the summer season.

Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillors considered charging for use of the toilets as an option following a survey of users. The new Town Councillors will have the opportunity to decide upon this matter.

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Categories: Dorset

Who is standing in the Dorset Council elections?

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:56

On Thursday 2 May 2019 Dorset goes to the polls to elect 82 members for the new Dorset Council. Now you can find out who is standing for election.

See the full list of candidates standing in the Dorset Council 2019 elections.

Who will you vote for in the 2019 Dorset Council elections?

Matt Prosser, Chief Executive (Designate) of Dorset Council and Returning Officer for the elections said:

“You can see who the candidates are, now it’s time to make sure you’re registered to vote.

“Councillors are there to represent you. They will make decisions about services that will affect you.

“If you’re not registered to vote, you won’t have a say in who joins Dorset Council and who makes the decisions about your local area.

“It’s easy to register to vote online. All you need is 5 minutes and your National Insurance number.”

To register to vote online go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

More about how you can vote

To vote in the elections on 2 May you need to be registered before midnight on Friday 12 April.

The deadline for postal vote applications is 5pm on Monday 15 April. Download the form to vote by post.

The deadline to change existing arrangements for postal and proxy votes is 5pm on Monday 15 April.

The deadline to receive new proxy vote applications is 5pm on 24 April.

Find out more about voting by proxy.

If you’re already on the electoral register you do not need to take any action and will automatically receive your poll card soon.

The nomination period to stand in the 2 May Dorset Council election opened on 18 March and closed on 3 April.

Get all the latest news and information about Dorset Council by signing up to our e-newsletter,  following us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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Categories: Dorset

Sustainable transport and wildlife conservation in Bridport

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 10:01

Work is underway in Bridport to transform an overgrown, under-used bridleway into a valuable sustainable transport link and wildlife haven.

Dorset Highways is reclaiming the West Bay ‘spur’ old railway line by clearing vegetation to enable the creation of an accessible cycleway/footway.

Following years of little maintenance, the trail has been swamped by nettles and brambles, which has made access difficult for users and has choked the natural habitat of many species.

After the removal of the train lines, the 5m-wide railway spur was first converted into a 2.5m wide bridleway, and this width has gradually reduced to a narrow path as scrub has taken over. The cycleway works include cutting back the scrub and widening some parts to 3m so walkers and cyclists can easily pass each other.

Bridleway before and after clearance of scrub

The cycleway will form part of a wider network for Bridport, which aims to reduce congestion and pollution as well as promoting health and well-being.

John Sellgren, Executive Director for Place, said: “Reducing reliance on car use reduces congestion, pollution, carbon emissions; it is better for the environment, and people’s health.

“We know from the last census in 2011 that there is a large number of no car households in Bridport, and this route will enable more people to walk and cycle between the two towns in greater safety, as well as not having to rely on a car.”

The Bridport Walking and Cycling Network will soon be connected to the West Dorset Trailway – linking many villages along the route of the former railway line up to Maiden Newton.

Conserving and enhancing wildlife

John continued: “Dorset has a rich environment and every highway scheme we design is overseen by our ecologists to make sure we continue to protect our wildlife, and to identify opportunities for improving natural habitats within our roadside verges.

“We are keeping an environmental watching brief on site and, where necessary, making small changes to the design and developing our mitigation measures as we progress. This includes acting on information from concerned residents where they have information on wildlife sightings in the immediate area.”

Along Burton Road, where there has been local concern for orchids, all areas of turf – which would otherwise be lost to the cycleway – are being translocated/reused, and all topsoil is being reused and re-seeded with native grass species if necessary.

In the future, this area of grass will be managed by cut and collect which will gradually reduce fertility and lead to more wildflowers – including orchids – along all sections of the cycleway.

Along the railway spur, an area of grass where glow worms have been reported is being carefully translocated to areas where the scrub has been cleared. In other areas, the removal of dense scrub and rubbish will enable creation of new areas of wildflower grassland – which will allow glow worms and butterflies to thrive.

The grassland along the old railway line will also be managed by cut and collect to encourage and support local species of wildflower, butterflies and insects.

A damson tree, which had to be removed for the cycleway, is being replaced by another damson and two other fruit trees which will be planted along the western edge of the path.

Upcoming work

In the next few weeks the clearance work will be finished, and from Monday 15 April workers will start to lay asphalt along the West Bay railway spur – starting at the northern end and working towards West Bay.

The new asphalt surface will last longer and need less maintenance than the current path, it will also make the trail usable for wheelchair and mobility-scooter users, as well as for anyone with pushchairs.

The final surface will have a surface dressing finish to improve grip for horses and for it to look more in keeping with the rural nature of the trail.

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

Revised Bridport/Crewkerne bus service

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:43

A revised bus service along the Bridport to Crewkerne corridor starts on Monday 8 April.

The service will be renumbered as Service 6 and through journeys will be run either by Buses of Somerset or First Dorset directly between Bridport and Crewkerne with no need for passengers to change at Beaminster. The exceptions are on the First Dorset 5:15pm journey from Bridport and the 4:35pm Buses of Somerset departure from Yeovil, where passengers will have to change in Beaminster. The companies have made arrangements for these buses to have a guaranteed connection.

School journeys B5 (am only) and 6A will remain.

Sue McGowan, Dorset Travel Interim Service Manager said: “Although there are no direct journeys between Bridport and Yeovil, passengers will no longer have to change in Beaminster and they will benefit from having a guaranteed connection in each direction in Beaminster on the late afternoon journey. Additionally, Buses of Somerset and First Dorset have agreed joint ticketing arrangements.”

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Categories: Dorset

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