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News from Dorset council
Updated: 5 hours 35 min ago

Our roadside verges – a fine balance to strike

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 16:00

In Dorset, we are very proud of our roadside verge maintenance and are committed to a healthy environment. During the summer months, our roadside verges and green spaces, like picnic areas, all start to grow very rapidly. We have a statutory duty to maintain the road network and above all, to make sure it is safe. So, how do we strike the balance between protecting road users and encouraging wildlife?


We know, from the many residents who tell us, that some people love the wild verges while some would prefer we cut them all back, so they are neat and tidy.

Cowslips on roadside verge

Where we can, we allow rural roadside grasses and wildflowers to grow long and wild, which attracts ‘pollinators’ like bees and butterflies and encourages wild flowers to flourish. There is obviously a cost saving to this method too.

Urban roads usually receive around six or seven cuts per year. In some places where we have the right machinery we are cutting and collecting the grass. This allows us to cut the verge less frequently than usual and by removing the clippings, we leave the verge neat and tidy. This helps extend the time between cuts and helps wildflowers to thrive.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and the Environment explains more:

“Our primary duty with regards to roadside verges is one of safety, which we take very seriously. But, we, like many residents can see the benefit of letting the verges grow, where possible. Through our Pollinator Action Plan, we want to actively encourage more bees, butterflies and moths to thrive in Dorset. Our Action Plan also enables us to make significant savings – we save around £93k a year by only cutting rural road verges when needed.

“We also no longer use topsoil when creating new road verges, as the subsoil results in wildflower rich grass which is of greater use to pollinators and costs less to manage. On the Weymouth Relief Road, for example, this method resulted in savings of £2,200 per year in management costs.

Read more about our Pollinator Action Plan.

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Categories: Dorset

Find out more about Fostering in Bridport

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 11:40

If you’ve ever considered fostering, you can get answers to all your burning questions at a drop-in session at Bridport Youth Centre on Thursday, 27 June.

Find out more about Fostering in Bridport

Between 3pm and 6pm, Dorset Council’s Foster in Dorset team will be there to chat through the criteria to become a carer, the application process, fees, training and the support foster carers receive.

The council is looking for carers to support children of all ages, but there is currently a particular need to find people who can care for teenagers and asylum-seeking children.

Dorset Council’s Fostering Engagement Officer Jo Thomson said: “This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever thought about fostering to find out more without any pressure. We’re a friendly bunch and can tell you more about becoming a foster carer – including the fees and allowances you’ll receive, plus the training and ongoing support that we provide.”

You can also find out more by visiting fosterindorset.com, calling 01305 225568 or emailingfosteringenquiries@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

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Categories: Dorset

Could you help a refugee family?

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 09:08

Volunteers are needed to help newly-arrived refugee families from Syria get used to life in Dorset.

From left: Hamza Bakkor Dorset Council Case Worker, Jenny Willoughby, Syrian Programme Officer, Cllr Pauline Batstone, Dorset Council Chairman, Mona Elkotory , South West Dorset Multicultural Network and Susan Ward-Rice, Dorset Council Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

Under the Syrian Resettlement Programme, 15 families and 35 children have so far begun new lives in Dorset. Volunteers are needed to help them settle in, perhaps by taking them shopping, playing with children or just being a friendly face.

Dorset Council and the South West Dorset Multi-Cultural Network are working together to mark Refugee Week 17-23 June, by appealing for volunteers and also providing information in libraries and council offices across Dorset.

A mother-of-two, who has been given a warm welcome in Dorset, after being forced to flee Syria, spoke of her experience. She said: “Me, my husband and my two children fled the horror of war in Syria to neighbouring Iraq. We lived in a camp for five years. The situation was dire and horrible, and there were times when we could not feed our children.

“We lived in a camp. There were times we could not feed our children”

“We heard that there was a chance to leave via the United Nations and we registered our names on the list.  It seemed like a dream but we did it anyway.  It took about a year before we were told we could come to the UK.

“We just want to say to our landlord who is generous and kind that without his contribution, we wouldn’t be here in safety after all the struggles we have seen in our lives.  We want to say we are very grateful to all the volunteers and the local community in Dorset who have been very supportive.  They have become our friends and our family, and they have made us feel at home.  No matter what we say, it will not be enough to express our gratitude.”

Cllr Pauline Batstone, Chair of Dorset Race Equality Council and Dorset Council Chairman, said: “It is difficult for us to imagine what families have been through. It must also be daunting having to start afresh. If you think you could help a family get accustomed to life in Dorset please get in touch, a friendly face can help and make a real difference.”

“A friendly face can make a real difference”

Mona Elkatory, Chair of the South West Dorset Multicultural Network, said: “This week gives us the opportunity to reflect on the plight of refugees and consider what it mean to leave your home, your country and your family behind to escape the horrors of the war.

“Let’s use this week to encourage people to consider different ways of supporting and helping refugees. South West Dorset Multi Cultural Network is proud to be part of the volunteering groups who support refugees in Dorset.”

The Government’s resettlement programme aims to help vulnerable families, who have been forced to flee the war in Syria. It is run locally by Dorset Council, which is asking people who might be able to house a refugee family to get in touch.

Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees to our society and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary. The theme of this year’s festival is “You, me and those who came before”. It looks at both refugees who came here in the past – and those who welcomed them.

If you own a property in Dorset that you think could be suitable, please contact the resettlement officer by emailing: jennifer.willoughby@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

If you are interested in volunteering to support a newly arrived refugee family, please contact Andy Jefferies on a.jefferies@volunteeringdorset.org.uk

For more information on the Southwest Dorset Multicultural Network contact Fiona Thomas fiona.thomas@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

As part of Refugee Week, b-side and Dorset Place of Sanctuary are screening six short films on Tuesday 18 June at 7pm both in Bridport and on Portland.

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Categories: Dorset

Durweston Bridge – your questions answered

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:54

As Dorset Highways is currently carrying out major construction work to replace the Durweston flood arches, many residents and local drivers have asked if the bridge can be improved at the same time.

The bridge itself cannot be modified as it is a Grade II listed building. Although old, it still has strength to support HGVs using the A357 to service local businesses and make deliveries to residents.

Help is at hand

Dorset Highways bridges team has taken steps to reduce the frequency of bridge strikes by changing the phases of the lights and installing a barrier.

New signal phasing

The lights used to allow traffic on the A350 to travel both north and south at the same time. The current (permanent signal) set up stops traffic travelling south when the northbound traffic has a green light – this allows northbound drivers of large vehicles wishing to turn left across Durweston Bridge to swing out across the southbound lane before making the turn.

Steel barrier

Vehicles making this manoeuvre can no longer drag their trailers on to the parapet on the inside due to heavy steel barrier that has been installed. This was the most frequent cause of damage.

Collision with the outside does still occur, but is less frequent and is not just a modern phenomenon.

Visibility

Rather than additional signing, we are going to be cutting back trees on the inside of the junction so that approaching HGV drivers can see the junction and tightness of the turn from further back on the approach.

Would lighting help?

Neither the A350 or A357 is lit. Due to the classification of road, the height and intensity of lighting (to comply with the minimum British Standard) would be very intrusive into an otherwise dark landscape.

As Durweston Bridge sits within the Cranborne Chase AONB – which is currently seeking its dark sky reserve status – any moves to add lighting would be likely to result in objection from environmental protection groups.

Even without these environmental impacts, there is currently no funding available for additional lighting requests.

What about maintenance to the bridge?

We’re hoping to carry out any repairs to the bridge during the four-week closure, but it’s such a tight timescale with the flood arches that we’ll have to see what time we have left.

 

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Categories: Dorset

Durlston says thank you to supporters

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 12:57

Durlston Country Park in Swanage held a celebration event today (Thursday 13 June) to say thank you to its sponsors, supporters and volunteers.


The Dorset Council owned park won support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund in July 2018 to restore and enhance its lost Victorian landscape to benefit local people and wildlife.

£900,000 was awarded to the park thanks to the National Lottery and other partners to enable the park to embark on a programme of work known as the ‘Durlston Pleasure Grounds’ project. The project is one year into its three-year programme of work.

As part of the day of celebration, Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment officially opened the ‘Everyone needs a shed’ project. The Shed will provide opportunities for gentle, sociable volunteering, such as gardening, green woodworking and DIY. It will also help provide training for young people, as well as the chance for people with dementia and learning disabilities to volunteer and socialise.

Cllr Bryan said: “Our green assets including our country parks, rights of way and nature reserves present a wonderful opportunity to improve the well-being of our communities, and the Durlston Pleasure Grounds Project is an excellent example of this.

“The Shed has already provided new opportunities for people with dementia, disabilities, health conditions or who are socially isolated to volunteer and to build on the inclusive culture of volunteering.”

There are many ways to volunteer or get involved at Durlston, if this is something you would like to know more about contact the rangers on 01929 424443 or visit www.durlston.co.uk

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Categories: Dorset

Upcoming Career and Uni Open Days

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 15:57

We thought it would be useful to pull together a list of upcoming careers and Uni Open Days in Dorset and surrounding areas:

Bournemouth and Poole College Open Event 13 June 4-8pm North Rd, Poole

Our Open Events give you the chance to come and meet our exceptional teaching staff, explore our incredible facilities and be inspired to discover your future at Bournemouth & Poole College.

You’ll be able to chat with our current students, get careers advice and find out how we support you throughout your studies. We offer the widest choice of courses in the area so whether you’re interested in Full-Time, Part-Time or Degree Level courses or Apprenticeships we’ll have the course that’s right for you.

Find out more here.

Bristol Uni Open Day Event 14 & 15 June 2019 9.30-4pm

Today our campuses are open to you, so explore and soak up the atmosphere. Talk to our staff – this is your chance to ask your particular questions – and say ‘Hi’ to our stewards, who are all current students at the University.

Find out more here.

University of Plymouth Open Day 26 June 2019

On an undergraduate Open Day, you’ll get to:

• Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
• Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
• Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and     societies to join.

Find out more here.

University of Chichester Undergraduate Open Day Sat 19 June 2019 9.30-4pm

Our friendly student ambassadors are on hand to share their experience of life at University and how to prepare for it, so ask them anything as they are there to give you their insight. You will also be able to chat one-to-one with our academics in our Meet and Greet Zone and our student support staff in our Student Advice Zone.

This is your opportunity to ask our students and staff anything to ensure you make the right decision for your future. People really matter here and we hope you get a sense of what we can offer you by coming to one of our Open Days.

Find out more here.

UNISON Dorset NHS Apprentice Conference 3 July 2019 8.30-5pm

The day will consist of workshops, a number of guest speakers, interactive learning stalls with all refreshments and a delicious lunch also included. The conference will count towards your 20% off the job training, and you will receive paid release to attend the day.

Find out more here.

Southampton Uni Undergraduate Open Days 6 & 7 July 2019

The Southampton Careers Fair will offer candidates from all backgrounds, experience and education level the opportunity to speak to an abundance of local employers, all in one place.

Find out more here.

Southampton Careers Fair 19 July 2019

Will offer candidates from all backgrounds, experience and education level the opportunity to speak to an abundance of local employers, all in one place.

Find out more here.

 

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing update – 11 June

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 13:22

The weather has not been kind to us, so our work is a little behind schedule.

We’re around four days behind where we had planned to be due to rain.

Work completed week starting Monday 3 June:

  • Compton Road – parish boundary to C141, Over Compton
  • D30104 – Boys Hill at Blackmore Bridge to C73, Glanvilles Wooton
  • Stock Hill Lane – south of Sandhills to B3146, Glanvilles Wootton
  • Newlands Lane, Glanvilles Wootton
  • Court Farm Road – Hilling Lane to end of road, Buckland Newton
  • Castle Lane – B3143, Buckland Newton, to C20, Brockhampton Green

Work scheduled for week starting Monday 10 June:

  • Little England to A35-Lane
  • Bloxworth X-Jct with A35
  • Jct Newport Lane & C60 Church Road
  • Jct Bloxworth Road & Church Road
  • C60 – Newport Lane to C60 / D50404 Bloxworth Jct, East Bloxworth
  • Jct Church Road & Newport Lane Road end

Work scheduled for week starting Monday 17 June:

  • C60 – from C60 / D50404 Bloxworth Jct, East Bloxworth, to Jct A35, near Morden Mill
  • The Lane – from outside Brook Farm to A31 opposite Botany Bay Inn, Winterborne Zelston
  • Jct Cockett Hill / D1701 to B3075
  • West End – A350 to North Farm, Spetisbury
  • Arlecks Lane – Church Road to Down Road, Pimperne
  • Down Road – Anvil Road to Arlecks Lane, Pimperne
  • Newfield Road – from C47 to adoption end, Pimperne
  • Bushes Road – from A350, Stourpaine to C13

As we head into more rural areas, and work on lesser-known roads, please remember you can check where we are working by using the online roadworks map.

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.

The post Surface dressing update – 11 June appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Funding boost for North Quay regeneration

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 15:34

The redevelopment of North Quay is stepping in the right direction thanks a funding boost from Homes England.

The former council offices at North Quay

Homes England has agreed a £2.5million grant funding deal with Dorset Council. The funding has been awarded through the Government’s £450 million Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) programme.

The LAAC funding will help to develop the site of the former council building at North Quay. Works including site remediation and preparatory infrastructure will bring this site forward for much needed housing in an area of moderate unaffordability.

100 per cent affordable

Dorset Council and Magna Housing are working together to develop the site, which will include 111 new homes, 100 percent of which will be affordable.

The LAAC programme prioritises the use of modern methods of construction. Dorset Council have opted for a panellised construction method which will increase the pace of development.

Stephen Kinsella, Executive Director for Land at Homes England, said: “This funding will support Dorset Council to accelerate housing delivery by enabling them to prepare this site for development and bring forward the construction of new homes incorporating modern methods of construction.”

Exciting time for Weymouth

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council’s Economic Growth and Skills Portfolio Holder, said:

“We’re pleased that the development of North Quay is being supported by Homes England. Plans for the site are currently being developed with Magna Housing who have confirmed their continuing commitment to the project as well as future consultation.

“This development is a key part of wider regeneration taking place in Weymouth. It’s an exciting time for the area.”

Richard Drax, MP for South Dorset, said:

“Affordable homes are much needed in the area and this additional boost of £2.5 million is most welcome. A lot of work is going into regenerating the town, and this is another scheme that will replace the old with the new. There’s plenty more to do, but this is a step in the right direction.”

Demolition

An application for the demolition of the current building has now been submitted. If approved, the aim is to begin demolition works in the winter to complete these works by Spring 2020.

Desktop archaeological studies are currently taking place. These will inform future ‘in the ground’ archaeological investigations work once the building has been demolished.

To ensure safety while demolition takes place, it is likely that the council office car park will be closed during this period.

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Categories: Dorset

Gaze into the future of a digital Dorset

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 11:31

Dorset businesses are being invited to gaze into the future of a digital Dorset at an event on 14 June 2019.

The workshop, Dorset’s Digital Future – a Smart Rural Place, is a chance for local people and businesses to say how they see the county developing and to think about the type of technology and systems they might be using in five, ten or 20 years time.

A range of people will be invited to breakfast at Kingston Maurward College to hear what experts think are the future digital opportunities for Dorset and brush up on some digital marketing skills.

This will stimulate discussion to inform the infrastructure and skills we need for our county to realise its ambitions. The event will feed directly into Dorset Council’s new Digital Place vision and strategy.

There will be a keynote session from a futurologist, round table discussions, and a chance for people to learn some new digital skills for the workplace.

Group discussions will cover topics on:

  • Health and care
  • Economic growth
  • Education and learning
  • Environment (including future mobility and carbon)

More information and register your interest.

Sign up for regular e-news from Digital Dorset

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Categories: Dorset

£1M awarded to Dorset’s community groups and businesses to help tackle climate change

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:33

In the last year, just under £1million has been awarded to businesses and community groups in Dorset to help reduce their carbon footprints.

The grants come from Dorset Council’s Low Carbon Dorset programme, and have been used to help fund a host of carbon reduction projects across the county.

In May alone, Low Carbon Dorset awarded grants to help fund over £1.9million worth of low carbon projects. This funding will contribute 40 per cent towards the cost of these projects, which include the installation of solar panels on the roof of Cerne Abbas village hall, the development of the county’s first zero-carbon housing site, two new biomass boilers at Thorngrove nursery, a brand-new energy system at Gillingham leisure centre, and solar PV panels for five schools and five hospitals through Dorset Community Energy.

Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, Cllr Ray Bryan, said of the grants “Dorset Council is in a great position to demonstrate leadership in tackling climate change on a local level, and programmes like Low Carbon Dorset fully support this. The projects funded by this programme are a great example of businesses and community groups putting clean growth and sustainability at the heart of their operations.”

So far, Low Carbon Dorset has helped reduce the county’s carbon emissions by an estimated 1,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will continue to provide free support and grant funding to Dorset’s businesses, communities and publicly funded organisations until the end of 2020. Organisations can access this support and funding through the programme’s website: www.lowcarbondorset.org.uk/apply

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Categories: Dorset

Road closed for flood arch demolition

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 16:56

A busy road between Blandford and Sturminster Newton will be closing for four weeks while a causeway is rebuilt.

From Saturday 22 June until Sunday 21 July the A357 at Durweston will be closed, with drivers directed to use the diversion route on the A350 to access the village.

The closure is needed because the flood arches on the eastern side of the village – and the road over them – will be demolished so new culvert units can be installed.

Dorset Highways has been working alongside the A357 at Durweston since mid-March preparing for the replacement of the flood arch structures.

Recent inspections identified that the flood arches are deteriorating at an increasing rate and should be replaced to improve the safety of road-users. The current brick arches will be replaced with around 30 pre-cast concrete units, each weighing 13 tonnes, which together will form the three new flood culverts.

Deterioration of the embankment slopes is also beginning to undermine the highway. These slopes will be re-graded during the project – with the footprint of the embankments widened and slope of the embankments slackened – to provide appropriate support for the road.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “Our essential maintenance to replace these flood arches and redesign the road embankments will improve the safety of this section of the A357, as well as lowering our ongoing maintenance costs.

“We know the inconvenience road closures cause. All too often drivers decide they know best and ignore road closure signs to travel through our works area.

“Please do not attempt to use the A357 to the east of Durweston village – there will be three, deep gaps across the width of the road.”

The new precast reinforced concrete culvert units will be installed in the same position and on the same alignment as the existing arches. The height of the road and adjacent land will not change, but the footprint of the new structures will be wider than the existing ones so that new verges can be provided.

The embankment slopes will be re-vegetated with grass and the newly created verges will sown with a native grass/wildflower mix.

The half-a-million-pound scheme will be completed, with the compounds dismantled and access tracks removed, in September 2019.

The works do not include any improvements to Durweston Bridge.

Cllr Bryan added: “Unfortunately, we don’t currently have any plans to replace or improve Durweston Bridge.

“Land limitations in the area means that replacing the bridge, and widening or realigning the road onto any new bridge, would cost a significant amount of money. Improving the existing bridge is also very difficult as it’s a listed structure, which ties our hands in what we are able to do with it.”

 

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Categories: Dorset

Keeping carers connected

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 09:36

Events will be taking place across the county to keep unpaid carers connected with their communities as part of National Carers Week, which is between 10-16 June.

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make. It also helps people to identify themselves as carers and access much-needed support. The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK.

The theme for 2019 is ‘Getting Carers Connected in their communities’.

Dorset Council is encouraging and promoting carers activities and events across the county. To support local activities we have awarded over £1500 in small grants to community organisations.

Cllr Laura Miller, Cabinet member for Adult social care and health said:

“We’re delighted that over 30 events are planned across Dorset for next week. We’d encourage all carers to find out what’s happening near them and try to make some time for themselves to get along if they can.

“We have around 40,000 unpaid carers in Dorset who often give up their own social lives and neglect their own health and wellbeing because they are simply too busy looking after the needs of a loved one, friend or neighbour.

“It’s really important that carers recognise when they need support and ask for help as soon as possible to prevent potential problems for themselves or the person they look after.”

Events include information days, coffee mornings, fun days, pampering treatments, a picnic, day trips and more.

To find out what’s happening near you visit our carers week page

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Categories: Dorset

West Bay sea defences – please bear with us

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 09:13

Vital sea defence work to help protect West Bay from flooding is being carried out by Dorset Council and the Environment Agency.

Flooding in West Bay

Work on the new sea groyne at West Beach has to be done at low tide, which means some night working. We apologise for the disturbance.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “These works are vital to better protect West Bay from flooding. We apologise for the disturbance, some of the work has to be carried out at low tide, which means some night working. We are on schedule to re-open your beaches next month. Thank you for bearing with us.”

The £10 million project is on a tight schedule, but we are on course to re-open your beaches next month.  The works could not be carried out in the winter due to storms and rough seas. The works will better protect 148 homes and 112 businesses from flooding.

Programme of works updates and more detailed information will be on display near the beaches and drop-in sessions will also be held at the Salt House, West Bay, on 13 June and 27 June from 1.30pm – 4.30pm.

Here is more detailed information about what is being done on west beach.

And here is more information about the works on east beach.  

More general information about the works is available here.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

Surface dressing update – 5 June

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 12:29

We think you’ll need to check our online map to see where some of our surface dressing sites are over the next two weeks – D50404 anyone?

As we head into more rural areas, and work on lesser-known roads, please remember you can check where we are working by using the online roadworks map.

Work completed week starting Tuesday 28 May:

  • Up Sydling Road – C19 to end of road, Up Sydling
  • Batcombe Road – from C45, Leigh to Calfhay Lane, Crocker’s Knap X-Roads
  • Brister End and part section High Street, Yetminster
  • Bailey Ridge Lane – from C69, Holm Bushes to C45, Stake Ford Cross
  • White House Lane – Seven Ash Common Lane to end of road near Holnest
  • Seven Ash Common Road – C69, The Holm Bushes, to A352, Holnest

Work scheduled week starting Monday 3 June:

  • Compton Road – parish boundary to C141, Over Compton
  • D30104 – Boys Hill at Blackmore Bridge to C73, Glanvilles Wooton
  • Stock Hill Lane – south of Sandhills to B3146, Glanvilles Wootton
  • Newlands Lane, Glanvilles Wootton
  • Court Farm Road – Hilling Lane to end of road, Buckland Newton
  • Castle Lane – B3143, Buckland Newton, to C20, Brockhampton Green
  • Druce Lane – C34 to cul-de-sac end (at bypass), Puddletown

Work scheduled for week starting Monday 10 June:

  • Little England to A35-Lane
  • Bloxworth X-Jct with A35
  • Jct Newport Lane & C60 Church Road
  • Jct Bloxwth Road & Church Road
  • C60 – Newport Lane to C60 / D50404 Bloxworth Jct, East Bloxworth
  • Jct Church Road & Newport Lane Road end
  • C60 – from C60 / D50404 Bloxworth Jct, East Bloxworth, to Jct A35, near Morden Mill
  • The Lane – from outside Brook Farm to A31 opposite Botany Bay Inn, Winterborne Zelston
  • Jct Cockett Hill / D1701 to B3075
  • West End – A350 to North Farm, Spetisbury
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.

The post Surface dressing update – 5 June appeared first on Dorset Council news.

Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council makes statement on Climate Emergency

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 14:57

Following Dorset Council’s declaration of a climate emergency, Cllr Ray Bryan has invited political group leaders to appoint representatives to sit on a Policy Development Panel to discuss how the council will set carbon reduction targets.


Initially, it is proposed that the panel is comprised of eight council members with support from senior and technical officers who can advise and enable delivery of policy developed by the group.

Cllr Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment said:
“Over the last two weeks, officers have been gathering background information on carbon reduction initiatives already delivered across the former Dorset councils, to establish our current position.

“We will include experts from outside our organisation to ensure we get the most up to date knowledge and information to form our policies and so we can plan well beyond my time as a Councillor. We will be open and transparent in our plans and will always listen to constructive criticism.

“However, we need to manage the expectations of those that would like us to bring forward changes with immediate effect.”

Dorset’s former councils worked to mitigate climate change both within their operations and in partnership with public, private and community organisations.

Work was focused in three key areas:

Direct action – reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions

Each former council developed a carbon management plan delivering some significant achievements including:

• Reductions in fuel and mileage
• Energy efficiency projects in council buildings and schools
• Almost halving energy used in street lighting

Indirect action- influence and leadership through our wider services

Dorset Council can have a wide influence across Dorset through the services it provides, including planning, housing, pensions/investments, community services, air quality, transport, economic development, children’s & adult’s services and public health.

Partnership working

In response to the Climate Change Act and EU renewable energy directive, Dorset established the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Renewable Energy strategy and an Energy Efficiency strategy. These were developed through a comprehensive consultation process with stakeholder groups.

The Dorset Council Climate Change Panel will look to build on this and will work in partnership with organisations across Dorset to develop its climate emergency plan for Dorset.

The panel will meet in the near future and will report back to Cabinet in July.

The Panel members on the Dorset Council Climate Emergency Panel are:

  1. Conservative – Cllr Ray Bryan
  2. Conservative – Cllr Peter Wharf
  3. Conservative – Cllr Daryl Turner
  4. Conservative – TBA
  5. Liberal Democratic – Cllr Maria Roe
  6. Green – Cllr Kelvin Clayton
  7. Independent – Cllr Rob Hughes
  8. Labour –  Cllr Kate Wheller

Dorset Council Climate Emergency Briefing Paper
‎31 May 2019

What is a Climate Emergency declaration?
Dozens of councils across the UK have now declared a Climate Emergency. There’s no single definition of what a Climate Emergency means but many local areas have set timelines for their region to be carbon-neutral by, with dates ranging from 2028 to 2045. Within their declaration councils have outlined how they plan to achieve this, focusing on renewable energy supplies, more energy-efficient schools, housing and council buildings and a host of other measures.

These declarations acknowledge the urgency of the situation and apply pressure to national government to put resources in place to enable councils to help reduce carbon emissions.

Climate Change Background Context
Public concern over the impacts of climate change has been building, driven by frustration at the lack of action by Governments and an increase in awareness of the problem and its implications through the national media.
Numerous international climate change agreements have been reached. Most recently the Paris Climate accord, which set a target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C or 2 degrees C to avoid reaching the tipping points predicted to trigger catastrophic consequences. Current studies by the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) show that we are not on track to meet these targets and much more needs to be done.

The UK is a world leader in climate change legislation. The Climate Change Act (2008) is a world-first legal commitment to achieving an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is a scientific panel set up to monitor progress towards this target, using 5-year budgets.
So far, the UK has done well, achieving around 40% reductions and initial targets, but is on track to miss the next two carbon budgets. In addition, the CCC’s May 2019 report suggests that the emissions targets in the original 2008 Act were not ambitious enough; we should be aiming to achieve the 80% reduction sooner, and for net zero emissions by 2050.

What needs to happen to meet these targets?
It is clear from the scientific evidence and the Committee on Climate Change that a significant step change is required to avert the serious consequences of climate change.

To reach the Climate Change Act targets the UK would need to completely abandon natural gas for heating, petrol and diesel for transport, and coal, gas and oil for electricity production. And huge improvements in energy efficiency would be needed.

This will require:
• all cars and vans to be switched to electric power
• all heavy goods vehicles to be hydrogen powered (there are currently no sources of renewable hydrogen)
• all heating to be switched to biofuel (which can only meet 5% of the demand), electricity (heat pumps) or hydrogen (using the existing gas network)
• all electricity and hydrogen will need to be generated from non-fossil-fuel sources

Action is needed at all levels. Success will rely on a strong consistent policy and support framework from National Government to encourage the changes required but equally Local Government has a key role to work with others to facilitate action at a local level, encourage and request action by national government, respond positively to decisions and to show leadership in tackling the carbon foot print from their own operations.
Tackling Climate change will require fundamental changes to what we do but offers significant opportunities for Dorset’s economy, environment and health and well-being.

What have Dorset councils been doing to address climate change?

The former Dorset Councils over many years have been working to ‘mitigate’ climate change both within their operations and in partnership with public, private and community organisations. Work has focused in three key areas –

1. Direct action – Reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions
2. Indirect action, influence and leadership through our wider services
3. Pan Dorset partnerships

In addition, Councils have considered potential risks of climate change to services and potential climate change adaptation. This area of work is not covered in this paper, but some good practice examples exist. The Local Nature Partnership (LNP) is hosting an adaption event on 18 th June in Dorset.
Direct Action: Reducing Dorset Council greenhouse gas emissions.

Each former Dorset council developed a carbon management plan and environmental programme of action. These focused mainly on energy and water use in buildings, travel by fleet and staff, procurement, waste and street lighting. These actions were estimated to reduce carbon emissions by on average 30% and save over £26m – £30m between 2009 and 2020. Good initial progress was made but not enough has been done to meet these targets.

Some major historic achievements have included:

• Major reductions in fleet fuel and business mileage
• A wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in council buildings
• Examples of new BREAM excellent buildings
• Dorset schools ranked as the most energy efficient in England
• Nearly halving energy used in streetlighting

To make Dorset Council zero carbon will require significant steps to include:
• All our buildings (including schools) to be taken off gas and switched to biomass or heat pumps.
• All our small and medium-sized vehicles will need to be switched to electricity. If no hydrogen is available, the emissions from the larger vehicles will need to be offset somehow.
• All buildings (including schools) will need to have energy efficiency upgrades and be covered in solar panels.
• Investment in large-scale renewable energy generation
• Any new building projects must be zero carbon (Passivhaus & renewable energy)

Indirect action, influence and leadership Dorset Council can have a wide influence across Dorset through the services it provides. Integration of policy and practice to address Climate Change into key service areas has the opportunity for a significant impact. This could include planning, housing, pensions/investments, community services, air quality, transport, economic development, children’s & adult services, public health.

Historic examples of good practice exist across all former Dorset Councils and several tools and approaches developed to embed sustainability principles into service delivery. Next steps in this area require identification of existing good practice, mapping of key opportunities (e.g revision of local plan, planned / future developments) and embedding into service planning for key services through the transition process.

Pan Dorset partnership on climate change
In response to the Climate Change Act and EU renewable energy directive Dorset established the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency strategies. These where developed through a comprehensive consultation process with wide stakeholder groups and driven by a Dorset Energy Partnership and several working groups.

Good progress was made initially but has fallen behind and is not on course to meet the 2020 targets. These strategies do not reflect the challenge of the climate emergency and require updating, the Dorset Energy Partnership has also not met for some time, due to limited staff resources across the former councils. DCC led the energy partnership and coordinated and supported the working groups, which involved a wider stakeholder group.

More recently the Dorset LEP has been developing an Energy Strategy (due Summer 2019) in partnership with the other South West LEPs. This will set out high level challenges and opportunities across the area. The LNP also has committed to addressing climate change and has set out position papers on climate change mitigation and adaptation and incorporated into the 25 year environment plan.

The Low Carbon Dorset programme was launched in April 2018 – a £6m European funded programme of activities to support organisations reduce their carbon footprints across Dorset Bournemouth and Poole. The programme is managed by Dorset Council (Community Energy Team) and Dorset AONB.

The Dorset Local Transport Plan and Waste strategy, developed through statutory processes and timeframes, are also key parts of a Dorset climate change mitigation framework.

Developing a climate change plan for Dorset Council
As noted, the former Dorset Councils have been progressing a range of measures to tackle climate change, which provides a good starting point from which to develop a Dorset climate emergency plan. Others are also developing best practice which can be replicated.

The development of a plan will require

• Determining the scope of a climate change plan, establishing a baseline, current good practice and a realistic date by which the Council will achieve zero carbon emissions
• Development of a detailed delivery plan to include reducing Dorset Councils carbon footprint and embedding it into service delivery
• Agreed approach to support pan Dorset partnership and review energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies
• Investment / funding plan

Appendix A, identifies some actions which could be considered as part of Climate Change plan to achieve a zero carbon Dorset.

The Community Energy Team has the expertise to lead the development of a climate change action plan, but a dedicated staff resource would be required to coordinate the development of a plan and to work with staff from across Dorset Council.

Additional external support could be brought in if required from organisations such as the Carbon trust, Regen SW or Centre for sustainable energy.
Available resources

Staff resource
The Community Energy team has an allocated budget for a ‘Corporate sustainability Officer’ (1 FTE). The post is currently vacant due to secondment to the Low Carbon Dorset Programme.
Financial resource
There is no dedicated budget allocated to climate change. The Community Energy Team have a predicted underspend from current unfilled posts (iro £15k – 20k). This could be utilised to draw in additional external support if required.
The Low Carbon Dorset programme currently has a £2 million grant fund which can offer 40% towards energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Available for Public, Community and Business organisations that meet programme criteria.
Delivering climate change action plan
Achieving a zero carbon Dorset will require significant investment. There are several sources of potential funding which will need to be further explored. To include –
• ERDF low carbon funding (potential extension to Low Carbon Dorset programme)
• Pension funds – investment opportunities for large scale low risk renewable energy projects with good returns
• Public Loan board funds/ internal funds such as capital programme
• Business rates receipts from renewable energy installation in Dorset – est £1m.yr
• Salix Finance – government loan scheme, with rules
• Future prosperity fund / other – Central government funds to be confirmed.

Executive Advisory Panel structure
The membership of the Executive advisory panel beyond the cross-party Council Members will depend on the scope of its role in tackling Dorset’s climate emergency. If focused on Dorset Council’s direct and indirect impacts this could be an internal group of senior officers, covering responsibilities for – property & assets, transport, environment, waste, community energy, planning, finance and potentially wider services such as housing etc..
If considering wider Dorset Climate Emergency, the panel could include representation from for example the LNP and LEP.

Appendix A – Example actions for a Climate Change action plan
General principles
• Commit resources to coordinate the development & delivery of a plan – budget & expertise available within Community Energy Team.
• Take a one team approach both internally and working with partners to develop and deliver a climate change plan
• Embed the principle of sustainability and climate change within the development of the 5- year transformation programme
• Lobby the UK Government to develop a clear and stable policy & support framework to enable the rate of change required and to make available funding to support local areas to take action
• Maximise the use of external funding to deliver our ambitions

Short Term
• Determining a realistic date by which the Council will achieve zero carbon emissions
• Develop a reviewed carbon management programme for reducing Dorset Councils own carbon footprint.
• Work with the LEP and LNP to review and update the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies which lapse in 2020
• Investments in all identified energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with returns of 7 years or less
• Switching all council datacentres and server rooms to free air cooling
• Investment in a large ground-mounted solar farm
• Ensuring that all new small- and medium-sized vehicles purchased by the Council are electric
• Ensuring that all new council buildings are designed and built with sustainability as the joint primary concern (no use of natural gas, PassivHaus with PV-covered south-facing roofs)
• Doing everything in our power to ensure that all new buildings in Dorset are designed and built with sustainability as the joint primary concern, viewing planning applications for renewable energy favourably
• Encouraging Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council to become a test settlement for hydrogen heating
• Educating ourselves, as decision makers, in the reality of the science and mitigation of climate change
• Reducing the rents on our farms to allow the tenants to compete in the market while insisting that they shift away from high-carbon agriculture
• Divesting our pension fund from any companies profiting from the extraction or processing of fossil fuels

Mid Term
• Investments in all energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with returns of 30 years or less
• Converting all of our off-gas-grid buildings to biomass heating or heat pumps
• Converting all of our on-gas-grid buildings to hydrogen-ready hybrid heat pumps
• Installing solar PV on every available roof
• Replace all remaining small- and medium-sized fossil-fuel vehicles with electric or hydrogen models

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New Beach Control Office and toilet facility set for Weymouth

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 13:02

Dorset Council has approved the refurbishment and extension of the existing Beach Office.

Weymouth Beach office and toilets – South East View

The development, which is on Weymouth Esplanade, will provide extra toilets, extended kiosk and first floor office with lift access.

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council’s Finance, Commercial and Assets Portfolio Holder, said:

“I am pleased our planning committee have been able to approve refurbishment of the Weymouth Beach Office with much needed toilet facilities. I look forward to seeing these works improve Weymouth visitor’s experience of the Town”

Cllr David Northam, Weymouth Town Council Chairman of the Service Committee, said:

“This is great news. The enhancement of the toilet facilities will be a much valued asset to the Town; providing the quality of conveniences that our community and visitors expect”

Background

In 2018, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’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.

What will be available?

The ground floor will provide 22 unisex toilets including accessible toilets, changing places space, a parent room, and a family room. There will also be lettable space and external showers for those enjoying Weymouth’s award winning beach.

The new beach office will be located on the top floor, and have an outdoor balcony for surveillance.

How will it be delivered?

Dorset Council will be responsible for delivering the facility. Weymouth Town Council will then take on the management once it has been built.

The aim is to begin works in October 2019, following the end of the busy tourism season, with a view to complete works in spring 2020. This will minimise disruption to both residents and visitors.

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Counterfeits trader sentenced and ordered to pay up

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 11:12

A trader caught selling counterfeit clothing at a Dorset car boot sale has been ordered to pay £40,000, undertake 250 hours of unpaid work and given a suspended prison sentence.

Mr Dildar Singh Bhatti, aged 47, of Firgrove Road, Southampton, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on 31 May 2019, having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to 11 offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 of possessing counterfeit goods for sale. The offending goods included t-shirts; polo shirts; tracksuits, shorts, sandals and training shoes falsely bearing the fake marks of Fred Perry, North Face, Superdry, Puma, Adidas, Hugo Boss, Polo, Moncler, Lacoste, Nike and Stone Island.

The Court heard Dorset County Council Trading Standards had received a consumer complaint that a man was selling counterfeit clothing and footwear at Ashley Heath Car Boot Sale, situated at Three Legged Cross, Dorset. Trading Standards officers visited the market on 18 June 2017 where they found Mr Bhatti selling branded goods at significantly below their retail prices. A total of 1,768 items were seized and later confirmed to be counterfeit by the trade mark owners. Had the goods been genuine they would have been worth around £25,000.

Mr Bhatti did not co-operate with investigators, but pleaded guilty at the first hearing in the Magistrate’s Court. The case was sent to Crown Court while trading standards carried out a financial investigation, completed as Dorset Council, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. At a hearing on 18 April 2019 he was ordered he pay a confiscation order of £30,000 or face nine months imprisonment in default.

In sentencing Bhatti for the Trade Marks Act offences, the Judge said: “You knew exactly what you were up to and you should have known better. Legitimate businesses invest time, money and effort to develop their brands and your actions have undermined all of this.” He also ordered forfeiture of all 1,768 items seized.

Ivan Hancock, trading standards service manager at Dorset Council, said: “The sale of counterfeit goods can have a seriously detrimental effect on legitimate local businesses selling genuine goods, as well as damaging the business of trade mark owners. We will continue to take enforcement action in cases like these.”

Anyone needing to report a matter to Trading Standards should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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North Dorset roads set to reopen

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 14:46

Two busy north Dorset routes have reopened today (31 May) following extensive surfacing and improvement works.

Zig Zag Hill on the B3081 has reopened following a two-week closure for resurfacing from White Pit Lane up to the top of the hill.

The C13 through Melbury Abbas has reopened following a five-month closure to replace the traffic signals in Dinahs Hollow and extensive cabling works to enable a vehicle activated sign (VAS) system to be installed for HGVs travelling through the village, as part of Dorset Council’s A350/C13 route management scheme.

Over the last 18 months, Dorset Highways has carried safety and drainage improvements, and surfacing work, at 14 locations on the A350 and C13 between Shaftesbury and Blandford.

Overall, the work has included:

  • 51,680m2 or 5600 tonnes of surfacing
  • 1,300m of data cables for traffic signals
  • 27,000m of road markings
  • over 270 new road signs
  • 18 new village gateways
  • eight speed limit changes

In Melbury Abbas, a new HGV pull-in has been put in place to work with the new vehicle activated sign (VAS) system, which will warn northbound drivers of an approaching southbound HGV. Work has also improved the signals in Dinah’s Hollow to make them permanent.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Environment, said: “I’d like to thank residents in Melbury Abbas, and the many drivers inconvenienced, for their patience during this project.

“The unexpected hard-rock ground conditions experienced on site made laying cabling through the village a significant challenge, and the workers showed true professionalism under changing circumstances and with dangerous conditions – as many drivers chose to ignore the road closure.

“Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the specialist vehicle activated sign, which is being designed specifically for this scheme by a national company and should be installed in July.”

Previously, Dorset County Council Cabinet agreed on 6 December 2017 to continue with an advisory one-way system in place for HGVs travelling on the A350 and C13 – with northbound vehicles advised and directed to use the A350 and southbound vehicles advised and directed to use the C13.

Alongside the advisory one-way flow of HGVs along the A350 and C13, the completed programme of works will significantly improve safety, and journey times, at key locations.

Cllr Bryan added: “The work on the C13, along with the advisory one-way system on the A350/C13 is a medium-term solution – getting these two roads to work together, as best as they can, to serve north Dorset communities.

“We’re continuing to work with neighbouring authorities to push for a long-term solution for the north-south connectivity from the M4 to Poole Port to support Dorset’s economy, and provide more suitable infrastructure for this busy route.”

Detailed design is continuing on the Gore Clump junction improvement, with the aim of building it in autumn 2019.

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Sutton Poyntz steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 12:08

A local community has taken a significant step closer to having greater influence over planning decisions in their area.

Sutton Poyntz steps closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

A final version of the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to Dorset Council for examination.

The plan has been drawn up by local people, and approved by Weymouth Town Council, who feel confident that the plan reflects the hopes and views of the local community.

Neighbourhood plans were introduced in the Localism Act 2011 and aim to give residents more say in the future use of land and buildings in their area. For example the plan can say where new homes, shops or offices might be built or where important green spaces might be protected.

If the neighbourhood plan is approved following examination, and supported by a local referendum, it will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

Dorset Council is required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination can take place.

View the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood plan

A hard copy of the plan will be made available at the council offices in South Walks House, Dorchester.

Weymouth Town Council also has also made reference copies available at its Town Council Offices, Weymouth and Littlemoor Libraries and community venues in Sutton Poyntz.

The plan can be viewed online on the Dorset Council website and on the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan website.

Comment on the plan

People who live, work or run a business in the Sutton Poyntz neighbourhood area have until 12 July 2019, to raise any concerns they may have about the plan. These concerns will then be passed on to an independent examiner to consider.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the plan for their hard work in getting it to this stage in the process because it is a huge commitment undertaken by members of the local community, even though readily supported by Council Planning Officers throughout the process.

“If anyone has an interest in the future development of Sutton Poyntz, please do view the plans and submit any feedback you have.”

Comments on the plan can be emailed to planningpolicyteamb@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

Alternatively, they can be posted to Planning and Community Services, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester DT1 1UZ.

Anyone commenting on the plan should let the council know if they wish to be kept informed of the progress of the Sutton Poyntz Neighbourhood Plan.

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Help improve services for children, young people and families in Dorset

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 09:35

Dorset Council is inviting more parents, carers, children and young people to help design and improve services for children and families.

It’s part of the council’s wider work to make sure communities help create, shape and redesign services. The council already works with parents and young people in a number of areas, for example:

• improving the Education Health and Care Plan process for parents of children with special  educational needs and disabilities
• young people design information for children and young people coming into care
• young people sit on recruitment panels for senior posts
However, recent Ofsted inspections have highlighted that more needs to be done to capture the voices of the children, young people and families the council works with.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Cabinet member for Children, Education and Early Help at Dorset Council, said:

“It’s really important that we capture the views of children, young people and families when we’re looking at how we can improve our services. By involving them more often, we can get a feel of what their needs are and learn from their experiences. We know our services are better when they are designed with the people that use them, so want to do this more often.”

The council is inviting people to complete a short survey that captures their experience of services for children and families and suggest how they might like to get involved in the future.

Cllr Parry added: “We’d like to have a large pool of parents, carers and young people with different interests, needs and experiences that we can call on from time-to-time to help us provide the best possible services.

“How and when people get involved is really up to them. They could attend workshops, sit on panels or maybe be a mystery shopper. If they don’t have a lot of time they could join an online discussion or take part in a short poll. There’s no commitment involved, at this stage we’re simply asking people to register their interest.”

Dorset parent, Martha de Chazal, has a child with special educational needs and is part of the project team for this work. She said:

“If the council designs services with the people that use them, then they have a much greater chance of being fit for purpose and more effective.”

“As parents, we can identify where the gaps and areas for improvement are and help get the best outcomes for our children.

I’d encourage more people to get involved and work with the council to provide better services.”

The survey is live until 30 June.  It takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Take part now

You can also enter a draw to win a £50 high-street voucher.

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