North Dorset District Council balances budget and announces £5 council tax rise

Dorset Council News Feed - 1 hour 27 min ago

Councils across the country are setting their budgets for the next financial year. In North Dorset, the council is looking to balance it’s budget with a modest increase in council tax.

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury. If only it produced real gold.

Councillors have agreed North Dorset District Council’s budget for the next year.

The council is forecasting a balanced budget for 2018/19, despite continuing financial challenges. Since 2015, the Government grant for the council has reduced each year and there will be no government support grant in 2019/20.

Balanced budget

For the coming financial year, the council is aiming to balance its budget against savings of £968,000.

To do this, the council has agreed a council tax rise which works out at £5 a year for a Band D property, or £126.96 in total.

The budget has been set based on the council’s aims to protect services and deliver further efficiencies.

A balanced budget will also leave the council in a position of strength leading into the potential for a new unitary council to be set up in 2019.

Efficiencies will come from savings that are already agreed, a reduction in the running costs for Nordon, and funding for Blandford Leisure Centre coming through once-off sources.

Protecting services

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council, said:

“We have a great track record of achieving a balanced budget, while protecting services. We want to continue to provide these services.

“Some of this can be done through working more efficiently, but we also need to increase revenue.

“While we understand that no-one wants to see rises in council tax, we believe this is a modest rise for individuals, but an important way of protecting vital services.”

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Categories: Dorset

East Dorset District Council agrees its council tax for 2018/19

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 20:07

There will be an increase of around 12 pence per week (£6.34 for the full year) in East Dorset District Council’s portion of the council tax for a Band D household for 2018/19.

The increase means a Band D household will pay £218.66 council tax for the district council’s portion of the annual council tax bill. The remaining amount is made up of charges for Dorset County Council, the Dorset Police & Crime Panel, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority plus any town or parish charge (which vary according to location).

Cllr Spencer Flower

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of the Council, East Dorset District Council, said: “This council has responded well to the financial challenges it has faced. Service delivery has been maintained and we can be proud that a balanced budget has been set each year.

“For some years we have adopted a policy of modest increases in Council Tax year on year. As we await the final decision of the Secretary of State, if the budget we have set for 2018/19 proves to be our final budget for East Dorset District Council I believe we can move forward inspired by the change ahead of us and knowing we have done, and continue to do, the best for the residents of East Dorset.”

Councillors voted in favour of the increase with 26 votes for, none against and one abstention.

The total annual charge for a Band D household in East Dorset will be £1,904.28, plus any town or parish charge. Aside from the £218.66 district council precept, the council tax bill is made up of £1406.34 towards Dorset County Council services, £206.58 to Dorset Police & Crime Panel and £72.70 to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Read the Leader’s Budget Speech 2018-19 here.

View the council tax report, including the council tax for Bands A-H in East Dorset and town and parish council precepts:

View the full East Dorset budget report for 2018/19:

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Categories: Dorset

Sam Northeast: Hampshire sign Kent batsman on a four-year contract

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:14
Hampshire win the race to sign Kent batsman Sam Northeast on a four-year contract.
Categories: Dorset

Dorset Waste Partnership pledges support for national litter-picking event

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:33

Dorset residents are being encouraged to get involved in litter-picking across the county this March.

The Great British Spring Clean is a campaign with a simple aim: to bring people across the country together to clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and beaches.

Organised by Keep Britain Tidy and supported by the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), the event takes place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March. During that time, litter-picks will be taking place all over the country.

Last year, more than 300,000 people were inspired to clean up their local neighbourhoods as part of the event. This year it is hoped that 400,000 people will venture outdoors and get litter-picking in their communities.

The DWP is supporting the event by providing picking equipment, protective clothing and rubbish bags to volunteers and groups, as well as arranging for the disposal of the bags of litter. They can also help to promote any picks taking place through their social media channels.

Whether you want to organise a litter-pick or join one already taking place nearby, getting involved is easy. Just head over to the website to find out everything you need to know.

The Dorset Waste Partnership also provides guidance and support on their litter-picking webpage.

Dorset litter-pick organisers are asked to contact the DWP in advance to provide details and arrange pick-up of any bags of rubbish so they can be left in a place that collection crews can find and access easily.

Cllr Tony Alford, chair of the Dorset Waste Partnership’s Joint Committee, said:-

“Communities and volunteer groups are a vital part in our battle against litter in Dorset, so the Great British Spring Clean is a great opportunity for people to come together and help keep our environment free of rubbish.

The Dorset Waste Partnership is proud to do our bit, whether it’s the regular street cleansing activities we carry out every day, or providing support to those dedicated people who want to roll up their sleeves and get involved themselves.

If you’ve got an hour or two to spare during the first weekend of March, head over to the Great British Spring Clean webpage and see how you can take part in this fantastic event.”

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Categories: Dorset

Earthquake felt across much of England and Wales

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:41
Tremors were felt in Wales and England from what is estimated to be the UK's biggest quake for 10 years.
Categories: Dorset

Man charged with Bournemouth town centre stabbing

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:24
The victim remains in a serious condition in hospital following the attack in Bournemouth.
Categories: Dorset

Man jailed for £1m fake football memorabilia fraud

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:48
David and Clare Rennie sold fake signed shirts and other football items to customers worldwide.
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Still time to have your say on new homes for Purbeck

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:22

Purbeck and Crossways residents are being urged to complete their New Homes for Purbeck questionnaire before the deadline of 12 March.

Almost 2,000 responses have been received so far and well-attended drop-in events are taking place around the district.

Through the consultation, Purbeck District Council is looking at how it can best meet the housing needs of current and future generations in Purbeck. As well as questions about sites for new homes, there are questions about second homes and affordable homes.

There are currently 403 households on Purbeck’s housing register requiring affordable rented housing and an additional 231 seeking low cost home ownership such as shared ownership. With only 135 housing association homes built in Purbeck since 2012, the district desperately needs more suitable homes for local people.

The consultation is taking place as part of the Council’s review of the Purbeck Local Plan. The Plan was approved by an independent planning inspector in 2012 on condition that the Council reviewed the number of new homes it was planning for the district.

Consultations were held in 2015 and 2016 on the review and Central Government released new draft guidance in 2017. This estimates fewer homes are required to be built compared with the numbers suggested in the 2015 and 2016 consultations.

This has all helped shape the options for new homes which are set out in the consultation.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council, said:  “We listened to what people told us in those earlier consultations and have been able to review the number of new homes and where these could go.

“However, we cannot escape the fact we need more homes for local people in the district. Whether it’s young people who want to stay in Purbeck, homes for people who will look after us as we get older, or homes for those facing homelessness, we need more homes for local people”.

Councillor Suttle continued: “We are also looking at how we can restrict the number of second homes and enable more affordable homes.

“By involving people in the local plan, we can make the most of the limited options available to us and meet the housing needs of local residents.

“We need a local plan which will stand up against speculative developers. Without a valid plan in place we will have less say on where new houses are built.”

Many people have already returned their completed questionnaires, and the Council is very grateful to everyone who has taken the time to respond.

Telephone survey

A telephone survey of 1,000 households in Purbeck is also underway. Households are being selected at random to take part in the telephone survey and the Council encourages anyone who is contacted by Public Perspectives, the company running the consultation, to have their say.

If you would like further information or help to complete the questionnaire, please contact Public Perspectives on freephone 0800 533 5386 or email

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Have your say on future employment use at the Dorset Innovation Park

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:37

There is an opportunity this February and March to find out more and help shape the future use of the Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone in Winfrith.

On behalf of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, Purbeck District Council has appointed Stride Treglown as lead consultants in developing a Local Development Order for the Innovation Park. The Order will have the effect of fast-tracking planning consent for future employment and supported uses on the site, subject to a number of conditions.

Stride Treglown will be attending two drop-in events which Purbeck District Council has arranged as part of its current “New Homes for Purbeck” consultation.

The consultants will be at the events to update residents on proposals for future employment development at the Innovation Park. There will be a series of illustrations on display. These will also be available on Purbeck District Council’s website at from 24 February, together with an online survey enabling people to give their views on the proposals. The survey will run between 24 February and 8 April 2018.

Details of the events

Saturday 24 February – D’Urberville Centre, Colliers Lane, Wool   BH20 6DL 10am to 4pm

Saturday 10 March – Village Hall, The Common, Moreton DT2 8RE 10am to 4pm

Dorset Innovation Park is Dorset’s second largest strategic employment site and is being recognised as a major focus for the economic regeneration of South Dorset.

Significant investment in the whole site by Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is providing a new opportunity for businesses by offering attractive Enterprise Zone benefits such as business rate reduction, simplified planning and ultrafast broadband.

The target sectors for the Enterprise Zone include advanced engineering and manufacturing, defence, marine, energy and cyber security.

Councillor Cherry Brooks, Economy and Infrastructure Portfolio Holder, Purbeck District Council, said: “This is an exciting new chapter in the life of the Dorset Innovation Park so we are encouraging people to come along to find out more and also take part in the survey.

“The feedback received will have the potential to shape the future of the site, including the design and conditions which proposals will be required to meet.”

Councillor Brooks continued: “Progressing the Local Development Order means we can enable co-ordinated development of the site whilst safeguarding the special qualities of this sensitive area. It also helps speed up the planning process for businesses seeking to expand in the enterprise zone.”

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director said: “Dorset Innovation Park is expected to facilitate 2,000 new jobs and attract dozens of new businesses to the area. The site boasts 50 hectares of land, of which 35 hectares can be developed. Having a Local Development Order in place will smooth the path to achieving its economic ambitions by simplifying the planning process for subsequent investments.”

There will be a further opportunity to inspect the Draft Order, Site Masterplan and the Design Guide when they are formally submitted later in the year.

20 new employment units have recently been completed at the site. These units will be fully serviced and let to businesses on ‘easy in, easy out’ terms.  See Quadrant brochure for more details.

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Categories: Dorset

Mosterton development approved

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 09:58

Plans for 36 homes have been approved in Mosterton by West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee.

36 homes to be built in Mosterton

Stonewater submitted a planning application for a site next to Windsor Close, on the south-western edge of the village.

The development consists of 28 houses and eight bungalows.

Once completed, the scheme will provide a total of 36 homes with a minimum of 12 affordable homes.

Stonewater have indicated that the scheme could provide 100 per cent affordable homes.

Five year land supply met

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

“The approval of this latest planning application will go towards meeting our five year land supply. This will put us in a strong position if speculative applications are submitted in the future.”

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

“This Development by Stonewater Housing Association will deliver a mixture of open market, shared ownership and affordable rented properties, including eight bungalows.

“There is a continuing unmet need for affordable housing in the district, which we are trying to address through our Opening Doors programme, so this scheme will make a welcome contribution towards our target.”

View the full committee report.

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Dorset County Council sets its budget for 2018/19

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 21:40

Dorset County Council will invest more money into social care, early help and prevention in 2018/19.

Members of Dorset County Council met today (Thursday, 15 February) to set the council’s budget and share of council tax for the next financial year.

At the meeting of the full council, members agreed to increase council tax by 5.99 per cent to help deal with inflation and bridge the funding gap in adult social care.

Council tax for 2018/19

They agreed to raise council tax by 2.99 per cent (the maximum without triggering a local referendum), plus a further 3 per cent to fund adult social care – which is in line with the Government’s 6 per cent levy (over a total three-year period).

The increase in the county council’s share of council tax means a Band D household will pay £79.47 more a year, or £1.53 a week.

The 3 per cent social care precept will raise an additional £6.6m this year for the council to invest in adult social care.

Leader of Dorset County Council Rebecca Knox said that around two thirds of the budget would go towards children’s and adult social care – including offering help early on, providing services in places where people go and helping people to stay independent. She said:

“The way people lead their lives is constantly changing – particularly with the use of technology – so this means we need to adapt and be flexible in the way we deliver services.

“We must make the most of every pound to provide more personalised and community-based services that focus on prevention, early help and empowering people to live independently.

“Working with our partners, we all have a collective responsibility to make the most of every pound that Dorset has. We all face financial constraints, but this should not stop us listening to residents and making sure we are delivering services that make a positive difference to people’s lives.”

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Cabinet member for community and resources, said:

“Although we are facing increasing demand for both children’s and adult’s social care, there’s also a lot of investment being made across Dorset – including our multi-million school improvement programme to deliver more school places, and recruiting more children’s social workers and foster carers to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children.”

Alongside a significant investment programme, the council has also set a target of saving of around £18.3M in 2018/19.

Read the full Medium Term Financial Strategy report

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Categories: Dorset

Arrest after Bournemouth town centre stabbing

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:11
A local man was taken to hospital after being found with stab wounds to his back
Categories: Dorset

District Council reaffirms its Fairtrade support

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:04

Purbeck District Council has confirmed it will continue to support the district’s Fairtrade Zone status.

The Purbeck Fairtrade Network was set up in 2002 and the District Council has promoted Fairtrade in the district since 2005.

Purbeck District Councillor Beryl Ezzard, who will continue as the Council’s Fairtrade Champion, said:  “I am delighted that Purbeck District Council will continue its support to Fairtrade.

“The availability of Fairtrade products gives quality and choice for local people, encouraging them to shop locally, often for specialist items. This is not only good for local businesses but also for those communities in the countries where the products are manufactured.”

See where you can purchase Fairtrade items in Purbeck: Fairtrade directory 2018

As well as promoting the Fairtrade mark whenever possible, the District Council serves Fairtrade tea and coffee at its meetings. It also helps the Purbeck Fairtrade Network produce a directory of local outlets selling Fairtrade products.

Supporting Fairtrade in the district does not involve any financial commitment by Purbeck District Council. However it does reaffirm support to the Fairtrade Foundation which ensures workers involved in the production of Fairtrade products earn a decent wage, have a safe working environment and have access to health and education.

Fairtrade products are available to purchase from a number of outlets around the district. Find all the details in the Purbeck Fairtrade Directory available in local shops and libraries.

Find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight 2018


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Categories: Dorset

Mobile milking parlour 'saves dairy farmers money'

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 06:56
Tom Foot and Neil Grigg say their portable milking unit has attracted worldwide interest.
Categories: Dorset

Final three recycling centres get the deep clean treatment

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 17:09

The final three household recycling centres (HRCs) in Dorset to undergo essential cleaning and maintenance will close for separate two-day periods during February and March.

In the coming weeks, Sherborne HRC on West Mill Lane will be inaccessible to the public on Wednesday 28 February and Thursday 1 March. It will re-open for use at 10am on Friday 2 March.

This will be followed by the Wimborne site on Brook Road being closed all day on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March. It will re-open as usual at 10am on Friday 9 March.

Christchurch’s HRC on Wilverley Road, Somerford will be closed on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 March. It will reopen at 10am on Friday 23 March.

The annual ‘deep clean’ consists of thorough cleansing, landscape maintenance, relining of parking bays, painting and general repairs to steps and recycling containers.

Karyn Punchard, Director of the Dorset Waste Partnership, said:

“We have chosen a relatively quiet time of year and the least busy part of the week to carry out this work, minimising disruption for local people as much as possible. For practical and safety reasons, we need to close these sites to visitors during this period.

The deep clean is part of a planned maintenance programme for all our HRCs built into our contract with operators W&S Recycling. As a result, there is no extra cost for the deep clean treatments.”

During the two-day closures, local residents can use any of the other HRCs in Dorset or hang on to their waste until their local centre re-opens.

There are no fees for entry to the HRCs, with the majority of items accepted free of charge. There are restrictions on the use of some vans and trailers so please check to see if you need to apply for a permit. This is a quick and simple process, with an immediate approval in most cases.

Further details are available online, and a map of Dorset’s household recycling centres can be found on the Dorset Explorer website too.

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Categories: Dorset

Man cleared of raping 'chronic liar' demands police apology

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 08:32
David Bryant, 67, spent two-and-a-half years in prison following a false allegation.
Categories: Dorset

Tai Chi study 'could help people with dementia'

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 00:52
Researchers at Bournemouth University hope the study will show the exercise can help relieve symptoms.
Categories: Dorset

Councillors to debate budget this Thursday

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 20:37

Dorset County Councillors will be discussing the county council’s budget and share of council tax for 2018/19 at their Full Council meeting this Thursday 15 February.

Introduced by council Leader Cllr Rebecca Knox, members will hear how the council is taking its vision towards an exciting future as well as successes and achievements over the last 12 months.

Cabinet member for community and resources Cllr Tony Ferrari, will then talk through the numbers, covering council finances and proposals to deal with funding reductions and cost pressures on services.

Read the full Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan report (recommendations from Cabinet 31 January 2018).

You can also see the rest of the agenda and reports for the Full Council meeting on our website.

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100 years ago people fought for the right to vote – make sure you take up that right

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 16:45

You’ll have seen a lot of coverage of Vote 100. It marks 100 years since changes in the voting system gave some women and all men the right to vote.

Now we want to inspire the current generation of voters in Dorset to register to vote and use your voice.

Vote 100 campaign aims to encourage 100 young people to register to vote

100 years ago, the suffragette movement won the first victory in fighting for equality in the voting system.

For the first time some women, and all men, were given the opportunity to vote.

It wasn’t a complete victory. To vote, women had to be over 30 and own certain property.

But this first step led to full equality in the voting system.

Take up your right to vote

We are celebrating the 100 years anniversary of this historic movement. We’re looking to current and future generations of young women and men to take up their right to vote.

We want to encourage as many young people, to take up that right by registering to vote.

Register online and share it

Registering to vote is easy. You can do it online at

Once you’ve registered to vote. Share the good news and empower others to do the same on social media.

Use the hashtags #Dorset100 and #Vote100 to let people know that you’re one of the hundred who have registered to vote.


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Categories: Dorset

Gaia Pope: Swanage teenager died of hypothermia

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 14:57
An inquest into her death heard there were no suspicious circumstances or signs of third party involvement.
Categories: Dorset


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