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Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Patrol officers help homeless people and their pets

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:49

A homeless man who was worried about his dog has been helped by the council’s patrol officers.

Bonnie and Mike with our patrol officer

Mike, who is homeless, was concerned that his beloved spaniel Bonnie could fall behind with her vaccinations and become ill. The borough council’s uniformed patrol officers got in touch with Street Vet, a charity that helps homeless people take care of their pets. They arranged her veterinary care.

Mike said: “Bonnie is everything to me, she is all I’ve got. She keeps me going, we keep each other going. It really does mean the world to me that people were willing to help us. I don’t need to worry so much now, if Bonnie needs help, help is there. It is so important, especially when you are both homeless that they stay well, especially in this weather. I want to thank Street Vet for their kindness to us.”

The patrol officers, who began work this autumn under a new Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, have also received a large donation of dog food from Pets at Home, which is available at homeless charity the Lantern in Ranelagh Road.

Senior Patrol Officer Karoline, said: “I first met Mike and Bonnie sleeping rough about eight months ago. Bonnie is such a sweet well behaved girl and always happy to see me. Mike takes care of her really well, keeping her clean and knot free, exercised, warm and up to weight.

‘Mike takes good care of her’

“I am glad we’ve been able to help them and alleviate worry. Living on the streets is a hard life for anyone, especially with the anxiety and worry of keeping a beloved companion in tip top condition.

“Sadly, having a pet can make it much harder for someone to find accommodation. The owner may be eligible for housing, but a dog may not be accepted. In many cases the bond is so deep that a homeless person will choose the company of their pet above a roof over their heads. They’ll turn down accommodation and just hope that something else comes up, where they can be together. I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I failed to recognise this and didn’t listen and help where possible.”

‘I will keep hoping for our own place’

Mike added: “I have met so many wonderful people in Weymouth, made some friends and even been offered some work when we manage to get on our feet again. I’m hoping Bonnie and I can stay and make a positive contribution to the area, I will keep hoping for our own place in Weymouth one day.”

The scheme covers a wide area and the patrols tackle anti-social behaviour by deterring, educating and enforcing. The scheme is managed by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, who have worked with Dorset Police, the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, British Transport Police, Dorset County Council and Weymouth BID to set it up.

The patrol officers have the power to gather evidence and be involved in the enforcement of Community Protection Notices, which place restrictions on individuals that persistently act in an anti-social manner. Their role isn’t directly to help the homeless. This is done by an outreach team, a service currently provided for the borough council by Julian House. However, they do engage with homeless people and work with other agencies to try and signpost them to services that can help them get off the streets.

Mike Byatt, Community Safety Briefholder at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “I am glad that Bonnie and Mike have been helped. Weymouth is a fantastic town with a lively day and night time economy. We are working hard to make it even safer for people to enjoy.”

More information about community safety is available here:

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Categories: Dorset

Travelling this festive season? Summary of travel and transport across Dorset

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:43

Check your journey before you travel this festive season. 

The number of roadworks or activity on site will wind down as contractors and highway maintenance teams take a well-earned break from planned work, but emergency responses will continue, so unplanned work may still pop up at any time over the holidays. There are also some events taking place around the county and roads and parking may be affected. Traffic management has been lifted on the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road and work will resume 7 January 2019.

Bus and train services will change over Christmas and New Year and you’re advised to check the times of the last ones to ensure you can get to your destination.

24/7 live travel disruptions | @TravelDorset Travel summary

We’ve summarised the expected service levels on public transport, but do check the detail with operators themselves.

First | Damory | More | Yellow Buses | South Western Railway | Great Western Railway | CrossCountry Trains

Christmas Eve – Monday 24 December
  • First – Saturday service until 8pm. Route 6 on a non-school weekday timetable
  • Damory – normal Monday service
  • More – Saturday service on all routes, with the exception of extra early morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 16, a normal weekday service on X1, X2, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193, Ringo and Cango, the termination of the 11pm X3 from Bournemouth at Ringwood, the cancellation of the 0.10am X3 from Salisbury and no service on Nightbus N1 and N2
  • Yellow Buses – Saturday service with the exception of routes 1b (Somerford Estate), 18, 33, 36 and 737 on weekday services. Early finish around 8pm
  • South West Coaches – Saturday service on most routes
  • South Western Railway – revised service from 7pm, planned cancellations, trains stopping short of normal destinations and no trains from 10pm
  • Great Western Railway – services finishing early between 9.30pm and 10.30pm. Engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – early close down
Christmas Day – Tuesday 25 December
  • First – no service
  • Damory – no service
  • More – special timetable on routes m1 and m2 only between 8am and 8pm extended to Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Christchurch
  • Yellow Buses – no service
  • South West Coaches – no service
  • South Western Railway – no service
  • Great Western Railway – no service
  • CrossCountry Trains – no service
Boxing Day – Wednesday 26 December
  • First – Special Sunday service until 8pm. No service 7
  • Damory – no service
  • More – Sunday timetable on routes m1 (starting at 6am from Poole and 5.50am from Castlepoint), m2 (6.15am from Poole and 6.34am from Southbourne), 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 40, 50, X3 and X8, only
  • Yellow Buses – special service on routes 1/1a, 2, 3, 5/5a and 6
  • South West Coaches – no service
  • South Western Railway – no service
  • Great Western Railway – no service
  • CrossCountry Trains – no service
Thursday 27 December
  • First – Saturday service on most routes. No night bus on service 1
  • Damory – normal weekday service
  • More – Saturday service on all routes with the exception of extra early morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 16, a normal weekday service on X1, X2, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193, Ringo and Cango, the termination of the 11pm X3 from Bournemouth at Ringwood and the cancellation of the 0.10am X3 from Salisbury
  • Yellow Buses – Saturday service on all routes with the exception of a weekday service on routes 1b, 18, 33, 36 and 737
  • South West Coaches – Saturday service on most routes
  • South Western Railway – industrial action. Engineering work at London Waterloo
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
 Friday 28 December
  • First – Saturday service on most routes. No night bus on service 1
  • Damory – normal weekday service
  • More –  Saturday service on all routes with the exception of extra early morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 16, a normal weekday service on X1, X2, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193, Ringo and Cango
  • Yellow Buses – Saturday service on all routes with the exception of a weekday service on routes 1b, 18, 33, 36 and 737
  • South West Coaches – normal weekday service
  • South Western Railway – engineering work at London Waterloo
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
Saturday 29 December
  • First – normal Saturday service on most routes
  • Damory – normal Saturday service
  • More – normal Saturday service
  • Yellow Buses – normal Saturday service
  • South West Coaches – normal Saturday service
  • South Western Railway – normal service except for planned engineering work
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
Sunday 30 December
  • First – normal Sunday service on most routes
  • Damory – no service
  • More – normal Sunday service
  • Yellow Buses – normal Sunday service
  • South West Coaches – no service
  • South Western Railway – normal service except for planned engineering work
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
New Years Eve – Monday 31 December
  • First – Saturday service on most routes until 8pm. Route 6 on a non-school weekday timetable. No route 7
  • Damory – normal Monday service
  • More – Saturday service including nightbus N1 and N2 through to the new year with the exception of some extra early morning journeys on routes 5, 8, 9, 13, 14 and 16, a Monday service on routes X1, X2, X8, 24, 38, 112, 119, 125, 191, 193, Ringo and Cango, the termination of the 11pm X3 service from Bournemouth at Ringwood and the cancellation of the 0.10am X3 service from Salisbury
  • Yellow Buses – Saturday service with the exception of routes 1b 18, 33, 36 and 737. Early finish around 8pm
  • South West Coaches – Saturday service on most routes
  • South Western Railway – industrial action. Special timetables for New Year celebrations
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
New Years Day – Tuesday 1 January 2019
  • First – no service
  • Damory – no service
  • More – special timetables operate on routes m1/m2, 8/9 and 13 and a Sunday service on routes 5, 6, 16, 17 and X3, only
  • Yellow Buses – special service on routes 1/1a, 2, 3, 5/5a and 6
  • South West Coaches – no service
  • South Western Railway – no service
  • Great Western Railway – engineering work at Westbury
  • CrossCountry Trains – normal service expected out of Bournemouth
Wednesday 2 January 2019

Normal service restored on all operators with the exception of Yellow Buses with some routes on different timetables for the following week.

Industrial action

Ongoing RMT Industrial Action is expected to take place on Saturday 22, Thursday 27 and Monday 31 December affecting South Western Railway.

Sandbanks Ferry

Ferry expected to return to service follow annual-refit during week commence Monday 17 December.

On Christmas Day, half-hourly service from 8am until 6.10pm. Leaving Sandbanks at ’00 and ’30 and from Shell Bay at ’10 and ’40 minutes past each hour.

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Categories: Dorset

Lyme Regis Harbour masters office works set up due to start

Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:35

On Monday 17 December, set up for improvements works to the Lyme Regis Harbour Master’s Office is scheduled to begin. The works will start on Thursday 3 January and will be completed in May 2019. We don’t expect any disruption and the harbour will be accessible to everyone as normal.

The project will see the existing structure modernised and extended. You can read more about the project here.

Increasing custom at the historic harbour

The number of customers received at the Harbour is increasing. The designs for the new building will have additions to ensure that these growing numbers are well facilitated.

Contractors CG Fry will be updating local residents and businesses regularly with progress on the project.

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Categories: Dorset

District Council welcomes toll increase decision

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 14:15

Purbeck District Council has welcomed news that the Secretary of State for Transport has refused an application for toll increases for the Sandbanks to Studland Ferry.

 

Following objections to the increases by local residents, businesses and councils, the application by the Bournemouth-Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company was referred to the Secretary of State who decided that a local Public Inquiry should be held.

Six local councils* worked together to object to the proposed increases, and a barrister presented their case to an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State at the public inquiry in September 2018.

The Inspector has now reported to The Secretary of State and, on 12 December 2018, confirmation was received that the application had been refused.

The Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector’s conclusions that, although a replacement ferry will be necessary at some stage, there was no confirmation that a toll rise would result in this being achieved.

The Secretary of State also agreed there is no assurance that the ferry replacement reserve would be safeguarded and reach the level required to enable a replacement vessel. He said the fact the ferry replacement fund was not ring fenced and did not provide for an assured separate fund was “a significant area of concern.”

The Bournemouth Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company must wait at least another 12 months before it can make another application.

Councillor Gary Suttle, Leader of Purbeck District Council said:  “We welcome the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse the application.

“We had grave concerns that the proposed increases would only benefit the ferry company, whilst leaving residents who rely on the ferry disadvantaged.

“The increases would also have a detrimental effect on our local economy and the district’s already-congested roads, so the company needs to radically alter its approach to its ferry replacement fund before it makes another application.”

* The six councils were Purbeck District Council; Swanage Town Council; Corfe Castle Parish Council; Studland Parish Council; Wareham St Martin Parish Council; and Worth Matravers Parish Council.

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Categories: Dorset

New recruits hitting the road

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 12:23

After the extreme weather of last winter – which saw 24-hour working to keep strategic roads open – the 10 largest vehicles in the Dorset Highways gritting fleet have been named by residents.

Martin Hill of Dorset Highways said: “During the snow events of February and March quite a number of people got in touch and asked whether we could name our gritters like other authorities have, so we challenged residents to come up with Dorset-themed names for our dedicated vehicles.”

We enjoyed reading through the many suggestions, and the names are now being unveiled:

  • Chillingstone
  • Cold-Harbour
  • Gold Chill
  • Spreadisbury
  • Ice Maiden Newton
  • Osmington Chills
  • Wooly Monkey
  • Wimborne Monster
  • Polar Bere Regis
  • Cerne Giant’s Chilly

The final names were chosen by the gritter drivers and, where possible, the vehicles are being named after the route they serve.

Dorset Highways’ winter service started on 1 November with more than 80 drivers on a shift pattern to ensure 22 drivers can jump into action for any 12-hour period.

Twenty-two main routes cover the 680-miles of road that make up the gritted network, which accounts for 27 per cent of the county council’s roads.

Follow @TravelDorset to stay up to date with this winter’s gritting action. You can also find all gritting information online.

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Categories: Dorset

New Bovington SEND school – public meeting

Thu, 12/13/2018 - 10:19

Members of the public and the media attended a public engagement event last week about the new Harbour School at the former Bovington Middle School site.

It was a chance to learn more about plans to turn the site into a new day school for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The Harbour School will be a new Free Special School on the former Bovington School site, in partnership with the Delta Education Trust.

It will meet the needs of children with autism and social, emotional and mental health needs, from the ages of 10 to 19.

At full capacity, the completed school will be able to accommodate 160 pupils, and will employ at least 80 people.

Dorset County Council, along with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councils, has significant demand for additional special school places. Currently, some children require residential provision as their education is provided so far from home. The Harbour School will provide an opportunity for children in Bovington and surrounding areas to access education closer to home, eliminating excessive travel for some, which can be stressful for pupils with additional needs.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Cabinet member for Education, Learning and Skills said: “Dorset County Council is committed to providing ‘Great education, close to home’ for as many children as possible. Local education means that children can be part of their community and parents can more easily engage with their child’s school.”

The Harbour School is expected to open in temporary buildings on the Bovington site, accommodating 25 children, in September 2019. There will then be a phased occupancy of the new school once it has been completed, which is expected to be at the end of 2020.

The new school will engage with the local community, developing positive relationships and providing a new resource for the residents of Bovington and the surrounding area.

The event was attended by Cllr Parry, as well as Assistant Director for Children’s Services at Dorset County Council, Andrew Reid, and Chief Executive of the Delta Education Trust, Jo Perry.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset History Centre receives £56K grant for Herrison Hospital archive

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:41

The Dorset History Centre has received a grant of over £56,000 from the Wellcome Trust – the UK’s leading medical research charity.

The funding will support a year-long project to fully catalogue the Herrison Hospital (the county asylum) archive.

The archive dates from 1832 and is of great interest to researchers and family historians alike. It will be made available to the general public through the Dorset History Centre website. In addition, the funding will allow a significant amount of conservation work to take place – cleaning, repairing and packaging the archive to assist in its long-term preservation.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Cabinet member for Education, Learning and Skills said:

“We are so grateful to the Wellcome Trust for their support. Securing this vital funding will enable the completion of work to catalogue the fascinating history of Herrison and create accessibility for anyone researching important aspects of hospitals work over a 160 year period”

The archive consists of 300 boxes of material, including thousands of often poignant individual patient records, as well as a wide range of other material – from the hospital’s farm to building plans, and even social activities such as the rounders society.

At its peak, Herrison Hospital was home to nearly 1000 patients and only closed its doors in 1992. The archive is a fascinating and important resource for medical and social history and Dorset History Centre has been working closely with academics from Bournemouth University and the University of Exeter who intend to use the collection for their research as the project unfolds.

Can you help?

It is thought that some of Herrison’s archives were retained by hospital staff when the institution closed its doors. These records could add a further fascinating dimension to the history of the hospital.

Only very recently, Dorset History Centre received some records that had been rescued by a former employee, whose son brought them in to join the rest of the archive.

If you know of any records such as these, Dorset History Centre would like to hear from you. To get in touch: email archives@dorsetcc.gov.uk or call 01305-250550 and ask to speak to an archivist.

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Categories: Dorset

Green light for apartment development

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 15:42

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has given outline planning consent for a development of apartments on land next to Goulds Garden Centre.

Potential look of Littlemoor Road development

The development, on Littlemoor Road, will provide a total of 24 apartments which includes eight affordable homes.

A further ‘Reserved Matters’ application will be needed in order to set the design and layout of the scheme, amongst other details.

Rewarding opportunity

Mark Butcher, Principal Designer at A1 Plans, said:

“Although the site presented some design challenges due to the AONB location, it has been an exciting and rewarding opportunity to design a scheme which provides much needed housing whilst enhancing the area visually.  The sweeping grass roof design reflects a rolling hill backdrop which we hope will set a benchmark for quality design in future development of the area.”

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Environment and Sustainability, said:

“I am pleased this application, which sits within a defined development boundary, has been approved. I look forward to seeing the detailed Reserved Matters application in the near future.”

Opening Doors

Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Housing, said:

“It’s good to see the council approve more housing developments in the borough. We are in need of more homes for our residents to live in, this is why we launched our Opening Doors Programme.

As part of this programme, we have started a Home Ownership Register to learn more about housing demand and find out the size and locations of homes that people want. As part of this we also forward on details of upcoming developments and opportunities to own a home.

“I would recommend anyone looking to own their own home to sign up to the register.”

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Categories: Dorset

Members give green light to trial a pedestrianisation scheme in Weymouth town centre

Wed, 12/12/2018 - 15:00

Members today gave the green light to introduce a trial pedestrianisation scheme in St  Alban Street. This popular road in the centre of the town is currently open to both car traffic and pedestrians.

Trial over 6 months

The trial will take place over 6 months after consultation with businesses and the general public.

Supporting the town centre economy

Cllr Colin Huckle, briefholder for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted that members have agreed to take this scheme through to an experimental trial period. This is part of our efforts to continue to make further improvements to the pedestrian use of Weymouth town centre. We’ve already implemented a scheme to improve pedestrian
access to St Mary and St Thomas Streets. Improving pedestrianisation of the town centre is a key component of the Weymouth Town Centre master plan. We recognise this is an important way of supporting the town centre economy and the safety of shoppers.”

We have asked Dorset County Council to put in place an experimental Traffic Regulation Order for the street.

Part of wider pedestrianisation strategy

The council has already implemented a scheme to improve pedestrian access to St Mary and St Thomas Streets, working with Dorset County Council and requiring input from the Town Centre Manager. Improved pedestrianisation measures in the town centre are action 41 in the Management Committee Action Plan.

The £12,000 required for this project will be considered by the Budget Working Group, who will be meeting in the near future.

If successful, the full cost of implementing the scheme covering St Alban Street and related streets is estimated to be £80,000.

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Categories: Dorset

Councillor and Former Councillor made an Honorary Alderman for services to East Dorset

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:08

East Dorset District Councillor, Derek Burt and former East Dorset District Councillor Pat Hymers have both been made an Honorary Alderman in recognition of their services to East Dorset.

They were presented their awards at East Dorset’s Full Council meeting on 10 December 2018.

Cllr Derek Burt, Ward Councillor for Corfe Mullen, has been serving his local community for over 52 years. He has been instrumental in the development of multiple popular sites across East Dorset, including Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and East Dorset Heritage Trust. He has also worked to support many local initiatives including Wimborne Folk Festival and the Tivoli Theatre.

He served as Chairman of the Council three times during his time as a councillor, in 1977-1979, 2011-12 and 2017-18.

Pat Hymers served on East Dorset District Council between 1983 and 2015 and was Chairman of Dorset County Council from 1993 to 2001.

She played a key role in numerous committees, and has worked closely with Wimborne Model Town, Dreamboats, the Folk Festival and pre-school education.

Cllr Toni Coombs, Chairman of East Dorset District Council said: “It is important to recognise and thank those in our communities who have given that bit extra. The position of Alderman is the way in which the Council can give this recognition to councillors in honour of all they have done for East Dorset. It is particularly poignant with the move to unitary status next year that these two outstanding councillors have been honoured in this way as our first Aldermen of East Dorset.”

 

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Categories: Dorset

People will be asked for their views on plan to improve housing

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 14:09

People in Weymouth will be asked if licensing should be introduced to try to improve rented housing. 

People will be asked for their views on plan to improve housing

Councillors today decided to consult on whether a Selective Licensing Scheme should be introduced for private rented housing in Melcombe Regis. The decision was made by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee.

The aim of such a scheme is to improve how private rented housing is managed and maintained, while also addressing the high levels of deprivation within the ward. The consultation on the proposed scheme will take place early next year.

Councillor Gill Taylor, Housing Briefholder at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “I am glad the Management Committee of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has approved the proposal to consult with residents on whether to introduce a Selective Licensing Scheme for private rented housing within Melcombe Regis.

“It is called a selective scheme as it is at the discretion of the council. After the consultation it will need to go back to the council for debate, but it will effectively mean that all of the private rented accommodation in most of the Melcombe Regis ward will be subject to inspection.

Improve the quality of rented housing

“The aim of such a scheme is to help ensure that private rented housing is of a decent standard. We believe good landlords will support such a scheme as will tenants. The consultation will be available online shortly, please take the time to have your say and complete it.”

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council works with landlords to improve housing. Current schemes include ‘Heat Melcombe Regis’, which sees free central heating made available as well as other measures to tackle fuel poverty. The borough council also supports and works with landlords through the Landlords Local Authority Partnership.

More information on the council’s work with landlords is available here.  

 

 

 

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Categories: Dorset

A historic look at Wool bridge

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 14:06

Oyez, oyez, oyez! Wullebrigg has reopened and any person wilfully injuring any part of this County Bridge will be guilty of felony and upon conviction liable to be transported for life by The Court.

As the sign suggests, Wool Bridge is steeped in history, and Wessex Archaeology has shared its research with us.

Throughout the repair work, members of Wessex Archaeology’s heritage team carried out work to document the structure and monitor the repair and consolidation works, to help ensure that the iconic, although much altered, historic bridge was restored to its former glory.

The ‘Thomas Hardy bridge’

The picturesque Grade II listed bridge features in Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles and is linked with the adjacent Woolbridge Manor, a Grade II listed building, which also features in the novel.

Research found that a bridge is recorded to have crossed the river in this location in 1343, although the place name ‘Wullebrigg’ is first mentioned in 1244 and the bridge may have been constructed by the nearby Bindon Abbey sometime after its foundation in 1172.

Described by Historic England as the ‘best-preserved Elizabethan bridge in Dorset’, a close examination of Wool Bridge found that it appears to have undergone several phases of development during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, including strengthening and widening, and appears to have been repaired on several occasions. It was lengthened in the later 19th century, with an additional flood arch added at the southern end.

Military secrecy

Wool Bridge is close to the British Army base of Bovington Camp and would have witnessed the first tanks in 1916 which had to cross the bridge after their arrival at Wool train station.

Due to initial secrecy, extreme precautions accompanied the arrival of each new tank, with reports of the time indicating that all civilian traffic was stopped, and the inhabitants of Woolbridge Manor and the neighbouring farms and cottages were made to pull their blinds and keep to their back rooms.

Military police on motorcycles preceded the tank on its journey from the station to the camp and any civilian encountered was made to stand in a field with their back to the road until the ‘secret weapon’ had passed by!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, regular crossing by 25-30 tonne tanks led to damage in 1917 and 1918. A photograph of the time shows that the crew of one Mark V tank named ‘Dee’ had a lucky escape after crashing through the parapet and ending up on the bank.

To prevent a similar scenario, the parapets were entirely removed during the Second World War and only reconstructed in the early 1960s.

The bridge has now been placed on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.

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Categories: Dorset

Community a step closer to agreeing neighbourhood plan

Tue, 12/11/2018 - 10:38

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

A final version of the Broadwindsor Group (including Burstock and Seaborough) Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to the district council for examination.

The plan has been drawn up by local people, and agreed by the parish 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.

The district council is required to consult on the plan proposals before the examination can take place.

People who live, work or run a business in the Broadwindsor neighbourhood area have until 6th February 2019, to raise any concerns they may have about the plan. These concerns will then be passed on to an independent examiner to consider.

Clrl Jacqui Sewell, West Dorset District Council’s Ward Member for Broadwindsor, said:

“I’m proud to have been involved in the production of the Broadwindsor Group Neighbourhood Plan.

“We held the first public meeting in February 2015, with the steering committee being formed in the May – now nearly four years later it’s being submitted for examination.

“My congratulations goes to all the other members of the committee, we have spent many hours researching, taking photographs, delivering & collecting questionnaires, in monthly meetings, at information gathering events and at roadshows. Many cups of coffee were consumed!

My special thanks goes to Brian H for his meticulous proof reading skills.”

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

“Neighbourhood plans are part of the blueprint for future development. It takes a tremendous amount of work in order to get to this stage and I would like to congratulate all involved.”

A hard copy of the plan will be made available at West Dorset District Council’s offices in South Walks House, Dorchester and at Beaminster Library. Broadwindsor Parish Council also has copies available, please contact hello@broadwindsorgroup.gov.uk

The plan can be viewed online at  https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/broadwindsor-neighbourhood-plan and on the Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan website: http://broadwindsorgroup.gov.uk

Comments on the plan can be emailed to strategic@dorset.gov.uk.

Alternatively they can be posted to the Planning (Community & Policy Development) Team at West Dorset District Council, 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 Broadwindsor Neighbourhood Plan.

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Categories: Dorset

Bovington Primary School determined to ‘rapidly improve standards’

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 16:28

A major programme of improvements is underway at Bovington Primary after inspectors placed the school in ‘special measures’.

Following the school’s latest inspection in October, Ofsted rated the school as Inadequate as it felt that pupils were not receiving an acceptable standard of education.

With the support of Dorset County Council, the school is making improvements across several areas, including:

  • leadership and management
  • quality of teaching and learning
  • pupils’ behaviour

The school also needs to focus on raising outcomes for pupils, particularly for the most able and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Kris Winthorpe, headteacher of Bovington Primary School, said:

“We’re disappointed that our school has been put into special measures. There have been significant changes and challenges since the school’s last inspection six years ago, including changing from a first school to a primary. We recognise that we have to rapidly improve outcomes for our pupils through stronger teaching and have already introduced new measures to address this.”

Changes the school have already made include taking steps to improve the effectiveness of governance; the introduction of new progress assessments and measures; and work to develop and improve the impact of good quality teaching and learning.

Mr Winthorpe added:

“I’d like to reassure parents that myself, staff and governors are all deeply committed to making the necessary changes. We have a robust action plan and are confident that we can rapidly improve our standards.”

Ofsted did identify a number of strengths during the school’s inspection. They said that:

  • arrangements for safeguarding are effective and inspection evidence confirms that this is a safe school
  • the school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is good
    all staff have an in-depth understanding of pupils’ pastoral needs and work with agencies to remove any barriers pupils may face
  • the school’s curriculum provides a range of subjects and experiences
  • early years provision is improving
  • pupils are happy, enjoy attending school, and feel safe

Being put into special measures means that an ‘academy order’ will be issued for academy trusts to express interest in supporting the school’s improvement.

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Improved gym and exercise studio access at Purbeck Sports Centre

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 11:00

A replacement lift is to be installed at the Sports Centre in Wareham, making access to the gym and exercise facilities easier.

Due to mechanical issues the existing lift has been breaking down. This means customers who rely on it have to call a member of the sports centre staff in order to access the gym or studio.

Known as a platform lift, customers step on and transfer down a few steps to the gym and studio. Not only are the lift failures causing an inconvenience for customers, they are also resulting in call-out fees every time it has to be repaired.

Purbeck District Council has approved £20,000 for the installation of a replacement lift and work is due to start soon.

Michelle Goodman, Sports Centre Manager, said: “Enabling access to our facilities for all our customers has always been a top priority for the Sports Centre. We are pleased we will soon be able to once again offer them hassle-free access to our gym and exercise studio. 

 “Whilst the work is taking place, we will be making alternative arrangements to ensure all our customers have full access to all our facilities.”

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Go ahead for 292 homes in Chickerell

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 15:46

West Dorset District Council’s Planning Committee has given its approval to a reserved matters application for 292 homes at Bank and Ridge Farm in Chickerell.

CG Fry & Son – Bank and Ridge Farm – Chickerell

The reserved matters application, which follows approval of an outline application in March 2018, comprises details of appearance, scale and landscaping of the development.

The application comes from West Dorset based developer CG Fry & Son Ltd and is on land identified for housing in the West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan.

The development will sit on almost 30 acres of land previously used for agricultural purposes. It includes provision for 35 per cent affordable housing across a mix of tenures such as shared ownership and reduced market rent.

David Lohfink, Land & Planning Director at C G Fry & Son Ltd said:

“We are delighted that the council continues to work with us in delivering this much needed housing.”

Much needed housing

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

“I am pleased that the detailed design elements of this development have come forward so quickly from the approval of an outline application in March of this year. Once completed these homes will provide much needed open market and affordable housing. I look forward to work starting on site in the near future.”

Opening Doors

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

“The approval of this reserved matters application is great news and means work can start on site in the near future.

“Having more homes built in the area is a key objective of our Opening Doors programme.

“As part of this programme, we have started a Home Ownership Register to gauge housing demand and find out the size and locations of homes wanted. As part of this we also forward on details of upcoming developments.

“I would recommend anyone looking to own their own home to sign up to the register.”

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Visit Dorset announce partnership with Be My Guest

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:27

Visit Dorset are delighted to announce a partnership with Be My Guest. Be My Guest is the new event series supporting UK independent accommodation providers.

19 February 2019 national roadshow

Visit Dorset is a Destination Management Partnership which helps support and grow Dorset’s visitor economy and is funded by six local authority councils. By partnering with Be My Guest, Visit Dorset are hoping to help SME businesses in their network who focus on hospitality accommodation when the national roadshow arrives in Bournemouth on 19 February 2019.

Be My Guest is a series of one-day, free-to-attend business development events for independent accommodation providers. Businesses to the event are able to take advantage of free training and seminars to increase their performance and attend free digital Masterclasses held by their event partner, Google Digital Garage.

A showcase for products and services

The event also hosts a marketplace which has international and local businesses showcasing their products and services to help accommodation providers gain greater margins, get more bookings and become more successful.

Be My Guest Director, Diane Lloyd explained; “Visit Dorset joins a roster of prestigious partners for our show in Bournemouth including Google, The AA and HomeAway.

“This event will be a highlight for all types of local accommodation providers whether that is an owner or manager of a holiday rental, glamping experience or a small B&B right through to the larger caravan and holiday parks, independent hotels or campsites.

“We are looking forward to working with Visit Dorset to help businesses in the area grow.”

“Valuable insights and practical advice”

Talking about the partnership, Nick Thornley, on behalf of the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership said: “Visit Dorset is pleased to be collaborating with Be My Guest to support this fantastic free event in Bournemouth. It will offer valuable insights, practical advice and access to service providers. We know this will be beneficial to the many independent accommodation providers across Dorset.”

To register, visit: http://www.bemyguest.live/southcoast

Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership

The Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership is made up of the district and borough councils from West Dorset, North Dorset, Christchurch, Purbeck, East Dorset and Weymouth and Portland. The tourism team of the Dorset Councils’ Partnership co-ordinates this activity on behalf of the other rural Dorset local authorities. 

About Be My Guest

Be My Guest is owned, managed and operated by Quartz Smart Events based in Redhill Surrey. Quartz Smart Events is a subsidiary of Quartz Business Media, one of the leading independent exhibition companies in the UK. Quartz Business Media has launched, managed and run over 400 events across multiple sectors and recently won Tradeshow Launch of the Year at the Association of Event Organisers Excellence Awards 2017. 

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Improvements at Weymouth Crematorium

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 11:15

Improvements have been made at Weymouth Crematorium.

Improvements at Weymouth Crematorium

The waiting room at the Crematorium has recently been refurbished. It now has new seating, carpets, curtains. It has also been decorated.

It has been decorated in grey and duck egg blue with teal coloured sofas. The aim of the refurbishment is to provide a more welcoming environment and to improve the overall ambience. The total cost was approximately £3,660.

Kate Wheller, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Community Facilities, welcomed the improvements. She said: “The refurbished waiting room looks really comfortable and pleasant which is particularly important for those experiencing the loss of a loved one.

“A particular well done to the fantastic Bereavement Team who are incredibly committed to providing a high quality service.”

More information about Weymouth Crematorium is available here.

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Park improvements in Weymouth

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 16:30

Improvements have been carried out at the Marsh play area in Weymouth and the new facilities are now open. 

Improvements at the Marsh

The improvements  include a new multi-use games area, new seating, installation of a drop kerb, a new play area and fencing. The derelict running track has also been removed. The total cost of the project was £185,000.

The play area is suitable for children aged from three to 12 years. It includes a climbing hut, a seesaw, a trampoline, a combination swing, as well as many pieces of equipment suitable for children with disabilities.

The new seating includes three benches located near to the football pitches. The new drop kerb is located on Emmerdale Close and will provide easier access for wheelchair users, mobility scooters and pushchairs.

The improvements were outlined in the Marsh Masterplan.

Kate Wheller, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Community Facilities, said: “It’s a great accomplishment to see so many of the facilities, included in the masterplan, finally complete. The Marsh has been vastly improved and it all looks fantastic.

“I am so pleased that the play area is now open to the public. I’m sure children will love playing on all the new equipment. I would like to thank the Parks Staff at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council for all their hard work on these valuable additions to the Marsh.”

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How has nearly £10,000 of funding benefited Cerne Valley?

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 10:58

We have been working closely with Cerne Valley Parish Council to allocate Section 106 (S106) money. S106 money is local developer contributions from nearby housing developments.

We also used money from our own Leisure Development Fund (LDF) to total £4,200. The rest of the funding was made up by the Parish Council.

This is how the money was spent:   Project Cost Amount Requested S106 LDF Total Funding Tarmac the entrance to Kettle Bridge Car Park, Cerne Abbas £10,000.00 £5,000.00 £4,370.78 £630.00 £5,000.78 Poly Tunnels at the Allotments in Cerne Abbas £200.00 £200.00 £190.93 £0.00 £190.93 New safety surface at the play area in Duck Street,  Cerne Abbas £10,500.00 S106 £3,000.00
LDF £1,576.80 £2,669.99 £1,500.00 £4,169.99 Making a difference to local facilities

Cllr Mary Penfold, Portfolio Holder for Enabling, said: “We are really pleased that important public spaces such as the play area and allotments in the Cerne Valley area have benefited from additional funding. We know how valuable they are to local residents.”

Wayne Lewin, Clerk to the Cerne Valley Parish Council, said: “Parish Councils, much like all other local authorities, are hard pressed for money.

“Without the funding from S106 and LDF, projects such as these – which will benefits residents and visitors alike – would never have happened. They will benefit not only this generation but also the next.

“The Cerne Valley Parish Council would like to thank the Council for the fantastic and simple process to enable all these projects to come to fruition.”

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