Blasting leaves from the rail lines

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sun, 10/14/2018 - 09:37
High pressure water and sand are applied to the tracks to remove "slippery" leaves.
Categories: Dorset

Swimming 'helped me overcome depression and anxiety'

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 10/13/2018 - 04:21
Maria became depressed when she was unable to fall pregnant but found swimming helped her recover.
Categories: Dorset

Man admits murdering Stela Domador-Kuzma in Bournemouth

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 17:41
Stela Domador-Kuzma, from Venezuela, was found dead at a flat in Bournemouth in July.
Categories: Dorset

Councillors back plans to breathe fresh life into the Peninsula

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:46

Last night, members of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council voted in favour of progressing phase one of the Peninsula regeneration scheme.

Peninsula site from above

Support was given for all of the recommendations – including approval for the business case, funding arrangements, and demolition of the former ferry terminal building.

The council’s Harbour Management Board has already supported the Weymouth Peninsula proposals and the scheme will now goes forward to the shadow Dorset Council Formal Executive Committee on November 12. The outline planning application is due to be received by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Planning Committee on November 28.

Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said; “Last night’s cross party decision by Full Council sitting as the Harbour Authority to support phase one of the Peninsula development is a massive step forward in bringing the town into the twenty first century. At last we have a clear vision and direction for future generations.

“This is only the first of a series of ambitious regeneration plans which we are sure will bring a boost to the local economy whilst guaranteeing community access. The decision by the Council to maintain control of the development as an all year round attraction – generating annual income for the community – shows our determination to inject new energy into our much loved town creating a legacy site for generations to come.”

Phase one of the Peninsula redevelopment includes; a 100-room hotel, a pub/diner with rooms, improvements to public space and a walkway around the site. It also includes repairs to the harbour walls. All-weather, year-round leisure attractions, marine facilities and restaurants are proposed in phase two.

The planning application is currently ‘live’ as planning officers seek to build up a complete picture of the proposal. Technical information can be received up until the committee date in line with planning procedure. Information has been provided by applicants and other specialists, for example the Environment Agency and Historic England. All of the documents that have been received can be viewed alongside the application at

The existing planning application seeks approval for outline planning consent. As the project progresses there will be an opportunity for local residents and the community to have their say and share their views on the detailed plans for the site.

To stay up-to-date with Council news please subscribe to the resident newsletter and follow us on twitter.

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Categories: Dorset

20 new homes approved in Longburton

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:21

West Dorset District Council has approved the development of 20 new homes in Longburton.

The scheme, located at a former council transport depot, will provide a mixture of two and three-bedroom homes and will be built by housing association, Aster Group.

‘Transform brownfield site’

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

“I am pleased this development has been approved. Once completed it will transform a brownfield site and provide key housing for an identified, local housing need.”

Opening Doors

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

“Through our Opening Doors Programme, we are working to encourage the development of more homes, especially affordable homes.

“I would encourage local residents looking to own a home, to fill in our Home Ownership Register. This will give us valuable data on where homes are wanted, and will mean we can contact you when homes are available.

“More information about Opening Doors and the Home Ownership Register is available at

‘Stepping stone’

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster Group, said:

“Shared ownership is often a stepping stone for people to get on the housing ladder. We are thrilled to be delivering these homes in Longburton and pleased to be providing both shared ownership and homes for affordable rent for the local people and look forward to getting the project underway.”

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Categories: Dorset

Council Tax Support to be reviewed in advance of new Dorset Council  

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:10

A public consultation exercise is currently taking place that highlights the options for the Council Tax Support scheme that will be in place for the new Dorset Council.

The online survey invites residents to have their say on the options that may be implemented from 1 April 2019. The survey is now open to the public and will run until 10 December 2018.

What is the Council Tax Support scheme?

Council Taxpayers who are on low income can apply for Council Tax Support (CTS) to help them with their Council Tax. Entitlement to CTS is based on the circumstances and income of the claimant’s household.

Each Council Tax billing authority is required to determine the CTS scheme for its area and has the discretion to determine the principle factors for their scheme, including the maximum support that will be given to working age claimants.

Why is it being revised?

The current two tier system of local government in Dorset is changing from 1 April 2019 and the nine existing councils will be replaced by the following two unitary councils:

  • ·Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, which will provide services covering that area
  • ·Dorset Council, which will provide services covering the rest of the County.

As a result of these changes the existing CTS schemes will effectively cease from that date and Dorset Council will need to agree a new scheme which is affordable, consistent and fair for all residents. Not only for those that receive support but also for those who depend on wider services.

How can I have my say?

Comments can be made by completing the online questionnaire at that do not have access to the internet can be sent a paper questionnaire by phoning 01305 211930. The results of the consultation will be considered in February 2019 when the Dorset Council CTS scheme will be agreed.

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Categories: Dorset

Bringing empty homes back into use

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 12:23

It’s National Empty Homes Week from 15 to 21 October. To mark the occasion, Dorset Councils Partnership are inviting you to join a national campaign.

National Empty Homes Week aims to raise awareness of empty properties in your area and encourage you to report these to the councils.

205,000 empty homes across England

Data shows that 205,000 homes across England have been empty for more than six months. Over 5000 more than the previous year. This 2.6 per cent rise is the first increase since 2008, although the proportion of England’s homes long-term empty is broadly stable at around 0.85 per cent.

877 homes empty across three council areas

There are currently 217 empty homes in North Dorset, 429 empty homes in West Dorset and 231 empty homes in Weymouth & Portland.

Of the total 877 empty homes across the three council areas, 233 have been empty for over two years.


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

“The condition of empty properties can deteriorate rapidly, costing more to insure and eventually repair, especially if they are subject to vandalism or fly-tipping.

“If brought back into use, these homes can contribute towards the local housing demand, and can be an extra source of income for owners.”

Increased council tax

It has been estimated that keeping a property empty could cost as much as £135 a week, or £7,018 every year.

If a property is left empty for over two years, the owner will be charged a Council Tax Premium at a rate of 150 per cent.

For example the owner of an empty property paying £1,867.32 will see their Council Tax Bill increase by £933.66 per year to £2,800.98.

Parliament is proposing a Bill to further increase Council Tax on properties left empty for two years or more. Amendments to the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) bill would also mean councils could increase the premium significantly on empty homes.

Bringing homes back into use

There is a high demand for housing with around 4,300 households on the housing register across the three council areas.

Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council and Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“We want to take a proactive approach and return as many empty homes back into use as we can.

“I encourage anyone who owns an empty property, or knows of one in their area, to contact our Empty Homes Officers.”

Empty Homes Officers work with landlords to provide support, guidance and encouragement in order to return empty homes to use.

Partners are also on hand to give tailored letting advice and financial support.

In North Dorset, Ten long term empty homes were brought back into use by the Empty Homes Officer in 2017/18. Five have been brought back into use this year.

In West Dorset, 24 long term empty homes were brought into use by the Empty Homes Officer between in 2017/18. 15 homes have been brought back into use so far this year.

In Weymouth & Portland, seven long term empty homes were brought back into use by the Empty Homes Officer in 2017/18. Six homes have brought back into use this year.


Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Councils Portfolio Holder for Housing, said:

“With our housing shortage, it is wrong to have homes empty unnecessarily.

“Refurbishing and repairing empty properties helps to improve the look and feel of a neighbourhood. If a property needs renovation, in certain circumstances owners could be eligible for a low cost loan.”

Low cost funding is available through Wessex Resolutions CIC when supported by the council. Loans of up to £15,000 may be offered.

More information about loans and grants can be found via or by contacting our Empty Homes Officers on 01305 252469.


If you would like to report a property which you believe is empty, please contact our Empty Homes Officers on 01305 252469 or via email at

You can find out more by stopping by our roadshow events in Dorchester and Weymouth during Empty Homes Week.

  • Tuesday 16 October from 10.30 to 14.30 – South Street, Dorchester
  • Friday 19 October from 10.30 to 14.30 – New Bond Street, Weymouth


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Categories: Dorset

Video competition: How far does your litter travel?

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:41

A new video competition is being launched to highlight the sources of Dorset’s plastic pollution problem.

Litter Free Dorset wants your videos to inspire change and reduce litter across the county.

‘Litter Travels’ can be about any aspect of litter and its journey – as plastic and other rubbish can travel from our roadsides and streets, through drains, down rivers and into our oceans.

The team want to see videos that explore the litter journey and inspire people to ‘Be the solution, not the pollution.’

A shortlist will be selected by judges, including McDonalds in Weymouth and Dorset Devils founder Peter Ryan. The final shortlist will then be put to public vote through social media.

The prize for the most innovative and creative video will be a 4K Panasonic Camcorder.

How to get Involved

For information on the competition and how to enter click here

Deadline: 28 February 2019

Format: MP4 video file

Max length: 2 minutes


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Categories: Dorset

Alistair Collier: Kayaker's family raise funds for the RNLI

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 10/12/2018 - 09:22
Nearly £5,000 is raised for the RNLI by the family of a kayaker who died during a race.
Categories: Dorset

Free bike security day

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:45

Cyclists can get their bikes security marked for free in Weymouth this Saturday. (13/10)

Bike security

The event, which will run from 1pm-3pm on the Rodwell Trail near the White Bridge overlooking the Marsh, has been funded by the Dorset Community Safety Partnership, which includes Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

The funding, of around £1,300, means Dorset Police can hold bike marking sessions, where bikes are marked with codes so they can be identified. Under the scheme, tamper-proof stickers with QR codes are fixed to the bike’s frame. The owner’s details are recorded in a database. This means that if a marked bike is stolen and later recovered, the owner can be identified.

Security measures see bike returned

The event follows a successful bike marking day in Weymouth last Saturday (6/10) which saw hundreds of bikes marked. One of the bikes marked last week has already been successfully recovered and will be returned to its owner.

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Categories: Dorset

Car park plan for £1m Dorchester church approved

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 16:41
A council spent nearly £1m on the church to make way for a planned retail development.
Categories: Dorset

Three arrested over shot fired at Christchurch bus

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 15:30
A pellet went through the window of a bus in Dorset, shattering glass on the other side.
Categories: Dorset

Gillingham Library goes autism-friendly

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 14:51

Gillingham Library has a new autism-friendly room.

It has been designed in partnership with Autism Wessex to give people with autism and their family or carer a quiet place to go, as they may need to seek out time alone if overloaded with social interaction, or if spaces are too bright or loud for comfort.

Councillor Andrew Parry, Cabinet member responsible for libraries said: “Library Services contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities and the creation of this room will provide a quiet, relaxing space with access to reading materials.

“It’s vital that everyone in a community has the opportunities and access to enjoyable and educational resources.”

The room is also available for professionals to run support sessions, counselling, assessments or meetings.

Visitors can familiarise themselves with the building before visiting through the library’s ‘picture journey’.

There will be an opportunity to see the room, meet the staff and see the autism book collection on 16 October from 10.30 am -12 noon.

To book the room email or call 01747 822180.

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Categories: Dorset

Helping local communities

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 13:55

This year, Dorset Highways has been working with its contracting partners to help local charities.

Taking advantage of Dorset Highways private sector partnerships and Dorset County Council’s ‘volunteering day’ allowance for staff, work is carried out free of charge.

Dorset County Council encourage staff to use their annual ‘volunteering day’ at one of the 4,000+ voluntary and community groups across Dorset, using their ‘work’ skills to directly benefit the local community.

The projects

Following the success of the first highways volunteering project at Weldmar Hospicecare in February 2018, more than 17 organisations got in touch asking for help.

Two further projects, to be delivered in 2018, were selected by Dorset Highways frontline workers.

October 2018
MyTIME | Because Young Carers Matter

MyTIME charity’s outdoor centre in Worth Matravers, near Swanage, gives young carers – some as young as six-years-old – somewhere fun, safe and secluded to escape to.

Starting on Monday 15 October, highways volunteers will be will be creating a new access road, installing infrastructure for a new electricity supply, laying a patio area and constructing a large concrete hardstanding. This is only made possible by donations of time and materials from Dorset Highways and its partners:

  • 300m of new ducting (pipe under the road for cables)
  • 300m new access track – material provided by Hanson Contracting
  • 45m² new patio – materials supplied by Bradfords Building Supplies
  • 50m² new concrete hardstanding – material supplied by Knights Brown
September 2018
Panda Pre-School, Blandford Forum

Dorset Highways staff volunteered their time to install a new playground at the Panda Pre-School in Blandford, with equipment from Mark Farwell Plant Hire and materials from Hanson Contracting.

February 2018
Weldmar Hospicecare , Dorchester

Dorset County Council highway operations staff used their annual volunteering day to put their skills and experience into action for the local, independent charity Weldmar Hospicecare at their inpatient unit in Dorchester, Joseph Weld Hospice.

  • designing and building a new access road into the fundraising field
  • replacing defective drains with low maintenance drainage
  • installing some new road markings to improve road safety

Material, labour and equipment was donated by Hanson Contracting, Hanson Aggregates, W J Road Markings and Bradfords Building Supplies.

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Categories: Dorset

Vandalism puts community project at risk

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 12:22

A community project to improve subways in Weymouth is under threat after repeated graffiti attacks.

Graffiti in Weymouth underpass

The project, which got the go-ahead following a £7,000 grant from Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, aims to improve the town’s underpasses by getting them thoroughly cleaned and painted.

More than 200 people have supported the project by sharing their views. Volunteers from a community group, East Boro Housing, and a local artist have offered to paint the subways, transforming them into pleasant places.

Aster Housing have offered to help with the cost of painting the subways with a white base coat. Sadly these efforts look likely to be undermined as the subways are being persistently covered in graffiti.

Subways covered in graffiti

Cllr Mike Byatt, Community Safety Briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “This project is a fantastic community effort, which could improve our underpasses.

“Sadly community efforts to transform these neglected places into vibrant arty spaces are being put in jeopardy as they are being consistently covered in graffiti. I’d like to appeal to anyone spraying graffiti to support their community by stopping.”        

The subways are at the top of King Street and by Radipole Lake, Westham.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at, via email or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180164959. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via

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Categories: Dorset

Poole Pirates: Speedway owner puts team up for sale after 10th British league title

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 11:27
Poole Pirates owner Matt Ford puts the team up for sale despite them winning their eighth British title in 15 years.
Categories: Dorset

Calls for extradition of Catholic priest over South Africa abuse claims

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 07:21
Fr William MacCurtain, now 84 and living in Bournemouth, says he "deeply regretted" his actions
Categories: Dorset

Divers explore Studland Bay's sunken D-Day tanks

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:24
It is thought seven tanks sank in Studland Bay, Dorset, during Exercise Smash in April 1944, killing six men.
Categories: Dorset

Chris Wood: Hampshire left-arm seamer signs new contract

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 17:43
Hampshire left-arm seamer Chris Wood signs a new contract, keeping him at the Ageas Bowl until the end of 2020.
Categories: Dorset

Which assets and services might transfer to Weymouth Town Council?

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:20

Councillors will soon consider proposals to transfer a number of assets and services to Weymouth Town Council.

Councillors will soon consider proposals to transfer a number of assets and services to Weymouth Town Council.

The first meeting of Weymouth’s Shadow Town Council is set to take place on Thursday 18 October.

At this meeting members will consider a report detailing which of assets and services currently owned and operated by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council could transfer to the new town council when it comes into existence in April 2019.

Which assets and services could transfer?

Assets and services up for consideration include:

  • The council offices at Commercial Road
  • Parks and gardens and cemeteries
  • Beach and seafront, including Esplanade lighting and the festivals and events service
  • Community Development
  • Clocks and monuments
  • Public toilets
  • Weymouth Museum Collection
  • Civic items, mayoral regalia and twinning responsibilities

Read the report to see full details of the assets and services being considered.

No decisions yet

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

“A lot of work has taken place to bring these proposals to the table but no decisions are being made yet.

“The meeting is an opportunity to set out the shape and scale of what we are proposing, and get feedback from the members of the Shadow Town Council as to whether we are heading in the right direction.”

Following the Shadow Town Council meeting on 18 October, the report will then be considered by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee on Tuesday 30 October.

At this meeting members will be asked to decide if they agree with the overall direction of the proposals. Following this, the proposals will also be considered by the Shadow Dorset Council Executive Committee.

The final decision about which assets and services will transfer to the new town council will be made at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Full Council meeting in January 2019.

The role of the Shadow Town Council

The Shadow Town Council is being established to help guide the process of setting up a new town council for Weymouth.

It is comprised of 29 members of the existing borough council who are ward members for the Weymouth area.

The Shadow Town Council is a committee of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council. It has no decision making powers and as such is only able to comment on the proposals in the report being considered on 18 October.

Meetings of the Shadow Town Council are open to the public to attend.

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