Boost for Armed Forces Covenant supporting current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset
A programme to support current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset has received a boost for the next two years in the shape of £234,786 grant from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
The successful bid, made by Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole, working with Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, will enhance work to make sure members of the armed forces community are treated fairly and equitably across the county.
There are an estimated 51,000 veterans living in Dorset. Dorset has 2% of the country’s veteran population and 1.2% of the overall national population, meaning that Dorset has a greater proportion of veterans than the country as a whole.
Projects will focus on areas such as employment, training, schools, health and wellbeing and housing, and builds on the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment between local public sector organisations and the Ministry of Defence.
As well as ensuring Dorset is meeting the statutory obligations laid out in the Covenant, the programme will work with existing organisations currently working with Dorset’s military bases, military families and veterans to make sure they can access appropriate services when they need to. There are also plans to create 13 one-stop-shop Veterans and Armed Forces Family hubs across Dorset, based in libraries.
Cllr David Walsh, Dorset County Council Armed Forces Champion said:
“Having had personal experience of being a member of the Royal Air Force, it is exciting to be working closely with partners across Dorset to make much-needed support more readily available for members of the armed forces community. I feel a huge sense of relief that finally, more is being done to support our local military families and veterans.”
Cllr Robert Lawton, Bournemouth Borough Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“We’re proud to be using our funding from the Armed Forces Covenant grant to bring the community together to support our veterans. Working closely with our partners, the funding will support projects across Dorset ensuring our personnel, veterans, and their families are treated fairly and do not suffer any disadvantage because of their service.”
Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Borough of Poole, said:
“We developed an early action plan for the bid in Poole, so we’re pleased that it has been successful. This is all about community spirit and celebrating the diversity of our armed forces, who continue to play such a crucial role in our society.”
Andy Willis, Chair of Dorset HealthCare, said:
“Our Corporate Covenant with the armed forces in Dorset recognises our strong commitment to supporting members of the armed forces and veterans living in Dorset. We know that 24% of veterans aged 16-64 report long-term illness, compared to 13% of the general population. Mental health issues figure highly and we are working to address the stigma relating to this and to improve access to care for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. We are excited to be part of this initiative and pleased to be hosting the covenant officer in our armed forces health and wellbeing service on behalf of the partnership.”
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Because of my role, I am especially excited by the opportunity to address reoffending rates among veterans. This includes those who are serving a sentence or are being released from custody or prison. The success of our partnership bid provides a fantastic and much-needed opportunity to engage with and provide tailored support to meet the complex needs of our veterans in Dorset.”
A new ban on feeding gulls will come into force on Monday. (23/4)Feeding of gulls banned under new order.
The measure is part of the new West Dorset Anti-Social Behaviour Related Public Space Protection Order 2018.
These new rules for public places were drawn-up by West Dorset District Council, after listening to your views. The rules on consuming alcohol in public remain largely the same, but the ban on feeding gulls is new.
Signs will be going up in West Bay and Lyme Regis to tell people about the gull-feeding ban and advise that ignoring it could result in a £100 fixed penalty notice or prosecution.Problem of aggressive gulls
Councillor Alan Thacker, Community Safety & Access Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said: “These measures aim to reduce anti-social behaviour still further and reduce the problem of aggressive gulls.
“I’d like to thank people who took the trouble to have their say, we looked carefully at the responses and have taken a common sense approach.”
A total of 579 people responded to the consultation on how public spaces should be managed. The new order simplifies the existing regulations.
More information and maps explaining where the rules apply are available on the Public Space Protection Order.
The work on a programme of baseline school designs by Dorset County Council has been shortlisted for the South West Built Environment Awards.
The work was submitted to the value category where judges were looking for, among other criteria, a balance of expenditure on design, construction and operation with the needs of the school itself.
The ‘baseline design’ approach developed by the County Council’s Dorset Property provides innovative, practical, low cost solutions to which additional features can be added as required and as funds allow.
Cllr Daryl Turner, the council’s Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said:
“This is a great achievement. I am very proud of the work that has been done on streamlining our new buildings for schools, giving good value for money for tax payers and giving a good quality for pupils and teachers.”
There is a shortlist of four companies for the Value Award. There is a total of 14 awards and the winners will be announced on 22 June in Bristol.
This is the eleventh year of the awards and winning a category automatically qualifies the organisation entry into the prestigious National Constructing Excellence Awards, where the best that the region has to offer is pitted against the best nationwide
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A campaign to provide a copy of the book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris to every Infant, Primary and Junior School in Dorset has been launched.
By using Crowdfunder a local conservationist Richard Bradford aims to use the book to re-introduce lost words from the natural world.
The book takes twenty of the words that have been falling out of use amongst children – such as adder, kingfisher and bramble – and brings them back to life, through the magical paintings of Jackie Morris and the ‘spell poems’ of Robert Macfarlane.
Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said:
“The countryside is important to all of us and making sure that our young people learn about nature is essential for future generations.”
The target is £3,600 which will mean that 180 schools will be given a copy of the book and also an accompanying resource called “An Explorer’s Guide to The Lost Words”, that will help teachers get the most out of the book.