A temporary, discreet post and rail fence is being installed around the Olympic rings structure on Portland whilst we have signs made to discourage the public from climbing on the rings. This follows safety concerns raised to us by Albion Stone, the creators of the sculpture.Celebrating the magnificent view
Tony Porter, Operations Director of Albion Stone, said: “This sculpture was originally created to celebrate the Olympic legacy with it first being placed at the train station, and then moved to its current location to compliment the magnificent view on Portland. They were not intended to be climbed on when they were designed. Therefore, there is a significant risk of toppling if they continue to be loosened by excessive use in this way. We are very willing to work with the council, hoping that a low impact solution can be found .”Structural engineer report
Cllr Paul Kimber, ward member for Underhill, said: “Despite the signs in place asking the public not to climb on the stones to take photos, we are aware that some individuals continue to do so. Given the concerns raised to us we have to act in the interests of public safety. In order to get a comprehensive understanding of the issue, we commissioned a structural engineer to assess the stability of the sculpture.”Rings could be vulnerable
The structural engineer’s report concluded that “Ground conditions are good with no obvious sign of instability near the structure or in the general area, the stone plinth is complete and not showing any signs of stress and the rings appear to be as near vertical as possible. [The concerns] relate to potential toppling / structural integrity as a result of people clambering over it. In this respect, the rings look extremely vulnerable if clambered on and it would do serious harm if to fall on someone.”
We continue to look at a solution in partnership with Albion Stone and hope to have this completed as soon as possible.
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Minister makes official visit to discuss Council’s shared vision for regeneration of Weymouth & Portland
The Borough of Weymouth and Portland is at the forefront of an initiative fronted by the Minister, to coordinate funding across Government departments in support of poor coastal towns. Jake Berry, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, made his first official visit to the town of Weymouth.
Following a very productive meeting in Westminster earlier in the year, the Minister met with MP Richard Drax and Cllr Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, and senior council officials, to explore the ambitious regeneration plans for the borough of Weymouth and Portland.
The Minister received a presentation outlining the ambitious regeneration programme that has been developed and promoted by the council over the past three years, followed by a guided tour around the town. This gave him an opportunity to view target regeneration sites, and witness key problem areas that the council are determined to improve – hopefully with Government support.
Key sites highlighted along the walk included; the harbour walls that are in poor condition, the flood risks at Westham Bridge and along the harbourside, and it ended at the Weymouth Peninsula.
Jake Berry MP, finished his visit with a small-scale event at the Pavilion, facilitated by Richard Drax MP, and attended by over 30 leading local businesses. The discussion focused on the Councils’ shared transformation plans for the Borough and looked into how Government support would greatly improve the progression of regeneration linked to; transport, infrastructure, jobs, housing, and training.Support for Coastal Towns and Communities
Weymouth and Portland is at the forefront of an initiative fronted by the Minister, to coordinate funding across Government departments in support of poor coastal towns.
Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth said: “It was a great experience to visit the town of Weymouth to see and hear first-hand, the ambitions that the local authority and local business leaders hold for the borough. It’s clear that regeneration is very much a focus for all involved and that this shared vision would breathe new life into the borough’s coastal towns and economy.”
MP Richard Drax, said: “Securing the regeneration of the area is of paramount importance. We are exploring with the Government how best they can support regeneration through provision of funding to help us realise our shared vision for the borough. Commitment of support from the Government to work with us, will greatly boost our progress to realise this vision.”
Cllr Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Minister here to showcase the vision that we have for the borough of Weymouth and Portland.
“This event offered a rare opportunity for local business leaders to engage directly with the Minister, to develop his understanding of our collective ambition and our potential as a borough. It gave us an opportunity to highlight our ambitious programme of regeneration, and the ways in which support from Government could speed up the delivery and transform the town and lives of the community.”
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Families in North Dorset are being invited to join the ‘Great Big Family Health Walk’.Have fun on the Great Big Family Health Walk
This free event will feature a one-mile ‘treasure hunt’ and a two-mile ‘bug hunt’. It will start at 3pm on 1st August at the Station Road Car Park in Sturminster Newton. It also finishes at the car park.
The event will be led by volunteer walk leaders from the North Dorset Walking for Health scheme. The treasure hunt will feature painted rocks hidden along the route for youngsters to find. The bug hunt will be provided by Dorset County Council’s Countryside Rangers Team.
The one-mile route is buggy and wheelchair friendly. The walks will follow the North Dorset Trailway. Parents, grandparents and any other friends and family members are all welcome to come along and join in the fun.
The North Dorset Walking for Health scheme offers weekly health walks in Sturminster, Shaftesbury, Gillingham, Blandford and Sherborne.
More information about the scheme is available here. Or you can contact Keith Harrison, Scheme Coordinator Health & Wellbeing Officer, North & Mid Dorset CCG Locality Groups, on 07825 691508 or emailKeith.Harrison@dorsetccg.nhs.uk
Information is also available via the web link above or via: facebook.com/northdorsethealthwalks
Are you thinking about a change of career? Or a move to a job that requires different skills and abilities?
An apprenticeship could make a big difference.
Daryl Burns, 25, started as an apprentice in Highway Maintenance last year and hasn’t looked back.
“Working for Dorset Highways, I get involved in traffic signage and management.
“I will shortly be taking my HGV and digger licence as well, so I’ll learn skills, such as winter gritting, road maintenance and repair.
“Applying for an apprenticeship was one of the best decisions I ever made.”
Cllr Andrew Parry, Cabinet member for economic growth, education, learning and skills, said: “Whether you are a school leaver, wanting to re-train or change your career, apprenticeships offer great opportunities. They allow you to earn a wage and also gain a nationally-recognised qualification, up to postgraduate degree.”
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Seeing young people achieve their potential is just one of the rewarding aspects for our vocational services team.
The team works with young people who have disabilities, to help them into training or employment.
One of our success stories includes 26-year-old Robyn who lives at home in east Dorset. Robyn found work hard to come by after finishing a course, so the team stepped in to help her become more independent and achieve her goals.
Starting as a voluntary kitchen assistant, Robyn was soon nominated to train as a care assistant.
By the end of her first year, Robyn secured a paid contract.
Vocational support worker Pat Sams said: “Local provision such as in-house training can be as good, if not than, residential courses anywhere else, and saves both time and money.”
The support offered to Robyn has made a huge difference to her life. “I am a changed person she,” she said.
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Our trading standards service is taking a hard stance to tackle doorstep crime and scams.
Here are three simple steps anyone can take to help combat these types of financial fraud:
- Display a ‘We do not deal with uninvited traders’ door sticker. Supplies are available through most local libraries, Dorset Police, Home or Neighbourhood Watch schemes, or by phoning the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506
- Become a ‘Friend Against Scams‘ to understand the problem better and to support others. You can find simple online training at friendsagainstscams.org.uk
- Find a local ‘Buy With Confidence‘ trading standards approved trader at buywithconfidence.gov.uk
Care support worker Beth Knight has been employed in care for 14 years. Here’s what she has to say about her job in a residential care home.
My admiration for the elderly generation inspired me to work in care. I wanted to ensure their later years are as safe, happy, and loving as they can be.
What is your favourite part of the job?
I really enjoy being there for my residents. Seeing them smiling and happy makes me feel like I am making a positive difference.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking of working in care?
My job is very satisfying and rewarding I feel pride in my work, have friendly colleagues and long-term employment prospects.
If you’ve got passion, respect, and think you can go that extra mile to help people maintain their dignity, then you could be the right person for the job.
A community transport scheme is providing a life-line for the community in Martinstown.
A regular minibus service runs on Mondays and Fridays to take local residents into Dorchester and back.
Charlotte White from the operator, A-Line Taxis, added: “This scheme works because it’s a group of people who always used to travel together on the bus. Most of them can’t drive themselves, so they now use our service regularly. And at £3 return, it’s affordable for them.”
Jo and Mark Thomson of Dorchester started fostering four years ago. At that time, their own daughter, Amy, was 14.
“I was really keen on fostering,” said Jo. “But it was a big decision and had to fit with the rest of the family. We decided that fostering on a short-term basis would suit us best.”
Jo feels it’s been rewarding for all of them, and especially beneficial for Amy.
“Although Mark has two grown-up children, Amy was effectively an only child at home,” said Jo
“But she welcomed the foster children into our lives without hesitation. It has helped her develop invaluable skills, such as responsibility, empathy and patience.”
According to Jo, the rewards far outweigh the challenges.
“The joy is seeing a child get their life back on track. We had one four-year-old who suffered from night terrors. But as her life became more stable, they stopped and she began to sleep peacefully. That’s what it’s all about.”
Summer is here – the perfect time to enjoy the lovely Dorset countryside. Why not check out our two county parks, both offering you a completely different experience?
Durlston Country Park near Swanage is made up of grassland and woodland, with breathtaking sea views. You can see an amazing range of wildlife from wildflower meadows filled with butterflies, to seabirds nesting on the sheer cliffs. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins offshore.
Avon Heath Country Park, in the east of Dorset, offers spectacular heathland scenery. From the Heathland Discovery Centre, you can learn about some of the parks unique and rare wildlife before you head outside to explore. It’s the ideal place to take the kids as there is a huge play area with a zip wire, climbing wall, sand pit, tree house and giant insect climbing sculptures.
Scooters for hire for those with limited mobility
Tamper Scooters are available at both parks (please pre-book). So if you have mobility issues, you’ll still be able to explore. You need to be a member of the Countryside Mobility Scheme – join at countrysidemobility.org
Military personnel past and present and their families in Dorset will benefit from a grant of £234,786 from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
The grant will boost a project to make sure members of the armed forces community are treated fairly across the county. It will focus on areas such as employment, training, schools, health, and wellbeing, and housing.
The successful funding bid was made by Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole, working with Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office.
There are an estimated 51,000 veterans living in Dorset.
Have you ever considered fostering? Dorset County Council is looking for more foster carers to help children in need and offer generous fees and allowances. People from all walks of life foster – read about Cath and Sue and their experience of fostering as a same sex couple.
Cath and Sue have been together for 4 years and were approved as foster carers for Dorset County Council in December 2016. Since then they have had provided a 2-week respite placement and now have a 10-year-old boy who has been with them for just over a year.
Although Cath had limited childcare experience herself, she had been friends with a foster carer for some time. Cath raised the idea with Sue about them becoming carers too knowing that Sue has great motherly traits and had been great at raising her own adopted son, Toby. They took about a month to think about it before making their initial enquiry in April 2016. They found the application and assessment process straight forward and felt they were treated like every other applicant. They never questioned their decision to go ahead but their only concern was whether the child they looked after would be bullied in any way with them being a same sex couple. This hasn’t happened at all. The positives about fostering for Cath and Sue have been seeing the changes in their foster child, showing him what a loving family home can be and knowing they are making a positive difference to his life.
“It is very rewarding. When I see him laughing and playing, it melts my heart” says Cath. “I love the fact that he can just be himself”. The impact on their own relationship has been positive too. They have seen new sides in each other as they adjust to situations. They complement each other well and fostering has brought them closer together. They both recognise the importance of taking quality time out for themselves and this is encouraged by their own social worker too.
It obviously took a little bit of time to adjust to their new lifestyle at first. They initially felt a bit thrown in the deep end but they used their voice and the support in place to ensure their foster child had access to the full information and support needed in those early stages. For anyone else thinking of fostering, their advice is to go for it. Cath said “You need to be calm and have patience and you need to be all-in. It’s a lifestyle change that brings so many rewards. For same sex couples it’s a really good thing to do. Don’t be put off by the fact you are same sex. In lots of cases you could have more to offer young people from difficult backgrounds”.
We’re looking for foster carers for all types of placement whether short term, long term, respite or emergency.
Visit www.fosterindorset.com or call 01305 225568.
Lots of us will be getting out and exploring our spectacular coastline this summer.
For your safety, please check these tips:
- Stay away from the edge of the clifftop.
- Stay away from the base of the cliffs – rock falls can happen at any time.
- Always pay attention to warning signs.
- Be aware of tide times. The sea comes in and out twice a day and it’s possible to get cut off by the incoming tide.
- If you’re looking for fossils, do not hammer into the cliffs. The safest place to look for fossils is on the beach.
In case of emergency on the coast dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.