Sturminster Newton Town Council submits Neighbourhood Plan

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 15:04

Sturminster Newton Town Council has submitted a neighbourhood plan to North Dorset District Council.

Sturminster Newton Town Council submits Neighbourhood Plan


The plan sets out a wide range of planning policies including policies that allocate sites for housing development. It has been submitted to North Dorset District Council to arrange for an independent examiner to assess it.

The district council is required to publicly consult on the plan. The plan, supporting documents, and response form can be accessed online on

You can also view the plan at Sturminster Newton Library, Bath Road, Sturminster Newton and the district council’s Offices at the Nordon Lodge, Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum during normal opening hours.

All comments must be received by 4pm on Friday 25 May 2018. These comments will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan. Depending on the examiner’s report, a referendum will be held for the residents of Sturminster Newton to finally decide whether the plan should be approved.

Cllr David Walsh, North Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:

“Neighbourhood plans are a great way for a community to shape their area.

“The Sturminster Newton Neighbourhood Plan is very comprehensive in terms of its scope and is the result of a huge amount of hard work by all those involved in producing the plan. I would strongly encourage people with an interest in the future of Sturminster Newton to have their say on the submitted plan.”

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Categories: Dorset

Commonwealth Games: Sarah Vasey and Alice Tai win gold for England

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 13:21
Sarah Vasey wins gold in the women's 50m breaststroke while England team-mate Alice Tai wins the women's S9 100m backstroke.
Categories: Dorset

Gaia Pope death: Watchdog investigates Dorset Police response

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:41
Dorset Police's response and subsequent searches for the missing teenager will be examined.
Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth v Crystal Palace

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:16
Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Premier League game between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.
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£67 million boost for a full fibre future

Dorset Council News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 10:37

Businesses and homes across Dorset could benefit from faster internet connections after the Government launched a nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

The £67m national investment will provide future-proof full fibre connections for businesses and the homes around them.

Businesses can claim up to £3,000 against the cost of gigabit-capable (1,000 megabit) internet connections, either individually or as part of a group.

Residents can benefit from the scheme too if they are part of a group project which also includes businesses, and can claim a voucher with a value of up to £500.

Around 96 per cent of properties in Dorset can already access superfast broadband – download speeds of 24 megabits per second or more. Currently only around three per cent of UK premises have access to a full fibre connection.

Check superfast broadband availability at your home or business.

Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet Member for the Natural and Built Environment, said: “I welcome this scheme. It is an opportunity for Dorset businesses to get the connectivity they need to grow. It’s also another potential route for those households without a fast, reliable connection.”

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This is great news for Dorset businesses. A high speed digital infrastructure is crucial to supporting local economic growth. A better connected Dorset helps to create the right conditions for businesses to thrive and for more highly skilled jobs and housing to be created.”

The scheme is only accessible through broadband service providers. Full details and a list of registered suppliers can be seen on the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme website.

The website also includes instructions on how new suppliers can register and full details and terms and conditions.

The scheme will run until March 2021 or until all available funding has been allocated.

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Categories: Dorset

Dale Steyn: South Africa fast bowler to join Hampshire in June

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 04/06/2018 - 09:59
Hampshire sign South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn for a minimum of two games before the Proteas' tour of Sri Lanka in July.
Categories: Dorset

Giving youngsters a home – and hope for the future

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 15:04

Ruth Dempsey of Weymouth changes lives. Providing lodgings for vulnerable young people, she gives them a safe haven where they can learn to live more independently.

As a Supported Lodgings provider for Dorset County Council, Ruth has taken in more than 20 youngsters over a 10-year period. Most have been teenagers who were leaving local authority care.

“Some have no idea how to cook, use the washing machine or do their budgeting, so I give them the help they need,” said Ruth. “Others are more independent, but just need stability and moral support.”

As with anyone bringing up teenagers, Ruth has had some challenges. “But I’ve never felt threatened or been shown any violence. I find if you respect young people, they respect you back.”

Ruth emphasises that there have been more positives than negatives. “It’s really satisfying when these youngsters – who have had a tough start in life – begin to achieve things they didn’t feel possible before. I’m proud to have been part of it.”

Ruth with lodger, Jamie. He’s on the brink of a career in performing arts thanks to Ruth’s stable influence.

One of Ruth’s current lodgers is Jamie (18) who’s been with her for two years. Being given a stable home meant he could concentrate on doing a drama course at Weymouth College, as well as performing with WOW Youth Musical Theatre. He’s now had offers to study Performing Arts at Winchester and Plymouth Universities.

He said: “When I first came into Supported Lodgings with Ruth I was feeling lost and lacking in direction. I can now see my future in a more positive way.”

Find out more about Supported Lodgings here, email or call 01305 225809.

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Landslip hits Dorset's Jurassic Coast after heavy rainfall

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:40
Heavy rainfall over the Easter break has saturated cliffs along Dorset's Jurassic Coast.
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Poole police officer attack: Man arrested

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 08:48
An officer was attacked after responding to reports of a man causing damage with a hammer.
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Go-ahead to close Dorchester Maumbury House children's home

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:21
Dorset Council partially blamed Maumbury House's decline on poor inspection results.
Categories: Dorset

Former Portland school building to be turned into a community hub

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 17:23

A former infant school on Portland is going to be turned into a community hub to benefit local people on the island.

Dorset County Council’s Cabinet agreed today (4 April) to sell the former Brackenbury Infant School to Portland Town Council for £100,000. The town council submitted a comprehensive business case to buy the site and turn it into a community hub which will provide:

  • offices for Portland Town Council
  • a new larger location for Allsorts Nursery
  • a new home for the food bank
  • a venue for activities for older residents
  • an internet café, providing computer and scanning facilities for residents
  • adult education courses
  • a hall and studio/classroom for hire

Cllr Tony Ferrari, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for community and resources, said:

“I’m delighted that Portland Town Council will have the former Brackenbury School building. It’s a great example of political parties and organisations coming together for the benefit of the local community. A hub that will serve local people of all ages, as well as provide spaces for groups and organisations, will be a great addition to the island.”

The creation of a community hub could enable the council to free up other buildings and ties in with their wider strategy of running a variety of services from local buildings.

Cllr Katharine Garcia, county councillor for Portland Tophill, spoke at the Cabinet meeting. She said:

“I fully support the land disposal to Portland Town Council. Local people will benefit from the creation of a community hub in the Fortuneswell area. I am sure that the town council will ensure that all due diligence is taken to ensure the new facility operates in the black, so that the council tax payers of Portland do not need to subsidise its running costs.”

Read the full report


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Cabinet agrees multi-million pound investment into special educational needs provision

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 15:50

More than £3M is being invested in education for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Dorset.

Cllr Deborah Croney

Dorset County Council’s Cabinet has agreed to spend just over £2M – plus a £1M grant from central Government – on creating eight specialist bases in mainstream schools to cater for children with complex communication needs.

Over the last 22 months, Dorset has seen a 49 per cent increase in children with an Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). There were 2094 children and young people with an EHCP plan at the end of March and the council expects that figure to have increased to more than 2,440 by 2023.

Changes to legislation mean that young people with SEND now have the right to be supported in education up to the age of 25, instead of 19. It is hoped that this additional investment will help support local children with complex needs both now, and in the future.

Cllr Deborah Croney, Cabinet member for economy, education, skills and learning at Dorset County Council, said:

“I’m delighted that we’re investing in our SEND provision. We believe that children should be supported as close as possible to where they live. This work will allow us to provide more support in our own schools, which will reduce the need for out-of-county placements, cut down travel times for pupils and offer better value for money. Most importantly, children will be closer to their families and local communities.”

The investment comes as part of a wider review of SEND provision across Dorset. Since 2017, the council has spent over £1M on providing additional places and making improvements to the county’s special schools, as well as moving Dorchester Learning Centre to Monkton Park.

A new special school is also due to open in Bovington next September (2019). Funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, it will provide places for another 160 children with autism, as well as social, emotional and mental health needs. The school will support pupils from Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

Cabinet also agreed to replace modular buildings at Beaucroft School in Wimborne, which will create an extra 10-14 places.

There are also plans to provide additional bases for children with social, emotional and mental health needs in the future.


Read the full report



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Art project to brighten up Weymouth town centre

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:18

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and Weymouth BID will be working together this summer to brighten up the town centre for the whole community.

Art project – Wall to be transformed in Weymouth Town Centre

A competition is being held to find pictures of Weymouth landmarks designed by local children in three age categories with an additional category for adults.

The winning designs will be recreated on a large board which will be mounted on the newly painted side wall of Argos in St Albans Street. Both Weymouth BID and the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will contribute towards the cost of the materials.

The  competition will be for four age groups:

  • Ages 5 to 8
  • Ages 9 to 12
  • Ages 12 to 18
  • Adults

Four prizes will be awarded, although only two designs will be chosen for the project.

Images need to be 15cm high x 18 cm wide and is in landscape orientation.

Entries for the competition are to be handed in to the Weymouth BID office, 15 St Albans Street or the Council offices on Commercial Road. The closing date of the competition is 16 April 2018. Entries will be judged by a panel of three judges.

Chosen designs will be used as the basis for the artwork that will be produced by the ‘Let`s Make it’ Community Group. Winners will be invited to attend the unveiling of the work which we hope will be completed by mid-June.

Helen Toft from Weymouth BID and Julie Hursthouse the Community Development Officer for Weymouth & Portland will be working with the Art in the Park Community Group to create the artwork from the designs entered into the competition.

Cllr Christine James, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Social Inclusion, said:

“This is a great opportunity to give something back to the community while brightening our Town Centre.

“I’d like to encourage anyone and everyone to send their pictures in and really capture our beautiful area.

“Anyone can help the group paint the boards – you don’t need to be an artist – just someone that likes working as part of a team.”

For more information on how to get involved contact Julie Hursthouse via email at telephone on 01305 838497.

It is the hope of Weymouth BID and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council that this project will be the first of many around the town, contact has already been made about additional artwork on the side of CEX.

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Categories: Dorset

Heroin deaths highest in Blackpool and coastal areas

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 14:05
Figures show Blackpool has the highest rate of deaths linked to heroin and morphine.
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New Programme Launched to Reduce Dorset’s Carbon Footprint

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 13:01

This week sees the launch of Low Carbon Dorset, a new programme of activities which will help boost Dorset’s low carbon economy, and reduce its carbon footprint.

Through the programme, Dorset based businesses, public sector and community organisations can access free support and a fund pot of over £2.15m to help improve energy efficiency and develop renewable energy projects.

Solar Panels on roof of Dorset County Hall – new funding will support similar projects across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

This new three year programme, led by Dorset County Council in partnership with Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is now open for applications.  And expects to benefit more than 100 organisations across the county.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Cabinet member for the Natural and Built Environment at Dorset County Council said: “This is a great example of Dorset’s efforts to build a ‘green’ economy, and will enable local businesses, public bodies and community organisations to save money and work together to reduce the county’s carbon footprint.

“It will be exciting to see what innovative low carbon projects and approaches this programme will inspire here in Dorset.”

What’s on offer? Low Carbon Dorset’s Energy Efficiency Officer Erik Blakeley (centre) and DCC’s Energy Efficiency Officer Max Bishop (left) visit Dorset History Centre to discuss energy saving options.

Support will be available to organisations and community projects in the form of advice from the project’s technical experts, and grant funding.  With low Carbon workshops scheduled for the coming months.



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Categories: Dorset

A family of 50 – and counting!

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 12:08

Karen and Colin Burtt of Steeple started fostering over 40 years ago – and since then they have cared for more than 50 children, as well as their own three boys.

“Some children have come for days, others for years,” said Karen. “Each child is different, so you need different ways of dealing with them. But we always set boundaries – something many of these kids have never had.”

Karen, whose mother was also a foster carer, says she’s a very calm person, which helps deal with the challenges of fostering.

“You have to accept that you can’t solve all their problems – all you can do is love and care for the children for as long as you have them.”

Twenty-two-year-old James has been with the Burtts since he was six.

Colin and Karen Burtt with James, looking at his memory box.

“When I was first fostered, I felt different, and found it hard to make friends. I was angry and often kicked off. But whatever I did, Karen and Colin were always there for me, patient but firm. Their guidance and clear house rules helped me settle.”



James in his early days with the Burtts, circa 2000

Having trained in catering, James now works as a chef at a popular local café.

Karen added: “It’s so rewarding to see these youngsters overcome their challenges and make a success of themselves. That’s when you think, ‘Yes, we’ve done some good in this world’”.

If you are interested in fostering, you can find out more here.

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Categories: Dorset

Lincoln Cathedral school teacher admits abusing boys

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 17:56
Roy Griffiths was charged after an inquiry into sexual abuse at the former Lincoln Cathedral school.
Categories: Dorset

The State of Dorset 2018: key facts and issues for the county

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 15:11

Dorset County Council’s research team​ has pulled together all the latest stats and data for Dorset under 10 key themes.

Here are the headlines of what they’ve found…​

We have a stunning natural and historic environment
  • making a huge contribution to health and wellbeing
  • but its economic contribution is often overlooked

The county council hosts the Dorset AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) team, helping to deliver health and wellbeing benefits to residents; our coast and countryside rangers help keep public rights of way open; the council promotes recycling and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.

Employment is high, but like the UK, our economy
  • has a productivity gap
  • with employment that continues to grow
  • and increasing demand for higher level skills

The county council manages investments in digital and physical connectivity through projects like Superfast Dorset and the Dorset Innovation Park.​

Crime is
  • consistently low in Dorset
  • but is higher in the summer (due to better weather, more daylight, and holidays)

The Dorset Community Safety Partnership brings together local authorities, the police and other key partners to tackle crime and community safety issue.

Deprivation is largely low, but
  • Dorset has pockets of deprivation, mostly in urban areas
  • it is a key challenge to health and wellbeing
  • social mobility is a particular issue for Weymouth & Portland which the county council and partners are looking to address
  • some rural deprivation through barriers to housing and essential services
  • a growing number of older people could add to this

Early intervention can prevent problems from escalating and the county council aims to work with families living in deprived areas early on​.

Dorset residents generally have good health and wellbeing with
  • a high life-satisfaction rating

Public Health Dorset works with Dorset councils to improve and protect our health and wellbeing and help people make healthy lifestyle choices

Leisure and culture
  • also contribute to the economy
  • participation in arts and culture can help communities feel safer and stronger
  • and an active lifestyle adds to individual health and wellbeing

Dorset’s councils provide leisure facilities and support local events such as IRONMAN which contribute to the local economy​.

Dorset’s population
  • continues to grow with people moving into the county and longer life expectancy
  • this has an impact on service demand e.g. care and children’s services
  • and an impact on the economy e.g. number of people of working age going down

Projections help us to plan and prepare for future needs, such as housing, school places and support services​.

The number of older people
  • continues to grow – rising life expectancy
  • which means increasing demand for health and care services

Dorset County Council promotes caring as a career and is helping people to plan ahead through the ‘Prepare to Live Better’ campaign; we promote health and wellbeing by investing in green spaces and providing information e.g .through ‘LiveWell Dorset’​.

The number of children in the county is growing
  • meaning early intervention and a whole-family approach are key for wellbeing

We are working with partners to create Family Partnership Zones to ensure children get the right help at the right time and in the right place​.

Diversity – there are
  • nine protected characteristics

We are committed to equality of opportunity, promoting diversity and eliminating discrimination.

This is just a snapshot of the information available – you can find out more on the Dorset Statistics website.

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Categories: Dorset

Work to start on landmark Ocean Views development

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 12:32

Work is due to begin on the second phase of the landmark Ocean Views development to build 348 new homes on Portland.

Oceans Views Development set to start

Landowner the Comer Group and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have been working closely together to take the £25m project forward.

The Comer Group has already redeveloped one of two former naval accommodation blocks at the site in Castletown with 206 flats in its Atlantic House scheme.

Now developer Fulca Ltd, a Comer Group company, is set to transform the remaining building into 157 apartments.

It will also develop 191 new build homes at the rear of the site. The company is investing more than £25m into the project.

The progress comes after a planning application to alter some elements of the internal layout, façade and balconies gained consent from the council.

It also follows a successful preliminary bid through the council’s Opening Doors programme seeking £2.8m of Government Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) money for land stabilisation work at the site.

Development to provide 554 homes

With the 157 apartments in the former naval block and the 191 new-build properties, the new developments will result in 348 new homes.

Added to the 206 flats already completed in Atlantic House, the site would provide a total of 554 properties when complete.

Work is due to begin in the next month with site clearance, surveying, some demolition work, the creation of compounds and opening of offices.

Construction work will begin after detailed exterior designs are finalised with the first residents due to move in by late 2019/early 2020.

The progress comes as Weymouth & Portland Borough Council recently launched its Opening Doors campaign with West Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council to secure 20,000 new homes for the combined areas by 2033.

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s briefholder for environment and sustainability, said: “We are very pleased to see progress on this site.

“Development will not only bring much needed housing but will also represent a major step forward in the regeneration of Castletown.”

second phase of the landmark Ocean Views development Growth of local economy

Cllr Gill Taylor, housing briefholder at Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “This is a major boost following the launch of our Opening Doors campaign.

“New housing will help more people into homes of their own and also support the growth of the local economy not only for Portland but for the rest of the Borough as well.”

Cllr Jeff Cant, who is council leader and briefholder for finance and assets, said: “The partly completed Comer homes site overlooking Castletown has been a problem for several years.

“There has been a resurgence in investment in this very run down area over the past several years lead by a prominent Portland businessman Derek Luckhurst.

“Castletown has great potential and we are delighted that the company has worked through all the obstacles with us over the last two years to achieve such a positive outcome.”

Full planning consent for the Ocean Views site – the former MOD Hardy complex – was granted in 2004 and remains in place. The majority of homes in the second block will be for rent at local, open market rates.

Delighted to move forward

Robert Sheppard, Head of Portfolio (UK) for the Comer Group, said: “We are delighted to move forward with the second phase of Ocean Views.

“We have worked very closely with the council and appreciate its support and assistance to progress this site.

“The active engagement and support of the council has been pivotal in securing the additional opportunity presented by HIF funding; illustrating quite markedly how the commitment of local councils can influence central Government decisions positively to the benefit of their community.

“Ocean Views has the potential to deliver a significant number of properties to help the council meet need locally and reach its housing targets. We are very much looking forward to getting started.”

Opening Doors has also launched a Home Ownership Register to provide information for househunters and to gauge demand for the different types of properties in the area.

Visit for more details about Opening Doors and for more about Ocean Views.

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Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth throat-cut victim meets woman who saved his life

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:59
Glen Morrant had his neck slashed by an attacker while he was on a night out in Bournemouth.
Categories: Dorset