Dorset Destroyers Wheelchair Rugby Club was founded in March 2014, due to a lack of clubs in the South of England, with the nearest being in Southampton. Sue Coombs, Nick Coombs and Paul Sutherland founded the club after they recognised demand for wheelchair sport and wanted to do something about it. With grant funding support and advice from Dorset County Council and a cash injection from the 2012 Health & Wellbeing Legacy Fund of just over £11,000, the club has developed into an incredible success story.Dorset Destroyers in action
Bournemouth and Poole Borough Councils, the Steve Bernard Foundation and Sport England, amongst many others have also provided support and funding to this initiative.
From small beginnings the club now has an established team in the national league. They have raised funds of over £120,000 to develop the club, purchased 20 specially adapted rugby wheelchairs and is now competing in the new version of Wheelchair Rugby (which they have helped to develop) called Wheelchair Rugby 5’s.
The club is a great example of how we can work together to help community clubs and ventures. With a little support to get things started, the passion and enthusiasm to be part of something special has flourished. This has created a social environment providing a real sense of belonging and achievement for those who otherwise may have limited opportunities.
The club is now one of the largest in Europe and is currently planning a minimum of a 24-hour Wheelchair Rugby Marathon on Saturday 17 March, with ambitions of achieving a world record. The club wants to raise further funds to purchase more rugby wheelchairs and to set up an ex-services military personnel wheelchair rugby team.
And it doesn’t stop there! Not only do they run a wheelchair rugby club, but they have also set up other wheelchair sports including tennis, badminton, self-defence and disability shooting. Last month saw the launch of The Dorset Devils Wheelchair Basketball Club, to great success.
Founder, Nick Coombs, is excited for the future. “We are planning a Centre of Disability Sporting Excellence in Poole. Run by the same bunch of mates who started it all up and run by disabled people for disabled people. We spend nothing on staff or costs, we run it on a very tight budget, but it works. Watch out for the next four years, if you thought the first four were good!”
For more information visit: www.thedorsetdestroyers.co.uk
Over the Easter weekend from the 30 March – 2nd April, Highcliffe Castle hosts their popular Easter Trail through the Castle grounds. The trail sees you take a journey through the woodland, and recently opened Rothesay Park, answering questions as you go. Best of all, there is a prize for everyone at the end!
Jack Hartwell, Events and Functions Coordinator at Highcliffe Castle commented: “We really enjoy hosting the Easter Trail here at Highcliffe Castle. It has always gone down a treat with all the family and it allows visitors to explore our lovely grounds.
“This year is especially exciting as visitors will get the chance to see the newly opened grounds and natural children’s play area.”
The trail costs £2 each and is open from 11am – 4pm, a perfect family fun activity.
The Met Office has forecast some low temperatures over the next few days. There is potential for disruptive snow especially over hills and moors. We could also see cold winds and high wind chill with widespread icy conditions on Saturday nigh to Sunday morning. A Yellow warning for snow is currently in place for Sunday. Read more about your local area here.Homelessness
We operate a Severe Weather Emergency Protocol. This means if the weather is close to freezing for three nights we can place anyone who is homeless in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation. We are putting this in place for the next three nights.
If you have concerns about anyone who may be sleeping rough, you can contact Streetlinkon 0300 500 0914.Challenging road conditions
Across Dorset priority routes and community links are now passable and we’re moving on to gritting the extended network. Take a look at our gritting map to see the network of roads we treat and plough during the winter.
Road conditions are improving but you still need to take care when out and about. Check the Travel Dorset pages before making any journeys.
Winter driving top tips…
- Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible
- Move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip
- Maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front, leaving as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap
- Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear
- Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary
- Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer
- Make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front
Up-to-date information about which schools are open can be found on our website. But please check with your school to confirm.
On Friday all of our 179 schools were closed, as were 20 of our 35 libraries and 20 of our 27 children’s centres.Check on your neighbours
If you have elderly neighbours who might find these wintry conditions challenging, why not call round to see if they are ok and warm enough? Find out more information on keeping warm and well.Rubbish and recycling
Cold weather may disrupt your bin collections. We will update this page as we get more information on this.
Hundreds of residents and businesses were involved in initial discussions about ambitious plans for Weymouth Peninsula this week.Artist’s impression of what the Weymouth Peninsula development could look like.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has thanked everyone who attended the three engagement sessions this week for their constructive views about the proposal.
The council unveiled initial ideas for the landmark to more than 200 residents and businesses.
All-weather attractions, new walkways and harbour improvements were among the most popular proposals in new plans to breathe fresh life into Weymouth Peninsula.Vibrant destination
The project is part of plans to transform Weymouth and Portland into a vibrant, year-round destination for visitors and provide more leisure facilities for residents.
Proposals include under-cover leisure attractions, car parking, restaurants, a ‘boutique’ hotel and a larger mid-range hotel, and improved harbour and marine facilities.
They would complement Weymouth Pavilion and Jurassic Skyline attractions already on the site as well as other facilities and businesses in the town.
People are able to have their say on the proposals in an online survey, which is open until Friday 6 April.Constructive and insightful
Speaking after the events, Councillor Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and briefholder for finance and assets, said:
“The council has been considering how to best use community assets to launch a regeneration of the offering to the community, visitors and businesses, for some years.
“Since 2015, we have taken a conscious decision to move away from aiming for the maximum price to ensuring we create legacy sites which remain accessible to the community but also raise our game as an all year round destination for visitors.
“The peninsula proposals are the first fruits of this new ambitious approach and will shortly be followed by new plans for the North Quay site and for Commercial Road.
“I was delighted to see so many people come along and give their views. And my personal thanks to everyone who came along from local businesses and the wider community for contributing both constructive and insightful views.
“It’s clear that we are all equally committed to the development of the iconic peninsula site and the future of the borough.
“This development and the other plans we have will go a long way to transforming the borough into a year-round destination of choice and to improving on our reputation as one of the top coastal tourist resorts in the country.
“This is crucial for the future growth and prosperity of the community and local economy and for the generations to come.”Bigger plans for town
The Weymouth Peninsula redevelopment scheme is part of the Weymouth Town Centre Masterplan, which outlines the regeneration of five key areas with new homes, jobs and top quality cultural and leisure facilities.
The peninsula project aims to appeal to families and new visitors. It also aims to appeal to those who use the harbour for fishing and yachting.
Some buildings and the redundant ferry terminal on the peninsula are due to be demolished, and work and repairs will also take place on a section of the Harbour Walls.All views welcome
We will consider the views expressed at the events and in the online survey before submitting an outline planning application to establish principles of development on the site.
The outline planning application will focus on the scale and size of the development.
The council has not yet decided the exact type of indoor leisure attractions and hotel and restaurant operators. If the planning committee approves the outline plan, we would draw up a more detailed scheme. We will use comments and suggestions from the current engagement exercise to develop the final designs, which will form the formal planning application.
Cllr Cant added: “This is very much a community asset and all views are important.
“I encourage anyone who was unable to visit the exhibition to catch up with the plans at Weymouth library or online and fill in our survey.
“With such a large and complex project we won’t be able to deliver everything everyone wants. But we are committed to consider all suggestions before we submit an outline planning application later in the spring.
“We intend to deliver a redevelopment that the community can be proud of.”
The exhibition boards and visuals from the exhibition are on show in Weymouth library until Friday 30 March.
The online survey will be available until 6 April at dorsetforyou.gov.uk/weymouth-peninsula
The post Council thanks community and businesses following Weymouth Peninsula events appeared first on Dorset news.
Councillors have backed ambitious plans to help tackle housing shortages in West Dorset by building a mix of new homes.West Dorset District Council launch Local Authority Trading Company.
These will include open market sale, shared ownership sale, open market rent and affordable/social housing for rent.
Members of West Dorset District Council’s Strategy Committee approved a recommendation to set up a Local Authority Trading Company with initial funding of £4m from council reserves.
This funding will be used to operate the business, acquire sites and fund development.
The move is part of the council’s innovative Opening Doors campaign, which aims to seize the initiative to meet housing need at a local level when faced with a lower number of active developers that can typically be found in larger urban areas.
It comes 25 years after the district council transferred its housing stock to the then West Dorset Housing Association in 1993. That organisation has since become Magna Housing.
The council recognises that local housing associations do a great job but the area still needs more housing provision with 1,572 people on the council’s Housing Register.
The new company will:
- Target areas of need that are not currently being served by locally-based housing developers
- Work with community land trusts to deliver smaller sites
- Acquire new land as well as developing the council’s own
- Acquire sites that have been granted planning consent for housing but not brought forward
- Work with other developers and housing associations where its involvement can unlock development that would otherwise have not taken place
Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “We are determined to do everything in our power at a local level to tackle housing shortages.
“More good quality homes of all tenures are absolutely vital for the future of our communities and strength of our local economy.
“A Local Authority Trading Company will give us a degree of greater control over the tenure and location of housing developments whilst also offering significant potential to help ameliorate housing shortages.
“In addition to increasing the supply of housing locally, receipts from the sale of properties and rents would create revenue streams that in the longer term could be reinvested in further housing provision.”
Cllr Yarker added: “Opening Doors is about the council being proactive to tackle housing problems.
“We are one of a number of councils nationwide taking such an innovative approach and establishing a Local Authority Trading Company could be one of the most important steps we take.”
The council aims to develop the homes using local labour which could help create more jobs and boost the local economy.
Opening Doors aims to encourage the construction of a total of 20,000 good quality homes of all tenures by 2033 across the areas covered by West Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
The councils have also launched a Home Ownership Register to gauge demand for different types of homes and in what areas, and feed information to prospective buyers about new developments that they might be interested in.
For more details and to sign the register visit openingdoorsdorset.co.uk.
Askwerswell have been preparing a neighbourhood plan that they want to be used when planning decisions are made.Askerswell Neighbourhood Plan submitted to district council
The parish meeting has asked West Dorset District Council to arrange for its proposed plan to be assessed by an independent examiner.
Cllr Ian Gardner, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, said:
“Neighbourhood plans are a great way for a community to help shape future development in their area. I would encourage people with an interest in the Askerswell area to have their say on the plan before 23 April.”
Consultation is currently taking place on the plan, details of which can be found on dorsetforyou.com or by contacting West Dorset District Council’s Planning Policy Team by email at email@example.com.
All comments must be received by Monday 23 April. These will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan. The examiner’s report is expected later this year and, depending upon what this says, the district council will arrange for a referendum within the parish to decide if the plan should come into force.
A report last week was approved by Management Committee at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
The committee agreed to allocate £50,000, from the one off project reserves budget to the Town Centre Management Budget. This money will support works to improve the ‘look and feel’ of Weymouth Town Centre.
The decision was also taken to allocate £40,000 from the one off project reserves budget to fund the salary of a new Conservation Enforcement Officer. This role will be tasked with improving the condition of buildings and shopfronts in the conservation area. This is required to assist in the removal of the Conservation Area from Historic England’s “At Risk” list.Enhancing the offer for residents, visitors and businesses
Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “We are committed to enhancing the offer of Weymouth for residents, visitors and businesses. Our Town Centre Manager Ed Warr [read his introduction here] has made great steps in establishing working relationships with key partners. These include Dorset County Council, the BID, the Chamber, Dorset Police, local businesses and others. We expect to submit our application for Purple Flag status for the town as part of our efforts to enhance the town centre visitor and community experience. This would sit well alongside the current Green Flag status for our exceptional parks, and Blue Flag for our fantastic beach.”Improvements List: Town Centre priority improvement projects
This money will support a number of key projects. These have been identified for the Council to improve the look and appeal of the town centre:
- Ongoing management of the enhanced pedestrianisation of St Mary and St Thomas Streets (new bollards and daily locking-unlocking regime
- Extension of the enhanced pedestrianisation to other town centre streets
- Replacement of out of date visitor and pedestrian signage from the railway station arrival point and then throughout the town centre
- High pressure washing of pedestrian areas
- The installation of hanging baskets around the town by the end of April 2018 in time for the season
- Physical refurbishment of the streets including:
- Reinstatement of brick paviers installed in the 1980s at over 30 locations throughout the town centre where they have been removed for safety reasons and replaced with black tarmac
- Refurbishment and replacement of 40 damaged litter bins and street furniture (12 bins already replaced)
- Refurbishment of utility company fixtures and fittings
- Carriageway repairs and replacement of faded road markings at 6 locations in the town centre
Our Town Centre Manager will be blogging for us every month from April with a progress update on the improvements list.