Members of Christchurch Borough Council have reaffirmed their commitment to the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Joint Committee at their Full Council meeting on 13 March 2018.
Members noted the legal opinion of the QC as to whether the decision of the Secretary of State and the process he had followed was challengeable. The opinion stated there was no arguable error in law and members have decided the best course of action moving forward is for the Leader and Deputy Leader to meet with counsel to seek further clarification and advice.
Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council, said: “It is important that following the legal opinion we meet with counsel to fully discuss the contents and explore any further advice and options that might be available.
“We are committed to the Joint Committee and will continue to work with our colleagues at Bournemouth and Poole to ensure the local government reorganisation secures the best possible outcomes for Christchurch residents.”
Members voted 14 in favour with seven against in support of the recommendation.
You can watch a recording of the meeting on youtube here.
More than 500 people have had their say about how public places should be managed in West Dorset.Feeding of seagulls banned under new order.
After listening to your views, West Dorset District Council has drawn-up new rules about public places and in particular feeding seagulls. The rules on consuming alcohol in public remain largely the same, but the ban on feeding seagulls is new.
The result is the West Dorset Anti-Social Behaviour Related Public Space Protection Order 2018. These new rules will come into effect on 23 April 2018.
After considering 579 responses the council decided to simplify the existing regulations and replace the two existing orders.
The new rules aim to reduce the problem of aggressive seagulls and ensure anti-social behaviour remains low in West Dorset.
Councillor Alan Thacker, Community Safety & Access Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to have their say and let the district council know how they think public spaces should be managed.
“We looked carefully at the results and have tried to take a common sense approach, which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour still further and reduce the problem of aggressive seagulls.”
More information and maps will be available shortly here.
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Christchurch and East Dorset Councils have been presented with Gold Award Certificates from Pennies from Heaven fundraising. The awards were received in recognition of the high percentage of staff participating in the scheme, with one in four members of staff donating each month.
Pennies from Heaven is a simple concept which means net salaries are rounded down to the nearest pound on a monthly basis and the pennies are then donated to charity. Over the last year staff across the Partnership have collectively donated over £8000 to charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Barnardo’s.
Matti Raudsepp, Strategic Director, Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “Christchurch and East Dorset Councils are proud to continue to support this inventive scheme. The pennies deducted individually are hardly noticeable, but when combined, these small donations go on to make a big difference.
“It is fantastic that the collective generosity of our staff has been recognised with this Gold Award. We will continue to promote participation in the scheme as it’s great to be able to support such worthwhile charities.”
Pennies from Heaven thanked and congratulated Christchurch and East Dorset Councils for their support and continue to take the small change to make a big change.
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Residents and the business community are invited to have their say on plans to transform one of Weymouth’s most prominent landmarks. This week, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will unveil proposals to breathe new life into the Peninsula.Artist’s impression of Weymouth Peninsula site
The initial ideas – including new leisure facilities, hotels and restaurants – will be revealed at two public exhibitions on Wednesday March 14 and Thursday March 15, plus an additional meeting for business and hotel representatives.
These proposals will complement the Jurassic Skyline tower and Pavilion Theatre already on the site, as well as meeting the council’s Town Centre Masterplan objective of creating an all-year destination.
Cllr Jeff Cant, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Leader and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:
“This is the first of three major regeneration projects. Our aim is to reposition the Borough as a thriving all year round destination of choice. The development of this site aims to blend the vigour of a working harbour town with a wider choice of all-weather attractions.
“We aim to fully engage with the community to ensure we deliver what is best for local businesses and residents. Together we know we can transform this area for present and future generations.
“Development of the town centre and the Weymouth Peninsula are vital for the future sustainability, growth and prosperity of our community”.
The council is holding two public engagement events to gather residents’ views before the initial ideas are developed further for an outline planning application later in the Spring.
The scheme is part of the Weymouth Town Centre Masterplan, which outlines the regeneration of five key areas of Weymouth town centre, resulting in new homes, jobs and top quality cultural and leisure facilities.
Leisure-led plans for the Peninsula were influenced from feedback in previous consultation with residents on the Masterplan.
Proposals include a mixture of indoor leisure buildings, a boutique hotel, a mid-range hotel, a number of restaurants, harbour and marine facilities and car parking.
And as well as providing additional tourism, harbour and leisure facilities there will also be attractive landscaping and improved pedestrian walkways to complement other attractions in the town. New harbour facilities intend to be provided where fisherman may be able to sell their catch direct to the public.
The council has already approved £250,000 outside of this project for a major external makeover of the iconic Pavilion Theatre which will remain situated at the gateway of the Peninsula. The Jurassic Skyline will retain its current position.
Some buildings and the redundant ferry terminal on the Peninsula will be demolished, and £2m worth of work and repairs will also take place on a section of the Harbour Walls.
Cllr Cant added: “These outline plans seek approval in principle for this type of development on the Peninsula and it is essential that residents and businesses play their part in ensuring we get the best result.
“Your views are important in influencing the final plans which will create new jobs and boost the local economy to the benefit of everyone. Please find time to engage with the public events and go online to express your views”.
Following public consultation Weymouth & Portland Borough Council will submit an outline planning application. If that is approved more detailed schemes and designs for the site will be put forward.
People can view the plans at the council’s offices in Commercial Road on Wednesday March 14 from 5-8pm and Thursday March 15 11am-2pm. The exhibition boards and visuals will also be displayed in the Weymouth library, after the event, until Friday 30 March.
An online survey will be available from 4pm on March 14 until April 6 at dorsetforyou.gov.uk/weymouth-peninsula
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North Dorset District Council’s new Nordon Lodge office has been officially opened.Nordon Lodge officially opened – ribbon cutting (L-R Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell, Chief Executive Matt Prosser, Chairman Cllr Val Pothecary, Leader Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, North Dorset MP Simon Hoare )
The district council moved to the nearby, smaller, more economical building and opened to customers on 15 February.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council, delivered a speech at the opening of the building:
“I would like to thank and congratulate all of those Officers and Members of the Nordon Project Board for a job well done. You’ve really excelled.
“The aspiration to provide a district council satellite office began in 2013 and was part of work commissioned by strategic delivery committee.offices for the old Sturminster Newton Rural District Council and Gillingham & Shaftesbury Borough Council were closed once Nordon had been enlarged to become the principle offices of North Dorset District Council in April 1974. This was following the reforms proposed in the Radcliffe-Maude Report in 1972, meaning the district council has been on the site for some 44 years and it has served the council well.
“Our residents are the focus of everything we do across the spectrum of Dorset Councils Partnership. This move to the Nordon Lodge will not only see a significant reduction in our costs, it will help us to protect and continue to deliver vital services for our residents for the future.
“The Nordon Lodge symbolises our district council’s presence in North Dorset. While the engine room may well be based in Dorchester now, this little enclave will always be our spiritual home.
“When the new unitary council is born in may next year, this small, yet valuable asset will provide continuity and familiarity to our residents.”Nordon Lodge Officially Opened Nordon Lodge Redesigned
The Nordon Lodge has been redesigned internally to make it more customer friendly and accessible.
There are touchscreen self-service computers and phones for customers to drop-in and use to access services. Customers will also continue to be able to meet directly with services through appointments and surgeries from duty officers.
The Nordon Lodge is easily accessible from Salisbury Road and clear signage is in place to direct customers.
From Wednesday 14 March [for approx. 10 days] in West Bay and Monday 19 March [for approx. 2 weeks] in Lyme Regis our engineers will be dredging the towns’ outer harbours. We will also be replenishing their beaches.Why do we do this?
Dredging maintains the entrance to the harbours and bulks up parts of the beach for flood defence.How do we do this?
We use a range of equipment including amphibious excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers and dredging pumps.Why Lyme Regis and West Bay?
The wonderful, world-famous Harbours are fundamental to the prosperity of the towns. We continue to maintain the Harbour for boat owners to have a safe and secure place to store and use their boats. Both have long waiting lists, with boat owners eager to join in the vibrant community both of these Harbours offer.UNESCO world heritage Jurassic Coast
As a highlight of the UNESCO world heritage Jurassic coast, both Lyme Regis and West Bay provide delightful beaches, enjoyed by both tourists and local residents.
We know how much it means for our local economy to keep the beautiful beaches in peak condition. Therefore, only sections of sandy beach will be shut during duration of works.
If you visit West Bay or Lyme Regis in this time, why not let us know via the hashtag #DoYouKnowDredging.
North Quay car park in Weymouth will be completely open to the public in time for the Easter weekend.144 spaces available all day
All 144 spaces will be available throughout the day. Charges will be applicable between 8am and 6pm. This follows October’s partial re-opening of the car park.
Cllr Colin Huckle, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Transport and Infrastructure, said: “We will be installing a new machine and tariff board. We expect this car park to remain open until we have found a new buyer for the site.”Redevelopment plans continue
Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “Now that the dispute has been settled with North Quay Weymouth Ltd, we intend to continue with our plans for the redevelopment of the iconic North Quay site.
“Our present policy is to ensure that these major regeneration sites add enduring value to the Borough. This is for the benefit of our community, and for the generations to come.
“We have some very exciting ideas under way. These involve demolishing the current building and delivering a mixed use site to attract more footfall to that side of the harbour.
“As part of this we are considering a mix of residential, retail and office space, and improvement to the public realm to make the most of the views from this site. As we develop our thinking, we will consult the community. This will include consulting on getting the right balance between delivering a viable development and addressing the ongoing issue of local parking.”
As of today, we will be donating £1 to charity for each new person that switches to e-billing or signs up to pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit. This will run until the end of April 2018, when all money raised will be split evenly between two local charities – Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House.
Both Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House provide much needed support and services to local residents and families. This charitable activity aims to encourage residents in Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland to make the easy, digital switch to paper-less e-billing and Direct Debit Council Tax payments.
Cllr Peter Barrowcliff, West Dorset District Council Portfolio Holder for Corporate, said:
“Switching to e-billing is not only easy, it is also environmentally sound. We hope that residents opt in to pay their Council Tax by direct debit and make the switch to paper-less bills. It’s a convenient way to manage your Council Tax payments, and residents now have the added benefit of being able to donate to local charity in the process.”
Cllr Jeff Cant Leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and Briefholder for Finance and Assets, said:
“Direct debit payment keeps things simple for taxpayers and the savings to the Council add to the funds we can reinvest in our communities. The added incentive of a donation to local charities we are offering on behalf of residents is a great way for Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and the community to show support for the fantastic services that Weldmar Hospice and Julia’s House provide.”
Why switch to e-billing?
E-billing is the easier and greener way to receive your Council Tax bills. They are easy to access, more environmentally friendly and they reduce costs for your council, which means more money can be spent on vital frontline services.
Why pay your Council Tax by direct debit?
Paying your Council Tax by direct debit is simple, safe and more convenient. The payments are made automatically by your bank or building society.
You remain in control of your payments, as we will notify you at least 10 working days before any changes are made and you can cancel at any time.
To sign up today and make the switch to e-billing or to pay your Council Tax by direct debit head to https://www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/council-tax
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Dorset Highways is working closely with town and parish councils to increase community involvement.Gillingham Town Council sign highways agreement
The county council knows that residents would ideally like all roads to be in an ‘A1’ condition but, in the current financial climate, that is becoming increasingly difficult and the highways service has had to focus on targeting the most damaged sections of road and areas with safety issues.
Many of the ‘non-essential’ highway maintenance functions have been cut back in frequency – apart from on the priority network – including gully cleaning, verge cutting, white lining and sign cleaning.
Footways paved with slabs are now routinely repaired using asphalt (black material) to reduce ongoing maintenance and help the budget go further.
Recognising that many of the ‘nice-to-have’ services affect the look and feel of Dorset’s towns and villages, Dorset Highways has created ways for town and parish councils to supplement these activities and carry out additional highway work in their area.
Town and parish councils across the county council area have been invited to sign up to the Dorset Highways ‘working together’ initiative and have more control over highways services in their patch.
Options set out for town, parish and borough councils include:
- Organising volunteer teams to carry out work on the highway – with a supervisor, protective equipment and hand tools provided free of charge by Dorset Highways
- Commissioning a qualified contractor or in-house team to carry out additional work
- Commissioning Dorset Highways to carry out additional work
- Having an annual agency agreement with Dorset Highways for specific additional work
Andrew Martin, service director for highways and emergency planning, said: “The current financial climate – with our central Government grant reducing each year – means we have to continually evaluate the level of service we can afford to provide.
“We will continue to repair defects and maintain our network, to ensure the safety of road users – but we cannot provide the same services or frequency of services that we did five years ago.”
Councils that have signed up to an agency agreement include Blandford Forum Town Council, Sherborne Town Council, Wimborne Minster Town Council, Gillingham Town Council and Shaftesbury Town Council.
Six further councils are currently reviewing draft agreements and eleven more are discussing their individual needs with highway officers.
The key link in the initiative are the area community highways officers, who provide a friendly face for town and parish councils to discuss local issues with. Local councillors now also have direct access to Dorset Highway policy and performance documents for clearer information between the organisations.
Any resident can also report highway issues or defects online, these go directly to the community highways officer in the area – who liaises with town/parish and borough councils.