Dorset County Council has been shortlisted for two national awards for schemes that aim to improve the lives of children and young people.
The Children and Young People Now Awards highlight the dedication of organisations, teams and individuals working with children, young people and families.
The council is a finalist in two categories – early years and children in care. Here are details of the schemes:
- Dorset’s Incredible Children aims to improve young children’s social and emotional development, reduce challenging behaviour and improve family relationships. Based in areas of deprivation, the council works with staff in pre-schools and nurseries to help them deliver sessions to parents.
- Young Facilitators, run in partnership with Participation People, encourages and empowers young people in care to lead workshops, training and events for other children in care. They learn new skills, gain confidence and also influence how council services are run.
Cllr Steve Butler, Cabinet member for safeguarding at Dorset County Council, said:
“We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for two awards. Our staff are dedicated to improving the lives of children, young people and their families – so it’s great that their hard work has been acknowledged.”
“What’s particularly pleasing is that our young facilitators have been recognised. These young people are committed to making a difference and helping other children who are also in care. We value everything that they do and the fact that they’ve been shortlisted is a testament to their work. ”
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A ‘ground-breaking’ event has been performed in Wimborne to celebrate the start of the building works to relocate Wimborne First School
The existing school is located in the town centre and has a capacity for 300 children. There is limited potential for future expansion.
The new school is being developed by Dorset County Council with contractor Galliford Try as part of the Bloor Homes housing development known as Wimborne Chase 0.8 miles from the town centre.
The build will follow the ‘baseline design’ approach that has been developed by the council’s Dorset Property team. Baseline design is a standardised, repeatable design that provides innovative, practical and low-cost solutions, without compromising quality.
The new school will be able to accommodate 450 pupil which will help meet the needs of proposed housing developments in the Wimborne area, which are part of the East Dorset Local Plan.
Cllr Daryl Turner, county council Cabinet member for the natural and built environment, said:
“The newly built replacement school will offer the facilities for a modern educational environment. Our baseline design offers good quality and value for money.”
Headteacher, Sarah Hartley, said:
“On the 13th August I had the privilege of ‘breaking the ground’ on the site for our new school, it was a very exciting moment for everyone involved. We are currently planning a series of events to celebrate our move from the existing site into the new school. Our current school holds many memories for a lot of people in the local community and we want to make sure we celebrate with the children all the amazing times we have had.
“We will then be moving into the most fabulous school with state of the art facilities and lots of space! We have many plans for the children, parents, staff and members of the local community to get involved. Our first step is to take a group of children up to the building site, so they can report back to their classes on the latest developments! We have some very exciting times ahead!”
The current First School, (which is rated good by Ofsted) will be relocating from its current premises in School Lane to the new premises when it is completed next year.
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As preliminary works continue on the A338/Blackwater Junction, Dorset County Council and Bournemouth Borough Council met on Tuesday 11 September to discuss the impact the improvement works are having on residents and businesses.
The scheme has been designed to improve traffic merging around the Blackwater junction, and increase traffic capacity south of Backwater towards Cooper Dean to cope with ever increasing vehicle numbers.
These improvements form part of the £45.2m investment in Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme, aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport, unlocking employment land and stimulating economic growth
Since 3 September 2018, the southbound carriageway has been reduced to one lane from north of the Blackwater Junction towards the Cooper Dean Roundabout as the £5m improvement scheme got underway with a view to:
- creating an extra southbound lane on the section of the A338 between Blackwater Junction towards Cooper Dean roundabout
- improving the southbound ‘on slip’ to the A338 from the B3073 at Blackwater East Junction
- improving the northbound ‘off slip’ to the A338 from the B3073 at Blackwater West Junction
- carrying out B3073 bridge protection works and widening the carriageway over the River Stour bridge including new parapets and safety fences
Cllr Mike Greene, Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Cleansing and Waste, said: “Although these works are being carried out by Dorset County Council, we have received extensive feedback from residents and businesses about their frustration with the works and we are sorry for the disruption being caused to people’s lives.
“We want to make sure that this feedback is taken on board. The meeting with Dorset County Council was to ensure they had fully considered and assessed all the traffic management options to see if everything is being done to ease congestion on the A338 and alternative routes around the conurbation. We are satisfied that this has happened and will continually monitor the works throughout the nine-month period.”
This Friday, 14 September, the A338 between Blackwater and Cooper Dean the lane closure will be removed overnight, with two lanes back in action by 6am Saturday morning.
For two weeks this section of road will be mostly free from traffic management with preparation work continuing away from the flow of traffic. There will be some off-peak daytime lane closures for material deliveries and associated work.
On Sunday 30 September, three nights of northbound and southbound road closures are planned for temporary steel barriers to be installed to create a safe working area and for essential maintenance along the A338 to be carried out.
The road will be closed between the A31 at Ashley Heath and the Cooper Dean roundabout from 10pm to 6am the following morning on Sunday and Tuesday. On Monday 1 October the closures will start later to allow football supporters to travel to and from the match.
When the steel barriers are in place the southbound carriageway will be reduced to one lane again, with lane 2 closed, and the northbound carriageway will run two narrowed lanes. Both carriageways will have a 40mph speed limit in force for driver safety as existing barriers will have been removed.
Daytime work will involve bridge works to join together the two bridges that carry the road over the River Stour, and make extensive repairs to these bridges. Night time work will mainly be earthworks to widen the southbound carriageway into the central reservation.
Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for the natural and built environment said: “Due to the extremely busy nature of this road – with around 6,000 travelling vehicles an hour during peak times – it is unavoidable that when lane closures are in place, traffic queues will occur.
“Due to the width of the road, and the work being undertaken, we have very few options of how to carry out the work. We will be doing what we can at night, and we will continually review traffic management to minimise disruption.
“Drivers should try to plan ahead, allowing extra time for journeys or finding alternative routes.”
There will be free recovery for breakdowns within the works area from 30 September. Average speed cameras will also be in operation.
The Blackwater Junction improvement works on the A338 are scheduled to last until June 2019. Road users are advised to sign up to the A338 travel blog to stay up to date with road news or check Travel Dorset on twitter for updates.
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Members of strategy committee have agreed to allow temporary free parking in Yarn Barton Car Park, Beaminster. Cllr Russell, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environmental Protection and Assets, said: “We are pleased to approve a temporary suspension of short stay charges. Every day I see the pressure that the traffic management system is having on businesses, schools, visitors and other users of the road.”
Cllr Anthony Alford, Ward member for Beaminster, said: “This move underlines our commitment to promote Beaminster as a great place to visit. We continue to encourage visitors to enjoy its range of independent shops and eateries”
Cllr Peter Barrowcliff, Ward member for Beaminster, said: “We’re pleased to respond quickly to concerns of local businesses. We are showing our support to those who have felt the impact of this burglary attempt and its subsequent disruption on their trade.”Background
On 18 August 2018 an attempt was made to steal a cashpoint machine in Beaminster. A telehandler was driven into the former bank building which caused substantial structural damage. The area affected has been cordoned off and temporary traffic lights and one way systems have been put in place. Significant work is required to remove the damaged area and effect repairs.
Weymouth town centre is officially celebrating after receiving the news that we have been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation. We have been awarded this for our evening and night-time economy.Blue, Green… and now Purple!
Similar to the Blue Flag award for beaches and the Green Flag award for gardens, the Purple Flag gives Weymouth the rare Triple Crown!
In July, Sandsfoot and Greenhill Gardens in Weymouth and Easton Gardens in Portland were recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme.
Cllr Richard Kosior, briefholder for Tourism etc says: “Weymouth Beach has always drawn residents and tourists to it’s beautiful shoreline and magnificent views across the bay. The gardens are a credit to the teams. We know how much quality green spaces are appreciated by the public, too. This award celebrates the continual high standard that the gardens are presented in.”Dedication of our partners
Cllr Jeff Cant, leader of Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, said: “This is not only a tribute to our Town Managers energy – and the fantastic work being done by all our colleagues – it is another step towards our vision of our 21st century town as an all year round destination. We are driving forward our ambitious regeneration plans. The Purple Flag award confirms and reinforces how much we can achieve if we all work together.”
Other partners that worked on this project include:
Melcombe Regis Board
Town Centre Management
WeyPROGRESS community group
… and many dedicated officers and members from Weymouth & Portland Borough Council!How Weymouth won
The Purple Flag aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 17:00 & 05:00. Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture. They do this while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
Weymouth scored particularly well on a wide range of eating venues with enough quality independents and bustling shopping streets with bunting. The Town Bridge, harbour area and Nothe Fort /gardens were very attractive indeed.”Purple Flag background
Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 70 towns and cities. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime.
The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). They work alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses.
Landlords across the country will need to be licensed in order to let a House in Multiple OccupationNew licensing rules for landlords
North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are keen to alert landlords to the change in legislation, which comes into force from 1 October 2018.
New legislation means that landlords who have HMOs occupied by five or more people in two or more separate households will require a licence. It also brings in mandatory conditions such as minimum sleeping room sizes, maximum number of occupants and provision of refuse facilities.
Why do HMOs need a licence?
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, Leader of North Dorset District Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Licensing of HMOs ensures that our housing team know about properties which may present significant health risk to residents. It also gives us the evidence that shows appropriate management arrangements have been made for the property.”
Licenses will be granted if the proposed licence holder is a ‘fit and proper’ person and is the most appropriate person to be given a licence as well as if the house is suitable for occupation by a certain number of people.
Cllr Tim Yarker, West Dorset District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “The changes to the regulations will drive up conditions for residents. Through the licensing process, officers will be able to advise property owners of the regulations and enforce them.”
Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Housing, said: “Weymouth and Portland have a high number of HMOs compared to the surrounding areas. Through these new regulations, even more are likely to be identified. The bigger catchment will bring properties to our attention that might not be suitable and we can then work with the property owner to find a solution.”
What happens if a HMO isn’t licensed?
Councils have the ability to either impose a civil penalty of up to £30k for noncompliance with licensing requirements, or to prosecute in the courts.
However, this is a last resort. The council’s Housing Team is committed to working with property owners to ensure licensing requirements are followed. Landlords who are uncertain if their property requires licensing should contact the Housing Improvement Team.Advice available for landlords
Landlords and tenants can ask for advice by contacting our Housing Improvement Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by phoning .
How do I apply for a licence?
Landlords are able to obtain an application form by contacting email@example.com by phoning .
How much will it cost?
The cost of a HMO licence is set by the district / borough council. North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council have all agreed a fee of £650 for a new application and £550 for a renewal.
A 10 per cent discount is available for landlords who are join our Landlords’ Local Authority Partnership or one of the three national landlord associations. Fees for members would therefore reduce to £585 for a new licence and £495 for a renewal.
The Landlords’ Local Authority Partnership is free to join. Members will benefit from seminars as well as quarterly newsletters with the latest industry news. More information about the partnership is available here.
Childcare vouchers are an employee benefit that companies can offer their staff. Vouchers are either offered on top of an existing salary, or via a salary sacrifice scheme. They are tax and National Insurance exempt, which is how they can help save parents money.
For example, a parent using the scheme via salary sacrifice would reduce their salary by an agreed amount per year and that amount would instead be received in childcare vouchers. Tax and National Insurance would only be applied to the parent’s reduced salary, which could save them up to £933 per year.
You will not be able to start claiming childcare vouchers after 4 October 2018, so now is the time to check whether they could benefit your family.Could you claim?
Firstly, you would need to speak to your employer and find out if they are signed up to offer the scheme. The vouchers must be used for your own child, your stepchild, or a child who you have parental responsibility for and who lives with you. You can use your vouchers to pay for registered childcare for children under 16 years old (or under 17 if disabled).What will happen from 4 October?
Childcare vouchers won’t be available to new joiners after 4 October and will be replaced by Tax-Free Childcare. If you’re already using childcare vouchers on this date, you will be able to continue claiming if:
- you stay with the same employer
- your employer continues to offer the scheme
- your child is over the age criteria
You can use childcare vouchers at the same time as the 15 and 30 hours free childcare schemes for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. You can’t use childcare vouchers at the same time as Tax-Free Childcare, but you can find out which scheme would be of most beneficial for your family using the childcare calculator.