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Updated: 1 hour 51 min ago

Helping smaller businesses thrive in North Dorset

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 13:21

North Dorset District Council today agreed, a discretionary rate relief scheme for 2018/2019 which looks to provide support to local businesses that have been faced with large rate bills, as a result of the 2017 business rate revaluation.

The rate relief scheme uses funding which has been provided by Central Government. Nationally £300m has been allocated to councils over the years 2017 to 2021 and North Dorset’s share of this funding is £158,000 in 2017/18; £77,000 in 2018/19; £32,000 in 2019/20 and £5,000 in 2020/21.

The amount of relief awarded in 2017/18 totalled £146,281 and benefited 221 businesses by an average of £661.90. The proposed scheme for 2018/19 would look to award the same businesses with 50% of the relief they received in 2017/18, providing they still occupy the qualifying property. This would potentially use £73,141 of the grant allocated for 2018/19 and benefit 221 businesses by an average of £330.95.

Cabinet agreed that any under spend in 2018/19 will be used to provide additional support for struggling businesses. Approval of such cases will be delegated to Cllr Kerby, North Dorset District Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety & Wellbeing.

Cllr Andrew Kerby North Dorset District Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety & Wellbeing said:

“We are committed to focusing the funding to help smaller businesses; particularly those hardest hit by the revaluation. I urge any business who feels that they may meet the criteria to let us know on 01202 634233 if they have not received a revised bill within the next month.”

Who will this benefit?

The business rates relief scheme will benefit local businesses that have a rateable value of less than £200,000 and who received rate relief under the 2017/18 scheme. Those that are entitled to this relief will receive a revised rates bill, over the next month, which will show the amount awarded. A copy of the scheme can be found at here.

Find out more about Business Rates Relief at

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Categories: Dorset

Moors Valley wins Bronze at VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 12:58

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest has won Bronze in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

Bronze award- Large visitor attraction of the year

Staff and volunteers at the Park are celebrating following the announcement at a prestigious award ceremony, which was held at the elegant Bath Assembly Rooms this afternoon. Moors Valley had strong competition, from both Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire who took Silver and National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire who took Gold, in the category.

In February, this popular country park in East Dorset received Gold in the South West Tourism Awards, which means that the Pa­rk has had lots to celebrate already in 2018, which is also its 30th anniversary year.

Clare Gronow, Team Leader at the Park, and Tracey Churcher, Recreation Manager for the Forestry Commission accepted the award on behalf of the staff and volunteers at Moors Valley.

Clare Gronow said: “This award really puts country parks on the map; no longer are they just somewhere for people to go and walk their dog, but they are now recognised as a day visit destination in their own right, providing an amazing resource for millions of people to get out and about in their local countryside. I like to think that Moors Valley has been leading the way in this country park ‘revolution’, providing countryside recreational facilities of the highest standard, available to all and at an affordable price.

“It has been a great privilege to work at Moors Valley over the last 30 years and this award really is the icing on the cake.”

Bruce Rothnie, Forest District Manager at the Forestry Commission was delighted with the news and said: “I’d like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers who work incredibly hard all year round to maintain and protect the forest. This is fantastic national accolade that will undoubtedly put Moors Valley Country Park and Forest on the map as one of the country’s finest tourist destinations, and a unique attraction that carefully balances visitors, wildlife and a working forest.”

Cllr Andy Skeats, Portfolio Holder for Community, East Dorset District Council, said: “What amazing news this is for everyone involved. To win a national award is testament to all the team who work so hard to ensure Moors Valley continues to be cherished by the local community, whilst extending a warm welcome to so many tourists every year.”

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Categories: Dorset

A walk a day keeps the doctor away

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 12:13

A new Purbeck initiative starts this spring which aims to get more people walking.

The Purbeck Mile, will comprise short walks starting and finishing at all Purbeck surgeries and hospitals from this May. The walks will be easy and free – all you need is loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Participants will be able to borrow route maps from each starting point.

The Purbeck Mile will be launched at Wool Surgery on Monday 30 April, at 3.30pm when there will be an opportunity to find out more about the initiative and walk the mile. Just turn up.

Wareham GP, Alastair Ward, who is leading the initiative, said: “Walking is the easiest way to improve physical and mental health, which is why I am recommending it to my patients.

“It is also a great way to lose weight, especially when you make it part of your regular routine.”

Alastair continued: “The NHS recommends everyone does 150 minutes of exercise each week. We are encouraging small groups to meet regularly and walk together as I am a firm believer in the power of a good walk and a good talk!”

Councillor Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Purbeck District Council, said:  “This is a great opportunity to ease yourself into getting active. Whether you prefer to walk alone or with a group, it promises to be fun, invigorating and good for your health!”

The Purbeck Mile is part of the Purbeck Pledge campaign which started in 2015 to improve the health and wellbeing of local residents. Purbeck Pledge members include representatives from Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council, health organisations and the community.

The maps are being produced free of charge by Assura, a specialist healthcare property company which has been working with the surgeries since 2014.

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Waste Partnership investigation leads to conviction for fly-tipper

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 11:04

A man who fly-tipped waste in Sherborne was recently convicted and fined in court.

Enforcement Officers at the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), in a joint operation with South Somerset District Council, investigated a series of fly-tips in Sherborne and South Somerset back in November last year.

Lee Spurdle, 30, of Yeovil, was paid to collect and dispose of building waste from a local resident who was having their house renovated.

This waste was later discovered dumped across four separate locations, including near Lenthay Dairy Farm in Sherborne. Upon investigation, Enforcement Officers found evidence within the fly-tips that linked the waste to the offender.

Spurdle was subsequently located, interviewed and reported to appear in court last Wednesday (18 April) where he pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1588.14 for his crimes.

Jeremy Gallagher, Enforcement Officer for the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), said:

“We’re obviously pleased with this conviction and would like to thank our colleagues at South Somerset District Council’s Enforcement Team for their assistance in the investigation.

I hope this case demonstrates that fly-tipping will not be tolerated in Dorset or Somerset. By working with neighbouring councils as well as residents, we can work more effectively to clamp down on fly-tippers and stop this anti-social, illegal and dangerous activity that costed Dorset tax-payers £150,000 last year alone.”

This conviction comes as the DWP launch their new ‘Tip-Off’ anti-flytipping campaign, which encourages Dorset residents to report fly-tipping incidents and provides important information on how you can prevent your waste being fly-tipped.

For more information, please visit the Tip-Off webpage on Dorset For You.

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Categories: Dorset

Council agrees to sell Shaftesbury Cattle Market site to supermarket chain

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 15:30

Shaftesbury may soon have a new supermarket after North Dorset District Council agreed to sell the cattle market site to a leading supermarket chain.

The cattle market site has seen a decline in recent years and will now be sold to a supermarket chain.

Councillors agreed to the proposal after a competitive process which attracted a number of bids for the site.

This will provide the town with a second supermarket, provide jobs, support the local economy and redevelop the site.

Long term lease

The council owns the land, which has been leased to Southern Counties Auctioneers since 1967.

The council and the auctioneers jointly marketed the site. The council has agreed to share the proceeds of the sale with them in exchange for an early exit from the lease.

The cattle market is in decline with store cattle sales now being held fortnightly rather than weekly.

Much-needed choice

Councillor Michael Roake, briefholder for environment at North Dorset District Council, said:

“We believe this is a positive result for Shaftesbury. It gives people a much-needed choice of supermarkets within the town instead of the need to travel to other areas.

“We received a number of strong bids for the site, which shows the appeal of the town and this prime location.

“Our thanks go out to Southern Counties Auctioneers who have maintained the site for more than 60 years and have been a major contributor to the North Dorset economy.”

Further negotiations will now take place to complete the sale.

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Categories: Dorset

Residents and visitors invited to Anzac Memorial Service

Sun, 04/22/2018 - 09:36

Residents of Weymouth and Portland are invited to a service of remembrance and short wreath laying in recognition of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) Day this month.

At 11am on Wednesday 25 April 2018, Weymouth will hold a Civic Service at the Anzac Memorial on the seafront opposite the Hotel Prince Regent. All are welcome to attend.

Wreaths will be laid by the Mayor and representatives of Australia House and New Zealand House from London, ex-service organisations and expatriates living or working in Weymouth.

The memorial commemorates the thousands of Australian and New Zealand volunteer servicemen who passed through camps and hospitals in Dorset during the First World War between battles in the Middle East and those on the Western Front in Europe.

Brief Holder for Leisure Tourism and Culture Cllr Richard Kosior said: “Anzac Day is a chance to commemorate and honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army who fought at Gallipoli during World War I and reinforce the strong links with the community and forces family of Weymouth and Portland.

“Everyone is welcome to attend the service in recognition of the sacrifice made by personnel of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.”

The Mayor of Weymouth & Portland Mayor Cllr Kevin Brookes will be laying a wreath together with Lt Cdr Thompson, from the Royal Australian Navy and SLT Sam Mayhew from the New Zealand Defence Force.

Representatives from ex-service organisations and associations will also be attending the ceremony.

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Categories: Dorset

Boost for Armed Forces Covenant supporting current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 16:50

A programme to support current and former military personnel and their families in Dorset has received a boost for the next two years in the shape of £234,786 grant from the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

The successful bid, made by Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole, working with Dorset HealthCare and Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, will enhance work to make sure members of the armed forces community are treated fairly and equitably across the county.

There are an estimated 51,000 veterans living in Dorset. Dorset has 2% of the country’s veteran population and 1.2% of the overall national population, meaning that Dorset has a greater proportion of veterans than the country as a whole.

Projects will focus on areas such as employment, training, schools, health and wellbeing and housing, and builds on the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment between local public sector organisations and the Ministry of Defence.

As well as ensuring Dorset is meeting the statutory obligations laid out in the Covenant, the programme will work with existing organisations currently working with Dorset’s military bases, military families and veterans to make sure they can access appropriate services when they need to. There are also plans to create 13 one-stop-shop Veterans and Armed Forces Family hubs across Dorset, based in libraries.

Cllr David Walsh, Dorset County Council Armed Forces Champion said:

“Having had personal experience of being a member of the Royal Air Force, it is exciting to be working closely with partners across Dorset to make much-needed support more readily available for members of the armed forces community. I feel a huge sense of relief that finally, more is being done to support our local military families and veterans.”

Cllr Robert Lawton, Bournemouth Borough Council Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“We’re proud to be using our funding from the Armed Forces Covenant grant to bring the community together to support our veterans. Working closely with our partners, the funding will support projects across Dorset ensuring our personnel, veterans, and their families are treated fairly and do not suffer any disadvantage because of their service.”

Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Borough of Poole, said:

“We developed an early action plan for the bid in Poole, so we’re pleased that it has been successful. This is all about community spirit and celebrating the diversity of our armed forces, who continue to play such a crucial role in our society.”

Andy Willis, Chair of Dorset HealthCare, said:

“Our Corporate Covenant with the armed forces in Dorset recognises our strong commitment to supporting members of the armed forces and veterans living in Dorset. We know that 24% of veterans aged 16-64 report long-term illness, compared to 13% of the general population. Mental health issues figure highly and we are working to address the stigma relating to this and to improve access to care for members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. We are excited to be part of this initiative and pleased to be hosting the covenant officer in our armed forces health and wellbeing service on behalf of the partnership.”

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner said:

“Because of my role, I am especially excited by the opportunity to address reoffending rates among veterans. This includes those who are serving a sentence or are being released from custody or prison. The success of our partnership bid provides a fantastic and much-needed opportunity to engage with and provide tailored support to meet the complex needs of our veterans in Dorset.”

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Categories: Dorset

Ban on feeding gulls

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:18

A new ban on feeding gulls will come into force on Monday. (23/4)

Feeding of gulls banned under new order.

The measure is part of the new West Dorset Anti-Social Behaviour Related Public Space Protection Order 2018.

These new rules for public places were drawn-up by West Dorset District Council, after listening to your views. The rules on consuming alcohol in public remain largely the same, but the ban on feeding gulls is new.

Signs will be going up in West Bay and Lyme Regis to tell people about the gull-feeding ban and advise that ignoring it could result in a £100 fixed penalty notice or prosecution.

Problem of aggressive gulls

Councillor Alan Thacker, Community Safety & Access Portfolio Holder for West Dorset District Council, said: “These measures aim to reduce anti-social behaviour still further and reduce the problem of aggressive gulls.

“I’d like to thank people who took the trouble to have their say, we looked carefully at the responses and have taken a common sense approach.”

A total of 579 people responded to the consultation on how public spaces should be managed. The new order simplifies the existing regulations.

More information and maps explaining where the rules apply are available on the Public Space Protection Order.



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Categories: Dorset

School design approach shortlisted for a regional award

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:25

The work on a programme of baseline school designs by Dorset County Council has been shortlisted for the South West Built Environment Awards.

The work was submitted to the value category where judges were looking for, among other criteria, a balance of expenditure on design, construction and operation with the needs of the school itself.

The ‘baseline design’ approach developed by the County Council’s Dorset Property provides innovative, practical, low cost solutions to which additional features can be added as required and as funds allow.

Cllr Daryl Turner, the council’s Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said:

“This is a great achievement. I am very proud of the work that has been done on streamlining our new buildings for schools, giving good value for money for tax payers and giving a good quality for pupils and teachers.”

There is a shortlist of four companies for the Value Award. There is a total of 14 awards and the winners will be announced on 22 June in Bristol.

This is the eleventh year of the awards and winning a category automatically qualifies the organisation entry into the prestigious National Constructing Excellence Awards, where the best that the region has to offer is pitted against the best nationwide

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Categories: Dorset

The Lost Words for Dorset’s schools

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 12:45

A campaign to provide a copy of the book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris to every Infant, Primary and Junior School in Dorset has been launched.

By using Crowdfunder a local conservationist Richard Bradford aims to use the book to re-introduce lost words from the natural world.

The book takes twenty of the words that have been falling out of use amongst children – such as adder, kingfisher and bramble – and brings them back to life, through the magical paintings of Jackie Morris and the ‘spell poems’ of Robert Macfarlane.

Cllr Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council Cabinet member for natural and built environment, said:

“The countryside is important to all of us and making sure that our young people learn about nature is essential for future generations.”

The target is £3,600 which will mean that 180 schools will be given a copy of the book and also an accompanying resource  called “An Explorer’s Guide to The Lost Words”, that will help teachers get the most out of the book.

Donate to donate to this campaign

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Categories: Dorset

Get to the school prom safely

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 10:38

The school prom season is approaching so if you are hiring transport, please remember to check it is properly licensed.

Get to the prom safely


Any vehicles advertised for hire with a driver should be appropriately licensed with the local authority from where they operate or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

That is the message from Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, West Dorset District Council and North Dorset District Council.

Vehicles offered for hire which are not legally licensed to carry passengers will not be covered by the appropriate insurance. Vehicles used solely for weddings and funerals are exempt from licensing.  However, if they are offered for hire for any other purpose, such as school proms, then they do need to be licensed.

Check vehicles for hire are licensed

If you are unsure whether a driver or vehicle is appropriately licensed, you can check with the council in the area where the vehicle is offered for hire.

If you are in Weymouth and Portland, West Dorset or North Dorset, you can contact the Licensing Department on 01305 838028 or

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Categories: Dorset

Weymouth Crematorium improvements

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:01

Improvements have been carried out at Weymouth Crematorium.

Improvements have been made to Weymouth Crematorium

The improvements are the first part of a £50k refurbishment project, which will see further work carried out during 2018 and 2019.

Councillor Kate Wheller, Briefholder for Community Facilities at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “These improvements mean we are able to provide an even better service to people at a difficult time.

“I would like to thank staff for their hard work. We have a great team working in our bereavement service. They provide our community with an excellent service and we now have an even better facility.”

‘An even better facility’

The improvements carried out included a new damp proof membrane for the floor, full decoration of the chapel and vestibule, refurbishment of the pews, seats and lecterns, new carpet and flooring in the chapel, enhanced lighting in the chapel and vestibule and new flooring in the crematorium public toilets.

Sam Wilding, Funeral Director Manager at Rose Funeral Service, said: “The chapel décor is now more uplifting than before. The lighter colour pews definitely make a difference to the overall environment. The comments I have heard from families using the Crematorium since the renovation have all been positive.”

David Grassby, Funeral Director at Grassby Funeral Service, said: “On behalf of our company may I congratulate you and your team for uplifting the décor, furniture and flooring at the Crematorium chapel.”

The second stage of improvements, which will take place in 2018/19, will include new curtains for the catafalque, a new family room, decoration of the waiting room and the office area.

More information about the borough council’s bereavement service is available here.

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Categories: Dorset

Esplanade Lighting – designer appointed

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:08

Tuesday 17 April saw Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s management committee discuss the latest progress in the Esplanade Lighting Scheme. We have shared the statement that was prepared for members at this committee. 

Design company appointed

Last week, the borough council appointed the design company Tonkin Liu to develop the design for the Weymouth Esplanade Lighting Scheme. This will be paid for by a £200,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund, the Dorset Coast Forum.

Tonkin Liu were selected based on the design brief approved by Management Committee in December 2017. This followed a rigorous procurement process in accordance with the council’s procurement rules.

Community and member input

The design for the new scheme has not yet been produced. Tonkin Liu have until mid-June to work up the design concepts. This will incorporate community input from last Autumn’s survey and targeted engagement sessions in the coming weeks. Elected members’ comments will be incorporated, too.

All technical, legal and financial constraints will also be incorporated to ensure the most viable design.

Inclusive design

The design process will also include consideration of equality issues and how the new scheme can – where possible – provide a sensitive, sensory experience for those with disabilities.

July report for Management Committee

The project team will submit a report to Management Committee in July, setting out the options for the new scheme. Management Committee will then consider the report and agree on a scheme. Once the scheme is agreed, the relevant planning applications will then be submitted for approval. The council will then procure a company to fabricate and install.

Members can comment as designs evolve

Cllr Richard Kosior, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Tourism, Culture and Harbour, said: “As the appropriate briefholder and nominated representative of the Member Arts Advisory Panel, I have been involved in the procurement process which has been managed by officers from the council’s Assets and Infrastructure team. This was under the guidance of the council’s Procurement Officer. The appointment of Tonkin Liu was approved by the Strategic Director.

“The agreed time for elected members to be involved is during the design process, which has just commenced. A meeting of the Member Arts Advisory Panel will be held in the coming weeks. The members can then meet with Tonkin Liu and comment on the designs as they evolve. Members will then have an opportunity to agree the final design when it is presented to Management Committee.”

Exhibition of concepts

The format of the exhibition, focus group and member involvement is the priority to be arrange now that the designer has been selected. The public will have the chance to comment at the concepts stage via the exhibition, and will be able to comment formally through the planning process in the regular way.

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Categories: Dorset

A Week of Treats for Dorset Residents

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:30

Residents across Dorset can enjoy special discounts at many of the county’s top attractions during the Visit Dorset Residents’ Week, which runs during the week of the 23rd to 29th April and aims to showcase the fantastic range of experiences that Dorset boasts.

David Rawsthorn, Sales and Marketing Manager at Swanage Railway pictured with Jasmine Faller from the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership.

More than 50 local businesses are participating in the promotion, including many well-known Dorset attractions and some interesting alternative options for memorable days out. With so many ‘2 for 1’ and other special offers, it’s a great way to enjoy a day out with family or friends.

There are spring-time gardens and country homes to explore, a host of fascinating heritage attractions and museums, memorable days out for families, and opportunities to get active and close to nature. So why not experience those places that you’ve always been meaning to visit?

For something a little different, you could book a relaxing walk with Llamas in the scenic West Dorset countryside, take a guided tour through the historic Rex cinema in Wareham, or discover Dorset’s flourishing vineyards with a tour and tasting offer at the Furleigh Estate and the Langham Wine Estate.

The full list of participating attractions and offers can be found on the Visit Dorset website and were also published in Dorset County Council’s community newspaper ‘Your Dorset’. Simply choose your favourite offers, double check opening times, and bring a voucher with you to the participating attraction.

David Rawsthorn at Swanage Railway commented: “Swanage Railway is delighted to participate in the Visit Dorset Residents’ Week again this year. Word-of-mouth recommendations from the local community play an invaluable role in encouraging visitors throughout the year. This promotion is a fantastic way for Dorset residents to experience a day out with us, with the hope that they will champion our heritage railway service to visiting friends and family.”

Nick Thornley, on behalf of the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, said: “Our popular Residents’ Week event provides an unmissable opportunity for local residents to visit some of Dorset’s top visitor attractions. We are extremely fortunate to live in such a beautiful county and I would encourage residents to come out and enjoy the best of what Dorset has to offer and to tell friends and family when they visit throughout the year. I would like to thank all the attractions that are involved with our Visit Dorset Residents’ Week this year for once again making it such a successful event”.

All of the special offers covered by the vouchers will be valid during Residents’ Week only and are subject to availability.

For more information about Visit Dorset Residents’ Week, along with detailed information about accommodation, events, activities, heritage and culture around the county visit

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Categories: Dorset

New campaign asks residents to Tip Off the Dorset Waste Partnership

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:20

A new campaign has been launched asking Dorset residents for their help in the fight against fly-tipping.

The Dorset Waste Partnership’s (DWP) ‘Tip-Off’ campaign is aiming to inform the public about how they can report illegally dumped rubbish and prevent fly-tipping in the first place.

Like most counties, Dorset is subject to persistent fly-tipping and the number of incidences is continuing to increase, following a national trend. On top of the obvious damage to the environment, the clearance of this waste costs the DWP around £150,000 per year.

A series of roadshows is happening across the county where DWP officers are talking to local people about what they can do to help stop fly-tipping activity. The campaign will also be promoted in the local press, on radio and across social media.

The ‘Tip-Off’ campaign focusses on three key areas:-

  • Report itFly-tips can be reported to the DWP online and by phone. Where there is sufficient evidence, we will investigate all reported incidents and attempt to trace and prosecute anyone found to be fly-tipping.
  • Make sure you’re covered – Rubbish you’ve handed to someone else is still your legal responsibility until it is correctly disposed of. If someone – such as an unlicensed ‘man in a van’ found online – were to fly-tip that waste, you could end up paying a fine or being taken to court.
  • Love your HRC – Most fly-tips in Dorset consist of household waste that could have been taken to a household recycling centre (HRC, or ‘the tip’) and disposed of free of charge. There are 11 HRCs across Dorset, open daily, free to visit and do not charge for most items.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, punishable of fines of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrate’s Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court.

Councillor Tony Alford, chairman of the Dorset Waste Partnership’s Joint Committee, said:

“We have recently expanded our Enforcement Team and are investigating more fly-tipping incidents than ever before, but we need the help of Dorset residents to help us fight against this illegal activity. The ‘Tip-Off’ campaign will help inform others about what they can do.

The DWP need people to keep us informed when they spot fly-tips and people dumping rubbish. We want residents to check who they’re handing their waste to and to use their local household recycling centre whenever they can.

There are no excuses for fly-tipping. It’s unsightly and damaging to the environment. But we all have a part to play in stopping this anti-social behaviour and by working together I know we can make a positive impact.”

Dorset residents can find out more by visiting the Tip-Off webpage.

Fly-tipping incidents can be reported by filling out the fly-tipping e-form on the Dorset For You website , via e-mail or by calling Dorset Direct on 01305 221040.

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Categories: Dorset

Rise in Dorset children being offered first choice of primary school

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 11:41

Today (Monday 16 April), parents across the county are finding out which primary or first school their child will be going to in September 2018.

In Dorset, 95.5 per cent of parents are receiving the good news that their child has a place at their first choice of school. This is a 1.5 per cent increase on last year.

Just over 99 per cent gained one of their three preferences, again an increase on 2017. Those who applied online (over 95 per cent) can now see their outcome on the school admissions portal, whereas those who sent a paper application form will receive letters shortly.

Dorset County Council processed a total of 5206 primary and first school applications. This includes places for those starting school for the first time, transferring from infant to junior school and transferring from first to middle schools.

To accommodate the number of pupils for 2018/19, extra places have been created at Ferndown First School and Bovington Primary.

The number of children who weren’t offered a place at any of their preferred schools dropped by half this year, from 78 to 39. They will be offered alternative schools – any parents wanting to appeal against the decision can do so on school admissions page on the website.

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

“We’re very pleased that Dorset has seen more pupils than ever being offered their first choice of school. It is great news for children – and their parents and carers. The council is continuing to work with schools to ensure there are enough places in the areas we need them.

“I wish all Dorset children the best of luck as they prepare to take the next step in their education in September.”

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Categories: Dorset

Funding available for heating upgrades in Melcombe Regis

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:19

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has been successful in securing £1.7m in funding towards a ‘Heat Melcombe Regis’ initiative.

Melcombe Regis to benefit from grant funding for heating

The funding comes from National Grid’s ‘Warm Homes Fund’, and will go towards first time gas central heating installations in homes in the Melcombe Regis area.

Grants could be provided for up to 500 properties to receive an efficient, affordable, controllable gas heating system. Funds will be targeted at households struggling to meet their heating costs, or households with medical conditions worsened by living in cold homes.

Cllr Gill Taylor, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Briefholder for Housing, said:

“This funding is a great opportunity for residents to make significant heating improvements to their homes. Grants which cover the full cost of the works will be available for both home owners and to privately rented properties.

“With other funding also available to provide better insulation, smart controls and low energy lighting, households in the ward will be able to benefit from lower energy costs and improved living conditions.”

Melcombe Regis has been identified as a priority area for the council with areas within the ward continually reported as being amongst the more deprived in the country. Fuel poverty is reported to affect 21 per cent of households in the park district.

The Heat Melcombe Regis initiative will be managed by the borough council’s delivery partners, Aran Services Ltd and Happy Energy Solutions Limited.

Home owners and landlords are encouraged to contact Heat Melcombe Regis by calling 01305 550556, emailing or by completing the online form at

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Categories: Dorset

We need your thoughts about Dorchester’s Wednesday market!

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:52
Dorchester’s historic market

Charter market, Fairfield market, the Wednesday market… whatever you call the market, it has been an important aspect of town life for hundreds of years.


We have created a survey that asks your current opinions on the market, whether you shop there or not. If not, we want to understand why not! And if you do, what could make that experience even better for you? Please do tell us in the survey.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to fill in. It asks a range of questions, based on whether you currently use the market in some capacity, or if you don’t use it all.

Valuable insights

Cllr Mary Penfold, West Dorset District Council’s portfolio holder for Enabling, said: “This survey intends to glean insights in order to provide us with valuable data. This data will compliment commissioned reports to fully understand the current situation and future opportunities regarding our market.

Cllr Molly Rennie, Vice Chairman of the Markets panel, said: “This will be key to help us achieve our vision of a thriving and vibrant market here in Dorchester to rival any town market for quality, value and experience.”

Importance of Dorchester’s Wednesday market

We recognise the importance of the market to the success of the core retail area of the town and do not see Dorchester’s future without this valued local asset. What we are working hard to do is improve the fortunes of the market to ensure its prosperity. This survey will provide valuable insights for us to consider alongside commissioned reports to achieve that goal.

Dorchester market Thank you for taking the time to give us your opinions.


The post We need your thoughts about Dorchester’s Wednesday market! appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Nature’s prints

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 09:28

Visitors to a Dorset visitor centre are getting the chance to try a Japanese creative technique.

Hapa-zome or ‘leaf-dyeing’ is a creative process which uses nature’s pigments to create a unique print design onto fabric. Workshops are being held at Thorncombe Wood Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre for people to create these easy to make prints.

Budding artists will be shown the basic method of Hapa Zome and have time to forage for materials around the visitor centre and surrounding woodland to create their own unique prints to take away.

The workshops are being held between 10.30 am-12.30pm on:

  • 24 April
  • 29 May
  • 26 June
  • With a special dementia friendly session on 21 May (10.30am – 12 noon).

All ages are welcome. Hot drinks are included and donations of £4 are suggested. Booking is  essential email or call 01305 251228

The post Nature’s prints appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset