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Louella Michie Bestival death: Man charged with manslaughter

Dorset BBC News Feed - 3 hours 17 min ago
Louella Fletcher-Michie was found dead in woods on the edge of the festival site at Lulworth Castle.
Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth v Newcastle United

Dorset BBC News Feed - 6 hours 50 min ago
Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's Premier League game between Bournemouth and Newcastle United.
Categories: Dorset

'Predator' jailed for Bournemouth male sex assaults

Dorset BBC News Feed - 8 hours 27 min ago
He offered lifts on two separate occasions to men in their 20s on nights out in Bournemouth.
Categories: Dorset

Getting prepared for the big freeze

Dorset Council News Feed - 9 hours 51 min ago

Daytime and night time temperatures next week are set to plummet, and Dorset Highways is gearing up for a change in activities.

Due to minus temperatures predicted at night, any scheduled surfacing work may have to be cancelled and rescheduled – which will affect other upcoming scheduled work.

During the day, ground temperatures are going to stay low and may result in other normal daily activities slowing or coming to a halt.

Gangs will be directed onto winter weather duties – topping up salt bins and gritting community links as well as the main priority network.

Martin Hill, operations service manager, said: “We’ll be assessing each day as it comes to decide which activities we can carry out and how best to deploy our workers.

“If we get the low temperatures they’re predicting – down to minus seven at night, and not getting much above freezing during the day – it’s possible we’ll be gritting during the day and at night. And the community link roads may be added to our routes.

“We have to get the grit on the road before the surface freezes and the salt is activated by vehicles driving over it. If you find yourself behind one of our trucks, please be patient.

“The grit will make roads appear wet, as it stops any moisture on the ground and in the air from freezing. The downside is that the roads will look dirty, and cars will get dirty, from this.”

Dorset highways currently has 7,500 tonnes of salt in stock and will be using two driving crews each week – the rostered crew to carry out the first grit run, and the ‘ghost’ crew to pick up the second grit run.

Drivers should drive to the conditions – reducing their speed and increasing their stopping distance – check that tyres, brakes and lights are in good working order and remember, even if gritters have been out, roads can still be slippy.

To stay up to date with gritting runs and postponed works follow @TravelDorset

The post Getting prepared for the big freeze appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Borough council balances budget and announces 2% council tax rise

Dorset Council News Feed - 11 hours 37 min ago

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council met on Thursday (22 February) to agree the council’s budget for the next year.

The budget for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council has been set

Councillors have agreed Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s budget for the next year.

The council is forecasting a balanced budget for 2018/19, despite continuing financial challenges. Since 2015, the government grant for the council has reduced each year and there will be no government support grant in 2018/19.

For the coming financial year, the council is aiming to balance its budget against savings of £945,000.

Council tax rise

To do this, the council has agreed a 2% council tax rise a year. For the national average Band D property this works out as an increase of £5.96 a year.

For the Weymouth and Portland average, which is a Band B property, that works out as an increase of £4.64 a year, bringing the total to £234.17.

The budget has been set based on the council’s aims to protect services and deliver further efficiencies.

A balanced budget will also leave the council in a position of strength leading into the potential for a new unitary council to be set up in 2019.

Ambitious plans

Councillor Jeff Cant, Leader of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and briefholder for assets and finance, said:

“We’re looking forwards to a year in which we continue to deliver on our ambitious regeneration plans as we look at major projects to improve our borough.

“We will continue as we have done in 2017/18 to seek to free up funds by rigorously monitoring balances and reserves to enable the maximum investment into the community and the facilities for the borough.

“Our sound financial management will enable us to get the potential new Weymouth Town Council off to a good start as well as responding to the development aspirations of Portland Town Council. It will also put us in a good position to be clearly heard by the unitary council, if it is agreed to be set up in 2019.

“Our savings for this year to come will be achieved through working more efficiently and the savings made through our internal transformation programme. We have also agreed a modest rise in council tax. This is vital for us to protect local services and carry out our ambitious plans to improve the borough.

“My thanks to the tremendous efforts and commitment of our staff and the to the dedication of my council colleagues in what has been a very busy year. We have to keep up pace right up until the new unitary council takes over.”

The post Borough council balances budget and announces 2% council tax rise appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

The Peninsula Redevelopment – recap and next steps

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:23

The redevelopment of the Weymouth Peninsula has been a hot topic for a number of years. The over-arching aim of the project is to make Weymouth a year-round destination for both residents and tourists. Read on for a quick recap and to find out what the next steps involve.


 What is the Peninsula Redevelopment?
The Peninsula Redevelopment aims to create a new, year-round destination, including upgraded tourism and leisure facilities, new public spaces and family-orientated commercial uses for both residents and tourists, as well as undertaking harbour improvements and repairs. The project is part of the Weymouth Masterplan.

What is the Weymouth Masterplan?
The Masterplan sets out an ambitious proposal to transform Weymouth Town Centre into a vibrant and prosperous community. It involves the regeneration of five key areas of Weymouth town centre, resulting in new homes, jobs and top quality cultural and leisure facilities.

 What’s happened so far?
A series of events were held in summer and autumn 2014, asking the public what they liked about Weymouth and what they would like to change. This was followed up with workshops that looked forward to how Weymouth could develop over the next five years, and conversations took place with businesses and landowners.

Initial proposals to build flats or residential housing on the Peninsula site have since been deemed non-viable – one reason being that parts of the Peninsula fall within a flood zone.

What’s being proposed for the Peninsula?
In September last year, funds were allocated to enable the scheme to be progressed to outline planning stage and a leisure-led redevelopment scheme is currently being developed. We are in the initial phases of drawing up an outline for the site based on previous consultation with the public and market appraisals. An outline planning application will be submitted in the spring.

The scheme will aim to provide additional tourism, harbour and leisure facilities along with improved pedestrian walkways.

The council has already approved £250,000 for a major external makeover of the iconic Pavilion Theatre which will remain situated at the gateway of the Peninsula. The Merlin Tower will retain its current position and work and repairs will also take place on a section of the Harbour Walls (known as Wall D).

 What’s happening now?
Outline plans are being developed and we are in pre-application discussions with statutory consultees as part of the Planning process. We are doing soft market testing and ensuring that any proposed scheme can be financed and is viable. A Harbour Revision Order is being drafted to modernise and consolidate harbour legislation and improve our ability to manage the harbour.

What happens next?
The Peninsula redevelopment is taking place on quite a large site, so it will be conducted in Phases. Upcoming milestones for the project include:

  • Further financial modelling and development of funding options for the project.
  • 2x public engagement events are set to take place in March 2017. The first will take place on Wednesday 14 March (5-8pm) and the second will take place on Thursday 15 March (11-2pm).
  • Progressing the scheme design and securing outline planning consent.
  • Financial appraisal of the harbour investment proposals from the Fisher report.
  • Secure specialist legal advice and professional services to further support the development of the scheme
  • Formal Marketing of initial elements to secure pre-let and/or presales of initial units.
  • Wall D design solutions are expected to take place in the Spring and the target for the repair work is Autumn 2018.

How can I stay updated?
We will continue to post key updates and Public Engagement Event information on the Newsroom, in the resident e-newsletter and on the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Twitter account.

The post The Peninsula Redevelopment – recap and next steps appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Louella Michie Bestival death: Man re-arrested

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:57
Louella Michie, 25, was found dead in woods on the edge of the festival site at Lulworth Castle.
Categories: Dorset

University lecturers begin strike in pension dispute

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 15:48
Lecturers at 64 universities walk out over changes they say could halve their retirement income.
Categories: Dorset

Care home pole dancing: Christchurch residents promised more

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 15:25
Residents asked for "modern entertainment" but councillors called pole dancing "inappropriate".
Categories: Dorset

Sky lantern ban

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 13:23

A ban on sky lanterns and helium balloons has been introduced by local councils.

 Livestock and wildlife can be harmed by sky lanterns

The move follows concerns that lanterns and balloons can harm animals and cause damage to property.

After listening to concerns, councillors at North Dorset District Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council all voted to ban the release of balloons and lanterns from council property.

Cllr Michael Roake, North Dorset District Council Environment Portfolio Holder, said: “I welcome this ban as releasing lit balloons and lanterns can cause a serious hazard to wildlife and livestock. People sometimes do not realise the trouble that they can cause, please don’t release them.”

“Hazard to wildlife”

Cllr John Russell, West Dorset District Council’s Environmental Protection and Assets Portfolio Holder, said: “This sends out a clear message that releasing lit lanterns or balloons can cause serious problems, both to property, with the risk of fire, and to animals, who may become entangled in or eat the debris.”

Cllr Ray Nowak, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Environment and Sustainability Brief Holder, said: “It is good news that sky lanterns and balloons have been banned from council property as they can cause serious harm.”

There is also a risk that the lanterns can cause false callouts to the emergency services, as people sometimes mistake them for flares and contact the coastguard.

The rules will apply to all council-owned land and leased premises. The ban will be reviewed in two years.

The post Sky lantern ban appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Fake signed football memorabilia business found guilty in £1 million fraud

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:43

On Friday 16 February, David William Rennie (Aged 46, of Banbury, Oxford), was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court. This followed a four day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court in January, when Rennie was found guilty of running a fraudulent business, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, which traded as FA Premier Signings.

Liverpool FC football shirt – claimed to be signed by squad players

Mrs Clare Louise Rennie (Aged 45), David’s wife who worked in the business with him, previously pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 8 January 2018 to identical charges, under the Fraud Act 2006 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The court heard that in 2002 Mr Rennie set up an on-line football memorabilia business, which he ran from his home in Banbury, specialising in selling signed football shirts, balls and boots from some of the world’s most famous footballers including Cristiano Rinaldo, Leo Messi, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. He also claimed to be able to source squad signed shirts and balls from top football clubs.

In a nine-year period between 2007 and 2016, FA Premier Signings sold over 4500 pieces of signed football memorabilia, including 1500 squad signed items. Customers from all over the world purchased these items which netted Mr Rennie over £1 million. This was spent on leading a lavish lifestyle including luxury cars and lengthy holidays to Florida each year for his family.

Acting on a complaint, Dorset County Council Trading Standards Service made a test purchase from FA Premier Signings of a signed Wayne Rooney Manchester United shirt costing £150. This was later shown to a number of experts in sporting memorabilia who all concluded that the signature was a fake. When officers raided the home of Mr Rennie in January 2016, they found a significant number of unsigned football shirts stored in an office. When compared with signed shirts advertised on the FA Premier Signings web site a large number of them matched the advertised shirts. Officers believed that when a customer placed an order Mr Rennie would sign the shirt, make a certificate of authenticity and send it out. The signatures that appeared on the FA Premier Signings ‘certificates of authenticity’ were also fake. Officers found a self-inking stamp in the office in a fictitious name that was used to sign each certificate.

Sentencing, his honour judge Peter Crabtree told Rennie:

“You have brought this upon yourself. This was a sophisticated and long-standing fraud.”

Commenting on the sentence, Neil Martin, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Dorset County Council said:

“This sends a very clear message to those dealing in fake memorabilia. Mr Rennie will spend a considerable amount of time in prison. His actions have left many victims with worthless signed items which they paid substantial sums of money for.

“As well as defrauding his victims, he also substantially affected sales for legitimate memorabilia dealers. We are very grateful for a number of these dealers such as A1 Sporting Speakers, Icons and Garry King from the Autograph Fair Trade Association Ltd (AFTAL) for their assistance in this investigation.

“Our advice to anyone looking to purchase football memorabilia would be to try and insist on a photograph of the players signing the item. Many items are supplied with a certificate of authenticity, but at this case has shown, these are easy to forge and do not prove the item is genuine.

“If anyone suspects they have been sold or offered fake items, they should initially contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.

Proceedings are now taking place to recover Mr Rennie’s assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mrs Rennie’s sentencing was adjourned until 27 February.

The post Fake signed football memorabilia business found guilty in £1 million fraud appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Moors Valley’s Katie Davies nominated for Tourism Superstar Award

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:39

We are excited to announce that Moors Valley Country Park and Forest’s Communications Ranger, Katie Davies, has been nominated for the 2018 Tourism Superstar award.

The annual Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry. It is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

Run by VisitEngland in conjunction with the Daily Mirror, the campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.

Improving access and inclusivity throughout the park

Katie is passionate about all things Moors Valley and is committed to developing and promoting the park’s strong environmental credentials, raising awareness and educating people of all ages and abilities and improving access and inclusivity throughout the park.

Katie said, “Being nominated for this award means so much to me. To be shortlisted to one of only ten national finalists is an absolute honour and I am so grateful to anyone who has voted for me. I’ve been truly blown away by the support I have received from Moors Valley visitors and especially the Moors Valley parkrun community.

I’m thrilled to represent Moors Valley in our 30th anniversary year. I work with a fantastic team of Rangers who are all equally deserving of this award.  In 14 years of working at Moors Valley I have witnessed a constant supply of dedication, enthusiasm and hard work from a team of what we like to call ‘Moors Valley people’!”

Vote for Katie

Please show your support for Katie, and the whole team at Moors Valley, by taking a few seconds to cast your vote for her online in this national award! Voting closes on March 20 with the winner announced on March 24.

We wish Katie the best of luck, and congratulate her on the hard work that has won her this nomination.

The post Moors Valley’s Katie Davies nominated for Tourism Superstar Award appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Husband in court charged with Cuba catamaran murder

Dorset BBC News Feed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 10:16
Lewis Bennett is accused of intentionally capsizing the boat in Cuba after killing his wife.
Categories: Dorset

Reading Women 4-0 Bristol City Women

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 21:47
Fara Williams scores twice as Reading end a run of four WSL 1 games without a win by thrashing Bristol City.
Categories: Dorset

Purbeck District Council agrees council tax for 2018/19

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:35

 There will be an increase of just over 10 pence per week in Purbeck District Council’s share of the Council Tax for a Band D household. 

The increase means a Band D household will pay £187.86 for the District Council’s portion (around 10%) of the annual council tax bill.

The other 90% is made up of charges for: Dorset County Council; the Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner; Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority; plus any town or parish charge (if applicable).

Proposing the rise, Council Leader, Councillor Gary Suttle, said: “With local government reorganisation in the background and in the knowledge this may be the last budget Purbeck District Council sets, this has been a difficult process.

“However, we must ensure we set a budget that gives financial stability as if the Council were continuing.

“With prudent financial management and by working efficiently, the Council has been able to set this year’s budget. This small rise will enable it to maintain services to the residents of Purbeck.”

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the increase.

The 2018/19 budget was prepared against a backdrop of continued reductions in government funding, coupled with uncertainties around the structure of local government in Dorset and the future of Purbeck District Council.

In balancing the budget, the Council met its savings target of £230,000 for 2018/19 with minimal impact on front line services.

Since austerity measures were introduced in 2008, Purbeck District Council’s funding from central government has been cut year-on-year, including its Revenue Support Grant, which has reduced to zero in 2018/19.

The post Purbeck District Council agrees council tax for 2018/19 appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Community pulls together

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:48

A community-run charity in the heart of Weymouth is helping local residents in a variety of ways.

SPARK in Southill was started in 2011 by two local mums, who wanted to do something about the state of the children’s play area. Fast forward to today and SPARK has registered charity status, they manage the play park, the wellbeing centre, the community bus. There’s also an environmental group looking at the green spaces and plans for a youth centre too.

Pete Barrow, Chairman of SPARK, said:

“Running SPARK is hard work, but it is rewarding and we make a real difference. We’ve had to learn about all sorts of policy things like finance, health and safety which is difficult in an organisation that doesn’t have accountancy or HR departments.

“We have a core of 15-20 people who regularly help with our work. And we’ve successfully received grants to improve the wellbeing centre and to start the community bus which helps the operational running of the charity.”

Dorset County Council granted £2,000 to SPARK to help start the community bus. The charity matched this funding and worked with the transport operator P&D contracts to get a regular, service for residents.

Cllr David Harris, local county councillor, said:

“We are lucky that a local resident, who has experience at running contract transport, was willing to organise this for Southill. The best thing about this is the flexibility. Depending on the needs of customers they can provide a bus or car for the journey.

“There are a variety of people who use this service from those who need help getting about, people who don’t have access to a car, to those who like to walk to town and get a lift back.”

The service offers three scheduled return journeys every weekday and users of the service need to book and arrange where to be dropped off. This can be the doctors, a supermarket, Weymouth hospital or the town centre. Return journey drop-off points are flexible too.

View more information about SPARK’s work 

Find out more about setting up community transport for your community 

The post Community pulls together appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Highcliffe cliff path rebuild to go ahead

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 08:17
Plans to rebuild the beach path were initially scrapped after it was estimated it could cost up to £1.25m.
Categories: Dorset

Partially paralysed man blinks to communicate

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:52
Simon Field might not be able to move but he can still communicate, by blinking.
Categories: Dorset

Dorset coin thief accused of murdering wife on voyage

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 20:06
The FBI believes Lewis Bennett "knowingly and unlawfully killed" Isabella Hellmann, the mother of his child.
Categories: Dorset

Members vote to proceed with rebuild of zig-zag path

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 20:01

Members of Christchurch Borough Council have voted to rebuild the Highcliffe Castle zig-zag path.

Following the recommendation of the Highcliffe Zig-Zag Path Task and Finish Group that additional funds be agreed for the reconstruction of the path, councillors voted unanimously in favour.

The path, which was closed in March 2017 due to safety concerns, requires a significant rebuild in order to make it safe for use again. Having originally voted not to proceed with the rebuilding of the path, members reviewed the decision and commissioned consulting engineers, AECOM, to refine their design and specification of the work.

The Full Council decision means that additional funding of £239,500 will be set aside to allow the path to be rebuilt. The total budget allocated is now £884,500 rather than the original estimate of £1,250,000. This amount includes significant contingencies given the nature of the work involved at the cliff.

The Coastal Communities Fund is contributing £279,125 to the project through the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio.

Cllr Vicki Hallam, Chair of the Task and Finish Group, Christchurch Borough Council, said: “I am pleased that members have given the go ahead for the rebuild of the zig-zag path. We will now look to tender the work as soon as possible to test that the estimates are robust. Whilst we are keen to see the path reopened as soon as possible it would not be practical to carry out the work over the busy Summer months so work is planned to commence in the Autumn of this year with completion before Easter 2019.

“Members would like to thanks residents, officers and AECOM for working together to help us retain this popular path.”

The post Members vote to proceed with rebuild of zig-zag path appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset