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First budget agreed for the new Dorset Council protects services for residents

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 21:05

Councillors have backed the first budget of the new Dorset Council at a meeting held on Wednesday 20 February. The new unitary authority, Dorset Council, will be formed on 1 April 2019 and will replace the six county, district and borough councils.

Shadow Dorset Council approved budget for the new Dorset Council

Members of Shadow Dorset Council voted in favour of the budget proposals for 2019/20, which provide a balanced budget for the year ahead.

The budget for Dorset Council ensures that services previously delivered by the borough, district and county councils will continue to be provided to residents unchanged. There is also significant additional funding for social care, waste collection and homelessness.

Balancing the budget

The new Dorset Council will have a balanced budget for 2019/20, despite facing significant financial pressures like many councils across the country. These pressures are due to:

  • growing demand for services such as social care for vulnerable elderly and disabled people, and support for children with special educational needs, as our population profile changes
  • rising costs due to inflation (for example, utility bills, contracts, etc)
  • reduced funding from central government

Officers and councillors from across the county, district and borough councils have been working together over the last year to bring the finances for six councils into one new organisation, with one budget of £295m.

The reorganisation of councils in Dorset has enabled significant savings to be made:

  • A reduction in the number of councillors from 204 to 82 delivers £400k in savings
  • A reduction in the number of senior officer roles, and where there is duplication and overlap across central services like finance, HR, IT and others achieves savings of over £5m
  • Additional savings have been made on insurance, audit fees and other activities where the council will only have to pay for one organisation rather than six.

These savings have been reinvested into council services for residents, protecting them from cuts.

Investing in services for residents

While providing a balanced budget, Dorset Council will also see an increase in funding to a number of important services. Headlines include:

  • An additional £5.8m for the care and education of children
  • An additional £900k to increase the number of foster carers
  • An additional £1.372m for rubbish collection, recycling and street cleaning services delivered by Dorset Waste Partnership
  • An additional £1.5m for social care services for vulnerable disabled and elderly adults
  • An additional £150k towards tackling homelessness.
Fees and Charges

Local services in different areas of Dorset such as car parks and leisure centres will continue to be provided unchanged, at the same prices.

However, services which are standardised and provided county-wide, such as Planning, Building Control, Local Searches and Licensing, will have aligned fees so that everyone pays the same amount for the same service.

Harmonising Council Tax Rates

From 1 April 2019, all residents in the new Dorset Council area will pay a standard council tax rate for Dorset Council. This is called Council Tax Harmonisation. This was agreed by councillors to be the most equitable approach as almost all council services are provided in a standard way for residents across the new council area. Previously, council tax rates varied across the five district and borough councils.

Council tax is charged on the household and is based on the value of the property. The amount of council tax residents pay depends on which property band their home is in and any discounts or exemptions that apply.

The average ‘Band D’ rate for Dorset Council will be £1629.75. This does not include charges for town or parish councils, Police or Fire & Rescue Services.

Protecting services

Councillor Tony Ferrari, Lead Member for Finance for the Shadow Dorset Council, said:

“Replacing six county, district and borough councils with one new unitary council has enabled us to make significant savings and efficiencies by removing duplication across the old councils. The money saved has been reinvested so Dorset Council will continue to deliver all services previously provided by the district, borough and county councils. And importantly we have also been able to invest significant extra money into social care services for the growing numbers of adults with dementia, children with special educational needs, and other vulnerable people in Dorset.

“This budget gets our new council off to an excellent start, providing protection for front-line services for residents. This investment would not have been possible without the reorganisation of local councils.”

The post First budget agreed for the new Dorset Council protects services for residents appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Christchurch ambulance crash car 'failed to stop for police'

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 19:25
Police said an unmarked car had tried to stop the car before it collided with the ambulance.
Categories: Dorset

Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan Submitted

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 17:25

Blandford Forum Town Council has submitted the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan to North Dorset District Council.

Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan

The plan, which has evolved from the first version submitted to the district council in 2016 – covers the Civil Parishes of Blandford Forum, Blandford St Mary and Bryanston.

It sets out a range of planning policies including those regarding design, green infrastructure, community facilities and an allocation for a mixed use development including a new primary school and housing. It has been submitted to North Dorset District Council for the council to arrange for an independent examiner to assess it.

The District Council is required to publicly consult on the plan. The plan, supporting documents, and response form can be accessed online at dorsetforyou.gov.uk/planning/north-dorset/planning-policy

You can also view the plan at the Blandford Forum Town Council’s offices on Church Lane, Blandford Forum, North Dorset District Council’s Offices at Nordon Lodge, 58 Salisbury Road, Blandford Forum and South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester during normal opening hours.

All comments must be received by 4pm on Friday 29 March 2018. These comments will then be sent to the examiner along with the plan. Depending on the examiner’s report, a referendum will be held for the residents of Blandford Forum, Blandford St Mary and Bryanston to decide whether the plan should be approved.

Cllr David Walsh, Portfolio Holder for Planning at North Dorset District Council, said:

“It is good news that the Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to the District Council. Its submission is the result of a huge amount of hard work and perseverance by all those involved in producing the plan.

“I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in the future of Blandford, Blandford St Mary or Bryanston to have their say on the submitted plan.”

The post Blandford + Neighbourhood Plan Submitted appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

New community enterprise development project in Dorset

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:57

An exciting two-year pilot project is getting underway in Dorset, launching a brand new way of meeting health and social care need in hard-to-reach areas of the county.

A partnership between Dorset County Council, Community Catalysts and other local key stakeholders, takes learning from Community Catalysts’ highly successful project in Somerset and aims to work with local people who want to develop small enterprises and ventures offering highly personal care and help at home to older people and others that need support in their area.

Helen Coombes, Transformation Programme Lead for adults and communities at Dorset County Council said:

“We have watched the achievements that Community Catalysts have made in many parts of the country and are excited to work with them to achieve similar success in Dorset. The project is about helping local people to help local people.

“We will work with local communities, primary care, voluntary sector and community groups to help people to support each other. We are starting in areas of North and West Dorset where we have the greatest difficulty matching people’s needs with available care, with the aim to bring this approach to life across the whole of Dorset.”      

Work will start in the Sherborne Rural and Three Valleys areas in West Dorset and Blackmore Vale and Winterbourne in North Dorset, where increasing the number and range of homecare and support options available to local people is seen as a real priority.

As well as helping people to set up new businesses, the partners will also advise existing community enterprises established in Dorset looking to diversify or extend what they offer.

The project will build on things that already work well, and value and nurture people, groups and organisations with strong local knowledge and expertise. It also aims to capture learning and actively use this to develop local system and culture change – working hard to improve the way that health and care works for everyone in the county.

The project in Dorset and a parallel initiative in Shropshire are supported by a partnership with technology company Bronze Labs and their Tribe web platform.

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Categories: Dorset

Jeremy Hardy: Comedian's funeral held in Dorset

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 15:01
The private ceremony was attended by Jeremy Hardy's "lifelong friend" Jeremy Corbyn.
Categories: Dorset

“Moor for Less” at Weymouth Harbour

Dorset Council News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 14:48
Annual mooring fees frozen

“Moor for Less” in Weymouth Harbour with annual mooring fees for leisure boats and jet-skis held for 2019 at 2018 prices.

Why is Weymouth Harbour the best value berthing along the South Coast?
  • Easy access for English Channel crossings
  • Prime location on Jurassic Coast with close proximity to famous sights such as Durdle Door
  • Historic harbour in the heart of the town
What is included in the fees? The harbour’s competitive berthing covers all the basics!
  • Gate security for annual berths
  • Shower facilities
  • Use of the slipway and drying grid
  • No annual financial tie-ins

In the recent Sailing Today Weymouth Harbour Gulls Eye article, berth-holder of 7 years and Harbour Consultative Group member Kathy Claydon says: “The marina is very sheltered from every wind direction and so secure throughout the winter. It is great to have all facilities provided and a very helpful team in the Harbour Office should you have any problems.”

Cllr Richard Kosior, briefholder for Tourism, Culture and Harbour said: “For those who are just visiting Weymouth, there are 2 loyalty schemes. Visits count towards a free short stay or overnight berth. We also have registered charity discounts.”

Winter storage afloat, jet-ski berthing and secure boat on trailer storage facility fees are also held for 2019. As a working port with landing quay, Weymouth can accommodate commercial boats, visiting tall ships and much more.

Available now, pick up a 2019 Harbour Guide from the Harbour Office or view online.

Full scale of charges and other information can be found on the harbour website.

The post “Moor for Less” at Weymouth Harbour appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Teenager found hanged at Bournemouth psychiatric unit

Dorset BBC News Feed - Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:54
Henry Vickery, 17, was found dead by staff in a bathroom on 12 February, a coroner heard.
Categories: Dorset

Are you interested in becoming a Parish Councillor in Christchurch?

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 16:01

Christchurch Borough Council is hosting an information session for anyone interested in serving as a Parish Councillor in Christchurch.

The event will take place on Tuesday 26 February between 5 – 7pm at the Civic Offices on Bridge Street in Christchurch. There will be a formal presentation at 6pm.

From April 2019 there will be four parishes in Christchurch. These include the existing Burton and Winkton Parish Council and Hurn Parish Council and two new Parishes, Christchurch Town Council and Highcliffe and Walkford Neighbourhood Council.

The event will provide vital information including; whether you can stand as a candidate, obtaining and completing nomination papers, campaigning and spending, information about polling day and the count and the role of a councillor.

Anyone who would like to learn more about becoming a parish councillor is welcome to attend. Nominations for parish councillors can be accepted from 27 March.

Local elections will take place for the new parish and local councillors on 2 May 2019.

The post Are you interested in becoming a Parish Councillor in Christchurch? appeared first on Dorset news.

Categories: Dorset

Fire-hit Lyme Regis cinema design plans redrawn

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 14:29
Owners say they are developing a fourth set of designs in a bid to rebuild the listed venue.
Categories: Dorset

Visit Dorset: Meet the tourism experts at industry event in Dorchester

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 12:15

A host of tourism specialists will be sharing their wealth of knowledge at an industry event taking place in Dorchester next month.

Visit Dorset’s Meet the Experts event will be held at Kingston Maurward on Thursday 7 March from 1.30pm to 4.15pm for members and potential future members of Visit Dorset from across the county to attend. It aims to help Visit Dorset’s members to raise their online profile and continue to thrive within the county over the coming years.

credit: James Loveridge

The Visit Dorset team will update on their successful Dorset marketing campaigns over the past 12 months, what’s new for 2019 and how businesses can get involved.

Ross Calladine of VisitEngland is set to speak at the event and will be providing an insight into ensuring  tourism businesses are accessible to all ages and abilities. He will also be talking about their Digital Toolkit, which aims to boost a businesses’ online presence, while helping them to build connections with existing and potential clients, through the basics of marketing, advertising and online booking.

Lyn Martin of Dorset House in Lyme Regis will be passing on her top tips on how to run a successful accommodation business, after she picked up the Winner of Winners Award at the 2018 Dorset Tourism Awards. Meanwhile, the Dorset Growth Hub team will be talking about business and financial support available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and Martin Curtis of Jurassic Coast Guides will be talking about his work with Visit Dorset at the event.

Nick Thornley on behalf of the Visit Dorset Partnership said: “We are delighted to be welcoming an array of speakers to our Meet the Experts event at Kingston Maurward. Experts from across the south of England will be joining us to share top tips with our members and those who may be looking to join us in 2019. On the back of our successful digital road shows, it is great to be able to host this special event for our members that work so hard to give the best possible welcome to visitors to the county.”

Gareth Allen from Soundview will be talking about the importance of great imagery to market a business to appeal to customers, as well as giving a virtual reality (VR) video demonstration for the event’s attendees to see. There will also be a host of stands from Dorset businesses who will be offering their expert advice on social media, digital marketing and business mentoring.

For more information about the event, search for Visit Dorset on Eventbrite.co.uk

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Categories: Dorset

Helpers needed to tidy Upton Wood

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:33

Volunteers are needed to help clear some space for woodland plants at Upton Wood on Sunday 24 February.

Dorset Countryside Volunteers will be there to meet you from 10am until 1pm. The time will be spent tidying the wildlife hedge and removing bramble to give the plants space to grow.

  • Meet at the Pony Drive entrance, off Poole Road, Upton
  • You don’t need to stay for the whole time – just stay for as long as you want
  • Please wear old clothes and boots (waterproof if you have them)
  • Tools and gloves are provided
  • Hot/cold drinks and biscuits provided for break times. Bring lunch if you want to stay longer

For further information contact Rachael Shefford at Purbeck District Council on 01929 557237 or visit www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/uptonwood

The aim of the regular event, organised by Purbeck District Council and Dorset Countryside Volunteers, is to make the wood a better place for people and wildlife. 

Upton Wood is found on the edge of Purbeck near to Upton Country Park. Inside the wood you will find a winding Woodland Trail, trickling streams and open glades with bluebells in the spring. 

There is wheelchair and medium sized mobility scooter access from Poole Road, Pony Drive, Upton Heath Estate or Gorse Lane. The main tracks are suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters. There are two benches within the wood



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Categories: Dorset

Refurbishment of The Centre in Ferndown is completed

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:47


East Dorset District Council is pleased to announce that the project to refurbish The Centre at Ferndown is now fully completed.

The Centre in Ferndown has undergone a major transformation with the creation of three large halls, updated kitchen areas and the addition of whole new first floor.

Cllr Julie Robinson, Ward Councillor for Ferndown, had the honour of removing the first brick back in June last year and said ‘The project is a terrific success. The refurbishment is amazing and it’s great news for local residents that The Centre was completed on time and within budget. Everyone will be able to benefit from the services The Centre will offer and the community spaces that will be available for hire.”

AKA Building Services Ltd were contracted to complete the refurbishment. Chris Akaidere, Business Development Manager of AKA Building Company, said: “The internal layout of the centre has been completely redesigned and we are so pleased and privileged to have played our role in this refurbishment.

“It isn’t often that a community centre gets such a high specification refurbishment and it is great to see local residents’ reaction to the transformation!”

The newly refurbished Centre was officially reopened by the Chairman of East Dorset District Council, Cllr Toni Coombs earlier this year.

The Centre is home to Hopscotch Nursery and will now host a variety of local services including Dorset Healthcare Consultations, Children’s Service family neighbourhood zone sessions, as well as providing four rooms that can be hired seven days per week.

To find out more about what The Centre now offers, please visit The Centre’s new website www.thecentreferndown.co.uk

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Categories: Dorset

Poole Bay oil drilling gets one-month extension

Dorset BBC News Feed - Tue, 02/19/2019 - 09:04
Corallian Energy is drilling more than 1,000m (3,280ft) below the seabed to explore oil reserves.
Categories: Dorset

South Western Railway: RMT suspends strikes after talks

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 19:26
The RMT said there had been a breakthrough in the row, following strikes over Christmas and New Year.
Categories: Dorset

Bestival drugs death: Louella Fletcher-Michie 'could have survived'

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 19:09
Louella Fletcher-Michie had become "exhausted" by the effects of the drug 2-CP, a court heard
Categories: Dorset

Beauty queen stalker Jonathan Deal given jail sentence

Dorset BBC News Feed - Mon, 02/18/2019 - 17:30
Police said he became "obsessed and fixated" with the former winner of Miss Dorset.
Categories: Dorset

Campaigners join hands to save hospital in Dorset

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sun, 02/17/2019 - 11:39
More than 200 people joined a protest calling for beds to return to Portland Hospital.
Categories: Dorset

Man, 70, dies after collision with lorry in Dorset

Dorset BBC News Feed - Sat, 02/16/2019 - 11:05
A woman in her 60s, travelling in the same car as the man, also has life threatening injuries.
Categories: Dorset

Private probation firms in Wales and south west in administration

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 15:22
Unions say they had warned about the "disastrous privatisation programme" four years ago.
Categories: Dorset

Man in court over Wimborne chemical substances find

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:28
Homes were evacuated and a bomb disposal team called in after suspicious items were found at a house.
Categories: Dorset