‘Pop-up’ walking and cycling routes coming to Dorset

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 17:00

Dorset residents are being asked to highlight congested walking and cycling routes to help shape ‘pop-up’ travel infrastructure in the Dorset Council area.

With the increased demand for walking and cycling – as well as capacity issues on public transport – during social distancing measures, a £225m emergency active travel fund has been launched by the Government to support temporary improvements to sustainable transport during the pandemic.

Dorset Council has been awarded £577k and is now considering what measures could be taken to help residents with social distancing while travelling around towns, and in preparation for the restart after lockdown. Temporary solutions could include:

  • widening footways, especially on high streets, to ensure that those walking and queuing for essential goods can keep apart from each other
  • installing measures to restrict through-traffic from some streets to ensure that physical distancing can occur, especially on access routes to local amenities
  • installing temporary cycle lanes separated from traffic, particularly on routes where cycle use is high

To help plan and focus areas of work, the council is asking residents to make suggestions using an online map to highlight areas of concern and see what issues have already been raised. All suggestions will be examined but, due to funding limitations, not all submitted ideas can be progressed.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We’re committed to helping residents move safely around towns and villages during social distancing, and we recognise this will get more difficult as further restrictions are lifted.

“This is a real opportunity for transformative change in how we make short journeys and we want to get it right – enabling our residents to continue their new-found walking and cycling habits for work and leisure.

“We are already engaging with parish and town councils to understand where the immediate crowding issues are that could negate social distancing efforts on high streets, but we need help from all parts of our communities to get a clear picture of concerns and priorities across the wider Dorset Council area.”

Submit your suggestion online by end of July.

Suggestions will continually be analysed by Dorset Highways as they are submitted and prioritised by their benefit to walking, cycling and wheelchair users, with likely impacts on parking, access and delivery services taken into consideration before final schemes are submitted for funding approval.

Of the £577k awarded, £115k is for the short-term immediate measures needed to support social distancing and ensure safer town centres when shops reopen from 15 June, where town councils have played a significant role in identifying priorities.

A further £462k is available for medium-term or permanent measures, with residents being asked to highlight concerns of pavement and cycleway pinch points.

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Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Volunteers to help with Bournemouth beach patrols

BBC Dorset News Feed - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 15:48
Tens of thousands of people have flocked to the Dorset coast since lockdown restrictions were eased.
Categories: Dorset

Work on Weymouth Harbour wall has been completed

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 13:51

Work on the harbour wall that was suspended due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been completed with the addition of safety handrails.

The Dorset Council scheme to strengthen the harbour wall started in September and was largely complete by the end of January. Contractors Knights Brown had planned to return and install the handrail in March, but the pandemic caused disruption to the industry. The decision was taken to temporarily close a number of their construction sites. Once the situation improved the work was scheduled to restart as a priority.

Knights Brown were pleased to return and complete the harbour wall section to the rear of the guesthouses in the Devonshire Building terrace, using revised methods of work to adhere to Covid-19 government guidelines on social distancing and with enhanced hygiene measures in place.

The project began in 2016 with the council and consultants Ramboll UK engineering the design to reduce the forecasted cost from £3m to £1.2m. The scheme delivered a strengthening and repair solution that required less disruptive construction works, and still provided a serviceable life of 50 years.

The wall strengthening work included vibrating and hammering in 76 metres of sheet piles over an 8-week period, close to a number of Listed Buildings in use as guest houses. Although the work has been disruptive, the project has been complimented by some of those closest to the works.

Steve Hoskins of A2A Consulting, representing the leaseholder business group said – “The new wall sections and railings look great and the removal of the old kiosk has enhanced the area. As expected, there was quite an impact on some nearby businesses and homes during the works but the contractors have done a good job, sometimes in difficult weather. The Dorset Council Engineering Projects team and their agents, Symonds & Sampson have communicated well leading up to and during the project and they responded quickly to issues as we raised them”

The work included demolition of the red brick kiosk and widening of the landing stage, making a more open and accessible area next to the newly installed ferry steps, replacing the former steps which were determined to be unsafe.

Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment,  said – “This is one of the first stages for the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project. The aim is to rejuvenate this currently underused area. The location means that we are working in close proximity to people’s homes and businesses, and as such are keen to work closely with them to reduce the inconvenience as much as possible.

Find out more about the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project

The project team would like to thank the local community and harbour users for contributing to the project and for being patient whilst the works were being undertaken.

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Categories: Dorset

Volunteer ‘befrienders’ enhance support for Dorset’s shielded and vulnerable residents

Dorset Council News Feed - Thu, 06/04/2020 - 12:22

Dorset Council and key partners in the community response to COVID-19 are working to make sure ‘shielding’ and vulnerable residents can get help to continue to live independently in their homes.   

The council has asked volunteer ‘befrienders’ who are supporting those most at risk from coronavirus to help spot the signs that a person may have become more frail or prone to falls because of their reduced ability to exercise and keep active while staying at home.  

The volunteers, working on behalf of Age UK North, South & West Dorset, are being asked to listen out for key words and phrases which describe the feelings of the person they help, such as:   

  •  ‘frail’   
  • ‘weaker’   
  • ‘less balanced’  
  • ‘likely to fall’   

as these indicate the person will benefit from help to get more active.  

They will also ask the person they befriend:  

  • Has there been any change to your ability to get about as usual since you have been self-isolating?   
  • Has there been any change to your ability to complete your usual activities, such as leisure activities or housework?   

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the befriender can ask the vulnerable person if they consent to being referred to the reablement services on offer from the council’s care provider Tricuro.    

There is no charge for this service and a wide variety of support is on offer. From information and guidance, to practical support such as equipment to improve independence and increase confidence at home.  

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said:  

“The befrienders who have volunteered to help residents through COVID-19 are brilliant and I can’t thank them enough for all they are doing.    

“We are keen to support them, and the people they are helping, to the very best of our abilities. By referring people to our reablement services, the befrienders are helping Dorset’s vulnerable residents keep as active as possible and making it more likely they can continue to live independently in their own homes.”  

Dave Thorp, CEO of Age UK North, South & West Dorset (NSWD) said:   

“Age UK NSWD are pleased to be able to offer this service to those people our staff and volunteers we are already making a friendly call to many people on a regular basis.  

“We have seen the amount of isolated and vulnerable older people rise due to lockdown and shielding. We are currently in contact with hundreds of people every week.    

“It is the aim of Age UK NSWD to work in partnership with other agencies to ensure older people can continue to live independently and safely for as long as they are able and want to do so.” 

Volunteers still needed  

You can still join our army of volunteers who are supporting vulnerable residents at this time. If you have an up-to-date DBS check and would like to offer your support, you can register online.   

Do you need help?   

If you don’t have family, friends or a support network that can help you get the things you need at this time, you can call 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week to get help and advice.   

Alternatively, you can email  

Find more  information about the community response to COVID-19.   

More news about volunteer ‘befrienders’ and the community response to COVID-19  

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Categories: Dorset

Bestival death: Ceon Broughton appeals against conviction

BBC Dorset News Feed - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 15:15
Ceon Broughton is trying to have his conviction overturned for killing Louella Fletcher-Michie.
Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth rape victim 'thought she would die'

BBC Dorset News Feed - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 14:17
A woman was raped, suffocated and repeatedly hit as she walked to work, a court hears.
Categories: Dorset

Bournemouth flats plan gets go-ahead for ex-cinema site

BBC Dorset News Feed - Wed, 06/03/2020 - 07:15
The Odeon in Westover Road, Bournemouth, screened its last film in 2017 after 88 years at the site.
Categories: Dorset

Swanage update – imprinting works

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:48

Night work in Swanage is transforming the new wider pavements.

As part of the town centre enhancements, over the next two weeks Rhino Asphalt Solutions Ltd are imprinting the pavements along Institute Road – working from 6pm into the early hours each weekday.

The material is laid at 200 degrees so that it can be spread, levelled and imprinted with the chosen pattern before setting into place, and is best done at night to avoid potential incidents with unwary pedestrians.

Using this imprinting technique – new to the Dorset Council area – results in easier maintenance and reduced trip hazards compared to laying traditional slabs while keeping the look and feel of the town’s environment.

It is hoped that the imprinting of pavements will be finished by 15 June, weather permitting, so they can be fully open in time for shops returning to business. Imprinting of the crossing points over the road and on the islands is scheduled to finish by 17 June.

Spreading the super-hot material & imprinting gets underway The overall look of the work starting to take shape About the project

The Institute Road scheme aims to improve pedestrian safety and enhance the street scene.

By widening pavements, raising them to full height and removing the loading bay, the work will eradicate long-running safety concerns of heavy vehicles mounting busy pavements to pass parked vehicles.

Work has also improved the drainage system of the pavements.

The project is costing around £450,000 and is being funded by Dorset Council, Swanage Town Council and Section 106 money from developers.

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Categories: Dorset

Update on schools and childcare

Dorset Council News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:41

Schools and childcare providers across Dorset are now welcoming back more children.

Update on welcoming more Dorset children into school and childcare

Dorset Council has been working with schools and early years providers to help them welcome back more pupils from Reception, Year One, Year Six as well as three and four-year-olds. Key workers’ children and vulnerable pupils who are not in these year groups can still attend childcare and school.

Wider opening, which began this week, depends on arrangements at individual schools and childcare settings. This week around 75 per cent of Dorset schools are welcoming more pupils into Reception and Year One and around 50 per cent are welcoming more students into Year 6. This will increase over time as some schools are opening in a phased way starting with younger pupils.

Secondary and upper schools in Dorset are also working on plans to hold some face-to-face sessions for Year 10 and Year 12 from 15 June. Schools are contacting parents and carers to discuss arrangements.

Dorset schools and childcare settings have carried out risk assessments and are following guidance from Dorset Council and the Department for Education. Parents and carers can choose whether to send their children to school.

Arrangements will vary, as what is needed in a small primary will be very different from a large secondary or upper school. Classes will potentially be very different, as measures have been put in place to help keep children and staff as safe as possible.

Special Schools are working with families individually to agree when it is safe for each pupil to return to school. Children and young people who are shielding because they are considered clinically vulnerable should continue to shield and should not return to school.

Childcare providers, such as preschools, nurseries and registered childminders, may need to limit the number of children they can take. Arrangements will vary as what is needed in a childminder’s home will be very different to a larger nursery or preschool. Some providers may stay closed if they cannot open safely. If your usual provider cannot look after your child, you can search for open childcare providers on our Family Information Directory.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: “I would like to thank our schools and childcare providers for the work they have done to welcome back more children. I would also like to recognise their service during the pandemic, as schools and many childcare providers have been open throughout for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.”

School and childcare providers will keep parents and carers informed of the latest arrangements. Here is the latest government guidance for parents and carers.

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Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Learning Welsh online in lockdown surprisingly popular

BBC Dorset News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:08
Educators report thousands are learning the language online since the coronavirus pandemic started.
Categories: Dorset

Jurassic Coast beach crowds 'showed shocking disregard for area'

BBC Dorset News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 14:25
One volunteer says people shouted at her "when I asked them nicely to take their litter with them".
Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Seahorses return to Dorset coast amid lockdown

BBC Dorset News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:53
The Seahorse Trust said the increase off the Dorset coast is due to less people, boats and anchors.
Categories: Dorset

NHS test & trace: Does contact tracing stop coronavirus?

BBC Dorset News Feed - Tue, 06/02/2020 - 00:03
Wales is the latest part of the UK to launch a tracing system, but how do they work?
Categories: Dorset

Durdle Door tombstone rescuer: 'Miracle' jumpers survived

BBC Dorset News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 19:53
Footage of the moments before a man jumped off Dorset's Durdle Door arch is released.
Categories: Dorset

Our foster family tell all about homeschooling…

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:51

Groundhog day and TV appearances? Latest blog by Amanda one of our brilliant foster carers.

Amanda, our brilliant Foster Carer tells all about life in lockdown

Anyone feel like we are stuck in the movie ‘groundhog day’?

Apart from the fact I’m not trying to do lots of dangerous things to get out of the loop and I’m no where as perfectly coiffured as Andy McDowell. I get up, home school, explain to the littlies why school isn’t happening and why they can’t go to Fred’s house. I then float into the monotonous routine of suggesting  that washing hands is a thing that must happen and then eat and sleep.

Occasionally the loop gets broken with an exciting trip to Asda, where I get enough food to sink a battle ship.

Although we’ve been in lockdown, there are good bits. I get to have dinner with all my children at once instead of being dumped for the newest friend or movie and have rediscovered the fun of going to the chippie. A trip that usually happens because I’m having a lazy mummy day.

In between all this I did get to appear on TV. No not because I lost it and ran naked across the beach shouting ‘take my kids back teachers, I can’t cope’, but because a very pretty TV bloke wanted to talk to me about fostering. I did briefly think that they were going to whisk me away to the studio by limo, but then I remembered lockdown.

Instead of a plush studio, I barricaded myself in my bedroom and crossed my fingers that the kids wouldn’t come in. I then fiddled around on Skype to see if it had soft lighting and that tool that touches up your wrinkles. No it doesn’t !! Thank goodness ITV cut out my messy bed and underwear strewn across the floor.

Two radio interviews followed this, but thankfully no visuals for that.

I’d like to say I’ve discovered the joy of healthy living, redecorated my home and found a Coronavirus vaccine in my spare time, but I’m tired, getting fed of teaching and can’t wait to buy a not needed, won’t wear because it won’t fit me, item of clothing in Primark.

Hopefully all my foster care colleagues are still hanging in there. Stay sane and glare at all the people who utter ‘Keep smiling.’


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Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Government urged to change advice to 'stay local'

BBC Dorset News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:43
Coastal areas have been overrun by tourists since travel limits were lifted, the government is told.
Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: What powers do the police have?

BBC Dorset News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 16:42
Police across the UK now have wide-ranging powers to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Categories: Dorset

Plea to the Government: tell people to stay local

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 14:31

Statement from the Leader of Dorset Council, Cllr Spencer Flower:

Over the weekend we have seen some extremely disappointing behaviour from visitors to Dorset’s beaches. I am acutely aware of how worried and upset many Dorset residents feel about the current situation, particularly when so many of them complied fully with lockdown guidance and when the Dorset Council area had one of the lowest COVID19 infection rates in the country.

The incidents at Durdle Door on Saturday placed a huge strain on our emergency services. There have also been issues in other areas over the weekend with excessive numbers of visitors and people therefore not able to observe social distancing. We’ve seen littering, people urinating and defecating in public, people camping overnight (which is not permitted under current government COVID19 guidelines) and people having dangerous campfires and BBQs – despite extensive warnings against this from all local agencies. Council employees have been abused by the members of the public as they tried to manage the traffic.

My overriding priority throughout the COVID19 outbreak has been the safety and wellbeing of Dorset residents and all decision making has been based on this. We at Dorset Council have done everything we can within the limited powers we have to prepare for and respond to the situation. For several weeks now we’ve been sending out a strong message that potential visitors should ‘think twice’ about coming to Dorset. This ‘Think Twice’ message has been used widely across the country. We’ve managed the opening of car parks and public toilets very carefully in order to cope with demand and manage safety issues, without inadvertently giving out a signal that Dorset is ‘open for business’.

However, since the government announced on Sunday 10 May that lockdown was to be gradually eased and that people can “travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance”, both we and Dorset Police have had very limited powers of enforcement. For example, since the recent guidance came into effect, the Police are no longer been able to challenge road users as to whether their journeys are essential.

All public services are very stretched due to weeks of responding to the COVID19 outbreak and other major incidents such as the wildfire at Wareham Forest.

Today I have written to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and to all Dorset MPs on this issue. My plea to the government is to review the unrestricted travel guidelines currently in place and require  people instead to “stay local”. The current guidelines have a disproportionately negative effect on areas like ours which are popular with visitors but do not have the infrastructure to cope right now. I am worried that we will see a second wave of infection here in Dorset as a result of the high number of visitors to the area over recent days. I’m asking the government to act now to save the lives of Dorset residents. Please help us to help them by issuing revised guidance telling people to stay local for the time being

View the letter

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Categories: Dorset

Dorset Council publishes key decisions made during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Dorset Council News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 13:13

A list of decisions made by Dorset Council as part of its COVID-19 emergency response has been published for review.

The council’s Resources Scrutiny committee will consider the decisions on Tuesday 2 June. They were made by senior officers and portfolio holders using delegated powers as outlined in the council’s constitution.

The use of delegated powers is required during crisis situations such as the COVID-19 outbreak so that critical decisions can be made quickly to respond to rapidly changing circumstances and to put appropriate arrangements in place.

The decisions made over recent weeks include:

•            Closure of council services including libraries, leisure centres, country parks, public toilets, household recycling centres and day centres

•            Agreement to relax off-peak bus pass criteria so they can be used before 9.30am

•            Temporary suspension of charges in all off street car parks

In March, all council committee meetings were postponed as all such meetings had to be held in a physical space.

In April, Government regulations ‘The Local Authorities (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Meetings) (England) Regulations) 2020’ came into force. The regulations allow committees to be held remotely. These include Cabinet, Audit & Governance, Area Planning Committees and Licensing Sub-committees.

A new web page details the meetings and how to watch them virtually. The page also details information about how submit questions to these meetings. Recordings are also available to view after they have ended.

Once the COVID-19 major incident is over, the council will resume its usual processes with key decisions made by councillors through committees.

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Categories: Dorset

Coronavirus: Council leader calls for coastal restrictions

BBC Dorset News Feed - Mon, 06/01/2020 - 11:26
A council leader has called for restrictions after thousands visited Bournemouth beach on Sunday.
Categories: Dorset


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