Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler.  Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Dorset Council News magazine

The aim of the magazine is to keep residents fully informed of what's happening across the Dorset Council area. The magazine provides updates on the work of the council and on local issues. There is no cost to residents; the design, printing and distribution of the magazine are covered by advertising.

The magazine will be published three times a year. The first issue, published in June 2019, will be delivered to all households. Dorset Council News will also be available in all Dorset libraries and on audio tape/CD on request.

Tell us what you think - you could win a £50 shopping voucher!

In Issue 1, we have included a survey asking for your thoughts on the magazine. You can either complete the survey in the magazine or complete it online.

If you have any comments or questions about the magazine please contact the communications team at comms@dorsetcouncil.gov.ukor 01305 858233.

Audio recordings of the magazine

A recording of the summarised magazine content is available to listen to.

Transcript of the recording of the magazine

  1. Welcome to your council
  2. Transport
  3. Household waste
  4. Homes and planning
  5. News
  6. Families and young people
  7. Staying safe
  8. Get healthy
  9. Eastern area news
  10. Northern area news
  11. Southern area news
  12. Western area news

1. Welcome to your council

Hello and welcome to an audio recording of the first edition of the new residents’ magazine for Dorset Council.   

My name is David and I will be reading with Derek our sound engineer today.

How your council is made up

The first election to Dorset Council was held on 2 May 2019, when 82 councillors were elected to represent 52 wards. 

The number of councillors is broken down by party as follows:

  • conservative 43
  • green 4
  • independent 4
  • labour 2
  • liberal democrats 29 

Councillors are your voice in local government. If you would like your local councillor to help you with a particular issue, or if you have a question for them, you can get in touch with them by telephoning 01305 221000 in the first instance.

Find all the details on our website at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/councillors

What is the council doing about the climate emergency? 

At their first meeting on 16 May, councillors voted to declare a state of climate emergency for the Dorset Council area. 

Dorset Council already has a programme in place to help protect our environment. This includes offering advice to businesses, communities and public sector organisations on reducing carbon emissions, complying with national planning regulations and building energy-efficient schools. 

However, we need to do more and be more ambitious. Therefore, we are in the process of setting up a cross party panel of councillors and officers. This will consider representations from partner organisations and the community to develop a programme that puts sustainability at the heart of the council.

2. Transport - keeping Dorset on the move

We have received a grant of just over £14 million from the Department for Transport to maintain our network of roads, footways and bridges. This includes £757,000 to prevent potholes forming. 

We use state-of-the-art technology to decide which roads need work.  

This year, we will be resurfacing strategic roads and other local minor roads. We will also be continuing work to patch the most damaged roads to help prevent bigger, more expensive repairs in the future. 

We also make sure that roads in good condition will stay that way for longer. For example, by sealing roads against water damage. 

We need to fix around 18,000 potholes this year.  We are also sealing footways and replacing damaged signs and faded road markings. 

3. What to do with household waste 

Your waste services are provided by Dorset Council employees operating as the Dorset Waste Partnership. 

Sorting your waste so it can be recycled or re-used helps protect the environment and means tax-payers pay less in treatment costs and Landfill Tax. 

Where can waste items go?

  • put cooked food in your food waste bin.
  • uncooked food (including tea bags and egg shells) can go in your home composting bin
  • paper (including newspapers and magazines), cardboard, plastic tubs, pots, trays and bottles (all colours), tins, cans and aerosols can all go in your recycling bin.
  • glass bottles and jars (all colours, lids left on) can go in your box marked for glass
  • used household batteries should go in a battery bag and left out with your recycling. You can request a battery bag by calling 01305 221040.
  • garden waste can go in your garden waste bin (if you subscribe to the service) or taken to your household recycling centre

These items should go in your rubbish bin:

  • plastic bags
  • packaging and film
  • crisp packets and sweet wrappers
  • disposable nappies
  • broken glass
  • polystyrene
  • tissues and paper towels
  • pet food pouches 

Alternatively, ask your local supermarket or school, as they may take some of these items.

Food, drink or soup cartons and paper cups should be taken to the special carton recycling banks found in car parks around Dorset. They may also be placed in your rubbish bin.

Foil should go in a foil recycling bank found in car parks, taken to your household recycling centre or placed in your rubbish bin.

Clothing and textiles should be taken to a textiles recycling bank or to your household recycling centre.

Waste electricals (eg laptops, phones, tablets etc) should be taken to your household recycling centre or waste electricals bank. 

The following should never be placed in any household bin or rubbish bin:

  • needles – please place them in a sharps box and take them to your pharmacy or needle exchange 
  • hazardous waste, such as paints, oils, chemicals and low energy light bulbs, should be taken to your household recycling centre

Visit our web pages for details of recycling centres, recycling banks, garden waste and what can go in your bins.

4. Homes and planning

New Local Plan for Dorset 

The plan will cover issues such as how to protect our outstanding environment, where housing could be built, how we can boost the economy and what infrastructure, including schools, we need. 

We are looking at the best ways to involve people in shaping the plan. 

The new Local Plan for the Dorset Council area will eventually replace the plans created by our previous district and borough councils. Keep up to date with the local plan at dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/localplans

Neighbourhood plans 

Neighbourhood planning allows communities to come together to have a say on the future of the places where they live and work. They include things like planning policies that will be used in deciding planning applications. 

The process is led by town or parish councils, or by a local forum.

Building better lives

Where you live can really affect your health and wellbeing.  That’s why Dorset Council is thinking differently about how to use the land we own. 

 We are developing new accommodation and services through a programme called Building Better Lives. 

Our first project is in Bridport, where we’ll develop new nursing and dementia care homes, extra-care housing, supported living and affordable housing for key health and care workers. 

In Wareham, we are delivering new health and GP services, extra-care housing, supported living and affordable housing. 

The housing register

If you have applied to the housing register, the creation of the new Dorset Council won’t affect your application. 

This process will remain in place until Dorset Council develops one policy covering its entire area. This is likely to be in 2021.  

5. News in brief

Big steps for employment site 

The Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone in Winfrith is now even more attractive to businesses. 

A Local Development Order for the site means the planning process can now take fewer than 28 days for businesses. It also makes it clear up front what can and can’t be developed on the site. 

Dorset Innovation Park focusses on marine, defence, energy technologies and cyber security. 

Through investment by the council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, new starter workspace units have been built at the site.   

Superfast broadband: it’s the Norm 

Most Dorset premises can now get superfast fibre broadband and over half of homes and businesses have switched. 

These faster, more reliable connections mean everyone can be online at the same time, downloads will be quicker, and you’ll get TV, films on demand and video calling without that annoying lag. 

To upgrade to the faster speeds, you will need to contact your internet provider and ask to switch to fibre broadband. 

If you need help using computers or the internet, phone 01305 221048 and we’ll match you with one of our Digital Champion volunteers.

Love your library 

Dorset Libraries offer more than books. They also offer information, advice, free use of computers and space for learning. 

Clubs and groups also meet at libraries across the county. You can meet people, make new friends and get involved with an interest or hobby at your local library. 

Just got engaged or planning on popping the question? 

Our registrars are here to help you plan your perfect ceremony at over 100 licensed venues across Dorset.  We’ll work with you on all the details, not just the legal bits. 

6. Families, children and young people

Family Partnership Zones

Our Family Partnership Zones bring together professionals to help children, young people and their families. This includes youth work, family support and children’s centres.   

Care for the family 

We care for children who aren’t able to live with their own families and support them right through to adulthood. Our foster carers are amazing and play a vital role. 

If a child or young person is a carer themselves, looking after an ill or disabled relative, we support them so they can still enjoy their childhood. 

We support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This includes education, transport and things like short breaks, which allow children to have fun outside their home and gives carers a much-needed break.

Could you be a foster carer? 

Could you offer a stable home to a child or young person who really needs it? Have you ever thought about fostering? 

We are looking for people from all walks of life and we offer generous fees and allowances to our amazing foster carers. 

Fostering is a rewarding job, and you’ll have lots of choice over the care you provide. You can foster full-time, or just for short breaks. You need to be over 21 and have a spare room. 

Find out more at Foster in Dorset

Building your future 

We work closely with schools, helping with transport, attendance and trying to make sure enough school places are available. We give pupils the chance to play musical instruments and to take part in outdoor activities. 

We also team up with employers, sixth forms and colleges to make sure children and young people know about learning and career opportunities available. 

Young people and mental health 

Dorset Young Researchers, a group of teenagers, spoke with more than 5,300 11 to 18 year-olds about their mental health and emotional wellbeing.  

  • 45% said homework and exams were two of their biggest stress points.  
  • They also said things that help their mental health include having safe spaces, talking to friends and family, spending time with pets and animals and getting exercise. 

The young researchers will work with the council, schools and health services to improve the support available. 

Phone and text support for young people

Chat Health is a confidential text messaging service run by school nursing teams to help young people with all aspects of physical and emotional health. The service is available Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Text 07480 635 510 

If you are concerned about your child, speak to Dorset’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. It’s a one-stop- shop for anyone needing help and advice with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Telephone 01202 277000

Schools think differently about health 

We’re helping Dorset schools improve the health and wellbeing of the whole school community, by funding creative approaches to physical activity. 

Public Health Dorset’s Whole School Approach Fund is helping 47 schools to fund projects. 

Projects will be built into the school day and include forest schools, mindfulness sessions and the Daily Mile.

What’s next after GCSEs? 

There are lots of options available for young people, including: 

  • full-time study in a school, academy, further education college or with a training provider 
  • full-time work or volunteering combined with accredited training 
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship 

There’s also a lot of support available to help young people make the best choice for them.   

7. Staying safe

Stop the scammers 

Financial abuse affects millions of people across the UK. If you are scammed you could lose not only money, but also your independence, health and wellbeing  

If you require advice on scams we recommend you contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

To report a scam or suspicious activity please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Stay secure this summer 

When out and about, don’t forget to remove all valuables from your vehicle and make sure it’s locked, even if you only leave it for a minute. 

If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, dial 999. For enquiries that aren’t urgent, dial 101

Patrol officers on the beat 

Uniformed patrol officers, Karoline and Sam, are on the beat in Weymouth to make the local community feel safe. 

Their job is to deter and deal with anti-social behaviour, and to reassure people. They have been focusing their bike and foot patrols on the town centre, the Esplanade, the train station and the Rodwell Trail. 

Please say hello, or talk to them if you have any concerns.

Food safety

The national Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme is designed to help you stay informed. The council’s food safety inspectors inspect food businesses in Dorset and give them a rating from 0 (urgent improvement needed) to 5 (conditions are very good). Most food businesses display a sticker in their window advising customers of their score.

8. Get healthy in summer

Free help available

LiveWell Dorset supports you on your journey to a happier, healthier you through FREE advice and coaching. Want to become more active, lose weight, quit smoking or drink less alcohol? Talk to them on 0800 840 1628

Leisure centres

There are a range of leisure centres around Dorset managed by council. They have activities for all ages and abilities, including swimming, gym and exercise classes.

There is also a host of activities in community venues across the county for children who are disabled run by Artz Plus and Sports Plus. Telephone 01305 252250.

The right care when you need it

When you become ill or need medical help, using the right service for you can save you time and help us manage our resources better. 

People in Dorset are cared for by a range of services including GP practices, dentists, pharmacies and opticians, three acute hospitals, 13 community hospitals and a range of community and mental health services. 

There are minor injuries units and an Urgent Treatment Centre in Dorset, where you can get urgent care for things that aren’t life threatening. 

You may also be able to get a GP appointment out of hours by calling 111. 

The ambulance (999) and telephone advice services (111) are provided by South Western Ambulance Services NHS Foundation Trust. 

Out and about

Summer is the perfect time to explore. 

Discover our country parks, our 3,000 miles of rights of way and the spectacular World Heritage Jurassic Coast right on your doorstep. 

The Jurassic Coast is England’s only natural World Heritage Site. It has beautiful beaches and breath-taking walks. It is literally a prehistoric world beneath your feet. 

Do remember, though, rockfalls and landslides can happen anytime without warning. Stay away from the edge of cliffs, never lie or sit under the cliffs, and always check tide times. Climbing and digging in the cliffs is highly dangerous to you and others around you. 

We are lucky in Dorset to have four country parks: Avon Heath and Moors Valley in the east of Dorset, Durlston in Swanage and Hardy’s Birthplace at Thorncombe Woods near Dorchester. 

Each one offers a different experience, from dramatic clifftop walks at Durlston to the Gruffalo Trail at Moors Valley. All sites offer Nordic walking, health and wellbeing walks, including dementia-friendly ones, waymarked trails, visitor centres, cafés and shops, picnic areas and tramper hire for people with reduced mobility 

9. Local news - Northern area

Boost for North Dorset Trailway 

The North Dorset Trailway is a beautiful route popular with walkers, cyclists, joggers, buggies and horse riders. It is due to be extended, thanks in part to £70,000 of funding. 

At the moment the trailway runs 14 miles from Sturminster Newton to Spetisbury along the old Somerset and Dorset Railway line.

Affordable homes for Blandford 

40 affordable homes will be built on the site of the former council offices in Nordon. 

The council joined forces with Aster Group for the scheme. 

Gillingham homes plan 

Plans for a southern extension to Gillingham have been given the go-ahead after £6.3 million was secured for infrastructure from the government’s Homes England programme. . 

The development to the south and east of town will include 1,595 new homes, a new primary school, sports and health facilities, shops and open spaces. 

CG Fry & Son submitted the plans to transform land at Park Farm with up to 634 new homes, a new primary school, sport pitches, play facilities, a community orchard, roads, footpaths and cycle ways. 

Wellbeck Land also won support for proposals for 961 homes, a relief road, shops, health facilities, a community hub, pedestrian and cycle routes, roads, open space and car parking. 

Dealing with the Blandford Fly 

We have been working to prevent an infestation of the Blandford Fly at the River Stour.

Every spring, we treat the river with a single treatment to reduce the number of the flies, which can give a nasty bite. 

Before we started treating the river many years ago, they were a considerable nuisance, especially during their breeding season from May to July. 

Your local council office 

Our local council office at Nordon Lodge in Blandford is still open and our customer services team will be pleased to help you. 

You are able to use our phones to access council services. We also offer appointments and surgeries with duty officers. 

If you don’t know who to speak to about council services call the team on 01258 454111. 

Nordon Lodge is open Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5pm and on Fridays from 8.45am to 4pm. It is easily accessible from Salisbury Road. 

10 Local news - Eastern area

Space for creating

Walford Mill, a converted watermill in Wimborne, has a new education space with disabled access and a creative education programme.

The exhibition spaces on the ground floor are ideal for artists, schools, touring exhibitors and makers who want to show their work. Local artists and makers both new and established can rent out the top floor space at competitive rates.

Walford Mill is perfect for events, weddings and festivals, and it’s free to visit. While you’re here, drop in for a meal or cream tea at the Millstream Bistro.

Visit walfordmillcrafts.co.uk

Allenview House, Wimborne

Our local council office at Allenview House in Wimborne is still open. Our customer services team are there to help you with general enquiries but if you would like to speak to an officer from a particular service, it is best to arrange a meeting in advance.

If you don’t know who to speak to about council services please visitwww.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or call 01202 795096.

Allenview House is open Monday - Thursday: 8.45am to 5.15pm and Friday: 8.45am to 4.45pm.

Blooming lovely!

Summer is a busy time for the Grounds Maintenance team, who work in the parks and open spaces across Eastern Dorset.

You may have seen us cutting grass, though this year in some places the grass is being left to grow for longer. That’s because we are supporting the Dorset Wildlife Trust social media campaign “Pollinator Pledge” to “Get Dorset Buzzing”. Longer grass gives a home to animals like birds, bats, insects and deer.

We have also planted wildflower seeds in some open spaces to bring a flash of colour and create another important habitat for wildlife. 

In July, we’ll begin hedge-cutting after the bird-nesting season. We’ll also be looking after parks and sports areas, so you can make the most of them throughout the summer

Fitness fun at QE Leisure

Get fit with an intense outdoor workout for adults, every Wednesday from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, May to September.

Children can burn some energy too at FitKids classes every Wednesday at 4:30pm throughout the summer. And keep an eye out for our summer holiday guide. Telephone QE Leisure Centre on 01202 888208

11. Local news - Southern area

Orienteering for everyone

Around 8,500 people played Beat the Street in Weymouth and Portland.

The project, funded by Public Health Dorset, turned the town into a game where people earned points as they walked, cycled and ran.  

It was such a success so we helped set up three permanent orienteering courses in Nothe Gardens. They’re for everyone to enjoy – and they are free

New life for Weymouth Quay

£3.79 million has been secured from the Coastal Communities Fund to transform Weymouth Quay. The project will breathe new life into the area and create a centre of excellence for enterprise.  

Town council open for business

Weymouth’s new town council opened in Commercial Road in April. The town council is responsible for the beach and promenade, parks and gardens, monuments, public toilets, cemeteries and allotments. It also manages community development work and civic activities.

Local residents can also access frontline services provided by Dorset Council from this building.

Visit the website at weymouthtowncouncil.gov.ukor telephone 01305 239839

Free central heating

Whatever your income, free gas central heating could be on offer if you live in Melcombe Regis; Littlemoor,;Underhill; Westham East; Westham North; Westham West; and Weymouth East. In other parts of Dorset, you may be able to get help if you are on a low income.

Gas or LPG Boiler Upgrade Grants could also be on offer. Loft and cavity wall insulation grants are available wherever you live.

To apply telephone 01305 550556 or 0800 002 9060

Your local Wareham office

Our customer services team at our Wareham office will be pleased to help you.

Westport House is open Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 4.45pm, and on Fridays 8.45am to 4.15pm. If you don’t know who to speak to about council services go to dorsetcouncil.gov.uk or call the team on 01929 556561

Get Outdoors, Boost Wellbeing

The Purbeck Pledge is about having fun while making small, positive changes to our lives.  

It could be as simple as walking round the block, or spending time in the garden. Or you could try something new, such as mindfulness. Visit livewelldorset.co.uk

Purbeck Rail summer service

Work continues towards a regular rail service between Swanage and the mainline at Wareham.

Don’t miss the Summer Saturday special trains which are running again this summer!

See swanagerailway.co.uk/events/detail/summersaturdayspecial

Purbeck Local Plan public hearing sessions

A public examination of a plan for part of Dorset covered by the former district of Purbeck will take place this summer at Westport House, Worgret Road, Wareham.

The sessions are open to the public and are part of the preparation of the Purbeck Local Plan, which will help to shape future development in the area.  

For more information, including timing and dates dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/Purbeck-local-plan-review

12. Local news - Western area

Protecting West Bay

Major engineering works began in the spring to protect West Bay from coastal flooding. We expect the main works to be finished before the school holidays.

The West Bay Coastal Improvement Scheme, which Dorset Council is delivering in partnership with the Environment Agency, includes building a new wall and rock groyne, replenishing beach shingle, installing a buried solid rock core and improving the River Brit.

Find out more at a drop-in session at the Salt House, West Bay, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm on 13 June or 27 June or visit dorsetcoast.com/projects/west-bay-coastal-defence-improvements

Improvements to the Harbour Master’s Office at Lyme Regis

Since the spring we have been extending the building and adding an observation balcony. The number of boats visiting Lyme Regis has been rising steadily and modernising the building will help to secure the harbour’s future.

Lifeboat charity RNLI also contributed to the £500,000 project

Sink hole

A sink hole opened up on Bronkham Hill earlier this year.

A small dinner-plate sized hole was investigated in February by Dorset Council’s Ranger Team and geologists, who found it was covering a much larger chasm.

A barrier was put up and a nearby footpath temporarily closed. The sink hole then opened up, but further assessments found it to be stable.

Sink holes are rare in Dorset. However, they have occurred throughout history at Bronkham Hill, which is north-east of Portesham.

Around 200 steep-grass lined pits can be found nearby, known as ‘elliptical dolines’. These are sink holes of the past which have now grassed over.

Find out more about exploring, but take care, at: dorsetaonb.org.uk

Take a step into nature

Stepping into Nature runs lots of activities such as walking, singing and arts and craft.

Anyone can take part, though most activities are targeted at residents aged 55 and over and many are dementia-friendly.

Funded by the Big Lottery, the project helps to increase people’s confidence and independence, and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. Take part in gardening workshops or gentle guided walks, try rural craft and outdoor cooking, and more. Visit dorsetaonb.org.uk

Hollywood stars come to West Dorset

If you were in Lyme Regis this spring, you might have spotted Hollywood stars in West Dorset for the filming of ‘Ammonite’, about the famous fossil hunter Mary Anning.

The story is set in the 1840s and the whole area around Bell Cliff and Cobb Gate was transported back in time for the filming.

Film permits were granted by the council and we worked with the producers to minimise disruption. Filming brings in valuable income for us and generates publicity for our beautiful area.

Rate this page

Have some feedback?

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, or any issues or feedback you have about the web page.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

We will only use the personal information supplied by you in accordance with GDPR. By giving us this information you are consenting to such use as set out in our privacy notice.