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Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership Civil Enforcement Officers get electric cars

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The Christchurch & East Dorset Partnership has launched two electric cars thanks to funding from Dorset County Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
The two Nissan Leaf vehicles will be used by the Partnership’s Civil Enforcement Officers as they travel between locations across Christchurch and East Dorset.
A grant of £21,000 was given by the County Council as part of the Three Towns Travel project. This was supplemented by a government Plug-In Car Grant of £5000 for each vehicle. The full life cost of the two vehicles over five years will be £36,000 less than two diesel-powered vans.
The electric cars are ideal for the Civil Enforcement officers as their car park duties involve short journeys during the day. The cars can then be recharged overnight.

May 22, 2014 |

Christchurch and East Dorset half-term activities

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As part of the Activate Coast & Countryside project, there are a number of taster sessions for people to try their hand at sports they may not have experienced before.
Courses include kayaking at Wimborne riverside, surfing at Highcliffe beach, golfing and mountain biking at Moors Valley and mountain biking at Badbury Rings. Full details by clicking on the Activate link or call 01425 470721.
Two Riversmeet Leisure Centre in Christchurch has activities for children aged 5 to 13 running from 9am to 4pm during the week as follows:
Tuesday 27 and Friday 30 May – Multi Sports days
Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May – Bounce, Bend & Boogie days
Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 May – Soccer Academy
Details at www.dorsetforyou.com/2-rivers-meet or call 01202 477987.
QE Leisure Centre in Wimborne is running a Fun First Club on Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 May for over 8s. This offers a daily programme of sporting activities as well as creative arts and crafts. Activities run from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
There is also an Arsenal Soccer School for 5 to 12 year olds from 28 to 30 May and a Mini-Gunners Course for 4 to 6 year olds on Wednesday 28 May.
In addition QE Leisure Centre is offering a number of other sporting courses, including swimming, soccer, free running, trampolining, indoor climbing and tennis as well as dance workshops. Full details at www.qe-leisure-centre.co.uk or call 01202 888208.
Children can find a whole host of activities at Verwood Hub – everything from arts and crafts activities to bouncy inflatables, a DJ school, roller disco and children’s cinema.
Emmanuel Sports Hall in Verwood has a trampolining and gym session, a multi-sports session and football coaching. More details of activities at Verwood Hub and Emmanuel Sports Hall can be found at lifestyleverwood.com or call 01202 828740.
For kids who like the rugged outdoors Moors Valley Country Park has a number of activities including a family self-led trail based on the popular Percy the Park Keeper story books. Kids can also Go Nuts about Nature from 26 to 29 May between 11am and 3pm. Join the Rangers and volunteers from Butterfly Conservation to take a closer look at bugs, butterflies, and more. Full details at http://www.moors-valley.co.uk/ or call 01425 470721.
Christchurch Countryside Service has events at nature reserves in the borough including a Woodland Wildlife Walk at Steamer Point on 27 May, a Digital Camera Workshop for Children at Steamer Point on 28 May, a Minibeast Safari at Purewell Meadows on 29 May, a Priory Marsh Wildflower Walk at Stanpit Marsh on 31 May and a Wildflower Walk at Nea Meadows on 31 May. Bookings and further information from 01425 272479.
Anyone with an interest in Mr Selfridge should visit Highcliffe Castle where the Selfridge Exhibition covers the six years he spent at the Castle from 1916 to 1922. This exhibition records the remarkable rise and fall of the Showman of Shopping and the extravagant spending on pretty women and gambling which eventually led to his downfall. He is buried in St Mark’s churchyard in Highcliffe. Details of the exhibition at http://www.highcliffecastle.co.uk/ or call 01425 278807.

May 16, 2014 |

Christchurch gets new mayor

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Cllr Denise Jones has been sworn in as Mayor of Christchurch at the annual meeting of Christchurch Borough Council.

Denise was born in the West Riding of Yorkshire but moved to Lancashire with her parents when she was five. From a very early age Denise wanted to teach and, having gained a BA with honours in History at Liverpool University, she went on to achieve her Teacher’s Certificate.

At the age of 24, she became one of the youngest Heads of History in the country when she was appointed at Elmslie Girls’ School in Blackpool.
In 1981 she married David, also a History teacher, but unfortunately she developed multiple sclerosis and had to take medical retirement. In time she became involved in local issues, becoming Secretary of the local Conservative Ward Committee, and led the fight for a new hospital in the area.

When David’s job brought them south in 1990 she kept her interest in politics and fought Grange Ward in 1999 and again in 2003. In 2007 she was elected Councillor, and was re-elected in 2011. She is well-known as an active campaigner and has inspired the community to work together and with partners such as Sovereign to prevent unacceptable development, provide much-needed but well-designed housing, and to establish a new Community Centre which is due to open in June 2014.

Denise has always been passionate about heritage and from her time at Liverpool University saw the merits and great potential of conserving the country’s industrial heritage. Other causes she has championed include the problems faced by the disabled and the elderly.
Her consort will be her husband, Cllr David Jones.

May 12, 2014 |

Care for Christchurch Campaign

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The Care for Christchurch campaign is being launched by Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Christchurch Police. There are five main parts to the campaign: take your litter home; pick up after your dog; report graffiti; report fly-tipping; and shop locally.

Statistics show that it costs £175,000 of council tax payers’ money to deal with litter in Christchurch every year. That’s money that could be used for other services if nobody dropped litter. Much of this cost is down to dealing with litter on major roads where expensive traffic management measures need to be put in place to collect it.

Further details about the campaign can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/care-for-christchurch.

April 30, 2014 |

Memorial Rose Garden opened at Christchurch

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The first in a number of events during 2014 planned to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I has taken place in Christchurch on St George’s Day.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr John Lofts, opened a new Memorial Rose Garden at Church Hatch Gardens at Christchurch Priory. He was joined by members of The Royal British Legion, representatives of armed forces associations, councillors and officers from Christchurch Council and pupils from The Priory School for the opening ceremony.

The Rose Garden has been planted with a variety of roses whose names are associated with commemorations of the war including Commonwealth Glory, Super Trouper, Mountbatten, Compassionate Friend, Continued Friends and Remembrance. There are also trellises with climbing roses Times Past and White Star.

A programme detailing all of the events which are taking place throughout the year in the borough to commemorate the Great War is available from Christchurch Information Centre, libraries, the Civic Offices and other venues in Christchurch.

April 30, 2014 |

Meritorious Awards presented at Christchurch Council

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Meritorious awards have been presented at Christchurch’s full council meeting to a group of volunteers helping to run one of Christchurch’s main festivals, a company which has been in the Borough for almost 60 years and a woman who chairs a local community trust.

The first group award was presented to the Stompin’ on the Quomps volunteers. 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of this popular event which is now one of the largest jazz festivals of its kind in the south with over 4,000 visitors and residents enjoying the music.

The second group award went to Penny & Giles Controls Ltd which was founded in 1956 by Bill Penny and Jim Giles who identified a demand for high precision instrumentation for the aviation industry. Through the following decades, in addition to sensors and recorders for aviation, Penny & Giles developed technologies and products for diverse markets such as professional broadcasting and recording, motor controllers for powered wheelchairs, paperless chart recorders and trackerballs for computer interfacing.

The individual meritorious award was presented to Dawn Brookes. Dawn became Chairman of the Mudeford Wood Playgroup eight years ago to support the great efforts of the team in teaching her grandchildren. Although already busy with numerous activities and good causes, Dawn saved the group at a prime time of growth and change.

Five years ago Dawn was instrumental in forming the friends of Mudeford Wood Community Centre which has now transitioned into the charity, Mudeford Wood Community Trust, which Dawn chairs.

April 27, 2014 |

Highcliffe Castle awarded Heritage Lottery Fund grant

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Initial support of £2.9m, including a development grant of £233,100 was announced by the Heritage Lottery Fund for The Phoenix Flies project.

The project aims to repair and reopen a full wing of the castle which is currently derelict inside, and create a dynamic Heritage Centre for visitors to discover the fascinating story of this magnificent building.

Highcliffe Castle was built between 1831 and 1836, was lavishly furnished in the 18th Century French style and played host to royalty, the rich and famous, including Harry Gordon Selfridge, who leased the castle from 1916 to 1922. It is a focal point for the local community who enjoy a wide range of exhibitions and events throughout the year. It had a chequered history after it was sold in 1950 and by the end of the following decade was reduced to a fire-ravaged, roofless ruin. Assisted by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in 1994, the exterior of the building was restored and Highcliffe Castle rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of the fire.

April 20, 2014 |

Care for Christchurch Campaign

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The Care for Christchurch campaign is being launched by Christchurch Borough Council, Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP), Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce and Christchurch Police. There are five main parts to the campaign: take your litter home; pick up after your dog; report graffiti; report fly-tipping; and shop locally.

Statistics show that it costs £175,000 of council tax payers’ money to deal with litter in Christchurch every year. That’s money that could be used for other services if nobody dropped litter. Much of this cost is down to dealing with litter on major roads where expensive traffic management measures need to be put in place to collect it.

While most people already help by putting their litter in bins, most of that litter does not get recycled. The campaign asks people to take their recyclable litter home and recycle it in their kerbside collection. It also costs a lot of money to continually empty bins – if it didn’t have to be done so often, that would be a saving.

Most dog walkers pick up after their dogs wherever they are but dog fouling is still a problem. Anyone not picking up can face a fixed penalty of £75 or prosecution in the magistrates’ court, which could cost them a fine of up to £1,000. If people see someone habitually letting their dog do its business without picking it up, the campaign asks them to report it.

The Care for Christchurch campaign also covers fly-tipping and graffiti. If anyone sees either of these happening, they should report it so it can be cleared up and the culprits found. There was a spate of graffiti-painting in Christchurch last year and the perpetrators were found and made to clean it up. As part of the campaign, schools are getting involved so that anyone thinking of doing graffiti understands the effects it could have on others.

Further details about the campaign can be found at www.dorsetforyou.com/care-for-christchurch

April 17, 2014 |

Christchurch & East Dorset Core Strategy Approved

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The Christchurch and East Dorset Core Strategy, the main planning document for the next 15 years, is sound and can be adopted.

That is the conclusion of a report issued by the Inspector appointed by the Secretary Of State for Communities and Local Government.

The Core Strategy was submitted to the Secretary of State in March 2013, and an Inspector was appointed to undertake an Examination into the soundness of the plan. As part of the Examination, hearing sessions were held on a range of topics in September 2013 in Christchurch and Wimborne.

Aside from finding the Core Strategy sound, the Inspector’s report makes a number of other conclusions including the fact that it has been subject to appropriate levels of consultation.

The Inspector found that the councils have cooperated with adjoining authorities and there has been a rigorous and controlled approach to defining Green Belt boundaries.

The Strategy has assessed the need for housing correctly so there is no recommendation for an early review and the housing land studies are robust.
The fact that the councils have a joint housing requirement will allow flexibility in meeting five year housing land supply and the combined housing target is also consistent with national planning policy. The targets for affordable housing on greenfield sites and on brownfield sites are justified and consistent with evidence of need and viability.

The amount of employment land required has been assessed correctly and the vision and proposals for Bournemouth Airport are justified and effective.

April 12, 2014 |

Hengistbury Head Land Train Future

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Bournemouth Council has met with Mrs Faris, the current operator of the land train at Hengistbury Head, to discuss the future running of the service.

Council Leader, Councillor John Beesley, said: “We met with Mrs Faris and her representatives yesterday to formally discuss the future running of the land train service. Both parties were keen to work together to find a solution beyond the autumn which meets current operating standards and the Council’s aspirations for this environmentally sensitive area, but to continue to retain the nostalgia people hold for the service. Our initial discussions went positively and we will be meeting again shortly to progress details. Over the past two weeks we have also met with other interested parties and users of the land train and in the meantime the service will continue to operate as usual.”

Mrs Faris has operated the Land Train service for more than 40 years after starting it with her late husband. The Council had given notice to Mrs Faris earlier this year that it did not intend to renew her licence after the summer season.

April 6, 2014 |
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