£100 million paid to Dorset businesses
Dorset Council has reached a milestone at having paid out more than £100 million to just over 8000 small businesses in the county. The council was given around £134 million from Government to distribute to businesses from the retail, hospitality and leisure sector in the Dorset Council area, which have been adversely affected by the impact of COVID-19.   Find out more      

Council employees take on new roles during COVID-19
The current COVID-19 crisis has seen almost 250 Dorset Council employees take up temporary new roles to support frontline services. From delivering essential supplies and supporting registration services, to helping Household Recycling Centres and contacting those who were shielding. The employees have made a big difference.

As soon as the crisis hit, we identified our critical services and matched employees working in lower priority services to provide much needed cover – to either deal with increasing demand or fill in for colleagues who were shielding.   Find out more      

Dorset set to transform care technology services
Dorset Council has signed a five-year contract with the PA Consulting-led Argenti Care Technology Partnership to deliver innovative care technology services to residents. Argenti will introduce the latest technologies to support older people, individuals with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and other complex conditions across Dorset, helping them to safely stay in their own homes.
As the coronavirus crisis develops, care technology services have never been more important. Health and care workforces need to rapidly adapt to help those in increased isolation, or those who have seen their informal care and support networks disappear due to self-isolation requirements.   Find out more      

Shared Lives Week 15 – 19 June Across the Dorset Council area, 52 Shared Lives carers open up their hearts, their lives and their homes to people with care and support needs.

#SharedLivesWeek is a chance to recognise and celebrate inspirational carers for all that they do. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that many households have had to adapt quickly to lockdown measures. Now more so than ever, we would like to shine a spotlight on our wonderful Shared Lives Carers, raise awareness of the scheme and most importantly, to say thank you!   Find out more      

News on concessionary bus passes
Dorset Council and bus operators had suspended the normal conditions for holders of an older persons’ or disabled persons’ bus pass in March, so that people were able to get to supermarkets that were opening early for the elderly and those ‘at risk’ of catching the coronavirus. On Monday (15 June), the terms and conditions for these bus passes will be reinstated to those that were in place before lockdown. This is to coincide with more businesses and shops reopening and the resulting increase in people using public transport before 9.30am. People who are vulnerable to catching coronavirus due to age or underlying conditions will want to avoid these busy times. From Monday (15 June) you must wear a face covering on public transport.   Find out more      

Dorset Council climate panel hears that strategy and action plan is “almost here”
Dorset Council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Executive Advisory Panel (EAP) members virtually met on Friday 5 June to discuss the progress of the Climate Change strategy and action plan.

The panel were reassured that, despite delays due to the pandemic, good progress has been made towards the first draft of the Climate Change strategy and action plan, and the meeting worked through the detail of several topic areas. Further work on the strategy will be ready soon for the EAP to discuss, develop and refine before it goes to Cabinet and is published for consultation with the public later in the summer.   Find out more      

Code of conduct consultation 2020
The Local Government Association (LGA) is reviewing the current model member code of conduct and would like your feedback.

The onset of COVID-19 and the measures that have been introduced to curb its spread have changed the workings of local government. Remote meetings and decision-making processes have been introduced, but these have not diluted the importance of high standards of conduct of local government elected members.

The intention is to create additional guidance, working examples and explanatory text. They would particularly like to know if the draft stands up to the new ways of working that have been introduced and gives enough of a steer on social media and online activity.   Find out more      

Public urged to protect internationally important wildlife site during lockdown
The picturesque Blackhill, near Bere Regis, has once again been damaged by the creation of trails and jumps for cyclists. The area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), part of the Dorset Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Dorset Heaths Special Area of Conservation (SAC); it is protected by UK and European law because of its fantastic value for wildlife. 

Cyclists are only permitted to use the bridleways across the site and are not allowed to ride over other areas of the hill, including the areas that have been dug up to build jumps. This damage has increased during the COVID-19 lockdown and The Urban Heaths Partnership along with Dorset Police and Natural England are reaching out to the public for their help in tackling this problem.   Find out more      

Improvement works continue on Dorchester’s Roman Town House
During the lockdown, work has been progressing on the Roman Town House in Dorchester. Located next to County Hall, the Town House dates from the later Roman period and is the only house of its kind completely on display to visitors in Britain. With a £248,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this unique attraction is being improved and preserved so more people can enjoy it.   Find out more      

Cycleway works progressing in North Dorset
Since starting back on site on 27 April, after a pause amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, work along Le Neubourg Way has progressed well. 

Over the last month the team on site has finished building the new cycleway on the northbound side of the road between Cemetery Road and Waitrose. Seeding of the new embankments will take place over the coming weeks.   Find out more