Local News

20 July 2020

Not Goodbye – Hello: Beryl Bikes

It is intended that these will be introduced to Christchurch in the near future. It is worth quoting what Cllr Slade said in her Q&A session: ‘It is the second most successful bike share scheme in the country, after London. We should be proud.’ As she said, they can be left anywhere, including this one today outside Tesco Bournemouth!

In Bournemouth, where it has been in operation for some time. Click for a larger image

Here is a page with a full description of how the system works.


14 July 2020

Care homes, and the Council’s Response to the Government

As no doubt you know, Boris Johnson criticised care homes for not following regulations. I will make no personal comment about this, but the general feeling has been of displeasure. It was reported across the press. Here is just one of them, from The Independent:

‘The prime minister sparked outrage by appearing to blame care home operators for the huge toll of almost 20,000 fatalities from Covid-19 in their properties …

‘But his official spokesman dodged questions when asked eight times at a media briefing this morning whether the PM regretted his comments and would apologise or withdraw his comments.’


Here is the Council’s response, preceded by the introduction:

Joint Dorset response to Prime Minister’s criticism of care homes during the pandemic

The huge effort of the care sector across Dorset during the pandemic has been praised by BCP Council and Dorset Council. Both councils share concern about the Prime Minister’s recent comments that ‘too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedure in the way that they could have’.

Councillor Lesley Dedman, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, BCP Council said: “With more than 280 homes across the area caring for the most vulnerable of our residents during the pandemic it has been impressive to see how we have all worked together. Challenges have been addressed with the utmost professionalism throughout the care sector, and joint solutions have been found to the demands.

Social care leaders and staff have continued to provide the high-quality care our residents deserve and have shown true and wholehearted commitment. They have all been working under unprecedented and constant pressure and continue to do so. I would like to express my sincere thanks and admiration to everyone working in the care sector.”

Cllr Dedman in Burton, June 2019

Councillor Laura Miller, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health at Dorset Council, said: “Throughout COVID-19, our experience of Dorset’s care sector has been hugely positive. We have worked in partnership with care homes staffed by people who are absolutely committed and determined to keep their valued residents safe and well. We salute all our care workers, managers, and indeed all staff working to keep our care homes safe and happy places.”


13 February 2020

The following are reported today in the Christchurch Times (their headlines):

Council Tax cut for Christchurch

If the BCP budget is accepted, Council Tax in Christchurch will reduce from April 2020, whereas the bills in Bournemouth and Poole will increase. You may remember that there was some debate prior to the merger about the harmonisation of these charges, which have routinely been higher in Christchurch than the other areas. Obviously it was at times a vigorous discussion, with those in Christchurch in favour and, unsurprisingly, the others vehemently against it.

Note the principle: The Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr David Brown, said, ‘We have committed to achieving equal Council Tax across the BCP area by April 2021. Alongside this we are focusing efforts to achieve consistent service levels across our area.’

As an example, he compared the larger conurbation’s spending on roads at approximately £4000 per kilometre with Christchurch’s at around £1000 our kilometre under Dorset County Council.


Plan to sell Civic Offices as council relocates staff

It is planned to sell the Civic Office buildings in Christchurch and Poole for around £7.2-£9.3m, based on estimates. The Bournemouth Office would be revamped to become the base for the whole Unitary Authority, with the majority of staff relocated to this hub.

Cllr Vikki Slade, the BCP Council Leader, said, ‘… we now know that all of our three main corporate sites in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are currently running at an occupancy rate of less than 50%. This isn’t sustainable …’

However, smaller community offices would be maintained in the three towns for drop-ins and meetings with residents.

Christchurch Civic Offices, January 2017

October 17, 2019 – A Happy Ending

William Taylor, 103 years old, had his mobility scooter stolen, and he was unable to go out at all.

Thanks to the kindness of others, it was eventually replaced. Click the image above to read the original Echo article.

Here is one of the many comments of support, this one from CricketCoach

Hi all,
I have just set up a go fund me for this man.
If this can be shared it would be appreciated.
We can not let this scum win!

Click the picture below to read the happy ending, reported in The Echo.