Here’s a summary of the latest Coronavirus news from Dorset Council (receive the Dorset Council’s latest news via email)

New Test and Trace Scheme

The new NHS Test and Trace system launched yesterday, (28 May) across England, and Public Health Dorset is encouraging any residents with symptoms of coronavirus to use the service.

NHS Test and Trace will identify those who have had close contact with people who have tested positive for coronavirus, helping to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

Alongside continuing effective social distancing, the NHS Test and Trace service will be key for us to contain local cases and prevent a second peak in infections.

The instruction is clear: if you have symptoms of coronavirus, self-isolate, get tested and share your contacts with NHS Test and Trace.

We’re grateful for the role our communities have played so far in following the rules and limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Dorset, so we’re urging local people to keep this up by using this new service and following any advice they are given.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, isolate, book a test and share contacts with the NHS Test and Trace team.

Are you shielding?

Did you receive a letter from the NHS several weeks ago?

Maybe you replied back then to say you didn’t need any help, but things have changed a bit now and maybe you could do with some support?

It’s not too late to ask for help, no matter how small or minor you might think it is. You are not wasting anyone’s time – we are here to help you in any way we can. Ring our helpline, open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week, on 01305 221022 or email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

No fires and no BBQs in the countryside at this time

There’s high risk of wildfire because the ground is so dry. Wildfires can ravish the local wildlife, destroying ecosystems in a matter of hours that have taken years to build up.

If a wildfire encroaches upon farmland, then crops and farm buildings can be consumed, and homes that border heathland can also be at risk.

Steps you can take to avoid starting a wildfire:

  • Avoid open fires and BBQs in the countryside.
  • Put out cigarettes and other smoking materials properly before you leave your vehicle.
  • Do not throw cigarette ends out of your vehicle. They could start a fire and destroy surrounding countryside.
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Do not tackle a fire yourself, unless it can be put out with a bucket of water. Please call the fire service and leave the area as soon as possible.

Find out more

£9m for Dorset’s roads

We will be able to carry out more resurfacing and reconstruction work on our roads this year, thanks to a £9.1m injection from the Department for Transport (DfT).

This is a much welcomed, significant boost to our highways funding.

The fund will improve journeys for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers across England through repairs to local roads and will seek to lock-in environmental benefits seen during COVID-19.

Programmes of work and further information will be published as it becomes available.

Find out more

Our country parks are now open

Our four country parks, Avon Heath, Durlston, Moors Valley and Thorncombe Woods opened earlier this week.

Following the easing of lockdown by central government, we have made some adjustments to the running of the parks so people can enjoy the open air and countryside whilst protecting their health during the current pandemic.

The range of measures for visitors’ safety include 2 metre distancing signs and provision of hand sanitiser. Rangers will be on hand to help people enjoy their visit and manage any queues.

There is still time to have your say on a new social housing policy

We are drafting a new policy looking at how people access social housing in the area.

The new policy, that will come into effect on 1 April 2021, will:

  • Offer people seeking accommodation a choice about where they live
  • Be fair and easy to use
  • Offer solutions to those most in need while making the best use of the housing stock available

Much of the content of the policy is set by law, but there are some key areas which the council can decide, such as:

  • who can apply to be on the register
  • how to prioritise applications
  • how many bedrooms to allocate to a household
  • how to support homelessness applications

We’re asking people what they think about the new policy and would like to hear from as many people as possible, so we get a wide range of views.

Find out more and complete the survey

More help for businesses is on its way

Following the Government announcement on 1 May about a top up grant for businesses that are not eligible for other grants,we are now preparing a local scheme for Dorset which will be available shortly.

These grants are primarily aimed at:

  • Small and micro businesses
  • Businesses with relatively high ongoing fixed property-related costs
  • Businesses which can demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Businesses which occupy property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.

We are aiming to publish eligibility criteria and guidance on making applications for the discretionary grant on our website early next week.

Find out more

Greener highways in 2020

Dorset’s highway fixers are back in action and now producing 15 per cent less emissions!

We will be using low energy asphalt (LEA) on all resurfacing schemes, and as a surface course on new construction projects such as cycleways.

The material is produced 30 to 40 degrees lower than conventional material, which is usually produced at 180 degrees, ensuring a 15 per cent less reduction in carbon emissions during the production process.

We know that construction activity is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions, and we will continue to look for new ways of working to reduce the impact we have on our environment.

Find out more

Can you help us test a new Adult Social Care website?

Do you, or anyone you know ever look for information online about help and support for adults? Would you know where to look if you did need to?

We are working on a new Adult Social Care website and need your help to test it!

We have finished the design phase and already had lots of feedback and we now want to test how the proposed site will work.

Can you take a couple of minutes to complete the following for us? The survey will close on Wednesday 3 June.

We would like you to test:

  1. Go to the website homepage to start testing
  2. Use the ‘Search’ function on the home page to find information about ‘Continuing Health Care’
  3. Use the quick links function to find out ‘how to report a concern about an adult’
  4. Use the community map to find information about ‘Dorset Libraries’
  5. Use the directory to find ‘benefits advice’ near to ‘Weymouth’
  6. Complete the short survey to give us your feedback

We hope you like the website and can assure you that your help will make a big difference to how we provide information, advice and guidance.

Start testing

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