Here’s a summary of the latest COVID-19 updates from Dorset Council (receive the Dorset Council’s latest news via email).

Managing visitor numbers to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door beaches ahead of the weekend

Representatives from Dorset Council, Dorset Police, Lulworth Estate and South West Ambulance Trust met this morning (Friday 5 June) to agree a joined up approach in managing visitor numbers to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door beaches ahead of the weekend.

Following the huge numbers of visitors who flocked to this area last weekend, authorities are keen to reassure local people that steps have been taken to avoid a repeat of the scenes we saw.

Some of the measures agreed by partners include a new pre-booking system for the Lulworth Estate car parks. This is due to go live next week so in the meantime the estate will be monitoring arrivals and limiting the overall number of visitors to both Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

There will also be other traffic management measures introduced, an increase in marshalling and civil enforcement officers who will be issuing fines to people who park illegally on the roads.

Marshalls will be on site to warn people of the dangers of tombstoning and to encourage visitors to take their litter home.

All partners will monitor the situation this weekend and will review if necessary next week. All continue to ask for visitors to respect our communities.

#DorsetTogether

Members of our Resources Scrutiny Committee are scrutinising our response to #Covid19UK so far. Here are some headline figures that show how we’ve been supporting vulnerable people, serving residents & businesses and keeping local people informed.

Volunteers Week 1-7 June

Since we went into lockdown in March, we have been overwhelmed by the response within our communities. There have been almost 7,000 new volunteer registrations and that’s not to mention all of those who are part of community groups.

Volunteers have been supporting their local communities with grocery shopping, dog walking, befriending calls, medication collection and more.

Cllr Laura Miller, Dorset Councillor Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health has filmed the following message of thanks.

Our key decisions made during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

A list of decisions made by Dorset Council as part of its COVID-19 emergency response has been published for review.

A new web page details the meetings and how to watch them virtually. The page also details information about how submit questions to these meetings. Recordings are also available to view after they have ended.

The decisions made over recent weeks include:

  • Closure of council services including libraries, leisure centres, country parks, public toilets, household recycling centres and day centres
  • Agreement to relax off-peak bus pass criteria so they can be used before 9.30am
  • Temporary suspension of charges in all off street car parks

Once the COVID-19 major incident is over, we will resume our usual processes with key decisions made by councillors through committees.

Read the press release here

Businesses urged not to delay applying for a discretionary grant

Businesses not eligible for Government funding through previous COVID related financial support schemes can now apply for a discretionary grant.

There is just a two-week window to apply for the additional funding and the number of applications is expected to exceed the available funding.

Fill in the online form before the deadline at midnight,14 June.

‘Pop-up’ walking and cycling routes coming to Dorset

We are asking residents to highlight congested walking and cycling routes to help shape ‘pop-up’ travel infrastructure in the Dorset Council area.

We have been awarded £577k and are now considering what measures could be taken to help residents with social distancing while travelling around towns, and in preparation for the restart after lockdown. Temporary solutions could include:

  • widening footways, especially on high streets, to ensure that those walking and queuing for essential goods can keep apart from each other
  • installing measures to restrict through-traffic from some streets to ensure that physical distancing can occur, especially on access routes to local amenities
  • installing temporary cycle lanes separated from traffic, particularly on routes where cycle use is high

Submit your suggestion online by end of July.

Read the press release and find out more, here

Update on schools and childcare

We have been working with schools and early years providers to help them welcome back more pupils from Reception, Year One, Year Six as well as three and four-year-olds.

Wider opening, which began this week, depends on arrangements at individual schools and childcare settings. This week around 75 per cent of Dorset schools are welcoming more pupils into Reception and Year One and around 50 per cent are welcoming more students into Year 6. This will increase over time as some schools are opening in a phased way starting with younger pupils.

Secondary and upper schools in Dorset are also working on plans to hold some face-to-face sessions for Year 10 and Year 12 from 15 June. Schools are contacting parents and carers to discuss arrangements.

Find out more, here

Work on Weymouth Harbour wall has been completed

Work on the harbour wall that was suspended due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has been completed with the addition of safety handrails.

The wall strengthening work included vibrating and hammering in 76 metres of sheet piles over an 8-week period, close to a number of Listed Buildings in use as guest houses. Although the work has been disruptive, the project has been complimented by some of those closest to the works.

This is one of the first stages for the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project. The aim is to rejuvenate this currently underused area.

Find out more about the Weymouth Quay Regeneration Project

Read the press release, here

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