Dorset Council report on Wareham issues – June 2022

By Councillor Beryl Ezzard

Beryl Ezzard is a Councillor for both Dorset Council and Wareham Town Council. Wareham falls under the unitary authority of Dorset Council, which covers the areas previously covered by Dorset County Council.

Dorset Council support for those in need / fuel poverty

From 6 June Dorset Council has funding from the Government called the Household Support Fund, to provide short-term financial assistance : Pensioners and working age people who are in receipt of qualifying benefits or are in fuel poverty – i.e., 10% or more of income spent on energy.

There is a simple online Application Form or Telephone for help: 01305 221027. The local Purbeck Citizens Advice will be available for help too: Tel: 08001448848. The support will be via Supermarket Vouchers. Those families who have savings of £10,000 will not be eligible. In the school holidays Vouchers will be provided for families who are in receipt of Free School Meals.

Dorset Council support for Ukraine Refugee Families

Local Purbeck families who are hosting have DC’s support and help with all the documentation and red tape that has to be sorted, once the Refugees arrive.

There is a local Wareham area group who are meeting at Not Just Sundaes regularly to confer and bring Hosts and Ukrainian Families together. Email me (Beryl) for details here, I am the local liaison with Jon Sloper of the Dorchester HelpandKindness Centre that gives updates and FAQ.

Government £150 Council Tax Rebate

All rebates for Direct Debit households were paid in May. There are some outstanding due to other methods of payments, however Dorset Council is hoping to have all the rebates sorted by end of June. Beware of scammers who may take advantage by Telephoning residents, The Council will contact you only by Letter. The Government announcement of the £400.00 to be paid in October will be administered also by DC. For some families, this sum may be increased.

Wareham Station Northside Pedestrian / Cycleway

Dorset Council Officers, Wareham Town Council Members and I had a Site Meeting to discuss progress of Phase 1 of this step-free way into Wareham from Northport/Carey.

There has been some delay as provision for a “Mammal tunnel” was found to be needed from Northmoor Way footpath to the A351 (Wareham Roundabout) junction. This Phase 1 is hoped to be completed by end of June.

Phase 2 to the Saxon Roundabout will be delayed for at least 18 months to secure funding.  

On my request Traffic Counts and Speed is to be monitored later in June to gather evidence data for reducing the speed limit and put safety measures in place. DC emphasis that is an extra step-free way into Wareham for the 50% of population who live north of the Station and is not instead of the Level Crossing. The new Community Speed Watch Team welcome members to join.

Former Middle School Site & Playing Fields

From 13 June Dorset Council has started a public Survey to receive ideas on how the Playing Fields could be utilised in the future: The Purbeck School is becoming an Academy and has no use for them and so Dorset Council is looking to use them for leisure and sport in the future: – here is the Survey link: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/worgret-road-consultation

The Former Middle School Site development to become a Health Hub has fallen through, much to the disappointment of the Wareham Town Council. The Dorset Health & Clinical Commissioning Group have decided that a replacement Medical Centre + perhaps a Pharmacy is all that will be provided on the site, but currently no plans have been drawn up.  

This is a huge change to what was expected. Dorset Council will be  going  ahead with plans within the next few months, to provide sheltered and social housing, up to 90 Units, on the rest of the site. 

Wareham Station Level Crossing

Top Dorset Council Directors and Cabinet Member Cllr Ray Bryan and MP Michael Tomlinson met recently with the Office of Rail & Road, concerning Dorset Council’s request for an electronic solution to the Level Crossing ongoing issues. Currently there are no further updates yet, but we will be chasing this up.

Cordite Way: Footpath

We have formed a “Friends of the Cordite Way” and would welcome more folk to join us. The final hurdle to official status, is Friday 8th July; to be able to start renovations of the Path, when the DC Rangers will be directing operations.

Dorset Councillor Monthly Advice Surgeries on-going in Wareham library:

Ryan Holloway – Third Tuesday every month at 5 pm – 6.30pm.  Mob: 07783 362330 Beryl Ezzard – Second Friday every month 10.15am -12 noon. Tel: 01929 550138

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For more about Wareham go to – www.VisitWareham.com – a visitor guide and website for Wareham

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