Celebrating Children and Fostering in Dorset

I was privileged to be ask to speak at the High Sheriff of Dorset’s Event to celebrate the incredible foster families we have in the County.  There are currently 344 children in care in Dorset, an increase in 25% since 2011.

“I believe we should all start life with equal chances and that all children should be given equal opportunities and offered the right support. It is a sad fact that some children do not start in a place where this happens.

“The number of children in care is increasing, so there is an ever more urgent need to find those children loving environments that they can flourish and feel safe in.

“We are very proud to have such dedicated carers in Dorset, but are always looking for more people to join us. If you think you could reach out to a child and make a difference, please get in touch and find out more.”

Celebrating Fostering in Dorset with the High Sheriff and Partners

Helping Families to Help Children

Dorset Children’s Services directorate, with the support of the Police & Crime Commissioner, has been chosen as one of the 20 in the country to be pioneers in a programme called Early Intervention.  Dorset has a really good reputation for providing support to families who need all sorts of help when they need it, to help break the cycle of underachievement and tackle the root cause of social problems.  This has been recognised nationally and as a result will receive assistance in building on the good practice in place.

Being the Cabinet Member with the portfolio for Children’s Services and Families I was interviewed on local radio and asked for comment.  “This is a fantastic programme and I’m delighted that Dorset has been selected as one of the first Early Intervention Places. The first few years of a child’s life have a major impact on their future development and if we can tackle the root of a problem early on, we can help prevent matters getting worse.We all have a duty to make sure that children are given equal chances in life. By joining forces with the Police and Crime Commissioner, plus colleagues in areas such as health and the fire service, we can pool our expertise and make best use of the money we have to help change children’s lives for the better.”

BBC Radio Dorset

Some in our area will be able to tune into FM 103.4 ish and listen to Radio Dorset in the breakfast hours – others still cannot, such as nearly everyone in Beaminster and to the west of the town.  We really must get coverage everywhere in West Dorset.  It is such a good service to have achieved, with thanks to the Dorset Broadcasting Action Group and Oliver Letwin MP, but that signal needs to reach us.  Please add your support for it, get in touch via this site or email me.

Consultation on the subsidy given to some Bus Routes

The County Council is looking at the subsidies it gives to bus routes.  In Dorset there are commercially operated bus routes and others which are still given top up financing from the County Council.  What the bus team is doing is looking at whether these subsidies are ones that need reviewing.  Sadly there will be routes that will no longer receive the top up and might therefore disappear.  I have been discussing them in greater detail with the bus team, posing the questions that some of you have written to me about.  If you would like to know more every parish and town council has received the consultation document.  I have it if you want to get in touch direct and I am just seeking clarification about other information that might help to inform the discussions that will be taking place over the next weeks, to establish what the potential withdrawal of subsidies will mean on the ground and effect the overall bus network in our area.   What is important is to put more financial assistance into the community travel schemes where there is the opportunity to provide person to place services for those most in need, that is what I have urged DCC to look at and to see how those buses serving schools and perhaps traveling back to a base might be put to use on these return journeys.

The Beaminster Tunnel

Open for over a week now but work is still going on at the site.  I understand there are a couple more weeks to go.  Over 150 diversion signs were removed, sadly not all on the day of the opening, but they should now all be gone.  If you do spot one or a sign still blacked out please let me know.

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