Portland

England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

Future challenges to South West Water supplies outlined

Adam Durbin

BBC News Online

Taps
BBC

South West Water is facing significant challenges with climate change and the increasing demand for supply, bosses say.

Thousands of new homes are being built in the South West every year, while the population expands over the summer with tourists.

According to the company's head of water resources, Rob Scarrott, the "very high demands" over the summer grows by as much as 30%.

Wimbleball Reservoir on Exmoor is refilled in the winter months by pumping water from downstream to ensure it's full for the summer.

Mr Scarrot said that climate change and population growth would affect water supplies in the coming decades.

"The environment is going to look quite different that what we have today, and we need to plan for that," he said.

However, he added that the company planned 25 years in advance and was "confident" that it had the plans in place for this period.

South West Water provides water and sewerage services to Devon and Cornwall, plus small parts of Dorset and Somerset.

South West Water
BBC

Weymouth medical bike 'not being withdrawn'

A medical bike with life-saving equipment will not be withdrawn from service in Weymouth but its future is under review.

There had been some speculation on social media that the rapid response bike would be "pulled".

But South Western Ambulance Service Trust said it was still being used on an "ad-hoc" basis because only one paramedic is trained to use it.

A petition to save the facility had attracted more than 2,000 signatures.

Dorset Echo: 'Damning' planning verdict

Dorset Echo
Dorset Echo

Dorset health trust rated outstanding by inspectors

Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust has been rated "outstanding" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It comes four years after the trust - which provides community health services - was criticised for significant failings and told it needed improvement.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott said the trust had developed "a culture of continuous improvement".

Hospital sign
BBC

Organisations do not provide outstanding care – people do. Therefore, this rating reflects our collective effort and determination to deliver the very best outcomes and experiences for our patients, their families and friends.

Eugine YafeleChief executive, Dorset HealthCare

South of England weather: Largely fine and sunny

BBC Weather

Aside from the odd shower, it should be a largely fine day with plenty of sunshine and blue skies developing.

Fairly breezy at times. Highs of 22C.

Weather forecast for Southern England

Technology 'solution' for social care overspend

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Technological solutions are being considered to help prevent Dorset Council from overspending on adult social care.

The service is currently projected to be £2.4m over budget by the end of the financial year.

Councillor Laura Miller told Tuesday’s cabinet meeting that work was being carried out to help older people stay in their homes for longer, reducing the need for residential care and hospital admissions.

She said she was excited by the prospect of assistive technology being fitted in homes and on individuals, including the use of sensors, GPS trackers and voice activation software.

Epic paddling expedition by Aussie expat

Skip Graham quit job in Wareham to paddleboard round south west coastline.
Skip Graham from Swanage arrived in the UK from the Gold Coast in Australia eight years ago. He recently quit his design engineering job in Wareham to embark on a six week unsupported 1000km water challenge - he’s paddleboarding in the prone position from Minehead to Poole round the south west coastline to raise funds and awareness for #2minutebeachclean. Depending on sea conditions, Skip is set to end his expedition at Poole in  Dorset on Friday 2nd August.

Watch: Today's weather for the south

Sunny spells this morning but also there is a risk of a few showers.

Through the afternoon, more widespread and heavier showers will spread in from the south-west, potentially thundery.

Maximum Temperature: 21 to 24C.

Showers spreading in from the south-west

Louis Strange: WW1 aerial warfare pioneer's grave re-dedicated

Peter Metcalf helped to restore Louis Strange's grave, which is being re-dedicated.

What's it like living in the Dorset village of Sydling St Nicholas ?

Richard Latto speaks to residents and visitors in the village with a population of 400.

Rob Da Bank talks about the excitement behind Camp Bestival 2019

Broadcaster, musician and founder of Camp Bestival explains the work behind the festival.

Vehicles severely damaged in Saint Leonards

Three cars were damaged in a layby on Monday in Saint Leonards.

Dorset Police say the vehicles were targeted at about 16:00 BST in a layby near All Saints Parish Church on Ringwood Road.

A silver Ford Mondeo, silver Citreon C4 and blue VW Golf were targeted, and police said: "The damage caused to all vehicles has had a significant impact on the owners as their cars have been considered a write-off."

Dash cam footage of a suspect has been released.

View more on twitter

Special new machines are proving popular in Wimborne at the Allendale Centre

Customs relation officer Karen Wyatt explains how they are cutting down on plastic.

The story of Wimborne Model Town & Gardens

Manager Greg Hoar explains the history of the legendary Dorset tourist attraction.

Seventy-five firefighters tackle overnight barn fire blaze in Bridport

Dorset travel: Delays on Gravel Hill in Poole causing 25-minute queues

World Scouting Jamboree opportunity of a lifetime
Charlie is one of 45,000 scouts travelling to the US for the event, but it is a particularly special opportunity for her.

Rails painted to prevent buckling

Buckled rails near Glasgow in 2018
Network Rail

Network Rail and South Western Railway say they are working to mitigate the effects of predicted hot weather on rail services.

The companies say speed restrictions may have to be imposed on parts of the network to reduce the risk of tracks buckling in the extreme heat.

The most at-risk rails have been painted white so they absorb less heat, reducing temperatures by up to 10C.

NHS protesters gather outside High Court

Tristan Pascoe

BBC Radio Solent political reporter

Protesters outside the High Court
BBC

Campaigners challenging changes to health services in Dorset return to the High Court today.

Last year, the group Defend Dorset NHS lost a bid to get a review of the planned move of A&E and Maternity from Poole Hospital to Bournemouth.

Today, a judge will hear their appeal.

Dorset’s clinical commissioning group says the move will save millions of pounds.

What's special about the Blue Pool at Furzebrook in Purbeck?

Owner Jennifer Barnard and manager Carolyn Snook describe the unique Blue Pool attraction.

Watch: Man has gun wrestled off him in attempted robbery

View more on youtube

A man who threatened a shop cashier with a handgun has been jailed for six years and eight months.

Luke Andrews, 28, of Melville Gardens, Bournemouth, was convicted of robbery and attempted robbery at Reading Crown Court on Monday.

On 13 February 2017 he threatened a cashier at the Yarnton Budgens, who handed over money from the till.

On 16 February he tried to do the same at a newsagents in Woodcote Way, Reading, but the staff member wrestled the gun off Andrews, who then fled the scene.

Detective Constable Jon Morley said: "Following the attempted robbery at the newsagents in Reading, the gun and a black bin liner, which the suspect had left at the scene, were recovered and forensically examined.

"Andrews’ DNA was located on both the handle and gas canister chamber of the gun.

“Andrews’ fingerprints were also found on the black bin liner, which he took to the scene."

'Be water smart' call after dry winter and spring

Andrew Segal

BBC South West

Resident and holidaymakers in the South West are being asked to be "water smart" by regional utility South West Water (SWW).

SWW said its total reservoir storage was currently about 73%, compared to 75% at the same time last year, "reflecting the relatively dry winter and spring".

Head of Water Resources Rob Scarrott said: “Even though it often seems to rain a lot, the South West has actually had the second lowest amount of rainfall in the UK over the last six months.

“We have no immediate concerns, but we expect demand for water to increase as we head into the peak summer season."

The company provides water and sewerage services to Devon and Cornwall, plus small parts of Dorset and Somerset.

Drift reservoir, Cornwall
BBC

Tractor stolen from Dorset farm

Stolen blue Ford tractor
Dorset Police Rural Crime Team

A tractor has been stolen from a farm in Spetisbury.

The theft happened in the early hours of Saturday, and the tractor is described as a Ford 8210 Generation 3 Super Cab.

Dorset Police is appealing for witnesses, and has advised tractor owners to get their machines security marked.

What is it like to enter your first Ironman competition?

Emily Freeman from Wimborne and was the runner-up in her first Ironman competition.

South of England weather: Hot and humid, but thunderstorms later

It's a hot and humid day, many of us will see temperatures climbing to the low 30s.

We should see some long spells of sunshine but it is a murky start with low cloud, mist and fog patches.

Overnight we will see some thundery downpours pushing from the south, and there's the risk of some frequent lightning.

Dorset police want your dashcam footage of dangerous drivers

Chief Inspector Adrian Liesk talks about how you can help the police tackle poor driving.

South of England weather: Clody start, warm later

A rather cloudy start in places, but this will quickly thin and break to leave it dry with plenty of sunny spells.

Breezy at first but winds easing. Turning very warm or hot.

Highs of 25C.

Weather forecast for 22 July

South of England Weather: Cloudy with rain at times

BBC Weather

It's set to be mainly cloudy with rain at times and a brisk south-westerly wind.

The rain is likely to be occasionally heavy, perhaps with a rumble of thunder. Highs of 20C

Dorset Echo: Former MP's social mobility fears

Dorset Echo
Dorset Echo
School children using 'trick cards' to manage stress
Meet the school children using a box of 'trick cards' to learn how to prepare for adult life.

Health checks reviewed for children in care

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Child sitting on a bed
Jupiter Images

Specialist GPs and registrars could be used to speed up health checks for children coming into care in Dorset.

The county often fails to meet a 20-day deadline for completing health checks, partly because of a shortage of paediatricians.

A meeting of Dorset Council's corporate parenting board heard the appointments system also meant children sometimes had to take a day out of school to travel to centres in Dorchester and Poole.

A review is to look at ways of improving the system, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Director of children’s services Sarah Parker said: "We are doing the best we can to improve but there is a way to go to make these assessments local and accessible."