County & District Councillor’s January Blog

A small team is working to grow the economy of Stur. and the surrounding area by bringing local businesses together in a new Chamber of Trade and Commerce. This is really taking off thanks to the efforts of former Community Resource Worker Jacqui Wragg. Businesses around the area are steadily joining and a launch meeting is planned for Thursday 31st Jan in the Bow Room, 5.30 p.m. with an outside speaker to tell us what other towns have done to support their businesses. Frome, Dorchester and Wimborne are all good examples of local retailers and service providers working together to keep their town centres thriving. We believe that by working together the businesses have a better chance of getting their collective voices heard by the new Dorset Council which will be in being from April. The Chamber will also offer the opportunities for networking and mutual support.

Another small team in Stur., pulled together by the High School, is hoping to get support and funding for an astro-turf pitch at the Sturminster Newton High School. It would be aimed primarily at football players but could also be available for other sports notably hockey. An artificial pitch would be of benefit to the school in school time but available for local clubs and teams to hire at other times. We need to hear from any teams or clubs who might be interested in using such a pitch, in order to help us in drafting any funding applications.

Work continues to form the new Dorset Council with Matt Prosser, formerly of Dorst Council’s Partnership, appointed as Chief Executive, and five Officers appointed to the next tier down. It is very clear that if savings are to be made by bringing the Councils together there have to be fewer managers operating in a shallower structure. Parish Councils and Parish Meetings have expressed concerns at the uncertainties which continue as to how the new Dorset Council will operate and what it will mean for them. It is very clear that for our local rural parishes little will have changed, in that they will still be liaising with Highways in particular for roads and drains, the Dorset Rangers for footpaths and Democratic Services for elections. No-one is expecting them to take on child care or adult services. However there may be ways we can work together to make our local communities stronger.


Cllr Pauline Batstone
County Councillor Blackmore Vale Division and District Councillor Lydden Vale.

Preferred e.mail address –
Phone – 01258 472583
Twitter @paulinebatstone
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Surgeries during January
Saturday 5th January 10.30 a.m. Surgery Pulham Village Hall. 11.30 a.m. Surgery The Exchange Coffee Ba
Saturday 12th January 11.00 Hilton Church Coffee Morning
Saturday 19th January 11.00 Okeford Fitzpaine Village Hall Mud Pie Cafe

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