This week : Meet the Council Events, Polling Stations, Plastic Free Bridport, Forthcoming Tree Pollarding, Community Bulb Planting, , Bridport Lions “Swimathon”, From Street to Sea, Bridport’s Big Litter Pick,
Meet the Council Events
Over the last fortnight or so, I have joined fellow town councillors at some of the seven ‘meet the council’ events held in a variety of outdoor locations across the town. I think it’s a great way of meeting residents informally near their homes, as long as the weather holds up! It was good to see plenty of people coming to talk to us about a whole host of issues, from allotments to zero carbon – a genuine A to Z!
These meet-ups gave us an opportunity to talk about the changes to the town and parish council boundaries from next April, and to encourage residents to consider standing for election to the expanded town council next May. If you’re interested, there’s plenty of information about the role of a town councillor at https://www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/make-a-change/, and the Council is holding an event to give more details on Thursday 12 October at 7pm, at Bridport Town Hall.
Polling Stations: are they in the right place?
As you may be aware our local elections for Town and Dorset Council are planned for early May 2024. It is also possible that a General Election may be called during 2024.
Dorset Council is required by law to review all polling district, polling places and polling stations in the Dorset Council area.
The electoral register for Dorset Council is divided into approximately 400 local areas (polling districts) and by law every polling district must be assigned a polling place where electors can go to vote. Around 320 buildings are used as polling stations by Dorset Council with most being village and church halls, schools and community centres. This review aims to ensure that voting arrangements for future elections suit the needs of electors in each area, so that electors have access to reasonable facilities for voting.
The Council is consulting the public to seek their comments on the suitability of the polling station where they voted in person. The Council is also consulting local political parties, local party agents, parish and town councils, MPs and local disability groups.
The review starts today, and the consultation finishes on the 13 November. We would very much welcome your views.
The consultation document and information about the current polling arrangements are available online here.
Plastic Free Bridport – did you know?
A ban on a wide range of single use plastic items came into effect last Sunday 1 October 2023 which means businesses across England will not be able to supply certain single use plastic items to the end user. Whilst the majority of our local businesses have already made the swap, informal discussions have indicated that there seems to be some confusion about what the ban includes. It does cover all types of single-use plastic – including biodegradable, compostable, recycled and items wholly or partly made from plastic, including the coating or lining.
The ban includes all single use plastic cutlery, trays, plates, bowls, and balloon sticks, as well as banning the use of certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers used to supply food which is ready to consume. Businesses cannot use up their old stock but they can donate it to charities for their use. To add to the confusion, the ban does not extend to plastic containers and trays used in takeaways or for pre-packaged food in shops!
A step in the right direction perhaps but some may argue not far enough.
It is expected that banning these items will have a significant impact on reducing plastic waste and littering in England. Plastic cutlery, for instance, was in the top 15 most littered items in the country by count in 2020.
Single-use plastics ban: plates, bowls, trays, containers, cutlery and balloon sticks – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Fortunately a lot of research has been carried out into the use of alternatives and businesses now have options available that did not exist before. I recently attended the Dorset Coast Forum and had a long conversation about alternatives and I was again reminded that NOTPLA have had packaging made from seaweed available for some time now and it really ought to be considered as a “natural” alternative, free from plastics, chemicals and toxins.
For more information on NOTPLA please click here: www.notpla.com
There is also information and advice for businesses and the general public here: www.litterfreedorset.co.uk
Single Use Plastic Ban
To help reduce plastic pollution, businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England. Since 1st October, polystyrene food containers, single-use plastic cutlery and plastic balloon sticks will no longer be available to use and single-use plastic plates, bowls and trays will no longer be available to buy in shops. Get your business ready for the ban:
• Use up existing stock before 1 October
• Source alternative materials for single-use items
• Encourage customers to use reusable items
• Read the Ultimate Guide to Packaging LINK
As consumers we can do our bit by avoiding purchasing single use plastic items whenever possible from now on.
Forthcoming Tree Pollarding
Dorset Council have confirmed that they will shortly be inspecting and working on trees in South Street and East Street. The Town Council has requested that crowns are lifted to accommodate market stalls, and that trees be reduced and shaped to address resident complaints that many of them are very close to buildings. Also at our request, when the few Lime trees affected are pollarded, Dorset Council will carry out works alternately to preserve the Wagtail roosting areas. They warn that this may look a bit odd and generate enquires but is fully justified in this instance. At some point soon, the tree in Bucky Doo will be significantly pruned which can look a little alarming but rest assured that this tree, and the others being worked on, will all grow back with gusto!
Join us for
Community Bulb Planting
Thursday October 12th at 10 o’clock
near Sea Road North
Bridport Gardening Club with the support of Groves Nurseries are donating 1,200 daffodil bulbs for planting in public spaces.
We are grateful to Bridport Town Council for their help and support.
Bring your trowels, dibbers or other planting tools.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE
Bridport Lions Swimathon
This coming Sunday, October 8th, I have been invited to start the Lions’ Swimathon at the Bridport Leisure Centre. Talking to their President, Mr Clive Greenaway I was amazed to learn that since 1994 they have raised in the region of £86,000 with over 3,700 swimmers taking part (some of the 3,700 swam on several occasions over the years.
In the past they averaged 24 teams per year with 6 swimmers per team. The first teams are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. when I have the pleasure of sounding the starter klaxon. Please do come along and support by cheering them on, every lap completed means more money will be raised.
Hope to see you on Sunday.
For more information click here: http://www.bridportlionsclub.org/swimarathon.html