St Leonards

England, United Kingdom

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BBC political correspondent analyses what happened in the region

Peter Henley with a round-up of election news from the south of England

Country 'calm' after 'difficult two years'

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill says the country is now in "a period of calm after a very difficult two years".

He said he was looking forward to working with the new government on issues such as mental health, the use of taser and the use of force.

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Dorset residents warned of floods

Flood warning map of Dorset
Environment Agency

Flooding is causing problems in parts of Dorset after storms continued to batter the county overnight.

Four of the nine flood warnings currently in place across England are in Dorset and many rivers have overtopped their banks.

The Environment Agency said flooding was expected and immediate action was required around the River Frome from Maiden Newton to Dorchester and Wareham.

Also groundwater flooding is expected for the South Winterbourne Valley, where properties with basements and cellars are expected to experience "groundwater inundation".

The A352 near Cerne Abbas and Westleaze at Lower Burton, near Dorchester, are among the roads that were completely submerged on Friday morning.

High winds forced the cancellation of the Sandbanks ferry on Thursday evening, although services have since resumed.

Vicars who know how to rock and roll

Five vicars play in the band Dogs Without Collars

Flooding causes problems in Dorset

A woman had to be rescued by firefighters when her car became stuck in floodwater in Dorset.

The 60-year-old became stuck when her vehicle was stranded in a ford in Aller Lane, Ansty, shortly before 14:00 GMT.

Trains have been suspended on Great Western Railway between Weymouth and Yeovil due to flooding on the railway.

The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings for the River Wriggle and Chetnole and the Upper Frome near Maiden Newton.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service also warned that the A35 - the main route across the county - was under 3ft of water west of Winterbourne Abbas.

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Dorset Jurassic Skyline attraction comes down

Deconstruction work has started on the Jurassic Skyline tower in Weymouth.
Since it was built in 2012, almost three quarters of a million people have taken a ride on the Jurassic Skyline to enjoy  panoramic views of the Dorset coast and landscape.

But with declining visitor numbers in recent years,the operator Merlin Entertainments said that the £3.5 million Weymouth attraction is no longer financially viable, so it's been sold to an overseas company. 

Two years ago a mechanical failure resulted in 14 people including an 11 week old baby getting stuck for several hours in the rotating gondola at the top of the tower. The group was winched to safety by a rescue helicopter.

The permanent closure of the Jurassic Skyline was announced in August this year. Residents and visitors have expressed mixed feelings to BBC Radio Solent reporter Laurence Herdman about its demise.

The site will be cleared and made suitable for car parking. Depending on winter weather interruptions work is expected to be completed by the end of February 2020. Weymouth peninsula will remain open throughout the work with alternative pedestrian access put in place as necessary.

South West unemployment lower than UK average

BBC Business News

South West unemployment figures
BBC

Some 2.6% of “economically active” people - those aged over 16 - in the South West of England were unemployed in the three months to September, latest figures show.

The figure is lower than the UK figure of 3.8%.

However, UK wage growth has slowed and the figures showed the biggest annual drop in job vacancies in nearly 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS said this was down to falling numbers of people working in retail, after the collapse of several store chains and the implementation of shop closure programmes by other firms.

Ninebarrow in Dorset

Clare Balding walks with folk duo Ninebarrow in Dorset.
Clare walks with Jon Whitley  and James (Jay) La Bouchardiere, two childhood friends born and bred in Dorset who moved back there after university and began playing folk music.   Jon’s father had run a folk club so it was in his blood so to speak as is the Dorset countryside.
When they started writing songs it was a natural process to incorporate the landscape and folklore of the county and this eventually led to them producing a book of the walks that they have enjoyed and written songs about.  They perform as a duo called Ninebarrow, a hill near Corfe Castle.
They’re walking one of their favourite and oldest walks of coastline, a circular walk beginning and ending in Worth Matravers. OS Ref SY 974 777

Producer: Maggie Ayre

£1.8m EuroMillions ticket unclaimed in Dorset

The search is on to find the owner of an unclaimed £1.8m EuroMillions ticket bought in Dorset.

The prize-winning ticket was drawn on 4 October. It has five matching numbers plus one Lucky Star paying out a total of £1,844,973.60 but no-one has come forward.

The ticket holder has until 1 April to claim their prize otherwise it will be donated to the lottery's good causes fund.