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England, United Kingdom

Latest Stories

School life-saving lessons help Dorset teenager save her father
Just two weeks after learning CPR at school, Ali Holborn had to use the skill to help save her dad's life.

Minister to 'use influence' to solve crossing access problem

Wareham footbridge
Google

Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris has said he hopes to use his influence to find a solution to the lack of 24-hour step-free access across the railway at Wareham.

Dorset Council recently apologised after parents of a disabled boy were forced to carry him over a stepped footbridge because the level crossing was closed due to staff shortages.

Previous attempts to build ramp access at the station have failed to pass the planning stage.

Mr Heaton-Harris visited the site yesterday and said: "This is a problem that needs to be solved. There is money in the system to help solve it.

"I just wanted to see it for myself and maybe bring all sides together so we can have a proper discussion about how we move forward."

The Mid Dorset and North Poole MP said: "We need to make sure that this crossing is preserved and the town isn't divided in two."

Brexit explained: Can I still bring back booze from the EU?
BBC reporter Tom Hepworth explains what rules will change for people bringing alcohol back from the EU after Brexit.
Brexit explained: Can I still get healthcare in the EU?
BBC reporter Tom Hepworth takes a look at what Brexit could mean for how we access healthcare in the EU.

Dorset knob-throwing festival to return to Cattistock

Dorset's knob-throwing festival will return to its original home next year, organisers have said.

Dorset knob throwing
BBC

The competition to hurl the county's traditional biscuits as far as possible has been running since 2008.

In November, organisers announced the event would not be held this year while they searched for a new venue.

They have now decided it will return to Cattistock village next year.

It moved to Kingston Maurward College, near Dorchester, in 2017 after its popularity grew but organisers said the college ended that arrangement.

CCTV Shows moment pair attack Bournemouth shopkeeper
Shopkeeper Kamil Sahin was left with cuts and bruises after an attack at his newsagents.

Business rates 'too much for retailers'

Exterior of Shoe Zone store
Shoe Zone

The boss of Shoe Zone has called on the government to take urgent action to cut business rates in an effort to stem High Street store closures.

Speaking to the PA news agency, chief executive Anthony Smith said "maybe 20% of stores could close if rates don't change". The chain has already secured rent reductions in order to protect the future of some shops.

Shoe Zone was reporting a fall in pre-tax profits of 15% to £9.6m in the year to 5 October, amid rising costs.

Mr Smith told PA: "We need a change to the rates system because the current cost of rates is too much for retailers, particularly in small towns.

"Current rates don't reflect the market. All we want to see are rates which are aligned with the current rental property market.

"We are a business that is looking to really expand but our numbers haven't really moved over the past year. We've opened about 20 stores and then closed around 20 over same period."

Mr Smith added that the company paid more in business rates in 2019 than it did in 2009, even though it store numbers had fallen from about 800 to 500 over that time.

South Western Railway strike: Commuter 'exhausted and stressed'
Alison Bunce says her commute from Surrey to London is now a five-hour round trip.

BBC political correspondent analyses what happened in the region

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