Councils say they are working hard to support town

After August’s attempted ATM theft – the consequences of which caused part of a building to collapse – Dorset councils say they have been working hard with other agencies to support the town of Beaminster.

Their statement comes after criticism locally over how long repairs are taking. Whilst there are no longer traffic lights in the centre of the town, there is a one-way system at the end of Fleet Street, the affected building is covered in scaffolding and parking spaces have been lost in the Square.

The councils saysthe loss adjuster officer from the insurance company has overall responsibility for the project and the councils continue to push for progress on this matter.

Cllr Anthony Alford, leader of West Dorset District Council ,said: “We have issued free parking at Yarn Barton car park [just in the short stay spaces], contributed financially to community support and granted rate relief to local businesses to support them through this challenging time.”

The district council has allocated about £6,500 towards:

  • Marketing of the town including traditional print and advertising
  • Christmas tree lights festival

Cllr Alford said: “The allocation of these funds demonstrate our commitment to promote Beaminster as a great place to visit. Beaminster has one of the best squares in the county to enjoy independent cafes and shops and enjoy the wonderful historic atmosphere of the town.”

The council has been in contact  with those businesses whose trade has been affected. It has awarded 100% relief from 18 August to 18 February. It has also advised businesses to stay in touch.

Cllr Rebecca Knox, leader of Dorset County Council, said: “From a highways perspective, our team is ensuring the loss adjuster officer from the insurance company is taking responsibility for all aspects of the project.”

“We are pleased to say that with our input we were able to ensure the scaffolding and site compound were designed well; a two-way traffic flow on the A3066 and a simple system in and out of Fleet Street.”

“We regularly visit the site to ensure that road users and pedestrians can safely travel.”

The A3066 was due for resurfacing but this will now be done after the works are completed. The car park area is regularly inspected and patched to keep it in reasonable condition.

The district council’s conservation officers have met and advised the owner of the property affected. They have also been in contact with Historic England. A listed-building consent application for repairs to the property is anticipated.