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Charity warns that risk of home repossession is high in the South West

Homes under threat Credit: ITV news

More than 13,000 homes in the South West are at risk of eviction or repossession, the equivalent of 253 households threatened every week, according to new figures released today by Shelter.

The housing charity has revealed the hotspots across the South West where people are most likely to face losing their home, showing Gloucester at the top of the list, followed by City of Bristol, Weymouth and Portland and Bournemouth.

Shelter is warning that despite the economic recovery, growing numbers of families are still set to struggle in the future. It predicts that with the majority of families already struggling month to month with their housing costs and interest rates set to rise, many could soon hit danger levels.

The charity is stressing that people must get advice as soon as possible to prevent arrears from spiralling out of control, and start preparing for future mortgage or rent rises.

Rail line closed between Bournemouth and Weymouth this weekend

As work continues on the rail track between Bournemouth and Weymouth this weekend commuters are warned the line will be closed between Bournemouth and Dorchester South today and tomorrow.

Bus services will be operating in place of trains. The work is part of an investment plan to upgrade signalling on the route.


Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre officially opens

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre has officially opened in Weymouth today.

It was launched at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, with close friends Sir Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy OBE along with Paul Godison and Andrew's children cutting the red ribbon.

Sir Ben Ainslie cuts the ribbon with Iain Percy, Paul Godison and Andrew Simpson's children Credit: onEdition

The centre hopes to deliver sailing tuition right through to advanced race coaching for all age groups.

Ben Ainslie said, "Today is a very poignant day, but also a really exciting one to be opening the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre. It's fantastic to see what has been achieved in such a short space of time: and I'm sure the great man would be very proud."

Sir Ben Ainslie on site at the newly opened Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre Credit: onEdition

Weymouth Community Kite Festival launched

Weymouth’s year of great festivals and events is off to a flying start this weekend with the first Community Beach Kite Festival.

The event which runs until Monday will be packed full of colour, fun and excitement, with tens of thousands of visitors expected to descend on Weymouth to enjoy the aerial acrobatic kite displays. The kite festival is a big favourite with kite flyers from all over Britain and Europe.

There will also be scheduled displays in where expert kite flyers will show off their skills. This year’s event is being organised by the Kite Community Group after it took on the event from the borough council.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to organise one of Weymouth’s iconic and long standing festivals, the group of volunteers have been working very hard in completing what has been a steep learning curve. The response from many local businesses has been great, with many wonderful prizes donated for our kite festival raffle. Our aim is to develop the Kite Weekend into a real community festival with many different aspects, including dog show, international food fair and assault course, we are looking forward to a great success in our first year at the helm.”

– Kite Community Group representative Michael McManus

This year’s Weymouth Kite festival promises to be a real success story for the local community, their energy and commitment is of great value and will ensure that the kite festival weekend will develop and provide many benefits to the local community and the visitor economy of Weymouth and Dorset.”

– Charlotte Sheppard, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

Two people arrested after Weymouth robbery

A man and a woman have been arrested after a alleged robbery in Weymouth.

A 26-year-old woman was robbed and got minor bruises and grazes as the men took cash from her.

The incident on the Rodwell Trail happened between 12pm and 1pm on Monday 14th April.

A 22-year-old and a 23-year-old, both from Weymouth, have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and have been released on bail.

The victim, who had gone to the trail to meet a friend, was allegedly approached by two people and attacked. I believe that the attack, in which they pulled her to the ground and forcibly removed items from her, was unprovoked. I would like to speak with any witnesses or anyone who has information about this incident."

– Detective Constable Gerald Marchant, of Weymouth CID

"Peace of mind" to residents as flood defences restored

Sea defences in Weymouth, which were washed away by the storms earlier this year, have been restored and repaired.

After the wettest winter on record, the Environment Agency had to repair over 350 flood defences nationally to protect hundreds of thousands of homes.

Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the Environment agency said the protection would provide "peace of mind" to many flood hit residents.

He also said:

Many of the flood risk management assets damaged in the extreme weather since December have already been repaired, restoring protection, and peace of mind, to many communities across the country. But there is still much more to do, and thanks to the completed inspections we now have a full picture of the condition of all the flood risk management assets across the country. We have prioritised the most urgent repairs.

– Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive of the Environment Agency

Floods Minister, Dan Rogerson, has also said that the Environment Agency would be provided with an extra £270 million to maintain the defences.


Princess Anne attends youth sailing competition

HRH Princess Royal is in Weymouth today for the youth sailing championships Credit: ITV Meridian

Princess Anne is in Weymouth today to watch the country's best young sailors sail head-to-head.

The RYA Youth National Championships are taking place at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy and finish tomorrow.

The sailing event looks to annually attract more than 375 top racers from across the South and rest of the country.

Four cars involved in car crash in Weymouth

Police are appealing for witnesses after four cars were involved in a crash in Weymouth.

At around 1pm on Sunday 6th April, police were called to the collision at the junction of Chickerell Road and Lynch Road.

A grey Renault Laguna was travelling along Chickerell Road heading towards the Granby Industrial Estate when it collided with a silver Honda CR-V and a black Vauxhall Agila. The Honda then struck a grey Volkswagen Touareg.

Police Constable Nick Gravenor, of Weymouth Police, said: “The road was closed for about an hour and a half in order for officers to investigate the scene and for paramedics to treat the slight injuries of all motorists involved.

Anyone who has information is asked to call 101, quoting 6:197.

Beach hut transformed to help disabled kids

Beaches hut in Dorset are an ideal place for carer and families of disabled children to relax Credit: PA Wire/ David Jones

A Dorset beach hut has been revamped to help children with disabilities and their families.

The hut sits next to the old pier on Weymouth beach and is available to families who are part of the Dorset Carer Council.

The Council is made up of parents of children who have complex medical needs, behavioural issues and learning or physical difficulties.

The new hut was funded with help from Dorset County Council and Lloyds Community Funding - and was built by Plankbridge Hutmakers.

Richard Lee, who is the owner and co-founder of Plankbridge, said: "This has been a great bespoke project to work on, and we're delighted that yet another one of our huts will be used for such a unique and worthy cause."

Lesley Mellor, chair of Dorset Parent Carer Council, said: "The work that Richard from Plankbridge has done is marvellous. Not only is the hut fit for purpose, it looks beautiful and is a wonderful space for our members to use when visiting Weymouth beach."

Members can pre-book the hut through the Dorset Parent Carer Council for seven pound a day.

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