Dorchester Town Council
Views around Dorchester

Community Development

Emma Scott is the Community Development Officer for Dorchester Town Council.

It is her role to work with the many groups and individuals that make up the community of Dorchester, and with other agencies, to facilitate the development and strengthening of the town’s Community, Cultural, Heritage, Environmental and Economic offer. 

This involves building relationships with key people and organisations to identify common concerns so that everyone can work together to address community issues and deliver quality of life improvements.

This role will involve working with local organisations and representatives to establish a town community forum and develop a Community Action Plan which will inform the work of the Community Development Officer and the Town Council.

In turn this will help to create opportunities for the community to learn new skills and, by enabling people to act together, help to foster social inclusion and community cohesion.

This role continues the work of the Dorchester Area Community Partnership which was established in 2002 and ran until 2016.

Dorchester Directory of Community Aims & Aspirations


Emma has completed a ‘Dorchester Directory of Aims and Aspirations’ which reflects the wealth of community based work that is currently taking place in the town as well as ambitions Dorchester has for future projects.

Content for the directory was gathered through over 40 in depth conversations with local community organisations as well via more informal feedback.

To date over 70 community organisations have been involved (thanks to those).

I have grouped your responses under the following seven themes:

  • Culture, Heritage, Tourism & Leisure
  • Transport and Accessibility
  • Community
  • Health Well Being and Safety
  • Housing
  • Environment, Economy
  • Training/Education and Volunteering

From feedback already obtained, the following actions appear as key themes for a Community Action Plan

a)      Developing a heritage-tourism strategy for Dorchester with a joint interpretation and marketing plan.

b)      Working with DCC, WDDC and transport providers to maintain and improve transport access to town including better parking & cycle friendly schemes.

c)      Involving local communities better – in planning and running services – help them to network & coordinate rather than replicate provision.

d)      Support for young people - with housing, jobs/training and activities and emotional well-being.

e)      Encourage more affordable housing and good quality rented accommodation and support people in housing difficulty.

f)       Encourage civic pride in open spaces i.e. through developing nature walks, open garden schemes, improving town décor.

g)      Support for older people particularly to reduce isolation i.e. through social eating projects & IT projects.

h)      Support for vulnerable people – e.g. developing more support services & ensuring they get advice they need.

What I would like to know from you is:

Does the Directory reflect your work and what projects you think should Dorchester should be pursuing?

  1. Do you agree with the key themes for a Community Action Plan – and how might you prioritise them?
  2. What specific projects/steps could be taken to achieve the priorities?
  3. What actions are you already taking and what would you like to be involved in?
  4. Who else needs to be included and who makes decisions?
  5. Would you like to be part of a group to help push projects forward?
  6. Anything else?

How can you use the Community Directory and Action Plan?

The directory and ensuing action plan are intended to provide organisations and individuals with a focus for joint action, helping partners to identify collaborative projects, prevent duplication and to use resources to meet shared priorities.

  • Community plans can help spotlight local priorities and inspire people to work cooperatively towards them.
  • With reduced resources, working with partners to achieve outcomes can maximise local achievements and reduce inefficiency and replication.
  • Working together and speaking with one voice can give local communities a stronger voice to meet district, regional and national bodies to influence policy and strategy.
  • Community plans can also be used as evidence of your local communities’ priorities which can help to leverage in economic investment and funding and be used to lobby for more local resources.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Emma Scott, Community Development Officer on 01305 266861 or email her at