Dorchester Town Council

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 involves working with local organisations and representatives to develop a community 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.

Community Priorities Review and Community Implementation Plan 2023-2028

A Community Priorities Review and Community Implementation Plan have been completed to update and replace the 2017-2020 Directory of Aims & Aspirations (DAA). A copy of the original DAA can be found here.

A review of the council’s progress in helping the community to realise the previous host of aims and aspirations was presented to councillors at a Policy Committee meeting on the 18 September. A summary of the achievements can be found here.

The 2023-2028 Community Priorities Review:

  • Reflects the views of the Dorchester community and prioritises the needs and aspirations of its residents
  • Identifies social, cultural, economic and environmental characteristics and strengths of our local community
  • Identifies local problems and explores opportunities to collaboratively overcome them
  • Suggests how the community would like to develop in the future and creates a vision
  • Delivers an implantation plan to achieve this vision and identifies who needs to be involved

Key aims of the Community Priorities Review

 1.       Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Leisure

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Provides good opportunities for recreation and leisure
  2. Communicates well about events, activities and opportunities to get involved
  3. Capitalises on our tourism and heritage offer

 2.       Transport and Access

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Promotes active travel
  2. Makes sustainable travel easier, safer and more accessible.

3.       Democracy and Local Voice

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Seeks to strengthen local democracy
  2. Works to increase community cohesiveness & resilience

4.       Good Health, Wellbeing and Safety

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Makes more use of green open spaces and nature for health and wellbeing
  2. Seeks to improve links between health and social care & community providers
  3. Wants to improve health for different communities
  4. Fosters a community that is safe and welcoming for all

 5.       Housing

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Provides for local housing needs
  2. Supports people most at risk of homelessness
  3. Ensures that housing developments are fit for the future

 6.       Economy, Training, Education & Volunteering

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Supports the local economy and collaborates with local businesses to facilitate economic growth and job creation
  2. Provides opportunities for life-long learning & training
  3. Gives everyone increased opportunities to get involved in civic life
  4. Supports people on lower incomes

 7.       Climate & Environment

We want to live in a town that:

  1. Actively engages to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices
  2. Helps to protect the natural environment
  3. Helps to mitigate or prepare for effects of climate change

The full Community Priorities Review can be viewed here.

One of the key steps following the review was to create a Community Implementation Plan outlining specific actions for how the Town Council will contribute to achieving the priorities.

 To view the Community Implementation Plan click here.

 What I would like to know from you is:

  • Does the Implementation Plan reflect your work and what projects you think should Dorchester should be pursuing?
  • Do you agree with the key aims of the Community Implementation Plan – and how might you prioritise them?
  • What specific projects/steps could be taken to achieve the aims?
  • What actions are you already taking and what would you like to be involved in?
  • Who else needs to be included and who makes decisions?
  • Would you like to be part of a group to help push projects forward?
  • Anything else?

How can you use the Community Priorities Review and Community Implementation Plan 2023-2028

The review 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