Over the weekend, the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area, was swamped with visitors from outside the area, especially the beaches. Many ignored the social distancing rules, as witnessed by the Leader of BCP Council, Councillor Vikki Slade. In response she has now formally written to the connurbation’s MPs, and the Chief Constable of Dorset Police.
Ms Slade witnessed numerous incidents of people failing to adhere to social distancing rules and of illegal parking. There was widespread use of dangerous barbecues, and reported incidents of council staff being abused in the course of their work. Councillor Slade visted the beach and spoke to large groups of sunbathers; implausably, nearly all claimed to be from the same household.
Google’s weekly reports are showing a steady increase in activity within Dorset’s parks, compared to before the easing of the lockdown. Over the bank holiday weekend people flocked to beauty spots, and have also began hanging out in public green spaces much more regularly, or for much longer periods of time.
Dorset’s picturesque Lulworth Cove was especially inundated with visitors over the last weekend. With the car park closed, the village was crammed with cars parked alongside the roads. Many residents expressed worry and concerns about the effect this is having on their welfare.
Libraries may be closed but Dorset’s readers are discovering eBooks and audio items.
eBooks and audio books issued by Dorset Libraries reached almost 26,000 in April, this year. That was an increase of 75 per cent on same period last year.
The increase in Dorset is part of a national increase in eBook library loans. Recent figures show a substantial increase in people accessing digital titles across library services in England during the pandemic.
Dorset Council, said: “The libraries in Dorset reluctantly closed their doors on March 20, but the latest figures shows you can still enjoy a good read.
Easy-to-use digital services and online support mean residents are enjoying reading digital books, audiobooks and even comics.
Dorset’s online library service has gone from strength to strength, with thousands of eBooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines loaned and downloaded by people staying at home – an increase of almost 50 per cent since the lockdown started.
Dorset council has now invested more in the service to increase the number of available titles. They currently have more than 800 new eBooks and 1,400 new audio books.