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Mayor’s Blog –

Cost of Living Support, Art Competition Results, Vapes, Reporting Littering, Monique Remembers and Bridport on Spotlight SW


We are all aware that every household is being impacted upon by the ever increasing costs of living and energy. Sadly, for some households the situation they find themselves in is becoming increasingly critical as we move towards the coldest months of the year. What help is available and where can you find it?

Dorset Adviceline: 0800 144 8848 National Website:
Bridport’s local Citizens Advice office in South Street offers face to face, telephone and email advice – for details of opening hours and email enquiry forms click HERE

For help to claim Universal Credit use the national Citizens Advice: 0800144 8444
To make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to there are three reliable online ‘calculators’. To access them from the Government website click HERE

Household Support Fund – click HERE to find out more and whether you are eligible.
Turn2us is an excellent website offering information about charitable grants available to individuals. Click HERE to find out more.

For general information about government support for the cost of living crisis click HERE.
For information about Cost of Living Payments click HERE

  • Energy Bills support scheme – £400 grant paid in 6 instalments from October 2022
  • Cost of Living Payment – £650 if on means tested benefit paid in 2 instalments
  • Pensioner Cost of Living Payment – £300 one off
  • Disibility Cost of Living Payment – £150 paid from Sept 2022

For information about Winter Fuel Payments, Warm Homes Discount, help with childcare costs etc click HERE

Bridport Citizens Advice can offer a Debt Assessment; referral for fuller debt advice may involve a wait due to the demand on the service.

Other FREE sources of debt help include:

  • Citizens Advice national debt helpline: 0800 240 4420
  • National Debtline: 0808 808 4000 or click HERE for online information
  • StepChange: 0800 138 1111 or click HERE for online information
  • PayPlan: 0800 280 2816 or click HERE for online information

Social tariffs including discounted bills and packages are available to people in receipt of certain benefits e.g. Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Jobseekers Allowance. To find ouit more go to:
Ofgem – for help with Energy Bills (grants etc) click HERE
Ofcom – for help with phone and broadband packages click HERE
Wessex Water – for help with water bills click HERE


Citizens Advice – if you are struggling with living costs click HERE
Money Saving Expert – survival guide 90+ ways to save money click HERE
Money Helper – advice on living on a squeezed income click HERE

Remember you are not alone. There are people out there who can help so please seek support sooner than later.


On Friday the 21st of October 2022, Art Unlimited held their first award’s night for their annual Open Art Competition. It was a great evening with many of the artists who made it through to the final in attendance and gallery owner Howard Flanagan and I had the pleasure of announcing the winners and handing them their awards.

The judges were very impressed with the standard of the over 200 entries and the final scores were very close.

First Prize £1000, was awarded to Steven Marshall with Undercurrent. This interesting painting is painted using enamel paint on a panel, then framed in a complementary white frame. The judges were very taken with the paintings individual style, the complexity of the design and its final composition.


Second Prize was awarded to Steven Armon with “The Wrong Way Up”. An highly original painting in acrylic on cardboard. His use of making an everyday item artwork while his play on words make his work simple yet with a complex finish.

Third Prize was awarded to Claire Mort with “Tracy Emin”. This image of the artist Tracy Emin has been made up with stitch. Each stitch has been hand sewn, with a carefully chosen colour to create the final image.

Congratulations to all 200 plus people who entered, I was really impressed by all of the work on display. Howard tells me that the Art Unlimited Art Competition 2023 will be even bigger with even more money in the prize pot.


Litter Free Dorset is keen to start collecting data on the number of littered single use vapes.

Unfortunately, it is still unclear how to dispose of and safely recycle so called disposable vape pens. The lithium ion battery means they cannot be put in general waste and they are currently defined as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), which has specific disposal methods.


Did you know? You can take small electrical items to Curry’s to be recycled. This includes both single use and rechargeable vapes! Check our Curry’s cash for Trash offer where they will give you a £5 voucher for recycling your small electricals in store, click here to find out more.

Litter pickers please keep count of how many single use vapes you find and the area you have collected them from. To share that information with Litter Free Dorset click HERE


Did you know that you can now use Dorset Council’s easy reporting system to report litter that has been thrown from a vehicle? New rules came into force in April 2018 to allow local authorities to fine the registered keeper of a vehicle if litter is seen being thrown from the vehicle.

If you spot someone littering, you can report it online and upload dashcam footage as supporting evidence. Reports can still be made without dashcam footage, but it is the best form of evidence to support your report.

Those issued with a public notice can face up to a £100 fine. Click HERE to go to the reporting page.


On Tuesday evening, Bridport’s Twinning Association held the first in what it hopes will be an ongoing series of talks. The speaker was Monique Pasche known to many of us through her passion for gardening and links with The Living Tree amongst other things.

The subject of Monique’s talk was her childhood in Lille, northern France, during the German occupation. The audience that had gathered at the Tiger were totally absorbed by her fascinating account of that challenging time.

One the incidents she told us about was of a baby being thrown from the train filled with Jews to leave Lille bound for the concentration camps. The child, Michel, was smuggled away from the train in a rucksack, protected and brought up within the community. His hamily fearing what was coming had already given his elder brother Maurice to a local family for safe keeping. Monique and Michel who were of a similar age regularly played together. Sadly the two brothers were the only members of the family to survive. At a recent gathering in Lille Monique and Maurice were reunited along with the rucksack that saved his brother.

Monique in full flow. Top right Maurice and the rucksack.

Monique’s father, a Swiss national, was a protestant priest and used his status and Swiss nationality to successfully represent many prisoners. He also played a supporting role in the underground network taking care of and repatriating allied airmen shot down over France.

It was a fascinating evening and hearing about these and other experiences first hand was a real privilege.


If you didn’t manage to catch the piece on BBC Spotlight Southwest, or as we know it locally ‘BBC Spotlight Cornwall with a little bit about Deving and an occasional very tiny bit about Somerset and Dorset’, about Bridport’s very own Bridget’s Market click HERE to see it.

My thanks to Sally Munns for spotting it and posting it on Bridport Banter.


Three more interesting businesses for you to explore this week. Could one of these be the place where you fine the perfect gift for someone?

Double D Computers – South Street
Businesses working with or supplying: RKL Tools, Bella’s, Get Stuffed, Bridport Lighting, Framptons, Punch & Judy, Long’s, Animal House, Porter Dodson, Electric Palace, Bridport Arts Centre and more.

Livingstone Textiles – St Michael’s Lane
Businesses working with or supplying: ABC blinds, Bridport Lighting, Madeline Warren, Sara Southgate, Hardy Gowns, Maison Bella, Lynne’ll Fix It, Karen Wiggins, D. Marsh Traditional Upholstery, Anderton Upholstery, Katrina Wilson and more.

Malabar Trading – South Street
Businesses working with or supplying: Footprints, Cafe Bean, Natural Life, Fruits of the Earth, Waste Not Want Not, Soulshine, Morrish & Banham, Things I Like, Burwoods, Red Brick Cafe, Steptoes, Liliputs, Livingston Textiles, Washingpool Farm, Bridget’s Market and more.

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