Councils Institutions

Dorset Council

Swanage and Purbeck fall under the unitary authority of Dorset Council, which covers the areas previously covered by Dorset County Council, with the exception of Christchurch, which is now part of BCP Council (Bournemouth Poole and Christchurch Council).

The areas now part of Dorset Council are: Purbeck, East Dorset, North Dorset, West Dorset, and Weymouth & Portland.

The council’s website will have answers to many general council-related queries that may be useful to both residents and visitors, such as school term dates, rubbish and recycling collection days, and live travel alerts with Travel Dorset.

Dorset Council website:

Services, information & advice

Dorset Council provides a number of services and information for both residents and visitors. The below list is not exhaustive, and full, up-to-date information is best accessed on the Dorset Council website:

Dorset Council logo on the side of council building in Dorchester

  • Council Tax – Links to information on payments, Council Tax bands and how to report a change of address or circumstances
  • Housing – Matters relating to housing in Dorset, such as the housing register, home adaptation, landlord and tenant advice, and homelessness
  • Benefits – Advice and information on Housing Benefit and Universal Credit, as well as support with Council Tax and help with benefit fraud
  • Travel Information – Receive live, county-wide or area-specific travel updates for Dorset: 
  • Roads, Highways and Maintenance – Get traffic information, report a problem or find out about highway improvements, street lighting and road safety
  • Births, Deaths and Marriages – Links to registration offices, services and replacement certificates
  • Concern about a person – Information and advice for reporting the concern of the welfare or safeguarding of a child or adult

Rubbish bins collection vehicle in Swanage

Dorset Waste Partnership bins in Worth village car park

  • Recycling and rubbish – Check your household waste collection days, check your local recycling centre opening times, request a new bin and find out about bulk waste and garden waste disposal
  • Children and families – A useful directory and advice portal for families and children in Dorset ranging from activities, centres and play areas to children’s social care and from schools information to areas such as Dorset Music Service
  • Parking – Apply for parking permits, pay or challenge a parking fine and find information on disabled parking
  • Adult care and support – Find out about carers’ support, Blue Badges, help and advice on living with a disability, financial advice, and general matters relating to adult social care
  • Jobs and careers – Explore vacancies and get employment advice and information about apprenticeships and work experience
  • Severe weather and related emergencies – Find out about gritting, flooding and services that may have been disrupted. Get advice on what to do in very cold or very hot weather
  • Libraries – Find information about local libraries as well as Dorset History Centre and the Arts in Dorset
  • Planning – For planning and building policy, public land and buildings, trees and tree preservation

Contact details

Pathway to Dorset Council and Dorchester Library & Learning Centre


Many enquiries can be dealt with by checking the Dorset Council website, which has information separated into helpful categories, such as housing, carer support, council tax and benefits.

You can also get in touch with the Council by email or by phone:

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  • 📞 01305 251010