Schools and Disasters

I don’t know how many readers of this column still have vivid memories of the ghastly tsunami that rightly pre-occupied the whole world a few years back. My own memories are still pretty vivid, partly as a result of the fact they are connected with events right here in West Dorset.


When are the experts expert? This question was very much in my mind while I was chairing a meeting of local traders and other residents at West Bay recently. The traders were, I think it would be fair to say, up in arms about the new road layout that has been carefully constructed at West Bay during recent months.

Unowned spaces

Who is responsible for unowned spaces? This question came rather vividly into my mind when visiting some constituents the other day. The constituents in question live on a private road. It is a pleasant rural setting, with banks, trees and hedges aplenty.

Literary & Scientific Institute Update

I see that there is to be a meeting about the future of the Literary & Scientific Institute on 11 April from 6 to 8 pm at Bridport Town Hall.

Energy Prices

The weather has been decidedly chilly in London over recent weeks, as it has for much of the UK. So much so that it was not long until I heard the now almost annual declaration that it is colder here than in some desolate part of the Siberian tundra!


In the week of the report of the ghastly events that occurred a few years ago at Mid Staffs hospital, there has rightly been a lot of attention focussed on all standards of nursing care in the NHS.

Yarn Barton relaunch

I assume that every reader of the Bridport News will agree with me about the merits of Beaminster. The advantages of Bridport itself and of many of the villages around it (as well, of course, of Lyme Regis) are legion – and this creates pretty tough competition for any town.  But Beaminster is certainly capable of meeting that challenge head on.  Nowhere in England is there a lovelier or more lively little town than this.


I don’t know how many readers of this column are familiar with a prayer in which, roughly, one prays for the strength to change what needs to be changed, the resilience to put up with what can’t be altered, and the wisdom to know which things fall into which of these two categories.

Care costs

I wish I had a pound for every time that someone has come to one of my advice surgeries over the past 16 years with a complaint about the fact that they or someone in their family were worried about having to sell their house in order to pay for the cost of care in old age.

Horse Meat

Over uncomfortably many years of political life, I have come to understand that there is such a thing as “the story”. Just as there’s a fashion for mini skirts one year and long dresses another, so there are fashions in the national media – only these tend to last for days or weeks rather than months or years.