Articles

Kingston Maurward

I have written in this column before about the amazing strides being made by Kingston Maurward - definitely one of the jewels in the crown of Dorchester and, indeed, of Dorset as a whole.

Special Designations

Over recent months, there has been a lot of discussion, one way and another, about planning issues in Sherborne.I think that most people in the town will agree that the new version of the West Dorset Local Plan (unlike its predecessor) represents a reasonable way forward for the town – but there is clearly considerable opposition to the proposal for a new Tesco alongside the A30, and I am bound to say that I think that both the look of it in this particular site and the effect that it would have on the town centre make the argument for opposing this particular proposal very strong. 

Bees

I understand that, last Friday, some intrepid volunteers were planting bee-friendly seeds in the Borough Gardens in Bridport.

Coalitions

Our electoral system, which sends the person with the largest number of votes in the constituency to Parliament, is designed to produce governments with clear majorities in the House of Commons – unlike systems of proportional representation which typically produce hung parliaments and make it necessary for the parties to form coalitions after each election. 

Technology

Is new technology good or bad?I remember this question being asked a lot when I was growing up. At that time, the particular technology people mainly had in mind was nuclear. There were great hopes of "free energy" from nuclear power stations - electricity so cheap that it didn't make sense to charge for it - and at the same time there were huge existential fears about the possible effects of an exchange of nuclear warheads between the super powers of the Cold War.

Hospital Transport Update

For some years now, I have been involved in efforts to augment the transport available for people in the Sherborne area (above all, in the villages surrounding Sherborne) to and from hospital.

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.

Experts

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.