Electric Cars

Western GazetteIn the first part of last week, I was rather far away from Sherborne on a trade mission to India. At the end of the week, I was rather close to Sherborne in Oborne. What, you may ask, does Oborne have in common with Mumbai?


There is, rightly, an enormous and increasing focus these days on consumer rights and on businesses that provide poor service for the customer.

Chief Constable

I have mentioned before in this column the very considerable respect I am developing for our new Police Commissioner, Martin Underhill.  He seems to be doing all the things we would hope a police commissioner would do, transforming the hopes and aspirations of his electorate to the professionals in the police in an articulate and effective way, and earning plaudits all round.

Community Resilience

Although the Big Society has been on people’s lips for some years now, I am still occasionally asked what it means and, in particular, what it has got to do with the delivery of public services.

Durnovaria Silver Band

After more than 16 years as the local MP, I sometimes wonder whether I will get to the stage at which I am not surprised by things that I discover in West Dorset. But even if this may eventually happen, I can certainly testify that it has not happened yet.


Being a local MP involves doing a lot of things that you wouldn’t otherwise find yourself doing.  You open things that are already open (usually a pleasant and sometimes an inspiring occasion); you attend meetings with people you would otherwise never meet (sometimes very useful, sometimes very uncomfortable); and you get to hear about things that you wouldn’t otherwise hear about (sometimes dispiriting, but often hugely encouraging).One such activity is the receiving and conveying of petitions.

Police & Crime Commissioner

I imagine that any reader of this column will have at least a vague recollection of the fact that, some months ago, we elected a Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset.

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. 


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