Local and national changes

Residents of North Dorset will be aware that Dorset County Council (www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk) is currently running an online consultation until 25 October, whereby it is asking residents of the county for  their views on their preferred option, out of three listed, for the shape of a future unitary authority - which would combine the district councils and the county council in some combination.

This change is almost entirely driven by the need to cut the costs of local government, given the continual erosion (and the eventual disappearance) of the Conservative government's financial  support for local authorities. In North Dorset, the net effect of these changes will be to move the centre of local power and democracy away from our North Dorset towns, to Dorchester in the West of the county - whatever the eventual unitary formulation, and despite any attempts to provide local ' hubs.'

At the same time, residents may also be aware that the Boundary Commission (www.bce2018.org.uk) has also consulted the public on the changes which it proposes for the the UK's parliamentary boundaries. Under these proposals, the North Dorset constituency will be savagely deconstructed , with the formation of a new Blandford and Wimborne constituency;  and another cross-border constituency which will link Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton and Gillingham with....Westbury and Warminster!!.
 
I would respectfully suggest  that neither Wimborne nor Warminster is a natural pole of attraction for the people of North Dorset. So while our local government perspective shifts westwards to Dorchester, our national perspective shifts northwards or eastwards. There is a distinct lack of joined-up thinking here - and a very clear democratic deficit for the residents of North Dorset. Over to them to make their feelings clear through the consultations...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugo Mieville,
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate,

 

North Dorset