Teresa May has now committted the irrevocable act of triggering Article 50 , an act which will lead to the UK leaving the EU.

As Liberal Democrats, most of us know that this is an act of unmitigated folly, which we have fought long and hard to prevent. Equally, we have fought a long battle in Parliament, especially in the House of Lords, to lessen the effects of what promises to be a 'hard Brexit.' We are now firmly established in the public mind as the leading pro-EU party, especially given the palpable weakness of the Labour opposition. Tim Farron is himself established as the prominent leader of a party which is 'open, united and tolerant.' We have hugely benefitted from this situation in terms of by- election results - we have won more than thirty of these since the Referendum - as well as seeing a massive rise in our membership.

It is against this background that we approach what will almost certainly be the last ever Dorset County Council elections, before the probable arrival of an Unitary Council in 2019. It is vital that we continue the momentum of good by- election results, and North Dorset Liberal Democrats will have candidates in all divisions, including where we have sitting councillors in Blandford Forum, currently held by our very own Barrie Cooper; Shaftesbury, currently held for us by the venerable and retiring Mervyn Jeffery but which we hope he will bequeath to the inimitable Derek Beer; and Gillingham, which we held until 2013 and which our excellent new candidate Barry Von Clemens, the Mayor of Gillingham, is fighting for us - building on the amazing work over the years of the retiring David Milsted.

Please let me know on hugomieville1@gmail.com or 07815151277 if you can help us in any way with the vital task of winning these seats - by delivering, 'phoning, canvassing, stuffing envelopes or in any other way. We must put down a Liberal Democrat marker in a Conservative council which is viciously cutting public services, including CABs, Youth Centres, register offices, bus services and social care - whilst spending huge sums on refurbishing County Hall. We are also putting up some really good candidates in most of the other, non-target divisions, to keep the Tories busy and keep our Lib Dem yellow flag flying!

Hugo Mieville
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate,
North Dorset

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