I was shocked to see party politics had delivered yet another body blow to the residents of North Dorset – soon to become ‘Dorset North’.

With some obvious glee, Dorset party politicians write to tell readers “we have agreed to raise your rates by £2 a year” when the actual figure is £96.45 a year in North Dorset.

In Shaftesbury, the town council had an annual budget of £379,000 for 2014-15. For 2019-20, the budget is £500,996, an increase of £121,996 or 32% in five years. Is this really what people voted for?

The controlling party even had the temerity to claim that disagreeing with the budget for Dorset Council was tantamount to hating the kiddies. What utter nonsense!

It was also claimed we all knew of the increase. Did you?

Next we hear of the £16.5 million cut in services. Did you know about that too?

The controlling party has decided you will have a cabinet-led system. This excludes any member of other parties or independent groups, and did you vote for that?

Over the past 20 years, I have attended district and county council meetings. At no time have I witnessed a full chamber or a debate. A party nod was all I noted, all the decisions made behind closed doors.

This is why residents of the Eastern development in Shaftesbury never got the promised infrastructure or the circa £2 million commuted sum agreed.

Party politics by Shaftesbury Town Council led by the North Dorset District Council sold public land rather than lease it, despite the public demand to maintain public ownership.

They do keep secrets: STC & NDDC never publicly stated their wish to sell the cattle market site, or put up a ‘for sale’ notice. The chairman of STC actually seconded the decision to sell, despite the declared position of STC. Oddly, even those party members on STC after voting to support the public, spent their own money undermining the vote.

The enquiry document attached to the local plan, after three years of public involvement, has been cast aside by party politics, leading to the much-needed facilities that we who live and work in and around Shaftesbury needed. Since when did we vote for a poodle of the state to override our local requirements and agreements.

Unitary meetings will be 30 miles away from you.

So if voters want real change in Dorset and real representation, ditch party politics on May 2 and vote for an independent candidate. Simply complaining about party political shenanigans will do nothing to change things.

On May 2, please, either put yourself forward as an independent candidate or, at least, vote for one.

Lester Dibben, Shaftesbury.


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