A little over sixteen months ago, residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole did something different; they voted for change. Three councils all with massive Conservative majorities became one, but voters tired of the non-transparent and uncaring style of local politics voted against exactly that. Despite winning almost half the seats, only 28% of voters across all three towns placed their trust in the Conservatives.
Out of this was born the Unity Alliance, an administration representing a range of views from different parties and various independents, led by Liberal Democrat Vikki Slade but united in one goal - providing the best possible services for local residents. Though its majority was always slim, the new council represented almost 2/3rds of votes cast in local elections and proved to be more open, cooperative, transparent and effective than any that had come before.
Mid Dorset and North Poole Lib Dems would like to wish Sir Ed Davey congratulations on his election as Leader today!
Ed has been acting leader since the end of last year, and has now been confirmed as the member’s chosen leader after a delayed but well fought campaign against fellow MP Layla Moran.
It is with great sadness that Mid Dorset & North Poole Liberal Democrats must announce the passing of Cllr Pete Parrish yesterday. His death will be mourned by his colleagues, his family and his friends.
Although Pete had only been a councillor since May 2019, he had been a member of our team for much longer, and was involved in many community activities and events. We are all feeling shocked at this incredibly sad news and I have passed our condolences to his wife Tan and family. Whilst only a councillor for a short term Pete served his community with dedication for as a Canford Heath representative and on the Council’s licensing committee.
Sandra Moore, his ward colleague added “Pete will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues in Canford Heath. He was well known for his litter picking skills and loved chatting to residents afterwards over a cup of tea. My heart goes out to his wife and family.
The Corfe Mullen Community Speedwatch team are set to reconvene in the near future! Following a period of calm on Corfe Mullen’s roads, it is clear that traffic is once again returning to our roads and some are using these quieter times as an opportunity to speed. Therefore as the team are all fit, rested and raring to go, we think it’s a fantastic idea to get back out there and remind residents that we are still around, and so are the speed limits!
As many of you will have known, last night Vikki and the Unity Alliance faced their greatest challenge yet. In the wake of the of the tragic death of UA member Cllr Colin Bungey, and the pandemic that prevent a by-election of his successor, the Conservatives tried to exploit the situation to take power. Conservative Leader Drew Mellor had written not one but two letters, explicitly stating that he would not call a vote of no confidence to exploit a death and a national crisis for his own gain. Sadly, he changed his mind. The move was met with widespread outrage among both the Alliance and the public, nobody could believe that this was the right time for such a move and its destabilising effects. We have been so overcome with support from members, supporters and residents who simply just like the way the UA proves open, transparent and cooperative politics works for all. We cannot thank you enough, whether you signed the petition, emailed your councillor, wrote to the echo or just simply liked and shared things on social media you played a crucial role.
Bearwood & Merley councillors, David Brown, Richard Burton and Marcus Andrews were pleased to celebrate the opening of the new Merley Lane zebra crossing, with an attempted recreation of the famous Abbey Road photo. All three were very pleased to see the necessary improvement finally being made, almost one year on from their election as local councillors to BCP.
Residents are glad that their concerns over the safety of the old crossing are finally being acted on and children at Merley First School can walk to and from home safely. It is also of huge benefit to the vulnerable and elderly residents of Selkirk Close who will be able to visit the Harvey Practice and Oakley shops more safely at all. The improvements were funded entirely by a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) bid and were therefore entirely free of taxpayer funding!
Today BCP Council Leader Vikki Slade called up local MPs and Dorset Police to request that greater restrictions be placed on people travelling from outside the County and conurbation to local beaches. Following the chaotic scenes of this weekend it is clear that there exists a level of crowding that is simply dangerous in the grips of this pandemic and action needs to be taken to restrict the numbers of people flowing into the area for the good weather.
The scheme to reduce congestion and improve access to Bournemouth Airport started in July 2019 and was completed both on time and on budget earlier this week. The project was part of a collaboration between Dorset & BCP Councils as well as the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, in order to unlock land for future employment and economic growth. It has improved sliproads on to the A338 and local foot & cycle paths on the B3073, as well as boosting capacity by widening the road on both sides with an additional lane.
Council leaders and local politicians of all colours are calling on the Chancellor to reaffirm his support for local authorities in this time of crisis. Whilst local authorities have received some funding from government, a survey has hoever since shown that barely a 1/4 of the increased costs and lost revenues that councils are facing is covered by this money. A cross-party group of MPs has also called on the Chancellor to fill the local government funding gap through a letter to the Chancellor, signatories led by former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, include current interim Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, former Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn and former leader of the Greens Caroline Lucas.