Local Lib Dems query rationale for voluntary redundancies at West Dorset District Council

Councillors at West Dorset District Council responded to the retiring leader Robert Gould's statement that staff were leaving the authority because of an upturn in the private sector rather than as a response to the changes taking place at the authority.

Mr John Grantham, a member of the public, had asked a question about why staff were leaving and how many had taken voluntary redundancies as part of the merger with Weymouth and Portland, which the Councils say has saved 6 million pounds.

In 2012-13 41 staff left, 7.4 percent of the total representing 33 voluntary retirements and 8 redundancies. In 2013 - 14 the figures were 3.5 percent, 25 retirements and 8 redundancies.

But Liberal Democrats question the rationale offered by the council leader. "We know that this has been a period of extreme stress for staff, with many having received changes to their pay grades and in their wages, and we are concerned that the forthcoming merger with North Dorset will heighten the pressure", said Cllr Stella Jones, Lib Dem Group Leader.



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Local Lib Dem motion to end tax dodging passed

A Liberal Democrat motion to support he Action Aid campaign to end tax dodging was passed today at West Dorset District Council with only the Conservative Executive voting against it. Council Leader, Anthony Alford, claimed the motion did not achieve anything that wasn't already being done.

However, Cllr Ros Kayes, our parliamentary candidate, argued that the issue was about taking a stance, naming and shaming tax avoiders and creating a climate in which corporate tax avoidance is seen as something shameful rather than as something to be applauded.


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Vearse farm Bridport: the facts

Some recent literature circulating in Bridport has been deliberately misleading about Vearse farm, we would like to tell you the facts.

In 2011 West Dorset District Council held several consultation meetings, none of which were inBridport, and only a few representatives from local organisations, including Bridport Town and Local Parish Councils, were invited. Even before this event, Vearse Farm was firmly fixed within the Plan to provide over 700 housesto satisfy West Dorset’s District quota.

Lib Dem Councillors Ros Kayes, Sarah Williams and Dave Rickard have been campaigning for adequate provision of affordable homes for local people, planned infrastructure including necessary improvements to the A35 and protection for the environment in the AONB.


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What's wrong with local politics?

There's a meeting today in Dorchester called by Public First which will allow members of the public their say about a Unitary Council in Dorset. In 2013, film maker Robert Golden interviewed Ros, our parliamentary candidates, as part of his democracy project. He's kindly allowed us to use this clip of film which is about what's wrong with local government (click on the link below). Ros will be speaking - but it's more a meeting about listening. 7.30 Dorchester Corn Exchange - please come if you can.

What's wrong with local politics?



Is your 2-year-old entitled to free childcare?

Since September 2014 40% more 2-year-olds have been entitled to 15 free hours of free early education per week - up from 20% the previous year.

Giving a helping hand to families that need it most will mean thousands more children get a brighter start in life. All the evidence shows that if you compare two 5-year-olds hanging up their coats next to each other on the first day of school, the poorer child will already be behind their better off classmate before a single lesson has been taught.


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Lib Dems to introduce Young Person's Bus Pass

A proposal has been set out which would see all 16-21 year olds would be given a Young Person’s Bus Pass. It would help young people with the cost of travel by offering a minimum two thirds discount on bus travel in England. Bus companies would then be able to add their own discounts on top of that. 

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