I WROTE this column last Tuesday, just before the Budget which I will comment on next time. Rest assured that I continue to make representations to the Treasury as to what support we need for our unique community here in Dorset.
Particularly important to Lyme Regis is our fishing industry. I attended the Blue Marine Foundation’s Lyme Bay meeting last month to better understand the issues facing our fishermen.
I have also written to every fisherman in Lyme Regis and West Bay, offering my assistance during this challenging time.
I am optimistic that Brexit will revitalise our fishing industry, returning our fleets to their historic strength, albeit with some friction at the moment.
Over 20 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. At the start of last week, over 35 per cent of constituents here in West Dorset have received their first jab, and I expect that proportion has risen higher still since then.
It feels to me that a return to normality is in sight.
Last week, I met with the West Dorset Environmental Alliance, including Cllr Rob Smith of Lyme Regis Town Council, and, earlier this week, I met with a group of national charities that are supportive of my campaign against single use plastics.
We must leave our environment in a better state than we found it – this was and is an election manifesto commitment I was proud to stand on and I am focussing at the moment on highlighting the huge damage that single use plastics are doing to our environment.
It also means that we need to challenge supermarkets about their continuing provision of goods in plastic packaging with no alternative.
This week, I joined online meetings about the Dorset Local Plan. I’m concerned that our market towns are being pressured into having large housing quota because they are not within the proposed Dorset National Park.
This only strengthens my view that we should not have a National Park in Dorset. The creation of a National Park would be a historic mistake in my opinion.
Proponents of the park appear fixed on obtaining a brand, with serious implications for local democracy and housing that, as someone who was born and brought up here, I cannot support.
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West Dorset MP