NO prizes for guessing the most often asked question when we travel around the area reporting on various events.
Following my column on LymeOnline a few weeks ago, in which I said the crass behaviour of our councillors had made Lyme a laughing stock – not the most popular read in the Guildhall, as you can imagine – we are usually greeted with the following: “What is going on with your council?”
We usually shrug our shoulders and utter something as inane as “Twas ever thus”. And then they laugh.
It may well be argued that it doesn’t matter what folk who live outside the town think, but Lyme councillors should not believe for one moment that the last bust-up in the council chamber will be quickly forgotten.
It is a fact that few people take much interest in local government but there is a significant number of citizens who care greatly about the town who are thoroughly disillusioned and disgusted by what has gone on. Just take a look at Nigel Ball’s letter this week.
Probably because I’ve sat in the mayoral chair as the town’s youngest mayor and have covered council meetings as a journalist for longer than I care to remember, people often stop me to ask: “What can we do to stop such behaviour?”
Whilst the antics of some councillors clearly breach the Nolan principles for behaviour in public office, and the council’s code of conduct, I usually reply that there would seem to be very little the electorate can do other than to express their feelings through the ballot box – and in the case of Lyme Regis Town Council that’s two years away.
But I was reminded there possibly is another way. Dorset Council has invited its residents to write to them about their town/parish councils.
The idea was not to encourage complaints but to gain information on more mundane matters. But if enough Lyme residents wrote to draw attention to the toxic atmosphere among town council members, they might just be forced to look into such complaints.
You can get further details from: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/community-governance-review. If you care, do it.
The pleasure in giving our grandkids a taste of Lyme
I HAD long envied those grandparents in Lyme who were able to take their grandkids to the many children’s events during Regatta & Carnival Week.
Admittedly, they often looked shattered by the end of the day, but that’s all part of having the pleasure of caring for your children’s children.
It came fairly late in life for me – but finally our two grandkids, now aged six and four, were old enough to take part in the myriad of activities arranged for children – and they had a whale of time.
As a former regatta secretary, I had organised plenty of torchlight processions, which have become a tradition for many Lyme families, but I had never taken part in one.
Congratulations to the regatta committee. They are thin on the ground in numbers but more than make up for that with their enthusiasm and endeavour.
As always, they did Lyme proud.
Congratulations also to Sarah Causley for staging last week’s ‘Curtain Up’ show at the Woodmead Halls. LymeOnline was unable to be there due to family commitments (see above) but we’ve heard from many quarters what a wonderful show it was.