Working together to support fish merchants and exporters

West Dorset MP Chris Loder with his springer spaniel Poppy

SINCE we left the European Union, I know that some fishermen, especially in Lyme Regis and West Bay, have been experiencing difficulties with exports at the border into France, Belgium and other European countries.

I’ve been working closely with Anthony Mangnall, the MP for Brixham, on this and together we have been supporting fish merchants and exporters, intervening on their behalf with Defra, to help them overcome these issues.

Last month, with the help of the harbourmaster for Lyme Regis and Bridport and the Blue Marine Foundation, I have reached out to all fishermen, with a letter offering my support and inviting them to get in touch with me, and I’m pleased many have already done so.

The Local Plan for Dorset is open for consultation until March 15 and I have a strong view on it. I believe the plan needs to support our local economies and we should not be planning for large-scale housing developments such as some areas of West Dorset, for example in Dorchester, have experienced.

New housing should go to support our local town and village economies by protecting the future of our community services, schools, small shops, pubs and churches – rather than enabling urban sprawl.

If you feel strongly about it, you must ensure your view is taken into account. Please support the virtual Planning Committee meeting being held by Lyme Regis Town Council on February 16 at 7pm, as it will be an opportunity to influence the council’s response.

It is also important to respond to the consultation personally. You will find more details on my website at

In news from Westminster this week, we are now one step closer to tougher sentencing for those who commit the worst kinds of cruelty against innocent animals, as my Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill passed the committee stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, but in terms of penalties we are currently amongst the lowest. My bill makes provision for the maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to be increased from six months to up to five years.

It will now progress through parliament and hopefully on to the statute book.

To find out more about this important Bill, including the inspiration behind it and the story of my own springer spaniel Poppy, visit:

Finally, if you would like to receive my latest news and updates, please sign up to my newsletter at:

Chris Loder,
West Dorset MP

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