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South Ferndown Residents Association

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Vote! Police and Crime Commissioner Election 6th May

Ferndown residents will have the opportunity to vote in the forthcoming Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner election.

This election should have taken place back in May 2020. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic it has been postponed until now. This year there are no elections for county Councillors within our area.

One of the problems with having just this one major election in Dorset is that many people will not bother to vote. The election will be lucky if it gets a 20% turnout. Which means that of a total electorate of just under 600,000 possibly only 120,000 will vote. There are five candidates. The winning candidate will probably gain no more than 40,000 first preference votes. That’s for an area with a population of 772,270! The the winning margin will be at best few thousand votes. Or less. So you can see why every vote is important!

Police and Crime Commissioner Voting Arrangements

Police and Crime Commissioner elections use a voting scheme known as the Supplementary Voting system. It’s easy to understand and use.

Each voter gets a first and second choice on the ballot paper. You don’t have to use the second choice vote if you don’t want to. You can just vote like you do in a normal election. It is up to you.

The candidates will be ranked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th depending on their first preference vote share. All but the two leading candidates are then eliminated.

The the second choice ballots of the eliminated candidates are then checked. Any second choices that are for either of the two remaining candidates are added to the their count. The winner is then the remaining candidate with the biggest vote share.

What Does a Police and Crime Commissioner do?

Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are elected to direct policing policy and to hold the police to account. Their responsibilities include the police force’s budget. In extreme circumstances they can dismiss the Chief Constable and/or appoint his/her replacement. They are mandated to produce a strategic plan to direct policing within their area over the period of their service.

We hope to devote more space to the candidates in future posts But here is a brief synopsis for each of the five candidates (in alphabetical order):

Patrick Canavan (website here)

Patrick is a Labour and Co-operative Party candidate. He has previously contested this election. He wants to protect communities, cut crime and increase the number of successful prosecutions.

Dan Hardy (website here)

Dan was once a Detective Inspector on the Specialist Crime Directorate. Politically independent, he has a detailed understanding of the strategic and tactical issues facing a modern police force.

Mark Robson (website here)

Mark is a Liberal Democrat candidate and Councillor. He serves on the adult health committee. As a resident, member of the community and local campaigner, he knows the county well.

Claire Seymour (Facebook Page here)

Claire is a Green Party candidate. She has a degree in Public Services and is a strategic lead for a large housing provider. She has also volunteered as a Police special constable.

David Sidwick (website here)

David is a Conservative and Unionist candidate. He wants to to make Dorset the UK’s safest county. David also wishes to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. He wants to keep people safe and secure.

The Retiring Police and Crime Commissioner

The retiring Police and Crime Commissioner is Martin Underhill. Mr Underhill was elected on an independent platform. He based his candidacy on his expertise in policing issues and his many years of experience as a senior police officer. In 2012 he won his first Police and Crime commissioner election. He was then successfully re-elected in 2016.

Unprovoked Yarn Bombing in West Parley

The locals in South Ferndown’s neighbouring patch of West Parley are intrigued. A mysterious (and rather lovely) Yarn bombing has taken place. (if you don’t know what a Yarn Bombing is Read this link).

In the dead of night (or so we suppose) the GYBMWP (Guerilla Yarn Bombing Movement of West Parley) carried out a daring and audacious raid on a Pillar Box in Chine Walk. It is unknown whether the Police have been informed or whether the SAS have been put on stand-by.

Here is the result:

Yarn Bombing West Parley
The Yarn Bombing in Chine Walk

A close up (below) reveals  the true nature of this Yarn Bombing attack. Obviously Easter themed, this Woolly scene has been held responsible for putting a smile on the faces of many passing this post box.

West Parley yarn bombing close up
Yarn Bombing close up

Fancy that. Making people smile in these troubled times.

Where will it end?

So who is the secretive GYBMWP?

More to the point, who precisely in the neighbourhood has the the time and skill to perform such a revolutionary act? Is this an isolated incident? Or is it merely the first strike from a County wide movement?

So:

Do you know who has perpetrated this random act of unprovoked kindness?

Have they struck anywhere else?

Who exactly is responsible for this West Parley Yarn Bombing?

Is Ferndown next?

Draft Dorset Local Plan Consultation Closed.

The first public Dorset Local Plan Consultation closed yesterday (15/03/2021).

So what happens now?

Council officers will now analyse the replies and this will advise (not necessarily change) the contents of the draft Local Plan.

When Does this Process End?

The new local plan must be in place by December 2023. Before this happens it must be revised and go to another public consultation. After that it will be submitted to the Secretary of State. Currently the Secretary of State is Priti Patel. She will appoint an inspector from the Planning Inspectorate to carry out an independent public examination of the plan. This examination must be complete and the Local Plan in place before December 2023.

During this examination there will be the opportunity to criticize (either negatively or positively) aspects of the plan as well as aspects of the plan process. There will written submissions and (almost certainly) public hearings where individuals and interested groups will be allowed to address the Inspector and his/her team.

What there is still to do

So what do the residents of Ferndown, West Parley and Dorset need to do now?

The sheer inertia within a large council like Dorset will mean that every change to the draft Local Plan will have to be pushed forward against a tide of opposition. Every small change to the wording, let alone policy changes, will be resisted. No change will be made with enthusiasm.

So in order to exert the maximum pressure on the council we all must continue to highlight the issues within this Local Plan that we are concerned about. We must (at every opportunity) bring up these issues with our council representatives.

Tell your Councillors about how appalling you find it that the council is planning to build green belt. Tell them how shocked you are that Special Character Areas are being secretly done away with.

We must not stay silent and rely on Dorset Council to do the right thing. There is a risk that if we just dutifully stand down like obedient citizens then the examination of responses we have made so far will be treated simply as a paper-work exercise.

It is also a time where we we see what metal our local Councillors are made of.

Those Councillors (for Ferndown & West Parley) Are:

Councillor Cathy Lugg (Ferndown North)

Councillor Mike Parkes (Ferndown North)

Councillor Rod Adkins (Ferndown South)

Councillor Julie Robinson (Ferdown South)

Councillor Andrew Parry (West Parley)

If you are elsewhere in Dorset you will find your Councillor on THIS page

The second consultation is going to be months away. Getting things changed through that second consultation will be even harder than in the first. So every pressure we can exert now in support of our responses to the first draft will pay dividends.

There appears to be no public target timetable within Dorset Council for this plan, or at least none that the author has found. So we must stay vigilant and ensure that the next milestone does not end up (like the last one) losing a significant amount of the allotted consultation time due to poor publicity from the council.

Register to receive Planning Policy email updates

Put the onus on the council to keep you informed. Register today with them to be on the planning policy development email list.

You can do this on THIS Dorset Council link.

Note:

Although it says “take the survey”, it is not a survey. Neither is it expired. It is an email registration and appears to work.