Tories urged to vote in May elections
AS president of Sherborne Conservative branch I was among those welcoming its annual meeting guest speaker, Mr Fred Horsington.
He told members about his life as a farmer and councillor and, since February 2012, chairman of the West Dorset Conservative Association.
He spoke of his passion for getting things done and promoting the party.
While expressing disappointment with some current Government decisions, Fred noted that most young people did not seem bothered about it at all.
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However, he felt the loss of some rural members would show a drop in association funds and was concerned about Dr Oliver Letwin's narrow majority as their West Dorset MP.
Praising the efficiency of both West Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council, he urged members to vote for their candidates in the May election.
Fred also told members about the move by the association to employ a professional company to engage with young people through the modern use of Facebook and Twitter. Finally, Fred thanked all branch members and reminded them that events organised by the branch were there to be enjoyed by all members.
Branch chairman Councillor Peter Shorland announced that Juliet Pentolfe and Jennifer Huitson were standing down from committee duties for personal reasons and he took the opportunity to thank both for their hard work and support.
Reviewing the work of the committee during the year, Peter said the branch had maintained the high level of funding sent to the constituency association.
Outlining forthcoming events, he called for good support of an Easter wine tasting event on March 22 with Sainsbury's own wine expert, Andrew Bennett, and the Midsummer dinner in the Old Schoolroom, Sherborne School, on July 5.
Councillor Robert Gould, who serves on both county and district councils, explained how he would be fighting the county elections in May.
He reported that council services had been maintained while still making large savings to the budget.
Council tax and car parking charges had been held for another year and the joining of West Dorset District Council and the Weymouth authority under one chief executive was working well and that, too, was making large savings.
On the subject of how he sees Sherborne, Robert said that the planning policy "did not allow for an out-of-town food store," and that he would resist such a store with great vigour.