Category Archives: Sherborne

Letter to Mr J Corbyn

Dear Jeremy et al,
I am sending on a message from one of our very active members in our branch in West Dorset. He knew my wife and I were coming to The Conference and wants you to get this message.
He is 98, infirm and a veteran of the 2nd World War.
He is a remainer like me. My question to you would be about the legality of treating an ‘advisory’ referendum, without a threshold, as if it were ‘mandatory’. Will any further referendum have a threshold ,so making it mandatory, or will a ‘one vote’ majority be sufficient to claim it is the ‘will of the people’ – as last time?
Best wishes,
Rob and Linda Bygrave
Sherborne Labour Party 

Yet another coffee shop in Sherborne… Yes!

I know this is a bit late coming (the article I refer to is from October 2017), however it is something I have been meaning to write about for a while now.

Before we knew that the old Melson Wingate opticians was going to be Cafe Nero, the town [supposedly] was completely up in arms about the potential of yet ‘another’ coffee shop being introduced to Sherborne.  The article I refer to is one of many that was published:  https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink/sherborne-yet-another-coffee-shop-636241

The main concern from current Sherborne town goers, was the abundance of coffee shops already available, apparently about 80 places to sip a Cafe Latte or relax with a tall Americano.

The way I see the addition of Cafe Nero is twofold.  Firstly, rather than a huge empty shop in the middle of the town (like many shops in the Quedam centre in Yeovil), we have filled an otherwise empty establishment, bringing people into the town and providing a hub for young, old and families to enjoy each other’s company with a cuppa or two.  Secondly, I rather like the idea that Sherborne is becoming a ‘coffee hub’ of Dorset – why not?  Its a very European cultural activity, and very en-trend with a many different age groups.  And surely, its better than everyone going to the pub?!  How times have changed, there used to be 15 or so pubs in the town!

I can only see positives for the additions of companies like Costa and Cafe Nero in the town.  Personally, I love to sit reading the paper with a coffee and slab of cake, in the very cool and sophisticated atmosphere of Cafe Nero.  Those who complain and suggest that this will only drive the older, more traditional coffee and tea shops out of town, need worry not.  The introduction of Costa only proved this – no coffee shop has closed or suffered as a result.

The Danish may say we were very Hygge for having so many coffee outlets, the French and Spanish would praise us for our Cafe culture.  Lets embrace it and not complaint about it!

Over and out.

Sherborne Labour Party Member.

Zebra Crossing – Abbey Road, Sherborne

Discussed at the recent Sherborne Branch meetings was the possibility of a crossing at a busy and dangerous Sherborne road in the town Centre.

See below the letter that was devised by the party secretary, and sent onwards to Trevor Savage, Town Clerk to Sherborne Town Council.

The Sherborne branch are prioritising ‘Local Issues’ at meetings and hope to be actioning even more letters and correspondence like this.

Campaigning in Sherborne

The Sherborne Labour Party [along with other branches across Dorset and the South West] have certainly been out in force.  The Sherborne Market received good feedback and lots of great discussion going on last Saturday when some members of the team were ‘out and about’.  And thats simply what its about at this very important time of the year.

As we look towards 8th June in trepidation, we need to come together and leaflet, campaign, phone, door knock.  If you are interested in getting involved, contact Alex who is coordinating busy campaign trail in Sherborne: apdbathurst@gmail.com

In the mean time, good luck everyone and keep up the fantastic work!  The door knocking is too, revealing some positive feedback and support for the Labour Party and our great parliamentary candidate, Lee Rhodes.  Enjoy the video and picture below.

Schools: cuts and MATs

Many people have asked me about the school cuts and being a secondary school teacher, I know a little of the detail, but I also know the place you need to go to find out the more pressing details!  The Government cuts to education and schools can be found on this very useful website:  https://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#/

The site allows the user to type in specific postcodes or school names and find out exactly how much money is being cut / need to be saved by schools in the coming years.  The information is given in terms of ‘amount of teachers’, or ‘specific resource per student’ – some of the figures are alarming to say the least.  The astounding impact for local Gryphon School for instance is:

-£495,794

The site also allows users to contact local MPs, sign petitions and much more.  Worth a look if you have five minutes.

Talking of Gryphon School, another topic of interest within the local community at the moment is the introduction of a local Multi Academy Trust (MAT), which brings together 8 primary schools and one secondary school in one business like transformation which aims to build and implement changes and links to improve the education of the community.  As expected there are obvious benefits of all schools coming together to be one, but also some potential worries for both community and staff / students at he schools.

All information and questions can be found here, worth a read if you get a minute!  http://www.gryphon.dorset.sch.uk/parents/sast/

Education… again!?

It has been interesting to read and watch all the hoo-hah about ‘Education, Not Segregation’ of late.  Why is this important at the moment?  Why are we focussing on Education once again when there are so many other much more vital areas to be discussing.  How about Mental Health which is seen to be on the rise in recent articles? See below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/29/one-in-four-young-women-suffering-from-mental-health-problems-as/

As a teacher myself, it angers me that Theresa May has decided that THIS is a key item to be discussing.  Mr Gove has already ‘shaken’ things up and made his mark on the education system, so why oh why is this happening?

Please, please concentrate your forces on something else, NHS, Mental Health, the EU, the Environment ??

So, in answer to my original question, Why is This Important – it’s NOT!  So please join us (The Sherborne Labour Party) and the national party to fight against this catastrophic proposal of Grammar Schools!

Sherborne Town Council Tax

Over the last five years the Sherborne parish precept has risen for a band D property from £120.20 to £184.51, a rise of circa 53%. Whereas the West Dorset precept has only risen from £124.80 to £134.75  a rise of circa 8%. Now the Town is much higher than the District when previously it was lower.

According to the figures sent to me by West Dorset Council, Sherborne appears to have the highest council tax based on band D for the whole of West Dorset.  Slightly higher than both Bridport & Dorchester.  If this high rate of increase continues in five years time the Sherborne precept could be circa £282.30 & in ten years circa £431.91. In twenty years at this rate of increase of circa 53% every five years the Sherborne precept alone could be just over £1000.

This rate of increase is, I believe, unsustainable & anyway unfair to residents on modest incomes who would either have to struggle to pay this or else perhaps consider moving elsewhere to a cheaper area.  As a Parish poll is likely to be an additional burden on Sherborne council tax payers I believe perhaps a petition could be organised sometime in the next 12 months or so depending upon whether or not the Town council is able or willing to ensure any increases are moderate in future e.g. in line with the rate of inflation or circa 3%.

Terry Prior (Sherborne Labour Party Member)

April thoughts

Well, here we are in April, which has been a mixture of miserable April showers and a dash of sunshine over the last week or so!  The EU Referendum is closer than ever, and 5th May is just around the corner.  Amidst this busy political agenda and frantic campaigning, it is always pleasing to see positive local press.

The article which I refer to here is that of news that Pete Bryer is the latest recipient of the Mervyn Smith Community Champion Award.  I remember this time last year, during the annual Sherborne Town Council Town Meeting [I was representing a local organisation and giving a short update of the charity’s annual successes].  I sat next to Pete’s wife, Chris and we had a catch up – it had been a long time since we’d chatted.  I used to attend the Youth Centre whilst Pete was running the show, back in the day! At this very meeting my thoughts turned to Pete, and I wondered if recognition would be given for his hard work in the community over the years?  What a phenomenal outcome this is – well done Pete and from the Sherborne Labour Party, we wish you luck with the potential future venture with the Youth Centre.  As I have written in a previous post – it is a vital asset to the young people of the town, and its great that a group of people are thinking so hard about its future.

You can read the article below or by clicking here.
Joe – Sherborne Labour Party Member and website manager.