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:

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:

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.

A letter to the Guardian…

The Editor

Dear Madam,

We are asked to put our trust in our PM to produce a good deal for the UK regarding the EU. She likes to tell us that we have a ‘strong and stable’ government at present. Therefore why do we need an election? 

I am very glad that we are having one however since the timing is perfect – coming as it does at the – ‘END OF MAY’ !

Last year Leicester City, this year ….  who knows !?

Yours sincerely,
Rob Bygrave

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:

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:


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!

Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Jeremy, Having been a member of The Party for the last 33 years in West Dorset, and served as District and Town councillor for 24 years, PPC and CLP Chair during that time I am urging you to make it clear where Labour stands on the isssue of Brexit. The uncertainty is doing us a lot of harm in that many loyal members are getting worried that our MPs will not ‘put their vote where their conscience is’,and some are leaving the party.

The UK is a representative democracy which means that the MPs are required to put the public interest first – not their own. Therefore if they voted a certain way in the referendum they should reflect on this and vote to support the best interests of the whole country – in any future vote.Under our Constitution that is what the people are entitled to expect.

The MPs need to evaluate all the evidence before they do this, although before the referendum the MP’s vote was 480/ 145 to remain – a huge margin of 3:1.

All the evidence so far since June 23rd confirms their scepticism for leaving. The pound has become devalued by 20%, and independent forecasts on growth, jobs, wages, social cohesion, human rights , environmental issues,security and trade deals suggest that leaving The EU will be a disaster for the UK. In fact the UK may even cease to exist after we have left.

These are forecasts being made before we have left the EU and analysis of them makes the public interest quite clear.

We are being told by the hateful media that “The people have spoken” . In fact 28% of those who could vote won a majority. There was no threshold in terms of the percentage vote required to produce a valid result, and the size of the winning margin was also given no limitation in the event of the result being very close. Thus the eventual outcome is not a valid majority of ‘the people’ at all .

How can a vote by 28% of the country, led by a government that obtained 24% of the vote at the last General Election claim that this was, in any way an exercise in ‘Democracy’.It would be a travesty if it determines our future? On top of this our stand-in Prime Minister who voted to remain has no mandate ,since nobody has voted for her. Her predecessor as PM, who is responsible for this mess, had to resign.Our European colleagues must be laughing at us.

Making a decision on this issue is a matter of judgement, so that the conclusions of others should be considered. Therefore it is relevant to reflect on the opinion of previous Prime Ministers. The last five living Prime Ministers voted to remain in The EU, as did the previous four deceased ones in 1975. In fact one of them was responsible for pushing through the Single Market Act on which so much of our future depends.

What do this 28% know that they do not ?

I therefore urge you to work as hard as you can for The UK to remain in the EU and to vote for the common good when the time comes.

Yours sincerely,
Rob Bygrave Chair Sherborne Labour Party

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:

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!

The Leadership Election

Even for the “Independent”, the number and use of unnamed anonymous “sources” in this article ( is quite astonishing. However, amongst all the usual speculative delusion, there is one factor which causes concern to anyone who believes in the Labour Party, its principles and in he democratic process of the Labour movement. It is abundantly clear that elements within the Parliamentary Labour Party, are even now, planning another coup in the event that Jeremy Corbyn should emerge as winner in the current ballot.

The failed coup of earlier this year, has now descended into a sham leadership election, because the conspirators still fail to accept the democratic decision of the Labour party membership and cling to their over inflated view of their own ego’s and the belief that they have some “Divine right of Kings” to hold all power in the Labour Party. In much the same way as these egoists plotted and planned the overthrow of Corbyn, even before the 2015 leadership election, they now scheme and conspire to undermine and remove Corbyn after the result of this leadership election is declared. Regardless of what reasons they may present as justification for their duplicitous acts, no matter how much the media and television may support and encourage them, their real motivation is as clear as crystal. They seek only to retain power in their immediate circle, the continuation of the “status quo” as in the days of Blair, Brown and more latterly Miliband Minor. The continuation of the policies which were roundly rejected by the electorate at the most recent General elections.

The plotters have no respect for the Labour Party, its membership or for the democratic processes being concerned only with clinging on to their privileged positions and all that goes with it. Even their constant references to the “unelectable Jeremy Corbyn” and “electorate” has a hollow ring. The electorate has never been given a clear distinct choice between the parties. They have been offered “austerity” from the Conservatives or “austerity” in a different coloured box by the Labour party. All that is set to change and the Parliamentary Labour Party are petrified. I would have thought that after the election result is declared on September 24th, we could then concentrate on attacking the real enemy of people in this country, instead of targeting our own colleagues on the Labour benches.

The people of this country are in desperate need of a Labour government to roll back the excesses of this conservative administration and the ConDem coalition which preceded it. Alas, it seems that the personal ambitions and duplicitous scheming of some in the Parliamentary Labour Party will significantly hinder the improvements in our society that most of us in the Labour party and the wider electorate seek to create.

John Yates