After the referendum
News from Westminster
People always say that a week is a long time in politics – which was certainly true in the week following the referendum. I understand that many people who voted remain in the referendum are disappointed by the outcome. Before the referendum, I campaigned to leave the EU for three main reasons; control, democracy and sovereignty. Whilst I appreciate that leaving the EU may pose some challenges, I am confident and optimistic about our future. Leaving the EU represents an excellent opportunity to become an even more outward looking nation, whilst also increasing both the transparency and accountability of Government.
The conduct of both the Remain and Leave campaigns during the referendum has attracted criticism. In the coming days and months, I hope that the debate about our future relationship with Europe and withdrawal from the EU can be conducted with respect, tolerance and an understanding of the reasons why people voted for either side. I was delighted to receive positive feedback from my public meetings praising the tone of the debate – and I would like that positive tone to be adopted nationally. I wholeheartedly condemn the rise in reported racist and xenophobic incidents that have occurred. I will continue to work with my colleagues and others to ensure a secure and stable future for all of the United Kingdom’s residents.
Many residents have contacted me about proposals for development in Poole and Purbeck. I am clear that planning is a matter for locally elected councillors to decide upon. However I am also determined to ensure that local authorities are fully aware of the strength of feeling that many people have about such development, especially in the Green Belt. I recently met with the Secretary of State for Local Government to impress upon him the importance of protecting the Green Belt and ensuring that the views of local people are able to be taken into consideration when looking at areas for future development.
I accept that there is a need for some new housing to meet the needs of local people. However, I want every effort to be made to use brownfield sites first and protect our precious Green Belt. Currently the council is consulting on various options for housing. I urge all residents to complete the consultation by the closing date of 8th August 2016.
By the time you read this, we will hopefully be enjoying some warmer weather! There are a wide variety of events and places to visit across Dorset during August, and please do stop and speak to me if you see me. As a dog owner, I would ask you not to leave your dog in the car. Sadly, every year dogs are left in cars that are far too hot, which causes unnecessary suffering, and in some cases can kill.