Update from Michael Tomlinson
You may have seen in the news before Christmas the slightly bizarre news that an animal welfare charity asked the village of Wool to change its name to “Vegan Wool”. Dorset is well known for its interesting place names, but I had never considered Wool to be one of them. I love the fact that places in my constituency such as Happy Bottom and Shitterton have never changed their names out of concern for political correctness –after all, why should we change ancient names which have endured quite happily for many generations.
I grew up in the rural county of Herefordshire, which has many similarities to Dorset, though fewer strange names! I have lived in Dorset with my family for over 15 years now, and although I am aware that this makes us relative newcomers, it really is my home. Every week when I return to the constituency from Westminster my heart lifts as I leave the hustle and bustle of London behind, and I can breathe the fresh Dorset air.
We are very blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country – particularly with the Jurassic coast right on our doorstep. A recent article in the Guardian newspaper suggested that Wimborne is a place that has barely changed since 1951, and that it is a little dull. I have to disagree with their sentiments. One of the great things about being the MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole is that I get to see and hear about a wide range of events and businesses in this area. From cutting edge film special effects in Sandford, to award winning technological ideas in Poole, to craft brewing in Wimborne, and the volunteer-run traditional cinema in Wareham. It is no surprise that 2018 had a significant increase in visitors to Dorset - there is so much to visit, so much to see.
Members of Parliament are often accused of living in a bubble, forgetting the people who they represent. But Dorset is my home, and where my family live, and I spend as much time at home as Parliament allows. Yes, I spend most of the working week in London, but Dorset is never far from my thoughts. I am also kept grounded by the many emails and letters which I receive from you, my constituents, for which I thank you.
I do not want to ignore the subject of the day, Brexit, but events in Westminster are moving so quickly at the moment that it would be pointless for me to comment in detail in this column, as it will be sure to be out of date by the time it is published! If you want to find out my view, please do get in touch or visit my website or facebook.
If you have an issue that you need help with, please do get in touch; email me on email@example.com or contact my office on 01202 624216. You can also follow what I’ve been doing on Twitter @Michael4mdnp or Facebook www.facebook.com/michael4MDNP