Hello, I’m David Tooke and I’m a Liberal Democrat.
My wife, Elizabeth, and I have lived in this corner of North East Dorset for the last 30 years and more, raising our two children and growing deep roots here.
I have served on the Parish Council in Alderholt for several years and am a past Chairman of the Council. I was particularly active getting the Multi-Use Games Area installed, chairing the committee and working closely with other Councillors and residents. I have also been Chairman of the local Rugby Club (now sadly defunct) as well having been a local Scout and Cub Scout Leader for about 10 years. Working together with Cllr Martin Smethers, our local First Responder, we have raised funds for Community Defibrillators and have managed the installation of four functioning AED devices around Alderholt – I believe that these devices are life saving options and should be available in all of the villages within the ward.
I am concerned about a number of local issues.
- The Conservative East Dorset District Council, not long before its disappearance, proposed that Alderholt should be at least doubled, and possibly trebled in size. This proposal is wholly unsustainable. Our roads and services are inadequate to support such a gross over-development. We are remote from employment centres so this proposal would lead to much increased car travel. We have virtually no public transport, 1 bus 3 times a week at off peak hours. Health and education will suffer. And the surrounding villages – Cranborne, Sandleheath, and Rockbourne in particular will be choked with up to three times the traffic they suffer from now.
- The Conservative Council has been cutting subsidies to the local bus services. These are a vital resource helping many people get to the shops, to Doctor and Hospital appointments, to out of hours school activities, and to take a full part in a social life that others take for granted. It is only the efforts of Local Parishes that has saved our 97 Green Bus – for a very limited service.
- The Conservative controlled County Council cut funding to youth organisations, libraries and other essential services such as, very significantly – care provision for our parents and grandparents. Whilst they may claim that austerity is imposed by central (Conservative) government it is worth noting those areas of service which they feel are disposable.
- I believe that any building development across the region should include proper provision for Affordable Housing, so that our local young people are able to set up home and raise families, as I was able to. Planning guidelines for the District suggest around 40% of any scheme should be “affordable housing”. Whilst we must build new homes, we must ensure that they are not simply there to be second homes or luxury country getaways. Our Planners seem not to be interested in enforcing this. We already lost the affordable housing promised for Alderholt’s Surplus Stores site – because it was too expensive – a decision unchallenged by the Conservative East Dorset District Council.
- The road network around Verwood and Alderholt is unable to cope with the amount of traffic it currently carries, both communities are faced with Developer led expansion applications, which would, if permitted, impose even greater burdens on our transport facilities. We badly need improvements to the road network.
- Both County and District Councils have spent millions of pounds a year on Consultants who are advising on how to make things better. Significant amounts were spent recently on re-organising Dorset Waste Partnership for example, which immediately suffered setbacks with collection rounds missed across the area. The Council must realise they cannot continue to spend OUR money without getting a return.
I am a Liberal Democrat because:
I believe in a free, fair, and open society to which people can all contribute, and where all the layers of government exist to help people attain these ideals. I believe that we all need to co-operate as much as possible: locally, nationally and internationally. I believe in individual freedom and human rights, and a strong and competitive economy where the market operates as freely as possible, but where the state takes responsibility for ensuring that this freedom does not abuse vulnerable or minority groups.
If you want to know more about Liberal Democrat values please follow the link to the
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, and if I can help then I will.
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