Diary - a meeting of minds as plans for the future of Weymouth & Portland come together

First up was our weekly conference call with Dorset Council. These calls with senior officials, councillors and MPs has proved extremely useful and informative. Then it was down to Weymouth on my bike. It was very hot and the traffic was heavy but my bike proved its worth yet again and I arrived at Portland Port at 1130. Port CEO Bill Reeves was kindly hosting a meeting of the South Dorset Business Advisory Panel, which I initiated some months ago. Bill has attracted a number of businessmen and women to the panel, whose task is to plan ahead for the next 20, 30, 40 years to create a place fit for business. A lot of work has been done and we discussed a draft document with the panel's asks. Figures will now be put to it, before we lobby Government hard for funds. It's only by planning, prioritising and working together that we can hope to get the investment we need. Bill had kindly provided some sandwiches, so the four of us at the port tucked in. The other contributors had joined virtually. More good news today in that the local paper reported that Dorset County Hospital will receive more than £60 million of Government funding to expand clinical services on their site, including a new A&E centre. The MP for W Dorset, Chris Loder, and I, have lobbied hard for this for some time and the news comes after a recent and fruitful meeting with the minister. Finally, we learnt that the current Deputy Chief Constable Dave Lewis is to retire, to be replaced by Scott Chilton. I wish Dave a happy and peaceful retirement and welcome his successor.