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Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill at Lyme Regis democracy event
DORSET'S new Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill was among the guest speakers at a democracy event in Lyme Regis.
He took part in the event with speakers from the NHS - Lyme doctor Forbes Watson, chairman of the new Clinical Commissioning Group, and a spokesman for Virgin Health Care who have taken over the GP surgeries in Lyme Regis, as well as politicians Dorset County Councillor Trevor Jones, and West Dorset District Councillor Andy Canning.
Mr Underhill said it was a really interesting spread of speakers for the event and stimulating questions from the audience.
He said: “It was a great opportunity to meet the people of Lyme Regis.
“I explained my new role and the new policing plan which is out for consultation and about PCC forums.
“There were several questions from the floor about PCSOs and about the closure of the A35 last weekend.”
Lyme Regis Town Councillor George Symonds was in the audience and he said it was a very positive meeting.
He said: “We have not got somebody we can actually speak to face to face who is there to represent the views of what the public want.
“There was various issues raised about the main A35 road and how that could be improved.
“At least he was listening to what the electorate had to say.”
Coun Symonds raised the issue of Police Community Support Officers - saying they did a good job in the town but their cover over bank holidays was non existent because there is no money to pay them.
He said: “They might work voluntary but there are days in January when potentially we could have two of them but on a bank holiday in Easter we could really do with them with the influx of people.
“He did listen to my concerns.
“He is an elected representative and he was here in Lyme to hear the views of local people.
“If he doesn't do a good job he probably won't be re-elected.”
Coun Symonds added that Dr Forbes' contribution came over as very positive for health care in the region.
He said: “It was very positive to hear that we have got a chairman who is a local doctor representing our views at a very high level.”
The Lyme Regis and Marshwood Vale Lib Dems organised the event in Woodmead Halls in an effort to prove that democracy is not dead.
Steve Trevethan, chairman of the Lib Dem group, said: “This meeting is part of our efforts to show and make sure that democracy is not dead although it does get 'cracks on the head' and could and should be in better health.
“We are extremely grateful to the speakers who are so generous with their time and their many and various contributions to our society in our part of Dorset.”