QUESTIONS have been asked about the “War and Peace” proportions of papers for Dorset Council meetings.

Cllr Robin Legg says the recent Cabinet produced an astonishing 812 pages for councillors and others to read.

“In less than three months cabinet members have comfortably read more pages than are contained in Tolstoy’s epic “War and Peace." Does this feat cause the Leader to reflect with pride on their achievement or raise a doubt in his mind about how the effective management of the authority can be properly conducted through a cabinet governance structure?” said the Sherborne councillor.

But Council Leader Spence Flower was unabashed – defending the Cabinet system of managing the council and claiming that the meeting had been exceptionally busy with an element of ‘catch up’ on important issues for business delayed by the pandemic.

“Cllr Legg’s question concerns the Cabinet meeting of the 6 October. The agenda for this meeting did have an exceptional number of items. This resulted in the meeting lasting a few minutes short of three and a half hours.

“Members will be aware that due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic a significant amount of the ‘business as usual’ items had to be put on hold, to allow officers to be seconded to deal with the crisis, which has and will continue to impact on the number of individual reports coming to Cabinet”.