RE. YOUR correspondent February 28 re. The February 20 Dorset Shadow Council meetingPraise to parents.

Yes, the parents who came to the Shadow Council Meeting indeed deserve praise for coming to make their case.

Your correspondent criticises councillors for fiddling with iPads, Laptops and mobile phones but he should worry more about councillors who are not looking at their IT because that is where our information about the budget is, that is why people were ‘fiddling’ i.e. checking out information. Councillors no longer get paper copies to save money.

The Opposition Group were doing what an Opposition Group are expected to do which is to oppose and come up with alternatives. The majority group, The Conservatives, have to make the books balance.

Your correspondent describes the amount of £5m as a comparatively small sum but it still has to come from somewhere and what else was to be cut to free that up was not made clear.

By the time the budget came to the Shadow Dorset Council it had been poured over by all Councillors four times at least and all Councillors had the opportunity to contribute ideas in those stages and before. Almost £6,000,000 extra has been put into services for vulnerable Children and Families which will benefit children with special needs and disabilities on top of the existing budget provision.

The Council also has a responsibility to vulnerable adults for which extra provision has been made, in particular an additional £150,000 for the homeless.

By far the greatest part of the Dorset Council’s budget will go to the vulnerable in our community and I trust and believe all councillors of all parties are committed to doing that.

Cllr. Pauline Batstone,

Blackmore Vale Division Dorset County Council

Glue Hill, Sturminster Newton