I note Conservative Councillor Pauline Batstone’s valiant attempts to defend the frankly indefensible. I refer to her comment that when councillors (at the recent Shadow Council Meeting) were seen looking at their laptops and tablets they were all diligently looking at the budget. Yes council papers are all electronic theses days but it was shocking to look round and see the ruling group looking down at their screens when members of the public were giving an impassioned pleas to boost funds to children services. It's simply bad manners not to look at the people who have bothered to turn up is it not?

Councillor Batstone who I know has done a lot for Fostering and Looked after Children over the years is however right to point to the good news that £6M has been found for Childrens Services but this is only dealing with the deficit in the service it won’t transform the service with a spending boost as was supported by all the opposition groups.

The deficit has been created both by the lack of national funding to local councils and of the decision to shut two children homes pushing vulnerable children to private providers often outside of county at greater expense just as I suggested would happen at the time. The actions of the council have made matters worse for vulnerable children (and adults for that matter) we keep being told austerity is over but I think that’s fake news.

Cllr Richard Biggs

Dorchester Division