THE rehousing of Dorset’s rough sleepers as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19 was entirely necessary.

But that they should all have been directed to just three Weymouth hotels, two in the Park district, was utterly foolish, resulting in entirely predictable reports of ‘dealing and drug use, violence, street drinking and lewd behaviour’.

We all wish to see an end to homelessness, and many homeless people are eager to accept the new start rehousing brings. But there will always be an anti-social minority among them, some with mental or addiction problems, who are unwilling or unable to abide by the constraints demanded in living together.

For that reason, rehousing projects should be spread in the entire community. To concentrate them in one place makes it a dumping ground for all society’s ills.

We are told that the Weymouth hotels have been used to serve the whole of Dorset. Presumably no such accommodation was available elsewhere. Really? Not a single bed available in Dorchester, or Blandford or Sherborne?

The truth is that, following the creation of the new Dorset local authority, Weymouth and Portland will always be used as a dumping ground for social problems.

This is not because of inherent wickedness but because majorities in the Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups from the rural counties will ensure that they will not accept ‘problem people’ in their constituencies.

While the Dorset Council raises considerable revenue from Weymouth and Portland, its only significant urban area, this has resulted in the loss of hundreds of council jobs in Weymouth, with the consequent damage to the local economy, to our little shops and businesses.

Dorset even charges Weymouth residents about three times as much for parking!

Dr Alan Chedzoy Hon, Alderman, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council