Dr Graham Lambert’s letter (Echo 19.12.20) regarding Dorchester Town Council plans to build a large biomass boiler in an area already scheduled as an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ because of existing high air pollution levels confirms many worrying truths.

Dr Lambert is a Green Party member of Weymouth Town Council and writing as Chairman of Dorchester Conservatives I agree with much he says.

I would go so far as to say we do not blindly support Government policy on this issue as vigorously as Liberal controlled Dorchester Council does and who intend to take full advantage of available funding at any cost to the environment.

We lobbied and met with Dorchester Town Council over this issue back in September over their plans to spend over £2 million on the Corn Exchange on this biomass boiler, new offices and re-roofing of the building. Of this, the only essential work is to the roof. Although we pressed for the need for a business plan to justify this expenditure, it is clear there is none. It is also clear no risk or environmental assessment has been carried out on the likely emissions from this project.

In a response to our lobbying, the Town Council’s long reply ended with this chilling paragraph. “Finally the issue of Council Tax levels, along with the Climate Emergency, was a key issue during the local election campaign as recently as May 2019. Residents of Dorchester, in my opinion wisely, ignored the suggestion of low Council Tax in favour of wellrun services. Our approach now is wholly consistent with the mandate we received at that time.”

It is not usual for a town clerk to take such a political line and our interpretation of these words is that this Liberal run council must consider it has free rein to do as it chooses.

If nothing else, the tragic death of young Ella and the coroner’s report referred to by Cllr Lambert should be enough to make Dorchester Town Council reconsider their options and plans to build this biomass plant in an already highly polluted residential area.

Gerald Duke

Chairman, Dorchester Conservatives