Imagine a school with 270 classes. Three of the classes - let’s call them 13a, 13b and 13 c - have one-fifth of the school’s population.

Most of the other classes are very small, but have students from Nether Wallop, Little Grayling, and Ditton-on-the-Water. Which is where the school governors come from.

Here’s a question: which classes do you think the school’s money goes to?

This is the situation on Dorset Council, which lists 270 parish councils on its website. Three of them - Weymouth, Portland and Chickerell - with 70,000 souls, have 20% of Dorset’s population. But they don’t get 20% of the resources. Weymouth and Portland are in the 10 most deprived areas in the country, with up to 40% of children living in poverty in some places.

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I’m not criticising councillors - some of our councillors are fantastic, especially the ones from Weymouth and Portland - but I do take issue with the system.

In Weymouth, we pay Dorset Council taxes - second highest in the country; Our museum doesn’t have a decent place to live: our council meets in a converted arts centre; and we’re not even consulted beforehand about whether our harbour should have railings or not.

The Nether Wallop politicians in Dorset Council got 52% of the vote, but control all of the decision-making posts. The result is continued deprivation in Weymouth, a lack of good jobs, and tumbleweed blowing down St Thomas St. The town is dying around our ears.

What would I do about it? The one gleam of light is Weymouth Town Council, who at least seem to have ideas for our area. But they are just a parish council. Dorset Council has the real power. Weymouth has a population of about 55,000. The smallest unitary authority in the UK - Rutland - has 40,000. Weymouth could throw off the shackles of Dorset and become a unitary authority on its own. It has the numbers.

Anyone for a Weymouth Independence Movement?

Steve Elsworth

Old Castle Road