You Determine The Shaftesbury Neighbourhood Plan Today

Dorset and Wiltshire residents go to the polls today.

In Semley, Donhead St Mary’s, Donhead St Andrew and Berwick, villagers can vote for Parish and Wiltshire councillors. Residents on both sides of the county boundary can pick a candidate to serve as Police and Crime Commissioner for either Wiltshire or Dorset.

There are no Dorset Council elections this year. But here in Shaftesbury, there is a by-election for the West ward of the Town Council, with two candidates contesting the one seat. Virginia Edwyn-Jones and Mike Madgwick are facing the electorate today.

Shaftesbury residents will determine whether the town’s Neighbourhood Plan is adopted or ‘made’ today. If a majority of locals approve the planning document in today’s referendum, then planners and developers will have to take the policies contained in the blueprint into account.

Work to create this latest version of the plan began in February 2018. If approved, it will guide future development until the year 2031. You can read the neighbourhood plan here.

We won’t know the outcome of the Police and Crime Commissioner election, the Town Council by-election or the Neighbourhood Plan referendum until tomorrow. The count will start at 10am on Friday.

Polling stations are open at 7am today (Thursday) and close at 10pm this evening. In Shaftesbury, you can vote at the Royal Chase Hotel or the Town Hall, depending on where in town you live. Take your own pencil to mark your ballot paper!