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Dog Takes Lead At Council Meeting - 20/11/06

by Ben Glass - Dorset Echo

BRUCE the border collie is to join in a West Dorset District Council meeting this week — after a special invite from planners. The request came after his owner penned a spoof letter on controversial proposals for Speedway at Weymouth’s Wessex Stadium. Officials at the council decided his views were so important he should ‘address’ a meeting of the council’s development control committee.

Mother-of-two Claire Whiles, 41, of Chickerell Road, said: “I sent a rather tongue in cheek letter to the council’s planning department with regard to Weymouth Speedway’s planning application. The letter was in fact from my border collie Bruce, saying how he hoped that the application would go through as he enjoyed going to speedway with his family and how everyone was so nice to him and the noise did not bother him at all. Then Bruce received a letter asking if he would like to speak for three minutes at the planning meeting the letter was addressed to him, care of me.” She added: “I’m tempted to take him along with a placard reading something like ‘Dogs for Weymouth Speedway’. I thought that was the best way because I couldn’t get hold of Dr Dolittle to translate. It’s hilarious. My partner, Robin Spicer, is a director of Weymouth Speedway. The whole family loves going so this planning application has been quite stressful. So I suppose you could say the letter to Bruce was a bit of light relief.”

Council development services manager John Greenslade said it was important all views were important including those of dogs. He said: “This application has generated a tremendous amount of public interest with strong feelings on both sides. The response was intended for the dog’s owner Claire Whiles who, along with more than 500 other people who have also written in, has been invited to attend the planning committee. If she wants to use that opportunity to express her views or indeed those of her dog then she’s welcome to do so."

The development control east meeting will take place on Thursday.

Picture: John Guird JG1213


Dear Andrew Martin,

My name is Bruce and I'm a border collie. I'm writing in support of Weymouth speedway.

I enjoy going every week with my family where everybody makes a fuss of me. The noise doesn't bother me at all because there are no air horns.

It's nice to go somewhere where dogs are allowed so I don't have to stay home on my own. So often dogs aren't allowed into public places. Speedway people are friendly, kind and nice people so I hope you support the planning application.

Yours sincerely,
Bruce Whiles


Dear Sir/Madam.

I refer to your recent communication concerning the above application.

The application is due to be considered by the development control committee which will take place on November 23, 2006 in the council offices.

The officers' recommendation is to refuse the application.

However, it is for the committee to determine the application and the committee may not accept the recommendation. Your comments will be drawn to the attention of the members of the committee for their consideration at the meeting.

In addition you are invited to attend the meeting and address the committee in person for up to three minutes.

Yours faithfully, John Greenslade (development services manager)


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