I WRITE to express my dismay that the Hunting Minister Jim Paice (why would we possibly need a Hunting Minister anyway?) has called for a free vote on the return of hunting with dogs during the course of this Parliament.

A reversal of the Hunting Act would, in my opinion, be a wholly retrograde step.

None of the disastrous economic and social scenarios we heard of at the time have happened to rural communities – indeed I understand that hunting as a recreational activity is actually even more popular since the ban on hunting with dogs.

Residents of Poole need to be very clear on this issue. In what is an almost entirely urban constituency with only Upton Country Park and our local parks as green spaces, Poole’s MP Robert Syms has a 100 per cent record of voting to oppose the ban on hunting with dogs and there is little doubt that he will continue his support.

A 2008 survey by Ipsos MORI found that 73 per cent of people in this country want fox hunting to remain illegal.

I am certain that Mr Syms has never canvassed the opinion of his electorate on this most controversial of subjects.

I find the fact that my urban MP is such a supporter of hunting with dogs to be distasteful in the extreme.

CLLR PHILIP EADES, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman, Poole