Picture of Christchurch Harbour with Priory in the background

End of an era? Christchurch Borough Council to hold last meeting

The Borough will become part of a new local authority with Bournemouth & Poole on 1 April. The new Council will be known by the initials BCP to reflect the three towns it will serve.

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Lesley Dedman, has invited councillors to pay tribute and  ‘recount particular achievements and memories’ of their time in office as part of the last item on the meeting’s agenda.

 

Photograph of the Civic Offices in Christchurch, Dorset
Christchurch Civic Offices | Photo by David Dixon, 2010https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2025471

The Government approved the plan, known as ‘Future Dorset’, in February last year.

Christchurch Council originally opposed and then challenged the Future Dorset decision and some councillors still have concerns that the town will lose its traditions and identity as it joins with its much larger neighbours to the west.

The town traces its history back to the 7th Century AD and its first recorded Mayor to 1294.

 

 

 

A local poll taken in December 2017 revealed that nearly 84% of the residents in the Borough who voted, rejected the proposal to merge with Bournemouth & Poole.

 

Pie Chart of Christchurch Local Poll Result December 2017
Results of Local Poll in Christchurch asking residents if they supported Future Dorset proposal – December 2017 |Infogram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others say the new council is vital for securing local services and will save the residents in the conurbation as much as £108 million over the next 6 years.

 

Graphic showing Christchurch population relative to Bournemouth & Poole total. 12% of total reside in Christchurch
Source – ONS Mid-2017 population estimates

Although it will lose its Borough status, Christchurch will still be recognised as a town council with elections planned for May 2.

Town & Parish councils are the third tier of local government in England and Wales and, amongst other things,  have responsibilities for allotments and recreation grounds as well as being statutory consultees for planning applications.

Towns in the area such as Wimborne, Verwood and Ferndown already have this status.

The other local authorities in Dorset will all amalgamate to form a single Dorset Council, which will provide services for the rest of the county outside the conurbation.

 

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