Christchurch to hold referendum over council merger plans

The people of Christchurch are getting the opportunity to give their opinion on the plans to merge nine Dorset Councils into two.

Councillors in Christchurch agreed last night to hold a referendum in May to find out what the public think on this.

Councillor Ray Nottage believes it’s not worth it: “I think it’s a complete waste of time, it’s not legally binding and it won’t give us any other direction as to how we are going to make the necessary savings to protect the service that we are giving to our residents.

“I should think in total it will cost around £80,000-£100,000 and I do not think it’s a good use of taxpayers money.”

Christchurch was initially one of the authorities to vote against the merger in February, despite an eight-week public consultation last year that revealed Dorset residents were overwhelmingly supportive of the council merger plans.

However, Councillor Colin Bungey is supportive of the referendum: “The majority of Councillors felt that to solve the issue once and for all the best thing to do was to ask people through a referendum whether they want to go into Bournemouth and become a suburb of Bournemouth, or whether they want to retain our sovereignty and history.”

You can listen below to a clip from a spokesperson from the TaxPayers Alliance for their thoughts on the Council merger and referendum.

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