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Councillor calls for proposed Supercouncils merger to include East Dorset
A SUGGESTED merger of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch into one city-sized local authority would involve East Dorset too, a councillor has pointed out.
Independent campaign Uniting the Conurbation, which seeks to create one city along Poole Bay, is calling to draw the three separate councils into one.
But Councillor Anne Holland, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the county, said many have ignored the impact the plans could have on East Dorset District Council.
“Both Christchurch and East Dorset district councils share one group of officers,” she said.
“If Bournemouth and Poole councils do decide that this merger with Christchurch is a good idea, that will directly involve East Dorset because you cannot separate the two councils any more, although that seems to be forgotten.”
Uniting the Conurbation reaches across political parties and is fronted by two former leaders of Bournemouth council – Liberal Democrat Douglas Eyre and Conservative David Trenchard.
But the current council leader, Cllr John Beesley, said the plans would be ‘very expensive and hugely disruptive’ if realised.
Cllr Holland said: “It seems to me that the difficulty is that east Dorset seems to be forgotten about next to Christchurch.
“It’s not that I’m immediately against anything happening – we don’t know any details yet – but we must have the same service that Christchurch gets.
“That is what I am worried about and it just doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment.”
In January, it was announced that East Dorset District Council’s offices in Furzehill will close – making Christchurch Council’s Civic Offices safe.
Cllr Holland tabled a question at Monday’s full council meeting in east Dorset and said that getting information from council officers is ‘like getting blood out of a stone’.
She asked: “Why the secrecy?
“Is it because all the reviewed services are now in Christchurch ready for Furzehill’s closure and East Dorset District Council members are very disadvantaged in comparison to their Christchurch colleagues?”
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