Marian Hall, 79, a retired barmaid from Bournemouth, said: "To me Christchurch has always been part of Hampshire despite what other people might say. I'm not really sure why they left Hampshire in the first place really."

Louise Thomson, 52, a house mother from Mudeford, said: "I don't want to be part of Hampshire. I just think Hampshire is a very big county as it is, covering a large area and being in Dorset is much nicer."

Trevor James, 75, a retired cemetery superintendent from Bournemouth, said: "If the move cuts down the number of councillors we have then it is definitely a good thing. I think Hampshire has got a better reputation than Dorset."

Sue Aylen, 71, a retired business owner from Bournemouth, said: "Personally I would like to see Christchurch return to being part of Hampshire. I remember it being that way some years ago and if it is better for the area then so be it."

Brian Sheppard, 70, a retired van driver from Southbourne, said: "I would be in favour of joining. It brings back memories of what it was like a long time ago and if it is better for the people living here to be in Hampshire then it should happen."

Anthony Martin, 77, a retired aircraft planner from Southbourne, said: "Really is depends if it would lead to the council saving money and having benefits for the town. If this is the case and facilities remain the same then great."

Sally Mitchell, 68, a shop assistant from Highcliffe, said: "Dorset is where the town should stay. I see no real reason to change. I don't want to be part of Hampshire. Christchurch moved from Hampshire, why should we go back."

Sue Richard, 72, a retired self-employed baker from Bournemouth, said: "I grew up in Purewell when the area was part of Hampshire and never viewed it as anything else. I would be in support of the town switching back to how it was before."

Bryan Richard, 75, also a retired self-employed baker from Bournemouth, said: "It would be great for the people of Christchurch to get back to being in Hampshire. The area has a lot of resources and they could lose them in the Dorset mergers."