GREAT to hear that Christchurch council are joining the reorganisation talks to look at merging Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch councils.

Also good to read the letter from James Havelock, who I know successfully operated his business across the conurbation and recognises the importance of this move.

It has been disappointing that the few negative voices from Christchurch seem to have dominated the debate as we know that there are many residents who recognise the obvious efficiency and financial benefits of the proposed merger, which can help improvement in services rather than the continuing reduction we are seeing at present.

Above all, though, it is the need for a single vision to address the increasingly urgent problems of affordable housing and jobs for your youngsters as well as the ever closer traffic gridlock, health and social issues and ensuring that our special environment is not lost that need to be addressed.

I do not believe that the people of Christchurch have been or can be served well with the major decisions being taken in Dorchester by a county council which has to focus primarily on the rural issues in the rest of Dorset.

This is not about losing the identity and civic pride of three very different places, as critics suggest, but, in this changed "global" world, ensuring that local government has strong enough powers to direct development and protect those special identities for now and future generations.

Piecemeal planning and decisions from two unitary councils in Poole and Bournemouth plus one district council and Dorset County Council governing Christchurch do not reflect the interests we all share in the future wellbeing of the whole area.

I hope more Christchurch residents with concern for the future will encourage Christchurch councillors to support one unitary council.


chair, Unite the Conurbation campaign group,

Kirby Way, Southbourne, Bournemouth