CHRISTCHURCH MP Chris Chope has said the government will be “tearing up its manifesto commitments” unless it kills off the plans to abolish Dorset’s existing councils.

MPs have returned to Westminster with no news on whether local government secretary Sajid Javid will allow the controversial idea.

Most of Dorset’s nine key councils are backing a plan to scrap the current structure of local government in the county. The proposal is to replace the existing councils with two big authorities – one for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch and another for rural Dorset.

But three councils – Christchurch, East Dorset and Purbeck – are against the idea and Mr Chope said they should not be forced to go along with it.

He said: “I’ve been against this from the outset and, with three councils out of the six district councils in Dorset against it, it seems to me the government would be tearing up its manifesto commitments if they were to impose a solution against the wishes of three independent sovereign councils.”

The Conservative manifesto at this year’s general elections said the party would “support those authorities that wish to combine to serve their communities better”.

The government had been expected to make an announcement on Dorset’s situation before parliament broke for the summer, but there is still no word on when there might be a decision.

Mr Chope said: “I do hope the government does reach a conclusion because I think a disproportionate amount of time and energy has been wasted by some councils in Dorset thinking that this is the solution to their problems when they should be looking elsewhere for a solution to the problems they’ve got.”

The MP presented 47 bills in parliament this week, which stand almost no chance of becoming law but some of which may be debated.

One of his bills would prohibit councils being abolished without the approval of their councillors and a referendum.

Another would remove the restrictions on how much local authorities could raise their council tax.

Mr Chope said: “All the financial problems that there are in Bournemouth and Poole could be attributed to the fact that they’re unable to raise income from their council tax payers as Christchurch can.”

Supporters of the reorganisation say it could save Dorset around £108million over the next six years.