TWO hundred years old is no age at all – at least if you’re a town.

That fact goes some way to explaining why the boroughs of Poole and Christchurch get jittery whenever a merger with Bournemouth is mooted.

It’s not hard to detect concern that the young upstart of the south coast would end up dominating any partnership with its neighbours.

Today, we report on the quiet launch of a campaign to create a “united conurbation” of the three towns. Supporters say the idea would reduce costs and make local government more efficient.

It is 15 years since Bournemouth and Poole became “unitary authorities”, taking on functions such as education and social services. And in these straitened times, surely bold ideas for reform should be considered.

A full merger may be too much for the ancient boroughs to take. But they should at least consider what the youngster next door has to say.