CHRISTCHURCH may get a town council to replace the current borough authority.

The district council rejected plans for its abolition and replacement by a single unitary for the whole conurbation, which have nevertheless been approved by the Government.

Among the concerns expressed was that Christchurch, with only 10 councillors, would not have an effective voice on the new body, as well as concerns about the loss of borough identity and tradition, including the mayoralty.

A town council, if adopted, would give councillors elected to it a say over a small range of local issues, and it would be a statutory consultee for planning applications. It could also allow the borough to retain its mayor without the potential need for an unconventional structure such as making the mayoralty a charitable trust.

Richards Jones, legal and democratic services manager at Christchurch council, said: “Christchurch council is currently undertaking a community governance review across the borough looking at parish arrangements.

"This is a sovereign matter for Christchurch to determine. A series of recommendations will be made to full council on April 24, 2018, which will then be subject to a further period of consultation.

"Any changes to the existing parish arrangements will be included in a reorganisation order produced by the borough council following a final decision on September 4, 2018.

"If any new town or parish councils are established these would operate in a similar manner to those across the majority of Dorset."

Cllr Lesley Dedman, the mayor-elect, said earlier this week that the town council was being considered "ostensibly to preserve our mayoralty".

No plans to establish a town council in Bournemouth or Poole have been discussed, although the retention of the mayoralties has been discussed.