THE decision to merge Christchurch council with Bournemouth and Poole is not challengeable, a legal professional has advised.

Ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the full council on Tuesday, a report calls for members to confirm how they wish to proceed.

In the report, it states: “Unfortunately, the opinion concludes that there is “absolutely no arguable error of law, and thus any arguable cause of action.””

It follows the decision from the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid that merger of Dorset’s nine councils should go ahead.

Cllr Trish Jamieson, deputy leader of the council, said: “Whilst we were disappointed with the decision from the Secretary of State it is important that we now meet to consider the best way forward.

“The legal professional advises that the decision is not challengeable and we must decide whether there are any further avenues we can pursue.

“Our priority now must be continuing to work as part of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Joint Committee to ensure that, if it does go ahead, local government reorganisation secures the best possible outcomes for Christchurch residents.”

The report adds: "Incurring further and potentially significant costs on a legal challenge would therefore seem imprudent at best, irrational at worst.

"Members should determine whether spending any further money on continued resistance to the changes proposed is in the best interests of taxpayers."

In the legal opinion provided by Nathalie Lieven QC of Blackstone Chambers, she said: "My instructions refer in the most general terms to a range of possible causes of action, but I cannot see that any of them have a reasonable chance of success.

"I have seen no suggestion of an argument that there is any unlawful, as opposed to objected to, impact on elderly or disabled people in Christchurch.

"The Future Dorset proposal has come out of years of consideration; all the councils seemed to have started from the position that some change was needed; the overall need in terms of an ageing population and a squeeze on local authority budgets is extremely well known; the proposal is supported by detailed reports and all the councils except Christchurch are now supporting or have withdrawn their opposition to the proposals."