THE removal of controversial clauses from the Poole “begging ban” would not be reversed should a Conservative administration take charge of BCP Council on Thursday its would-be leader has said.

Conservative councillors had opposed the decision to remove parts of the town centre public spaces protection order (PSPO) agreed earlier this month.

But their leader, councillor Drew Mellor, said the group had no intention of reversing the decision made by the Unity Alliance administration should he win Thursday’s leadership vote.

Cllr Mellor will go head-to-head with councillor Vikki Slade for the top role at an extraordinary meeting of the council on Thursday evening.

It follows the success of a vote of no confidence in Cllr Slade earlier this month by 39 votes to 33 in the wake of a backlash over the controversial active travel measures introduced in recent months.

Cllr Mellor, whose Conservative group is the largest in the council but does not control a majority, said there had been “a high level of frustration and mistrust” with the coalition Unity Alliance administration which has run the council since it was formed last year.

He has criticised the openness of the council and what he said had been “a lack of consultation” with councillors on proposals affecting the areas they represent.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s meeting, he said his priority, should he be elected, would be to “restore people’s pride” in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

“We want to work with all councillors to build a better administration with councillors at the heart of the administration and residents at the heart of the council,” he said.

“I’ve got plans for how we would open up the cabinet, to make it more inclusive for councillors, and to improve engagement with the public.

“But the main thing we’d do as the first priority on day one would be around restoring people’s pride in the area and their positivity.”

A Conservative administration would put a greater focus on supporting the homeless and tackling anti-social behaviour problems across the conurbation, he added.

But he said it would not reverse the recent “disappointing” decision to remove clauses from the Poole town centre PSPO, which critics said had unfairly targeted the homeless.

The council had been facing a legal challenge over the clauses clauses restricting begging, “loitering with a receptacle to collect money", leaving belongings unattended and obstructing doorways and car parks.

Instead, he said “a lot” would be invested in other ways of tackling issues of anti-social behaviour across the region.