EVER since I was elected to BCP Council I have questioned why I am a Charter Trustee for Bournemouth as well as Poole.

Unlike the other wards like Merley and Bearwood, and Branksome and Talbot Woods, I have no households that pay their supplement to Bournemouth Charter Trustees, they all pay the Poole levy.

We are all within the historic boundaries of Poole. As far as I can tell there is nothing more than a patch of grass that is within the historic Bournemouth boundary, though a friend with a blow up of the boundary map thinks we might have half an office block on the Bournemouth side of the line – but if so, they pay business rates not council tax.

Why does this matter? The lesser reason is that the Mayor of Bournemouth at the last BCP Council meeting said I was letting down residents I represent who paid towards Bournemouth Charter Trustees, which as I pointed out above NONE do.

The biggest reason, in my opinion, was the small print, in section 42 (from memory) of the report on the possible Bournemouth City Council. Different people have interpreted the point differently, but I read it as if any ward that has a Bournemouth Charter Trustee would become part of Bournemouth City Council.

That, if I read it right, would include the ward I represent, Alderney & Bourne Valley (no households in Bournemouth), Merley & Bearwood (15 per cent in Bournemouth), and Branksome & Talbot Woods (probably majority Bournemouth).

I am hoping that the Bournemouth City bid, which does not enjoy the support of many in Bournemouth, including their “Civic Society”, gets rejected as I believe we should be a partnership of three townS, not based around a “city”.

In the meantime I hope that the anomaly of my area of Poole having Bournemouth Charter Trustees is removed, and that Poole as a town does a bit more to preserve its identity.

Christchurch for example has a “town council”, and some other areas have a parish council. Many of us in Poole feel we are seeing some of our services “levelled down” whilst our taxes are being “levelled up” under BCP Council – but that’s for another day to argue.

In the meantime, I hope BCP look at the particular anomaly in the ward I represent, and with fellow Poole residents look to how we can enhance Poole as a distinct entity.


BCP Council (Alderney & Bourne Valley)

Poole Charter Trustee

Lifelong Pooleite