Having been keen to witness the benefits of our new combined conurbation council I am disappointed at what seems to be a lack of any real new or innovative strategic thinking coming out of the BCP authority.

Two particular areas where working together, with enhanced powers, should bring opportunities are transportation and housing.

Traffic congestion in this conurbation is damaging to the business economy, the environment and potentially the health of residents and visitors.

Other major centres in the UK and Europe have long since envisaged and then introduced rapid light transit systems as part of the solution.

Yet here the council’s aspirations seem to be limited to more of the same – expensive junction improvements, traffic calming and more cycle lanes.

I appreciate that bigger solutions will take time but unless there is a vision to start with they will never happen.

Similarly, I had hoped that, with our three towns working together, we would have the potential to really address the housing needs ,particularly for local young folk.

I understand that the government wants to see 42.672 extra dwellings in this conurbation by the year 2038.

If that is so, then can we not develop planning and land use policies which prioritise our own affordable housing needs rather than what works for developers – more luxury flats designed to attract retirees from afar.

The theory that building flats for the elderly releases family housing just doesn’t work when developers are offering sea views for seven figure sums.

I read in the Echo that our council leaders are working on the basis of ‘the only way is up’ the present policy is already seeing off more and more of the quality built environment which has made our area special.

The new BCP Council has given us the opportunity to really take a fresh look at the challenges of transportation and housing need in Bournemouth,Christchurch and Poole with greater financial and lobbying muscle to back it up.

I really hope that our councillors can, as well as seeking to provide efficient service delivery, lift their eyes beyond ‘more of the same’ and aspire to dream the dream for the future generations of our three very special towns.


Harbour Road, Southbourne