IN his letter (Daily Echo, December 19) Cllr Simon Bull says that he was surprised following the local poll in Christchurch last week.

Not as much as I was surprised by his comments!

Given this was a purely postal poll, accompanied by leaflets which did anything other than present balanced arguments and then requiring residents to give a straight yes/no answer to some pretty complicated issues, what on earth did he expect?

I am sure that there are many Christchurch residents who realise that a poll based on ‘cloud cuckoo land’ claims, undeliverable promises and at best half-truths, was not worth the effort of taking part which might explain why the majority of ‘No’ votes were cast.

Those who abstained were probably very angry at the waste of public money spent on administering the poll, knowing that it doesn’t present any realistic alternative proposition to the massive challenges for funding local services for Christchurch residents in the future.

Whether council tax is collected by Christchurch council or Dorset County Council, the evidence shows that there will not be enough money raised in the longer term to fund adults’ and children’s social care at the current levels and with increasing demand.

A major consultation exercise has already been carried out, the Secretary of State will be considering constructive comments prior to making his decision and we are currently starting to plan for the most efficient way to deliver the new council if that is his decision. This includes harmonising council tax across all three current council areas without causing any resident to pay more council tax than they would have if the new authority was not formed.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole residents will be facing increases in council tax whatever happens, largely to fund adult social care for the most vulnerable of our residents, many of whom live in Christchurch. The only change would be that Christchurch residents would have their council tax frozen for some years during the harmonisation process.

I’m afraid that Cllr Bull needs to listen and take note of reality, as he would seem to have been taken in by the noisy rhetoric and posturing of a few.


Boscombe West Ward,

Cabinet Member Regeneration & Public Health,

Bournemouth Town Hall