1. ITV Report

Councillors to discuss referendum on Dorset merger

Photo: ITV Meridian

Councillors in Christchurch are to discuss holding a public referendum on plans to merge their council with Bournemouth and Poole.

It is after the Communities Secretary confirmed his preferred wish to merge Dorset's nine councils into just two.

The move designed to save money has been welcomed by Bournemouth and Poole but Christchurch disagrees.

The town's MP is backing a referendum.

Christopher Chope MP Christchurch, Con

A full council meeting will be held on 16th November.

In March members approved holding a postal referendum to get the thoughts on whether or not residents would support joining a new unitary authority with Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch.

However, the referendum was deferred as a decision on the Future Dorset proposal was delayed due to a number of reasons, including the General Election.

"Before making any representations to the Secretary of State about the possible reorganisation of local government in Dorset, councillors want to allow Christchurch residents to have their say. It is important we take into account their wishes as we are elected to represent them."

– Cllr David Flagg, Leader of the Council, Christchurch Borough Council