Christchurch council merger deferred following general election

Christchurch council has announced it has decided to delay any referendum on local government reorganisation following the announcement of a General Election to be held on 8 June 2017.

The local authority maintained that with the snap General Election meaning possible changes to cabinet members and government policies on local government, councillors felt it was best to defer any decisions about the referendum until after the election.

The merger plan involves forming one unitary authority of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and another authority made up of East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland, in a bid to save about £108 million over six years.

Six out of Dorset's nine councils have already backed the plans and have submitted their proposal to Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for communities and local government.

David McIntosh, chief executive of Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “Members are keen to understand the views of Christchurch residents prior to submitting their representation to the Secretary of
State regarding local government reorganisation in Dorset.

“However, in light of the announcement to call a General Election, members feel it best to defer the referendum until we have a better understanding of how Government will look following the results of the election on 8 June.”