Consultation Background


Today, David Trenchard, a former Bournemouth Council Leader, and businessman, has criticised Chris Chope’s action in the Echo, saying that he is “…very disappointed the council seems to prefer to back the local MP in one of his personal crusades against change or progress rather than consider what is really best for this community.” He described the situation as a “… much needed reorganisation of local government”. Cllr David Jones responded, “I have frequently asked what will Christchurch get out of this. The silence has been deafening.”

For what it is worth, my thoughts are that Mr Trenchard harms his argument by ueing emotive language, such as ‘personal crusades against change or progress’, when the issue is whether this really IS progress. Further, the Councils are considering working together in a structured way, rather than actually merging. Would that be the best of both worlds? Please make comments below about this interesting issue.


Mr Chope thinks that. as three Councils are against the plan, it is unlikely that the merger will take place. Sajid Javid has confirmed that no decision is imminent. MPs, Constituency Chairmen and  Council Leaders have been invited to meet ti assess the possible ways of working together.

Click for the Echo article.

Dec 27th 2016: This page is a summary of the progress so far in the consultation about the proposed changes to Dorset’s local government sructure and the restructured financial support which will be provided by the government.

As some of the original pages are quite lengthy and, indeed, out of date, they have been removed from the menu, but are all still available through links within this article.

What is Keep Christchurch Special and what are we fighting for?

This is a group of people who live or work here. Some were born here, others are relative newcomers. We are not a Council body, though we have some Councillors, and all have a common concern: Keeping Christchurch as a special place, proud of both its history and current success.

The government wants councils to work together to increase efficiency in these times of necessary austerity. Currently there are nine authorities in Dorset. Two options are most likely for Christchurch – joining with Bournemouth/Poole, or becoming part of a Dorset ‘shire’ authority. Now that the  consultation has mostly taken place – though you can still have your say – the final decision will be made in May.

Read Original Page: The Issues

The Consultation

This began on August 30 and finished on October 25. It consisted of a postal survey sent to around 20,000 randomly-selected households, an open online survey, various public meetings, and a few telephone consultations with some of Dorset’s largest companies.

Responses are as below. Click the image to see the official report summary.

The options to be chosen were as follows:

Council Options

Not  that in the survey Option 1 was note one of the choices, and had to be specified at the end. More details are on the original page: The Consultation

A page about some of the meetings: Reports

About the Results

On December 5 all Councillors of the nine Dorset Councils received the above report, as well as the financial and business cases for each option. On December 15 the Leaders met to try to agree on one of the options. After lengthy discussion in Christchurch our Council came out strongly in favour of leaving things as they are (Option 1). It is understood that the Leader, Cllr Nottage, did present this, as he was required to do, but with little enthusiasm.

Read Original Page: Progress So Far


3 thoughts on “Consultation Background

  1. It loks like a lot of progress has been made by the six councils committed to finding a solution to the financial black hole that affects public services in our county. And yes, that does include Chirstchurch. Look at our age profile. Adult social care is screwed. Don’t we care about that? I fully support this plan if it means more money for services. I hope those who are so against it have taken the time to actually read the documents and the benefits. There is a link to the website here:

  2. So there’s a consultation. And a result. Which says people in Christchurch want to merge with Bournemouth and Poole. And my councillors vote against it. Why have the views of the people – the silent majority not the tiny minority who tried to hijack the open survey – been ignored by our elected representatives?

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