Debate – Sir Christopher Chope

Chris Chope MP at HighcliffeBelow is  the link to Christopher Chope’s Adjournment Debate in the Commons yesterday, 1 December 2016. Serious questions were raised about the rather secretive procedures employed. The picture on the left shows him at Greystonesin Highcliffe. Here is a taster. The report is too lengthy to quote in full so please use the link.

‘In autumn 2015, the leaders of Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch Councils, and the then leader of East Dorset District Council, were pictured together on a beach to launch their plan to create a single council to replace those four councils. …

The plan was never debated in Christchurch Council, because the Christchurch Council leader denied that he wanted such a super-council but wished only to be in the mix for the purposes of any discussion about it. Not surprisingly, Dorset County Council did not take kindly to the idea that two of the councils in its area were going to secede and join a rival grouping. That led to various discussions, and earlier this year all nine Dorset council leaders decided to work towards a public consultation on possibly reorganising local government within Dorset, but without any preconditions …

… At the end of August this year, the nine Dorset councils launched a separate consultation on what they described as “reshaping your councils”. The consultation was meant to be presenting four options. The first was no change to existing structures, and the other three were for variations on the theme of abolishing the nine existing councils and creating in their place two unitaries. The options presented for consultation and the terms of the consultation paper were never approved by councillors in Christchurch or East Dorset. Indeed, it was only at the insistence of a minority of council leaders—including, I think, the leader of East Dorset—that a no-change option was included at all.’

Now look at the document:

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