There is to be a Public Meeting at the Priory Church to which everyone in Christchurch is invited to discuss the proposed merger of Christchurch with Bournemouth and Poole at 7 pm on Monday 20 November. Please tell your friends and neighbours and come along and join in the debate. This is a meeting organised by residents to help them to understand the implications of such a merger and give them a better understanding of what is involved.
It is proposed to have more public meetings throughout Christchurch before Referendum papers are sent out by the Council which we think will be sometime at the beginning of December.
Extraordinary Council Meeting
This Thursday 16 November Christchurch Council at 6 pm at Christchurch Civic Offices are to debate calling a Referendum to ask the people of Christchurch whether or not they wish to merge with Bournemouth and Poole. This is a very important meeting and one which is open to the public. A referendum will be our last chance to save Christchurch from being swallowed up by Bournemouth and Poole who are theoretically broke and need our money and the land.
This is our last Chance to keep Christchurch special – THERE IS NO GOING BACK.
ou have probably heard the devastating news that the government Minister Sajid Javid has ruled that Christchurch should merge with Bournemouth and Poole.
However in his statement yesterday he said: “I am minded to support these plans at this stage, though further steps are needed to secure local consent, and I would urge all residents to take a look before a final decision is made.”
The Minister has given Christchurch residents 10 weeks in which to make its case not to be merged with Bournemouth and Poole. As you will see the Minister makes it clear that if the majority of Christchurch residents do not wish this merger to take place and Christchurch Council can come up with an alternative proposal then there is a very strong case that we will not have this merger forced upon us. He has said on many occasions that he will not force residents against their wishes to be pushed into a merger.
If we merge with Bournemouth and Poole we will lose:
- All decisions on planning giving Bournemouth and Poole complete control of any planning decisions in Christchurch and its surrounding areas, we will be outvoted as the two other authorities will have more councillors.
- Council Representation Christchurch’s representation under the new authority will have very few councillors compared to the other two authorities thus enabling Bournemouth and Poole to make all future decisions about Christchurch.
- Finances Christchurch is a debt free authority with several millions in the bank. Bournemouth and Poole have huge deficits and are millions in debt. If we merge, Christchurch assets will be offset against Bournemouth and Poole’s combined debts and Christchurch will then be in debt.
- Education will be run by Bournemouth and Poole. What a difference will this make?
- Social Services will be run by Bournemouth and Poole, what a difference will this make?
- All open spaces will be administered and run by Bournemouth and Poole. The implications of this are horrendous
- Licencing Nightclubs, bars and restaurants will be administered by Bournemouth and Poole. Will this be good or bad?
- All our beaches and coastal areas will be taken over by Bournemouth and Poole. Is this what we want?
As you will have seen from the Minister’s statement it is now down to us the people to make it known that the majority of residents are vehemently opposed to this merger apart from a few Christchurch councillors and officers who see this decision as a step up the ladder. The Minister has made it clear that he wants to hear what the people have to say and we must make sure that this is what happens. There are alternatives and we are looking to our Council to look at all these rather than be taken over by Bournemouth and Poole.
We will keep you updated as to how we, the people, can get our message across to the Minister by whatever means possible. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions as to how we go forward in the next 10 weeks to keep Christchurch safe. Christchurch must have a proper Referendum and not the bias words used by the Chief Executives and Leaders of Dorset Councils sent with the Consultation last year.