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Poole Council votes to merge with Bournemouth and Christchurch

Poole Council yesterday (24th January 2017) voted 27 votes to 12 to extinguish itself and merge with Bournemouth and Christchurch. All Conservatives present voted to merge. All opposition councillors (Lib Dem, Poole People, UKIP and independent) voted against. The three Conservatives who we suspect were not prepared to vote for merger (Cllrs Atkinson, Butt and Pawlowski) did not attend the meeting.

Opposition councillors pointed out the many deficiencies in the merger process and the possible damaging consequences for Poole and its residents (which we set out in a previous e-mail). The Lib Dems proposed an amendment requiring a referendum on the issue, which Poole People supported, but this was voted down by the Conservatives.

We now await the results of the votes in the other Councils and the decision of the Secretary of State. We expect, however, that at the next local elections in 2019, there will be a single authority covering the conurbation. We recognise that there are positive aspects to a merger, but the way the process has been handled and the lack of consideration of important issues will make it harder than it needs to be for the merged authority to function effectively.