Poole People councillors proposed at October's Shadow Council meeting that the name of the new merged authority be changed to the historic order - Christchurch, Poole & Bournemouth. We did this in an attempt to slow the "Bournemouth City" agenda which the Conservative Groups are pushing and to point out the importance of preserving the character of Christchurch and Poole. As we expected it was voted down by the Conservatives, as was a motion proposed by a Lib Dem and rebel Christchurch Conservative for the Council to consider introducing a secondary tier of democracy in the the form of parish councils or similar bodies, which we supported.
42 councillors failed to turn up to the meeting, 38 of them elected as Conservatives and three as Lib Dems. Despite the fact that there were two member motions seeking to strengthen democracy in and protect the character of Poole, 12 Poole councillors (again Conservatives and Lib Dems) failed to turn up. No councillor is expected to attend every meeting but the mass absence of Conservatives shows how local democracy will be undermined if the Conservatives secure a large majority in May's local elections. Conservative councillors are required to follow the instructions of their Leader so they cannot, and do not, stand up for their constituents' interests.